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RescueTime Review: Should You Use It Today?

The world has become oversaturated with media, with so many distractions coming on our way that it’s hard to focus on one particular thing for long. It’s becoming tougher to keep your priorities sorted and make the most of your time. In times like this, you need to know how to effectively manage your time to attain your goals, be more productive, and become an efficient person. RescueTime can be your partner to help you manage just that. It can help you monitor your productivity and know what activities consume most of your precious time.

In this RescueTime review, we will discuss what RescueTime is, what it offers, and how you can get it for your convenience. Also, some of its amazing features will be tackled, along with the pros and cons of using it.

 

What Is RescueTime?

RescueTime
Photo from RescueTime

 

Founded in 2008, RescueTime is a time management and analytics platform that helps increase your productivity. It helps you to be more focused and more productive. Also, it gives an excellent overview of how you use your time, online and offline. It allows you to be less stressed and have more control of your life.

RescueTime makes it possible for you to balance your work and life. It lets you track your time, set goals, block distractions, organize your schedule, and many more. It is easy to use as it works in the background and helps you categorize your activities. Also, it provides you clear insights into your productivity.

Additionally, this simple time-tracking tool provides all the details of the documents, active windows, sites, and apps that you use on your computer. You can personally use it or use it in your organization or team. This can help you monitor and analyze the productivity of your team members throughout the day. You can be aware of the activities they have been doing. With that, you will be able to tell them what phase of work they have to focus and spend more time on. It can then help them become more reliable, efficient, and productive.

If you’re looking for more project management platforms, check out our review of Monday and our Asana vs Trello comparison.

 

What Does RescueTime Offer?

RescueTime offers a time monitoring function. However, you can take advantage of its advanced features through its premium plans. It lets you measure phone calls, breaks, and meetings that you make. It also displays extracted information about the activities you were engaged with. You have options to view them in a detailed or summarized way. As it can graph information based on daily monitoring, you can have an assessment and report of your productivity. In addition to this, it offers a reporting dashboard. It presents data that are categorized into useful charts, which makes it easy for you to manage your time.

 

RescueTime System Requirements

  • Windows PC – 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
  • Mac – Mac OS X 10.09 (Mavericks) and newer
  • iOS devices – iOS 11 and higher
  • Android devices – Android 5 and higher
  • Linux – Linux Ubuntu 13.1 and higher

 

How To Get RescueTime?

RescueTime Featured
Screenshot from RescueTime

 

You can have RescueTime on any device as you wish. You can have it as a desktop application and download it on Mac, Windows, Linux, or Chrome. Moreover, you can use it as a browser plug-in on Firefox, Chrome, and Brave.

How to Sign Up with RescueTime

  1. Head to www.rescuetime.com.
  2. Find the “Get Started” button and click on it.
  3. Fill in the account info with your working email address, password, and country where you reside.
  4. After signing up, download and install RescueTime on your device.
  5. Run the app and log in with your credentials. This will activate the app and sync it with the RescueTime website.
  6. It also has an extension or plug-in version if you don’t feel downloading the desktop app. Install it in your web browser.
  7. There will be an option list wherein you will need to choose three activities that can be productive and distracting for you or the organization that you belong to.
  8. Specify the time when the app will track your activities. This way, the activities after the time that you provided will not be monitored.
  9. After setting it up, you will be prompted to download the Android and iOS app, along with the browser plug-in.

 

RescueTime Subscription Tiers

RescueTime Lite

This tier comes at no cost. However, it can only store three months of historical data at most.

  • Automatically keeps track of time spent on a website and application data
  • Lets you set goals and see your weekly progress through e-mail reports
  • Works across different platforms, including your desktop, mobile phones, and browser

 

RescueTime Premium

RescueTime offers a free 14-day trial which lets you access and enjoy all of its features and functionalities. After the trial, it will cost you $9.00 per month for the monthly plan or $72 for a 12-month plan, which will just cost you $6 per month.

  • Lets you set goals and see your weekly progress through e-mail reports
  • Works across different platforms, including your desktop, mobile phones, and browser
  • FocusTime
  • Track time AFK minutes
  • Custom work hours
  • Fast data processing
  • Offline time tracking
  • Detailed reports and filters
  • Notifications
  • Daily highlights of accomplishments
  • Unlimited historical data

 

RescueTime for Businesses

This plan is a wise investment for business owners and managers who want to improve and maximize the team’s productivity to make them efficient and reliable. It comes with a 30-day free trial, and it will cost $6 per month for every team member after that.

  • Lets you set goals and see your weekly progress through e-mail reports
  • Works across different platforms, including your desktop, mobile phones, and browser
  • FocusTime distraction blocker
  • Custom work hours
  • Fast data processing
  • Offline time tracking
  • Offline time tracking
  • Get more detailed reports and filters
  • Real-time alerts when you achieve your goals.
  • Daily highlights of accomplishments
  • Unlimited historical data
  • Team-level productivity trends
  • Key tools report
  • Uncover inefficient processes
  • Total employee privacy

 

For your subscription, you can use your debit or credit card. You can also pay through PayPal.

 

RescueTime Features

How Does RescueTime Work?

RescueTime Twitter
Photo from RescueTime’s Twitter page

 

Once you log in to RescueTime, you will see the Dashboard. You can view and monitor your progress here. This is because it shows the detailed reports of all your activities and the time you spent on apps, sites, and documents. Also, you will see not only the time spent on each category but also your productivity levels and see if you achieve your goals for the day.

The app automatically assigns values to your activities. On the dashboard, you can change your settings. You can do it by using the Categorize Activities tool. Moreover, you can choose your activities and categorize them from Very Distracting to Very Productive. If you think a specific activity can be categorized as Productive and not Not Distracting, you can customize it. However, you must take into account the importance of that specific activity when you categorize it as Productive so you will benefit from it.

If you think that the given categories are not enough or too much to be used, you can always create or delete categories. This will help you prioritize things depending on your perspective.

 

Automatic Time Tracking

With this feature, you don’t need to put in your hours manually. RescueTime automatically monitors the time that you spend on apps, sites, and documents. Moreover, the data will be accurate and easy to access.  Since you keep track of how much time you spend on all your digital devices, it will help increase your productivity.

Automatic time tracking lets you know all the sites you have visited and helps lessen the time spent on distracting sites.

 

Offline Time Tracking

In this simple and straightforward feature, RescueTime lets you choose the time when you will do unproductive activities or when you are away. These activities include attending meetings, having breaks and lunch, making phone calls, or going out to meet clients. If you are working remotely, you can keep track of the official work the members of your team are doing. If they log the time when they will be away, you will know the reason for the idle times. Knowing the times when you are unproductive, you can decrease the times spent on these activities.

 

FocusTime Distraction Blocker

One of the reasons why you can’t finish your jobs is due to different distractions. With RescueTime’s FocusTime feature, you can set limits on the time spent on some applications and sites that are not of great importance. Also, you can block them to fully avoid these online distractions. This feature will make sure your time won’t be wasted at all while at work because you can’t access these apps and sites. Having time limits, you can only browse them for a while or after work hours.

This feature lets you focus more on accomplishing your deliverables for the day. You will get to pay more attention to your important tasks and avoid unnecessary distractions. This will help you complete and prioritize important matters and deadlines rather than venturing into distracting sites. Sometimes, you will be tempted to spend time on social media, but this feature will stop you from doing so. You will be able to launch the sites once you finish your tasks and accomplish your goals. FocusTime will surely keep you uninterrupted in finishing your tasks.

You need not worry because the sites will be unblocked after your specified time limit. With that, you can still enjoy everything after doing a good job.

 

Real-Time Alerts and Customization of Goals

With this feature, you will be automatically notified about your productivity. By setting up your daily goals, you can track your progress and receive feedback on the activities that you are doing. This will give you the motivation to finish your job since it will keep on sending you alerts and notifications. With that, you will be able to build useful habits, that in time, you will be used to doing them. Moreover, you won’t realize that you are progressing and do not even need any of these alerts and notifications.

Creating goals will help you to focus and pay enough attention. As you will always be judged based on your doings, you will keep track of all your activities. You will also be motivated to keep pushing until you achieve your goals. You will receive two alerts. One is when you get your work done, and one is when you spend too much time on “distracting” activities.

Be watchful of these distracting activities, and focus more on becoming a productive person. Utilize your time accordingly and start making a new goal when the others are done. Always keep an eye on your dashboard to keep track of your goals.

 

Integrations

RescueTime Google Calendar
Photo from RescueTime

 

This feature makes it possible for you to maximize your use of RescueTime. Since you can integrate it with other useful apps, you will benefit from it. You will be able to track all your activities on different platforms that can help you become more productive. You can integrate RescueTime to your favorite apps, including;

  • Google Calendar
  • Slack
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Foursquare
  • Zapier
  • IFTT
  • Git and GitHub
  • Evernote
  • Exist.io
  • Office 365 Calendar
  • Zenobase
  • Gyroscope
  • Beeminder
  • Automatic

 

Customize Your Work Hours

This feature helps you balance your time by separating your work hours and non-working hours. You can set your work hours and get notified when you are overworking.

 

Weekly Productivity Report

This feature eliminates the need of having and attending productive meetings that also consume too much time. Instead of doing different tasks, you will need to spend time attending meetings and discuss productivity and progress issues. As emails are sent to you or your team members, you will have insights into how you do your job. You will get to know what you accomplished and what still needs to be done. If you are close to achieving your goals, you will also know it. This feature helps increase your productivity since you will know what tasks you need to focus on and what tasks take too much of your time.

 

Detailed Reports and Insights

You will receive detailed reports and insights that will be of great help in assessing your working habits. You will then be able to improve and adjust things accordingly. If there are activities that are left behind, you can adjust your time. With that, you can pay attention to these activities. If you discover that you are a bit sluggish, you can set up goals to accomplish more. This will help you maximize your time to become more focused on completing your tasks and achieving your goals.

 

Productivity Pulse

Even though it does not provide the precise statistics of your productivity, you can easily notice what takes most of your time for the day. Also, you will get to realize if you are Productive or Distracted. Your productivity score will help you decide if you need to stick with your activities or change them. You will know if you are accomplishing something, or you are somewhat sluggish. With that, you can decide if something needs to change or retain.

 

Website Usage Categorization

You can categorize the websites into Research, Design, Business, Composition, Entertainment, Social Media, and shopping based on your activities. If the time you spend on the apps is work-related, you can classify them as Business. However, if you think that browsing on some apps is just for fun, you can classify them as Entertainment or Excitement.

 

Dashboard

RescueTime features an interface that is easy to use. It has a dashboard that provides detailed information about you or your team’s productivity. You can see here how much time is used on different apps or sites. The dashboard gives you better insights into when you efficiently use your time. You will know what needs to be paid attention to and those that are not necessary. If you are holding a team, it will help you better oversee your team. Also, you will get an overview of when they are most productive, which will give you an idea of when to schedule meetings. As you can keep track of all the activities on the dashboard, it is easier to manage everyone’s data.

 

Daily Highlights

Highlights
Photo From RescueTime

 

This feature lets you make a note of what you achieved. Be it a simple task that has been completed or a deadline that you meet. You can use this to track all your accomplishments and motivate you more on the next day.

 

Pros and Cons of Using RescueTime

Pros

  • Simple and efficient
  • Easy to decipher data
  • Fully customizable categories
  • Tracks both apps and sites
  • Privacy protection
  • Wide range of integrations
  • Automatic data entry
  • Runs in the background
  • Comes with a browser extension
  • Multi-platform support
  • Lots of visual and graphical data
  • Provides daily highlights and achievements

Cons

  • No invoicing or billing
  • The mobile dashboard is not as detailed as the desktop.
  • No project and client management
  • No team management
  • Might encounter some bugs
  • More applicable to teams rather than individual
  • No attendance reports
  • Does not have screenshots

 

RescueTime vs Similar Platforms

Time Doctor vs RescueTime

 

Time Doctor can accurately monitor how much time is spent on a specific task. Also, it asks its users to specify the tasks they are working on and encourages them to manage their daily goals. RescueTime provides limited information as the user can’t identify the specific tasks someone is working on. It may track what app the user is using but can’t identify what particular activity he is doing on the app.

RescueTime can block access to distracting sites, while Time Doctor does not do it. Instead, it tracks distracting sites. Time Doctor features client and project tracking capabilities, while RescueTime does not; it only provides some project tracking capabilities.

RescueTime tracks the apps and sites that the user visits, while Time Doctor measures a person’s work hours and tracks what he does.

 

WebWork vs RescueTime

 

RescueTime runs silently in the background to track computer usage. WebWork, on the other hand, has a desktop application that makes it easier to use in tracking hours. You don’t have to check on your dashboard to keep tracking. Also, WebWork features screenshot mode, which RescueTime lacks.

 

Toggl vs RescueTime

Toggl features cost and profit comparison, something that RescueTime noticeably lacks. While RescueTime best suited for individuals, Toggl is best for companies with lower-tech teams. Both offer time tracking for desktop apps, browser extensions, and mobile apps.

 

Timing vs RescueTime

Both Timing and RescueTime automatically log the total hours and minutes that you worked. Also, both show the sites and apps that you visit. You can easily track your most active hours on both apps since both display easy-to-understand graphs. They also provide reports, although Timing offers a more customizable option. Moreover, both apps generate productivity scores that are of great help for anyone who wants to have an overview of their activities. However, Timing allows you to assign your productivity ratings. With that, you will be the one who will determine what is productive to you and what is not.

 

Should You Use RescueTime Today?

If you are not satisfied with your productivity, you should try using RescueTime. This app helps you to monitor your activities and gives you deeper insights into how you spend your time. You can have it for personal use or your business, and it can be an investment for you. As you can track your productivity, you will be motivated more if you see that you are accomplishing something. On the other hand, you may think that you need to improve if you see that your productivity score is not good at all.

Using RescueTime keeps you on the proper track. Seeing your productivity score will let you realize your good and bad working habits. It will lead you to be more focused and lets you avoid any distractions, making you productive all day.

RescueTime is a great solution to manage your time efficiently. It aims to increase your productivity, and it does well on that matter.

Albert de Venecia

Albert de Venecia

I love playing video games on either console or mobile platforms. I also collect action figures of superheroes and robots.

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