The right way to Observe Your Display Time on Linux With ActivityWatch

It is easy to spend hours sitting in entrance of a display screen with out figuring out the place the time went. You solely have 24 hours to spend every day, and you may both select to spend your time engaged on necessary duties or losing it on pointless actions.

Happily, monitoring your display screen time on Linux to determine actions that could be inflicting you to lose focus is easy. Maybe you need to monitor your child’s exercise on the web and wish an efficient instrument that may do this for you. ActivityWatch is an open-source app that helps you verify your display screen time on Linux.

Key Highlights of ActivityWatch

Monitoring your energetic display screen time is one among the very best methods to extend your productiveness and get extra issues performed in much less time.

Moderately than merely monitoring the time you spent in your display screen, ActivityWatch brings some further options to the desk, like:

  • Class-wise exercise grouping
  • Monitoring display screen time by window/utility
  • Net utilization monitoring utilizing browser extensions
  • Stopwatch function for handbook exercise monitoring
  • Cross-platform help for Home windows, macOS, Linux, and Android
  • Export knowledge in JSON and CSV codecs
  • The perfect half is, since ActivityWatch runs as a neighborhood server, it shops your knowledge regionally, providing you full management over your privateness.

    To start out utilizing ActivityWatch, first, it’s good to set up it in your system.

    The right way to Set up ActivityWatch on Linux

    ActivityWatch is not out there within the official repositories of most Linux distributions, due to this fact, you may must manually obtain the binaries from the mission’s web site. Head over to the ActivityWatch web site and obtain the most recent model in your system.

    Obtain: ActivityWatch

    Arch Linux customers can obtain ActivityWatch from the Arch Person Repository (AUR) utilizing yay:

    yay -S activitywatch

    Launching ActivityWatch

    Step one is to fireplace up ActivityWatch. You will not discover it listed within the functions menu because you did not set up it out of your distro’s repositories. It is easy to create utility shortcuts for any program on Linux, although.

    In case you’ve downloaded the app from the AUR, you’ll be able to launch it from the functions menu since AUR helpers create a menu entry for the put in software program.

    To start out, head over to the Downloads folder and extract the ZIP file you simply downloaded:

    sudo unzip activitywatch-*.zip

    Change the present listing to the extracted folder utilizing:

    cd activitywatch

    Then, to launch ActivityWatch, enter the next command:


    Monitoring Display Time on Linux With ActivityWatch

    By default, ActivityWatch begins within the background, and there is not any app interface you need to use to set it up. Because it runs as a server, you get a web-based dashboard to view and modify the info.

    To entry the ActivityWatch dashboard, right-click the ActivityWatch icon within the system tray and choose Open Dashboard.

    Each time you launch the app, you may be routinely taken to a Welcome web page containing all of the necessary particulars in regards to the mission and a few platform hyperlinks to help the developer.

    To vary this default conduct and open the Exercise dashboard on startup, click on Settings from the top-right nook and choose Exercise from the Touchdown Web page dropdown menu.

    Monitoring Your On-Display Exercise

    Most of your monitoring workflow will revolve across the Exercise and Timeline views. The Exercise tab shows your display screen time grouped by functions, classes, and home windows.

    You will even have some neat pie and bar charts visualizing your knowledge, however most of it is going to be empty initially. Subsequently, let ActivityWatch run within the background for a few hours earlier than you contemplate opening the dashboard once more.

    On the prime, you may discover choices to pick out the date and time to filter the info. By default, ActivityWatch will show the info for the present day, however you’ll be able to simply change it utilizing the day and date filters. You too can filter the info by class or select to exclude AFK time, however you may must click on on the Filters button to entry these choices.

    Situated proper beneath is the precise knowledge. You’ll find your actions grouped by functions, window titles, and work classes.

    ActivityWatch does a terrific job at figuring out the class primarily based on the window or utility identify. For instance, when you’re utilizing an editor like Visible Studio Code, all of the exercise and display screen time for that app will fall beneath the Work>Programming class.

    You may add further visualizations by clicking Edit view after which Add visualization. Within the new part that seems, click on the Settings drop-down and choose the type of visualization you need to embody within the dashboard. Then, hit Save to proceed.

    If you want, you can too export your knowledge in JSON or CSV format by clicking Uncooked Knowledge, then choosing the related Export choice from the Extra drop-down menu positioned subsequent to every bucket.

    Viewing the Exercise Timeline

    You may change to the Timeline tab from the highest to entry your total work historical past. You get a neat horizontal timeline with two completely different rows: one is the AFK tracker that retains observe of the time you have been away from the keyboard, and the opposite is the window watcher, which displays your exercise and tracks the apps you employ.

    You should utilize the filter choices above the timeline to kind and fine-tune the info. It is all yours to play with!

    Manually Monitoring an Exercise With ActivityWatch

    One other nice side of ActivityWatch is the Stopwatch function. Though it is presently in an experimental part, you’ll be able to nonetheless use it to trace the hours you spend doing a customized exercise.

    Click on the Stopwatch choice to entry this function. All it’s good to do is enter an exercise and click on Begin, and ActivityWatch will begin a stopwatch to trace the time you spend doing that. Bear in mind to cease the stopwatch proper after you are performed with the duty, although.

    Retaining Observe of Your Time on Linux

    Monitoring your on-screen actions for wasted time is an indispensable behavior it’s best to undertake proper now. Understanding what distracts you while you’re at work and lowering your probabilities of slipping out of your “stream” is a improbable method to steal some additional hours out of your day.

    We’re presently residing in a busy world, the place even a single hour saved means you’ve got additional time to spend along with your family members, work in your private pursuits, and even be taught a brand new ability that can make you competent and irreplaceable at your office.

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