Apps tracker is an open source tool that logs which programs are being run on your PC, and for how long.
The program is portable, so there are no intrusive drivers or Windows services to worry about. Just launch it, click the window close button and it minimises to your system tray.
Yes, just the system tray – there’s no “stealth” option, no way to fully hide it from other users, so it’s not a reliable way to spy on anyone but the least technical of users.
By default the program starts recording PC usage immediately, but you can toggle this on or off as required by clicking the “tracking” icon on its status bar.
Usage reports are available at any time from apps tracker’s main window.
The data section lists all the applications you’ve used, and selecting one displays when it was used, and for how long.
There’s also a list of any changes to application title bars, handy for viewing details like open document names or URLs.
The “Day Summary” tab uses tables and graphs to give you an overview of how much time you’ve spent in each application.
Although it’s not enabled by default, apps tracker can capture your screen at regular intervals, and these images may be viewed from the Screenshots tab (turn this on via Settings > Screenshots).
An “App Categories” option allows you to organise applications into groups, like “work” or “play”. Apps tracker then totals up the time spent in each category.
An “App limits” feature enables time limits to be set for particular applications, with warnings displayed if these are reached.
There’s also a password protection feature to prevent others changing your settings. Anyone determined to bypass the program can simply close its process, though, so don’t rely on this too much.
Put it all together and apps tracker is a likeable tool, unobtrusive, easy to use and with a good range of features and reports. Worth a look.
Apps tracker is an open source application for Windows Vista and later.