RescueTime for your Calendar update: Outlook / Office 365 support, scheduled FocusTime sessions, multiple calendars, and more!

Calendars are one of the original and most-used time management tools. And for good reason. Unfortunately, few of us are able to follow our ideal schedules exactly throughout the day. 

At RescueTime, we’re big fans of being realistic about how much time you have each day.

We’ve spent years building tools that help you accurately understand where your time goes each day so you can build better habits and make more time for what matters to you

Today, we’re adding new features and support to our popular RescueTime for your Calendar integration to help you understand your true productivity, build better habits, and have more time for focused work, all without leaving your calendar. 

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What’s new:

Support for Outlook/Office 365

RescueTime for your Calendar helps you understand the difference between how you want to spend your time and how you actually do. And with our latest update, it now works with the two most popular calendar apps: Google Calendar and Outlook/Office 365.

Once you install the integration, you’ll be able to see your key RescueTime stats for each day including:

  • Total device time
  • A summary of your daily goal progress 
  • Your productivity pulse 
  • A direct link to your full daily RescueTime report 

You’ll also see your total booked meeting time for the day, which includes any event with more than one person invited. This way, you can quickly see how much your meeting time is impacting your productivity each day. 

One of the best things about this new Calendar integration is that it helps you to see streaks and build better habits.

By displaying your total time and meeting time in the header of your Calendar, you can get a quick, high-level read on how much you’re working so you can easily see which days were most successful and try to optimize for more like it. 

Here are just a few ways our users have used this new integration to track streaks:

  • Productivity streaks. Check your productivity pulse for each day and try to keep it on or above your average.
  • Total time streaks. Hit a certain amount of hours worked (or under a certain amount if you work too much!)
  • Meeting time streaks. Stay under a certain amount of “meeting time” each day
  • Rest time streaks. Consistently hit zero work hours on weekends

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Schedule FocusTime sessions directly from your calendar

One of the best ways to use your calendar is to make you more accountable for your “Maker” time—blocks of focused time for your most meaningful work, whether that’s writing, designing, developing, or something else. 

In fact, when author Benjamin Spall interviewed over 300 super-productive professionals for his book, My Morning Routine, he found that:

“Highly productive people give their first few morning hours to projects that make them feel alive, or that they believe the world deserves to see (or both). They know that if they don’t give time to these projects first thing, they likely won’t happen later in the day.”

Unfortunately, even if you schedule focused blocks into your day, there are just too many things that can distract you during them. 

With our new Calendar integration, you can now schedule a FocusTime session directly from your calendar that will automatically block distracting websites. 

FocusTime is a RescueTime Premium feature that helps you manage distractions so you can focus on the task at hand.

FocusTime can block distracting websites (like social media and news), put your Android phone into do-not-disturb mode, and even notify your coworkers that you’re focused via our Slack integration.

Simply enable FocusTime blocking on the integration page. Then, add #focustime to your event name or description and RescueTime will block all distractions for the duration of the calendar event.

Alerts and FocusTime are RescueTime Premium features. Sign up for a 14-day free trial and start taking back control of your time!

See meeting time from multiple calendars

Many users told us they use multiple calendars during the workday to help them stay organized. And one thing they wanted to see was their total meeting time across all of them. 

In our new calendar integration, you can now add meeting time from any calendar you are the owner of. 

Note: RescueTime for your calendar doesn’t technically support multiple accounts. However, you can still add them by sharing a calendar from one account (your personal one, for example) with the account you connected RescueTime to. 

Customize how your daily summary looks and what’s included

Data is only worthwhile if it’s actionable. In order to make sure you’re only seeing the RescueTime data you want to see in your calendar, we made a few changes to how the daily summaries can be displayed. 

First, you can now select a plain text version instead of the default rich text version of your daily summary. Some calendar apps won’t display formatted text properly such as Apple Calendar and Fantastical.

If that’s the case for you, then head to the integration page and change your format. 

Next, you can limit your daily summary information to just work hours.

In RescueTime, you can filter your data to only show daily summaries pulled from your Work Hours. This way, your calendar data isn’t being tainted or skewed by personal time spent on your devices. 

Calendars are one of the ultimate time management tools and we just made them better

We have a love/hate relationship with our calendars. While they’re indispensable when it comes to keeping track of all the things we need to do, they’re often misleading, not up-to-date, and overwhelming. 

Our calendar represents how we’d like to spend our time. But just because you’ve penciled in 4 hours of focused work in a day doesn’t mean you’re actually going to do it.

In fact, one of our recent studies found that most knowledge workers (designers, writers, software developers) have just 2 hours and 48 minutes of productive time each day.

With our newly updated RescueTime for your calendar integrations, we’re hoping to solve some of the biggest issues with your calendar and help you stay focused and be more productive than ever. 

Get RescueTime For Your Calendar

What do you think of these new features? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jory MacKay

Jory MacKay is a writer, content marketer, and editor of the RescueTime blog.

6 comments

  1. This is really exciting and could change the way that I work. One question though: it’s not clear if this works with Outlook 365 on an Exchange Server? If not, is that on the roadmap?

    1. Hey Mark. Just spoke with our product team. We’ve tested the integration on accounts that use Exchange so this should work already! If it doesn’t, please let us know so we can work in a fix at support@rescuetime.com. Thanks!

  2. Hey Jory
    I connected RescueTime to my outlook account. In my account I have multiple calendars. Does RescueTime searches each one for #focustime or just the main calendar?

  3. I have shared my work calendar (Google account) with my personal calendar (Google account) and can see all my work related events in the personal calendar. However, Rescuetime doesn’t show me my work calendar when I try to choose multiple calendars. Can you please clarify how you were able to get cross account calendars to appear?

    1. Hey Robin. Just spoke with our team and they said it’s most likely a permissions error with how your work calendar is shared with your personal one.

      The work calendar needs to give the calendar it’s sharing with (in this case, the personal calendar) access to create events on it before it will show up in the list as one of ‘your calendars’. Hope that helps! If you’re still having issues, give our support team a shout at support@rescuetime.com.

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