According to a survey by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future, the average American spends 15.3 hours per week online. How do you compare? Is the time you spend online productive, wasteful, or just for personal entertainment? Thanks to a the software and web applications listed below, you too can easily keep track of your time spent online and offline and/or the time it takes you to complete daily tasks.
Time Tracker: A simple task list web application that has a nifty little timer attached to it to help you keep track of how much time you spend on given tasks.
Leech Block: A Firefox Add-on that enables you to block sites that you specify and keep track of the time spent on each website. Use this to prevent yourself from wasting excessive amounts of time online and be more productive in your workday. Besides completely blocking specified sites, you can also set time limits (i.e. 5 hours) and time periods (e.g. 9 AM to 5 PM) for given sites.
Slim Timer: Another simple task manager that lets you share your tasks and keep track of how much time you spend on each one. It also allows you to generate time reports and export them into Excel (CSV) and subscribe to a friend or coworker’s SlimTimer RSS feed.
8aWeek: Browser toolbar similar to Leech Block that lets you set restrictions on time-sucking sites to help you be more productive. It also allows you to completely block a site and it provides details on how much time you’ve spent on each website.
MeeTimer: A Firefox extension that keeps track of how much time you spend online and where, as well as allowing you to tag or group sites according to their use (i.e work, procrastination, etc.). It also has a nice deterrent feature that helps keeps you aware of your abuse of time and the use of user-set time consuming sites (see Facebook screenshot).
RescueTime: By far the most extensive time management tool reviewed and my personal favorite. It not only tells you how much time you spend online and what sites you visited but, because it operates offline too, it can also report how much time you spend using a given desktop application as well.
RescueTime also offers time tracking between different computers irrespective of their operating system; its perfect for tracking your work on your home and office computer or jumping between the Windows OS and Mac OS on your Intel based Macintosh computer. You can so set goals and alerts, tag sites and apps (i.e. work, socializing, etc.), and create or join a group. The Personal (single user) and Team Basic accounts (2 to 5 users) are free and you can upgrade to the Team Plus (>5 users) for a fee ($12.95/mo/each user beyond first 5). For more information about RescueTime, take the product tour or watch the video below to hear more about how to use this great time management tool.
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