5 Tools to Track How Much Time you Waste while Online

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Your Firefox hasn’t been re-started in hours. It’s running continuously, you’re surfing around websites, and of course you’ve wasted lots of time. You could have instead spent that time doing something good and productive, rather than just flying around worthless sites.

Here are four neat Firefox extensions and 1 desktop app that help you track the time you spend online. They even give you reports so you can watch out and make efficient use of your time by cutting down on wandering around sites that are of no use.

LeechBlock

leechblock   5 Tools to Track How Much Time you Waste while Online LeechBlock can be set to block websites from loading in Firefox.

You can create up to six ‘block sets’ – each set can contain a number of sites that should be blocked only during a specific time interval.

For example, you can create a block set and put all the social networking sites in it – and block all those sites together for a set period of time (instance, 9AM-4PM). Then you can create another block set – containing another bunch of time-consuming sites and block them all together for a specified time period. That’s how block sets work. Wildcards can be used to block specific subdomains/parts of a bigger site.

Download LeechBlock

Time Tracker

Simple yet effective tool that tracks the amount of time you’ve been browsing around. The display on the status bar indicates the amount of time you’ve been surfing around inside Firefox.

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time tracker firefox   5 Tools to Track How Much Time you Waste while Online

As you can see in the options above, you can set the status bar display of TimeTracker to show only the time you’ve spent today/last reset/since installing Time Tracker. In the time-out option, you can specify when the addon should pause counting the time. You can use the filter list to add websites that will not be time-tracked.

If you want to continue tracking the time even when the new windows are opened then leave the last checkbox unchecked.

Download TimeTracker

8aWeek

8aweek   5 Tools to Track How Much Time you Waste while Online

Same as the first extension, but it has more powerful options and provides graphs that display the various activities versus the time you’ve spent on them.

Once installed, you’ll see a toolbar that has around four options. You’ll also be taken to a registration page. You could register if you want the reports to be saved for the long term. Else, you can skip it and continue using 8aweek.

It provides interesting charts like the one below that lists the amount of time I’ve spent on each site:

   5 Tools to Track How Much Time you Waste while Online

You can set it to limit the time you spend on useless sites. For example, you could set it to make Facebook available to you for no more than 10 minutes per day. Additionally, you can also save the reports for later viewing. For more details check out our directory listing on 8aWeek.

Download [NO LONGER WORKS] 8aweek

MeeTimer

MeeTimer is a plain and light activity tracker. It keeps track of the visited websites in any given day, records total time, and groups them into purpose-based categories (e.g. Myspace/Facebook = procrastination, Gmail = communication, etc.). At the end of the day you get a clear picture of your daily activity.

meetimer time tracker   5 Tools to Track How Much Time you Waste while Online

Download MeeTimer

RescueTime

Unlike the above, RescueTime is a desktop program. Same goal here, understand how and where you spend your time while browsing web or working on PC. Find out what programs and websites take most of your time (Digg, Wikipedia, Word, Google, Dreamweaver “¦). Cool thing about this app is that it’s completely automated and requires almost no effort on your behalf. The only thing you have to do is assign different programs and sites to certain tags.

rescue time management   5 Tools to Track How Much Time you Waste while Online

Get Rescuetime here

Do you know of any other good tools for managing your time on the internet? Let us know in the comments!

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23 Comments -

Tina

Oh my, think about all the time it takes to set up and manage these tools. I’d rather spend that time reading your articles Shankar. ;)
Good post!

Richard

I NEED internet time managment.

Dave Drager

++ For rescuetime, but it just makes me depressed when I see how much time I waste! :)

Tony Wright

Hi– thanks for mentioning us (RescueTime)! One additional thing to note is that RescueTime is friendly to Mac/PC— and now Linux! One of our great users dove in and built a Linux version.

On, I should also note that the about RescueTime screenshot is slightly out of date– we have a lot of new/cool features (you can see ‘em at: http://rescuetime.com/product_tour ).

Thanks again!

Michael VanDeMar

Do you have any idea how long it took me to read this whole article..?

Nice tools btw. :)

Andario

Man, this is REALLY useful. Kind of stressful, though, but if you help me out finding my life back again, I will be eternally grateful. :D Cheers!

Acronyms

The best tool is when your company is using Internet Access monitoring =)

richard

I cant think of anything worse.
I know i waste hours of time online but to quantify it in this way…

Just dont tell my boss about these…………

fire-pixel.com

Ah! Big Brother Internet! Stay Away!

Good for kids but I actually promote Internet use… it’s when you start blocking and stifling that your employees work harder working the angles than they do actual work… thus defeating the purpose. You end up creating a cattle in a cubicle. Which is fine if you like CSR agents that do just “canned” lines all day long.

So I guess I’ll reciprocate with another article you might enjoy.

Top 10 Awesome Websites That Sell Cool Products You Probably Have Never Visited But Need To.

comember.net/blogs/firepixel/

Thanks!

Tyler

Nice tools, seems kinda counter productive though.

Marcel

I was wanting something like this for such a long time.

Now I wish I didn’t find it… sort of

chvnx

MeeTimer FTW!

I use this to track my non-work related internet activities while at work.

Steve

Hmm, these look very cool. I keep meaning to check these out, but I’m so busy surfing net.

Oh, and I like to call it “researching” on the internet, not so much “wasting time.”

Hagata

You might look at “Wakoopa”(.com), which is a rather simple usage pattern tracking tool installed locally but displayed online. Also possible to integrate into your lifestream.

Syahid A.

I use RescueTime and never looked back again. Simple, install and forget tool. Kudos to their dev team.

Dod One

Looks as if I am the only commenter using 8aweek. It’s a nice extension and you waste almost no time to install it. It has some nice features and the authors are responsive to comments. As for me “it’s doing the job”

I used before Google Web History. It is inferior to 8aweek and you should be logged in to Google in order to track what / where you are surfing.

You may read the article in TechCrunch about 8aweek
http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/02/15/8aweek-to-help-you-kick-that-internet-time-wasting-addiction/

Daniela

Hi,
we use Xpert-Timer to track all of our times. From smoking breaks to web development and time spend on the internet.
You can download a free 30 days trial version at xperttimer.com (desktop application only)

violon

oy hawaa inyo opendns sa amo computer kay na block tanan…

Andrew

Another tool for tracking wasted time (daily, weekly, monthly and yearly):

timemanagementrocks.com

Bulu

is ther any software when I open internet explore it records the time and when I close internet explorer it also records time.

Nathan

It’s too bad probably no-one will read my comment. I haven’t tried these apps, but I’m going to. I’ve been using a much more heavy-duty solution, and it’s crushed all my internet addictions like a tank driving over papier mache toys. It’s K9 web protection. It’s free for personal use. I give the password to my buddy and I have to ask him to email it to me if I need to change anything. It’s been so great.

Norma

I’m “surfing the web” at 5am. It’s quite appropriate that I’d run into this article. Installing RescueTime now! May look into K9.

Daniel

Did a google search for time trackers such as these and found this post. Installing RescueTime right now. How many of us are internet addicts but aren’t willing to admit it?