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.
From Finkit d.o.o.:
ManicTime is time tracking software which automatically collects data on your computer usage. It records active and away time, as well as which applications you used and for how long you used them. The data ManicTime collects is stored in a local database on your computer. Once data is collected you can use our simple click and drag feature to accurately tag how you spent your time. Time tagging allows you to see how you spent your time based on your own time tags and gives you accurate information on how efficient you really are. Because there is so much data available about your computer usage, you are able to tag spent time for days in the past. Based on this data you are able to generate various statistics. You can easily find out how much time you spend behind a computer or how much time you spend browsing the Web.
What's new in this version:
Version 126.96.36.199 works with ManicTime Server v3.0.
Works seamlessly in the background, keeps detailed enough data to help me reconstruct what it is that I have actually been doing all day. Offers a really quick and intuitive interface -- no need for tedious typing of times.
It does occasionally -- quite rarely -- crash for no apparent reason (a message pops up to say it has "stopped working") but it doesn't cause anything else to crash, and runs fine on restarting.
I've tried every tool out there, but this is the first one I've found that actually works for me. I tend to jump around between tasks and clients a lot, and recording a time entry every few minutes just isn't workable. WIth ManicTime, I can just look at the colored stripes (for different apps), hover my mouse for more detail (for document title), and reconstruct my day. Plus, it's customizable enough, but not too much: you can create and use as many tags as you want (and set their colors), and export the data to csv to slice and dice things, but the program itself keeps things simple and non-distracting.
Seamlessly allows you to view the nitty-gritty detail and the big picture all at the same time.
Some day they may charge for it!
The interface is very intuitive and easy to use. The ability to tag and color-code my work allows me to see at a glance how my day has been going. I can organize and structure things as much or as little as I like. What a great product!