Time Tracking with ARBTT

Series: dev December 03, 2018

I’m using ARBTT to track my time. It has two main components:

arbtt-capture is a cross-platform tool that logs metadata about your open windows in a consistent log format.

arbtt-stats is an analytis tool that can analyze your logs.

The ARBTT website and documentation are probably the best places to learn how to get started.

This document describes how I think about configuring the tool.


The launchagent plist is set up to set the application to start when the computer loads and then capture every 30 seconds:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">

Analyzing Untagged Data:

I use a handful of tags, so I can get my untagged data by explicitly avoiding those rows:

arbtt-stats --m=0 --filter='$sampleage <24:00' --dump-samples -x DevOps -x TimeTracking -x Programming -x Correspondence -x Recreation -x Analytics | fgrep '(*)'

System Modifications

I’ve made a few changes to improve the ability to track various programs. This basically means that I’m using various tricks to add additional information to the title of windows when possible.

I use the URL in title Firefox Add-on to track my browsing by url.

I made a slight modification to OSX to show the finder’s full path in the title:

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool true; killall Finder

I also added the following to my bash profile to keep track off what I’m doing in the terminal:

trap 'echo -ne "\033]2;$(pwd); $(history 1 | sed "s/^[ ]*[0-9]*[ ]*//g")\007"' DEBUG

I also added some bash aliases to do common tasks.:

# Aliases for timetracking
alias tt="arbtt-stats --for-each=day --filter='\$sampleage <12:00'"
alias tta="arbtt-stats --m=0 --filter='\$sampleage <24:00' --dump-samples -x DevOps -x TimeTracking -x Programming -x Correspondence -x Recreation -x Analytics -x ProjectManagment -x Research | fgrep '(*)'"

built with , Jekyll, and GitHub Pages — read the fine print