The key to increasing productivity and getting more done on your computer is to track your current activity and see where you are spending, or wasting, time. Rize on PC and Mac does the job.
There are many time tracking apps for Windows PC, Apple Mac and phones. Many of them require you to click start and stop buttons when you begin or end a work session, but some function automatically. They monitor your computer usage and automatically log your activities so you can see how you spend your time.
Rize is an app for Windows PC and Apple Mac that runs in the background and monitors your computer activities. It automatically records what you are doing, when you do it, and for how long. After logging your activities, the information can be used to see how you spent your time. Knowing this enables you to spend less time on non-essential activities and more time on productive ones.
Rize is one of several automated activity monitoring tools and I have already looked at Traqq: Track the time you and your team spend working on PC and Mac, which is a great service and I like it because of its simplicity and it has a great starter plan; it is free for one to three people. Also see 3 ways to track time spent on tasks for work, billing on a phone.
Install Rize on PC or Mac
Download the app from the website and install it on your PC or Mac – the app is the same on both. You need to create a Rize account by providing an email address, but it is free. There are many steps in the setup process and it requires a lot of permissions in order to log your computer activities automatically.
You must allow it to access this, control that, install a browser extension and more. This is way beyond what normal apps need and it is not something I like to do, but it is necessary. There is no way to automatically log activities without the permissions. Rize says that your data is encrypted at every point, online and offline, so only you can access it, which is reassuring.
What computer activities does Rize track?
Rize runs in the background and it monitors what you do in Windows or macOS. It can be turned off for those occasions where you don’t want to be tracked, but the idea is that you let it monitor what you are doing so that you can analyse your activities and see reports later.
It logs the websites you visit, when you visit them, and how long you spend on them. It can tell a social media site from a work site, so it knows when you are productive or wasting your time.
You can give it access to your Microsoft or Google Calendar so that it automatically knows when you are in a meeting. You can also manually log meetings. It can automatically tell when you are inactive and when you take a break and these periods are logged too. You can manually add work sessions and breaks too.
Rize Activity reports
The Rize app home screen has two parts and on the left side is an hourly view of today’s activities. It shows when you were active and for how long. Activities can be assigned t projects and categorized. Let the mouse hover over an activity and a detailed list of the websites you visited and apps you ran are listed.
On the right of the home screen is a daily summary. This shows a breakdown of your work day and how you spent it. There are activities, categories and projects. There is also a Project view that shows when you worked on projects and for how long. Similarly, there is a Productivity view that shows when you were productive and when you took breaks.
In addition to today’s report, there are also week and month views, which summarize what you have done over longer time periods.
Rize extra features
There is a pomodoro-like timer feature that enables you to focus on work for short periods and then take a well-earned break. You can start a Focus session, a meeting, or a break.
Goals can be set, for example, minimum work hours, taking more breaks, maximizing focus time, the 6-hour work day, limiting distracting categories and so on. These are useful.
The Rize app comes with music, which is an unexpected extra. There are seven categories of music, such as Jazz Lounge, Seaside Bossa Nova, Coffee shop, Calm meditation and more. You could play these while you work to help you to focus or you could use them to relax during breaks.
How much does Rize cost?
Rize is free to install and it initially runs as a free trial with access to everything for a week.
There is a free plan with limitations, for example, only one day of data retained and a session timer only. The Annual Billing plan works out at $9.99 a month when paid yearly.
I installed Rize on both a Windows PC and Apple Mac, signed in with the same account and it tracked my activities no matter which I used. I found Rize a bit overwhelming at first because it has a lot of features, functions and settings. For the first few days you might find you spend more time in Rize than you save in productivity.
However, it becomes easier as you get to know it and when you have configured the settings, projects and categories. It then becomes a valuable tool for monitoring your work time and how you spend it. You can easily see how much time is productive and how much is wasted. Over time, Rize encourages you to be more productive with its goals and pomodoro-like work-break sessions.
I like Rize a lot, but it seems expensive compared to Traqq, which is free for up to three people and then only $6 or so a month for larger groups. However, the two services are not quite the same and Rize is a personal time tracker, whereas Traqq is aimed more at employers monitoring how employees spend their time. Traqq can be used for personal use, but it’s more for managers. Rize encourages productivity, whereas Traqq simply monitors it.
If you want a personal productivity monitoring tool, and are not put off by the price, Rize is good. You will get more work done and waste less time.