Tracking apps, not titles + afk watcher thought I was active all night

So I already like Activity Watch a lot. This is exactly what I’m looking for.
That said, 2 comments:

  1. Activity Watch already knows the apps that are running and are in the foreground. Can I just use that instead of the titlebar to track time? Putting aside that there’s an emacs package for it, any time I spend in emacs is work, regardless of the title of the file. Because I custom set the title of the window, and it doesn’t say ‘emacs’, until I installed the package, the time was uncategorized and apparently couldn’t be categorized? Same with apps like Notepad++ or whatever. Titlebar matching seems like an unnecessary extra stup.

  2. The afk watcher was working fine throughout the day, but when I got in this morning, I was told that I’d spent all night in slack. Maybe this is because I’d changed the match pattern from “Slack” to “slack”, so that was overly broad, but all the same, the keyboard and mouse weren’t being touched. (That said, my machine persistently has a problem where it will not dim or turn off the monitors, so I turn them off manually. Maybe that’s part of what’s going on with Activity Watch?)

Any help appreciated. :slight_smile:


I also am looking for a way to track by the app used. For me, all time spent in Microsoft Word is work, all time spent in GIMP is creative. WINWORD.exe shows up in my uncategorized apps, and I would like to categorize that app as work. Since Word Docs are just titled the name of the doc, it isn’t so easy to track because the keyword “Word” will definitely pick up other stuff too.
Maybe I’m missing something because clearly ActivityWatch can track the app usage and display it to us filtered by app usage, but I don’t know the Regex to get it?

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for anyone who is as noob as me and ends up looking for solutions to this problem, just using regex ^insertappname.exe$ will work.

For example ^WINWORD.exe$ will record all instances that Word is open, unless there is a deeper nested rule that overrides.

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