I have always had issues with working with timers for projects. I have tried to be more diligent about tracking my time multiple times but inevitably the timers lost their accuracy when I would do things like forget they were running and jump to another project or forget to start them altogether. Someone suggested I give RescueTime a go and I’m really glad I did.
RescueTime runs in the background and tracks activity on your computer. Because it is tracking automatically, you do initially have to train it to categorize some items appropriately but really that’s been the only downside I’ve noticed so far. I really like that you can dive into apps and view details of your time within it (ex: I worked on this template file within a certain Sublime Text project for X minutes or edited a Photoshop file for a specific amount of time, etc.) I like that I don’t have to worry about starting and stopping time if I jump to another project for a minute as that was the biggest issue I experienced with more standard trackers.
I’ve also noticed my days have gotten more productive since I started using it. Working all day in the middle of the distraction land that is the internet makes it beyond easy to wander off the path of productivity. Since I know I am being “watched” by the app, it makes me incredibly aware of distracted time within my day if I end up on Reddit or Facebook or similar. I’ve been much better about dialing way back on “distracting” time and really gotten my workdays consistently more focused. It’s also been super insightful to have a more accurate view of my time spent on projects to see where I may be overbudgeting or underbudgeting time and I can adjust my proposals appropriately moving forward.
All in all, I’m really digging it so far. If you’re anything like me and haven’t had success with other time trackers in the past, I really encourage you to check it out.