How to use Screen Time to control the use of Mac and iOS

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Whether it is for your curiosity, your health or to understand exactly how much to invoice your customers, it is much better to know what you do exactly on your Macs and iOS devices. Screen Time will do exactly that, and there are alternatives that do it better.

Screen Time gives you the basic details but you can go much further

Screen Time gives you the basic details but you can go much further

Sometimes you don't really need a bat to break a dice, but if you have one, you could also use it. Apple has added Screen Time to Mac and iOS, and that app will help you know how much time you spent in front of these devices. You can use this information for your health, for your productivity and with other tools you can use it for your business.

If you are a freelancer, maybe your only stock exchange is your time and you really need to know where it goes. Or maybe your company requires you to record ridiculously detailed records, or hire you by the hour.

Know at what time you spend doing what is powerful. It can change your bank balance, it can even change your life.

Screen Time

We've had Screen Time for iOS from last year, but now it's coming to Mac with Catalina's MacOS, as promised by Tim Cook.

If you turn it on, go to System Preferences and choose the new one Screen Time option – then it will monitor your work on the Mac.

Each week, you will be presented with a notification indicating how much time you spent using the device and how it was compared to the previous week.

But you can also deepen it at any time to see how you are. How much time do you spend on an app, what are the most used apps and so on.

It can turn into a complete look at your digital life.

However, you don't always need something as elaborate as Screen Time. And from time to time you need something a little more professional to present to a client than a graph of your time spent on Facebook.

Use the basics shortcuts

The problem with using any non-Apple method to keep track of your time, regardless of how you do it or the apps you use, is that you'll forget. It is impossible not to do it. So, if there's a way to automate it so you don't even have to think about it, it's great.

This is why probably the most interesting and useful addition that Apple has made to its devices is not the always monitored Time Monitor, but the connections.

When iOS 13.1 is released, you can register your iPhone or iPad when you open a specific app. If you want to.

When iOS 13.1 is released, you can register your iPhone or iPad when you open a specific app. If you want to.

Starting from iOS 13 every iPhone and iPad will be supplied with shortcuts installed. And starting with iOS 13.1, which is scheduled for September 30th, this feature will include shortcut automation.

With this, you can tell your iPad that, for example, when you open Microsoft Excel, it should take note of the time. Or when you open Facebook.

It is only useful to note when you started. If you create, for example, an Apple note called "Time Log", every time you open your main work apps, you can have that information to add to a note.

It is a pity that there is no way to record when you have closed an app, but often when you close an app, it is because you are opening another app. Then you can create a list in the timeline note of each app as you proceed.

And you can also set timer limits. This is usually less for business, more for your health. However, if, for example, a company pays you to work on social media for half an hour a day, you can set a timer limit that starts as soon as you open Facebook.

Third-party apps

Go beyond Screen Time or Shortcuts, however, and you can get finer details that are useful for really understanding how to use the device.

Time 2 interrupts the use of the device and you can also assign the time of the app to certain jobs or clients

Time 2 interrupts the use of the device and you can also assign the time of the app to certain jobs or clients

Timing 2: what is it? available on Setapp : Performs most of the same screen time operations, but allows you to assign apps to certain tasks or tags.

Perhaps right now you open Adobe Photoshop only for a client you have. You can say that Timing 2 that you now have a record, now you can search for that customer's name and see all the Photoshop time you've spent.

And if that client's commission isn't enough to cover the cost of your subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, now you know how to negotiate or close that customer.

Timing 2 also recognizes that you spend time working on a project away from your Mac. If you don't use an app for a minute or an hour or 90 minutes, you could lose track of how much time was spent. However, the next time you use an app, Timing 2 will ask you to assign the last 90 minutes, or whatever it was, to a client or an activity.

With this and other alternatives, you lose the advantage of Screen Time's ability to monitor everything. There is no screen processing time, but there is some escape from other timing apps because you have forgotten that you are monitoring your time.

If it was not created by Apple, all timing apps need your explicit permission to monitor your device

If it was not created by Apple, all timing apps need your explicit permission to monitor your device

Team delivered

Apple's Screen Time is really an individual to monitor their use of devices —or their children — and time tracking is often only for an individual to know where their hours are. However, you may also need to monitor the group time.

Toggl is an online e iOS app which records the time for you and a team.

It is a subscription service that you can activate to keep track of your work times or that you can remember when you forgot to do it.

Toggl is an online service and an iOS app for team monitoring

Toggl is an online service and an iOS app for team monitoring

Unlike most timing apps or services, Toggl also allows you to manually record information. So when it comes to telling your boss more or less what your week required, you can get it from Toggl without having to figure out which apps worked, which ones were social.

Use the problem

If our problem is that we don't know how much time we spend on our Apple devices, it seems right that they are our Apple devices that can help us.

You are certain to be surprised by the time you spend on something, but it's worth it. Armed with real data, real information instead of a hypothesis, you will know what work is worth and what you do not pay for on your own.

You will also be healthier to know when to get away from the screens.

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