PC Screen Time Tracking Utility

Discussion in 'Programming' started by gmst, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. gmst


    I spend around 14 hrs a day or more on my computer. To help me manage my time in a better way - I would like to keep track of how much time I spend on different applications (like on TWS, Excel, Word, my web browser, Multicharts, powerlanguage editor etc.) every day.

    I thought the best method to track my time spent every day is if someone can write a tool that tracks which application is on top on the desktop. So, let us say I have 2 excel sheets open, TWS open, Multicharts open and a web browser open - if TWS is on top of screen for 3 hours in a day, time tracking application should indicate that I used TWS for 3 hours. If an excel spreadsheet is on top of screen for 5 hours, then it means I used that spreadsheet for 5 hours.

    Does such an application exist? If not, would someone technically qualified be interested in making such an application. I would imagine that if you decide to make it open source or if you keep the source but make it free, there will be millions of downloads.
  2. gmst


    Many programs in windows have the option that says "always keep on top".

    This means that windows API already has such functionality that allows an application programmer to keep his program on top always if user selects so. So, I guess it won't be too tough to use the same windows API functionality to measure which application is currently on top on windows.

    I really hope someone who is conversant with windows API comes forward and builds this. Or maybe such a tool already exists.
  3. gmst


    All of the above assumes the simple case when one application completely covers the monitor. If you use multiple monitors (say 4 monitors) and have 4 different applications on 4 different monitors always displayed, then the tool should give a monitor wise breakdown of which application has been on top on which monitor for how many hours in a day.

    I have a suspicion that this case when multiple applications share the real estate of a single/multiple monitors and so multiple applications are always on top simultaneously will make this problem significantly more challenging.
  4. oraclewizard77

    oraclewizard77 Moderator

    But what % of that time is spent on porn?


  5. gmst


    No one should know that. Thats super secret information. LOL.

    Thanks for the link. Out of the 5 time trackers in the link, RescueTime is closest to what I wanted. Only thing I don't like about that is it stores data on the company servers which made this freeware. So, all my browsing history will be stored in someone's else servers and they will be able to track my complete online behavior. But the application otherwise and its features are what I exactly want.

    Their FAQ page says that :

    So, it seems that if I don't want rescuetime to know which bank I do banking with, it is possible by using whitelist functionality and adding my bank's website to that list.