In October of last year, about five months ago to the day, I installed a new app on my computer. A post from LifeHacker had alerted me to free service called JournalLive. The premise of JournalLive is that you install their client, which monitors user activity on your computer — when you’re on, when you’re off, what apps you use, and for how long.
The service has some downsides, especially for someone like me who essentially uses only one computer. In particular, JournalLive stores all user history on their web servers. This has obvious security/privacy issues. It also also means that examining data tends to be slow and unpleasant, and I don’t see any way to export data for doing custom analyses. JournalLive also seems not to record stats if it cannot connect to the JournalLive servers, which has resulted in several hours of missed log time. Thus I’ve ditched JournalLive in favor of the much prettier, more reliable, and purely-local app ManicTime.
A few interesting points on my usage of the five-month period from 2008/10/21 to 2009/03/20:
- Total time in Firefox: 412 hours
- Total time in Chrome: 101 hours
- Total time in PuTTY: 87.5 hours
- Total time in VMWare/VirtualBox/VPC: 76 hours
- Total time in Prism: 18 hours
- Total time in WinShell: 13.5 hours
- Total time in Safari: 8 hours
- Total time active: 950 hours
More than half the time I spend at my computer is in Firefox. Cool! JournalLive also claims I spent 23 hours each on reddit and Google (Reader); those both seem low, especially the Google Reader figure.