Control Your iOS and Mac Use with a Screen Time

It is hard to control the time you spend on apps or games on your iOS and macOS devices. To calculate the time you have spent on one particular app is even harder. But with a Screen Time, you may take control over your own time, find out what app is the most used and how many hours you spend on it during the day. Besides, Screen Time use is easy as a piece of cake.

Personal or Business Benefits

Apple Company added the app to its iOS and Mac devices hoping it would be helpful for users. Now you may find out how much time you spend on your iPhones and laptops. You may need this information for personal reasons, for example, to improve your health or to plan your day, become more productive, or for business.

This is a great tool for all freelancers. You have a limited amount of time on every client and you need to put limitations. Some companies ask to record your timesheets. Others offer an hourly payment. In this case, Screen Time helps to improve your work. Basically, you take your time under control.

About the app

Screen Time app picture

Screen Time went on the market in 2018 for iOS devices. Now, Apple adds the app on Mac with Catalina macOS. But we expected this move since Tim Cook’s promise made some time ago.

To turn it on, you have to go to the System Preferences on your device and tap the new Screen Time feature. After that, Screen Time will start monitoring your activity. Every week the app will send you a notification with a detailed report on what you did, how much time you spent on Mac, which activities you preferred the most, and so on. Screen Time also compares this week with previous. You may set additional tools there as well.

Short Instruction

  • Open Settings on your iPhone or Mac;
  • Choose Screen Time;
  • Tap Turn On-screen Time;
  • Choose to Continue;
  • Now you can select from two options: “This is My (device)” or “This is My Child’s (device)”.

Check the time you are spending on every app on your phone. Find out which apps are useless and which one you can actually delete. You may limit the time of the most-used apps if you feel that they became a distraction for you. Screen Time is simple to get and easy to use. If you need something more advanced, you may look for other apps, but if you need to check where your time goes, Screen Time will be enough.

Useful setting in Screen Time

  • App Limits. Set the daily or weekly limits for particular apps. You can set these limits for a day, hour, a few minutes. We recommend you to set the limit for social media apps use during your working day and set the limit for apps you use in the office during the evening or weekends. App Limits option will help you to plan the schedule;
  • The Downtime option is like a nap for your active use of apps. You will be able to accept only phone calls and work with apps you have chosen beforehand. Before this feature starts to work, it will notify you.
  • Content and Privacy Restrictions will help you to choose which content you want to see and which not. This is a perfect tool for parents who want to protect their children from harmful and inappropriate content, ads, in-app purchases and so on.
  • Always Allowed feature will grant access to the app that you use constantly. Even when you pick the Downtime mode, the apps from Always Allowed categories will be available for you. There are already Maps, FaceTime, Messages, and Phone in this list, but you can change settings anytime you want.
  • Family Sharing option allows you to share the content with your family. You can send them music, apps, and movies. This option is available in Screen Time, as well. Family Sharing will help you to monitor your children's activities and limit the hours of TV watching or game playing, for example. All you have to do is pick the name of your child in Settings and start monitoring their activities.

Shortcuts instead of Screen Time

Shortcuts app is also an Apple product that helps you to become more productive. If you don’t want to use Screen Time, this is a good alternative. Shortcuts are installed in every iOS 13 device. And iOS13.1 system has Shortcuts Automation.

You can decide what you want the app to note. For example, it can record the time you open Instagram or Facebook. You may receive detailed information about your previous visits right when you open the apps.

It is recommended to create Apple Note where you will gather stats from the apps. Shortcuts app does not inform the time when you close the app. Usually, it happens when you open the new one, so you can calculate it on your own. There is an option that sets timer limits. Set the timer for any app you need.

Third-parties instead of Screen Time

Timing app picture

If you don’t like both Screen Time and Shortcuts, you can always rely on third-party apps. They may offer various features for you. For example, Timing 2 is pretty similar to Screen Time. It also offers you to assign the apps to certain tags or tasks. All you need to do is pick the apps you are using and want to check and you have the stats.

You can compare whether you are spending more time on one client than he/she actually pays you. Just pick the task you are doing in the app, and set up Timing 2. If you spend too much time in the app and do not receive enough payment, it is better to decline the offer. If you are not working on Mac, Timing 2 notices that. You can later assign the time away from Mac in the app.

Alternatives of Screen Time may be good, but they don’t monitor all your activities. If you need this, it is better to use Screen Time. Some of the alternative apps require tracking the time on your own.

Group Time Tracking

Screen Time is helpful when it comes to tracking individual time of use. Parents can check their children’s phones and see how much time they spend on the app. But when it comes to group tracking, Screen Time is not the best option.

This time, it is better to open Toggl. Toggl is an app that records not just yours, but your team’s time. You can see how much time you’ve spent on the task together. If you worry that you may forget something during the work, just let the app reminds you of the tasks you have set at the beginning of work.

You don’t have to record everything. There is an option to input all the information you need manually. This is a great business app. You can always rely on Toggl when it comes to demonstrating your boss how you spent your working hours.

Control Your Time

All the apps that were mentioned here are made for learning and showing the data about your Apple devices using habits. You don’t have to constantly check your watches to see whether you have enough time or not. You may set the timer or limit the hours you spend inside the app. This is a great way to cut the time you are spending on social media and double your productivity.

If you need to get away from the screen of your Mac or iPhone, all you need is to set the timer. These apps are helpful working tools and a great way to demonstrate your schedule to your bosses or clients. If you prefer to use other apps, you can name them in the comments below. Please share your thoughts about time tracking apps. Do you think they help to organize your day?