I downloaded an insane piece of software this morning. Onlife is the creation of a guy named Edison Thomaz and it’s totally mind-boggling.
Basically, it keeps track of everything you do on your computer then presents this tracked information in a graphically stunning format. It’s neat because you can analyze what you were doing at any given point in time, pan-applications and even organized by workflow.
Like, this morning during the time I was doing research for my Geek Love column Onlife shows me what pages I browsed, what emails I read and wrote, and even what music I listened to (Electric President).
This information is presented on a simple timeline as a series of coloured objects, broken down by application. The interface is customizable.
Now, as it stands, I don’t really know what I’d ever use it for in a practical sense, but there’s incredible potential. Like, if it had a more rigorous time-tracking function, say, for billing projects, then it would be a fascinating tool to analyze how effective your work hours are (or aren’t).
The other shortcoming is that it can’t track all applications, each must be tweaked for compatibility. I use a killer piece of software called Copywrite for writing but Onlife had no idea it even exists. Onlife isn’t even aware of Pages yet.
The interface is a bit clumsy, too. I’d like to be able to laterally scoll through time in the top pane manually, but it appears the only way to do this is by clicking on the coloured blobs and initiating an automatic scroll. As well, I wish the top pane’s height could be adjusted so more of the bottom could be viewed or I could limit the top view to one application at a time.
All the same, it’s pretty damn cool and definitely worth a look.