Productivity Trackers I use (as a developer working remote)
I have been working remotely full time the last 2 years, since I join Tenfold (https://www.tenfold.com/), almost at the same time I was starting to work toward a master’s degree in Computer Since(You can see some info about my research here). Those are two demanding activities I have to deal with on a daily bases. To achieve my goals on both I have been testing myself on all the ways possible, on how to be more productive in these last two year, and this is the first of a group of articles about what I have learned an tested and what has worked or not.
First things first: I believe that is it hard to improve what you do not measure, and even if you can improve it is hard to know how much have you grew at the end, therefore I like to measure as much as I can about myself and my daily work, here I will present the trackers I use to tack technical activities Coding and Computer usage(later I will present the sleep, health, and time tracking).
Coding activity: As I said I am a developer, so must of my time I will spend coding (or at least I witch so). Therefore I like to know what project am I spending more time on, as well as what languages and Texteditors ( I have migrated to Vim last at the beginning of this year, but this is subject for another article :) ), etc. Wakatime is just perfect for that, and it is free (if you decide to keep a small history of your track), easy to configure and 100% invisible, so 10/10.
Wakatime has this dashboard where you can see the coding activity base on a period.
Also, I can easily see what projects I have spent time in and how much time did I spent, check out the next image:
As you can see it is easy to view where you are spending time on, and also where you need to spend more time( for example 3h of master degree dissertation last week. Not good not good at all). If you see the times does not look great. 7H spend on a week at most in a project, but remember that is the time you spent coding (and only coding), browsing the web, hand testing, studying and so on will track here. For that, I use rescuetime with I am going to present next.
Computer activity: rescuetime does exact what it suppose to; it is great to watch what you are doing, and it let you classify it was productive, unproductive or neutral, check out the next image related to the same week:
As you notice the number of hours is way higher than the Wakatime, cause it measure the all-time on the computer, at the same time Rescuetime can’t capture the project nor language nor any other information given by wakatime, that is why I using both of them give me the best info about day, and a pretty god view of it was productive or not.
Both of this trackers are quite easy to install, free to use(with little limitations) and give a pretty good view about your daily productivity in a daily bases.
Well I don’t want to make this first post any bigger, so I will stop here, in the next posts I will talk about Time tracking and sleep, health and how I use to compare all of them to see how was my overall week, also how I split my day between my master degree, job, wife, dogs etc.
Thanks if you come until here and wait for the next ones. I will leave you with the message I saw today on rescuetime:
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” — Stephen King