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Time capture

Track your time, PC usage, and other activities with this free application.

ManicTime from Finkit d.o.o. is a free time-tracking application that records how and when you use your computer and generates useful statistics and reports from the data. It works in the background and can track everything from billable hours to time spent in online social networks. It uses personalized "time tags" to accurately display how you use your time, including how efficient you really are, as opposed to how much you think you're getting done. It stores your information on a local database instead of an online or networked resource, which bolsters security.

ManicTime's interface is a bit unique. It's based around four bar graphs tracking Tags, Computer Usage, Applications, and Documents, and two tabs, Day and Statistics. ManicTime immediately began tracking our computer usage as soon as it opened, displaying real-time data in the graphs. A customizable date field, scrolling time/date counters, and a Tags tool sit above the graphs, while a split display shows data on open documents and running processes below. These entries also included small, individual bar graphs that showed usage and time statistics. Next we clicked the Statistics tab, which offered chart and table options and customizable data displays. The configurable table is plain and simple, as it should be, but the chart offers more, such as the ability to display duration, start, and stop times in a floating box for any point on the charted data. We quickly clicked between the chart's optional views of our day's duration, computer use, documents, and weekly statistics. Most of ManicTime's display fields can be customized to suit your own needs. Icons on the displays make saving and exporting statistics a matter of a few clicks. Adding a Tag was as simple as clicking a button, naming the tag, adding some notes, and clicking OK. The time tag feature seems useful for tracking activities outside ManicTime's primary focus.

ManicTime includes a free Standard edition and a Professional edition, with an option to revert to the free version at the end of a 15-day trial. This lets you try the features disabled in the free edition--passwords, categories, scheduled backups, and a few others--to see if you need them.

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