That’s a good question. It ranges from all freakin’ day, to a few hours. Which apps do you spend the most time on? That’s more difficult to determine. For many of us it’ll be email, or the browser, or Microsoft Office apps, and so on. How do you know for sure which apps get used the most? That’s where you need an app to tell you.
Tracking My Mac Time
When I started out to use Timing for Mac I had a general idea how much time I devoted to my Mac each day. First, too much time. Second, an even spread between various apps. Safari. Fireworks. Coda and BBEdit. MAMP. Mail. With peaks and valleys of iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes (in the background), Final Cut, and odds and ends utilities.
The surprise was the reality. That’s what Timing does. It tracks what you do, when you do it, and which app you’re using so your perceived Mac usage corresponds to reality.
Timing simply keeps track of the amount of time you use your Mac, apps and all. What you edit, what you launch, which apps you use, which sites you visit, and, for business use, which documents you work on and when (good for tracking what you do for clients).
If a picture is worth a thousand words, you’ll get a quick idea of your Mac day, simply by looking at Timing’s main window.
Filter by day, week, or custom period, but the real tale is in the graphs of apps (or documents).
Each app and document gets tracked by Timings so you can see, almost by the minute, how much effort and time goes into each component of your Mac day.
The end results are refreshing and a bit scary. Timing tracks Safari and Chrome browsing, too. It’s also document and project based, so you can track work on specific documents, and assign them to projects that you set up.
Mac OS X app development being as complex as it is, Timing doesn’t work in all apps; in some you wouldn’t expect, and some you would. For example, it tracks domains in Safari, Chrome, and Opera, but not Firefox. It tracks Mail but not Thunderbird. It tracks your work in iWork and Microsoft Office but not iTunes or iCal.
Another hitch is the lack of a try-before-you-buy option. Timing is all Mac App Store, and isn’t priced as throwaway money. However, Timing is great if your most used apps are on the list and you need to know how much time you’re spending on those specific apps each day.