For the past few weeks I’ve been using TimeSnapper, a little free application that takes screenshots every few seconds (30 is enough in my case) and can then display them as an animation of what you’ve been up to any given day. It’s been a great way to find out about my work habits and vices. For example, my work-interruption cycles are painfully clear (write a paragraph, read that last email, return to the document, answer an instant message, spend five minutes reading news, retun to the document again, repeat), as is the need to do something about them. And, in those rare occassions when I manage to work for a long while interruption-free, it’s uplifting to sit back and see my creative juices making documents grow, bend shape, and evolve until they reach their final form.


About Jorge Aranda

I'm currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the SEGAL and CHISEL labs in the Department of Computer Science of the University of Victoria.
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3 Responses to TimeSnapper

  1. Anne says:

    I’ve used TimeSnapper too and I agree it’s a real eye-opener. I use it with another similar product called Qlockwork (full disclosure I work on Qlockwork) which gives me an overview of what I did, so that I can zoom in on particular periods with TimeSnapper. I agree there is a strong correlation between focussing on one task and actually getting a lot done. E-mail, IM and the web are very distracting though! It’s hard to focus 😦

  2. Jorge says:

    An overview is a good addition to this sort of applications. TimeSnapper animations give an idea of where the time went, but no concrete time slots measurements. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Pingback: Autochecking for email messages: disabled « Catenary

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