How to Track Time Spent on Apps – Explained for Beginners

  • August 9, 2022
  • by Lorea Lastiri
  • No comments
desktop with timecamp logo

Keeping your team productive throughout the working day can be a tough challenge, especially when everyone on the team is constantly online with access to thousands of apps and websites. While some apps might be essential for your team to get the job done, most of them are huge time wasters and hamper your digital wellbeing.

clock on desktop

To make matters worse, most of your team members, including the management, are unaware of the sheer volume of time wasted. One of the better ways to address this situation is by tracking time spent on specific apps during the work day.  

Tracking how much time your employees spend on different apps can be a great tool to improve their productivity. The data generated can allow the management to use objective matrices to identify the apps responsible for inefficiencies and make improvements across the board. 

But how can you track the app usage of your team members? Thankfully, there are excellent software solutions that can track the time spent on each app, offer detailed analytics, and generate actionable weekly reports. 

Here is how you can track how much time you spend on apps and how it can be a game-changer for your team’s productivity.

👉 Check also our article: 24 Employee Recognition Ideas that Increase Productivity, Engagement and Enjoyment of Work

Can you see how much time you spend on apps? 

Whether we realize it or not, a big part of our working day is spent running apps that are nothing but time wasters. Messaging, social media and other apps on your Apple devices and android phone are the biggest contributors to this colossal waste of time.  

Fortunately, tracking how much time you spend on apps is possible. Software tools like TimeCamp can also help break down the data and generate detailed reports and patterns of app usage. You can use the data to refine your daily performance and improve productivity. 

Why should you track time spent on apps? 

The effects of overindulgence in social media and increased screen time are already well-known. We know how constant notifications on your Apple or Android device can keep your team members happily distracted from the work and result in a catastrophic dip in productivity. 

Keeping a track of the phone usage of your team with a time tracking app can help you to create an effective solution to this ubiquitous problem. If you are still not convinced that you need to track app usage, here are a few eye-watering app usage stats that should compel you to reconsider:

    • As many as 85% of people don’t mind their app usage habits, and the associated screen time increases at work.

    • A recent survey conducted by Screen Education showed that, on average, employees waste 2 hours per day using apps on their phones.

    • Studies show that an employee is 23% more likely to make a mistake or an error after getting a text message or due to extended app usage. 

Keeping an eye on the usage of apps can help you and your team to be more mindful of our relationship with tech. Being aware of your app usage can also help in digital wellbeing. Ultimately, by being more conscious of your app usage, you can become more intentional about how you want to use the device. 

👉 Read also: Smart and Efficient Ways to Track Computer Usage!

How to track how much time you spend on apps?

Several time tracking software solutions exist to track your team members’ phone usage. But keeping a track of time is not enough. Collecting the data merely scratches the surface of the problem. To deal with and find solutions, you need a more in-depth analysis that reveals how the management and the individual team members can improve. 

Both an Apple and Android phone has an in-built app tracking system that can help you track your app usage stats. You can access these features through the settings app on your phone. However, with this in-built feature, you don’t get a granular picture of your app usage stats or detailed reports.

TimeCamp is an app which allows productivity tracking and is available on Android phones and all your Apple devices to help your team be more cognizant of their app usage and create actionable plans to improve productivity. Unlike some other platforms, TimeCamp makes the app data available to the management and employees, making the possess more transparent. 

timesheet timecamp app view

TimeCamp allows your team members to set daily phone usage goals and measure unproductive/ idle time. The app can serve as a stepping stone for your organization to inculcate a work culture where each team member is nudged in the right direction to boost productivity. 

Time tracking best practices for individuals

There are many benefits of time tracking. For instance, it can be a great way to boost your productivity if you struggle to manage your available hours. Here are some of the best practices to keep a track of your time that will help you stay on top of things:

Log your screen time immediately

One of the most common mistakes individuals make while tracking time is putting off the actual logging process. The worst thing you can do as an employee who wants to be productive is procrastinate. 

👉 Here are some steps to stop procrastinating

smartphone apps

Thankfully, with TimeCamp, you can automate the process, so you don’t have to manually start or stop the timer. The app will also give you an accurate picture of how you spend your day, allowing you to make informed changes in your schedule. 

Add details to your time entries

It is important to add concise but clear descriptions to the time entries. It will allow you to review the particular time slot in the future and see what went wrong (or right). 

Here are some tips for writing effective time entries:

  • Be very specific with the entry

  • Add any relevant information about the task

  • Avoid using shorthand or abbreviations

  • Never leave time blocks blank even if you might not have been productive 

Enable the digital wellbeing feature on your Android phone through the settings app

On some Android phones, you can get information about how you spend your time and which particular app you use the most, including social media apps.

digital wellbeing

To activate this feature, you need to follow the instructions below:

  • Open the Settings app on your Android phone

  • Tap the digital wellbeing and parental control tab within the settings menu

  • Tap show your phone usage data

You should be able to see your app usage stats on the screen. Although the feature is good, you still need third-party apps to get the full picture.

Use automatic time tracking 

Using automation can be greatly useful for individuals. Unlike certain apps, TimeCamp lets you automate the your system and group the apps and websites you visit into pre-defined categories. 

timecamp - time tracking app

TimeCamp also allows you to set up a task and project-based keywords, so you don’t have to switch between projects to track time. Automatic time keeping can also allow you to integrate your work software and maintain your current workflow to track the total usage of all your apps. 

Manage your time according to clients and projects 

One of the best practices during time keeping is associating a particular task with a client or a project. It will allow you to interpret the data in the time report accurately. You can see which client or project is more demanding and how you can plan your time on that project to increase the outcome. 

Track your non-billable time and app usage  

Time keeping should not be limited to billable hours. If you truly want to improve your productivity and address phone addiction, you need to track your entire work day, including time not spent actively carrying out an activity.

As you track your non-productive time, you become more aware that you can save a lot of time and focus your resources where they are most needed. It will also help you in your digital wellbeing.  

Keep it simple

It is easy to get carried away with time keeping aspect of your organizational goal. While tracking time is essential to improve optimal use of time, it is equally important to avoid overcomplicating things.

You want a time keeping system that is:

  • Simple

  • Fast

  • Easy 

  • Responsive

Try to devise a system compatible with your workflow. Remember, you are trying to prepare a sustainable system that works. 

Leverage the data  

Time keeping is a means to an end. Simply noting where you spend your time will not magically improve your productivity. If you truly want to improve, you need to analyze and learn from the data periodically. 

timesheet screen

With the detailed reports from TimeCamp, you can gain insight into how you use your time over weeks or months. It lets you get a clearer picture of your work right on your home screen.

Use to-do lists

To-do lists greatly compliment the time-keeping habit for improved productivity. Making a list allows you to visualize your workload and plan accordingly. Knowing what you will be dealing with the entire day, you can better marshall your resources and time. 

Another benefit of having a to-do list is positive reinforcement. Every time you tick off a task in the list, it gives you a sense of accomplishment that keeps you motivated and driven. 

To conclude

It is crucial to track your phone usage and determine which apps take your precious minutes away. Awareness of the time spent on apps can also help you stay focused by keeping the distractions at bay and improving your digital wellbeing. While it is true that some Android apps on your devices might increase your productivity, many of them do a great job of taking your mind off work. 

TimeCamp is one app with several features. You can track your team’s productivity and time spent on apps and websites. Our unique approach allows you to stay in control without micromanaging your team.

Our free forever plan offers unlimited users, projects, and tasks. We also offer a free 14-day trial if you need the entire array of features we offer. Sign up today to begin a better time management experience that will change the way you do business! 

Lorea Lastiri

Lorea is a freelance SEO writer and has spent the last five years researching and writing about time management, productivity, and SaaS. She's an avid traveler, skier, and surfer; when not in the office, you can find her riding waves or exploring the alps.

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