Does anyone use arbtt or similar automatic time trackers?

I’ve used arbtt for a while, but it’s kind of annoying to install and setup with my custom rules whenever I format the system or install a new OS. Not to mention it is a pain to work with on Windows. Of course, I use RescueTime too, but I miss the ability to produce a detailed log of what application / document has the focus in a given time period. ManicTime does that well enough, but it only works on Windows and I’d prefer an open-source tool anyway. I came across a little python-based utility called window-title that seems promising, but couldn’t figure out how to set it up (any help welcome!)

I’m curious to hear, what similar tools do others use for (fully automatic) time tracking?


Selfspy looks promising.

Oh, yeah, I was going to mention it too, for some reason I forgot. That’s another one whose setup is way too inconvenient, or at least quite unclear given the instructions on the README – does anyone have it running and have any tips on installation?

ps - it also seems to be unmaintained – the repo has several PRs lingering around with no feedback from the last few months. I really hate when that happens, but seems pretty common for github repos to become abandonware :confused:

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Update: looks like the author is planning to keep maintaining selfspy as time permits: – let’s hope he gets around to at least accept the pending PRs sometime soon :smile:

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Ok, I took some time (and help from a friend more versed in Python) and managed to get window-title working. I sent a pull request to improve the documentation to make (working) installation instructions available in the README (see the rendered version here).

It works (prints a message whenever a window focus change occurs, including the window title) but it seems to be at a very rudimentary state:

  • Each window change event seems to trigger 4 separate messages
  • The output is to stdout; one needs to manually redirect it to a log file
  • You have to run it with python; it’s not packaged for easy installation, nor for running at startup. That also has to be manually configured.

If anyone sees value in this and tries it out, I’d love to collaborate in improving this to make it minimally usable. I suppose, as a Python-based tool, it would be more appealing (and easier to contribute to) than arbtt, which is written in Haskell.