Holiday Release – Customizable Dashboards, Custom Categories, Group Goals, and more!

Happy holidays to everyone!

We’re pushing a release now that’s pretty exciting for all of us, and is a great pre-cursor for things to come.  In this post is a description of the new bits as well as some of what’s in store for the next release (Jan/Feb).  Read onward…  And, as always– if you have any feedback or ideas, please let us know!

Revised Site Navigation / Organization

There are significant (but hopefully painless) changes in navigation that makes the site simpler and a bit more powerful.


We’ve killed the “list” view in favor of putting paginated lists below each visualization.  All of the power of the previous list view is available here — without requiring that you visit a different type of page to get it.


Truly Customizable Dashboards

The RescueTime dashboard is yours to customize however you like.  Each visualization across the site has an “Add to Dashboard” link in the upper right hand corner which allows you to drop a smaller version of that graph onto your dashboard.


Really care about your email time?  Go to that graph in RescueTime and add it to your dashboard.  Don’t care about tags?  Punt it off your dashboard with the little “X” control to keep things tidy.  Or drag it to the bottom so you can look at it from time to time if you want to.  Over the past year, we’ve come to realize that everyone has widely varying ideas on what a good dashboard should contain…  So we’ve opened it up– build the dashboard you want to build!


Categories are no longer ours… They’re  yours!

When we launched this feature, we did it with a collection of pre-defined categories.  It was hard– YOU try to create a small list of categories where literally every application and web site fits neatly!  We had plenty of people give us an earful about the fact that our categories didn’t fit how THEY categorized their tools.  We listened!  You can now do two things with categories that you couldn’t yesterday:

  • change the category for an app or site.  Before, categories were assigned democratically– you could “vote” for a new category, but if the world didn’t agree with you, you were out of luck.  Now you can adjust categories however you like!
  • add custom categories!  Each user gets several custom category slots that they can use as they see fit.  Are we missing a category?  Add it!

Goals Overhaul

We’ve done a significant overhaul to goals!  We weren’t able to get every goal improvement into this release that we wanted to, but there are some great new features, detailed below.

  • In response to pretty tremendous demand, we now allow for weekly goals!  Set a goal for “more than 25 hours of work per week”  or “more than 2 hours per week blogging”, or even “less than 5 hours per week social networking”!  You can track your success with these goals and optionally elect to receive alerts (via email  or even SMS).
  • We’ve created a “Goals Summary” page where you can see a day-by-day (or week by week) overview of how many of your goals you’re hitting.  And, of course, you can drill in and look at your individual goals to get more detail.  Now that our dashboard is truly customizable, you can add your goals summary graph or any individual goal visualization to your dashboard.
  • We’ve adjusted the visualization of goals a bit to make it a bit more clear how you’re doing with your goals.
  • Group goals!  For our business customers, you can now track groupwide goals.  Want to set a goal of less than an hour a day slogging through email?  You can do that, and track how many people on your team meet that goal and how many can’t shake their email addiction.

What’s coming for our next release…

We’ve got some more exciting things in store for you in the new year.  Here’s a preview for what’s slated for our next release:

  • Documents!  One of our most requested features is an understanding of what happens “under the hood”– how is your time being spent in “general” applications like Microsoft Word, Excel, or Outlook– where you could be doing any number of things (some productive, some not so much).  RescueTime is going to unlock the mystery and allow you to know which projects you’re really working on.
  • Timesheet view.  For individuals and business customers, we’re going to show an hour by hour breakdown of “flow” throughout a day, week, or month.  See a dip in your “work” graph?  Dig into the timesheet view to see why it dipped!
  • More goals improvements.
  • More exportable data.
  • More exciting things that we aren’t going to talk about… yet!

Thanks for reading this far…  Please let us know in the comments what you like, what you hate, and what you’d most like to see in our next release!

13 Comments on “Holiday Release – Customizable Dashboards, Custom Categories, Group Goals, and more!”

  1. Dez says:

    Can’t wait for the Documents functionality. It would nice if OneNote was included as well, but I understand that might have to come later.

  2. Andy Armstrong says:

    I really want to be able to set separate goals for my working hours and my evening hours. Is there any chance that the goals/alerts can be based upon filters? I hate that when I spend an evening reading blogs that I get an alert saying I’ve missed my procrastination goal! I’d like to be more strict about my work hours, and then less strict about the remaining hours (early morning, evenings and weekends).

  3. Timo says:

    It is about time for the document feature. I hope it comes in a configurable way, like wildcard expressions or something like that, so that I can group like “Word – Project XY Spec.doc”, “Word – Project XY database spec.doc” and “Excel – Project XY Cost Estimate.xls” using something like “* Projext XY *.*”.

    I have stopped using RescueTime for the lack of the document feature, but I am looking forward using it again once this is in.

  4. Morgan says:

    Just a thought, but I think this: is excellent as a time/activity visualization.

    As for window titles, I’d _REALLY_ like this with SecureCRT and, so I can tag (for example) emacs in my terminal window as ‘coding’.

    What ever happened to the ‘suggested tags’? I haven’t seen any suggested tags for my untagged sites other than ‘work’ and ‘personal’ in a while, which loses a bit of the value…and I’ve _got_ to figure that someone other than me goes to for example. 🙂

    — Morgan

  5. Tiago says:

    With the new list view, when I am tagging I don’t have access to all the tags, but only the favourite ones, and this makes it difficult to find the right tags. Is it possible to show all the tags again, or at least a link to the remaining tags?

  6. Radek Pilich says:

    Strong progress RescueTime!

    Once again, I would like to give you some feedback.

    It is great that we are now able to put various charts for individual metrics on the dashboard. What I expected when this was announced though and what I am still missing now is the ability to put several “Time Overview” charts on the dashboard that allows comparative view of two tags/categories. For me personally, this functionality is the biggest source of “insights” RescueTime offers.

  7. Morgan says:

    @Tiago – I fought with that for a while last night, also. This probably isn’t what you’re looking for, but it worked for me, as I had the same frustration. Log in and go to your dashboard, select ‘Forever’ as the time frame (this sets a cookie that is necessary for the next URL), then go to:

    That’ll show you up to 100 of your tags, in XML format, which was enough for me to recover all my tags. Now if only we could get the untagged apps/sites in XML also, we might be able to build something entirely independently that allowed tagging with all your tags, multiselecting, etc., and let the RescueTimers work on their real features like tracking and matching by window title and maybe machine profiles.

    Hope that helps! 🙂

    — Morgan

  8. Luke says:

    Just started using the program and really like it. Would love to see the addition of non-computer task logging and a timer… for meetings, tasks in the office but away from the computer and still be able to use the goals feature. This could become a comprehensive logging tool for all aspects of work and even personal life (adding mobile phone access would be great to log against the timer and non-pc activity.)

  9. Radek Pilich says:


    Go to Widgets & Tools section and there you have it – “Logger for Phone & Meeting Time” (I have never tried it myself though).

  10. Mike says:

    It would be great to have a “Circadian” view of tasks. Individuals could then ask, “What is the typical hours on average during the weekday do I do email – or other activities?” It could be extremely insightful.

    Adding goals around these circadian views could be useful reminders to change behavior. “Message me if I have not done computer work during a particular time of day.” or “Message me if I do more than x amount Facebook between this time of the day.”

  11. Benny Lewis says:

    Everyone else has given the feedback I’d say, so I’ll just add Good Job!! Really enjoying Rescuetime! Hopefully the Linux app will get updated if you have any software updates.
    Merry Christmas from Ireland!

  12. Bill Good says:

    I have not used Rescue Time for a while but decided to review it after reading this email. Sadly, I cannot log in. Nor will it send me my PW.

    You have a great concept. Keep at it. Make it work. Please send me PW to this email address.

    Bill Good

  13. Mark says:

    As a FeedDemon user, I would love to be able to somehow break up my “blog reading” time into different sections. I read some for leisure, some for development, some for marketing, etc… As a uISV, I wear multiple hats and I would really like to see what I’m doing each day on dev, marketing, etc.

    Not sure if that will somehow be handled with the “documents” concept that you’re talking about…

    I’m new to using RescueTime just this week. So far, I am very impressed with what you’ve done. The concept, the design, the usability is very well done. Congrats and I wish you much success.