I tell my Windows PC-loving friends that I’m far more efficient and productive on my Mac than they are on their PCs. But I didn’t have any proof to back it up.
So, I grabbed an inexpensive app time tracking app and put it to the test for a week. The results are revealing. Now I’m sure I’m more efficient and productive on my Mac than friends are on their PCs, but my day-to-day Mac usage habits could be, um, refined.
Mac users can choose from half a dozen apps that monitor app usage– the amount of time you actually do something on an app.
Finch is one of those and it tracks your usage while you work, stores lots of detailed information, and displays interesting graphs of your work.
What’s not included is a summary of your efficiency or productivity relative to Windows users, but you end up with an idea of where you can make adjustments in your Mac using habits.
Installing Finch and letting it do its thing takes seconds. There’s not much to configure, either. Finch simply sits there and watches which apps you use, for how long, what you do, and when.
After a few days you can look at the statistics.
Select the Date Range button to see your app using habits over time. Or, click the Today, or Yesterday buttons.
The only setup is Tags which can be used to better segregate your actions while performing different tasks on the same app.
In the end, there’s a somewhat bland graphic which displays your usage.
Finch logs even the window of each app you use and stuffs the detailed statistics into a log which can also be exported as a CSV file for inclusion in Excel or iWork’s Numbers.
Every Mac user’s mileage will vary, of course, but Finch does reveal some interesting usage. Too much time aimlessly browsing, for example. And, too much time in email. I’m also using a standalone Facebook app and Twitter app, and guess what? Yep. Too much of my life is dedicated to the trivial.
Assuming I make adjustments in my habits, Finch is well worth a few bucks.