Updates to offline time logging

For a while, RescueTime Pro users have had the ability to log short amounts of time via our offline time prompt. This works great in many cases. It’s automatic, has a small cognitive load, and is quite accurate so long as you’ve only left your computer for a single activity.

But, there are also some times where it doesn’t work so well. Some examples:

  • You need to log more than one activity at a time, like if you go directly from a meeting to lunch.
  • You want to log time when your computer isn’t on, such as your morning commute.
  • You’d like to fine tune the start and stop times.
  • You rather enter offline time when it makes sense to you, rather than immediately when you return to your computer.

We just rolled out an alternative way to enter offline time through our website. This new format can be used alongside the original offline time popup, or by itself.

Here’s a video showing how it works

You can get to this new page in a few different ways:

  • There is a green button labeled “Enter offline time” in the sidebar of any page on RescueTime.com (if you’re logged in with your RescueTime Pro account).
  • Clicking the new “more options” button on the automatic offline time prompt.
  • There is a new menu item if you click on the RescueTime icon in your Windows System Tray (or OS X toolbar)

Offline Time Entry UI

We also added another small, but useful feature. You can now dismiss the offline time prompt for an hour at a time. We heard from several of our users that the popup can inconveniently rear it’s head during a meeting or presentation. This allows you to “mute” the popups for a while.

While we generally have a bias towards capturing time automatically, we feel like these additions are a great improvement and really open up the opportunities for capturing those important blocks of time that the RescueTime Robot can’t get on it’s own. Like the original offline time tracking, this feature is for RescueTime Pro subscribers only.

If you’re on the free plan and would like to upgrade, click here.

If you’d like to sign up for a new RescueTime account, you can do that here.

p.s. Special thanks to everyone who helped us test and refine this feature. We were able to use the feedback to make some valuable changes. If anyone else would like to be on our beta tester list, you can sign up here.

p.p.s. The changes in the automatic offline time prompt will be going out as an automatic update shortly. If you don’t want to wait, however, you can download the update version here.

4 Comments on “Updates to offline time logging”

  1. fedmich says:

    Hi Guys,
    I cant find the settings to enable this feature.
    I’ve enabled this my laptop/account but I cant get it to work on another laptop for another user

  2. Katie says:

    Offline time only allows entering in slots where there was NO computer usage. For example, if you checked email for even 1 minute in that slot, you cannot enter offline time. Shouldnt there be a way to “fill in the gaps” between the already logged time?

    • Robby Macdonell says:

      There actually is some fuzziness built into the offline time entry for precisely this purpose. If there has only been a little bit of time recorded (up to 2.5 minutes), you will still be able to enter offline time for that block. When it’s saved, the previously recorded time is taken into account and only the “fill in the gaps” time is logged.

      It’s not terribly obvious that that’s what’s happening because we were trying to keep the interface as simple as possible. We also wanted to focus on larger, more meaningful blocks of time. We didn’t want to present an interface that suggested that someone should be able to remember all their unlogged time, down to the minute. In many cases, that’s simply not going to be realistic.

      We will be making some updates to this page in the near future and we’ll try to call out what’s happening more clearly. Thanks for the feedback!