How can I track how much time I spend sending and reading e-mails?
November 3, 2009 8:04 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for an automatic time tracker for my e-mail usage.

I would like to track how much time I spend reading, composing, and sending e-mails, which I do for both my job and for school. I need this software to be automatic -- I do not want to have to click a button every time I open my e-mail client or every time I start writing a message. I am also not interested in learning how to write my own software to do this for me (I do not have time, although this seems like a fun project).

I am interested in tracking the minutes and hours that I spend sending e-mails to specific people, but would also be ok with using software that just generally tracked my e-mail usage. However, software that breaks down the data by e-mail address would be ideal. I normally use an e-mail client (Thunderbird) but sometimes I need to use webmail. A program that could track both would be best, but one that just works with Thunderbird or another e-mail client (I am not tied to Thunderbird; if there is software out there that does this with another desktop client I would consider switching) would be fine as well.

I have a feeling that this exists, but my Google searches on the topic aren't pulling up anything relevant. I've asked my friends and co-workers and no one has any suggestions (for search terms or for the actual program). It seems like freelancers and people who work from home would be interested in such a product, so I feel like it has to be out there somewhere. If you do not have a suggestion for an exact program, suggestions for other search terms to use and sites to look on would be helpful as well.

I would consider paying for software that does this if it meets all of my criteria (being able to track webmail and a desktop client, tracking who I sent/read e-mails from and to), especially if it is not too costly.
posted by k8lin to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Grr. I forgot to add that I am on a PC.
posted by k8lin at 8:08 AM on November 3, 2009

It's a cranky old email client and not particularly user-friendly for all that it's really powerful, but I know the Mac version of Eudora tracks your general use automatically, complete with pie charts and graphs. I'm pretty sure the Windows version does too.

I wouldn't recommend switching to Eudora if other choices are available, but I thought I would mention it.
posted by immlass at 8:39 AM on November 3, 2009

It sounds like you need RescueTime! This software sits in the background and monitors how much time you spend in each program, then emails you a weekly report. Which you'll have to read in your email.
posted by hnnrs at 11:53 AM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: hnnrs, can I track the people that I've sent or read e-mails to or from with RescueTime? I have a feeling that I can't based on prior usage of this program, but I'm not positive. Is this something that RescueTime will do for me?
posted by k8lin at 7:39 PM on November 3, 2009

Best answer: Not sure it tracks how much time you use, but Xobni tracks all sorts of stats on your emails. Some interesting stuff.
posted by Admira at 8:54 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

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