Getting Started with RescueTime

Welcome to RescueTime! Let's get started!

1. Download and install the RescueTime desktop app💻, in order to access the Assistant. While you wait for data to populate your reports, open your Assistant by clicking on the RescueTime icon in your menu bar or system tray. You'll find walkthroughs that include a tour of the Assistant, how to start a Focus Session, and how to connect your calendar.

2. Your app and browser activities will start tracking within 12-24 hours after your RescueTime app is installed. RescueTime will record and report your computer activities so long as the RescueTime app is running. Only the app or website that is in the foreground will be recorded and reported on 

Please note: RescueTime only records active use

3. Connect your Calendar or Calendars to your account on the RescueTime website by going to your Account Settings > Calendar Integration.📆

Now when you open the Assistant, you'll get reminders of your upcoming meetings. All there's left to do now is go about your normal workday. 

4. Meetings are found on their own page, where you can see just how much they're affecting your work. Your Meetings graph shows time spent in scheduled (requires your calendar to be connected to RescueTime) and unscheduled meetings, giving you a convenient way to see how much your meetings are extending past their allotted time. 

5.  Ensure your work schedule is set up as this will determine when your work time is recorded and reported. During this time your Assistant will help you stay the course to reach your Focus Work goal. You can find more details about work schedules here

6. Score or rank your activities as Focus Work, Other Work, and Personal Activities. From your Overview, visit your Activities page—this is where you'll see your daily activities and how much time you spend on them. Hover over activities and use the arrows that appear to move them into one of three scores or rankings. 

  • Focus Work includes your most important tasks and those activities that require more intense concentration. 
  • Other Work includes administrative work, email, and similar tasks. 
  • Personal Activities are non-work activities and these sites will be blocked during Focus Sessions.

7. Block distractions with Focus Sessions. Focus Sessions are used by writers, software developers, bookkeepers and anyone else who benefits from long blocks of uninterrupted focus. During a session, RescueTime blocks websites and desktop apps ranked or scored as Personal Activities. There are many ways to start a Focus Session.

8. Goals encourage you to improve your work habits. The dropdown Goals menu includes your personalized Focus Work goal, Distraction and Communication goals, Balance goal, and Focus Session goal. 

  • ⏱ Your Focus Work goal takes your personal information and meeting schedule into account and creates a reasonable daily goal for your Focus Work.
  • 🧭 Distraction and Communication goals help you avoid multitasking and losing your "flow" by switching to communication activities too frequently.
  • ⚖ The Balance goal monitors how much you are working outside of your work schedule and warns you when it may be too much.
  • 🎯 The recommended goal for Focus Sessions is one each workday. This helps ensure that you complete the necessary tasks each week.

9. Add work done away from the computer with offline work. You can add offline work from the Assistant by clicking on the + Add offline work button. With the ability to manually add in your time, you can ensure all your work is accounted for.

10. Download and install the RescueTime mobile app that will make a powerful companion to your RescueTime desktop app. The mobile app is available on iOS and Android.

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