Many thanks to Timing for Mac for once again sponsoring the RSS feed.

Timing is a utility app, it runs in the background in your Menu Bar, and it’s primary function is to keep track of how you spend your time when at your computer.

I have been using Timing ever since I first learned of it nearly 3 months ago. I have it set to start automatically on login, and I just ignore it and let it do its thing. What I like about this app is:

  • The fact that it uses virtually no CPU when running in the background.
  • The way it tracks and displays how I am spending my time.
  • Its ability to build custom projects and contexts that target only certain apps.

It’s important to me to stay focused and intentional about how I spend my time throughout the day. Members of Shawn Today will know that a few weeks ago I once again began making a detailed schedule for my days and mapping my to-do list in OmniFocus to blocks of time in my day.

When the day or week or month is over, I can open up the Timing interface and examine which applications received my time and attention. Timing does all the heavy lifting of tracking what apps I’m active in, what websites I’m spending time on, and more. All I have to do is asses the information and see if the way I’m spending my time in reality is the way I perceive I’m spending my time.

Timing for Mac not only keeps track of which applications I’m using, but it also keeps track of what I am doing in the app. So, for example, in the past 30 days I have spent 17 hours actively working in MarsEdit (keep in mind I do most of my long-form writing in other apps). But Timing even breaks that down and lets me know exactly how much time I’ve spent working on posts for this site, Tool & Toys, or Shawn Today.

Which means I can bundle certain apps and certain paths within those apps into “projects”. And a project can be treated as a context, an area of focus, or whatever.

For example: MarsEdit, Byword, TextEdit, and iA Writer are all in my “writing” project. And since I can have the same app in multiple projects I can place Twitter in a “communication” project as well as a “time sinks” project.

As I said before, you need to give Timing at least a week or more to collect some useful stats that you can look over in aggregate to see how you are spending your time, where you’re spending it, and if there are certain apps or websites you need to be more conscious of in order to be more focused and productive.

I use it and I recommend it. Moreover, this week only, Timing is on sale for 40% off in the Mac App Store.

Timing for Mac [Sponsor]