What does it do?
RescueTime is a web-base time management tool, and we probably all need one of those whether we realise it or not. It monitors the applications and websites you use throughout the day and allows you to see what you're spending your time on. You can generate reports and even set targets for how long you might spend on particular activities. It might just stop you from getting lost in the wastelands of Google, Facebookland or the Twittersphere.
When would you use it?
Ahh, the modern paradox - the people most in need of help with time management are often the ones who don't have the time to get help with time management...and certainly not time to learn how to use a time management tool. RescueTime, however, might be one in which it is worth investing some of that precious time. If you're feeling like you're working hard but getting nowhere (and who hasn't?), RescueTime might help you diagnose the problem. One reviewer on the G2 Crowd software review community simply said 'DO IT! This is excellent software. It changes the way you think about your time online'.
How does it work?
If you want to improve your productivity or get a grip on where your time goes, first you need to have some means of recording that information. RescueTime gathers data on the applications you use - not just time surfing the web or unplanned diversions into social media, but also use of more productive and guilt-free tools such as word processing and email. It works in the background while you go about your daily activities, so setting it up and tinkering with it shouldn't reduce productivity. You decide what aspects of your daily work are deemed to be productive or unproductive - what counts as a distraction or a waste of time for one person may well be good use of time for someone else, of course.
The basic web-based tool is free, but there is the option to purchase the Premium version of RescueTime. A monthly fee of $9 adds the ability to track time time spent away from your desk - on breaks, phone calls or meetings - as well as other features such as goal-setting, printable logs and access to a greater degree of detail about your activities. Most users, however, say the free version is perfectly adequate for the average person.
The video below from vlogger Josh Morris gives a short overview of the basic features of the app;
And this video is a more in-depth review of the functions of RescueTime to learn about your work patterns and organise your time;
Some of us may harbour suspicions that the data gathered on what we're all doing every day might be used against us to demonstrate how we could be doing more with our time, but RescueTime is a third-party application and not a management tool. The data belongs to you and doesn't reside anywhere where someone could obtain it. Use it to manage your own time and activities, to whatever extent you feel is appropriate.
Where can I access it?
The RescueTime website is available here - the
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