We just quietly launched a project that we codenamed “TimePie” (based on a conversation over a year ago with Paul Buchheit, the guy who created Gmail).
One of the most common requests we get from folks is the ability to log offline time… After all, as geeky as we might be, a good portion of our productive life is spent away from our computers. Meetings and phone calls can be downright toxic to our productivity but, good or bad, they are important and should be measured.
You need to be running the most recent version of the RescueTime Data Collector (http://www.rescuetime.com/download). You also have to have a premium account of some kind (sorry, free users– we still love you, but we’ve got to charge for SOMETHING!). You’ll need to go to your Monitoring Options page to turn on this feature (it defaults to off for all users for the time being).
How Does it Work?
First of all– lets’ get it out there– it’s not going to be about data entry. We’re sacrificing some detail and resolution for speed and ease of use. You literally don’t have to touch your keyboard for this feature.
After you’ve left your machine idle for more than a few minutes, RescueTime will pop up similar to the one shown below. The clock on this timer window will keep ticking until your machine is no longer idle.
The three buttons are configurable (on the aforementioned Monitoring Options page), but will default to “Meeting” (for face to face time), “Phone Call” (for work related conference calls), and “Other Work” (for anything AFK like sketching, scribbling, whiteboarding, making dioramas, etc). You also have the VERY large “None of your business” button. Our goal with these default buttons is to record work time and to click the “None of your business” button for any away time that isn’t work related (lunches, breaks, etc). However, because the buttons are configurable, you can use it however you like.
When you click on one of these buttons, it will push an activity to RescueTime in the same way it pushes information about an App or Site. In fact, this data will exist just like an app or site and can be tagged or categorized in just the same way.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Give it a try, take it for a test drive and let us know your suggestions/thoughts in the comments.