I'm searching for an automatic time tracking tool for Mac OS X. I regularly mess up manual time tracking with timers etc., so I want something more automatic:

The application should run in background and track more or less everything I do - which applications are active, which sites I browse, how long I'm idle etc.

It would then list all the things I do in a timeline and let me specify filters like "Xcode in foreground", "browsing developer.apple.com", etc. Using these filters, I could check how long I worked on what after I left work.

Is there an application which does this? I'm aware of a website and a client for it, but I'm absolutely NOT comfortable with putting all the things I do on some random website.

  • 1
    possible duplicate of What is a good program for timing activities?
    – daviesgeek
    Feb 16 '12 at 19:54
  • 1
    I see this question as asking for specific tracking of foreground apps where the linked question is less specific and more general. Let's leave this open for now in case there is a subset of apps that address this specific requirement.
    – bmike
    Feb 16 '12 at 22:09
  • @bmike Okay, sounds good. Coming back to this question after several months, I don't actually want to close this question as a duplicate. It actually isn't a dup, but is a separate question.
    – daviesgeek
    Jul 21 '12 at 0:48

12 Answers 12


Not sure it'll do everything you've asked for, but Time Sink is pretty powerful and can generate a variety of reports. Its almost free at $5 and you can try it for 14-days. It can also run in a menu bar only mode so its out of the way.

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  • Amazing software! The trial is very convincing and the price is right.
    – gentmatt
    Feb 16 '12 at 21:20
  • 1
    This is not exactly what I was searching for, but it's good enough and works for me. Thanks!
    – jsadfeew
    Feb 20 '12 at 16:38

I'd like to recommend my own app Timing (see the screenshot below). It automatically tracks which documents you edit, which websites you visit and which apps you use, so that you can later review what exactly you have done. You can also manually add offline activities so that they don't get lost.

Screenshot of Timing for Mac


WakaTime is an open-source Xcode plugin for automatic time tracking.


  • Fully automatic

  • Detects project name from revision control software

  • Language breakdown showing your most-used programming languages

  • Monthly, weekly, or daily email summaries

  • Open-source text editor plugins available on GitHub.

    enter image description here

  • Could you summarize the features? A one-line answer does not contain many details.
    – Rob
    Mar 13 '14 at 10:30
  • @Rob sure, just added the features and a screen shot May 28 '14 at 6:53

As an associate of Touch Studios, an app developing company, I recommend our time-tracking app Finch. Finch does time tracking in an automated way: With the option to start the program on login, it runs in the background, records what windows you have open, and learns how to tag them based on your customized preferences and past behavior. At the end of the day, you get a bar chart showing where your time went. It's a really great app if you have trouble with the traditional 'stopwatch' type apps.


I just saw that I upvoted your question many years ago when I was searching for an app like this. Eventually, I ended up developing my own – Qbserve.

Its goal is to make time tracking completely seamless, here are some features:

  • automatic productivity tracking for websites and apps
  • automatic project tracking based on opened documents and web pages
  • various reports and timesheets
  • real-time performance feedback and notifications
  • invoice generation
  • scheduled data export (JSON, CSV)
  • Slack team and Skype chat tracking

There is no subscription, and all the tracked information is stored locally.

Qbserve time tracker overview

  • Expensive! Expensive! Expensive! Aug 17 '17 at 11:55
  • @OlcayErtaş most of the alternatives cost more just for one year. The price is high but you are paying it only one time instead of an endless subscription.
    – Ivan Mir
    Aug 18 '17 at 14:24
  • I want to reduce my private wastefull YouTube usage for sake, however there are times I need YouTube for my work. Is there a solution to this in your app, @IvanMir? Dec 30 '18 at 23:06
  • @modiX Qbserve tracks YouTube videos as separate activities (by titles), so you can categorize the work-related ones as "Productive" after watching.
    – Ivan Mir
    Jan 1 '19 at 6:01

I use Time Track Pro available in the MAS and more information is available from the vendor site at http://bloop.it/timetrack/ .

The application is efficient, using minmal CPU resources, sits in the menubar (low visual footprint), can automate emailing of weekly reports if you like, and more.

I've used it for two months and it is great to track the particular documents and projects I'm in. At 9.99 it may be a little more cost than other tools, but I'm happy supporting a good developer here so I've no issue with the value of this software.


My personal favorite is Paymo Plus it tracks everything you do, even the individual tabs. On the upside it's great to know how much you're actually working, on the downside, it makes you work harder. Hope this helps.


If one is interested in a more basic (and hackable) solution there is selfspy - a Python command line tool that tracks keystrokes, active applications, mouse activity and other stuff. Reports are comprehensive and can be email to you automatically. Everything is stored in a sqlite database file. The tool is well documented and the source code comprehensible.



I have tried three time tracking apps in total. Hubstaff, Staff Timer App and Time Doctor. All of them works perfectly fine in windows but for Mac OS, I find Staff Timer App most easy to use the app. You can add different team members and assign each task to each member and in the end see the total time spend on each task.


Check out TimeXchange. www.timexchange.net

  • Thanks for your answer! Can you please add more information? How does TimeXchange answer the OP's question? Don't just give a one-line answer; invest some time into the site and explain why this software is the right thing for the OP.
    – daviesgeek
    Aug 18 '12 at 6:16

I recommend you try using Time Doctor. It’s a good tool for measuring how much time (automated) you spent working on the computer. It has multiple ways to confirm if the time tracked was real and the time was a genuine working time such as checking websites visited and software applications used on the computer. I’m one of the satisfied users of this software that’s why I am recommending this to everyone…

  • I personally find it rather off-putting when there are no screenshots showing the software in action. Do you know where to find some?
    – myhd
    Sep 30 '12 at 19:30
  • That software looks really awesome if you like micromanaging people and making them feel watched all the time.
    – w00t
    Apr 11 '13 at 8:26

https://hubstaff.com does this but you need to select the project manually. At the end of the day, you can see all the projects that you've worked on for that day, week, month, etc... and the exact amount of time spent on each.

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