Manage your online time wisely with timeStats, a Chrome extension

timeStats will record and display your online behavior in visually friendly pie charts and bar graphs to help you manage your Internet habits.

The Internet is a pretty great resource for work or school, but it can also be an enormous distraction. timeStats is an extension for Google Chrome that allows you to see how you spend your online time. A few clicks will get you a chart distribution of your Internet activity; a couple more, and you can get even more detailed reports. The reports break down your daily/weekly/monthly activities with awesome pie charts and bar graphs showing what you did on which day. It can also show you other details such as the sites, domain zones, and time spent in each category. Optional settings allow you to create and assign categories to different sites and get a more accurate report of your time usage. Now you can see how much net time was spent on "Work" and "Fun."

Facebook time under 10 percent, a sign of unparalleled productivity! (Credit: CNET)

Setting it up is pretty easy; just install the extension from the Chrome store and you're ready to go. The interface is intuitive and there is no account required to sign up or fee to pay like some other time management programs (RescueTime, Manic Time). You can customize settings to exclude tracking of private sites and export statistics to CSV to keep an offline record. One drawback is that timeStats will only track what domain you've been on rather than the individual sites. This could be a problem or a blessing depending on how much information you want tracked. For example, timeStats will track if you're on Wikipedia but not which article you spend looking at the most (i.e., a research article on The origin of the Amazons vs. "Xena: Warrior Princess"). The benefit from this is that if you are online shopping on, say, Amazon (the Web site), it will be hard to tell if you're browsing or doing some gift shopping. That said, timeStats does not offer any sort of time management functions such as an auto log-out timer or an alert like other software has. It will tell you how much time you've spent looking at cat pictures, but will not do anything to help you kick the habit.

Although it's missing some premium features of professional time management software, the quick consolidation of data and the easy-on-the eyes UI can make up for the lack of functions. Overall, if you're looking for a quick and easy interface to keep track of your time usage on the Internet, timeStats is worth a shot.

About Tuong Nguyen

Raised in the Bay Area but educated on the sandy beaches of San Diego, Tuong writes for specializing in Windows Security and Mobile Apps.