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record pc activityNot everyone’s online behavior is enough to receive the merit of a leading role in the next box office hit, but today I’m going to open your eyes on how you can star in your very own PC motion picture! Have you ever been sitting online, maybe with Facebook open in a tab and your work open in another, and you wonder where all of your time during the day went? I’ve been there and I go there just about every day. I’m there right now, actually.

TimeSnapper is slowly becoming one of my favorite new pieces of software for Windows, because it’ll let you know exactly where all of that time went. Putting TimeSnapper to good use means your desktop or laptop will be your own personal spy. As if the rest of the internet doesn’t do that on us enough, already.

Check out TimeSnapper’s official website!

TimeSnapper is a Windows application that sits in your system tray and gradually takes screenshots of your active window so that you can have a running log of exactly what you were doing at any random interval of the day. The software costs $24.95 and is available under a free, 30-day trial license. In this post, we’ll be focusing on their completely free, legacy product: TimeSnapper Classic.

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You’ll need to enter your email address to download TimeSnapper Classic, where afterwards a hyperlink to the direct download of the software will be sent. Installation is very simple and painless. After installing the software, you should see the following window:
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At this window, simply specify where you’d like your screenshots to be dumped and at what interval you’d like them to be taken. The Pause button you see there is in place of the Start button (as I’m already recording).


Then, in the View menu, click Options…. Here you’ll see the rest of the configuration for the program. It’s all very simple.

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You’re able to pick the image type and resolution at which you want your screenshots saved. If you’re taking screenshots at a low interval, I highly recommend using the JPG format. Otherwise, PNG is the best format for screenshots. Changing the resolution will automatically resize your screenshots to a certain percentage, which can also save some disk space.

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Here, you’re able to determine what windows are captured with each screenshot. If you use dual monitors, you can even select which screen to capture. I capture only my active window, as it saves disk space and is more true to what I’m working on at the time.

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These options make concerns with your disk space less glaring. You’re able to automatically purge images based on their age or the size of your TimeSnapper archive.

When you’ve configured everything to your liking, give it some time and then feel free to check out the playback features. On the main window, you can click Play Movie.

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From here, you can play through your archive, frame by frame, or scroll through manually. As you can see, at this particular time, I was doing nothing productive that I’d like to reflect on…

TimeSnapper is quickly becoming my favorite way to track time on my desktop 6 Useful Desktop Time Tracking Software 6 Useful Desktop Time Tracking Software Read More . If you need a less visual way, give ManicTime Track Your Time on the Computer With Manictime Track Your Time on the Computer With Manictime Read More a look.

Let me know what you all think of the features of TimeSnapper in the comments!

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  1. Siyanda Mava
    July 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Craig, is it possible to configure this program to take screen shots automatically after you have switched on your pc?

  2. Kelvin Zhang
    June 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I am on the computer for more than six hours a day. This should be useful.