ActivityWatch - private computer activity and time logging
marcusquinn last edited by marcusquinn
"ActivityWatch is an app that automatically tracks how you spend time on your devices.
It is open source, privacy-first, cross-platform, and a great alternative to services like RescueTime, ManicTime, and WakaTime.
It can be used to keep track of your productivity, time spent on different projects, bad screen habits, or just to understand how you spend your time."
Not sure if the web interface can or even needs to be hosted off of the client computer but looks interesting.
ActivityWatch is a bundle of software that tracks your computer activity. You are, by default, the sole owner of your data.
It also offers an ecosystem of software to work around it, including ways to collect more data and do different kinds of analysis,
What ActivityWatch is
A set of watchers that record relevant information about what you do and what happens on your computer (such as if you are AFK or not, or which window is currently active).
A way of storing data collected by the watchers.
A dataformat accomodating most logging needs due to its flexibility.
An ecosystem of tools to help users extend the software to fit their needs.
Reason for existence
There are plenty of companies offering services which do collection of Quantified Self data with goals ranging from increasing personal producivity to understanding the people that managers manage (organizational productivity). However, all known services suffer from a significant disadvantage, the users data is in the hands of the service providers which leads to the problem of trust. Every customer of these companies have their data in hands they are forced to trust if they want to use their service.
This is a significant problem, but the true reason that we decided to do something about it was that existing solutions were inadequate. They focused on short-term insight, a goal worthy in itself, but we also want long-term understanding. We made it completely free and open source so anyone can use, improve and extend it.
Data in its raw form is always the most valuable.
Quantified self data doesn’t take much space by todays standards, but for services such as RescueTime which have over than thousand of customers, every megabyte per user counts.
For the users however, every megabyte of data is worth it. It is therefore of importance that we collect and store data in the highest reasonable resolution such that we later don’t have to “fill the gaps” in lower resolution data with lossy heuristics.
Many services doing collection and analysis of QS data today don’t actually store the raw data but instead store only summaries (such as only storing how long you used an applicatin during a given hour, instead of storing the individual uses). This is a problem with existing services: they store summarized data instead of the raw data.
This is indicative of that they actually lack a long-term plan. They want to provide a certain type of analysis today but we expect to want to do some unknown analysis in the future, and for that we might need the raw data.
Simply put: It is of importance that we start collecting raw data now, because if we don’t it will be forever lost."
I have moved this to app wishlist section.
Cool - I couldn't tell if worked as self-hosted with the local app able to change the URL for the server from 127.0.0.1 but super-handy if it does as I'm looking at replacing TimeCamp that I currently use.
Interesting related project from the same creators too:
"Support free culture by automatically sending cryptocurrency to the creators of the content you love.
Thankful is an app that keeps track of the websites you visit, the videos you watch, the music you listen to (not yet), which applications you use (such as Thankful itself) and then tries to figure out who created it so that you can choose to easily support those you find deserving, by directly sending them cryptocurrency.
This helps solve a fundamental issue on the internet where ad-funded creators have incentive to steal your attention as long as possible instead of providing you with as much value as they can. By using Thankful, you incentivize creators to spend more time and effort on creating what you want, and reward those who do.
Thankful is being developed by Superuser Labs. We hope that people will want to express their gratitude towards others so we can have healthier incentives on the internet."
yusf last edited by
Came to the forum to suggest this.
For interest for any Mac users trying this:
robi last edited by
This is a good alternative to WakaTime which has a plugin for Joplin to track stats on the notes you write.
- Tracking: Tracks active application and window title out of the box, more with watchers.
- Categories: Get a better overview of your usage by breaking it down into categories.
- Browser extensions: Track the active tab using the extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
- Editor plugins: Track how you spend time writing code with editor watchers.
- Privacy: Data is stored locally and doesn't leave your device, we put local and privacy first.
- Cross-platform: Runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android.
- ~Synchronization: Sync your activity between your devices.~ (We're working on it)
Why use it?
You can use ActivityWatch to:
Monitor your productivity.
Track how much time you spend on different projects.
Get an overview of time spent on apps, games, videos, and music.
Manage your bad screen habits.
Measure your work-life balance.
Find behavioral trends in how you use your devices.
Gain "self-knowledge through numbers" (Quantified Self)
Keep a log of your digital life (lifelogging).
Research attention, productivity, and behavior (researchers: contact us!)
Track who creates the things you use, so you can incentivize them to continue
The goal of the Thankful app
Our users are diverse and we keep being surprised by what people use ActivityWatch for. If you've built something cool that you've want to share with us, post about it on the forum!
Sadly however (from https://docs.activitywatch.net/en/latest/remote-server.html)
Some users ask us if they can run the ActivityWatch server on a separate machine and have other machines report to it, resulting in data from multiple devices on a single ActivityWatch instance.
While this is technically possible, it is not supported and strongly discouraged.
robi last edited by
@fbartels I could be wrong, but I read that as a proxy like setup which is somehow unclear.
If you can't have multiple devices/apps generating activity data all report to a single instance, then that is a troubling architecture indeed.
How does it makes sense to have so many feature parts and only be able to use one at a time?
@fbartels Maybe on the way though:
This kind person seems to have shared their solution:
Also, I rather like this alternative for personal use:
And Cattr for teams seems to still be maturing, as a quick way for teams to hate management