Time Doctor vs RescueTime: 2020 Comparison

timedoctor vs rescuetime

Both Time Doctor and RescueTime are great productivity management and time tracking software.

But which one is right for you?

This article compares Time Doctor and RescueTime’s best features to help you make the right choice. We’ll cover what these tools are, along with a detailed TimeDoctor vs RescueTime comparison to help you out.


This article covers:

(Click on a link below to jump to a specific section)

What Is Time Doctor?

What Is RescueTime?

TimeDoctor vs RescueTime

The Final Verdict

Let’s get started.


What Is Time Doctor?

Time Tracking With Time Doctor

Time Doctor is an all-in-one productivity management and time tracking tool used by employees from large firms like Verizon and Apple, as well as small businesses such as Thrive Market. Its powerful features make it the perfect tool to boost in-house as well as remote work productivity!

Time Doctor helps you:

  • Accurately track time taken per task/project in real-time.
  • Measure productivity with the help of powerful reports.
  • Actively focus on the task at hand.
  • Streamline your workflow across several tools.
  • Manage client billing and automatically calculate payrolls.

Time Doctor’s easy scalability makes it perfect for small teams, as well as huge enterprises, to boost employee monitoring and productivity.


What Is RescueTime?

rescuetime homepage 2020

RescueTime is a productivity and time tracking tool that uses an automatic time tracking system. Its personalized reports and distraction blocking features make it a good software for personal use.

RescueTime helps you:

  • Track time automatically without manual entries.
  • Block distracting websites to stay focused.
  • Improve working habits through detailed trends and reports.
  • Set goals and alerts for your time usage.
  • Categorize websites and activity to analyze productivity.

RescueTime’s personal productivity features make it a useful tool for solopreneurs or freelancers who don’t have to manage teams.

Here’s a closer look at how both these tools compare with each other.


Time Doctor vs RescueTime Comparison

While both Time Doctor and RescueTime can be used to manage productivity and track time, their features differ across several aspects.

Here’s how they stack up against each other:


1. Time Tracking


A. Time Doctor: Manual Time Tracking

Time Doctor uses a manual time tracker that only tracks time and activity during work hours.

Why use a manual time tracker?

There are several benefits to tracking your time manually:

  • Since the employee controls the time tracker, they consent to what activity is tracked.
  • Web and app usage is only tracked while the time tracker is running. This safeguards employee privacy during breaks and times of personal usage.
  • Poor time use and distractions are less likely when you’re tracking your own time usage.
  • You can accurately track your work time and breaks.

Additionally, getting started with Time Doctor’s time tracker is a piece of cake!

Here’s how you go about it:

  1. Download the Time Doctor time tracking app.
  2. Open the app and log in to your account.
  3. Enter your task name (and project, if applicable.)
  4. Click on the green “Start” button.

time doctor timer

Once you click start, Time Doctor will start tracking your time and activity. As the time tracking app runs silently in the background, you can continue with your work as usual.

To stop the time tracker, just click on the red “Stop” button. It’s that easy!

B. RescueTime: Automatic Time Tracking

In contrast to Time Doctor, RescueTime uses an automatic time tracker.

To use this, download the RescueTime app and follow the step-by-step configuration process.

After you’re done setting up, RescueTime will automatically begin tracking your time and activity.

link to activity reports rescuetime

As RescueTime uses an automatic time tracker, you don’t need to start or stop the timer when you work or take a break. Instead, you get an overall view of how you spend your time throughout the day.

However, you can choose to log only specific hours of the day or pause RescueTime if you wish to.

What are the benefits of using automatic time tracking?

  • You can’t “forget” to start or stop the timer — all your activity is tracked.
  • There isn’t any scope for manual error.

Quick Recap

Time Doctor uses manual time tracking to accurately track work hours and breaks. RescueTime uses automatic time tracking as long as the app is running.


2. Task Management


A. Time Doctor

Time Doctor allows you to track time per task to help you accurately measure time spent on each task throughout the workday.

You can further organize your tasks by project or with folders. Projects are assigned by the admin, while you can create your own folders for ease of use.

Time Doctor provides you with five default folders for your tasks. Here’s a closer look at these:

  • Permanent Tasks: Assigned by the admin and can’t be marked as completed.
  • Current Tasks: Tasks you’re currently working on.
  • Next Tasks: Tasks you’ll work on next.
  • Future Tasks: Tasks you’ll work on in the future.
  • Completed Tasks: Tasks marked as completed.

time doctor folders

Time Doctor also features direct integrations with dozens of task and project management apps, including Asana, Todoist, Evernote and Trello. These integrations help you strengthen your project tracking and management with seamless time tracking.

Note: Time Doctor only allows you to work on one task at a time — you can’t simultaneously log time for multiple tasks.

B. RescueTime

RescueTime can’t track the time spent on each task— it can only tell you what websites or applications you’ve spent time on.

Instead, RescueTime categorizes your activity by categories. These include:

  • Business
  • Design & Composition
  • Communication & Scheduling
  • Social Networking, and more.

rescuetime categories

You can categorize your activities amongst these categories or custom ones. You can also assign each category a “productivity ranking”. This determines how productive the time spent on those websites or applications is considered.

While you could try to calculate your time usage by adding up your web and app activity, this is a cumbersome, time-consuming and inaccurate process.

Quick Recap

Time Doctor features simple task management features and powerful integrations with task management apps. RescueTime doesn’t support any efficient task management features.


3. Distraction Management


A. Time Doctor

Time Doctor has a Distraction Management feature, an Inactivity Tracker and a Poor Time Use Report to help you stay focused.

Here’s a closer look:

1) Distraction Management

It’s extremely easy to get distracted online!

From Netflix to social media, there are a thousand distractions waiting to snatch your attention.

Luckily, productivity tools like Time Doctor can help you avoid these. Whenever you access an unproductive website, Time Doctor’s Distraction Management feature auto-displays a pop-up to ask you if you’re still working.

Distraction Management

This pop-up acts as a nudge that’s usually enough to get employees back to work.

You can even customize which websites and apps are considered unproductive by Time Doctor. This makes sure that someone like a social media marketer doesn’t have to deal with a pop-up every time they open up Facebook!

2) Inactivity Tracker

While Time Doctor’s Distraction Management feature can help you deal with digital distractions, how do you keep your employees actively engaged?

With the Inactivity Tracker.

If there’s been no keyboard or mouse activity for three minutes, the Inactivity Tracker displays an alert asking them if they’re still working. If there’s no response, Time Doctor automatically stops the tracker.

Inactivity Tracker

The Inactivity Tracker helps bring back your focus to the task at hand. It also makes sure that idle time isn’t recorded as work!

Note: For privacy reasons, Time Doctor does not record what keystrokes are made. It can only detect whether there has been any keyboard/mouse activity or not.

3) Poor Time Use Reports

While most time management software have some website blocking features, that’s an inefficient way to go about things.


By relying on blocking sites, you’ll face two issues:

  • Your employees might find other sites to waste time on that aren’t blocked.
  • If your employees need to access a blocked site (like Twitter) for work reasons (such as marketing campaigns), they have no way to do that.

Luckily, Time Doctor doesn’t rely on website blocking.

Instead, the tool uses a Distraction Management pop-up and Poor Time Use Reports.

How do these work?

If an employee uses unproductive websites or apps for more than 10 minutes during work hours, Time Doctor records this activity as Poor Time Use.

This is displayed in your Poor Time Use Report and it’s also emailed in a weekly report summary to business owners or project managers. This report can be used to analyze distractions and barriers in order to improve team productivity.

poor time use report

B. RescueTime

RescueTime supports two separate features to help keep distractions at bay. Here’s how they work:

1) FocusTime

FocusTime is RescueTime’s website blocking feature.

FocusTime works in “sessions” of custom time periods. During these sessions, any websites that are considered “distracting” are blocked, encouraging you to get back to work.

FocusTime can be customized across three strictness levels: Normal, Intermediate and Strict.

By default, FocusTime will sort websites into these levels according to their categories’ productivity levels. However, you can customize which websites are blocked for each of these levels as well.

rescuetime focustime

Note: Website blocking features aren’t 100% reliable and can be prone to errors such as browser conflicts, problems with firewalls, spyware alerts, etc.

2) Alerts

RescueTime also uses customizable alerts to help you keep your productivity in check.

These alerts work a little differently as compared to Time Doctor. RescueTime alerts you after you’ve spent a specified amount of time on a particular category or productivity level of websites.

For example, you can set RescueTime to alert you after you’ve spent 2 hours on “Social Networking” websites or 5 hours on “All Productive” websites. These alerts can be sent via email or as a pop-up notification.

rescuetime alerts

This feature doesn’t help you stop distractions when they occur, but rather serves as a general reminder of how you’ve spent your time in a day.

Quick Recap

Time Doctor uses alerts to help avoid distractions when they occur and reports to track your productivity. RescueTime blocks unproductive websites and uses alerts to remind you of your time usage.


4. Reporting And Analytics


A. Time Doctor

Time Doctor gives you seven detailed reports to help you analyze and keep track of your time usage, activity and productivity.

Here’s a closer look at these:

  1. Time Use Report: Tracks the time you spend on each task over a specific day, week or month.
  2. Timesheet Report: Shows timesheets of the number of hours you worked per day over a given week or month.
  3. Web And App Usage Report: Displays all the websites and apps you accessed during tracked hours.
  4. Timeline Report: A chronological display of your work activity over a particular day.
  5. Poor Time Use Report: Tracks time spent on websites or apps that aren’t work-related.
  6. Attendance Report: Shows which employees were absent/late on any given day and the reason for the same.
  7. Projects Report: Breaks down the number of hours you/each employee spent on a project.

time doctor projects report

B. RescueTime

RescueTime provides you with three different reports.

Let’s take a look:

  1. Productivity Report: Shows a productivity score from 0-100 (Productivity Pulse) and a breakdown of your time usage across each productivity rating.
  2. Daily Highlights Report: Records logged highlights and registered action events of the day.
  3. Categories Report: Displays the time you spent on each activity category.

rescuetime reports

Quick Recap

Time Doctor provides 7 different reports to break down your time usage, web and app activity as well as attendance/absenteeism. RescueTime covers 3 reports that give you a brief overview of your time usage and work done.


5. Integrations

A. Time Doctor

Time Doctor supports over 50 direct integrations to help stay productive across platforms.

These integrations range from project management tools to payroll and invoicing apps, and more.

Here’s a brief look at some of the key integrations:

  • Google Apps: Track the time spent by team members on each Google App.
  • Zendesk: Track time spent on each Zendesk ticket with ease.
  • Jira: Track how long each employee spends on Jira issues and tasks within a given date range.
  • Github: Discover the amount of focus your team dedicates to each Github Issue and Repository.
  • Freshdesk: Close Freshdesk tickets faster by analyzing how your employees spend time on these.
  • WordPress: Track time spent on WordPress management to increase workflow efficiency.
  • Zapier: Use Zapier to connect to over 2000 other apps, such as Basecamp, Hubstaff and Toggl, and automate workflows across these.

Click here to view the complete list of supported integrations.

B. RescueTime

RescueTime doesn’t support as many direct integrations as Time Doctor. Currently, you can directly integrate RescueTime with 10+ tools.

Here are the main ones:

  • Slack: Update Slack status automatically based on current activities.
  • Google and Office 365 Calendars: Posts a summary of your logged time, Productivity Pulse and goal results to your preferred calendar.
  • Zapier: Connects RescueTime to hundreds of other apps to streamline your workflows.

Quick Recap

Both Time Doctor and RescueTime support various integrations to maximize your efficiency. Time Doctor integrates with several project management, communication, CRM, payroll and invoicing, etc. tools while RescueTime has fewer integrations.


6. Compatibility


A. Time Doctor

Time Doctor is compatible with Mac OS, Windows and Linux. It also features iPhone and Android apps, as well as a Chrome Extension, for seamlessly working on the go.

B. RescueTime

RescueTime is compatible with Mac and Windows. It also supports iOS and Android apps, as well as a Chrome Extension.

Quick Recap

Time Doctor and RescueTime are compatible with most popular platforms. Unlike Time Doctor, RescueTime doesn’t feature Linux compatibility.


7. Pricing


A. Time Doctor

Time Doctor starts at $7/month per user. It supports a 14-day free trial, no credit card required!

B. RescueTime

RescueTime’s pricing plan starts at $18/month per user for individual plans and $9/month per user for team pricing plans. It offers a 14-day free trial that does require a credit card.

Quick Recap

For teams, both tools are similarly priced. For an individual user, Time Doctor is almost half the price of RescueTime. Both software offer a 14-day free trial where Time Doctor doesn’t require a credit card and RescueTime does.


RescueTime vs Time Doctor: The Final Verdict

While both Time Doctor and RescueTime are good tools, they’re clearly created with different audiences in mind.

Time Doctor has an undeniable edge over RescueTime when it comes to time tracking, task and team management as well as detailed time usage reporting.

However, even when it comes to tracking personal time usage, TimeDoctor’s features are far more comprehensive and user-friendly. As TimeDoctor puts the onus on you to track time, you’re always in control of what’s being tracked!

So why not sign up for Time Doctor to elevate your time management and productivity today?

Try Time Doctor

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