Automated time tracking is a very good way to track money. Is there a good way to holistically/automatically track time usage?

I use RescueTime, but its very buggy. Like Google Chrome is not tracked well. It doesnt give any indication of how much time is spend on specific documents/website very well.

Further, even though there is a rescuetime app on android/ios, it doesnt track time not spent using the phone/computer (like walking around/driving) or time spent at specific locations.

Sadly it is much harder to track time spent than neat lines in your account reports. That is what we are trying to do at Smarter Time, but we are not there yet. Not sure why you feel that RescueTime is buggy, it does not track documents but is very robust for other computer uses, if you use their plugins for web browsers.

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If RT doesn’t work for you – on Windows there’s ManicTime and on Mac there’s Qbserve (our studio’s app).

Automatic iOS time tracking is impossible for the apps in the App Store because there are no methods in APIs to get the data on app usage.


I am willing to endorse ManicTime, which has only become easier to use over time. It does require a bit more time than I have on rushed days, so I also use iDoneThis which allows you to send an email with your daily usage to a central email address. This is a convenient supplemental process to use.

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Heres a screenshot of my Chrome usage. While this is just for this week this kind of inaccuracy is present across all weeks

As you can see even from this short list of websites the # of hours of Chrome usage (8 hrs) has >20% error. Adding up the website hours, comes down to >10 hrs. The error is underpresented here, because this particular screenshot only shows the top 10 “applications/documents”.

I am guess the actual error maybe >50%. This kind of error is probably present in all the other applications as well.

Thanks for suggestion for ManicTime. I actually used that for 5 years before. I thought maybe the technology of time tracking has progressed enough that maybe it would be possible to track time on all my devices. I have 2 laptops,1 desktop, 2 phone, so I thought rescuetime might be able to comprehensively track the time from different devices.

I am not sure whether this is due to some setting on my computers/phones or if its because RescueTime is inherently inaccurate.

Do you have any suggestion for a good time tracking app for android?

Although I do have another iOS phone, i dont use it much, so even if I dont track its usage thats fine. The error that it introduces in any usage estimation is probably going to be small.

Hi! We just launched our time analytics app - and it might be just what you’re looking for. Check out our website here. The app works with your calendars to generate graphs about how and with whom you’re spending your time. We also provide data on how much that time is costing you. You can align your data with personal goals to gain insight into how much you’re spending your time working towards your personal success. We are adding additional functionality every day, so if we’re missing something crucial, let us know and we’ll get back to you asap. :slight_smile:

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We’re working on something that might be interesting for this thread: ScreenAware.
It’s a software that automatically tracks your screen time and matches it to the projects you have set up beforehand. The idea is that, once you’ve set it up, you don’t need to spend any time on tracking, filling timesheets and so on.
Right now we’re still in a very early stage, but we’d love to hear what you think.
If you’d like to give it a try, just sign up here and let me know what you think:



does it do better than rescuetime?

We’re trying to do something different than rescue time. While they are trying to categorize screen activities and rate them as productive or unproductive, ScreenAware will know which project you’re working on. This will help users generate automatic and more accurate time sheets which they will use to bill their customers or project management purposes.

Our technology for recognizing what you’re working on is already better than rescue time. We still need to tweak some things here and there and improve our reports and dashboard. When we’re done with that we’re ready to go out of the beta phase.

Until then we’re looking for beta users to use our software and give us feedback.
So if you haven’t found your perfect automatic time tracking software yet, this is a chance to help shape it.

I’ve been building the free* and open source ActivityWatch for ~5 years now after being fed up with RescueTime. Recommend checking it out if data privacy and open source appeals to you!

*both as in beer and as in freedom

Edit: I made a separate post about it here:

Edit 2: Sorry for necrobumping…