Just a quick newsflash for those keeping score at home. Individual users of RescueTime may have their score look very different as of this release. The reason for this that previously, you probably had much of your data untagged and unscored. Also, RescueTime didn’t do a fabulous job of making sure all of the many sites people visit every day had categories and scores– so these didn’t really effect your scores. So what’s likely happening is that lots of “surfing” time (which was previously not effecting your efficiency because RescueTime wasn’t smart enough to assign it a default score) was not hurting your score.
All that being said, assigning default scores is HARD– everyone is different. For me, email is a sorta-productive necessary evil and IM is the devil. You might work differently. While we’ve done the best we can with default scores/categories, you should feel free to override them based on your workstyle.
Quickest way to do this is:
Go to the new Manage Categories Settings Page. Here you’ll see a bunch of boxes that look like this:
You can mouse over each of the categories to see an edit button, where you can change the default score (-2 is bad, +2 is good) to better fit your style.
If you find that a lot of your time is uncategorized, you can go to the list of all uncategorized activities and spend a minute or two categorizing the big ones.
And, finally, you can check out your top activities in a list ranked by how much time you spent on them. It’s a good idea to glance down this list to see if the scores are appropriate. As with all things, don’t go crazy here– once you find yourself scoring sites that you visited for only a few minutes in the month, it’s probably time to say, “good enough!”.
The exciting thing about the new release is that everyone’s scores and categories contribute to everyone else– so as people categorize and score sites, that means you’ll get democratic “defaults” and won’t have to spend time monkeying with your data in RescueTime (making us all more productive!).