The New RescueTime (vs. RescueTime Classic)

Hmm… I don’t get told how many people are focusing at the same time. Wish I did.


Right now the new version centers on the core “focused work goal”-- trying to take in context the other aspects of your day, like meetings. This fall, we are going to make be making a pass through a new modeling of customizable and historically trackable goals, however, so stay tuned. With regard to the API, yes it should continue to function for you, the only thing you might notice is the in overlapping of the old high resolution categorizations with the newer, simpler ones.


That seems odd - do you have the most recent version of the assistant installed? RescueTime - Download the Assistant
After the most recent update, when I start a focus session I go through a “Prep your environment” and “Prep your body” routine, then I see this screen:

Hi team!

Long time RescueTime user here. I have a custom tool I wrote that automates other things that RescueTime does not (basically just a bunch of applescripts to open/close apps and other odds and ends). In this tool I rely on the RescueTime API to start a focus session. Recently, while calling the anapi/start_focustime endpoint, I see a notification that a focus session has started, but no sites are blocked. I have to manually use the new interface to start a focus session.

Am I correct in assuming that the new interface doesn’t respect the old API? Is this intentonal? If so, is there a plan to expose a new endpoint I can use instead?

Thanks for your time!

For those who are interested, my code lives at:

I like the new design and methodology.

Two issues I noticed immediately.

  1. You can’t connect to a Hosted Microsoft Exchange Calender (private cloud) on Mac. Considering the agent and Outlook are on the same computer, you can access Apple Calendar, which can be made to sync with Exchange, which would update Outlook.

  2. Still no Dark Mode.

Please fix these.

Hi @kid_icarus! Wow! Thanks for sticking with us all this time! For now no, the API does not support starting a new Focus Session. There are plans to update the API in the near future. Although, we don’t have a date just yet.

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I agree with you Charles. I have been using Rescuetime for almost 10 years. Today after I switched to the new version, the new reports are of little value to me. The new version seems more like a wellness app where many existing tools already have a function.

I think both the new and the classic rescue time are built for completely different purposes. I won’t switch to the new one unless the traditional reports are also offered. I might also have to look for an alternative if at some time I won’t be able to use the classic features anymore :frowning: That would be sad indeed.


Long time user here. This is the first time I see the new rescuetime and took some time to be able to understand how to use it. I guess you are waiting to have a better version before pushing your current user base to migrate.

Hi @angerhang. Thanks for sticking with us all this time! We really appreciate your feedback. You are spot on! The new version is geared toward digital wellness! Both versions are built for completely different purposes!

We are working to provide more comprehensive and insightful reporting in the new version. This is on our roadmap.

We will support both the new and classic versions. We have no plans to sunset the classic version.

I agree with this. I use RescueTime to track my activities because I bill for my time. I need the specific information for individual things I worked on, on individual days. I don’t really need weekly trends or any of that stuff it now defaults to - I can find that in the software I use to bill my time. I don’t need to be interrupted to be told I’m in a focus zone or to get a suggestion to take a break. I don’t need the RescueTime Assistant to pop up when I log in to my computer - with no way to turn it off. I could live with some of the changes, but the constant notifications that I can’t turn off are a continual reminder of how much the new RescueTime is bugging me. I’ve used RescueTime for 9 years, so it’s really a bummer for it to have changed so radically.


It’s been over a year since the new RescueTime’s launch. Seems like a good time to summarize how it’s evolved and if and how the value proposition has changed for users of RescueTime Classic.

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Generally I am ok with some changes, especially more information about # of times being distracted and context switching which is real problem.

My main issue is with the new assistant:

  • it’s distracting
  • when I open it, the first thing I always see is yellow box With tour the assistant and integrate the calendar(which I don’t want to do )
  • there is so much wasted space, paddings are too wide
  • there is a weekly summary and yesterday summary with too much info for a widget
  • add offline work button which very rarely use
  • a cherry on top big image of rainbow at the end to add bit of extra scrolling

It’s like you wanted to shovel several things into one window.


What other app wellness apps you are thinking about? I am looking for something like Rescue time , which can track where I spend my time, be private, help me block distractions, has something like focus session / pomodoro like timer all built in.

So many of the same issues as others have mentioned above.

The lack of granularity in the reporting and activities is the biggest issue.

Yes, I like the new focus/work/personal split, but I value the categorization even more.

For now I will be switching back to the previous version. If that goes away, then i will look at alternatives like QBserve.

Wish there was more investment and development on the API side of things instead of UI and assistant rewrite.

Ou yeah I got QBeserve, I haven’t realized I can go to previous version. ANy drawbacks? I really dislike the new assistant.

I also like the new version but I do weekly reviews of my activities and I need the old version to filter by time of the day. I would wait out for a bit as they rightfully seem to want to keep both version for now. Dropping the “quantitative” version of RT would also be a deal breaker for me


where can I download the Classic version of Rescue time? I’ve been using it for a couple of years and I like the old version. I updated a couple of months later and now I can’t even use it, and my subscription just recently updated. The new functionality doesn’t do it for me and I need to old functionality back. But now I can’t find the download files of the classic version for mac.

Also, it scales really badly on my screen as I use a bigger font and it just adds to my annoyment.

Please share links

Also long time classic RT user who just swapped over to the new version. While I like some of the focus on balance, this is the first weekend since I’ve had the new version and have just found out that anything I do in front of my computer seems to be taken as work. I’m a writer so will sometimes use applications like Ulysses for “not work” - for instance I was tweaking some text to use to train an Ai - which isn’t my day job. I got told off by the assistant for working on my off day. I miss being able to look at activities for a given time period and re-categorise them. I’m a bit conflicted because I enjoyed the new version during my work week, but now not so sure…

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Hi @greatest.thief, please reach out to us at so we can send you some instructions to revert back to RescueTime Classic. Thanks!

hi, thanks, I already messages the support and got the link. I do with it would be possible to easily find it on the website tho

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