Timesnapper Can Assist Your Blogging

I don't usually promote or recommend a specific product or service, but in this case, I wanted to post a quick note about Timesnapper. [authors note: this is not a paid review or promotion] If you are not familiar with Timesnapper it is a method of recording what is shown on your screen, and the programs used throughout the day. I found it last year when looking for a program that would record keystrokes and found this program (I have yet to find the other).

There are three main features of this program that I like and use all the time, but this is not an exhaustive list, just my top three. (1) Screen Shots, (2) Productivity, and (3) Movie Play. One I didn't list because I haven't put it into use yet is the time card feature. This one I would like to use and would be quite helpful, I just haven't set it up yet.

Screen Shots Will Save You Time

The first time I had to actually go back and find a screen shot I was thrilled. Since then, every time I managed to have a program crash or loose some text that I spent the last 15 minutes writing (and apparently not saved), I know I can go back and find the screen shot and my text will be shown where I can at least recreate the lost material.

File Folders for Screenshots on Timesnapper

This one feature is enough for me to recommend this program, since there are those of us who are saving impaired and can't seem to remember to save our work, it has saved me from having to completed start over again. Of course you can't copy and paste text, but it is enough to remember the context and re-write something if you need to do so.

You can set the screen shot interval and the space that it takes up on your hard drive. The shorter the interval the less days you can save (or the more space you take up), but, to counteract the file size requirements they give you several options. You can control the screen size in a percentage value, and also the file type it saves as. Use a .png file for the smallest file with the best resolution. You can also set the program to only take screen shots when the computer is actively being used.


Productivity Tool

This is a neat feature that allows you to see what programs you have used, and what percentage of the time you use them. You can see from my image below, I guess I spend most of my days using Firefox, but you can see an extended list beyond what is shown below. You would be surprised at how many programs you might use throughout the day or week.

timesnapper productivity tool

Play it Like a Movie

This feature allows you to see your day like you are watching a movie. Sounds kind of weird but you can set the time in milliseconds to show each screen shot taken throughout the day. You can also go back through the archives and show the previous day, or week.

timesnapper movie play

Customer Service

One thing I have to say about this company is that the customer service is outstanding. They will even give you a free license to use the program if you find a bug or error in the program itself. They are fast to respond to emails, and quick to give you support that is not just a standard statement emailed to everyone, they actually read their emails, amazing.


All in all I think it is a great program, the price is perfect, and the customer service is what I would hope for but rarely receive. The best thing... it saves time. How does it help with blogging? Have you ever written a great post out in the editor more than once because either Wordpress or the program you were using (probably Live Writer) crashed? No, well, that's great, guess I am the only one?

Other Related Blog Posts

After I wrote this review I did find several other blog articles on Timesnapper which talks about all the various aspects of its use. Some of note are:

One thing I learned from these other posts is the report called activity cloud. That is really cool and works like a tag cloud on a blog, but for your own computer. Kind of scary too!

Update 04/22/2008

I just got word from the Timesnapper guys that you can actually extract text using the optical character recognition tool that is embedded into the program.  WOW, great going guys, can't wait to see what's next.