Unhappy with how Slife records time activity.

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  • Updated 6 years ago
I intended to use Slife to record how much time I spent using applications. That way I can charge my freelance work by the hour. However, I've noticed that the app only records a fraction of the time I actually spend using a given application. For example, I know for certain I spent over 11 hours writing a term paper yesterday, Yet the application says I spent a cumulative 6 hours in Microsoft Word. What quantity of time does Slife actually record? Is it just when I'm typing? When I open files? All I see on my calendar are a bunch of little dots. Where are the lines or lengthy application usage? Am I imagining I'm working more than I actually am?

So my question: What quantities of time does Slife record when I'm using applications? Why does it not seem to be all the time I spend?
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  • confused

Posted 7 years ago

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ethomaz, Official Rep

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Slife monitors which application you are using, which document you are working on (reading/writing) and also which web pages you are looking at (you need to enable pref setting for this).

As long the app/doc/page doesn't change, Slife is accumulating time. If you switch to another app/doc/page, Slife concludes the "event" and starts tracking time against another. If you you don't move the mouse for 3 minutes (default setting), Slife also considers the activity done.

So, that's how Slife keeps track of what you do, roughly. To increase its accuracy, you might want to go to preferences>tracking and change some of the settings - observation rate being one of them. The shorter this rate, the more often Slife will query the environment and try to understand what you are doing.

In those 11 hours, did you have any interruptions? Did the activity involve working on more than one application at a time?
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> If you you don't move the mouse for 3 minutes (default setting), Slife also considers the activity done.

Can you also monitor keyboard input to an application, I don't use the mouse that often but am a heave windows keyboard shortcut user.

Maybe you can take a screencapture of the active window and checksum the hdc to get comparisons?
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ethomaz, Official Rep

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We would love to track keyboard activity and are looking into it.
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Fonant

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I too find that Slife is dramatically under reporting time I spend on projects. I suspect that this is because I'm constantly switching windows between development tool, web browser, Photoshop, etc. while working on a project. I'll try adjusting the settings to see if that helps.

It might be nice to have a total for "everything else" in the "activities" view, which would be the total recorded activity minus the times for the specified activities. Perhaps also a total time for the other views too, which might indicate a suitable scaling factor to apply to the times recorded by Slife.
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Fonant

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Ah, Slife 2.0 R9 doesn't have a tracking settings page, so there isn't anything I can change :(
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I wonder where my 2nd post in this thread thanking ethomaz went. Maybe it didn't go through?

That's a good suggestion Fonant. I too rapidly swap between files and applications for only seconds at a time. A total activity time feature would be useful, although the OS system uptime might tell us the same thing.
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ethomaz, Official Rep

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yes, we plan to bring more settings and options to Slife Windows. The current version is just the first public release. Thanks for the suggestions.
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nixwieweg

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I have similar problems with SLife being very inaccurate in recording my working time. I have been using (and still do, because of SLife's problems) another Freeware app called "Active Timer" which, even though it's much less sophisiticated, does a far better job at realistically tracking usage time for any given app. It also shows total time and inactive time. Maybe the developers should take a look at this app. Problem there is: no visualisation, no activities, no goals, no calendar / timeline, just pure application tracking. Still, till SLife does what it is supposed to do and does it correctly, I'll have to stick with Active Timer.

I like the idea behind SLife and I hope you succeed in fully reaching its potential.

jo.
Germany
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ethomaz, Official Rep

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Did you try to modify the tracking settings (observation rate, etc)? It might help a bit. In any case, thanks for bringing up Active Timer. We will take a look.
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nixwieweg

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Forgot: I'm on Mac OS X 10.5.5

And my feelings: