I would like access to the following data about my Macbook use:

  • when it is active / asleep
  • the active application at all times
  • certain state information about the active application, such as the active tab in Google Chrome
  • Is this information already logged somewhere (I'm on OS X 10.9.1)
  • If not, is there a simple daemon or app (daemon I can launch from the command line) available to do this?
  • If not, what tools to exist to access this data? I'd write my own script to do the logging.
  • You know about Console.app and Activity Monitor.app, right? Or are you looking for a completely CLI solution?
    – Deditos
    Jan 25 '14 at 12:30

Console and the Activity Monitor comes to mind. For more CLI-scriptable solutions, check out top/htop. You probably need to write your own parser but seems like a nice project.

  • Not sure I was clear enough in my question. I want to log the information, not just be able to see state info at any given moment. I know about both Console and Activity Monitor-- Console seems to log sleeping and waking, but not active application-- Activity Monitor provides some realtime info but I'm not sure how to use it to log anything. Jan 25 '14 at 20:42
  • I see. Could you elaborate on what sort of result you'd like to get? Like a logfile or something? What's the goal here and how would you like the data to be presented?
    – Argo
    Jan 25 '14 at 20:47
  • A logfile is fine-- it just needs to be regularly structured so that I can write code to work with it. The less extraneous data, the better. The goal is for me to run basic analytics on what apps I use when, what websites I look at when, etc. It is absolutely essential that I have access to the raw data myself (I would not like an app that tracks this but locks up the data in some difficult to read proprietary data format). Jan 26 '14 at 0:08

The best solution I've found is the app TimeSink. This tracks the foreground application and window title at all times and provides regular automated exports as well as basic analytics. Only $5.00 for a license and gets the job done.

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