Time tracking with Toggl and RescueTime

50 comments

It's a clock... to represent timeSince Alborz mentioned it last week I decided to write about the apps that I use to track time spent on each client and overall productivity.

RescueTime – Find out where you’re wasting time

RescueTime is a great little application that logs how long you spend using different applications and visiting different websites. This is all sent back to your RescueTime dashboard, where you can tag applications and websites, and give them a rating from -2 (very unproductive) to +2 (very productive). It then uses these ratings to calculate your overall efficiency score (on a scale of -2 to +2) and compares you to the average efficiency score of everyone else using RescueTime.

Pros

  • Free
  • Doesn’t require any day to day input, just some occasional tagging of applications
  • Runs in the background
  • Low resource footprint
  • Really nice reports

Cons

  • Can’t really separate time spent for different clients or projects
  • Privacy concerns?

Toggl – Time logging made easy

Toggl is a very simple and easy to use time tracking service with a very nice desktop application (built on Adobe AIR so it’s available on Windows, Mac, and Linux) that allows you to track what you are working on with a single click. Although it takes a bit of work when getting started to remember to change tasks or stop the timer, it’s totally worth it once you’ve been using it for a while.

Pros

  • Accurate tracking of specific projects and tasks
  • Desktop app available
  • On / Off simplicity
  • Reports that allow you to see how much time you spent on each project

Cons

  • You have to manually tell it what you’re working on

So with the combination of RescueTime and Toggl, you should be able to accurately show where you’re spending your time. If you’re lazy or don’t really need to log the time you spend on projects, you can probably do without Toggl, but there is no reason not to install RescueTime to start collecting information, even if you don’t open the dashboard for a while.