That’s a good question. How much time do you devote to Mac apps? Which ones get the most time? Which web sites do you browse the most? Which apps help you get the most done? How much time do you spend on Twitter or Facebook or games?
An even better question is, do you even want to know? Both Jeffrey and I were surprised at how much time gets frittered away on our Macs; non productive browsing, as if we’re walking down a digital street, visiting here and there, but not really doing anything at all and never leaving the chair.
Get Your Time Back With Timing
The challenge was simple. Track what we do on our Macs for two weeks while trying not to change our daily habits. We used Timing for Mac. It’s an inexpensive app that tracks which apps you use, which documents you work on, and which web sites you visit. Timing doesn’t make judgements, but it’s a cold and heartless beast because it tracks where you spend time on the Mac.
Did I mention the incriminating charts? It even tracks what time you spend on a chart over time. It even tracks domain names of sites you frequent the most.
Worse, we didn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary to find ourselves with plenty of incriminating evidence that we could do better with our time.
The more you use Timing the longer the timeline gets. It tracks domains in Safari and Chrome (but not Firefox, so you get a freebie). It tracks time in Mail, iWork, Microsoft Office and many other Mac apps, but not all (and not Netflix, thankfully).
I can see the value of an app in a business or school where there’s an overriding need to track computer usage, though I worry about the Big Brother aspect.