Use ActivityWatch to track screen time in Linux

Introduction: ActivityWatch is an open source, privacy-friendly application that tracks how you spend time on a desktop computer or mobile device.

ActivityWatch: an open source application that tracks how much time you spend on which application

ActivityWatch allows you to check the time spent on various applications

Activity observation Is a cross-platform open source application that helps you track time to assess productivity. It allows you to track the time spent on apps, browsers, and whether you are in AFK (away from the keyboard) or the system is in hibernation.

Not only is it limited to tracking time, it also provides many useful features and visualizations to help you easily analyze how to spend time to potentially increase productivity.

Activitywatch Afk

It is RescueTime and Manic time.

ActivityWatch can be used on Linux, Windows, macOS and Android system. It also provides browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. As of now, there are no apps for iOS on the App Store.

Activitywatch timeline

It is still very new to the field and is being actively developed to solve any existing problems and introduce new features, such as the ability to synchronize activity data across multiple devices.

For privacy-conscious users, I should mention that the collected data is stored on the local device. This is a good thing, because you can track the time you spend without others.

Function of ActivityWatch

Activitywatch settings

Basically, ActivityWatch allows you to monitor activities to analyze bad screen time or improve time management on the device.

To break it down, it provides several useful options, which I want to highlight here:

  • Summary of daily activities of applications / programs, sorted by time of use.
  • Use extensions to track the time of browser activity to get accurate data about the time spent on each activity tab.
  • Track AFK and non-AFK time. (AFK-abbreviation of “away from the keyboard”, that is, you are not in front of the computer)
  • Provide different schedule visualizations to monitor your activities
  • Ability to track the time you spend writing code on the editor using the following code Observer.
  • Your activity history to analyze your productivity
  • Classification helps you analyze the time spent in detail
  • Allows you to add more categories and adjust the duration of the timeline.
  • Ability to export / import data as JSON format file.
  • Experimental stopwatch function
  • Store data locally to respect user privacy.

Install ActivityWatch on Linux

note: If your Linux distribution does not support the system tray icon, you must follow document Solution.

Unfortunately, you can’t find AppImage, Flatpak or Snap for it.

However, you do get AUR Software package for Manjaro or Arch Linux.

For all other Linux distributions, you will get a ZIP file which contains a aw-qt The application runs.

To do this, you must unzip the zip archive file and then run the binary file for installation by double-clicking the aw-qt application.

Aw QtAw Qt

You can also use the terminal as follows:

cd activitywatch-v0.9.2-linux-x86_64
sudo ./aw-qt

The location and file name of the extracted folder may be different-so make sure you navigate to the correct directory and then use the above command. After completion, you can access ActivityWatch from the system tray icon, or you can directly access localhost: 5600 to access.

You can also view their GitHub page Or Official website Explore more information about it.

Download ActivityWatch

For reference only, if you plan to use ActivityWatch on a regular basis, you should move the downloaded file to the / opt directory and create a link to the aw-qt executable file in the / usr / share / bin directory. In this way, the application will be provided as a regular command to all users on the system. A similar method is demonstrated in the PopcornTime installation tutorial.

My opinion on ActivityWatch

Activitywatch screenshot

In Pop with system tray icon support! On _OS 20.04, time tracking is working properly. You may encounter an error that prevents you from accessing the system tray icon (also a Known issues on GitHub). In this case, you need to access it via localhost: 5600.

Personally, considering that I can use it on a desktop and have no plans to use it on a smartphone, I am very satisfied with the features provided.

I definitely recommend that you try this nice open source project and support them along the way. If you like this project, you can express gratitude by adding stars or sponsorship Their GitHub repository.

Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

Use ActivityWatch to track screen time in Linux