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Where does the time go? Find out with these Mac time trackers.

Whether you’re trying to work out how much time you waste online 5 Tools to Track How Much Time You Waste While Online 5 Tools to Track How Much Time You Waste While Online Read More or just want a way to track projects so you can bill clients, there’s a Mac timer out there for you. Here are some of the best ones out there, broken down by category.

For Finding Where Your Time Went: Rescuetime (Free or $9/month)

Does your time ever just disappear? RescueTime is a cross-platform app that monitors everything you do on your computer, then reports back to you. If you want to know exactly what it is you’ve been doing on your Mac in order to find out which distractions to avoid and which projects are taking up too much time, this is the app to install.

rescuetime-mac

We called this system web based time management for geeks RescueTime: Web-based Time Management for Geeks RescueTime: Web-based Time Management for Geeks Read More way back in 2007, and more recently noted that it’s a great way to accurately keep track of what you do you on your computer Accurately Keep Track Of What You Do On The Computer & For How Long With RescueTime Accurately Keep Track Of What You Do On The Computer & For How Long With RescueTime If you spend a considerable amount of time working at your computer with no Corporate Big Brother to monitor what you're doing, you may find yourself spending a bit more time than you should be... Read More . It’s been around a long time, and is much loved for its in-depth reporting.

rescuetime-profile

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You can spend a lot of time tweaking, letting Rescuetime know which sites or apps are and are not distracting for you. This really can vary: your boss might not love it if you spend all day on MakeUseOf, but for me it’s literally my job.

RescueTime is well regarded, but there’s at least one alternative:

  • Time Track Pro ($9) is a Mac-only alternative with a native interface, if you really dislike web apps.

For Tracking Projects: Toggl (Free or $5/user/month)

If you’re a freelancer, you need to keep track of how much time you’re spending on various projects for billing purposes. If you want a no-nonsense tool for doing that with all kinds of reporting features, I recommend checking out Toggl first.

toggl-timer

The Mac app stays out of your way: just tell it what you’re working on, and which project that’s related to it, and it’ll do its job. You can check out full reports over at the Toggl website. You’ll need an account to get started, but it doesn’t take long.

Of course, there are a number of alternative apps worth checking out; here are a few:

  • Aeon Timer is a free Mac-only app with lots of project management features.
  • TimeTracker Mac is an open source alternative.
  • Harvest for Mac is, like Toggl, tied to a web service that offers a premium version.

  • Klok is a similar system built on Adobe Air. So it’s not native, but many users love the features.

If your favourite business-oriented time tracker isn’t here, fill me in using the comments at the end of the article!

For The Pomodoro Method: Pomodoro One (Free)

The Pomodoro Method is one of those tricks that takes the stress out of productivity 4 Ways To Take The Stress Out Of Productivity 4 Ways To Take The Stress Out Of Productivity With a few well-targeted changes, you can boost your productivity by leaps and bounds. Apply these simple methods to your life and the result is what you would expect -- better work with lesser effort. Read More . Basically, you work 25 minutes uninterrupted, then take a 5 minute break. There are a plethora of different Mac Pomodoro timers out there, but the first one you should check out is Pomodoro One.

pomodoro-one

This free tool is both attractive and functional – just click “Play” when you’re ready to get started. The app lets you know when your five minute break has started, then starts counting automatically – it’s not going to wait for you. This is good: putting off your break (or your working period) defeats the point of the Pomodoro Method.

pomodoro-one-settings

Just in case you disagree on that point, there are so many alternative Pomodoro timers out there:

There are a lot of Pomodoro apps out there and everyone has a favorite, so let fellow readers know about your favorites in the comments below.

Also: as longtime Pomodoro fan, here’s a tip: use Lego to track your time better How To Use LEGOs To Manage Your Time Better How To Use LEGOs To Manage Your Time Better I think I've found the ultimate productivity tool: LEGOs. Don't leave! Let me explain. Read More . Seriously.

For Quick Countdowns: Menubar Countdown (Free)

menubar-countdown-timer

When I want a simple countdown, I prefer Menubar Countdown – a timer that talks to you Menubar Countdown Is A Mac Timer App That Talks To You Menubar Countdown Is A Mac Timer App That Talks To You Set a countdown, then monitor it out of the corner of your eye. Whether you're a Pomodoro fan or simply someone who likes to count down proper key preparation, Menubar Countdown is potentially the perfect... Read More . Yes, using the speech is a gimmick, but it’s such a fun one – your computer can remind you, out loud, what you intended to do later in the day.

There are other apps out there, of course:

What Are Your Favorite Mac Timers?

I’ve tried out a lot of different Mac timers over the years; the above are my favorites. But you might — as a Mac user — be know to think differently.

So I’m asking: which timers did we miss? Add your favourites in the comments below, because I’m always excited to learn about new apps.

  1. Adis
    November 11, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Also, is there any similar article about linux time tracking software?

  2. Adis
    November 11, 2015 at 11:30 am

    IMO, Toggl is the best

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