RescueTime is Good Enough


I've wanted to use an automatic time tracker to understand my workflow and where my time goes. RescueTime is the obvious choice, but it's also proprietary and stores all of my data on a server I don't control.

I don't like that at all!

The alternative is to roll my own system on top of ulogme or ActivityWatch. But the problem is that neither has a smooth setup process. In fact, after at least an hour of wrestling with macOS permissions, I wasn't able to get ActivityWatch work on my machine. I want time tracking to work, but I'm not too inclined to dive even deeper into macOS permissions to get it to run.

Rather than delay this for another few months until I "eventually" get around to it, I've resigned myself to just doing the thing that works and trying RescueTime. Surprise! — it works out of the box with no complex config or setup. Today is day 1.

I hope I can move off of it later on. But for now, it's a relief to know that I have something reasonably trustworthy that runs painlessly. And I'm curious what insights it will turn up as I let it run.