Updates for June 2017: Better goal views and relative time spans.

Over the past month, we made some nice improvements to RescueTime. Here’s a roundup of what we’ve been working on.

Updated goal reports

We’ve been thinking a lot about how goals work in RescueTime, and we’ve launched the first of several updates to make them more useful.

Goals reports now expand to the selected time period and have more context than before.

Goals can now be viewed as daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly

One of the most common bits of feedback we get about goals is that sometimes, thinking in terms of daily goals doesn’t make the most sense. It can be difficult to visualize meaningful goal progress for activities that aren’t part of a daily ritual. Our new goal reports assume that the current time period you are viewing is the one that matters for the goal, and will calculate the target amount and progress on the fly.

When creating a goal, you still enter the daily amount, but if you can divide what the average daily amount should be, that will work for a goal that you primarily want to view weekly.

Weekly goal example

For example: To create the “Less than 10 hours a week on communication & scheduling” goal above, I created a goal with a daily target of less than 2 hours, Monday through Friday.

Note for premium users: We’re working on notifications for weekly and monthly goals. They will be available soon.

Goal In-Progress Indicators

The pulsing green border indicates a goal is not finalized yet

Goal reports now show an indicator of which goals are in progress during the current time period, so it’s easier to see what goals are completed and which are still in play. Before, it was difficult to understand if you had met or missed a goal when the time frame included the current date. For example, at the start of the day, the reports may say “You missed your goal to spend more than five hours on all productive time!”, but actually, you had just started the day, so of course you haven’t logged that much time yet! It wasn’t very encouraging, and it was often confusing.

Now, you will see a pulsing green outline on the goals you can still possibly meet in the current time period. It’s smart enough to take time filters into account (for example: a goal for Monday-Friday 9am-5pm), and will only pulse if it’s still possible to meet your goal in the given time frame. If your daily goal of 5 hours of productive before 5pm time still needs 3 more hours at 2:30, the progress indicator will stop flashing.

Daily averages

When viewing a goal for a time period longer than a day, we calculate daily averages. Before, we would just show you whether or not you succeeded or failed on a given day. Now there’s a much better view of how your time is stacking up.

You can now view blocks of time relative to the current date

You’ve always been able to group your time reports by day, week, and month (and year if you’re on the premium plan). There are times when it’s more helpful to see recent changes, such as when you’ve been trying out a new routine for the past couple of weeks and want to see how it’s going without navigating across weekly or monthly boundaries in the date picker.

For premium users, we’ve added relative time frames, so you can look back at the last 7, 14, 30, 45, or 90 days. This should make it easier to see relative progress on the efforts you are making to do more meaningful work.

Hope you like the new changes! Look for more improvements soon!

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Robby Macdonell

CEO at RescueTime


  1. The new color scheme needs some fixing. The colors for categorized time should work as a continuum (red, bluish red, purple, reddish blue, blue) — having the middle category gray is jarring and intuitive. Please return to purple for neutral, and use gray to indicate uncategorized time.

    thank you!

    1. Using gray as uncategorized time and a more contiguous color for neutral is an interesting idea, Judith. I agree, the colors don’t form a natural gradient like they used to, but part of that is intentional, to make the boundaries clearer. I worry that throwing a dedicated slot for uncategorized time might increase complexity of the charts, but it’s worth considering. We’ll spend some time thinking about how we can adjust in an upcoming revision. Thanks for the input!

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