Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Hands On – Manic Time: Time Management Software

By Matt Mayer on Mar 22 2010 • Filed under Tech Talk

Does this scenario sound familiar?:

You wake up in the morning, have a shower, and eat some breakfast. Next, you sit down in front of your computer expecting to have a productive work day. All of a sudden, you look up to realize it's 7pm and that project/article/finance report you were hoping to get completed is still sitting there, barely started. You exclaim to yourself as you wish that you could rewind your day to find out where you spent all that time. Well, unfortunately, you can't rewind time, but you can use Manic Time (

Manic Time is a free time-tracking application for the PC that sits in the background and helps you track your computer activity including:

  • When you are active or away (idle) from your computer.
  • Which application you were using, when you used them, and for how long.
  • What websites you visited, and for how long (optional)

All of this information is tracked along multiple colour-coded timelines within the program. By mousing-over a particular block of time, you can see what program or website was active at that time, and how long you spent in it. By highlighting and 'tagging' certain blocks of time with notes, you can track time spent on a specific project, or track those 'time wasters' you want to avoid in the future. You can even tag the time you were away from your computer.

This data is displayed in easy-to-read graphs and can also be exported to your favourite spreadsheet program. This is great if you want to do more advanced charting and analysis, or just want to archive the information. In addition, all of Manic Time's data is stored locally on your own PC, and is not collected or transmitted elsewhere, so you don't have to worry about privacy either.

The software can look a bit confusing when you first boot it up if you don't know what you are looking at, but it's easy to learn and there are tutorials on the website available to explain the features. There is very little setup involved, and most of your day-to-day interaction with the software will be to tag your time, or to check the statistics.

Ultimately, Manic Time won't solve the problem of ineffective time management on its own, but it can help you be more aware of how you spend your time and allow you to see your improvements day by day.


  1. A great software program to track time is because it tracks everything in your day easily.

  2. Try True Time Tracker — free time tracking software

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