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Author Topic: ManicTime: Interesting and nice looking free time tracking tool  (Read 5431 times)

mouser

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Another good find from Free Download A Day:

Quote
ManicTime automatically collects data on your computer usage. It records active and away time, as well as which applications you used and for how long you used them.

The data ManicTime collects is stored in a local database on your computer. Collected data is not transmitted anywhere or shared with anyone. Only you have access to it, which means no privacy concerns.



from http://www.freedownl...king-with-manictime/

nudone

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Re: ManicTime: Interesting and nice looking free time tracking tool
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2009, 03:52:07 AM »
i've just watched the videos/tutorials. looks like a great program, some nice features presented in a really intuitive way.

going to try it now.

Ampa

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Re: ManicTime: Interesting and nice looking free time tracking tool
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2009, 05:40:34 AM »
Have been running this for the past week. Not attempted to do any thorough testing or analysis so far - just installed the software and got on with life. My purpose is to get an accurate picture at the end of a few weeks of the proportion of time I spend actually working Vs time procrastinating, or being distracted by posts like this one!

So far the program seems impressive - it is unobtrusive, easy to use, and free!

A few comments…

  • The installer will not let you choose an install location, but defaults to the standard C:\Program Files\...
    I left a comment to this effect on the author's site, and he was (impressively) swift to reply, suggesting that I could simply move the install directory, but acknowledged that the installer is overdue for an update.
  • I'd like to see more control for filtering / grouping results.
    The only way to automatically group browsing time at present is to select domains in a check list - this is pretty slow if you have hundreds or thousands of domains to pick from. I would rather search page titles and domains by entering a list of keywords such as "shareware; open source; review"

kwacky1

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Re: ManicTime: Interesting and nice looking free time tracking tool
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 08:16:42 AM »
Oh man  :o, now I wonder if I'm ever going to get around to completing that AHK assignment!

tomos

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Re: ManicTime: Interesting and nice looking free time tracking tool
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2009, 11:27:53 AM »
Just for the record:
similar/comparable to Brett's TitleLog
http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=4645.0

TitleLog001.pngManicTime: Interesting and nice looking free time tracking tool

This the most recent version (attached to post)


Havent tried this new one, yet . .

Tom

longrun

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Re: ManicTime: Interesting and nice looking free time tracking tool
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 12:53:14 PM »
ManicTime looks impressive and sophisticated but for my needs has things backwards. If I've understood correctly, ManicTime logs your activity automatically but then you have to go back and tag what you were doing. Skrommel's TaskLog and the late, lamented TimeKeeper ask if you're still doing activity X and give you the opportunity to continue or change activities; thus you log as you go and are reminded if you're wasting time or procrastinating.

I haven't installed MT, but it appeared that there was no tag list; one has to remember the tags one's used. Also, right-clicking on a timeline to add a tag would be more convenient than clicking the tag button.

I'd love to have the utility of TaskLog combined with some ManicTime's impressive analysis and other features.

BillB

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Re: ManicTime: Interesting and nice looking free time tracking tool
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2009, 03:20:52 PM »
I installed ManicTime last week and have thus far found it to be excellent.  It doesn't pop-up and remind you to fill it in, but it is very easy, at the end of the day, or whenever, to open it and assign tasks based on the Applications or Browsing timelines. It does remember the tasks you previously entered and it is easy to call them up again, and yes, you can right-click to assign a task. I suggested, but the author already has in mind, some kind of task list editor.  The biggest concern I have is that it will force me to be more careful with distractions like browsing - there is no ignoring what you have / have not done with this thing - it's all there in black and white colour!

You should at least check out the demo videos on the website and install it if you think it may help.  I have used a couple of home-scripted (AHK) Time-loggers in the past but I suspect this beats anything I could produce myself.  If I do find myself ignoring it when the novelty wears off (hasn't done yet) then I may write a script to pop up MT once an hour. Or make a suggestion to the very receptive author.

It has an excellent Tag export to CSV function which can provided a report of Activities for any period, which can be opened in Excel and is in a format which allows Excel to sum any Activities.

Slight concerns include: memory usage - currently sitting at 55Mb in Task Manager so not a lightweight; and data storage.  After a week, there are two data logs of 2Mb and 3Mb each, so after a year it could be quite hefty.  I may suggest to the author that it would be useful to be able to clear out or thin the Application data for past date ranges, when far enough in the past that you have tagged your Activities, but no longer need to know what applications you were using every minute of the day.

Nonetheless a great piece of software and deserves your attention if you have a requirement to log time by reference to PC-based activities. I have a strong feeling I'll be sticking with this one.

BillB

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Re: ManicTime: Interesting and nice looking free time tracking tool
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2009, 03:28:13 PM »
Sorry, meant to add: it does do the same as Title log in the sense of logging Application activity, but the difference is that it shows the Applications graphically in a proportional timeline, which makes it much easier to read.  Also the application timeline is just the information base for the real purpose - for the user to tag their own activity, eg on a particular project for a client. If you don't need to do this, it probably isn't of much interest.  If you do, it's hard to conceive a better way to do it.