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Special User Sections > N.A.N.Y. 2015

Program Idea: Track and Chart Computer Activity Times


I need some help figuring out if there are already good existing tools for this and if the idea is worth doing.

This would be a small utility that would be running in the background.  It would be keeping track of periods of activity/inactivity on the computer.  It would probably be able to track manual events as well -- in other words let you set some hotkeys to register when some arbitrary event you care about happens.
It wouldn't be logging which keys you press or which applications you are using, but just very coarse information about when you are active on your computer and when you aren't.  At least that's my current thinking.

And then it would let you browse the log data, and chart it in different ways.

I'm imagining that the tool would be useful for answering questions like:

* What time did I stop working on the computer yesterday?
* What days of the week do I use the computer most?
* What hours of the day do I use the computer most?
* Let me see how much I worked on the computer and during what hours on monday.
I know there are some good apps for tracking detailed information about what programs you are using and when.. This is much more about tracking general activity patterns.

Thoughts? Useful? Worthless? Already exists?

The one I use is this: ManicTime

It works great and has a free version which does most of what you are looking for.

There are several that do most of what you're looking for... the only difference I see in what you're proposing is *not* keeping track of what they are using.  I suppose if there's someone out there that doesn't like the idea of the software keeping track of what they're doing, this would be a boon.

Eh, im not super paranoid about privacy, so if there are some existing free tools that do what i want and more, probably not worth the effort.  As long as they make it relatively easy to answer those questions i listed above, no need to reinvent the wheel.

Based on your requirements, I'm wondering if Gina Tripani's QuickLogger utility would be along the lines - or maybe a launch pad for your own design?
I've used it before, easy to use.

For my needs, I too use ManicTime.  It doesn't quite cover what you're looking for, but some others might find it useful.


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