A RedFerret Review for RescueTime

Releasing software is a scary thing. Every time I read a review trashing a particular piece of software, I always get an empathy-powered stomach ache. Somewhere out there is a developer or a designer who believed in that product and is/was proud of it. They may have lost their way as they were developing it, but at some point they cared. And nothing feels more like a kick in the junk than someone telling the world that your software is crap.

So when you launch software, you are silently praying that:

A) The app isn’t going to keel over as soon as a lot of people start using it. Scaling software (especially software with lots of data) can be challenging.

B) People don’t use your software and think it’s crap. And when I say “people”, what I really mean is “people you don’t know”, because you’ve probably had plenty of friends and family tell you that you’re extremely clever and your software just plain rocks. Don’t believe them.

So it was with great delight that I read our first real review by a person who had actually used RescueTime by Nigel Powell over at The Red Ferret, a cool blog/zine about gadgets, technology, software, etc. I nearly blushed when Nigel said:

“I can honestly say that this is one of the coolest web applications I’ve seen in a long time.”

Of course, he also said:

“Of course knowing about your time sloppy lifestyle is not going to help unless you take action to correct the problems, which is why there are plans to implement a time management feature which will notify you when you meet or fail to reach goals for a period.”

Very true. Knowing about a problem (and being able to measure it) is only a first step on the road to better time management.

Check out the full article here.

2 Comments on “A RedFerret Review for RescueTime”

  1. Hey Tony

    Nice article. I have been waiting for my beta testing invite for a while now so I can give the program a test run and check to see how many blog posts like this I am reading a day 😉

    Looking forward to the release so I can check it out.


  2. Nigel says:

    Heh, just picked up on this post of yours Tony. 😉 Well I’m still using it, and there are some interesting things that have come out.

    a) It’s not an app that I refer to daily. Once you’ve picked up on your habits, it’s easy to just forget about it and carry on. I suppose that’s because although I can identify some areas where I don’t work (i.e. watching my Slingbox) overall it looks as though I work pretty hard. Heh! And consistently so. Therefore I don’t really have a reason to come back and refer to the data often, probably only once a month or so now.

    b) The follow-on from that is that I now use it as a ‘nice to know’ rather than an imperative piece of software. Which means that I wouldn’t see a need to pay for it. Which may sound harsh, but I’m just trying to put out my personal take on the utility of it. It’s something that’s nice to track, but unlike say mybloglog (which I pay for), it’s not vital to my business. Funnily enough, another app that I have subscribed to which I thought was going to be full out vital – I Want Sandy at http://www.iwantsandy.com/ – has turned out to be complete bust for me. Turns out I really don’t need an email assistant to remind me of stuff. Interesting.

    c) I struggle to think of any feature that you could introduce, except a really tight, and functional reminder or guide service to tell me when I’m frittering too much on IM etc, which could make it worth while my paying a fee. And I’m not even sure that I’d pay to be nagged! 🙂

    But overall the fact remains that this is a really good piece of software and a cracking good application. I can see that the Premium enterprise and business version will definitely be worth it, especially for management monitoring purposes.