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4.19.2011

Reclaiming Your Computer Time


For today's practical, everyday idea, I'd like to tell you about some free software I've been trying out for the past few weeks. If you have trouble managing your online time, you might be interested in this software. It's also great for helping kids manage their productivity while using the internet.

Rescue Time is free time management software that shows you how you spend your time & provides tools to help you be more productive. I found it when I decided to search for something that would alert me, like a boss, when I spend too much time on something non-productive.

Since I work from home, I don't have a boss. And I need one!

So far, I love it and it's customizable for your activity. This isn't a compensated review in any way. I'm just sure there is someone else out there who shares my struggle with managing internet time and might find this helpful. Here are some things I really like about it:
  • I get to choose which activities and which websites I consider productive when I set it up. 
  • It helps me choose activities such as social networking, shopping and uncategorized time and mark them as time wasters.
  • I can set the program to alert me if I've reached my limit on time wasters (I specify the amount of time I want the limit to be).
  • I can pause the program for lunch or pause it for the rest of the day if I want to.
  • I can see at a glance how much time I've spent on work and which programs and websites I spent the most of my time on.
  • I can set goals. 
  • I can see how I compare in productivity to the average person.
  • I get an efficiency score for the day and for the week and I can see how I can improve.
  • I can export the weekly report to a spreadsheet.
  •  Whenever I stop typing for a while, the program asks me what I've been doing and I can log phone calls, reading, research, etc. that is done off computer.
  • Once it's set up, it uses very little of my time.
This could be a great tool for home school families or for parents wanting to monitor how much time their kids spend on social networks or gaming. By setting an alert to 60 minutes, the program would pop up an alert if that time limit is reached.

It could also be configured to be used as a means of staying on task with a project. If the student walks away, the program will ask what you've been doing with your time.

So far, I've been very happy with the free version, although there are paid upgrades available and other plans. Those upgrades include many fabulous features, but that's something I'll save for a future possibility.

Get your free Rescue Time download. It's a secure connection and although it monitors my internet activity, it does not collect password info or keystroke info.

 

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