Introducing RescueTime for Google Calendar: See your productivity, meeting time, and goals (right in your calendar!)

One of the most common pieces of time management advice we hear is to schedule everything.

Got a meeting? Schedule it.

Need time for focused work? Schedule it.

Want to take a break? Schedule it.

The idea is simple: If you don’t control what goes in your calendar, someone else will. As Hooked author, Nir Eyal, told us:

“If you don’t plan your day, someone else will. It might be your boss, or your spouse, or a football game or Facebook. Something is going to take up that time if you don’t.”

But there’s a downside to packing your calendar full of to-dos.

Our schedules often reflect the ideal version of how we want our days to go. But it doesn’t matter how many “Deep Work” sessions or regular breaks you schedule if that’s not how you actually spend your time.

So how can you reconcile how you want to spend your time (your calendar) with how you actually spend it?

With the new RescueTime for Google Calendar integration, we’ve created a simple and easy way to export a summary of your RescueTime stats to your calendar so you can understand your true productivity, see when you’re over-committed to meetings and calls, and track your daily, weekly, and monthly progress towards your RescueTime goals.

RescueTime for Google Calendar is available for all users. Click here to connect your account. 

See your RescueTime Daily Summaries right next to your daily tasks

Your calendar shows you how you want to spend your day. While RescueTime tells you what you actually did. And if you’re anything like me, these two data points are usually pretty different.

With our new Google Calendar integration, we wanted to help you understand the difference between your intentions and your actions.

Once you install the integration, you’ll be able to scan the top of your Google Calendar and see your total device time and total time booked in meetings for each day.

RescueTime for Google Calendar Overview

This is a great high-level overview of how you’re actually spending your time. But if you want to go deeper (without leaving your calendar) you can. Here’s how:

Track your progress with daily goal summaries

There’s nothing more beneficial to your motivation (and your mood) like seeing progress on your goals.

While RescueTime Goals and Alerts are great for tracking how you’re spending your time, they can sometimes get lost if you’re not regularly checking your dashboard.

That’s why we added a summary of your daily goals to this integration.

Google Calendar - Goals

Click on any day in your calendar and you’ll instantly see a report on your goal progress for that day (without needing to go into the RescueTime app).

Instantly get a read on your total meeting time each day

Everyone has those days that just feel like meeting-after-meeting-after-meeting… But often the only reason these hectic, meeting-filled days happen is because we don’t realize what we signed up for until it’s too late!

Google Calendar - Summary

By including your total meeting time (any event with more than 1 person attending) in your Google Calendar heading, our new integration helps you identify the days where you overbooked yourself in the past so you can adjust your future schedule accordingly.

Jump to any daily RescueTime report directly from your calendar

We knew it would be impossible to build RescueTime inside Google Calendar. But we wanted to make it easy to see your full RescueTime report for any day from your Calendar.

Had an especially good/bad day and want to know why? Head into your daily summary in Google Calendar and click on the link at the bottom.

Google Calendar - See more details

It will take you to your full RescueTime report where you can dive in further and see what took up your time.

So just what can you do with this info? Your RescueTime daily dashboard gives you all sorts of data you can use to optimize your day.

Check out these posts to learn more about how to optimize your attention, energy, and daily schedule:

Keep up productivity streaks across weeks and months

One comment that kept coming up as users become familiar with this new integration was the ability to easily see productivity streaks.

Streaks are incredibly powerful tools for building better habits and keeping your productivity levels consistently high. This is thanks to a little psychological phenomenon called “loss aversion.”

Simply put, we have a tendency to avoid losses over acquiring equivalent gains. (You know all about this if you’ve ever used apps like Duolingo or HeadSpace or track your steps on a FitBit!)

Google Calendar - Productivity Pulse

By bringing your total device time into Google Calendar, there are all sorts of ways you can create streaks, such as:

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

The streak you build will depend on what your individual goals are. But as one user told us after trying out the integration for a few days:

“When I watch my whole Google Calendar, I’m able to see immediately the chain of successes of the previous month. I immediately see what day was a success and I can infer that easily to the other items on my agenda.”

How to set up the RescueTime for Google Calendar integration

The RescueTime for Google Calendar integration is available for all users.

Simply head to the integration page and add it to your account to get started.

Note: In order to give your total meeting time, this integration asks for permission to See, edit, share, and permanently delete all the calendars you can access using Google Calendar.

We know this is a lot to ask. But unfortunately, Google has bundled all their permissions together, meaning we’re forced to ask for them all.

However, we hope it goes without saying that RescueTime will never add, edit or delete anything from your existing calendars!


We hope you enjoy this new way to see your productivity, goals, and progress straight from your calendar. If you have any feedback on the integration please 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.

19 comments

    1. Hey Emilio! No plans yet as far as I know but I’ll pass that over to our product team!

    1. Hey Adrien. I talked to our product team and they say it’s most likely that your OS is either out of date or doesn’t support the latest Emoji. Best bet is probably to do a software update!

      If that still doesn’t work, you can email support@rescuetime.com and they’ll sort it out for you.

  1. Hi!
    when looking at RescueTime summary in the calendar, I’m seeing the today’s device time breakdown on all summaries

    1. Hey Irina. I passed this along to our product team and they’re looking into it. Thanks for letting us know!

  2. Hey, this is awesome!! I love this integration.

    However, I’m not seeing any of my meeting times tracked. Is there some setting I need to turn on? I only see my total time spent every day. I double checked that I’ve given rescuetime all the necessary perms.

  3. Thanks for the new integration! This is cool.

    Any plans on showing RescueTime activities as Google Calendar events? This was my initial expectation when I read “RescueTime for Google Calendar.” This would be super helpful for explaining why a goal wasn’t met, or why a certain productivity pulse amount occurred.

    1. Hey Darius! It’s definitely something we’re looking into but nothing firm in the pipeline yet.

Comments are closed.