Flexible Filtering + Breakdown by Documents (Browser)

Automatically track your application document and work usage throughout the day.
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:43 pm

Flexible Filtering + Breakdown by Documents (Browser)

Post by Andrew »

Thanks very much for your programs, they are very good, easy to use, and affordable.

Recently I started using TaskCanvas.
It's really great, and I'm very interested in paying for a license.

However, there is one main issue for me:
The filtering option "Hide this program" is too restricted.

What I have happening, is "Hundreds" of these entries appearing in my App View list on TaskCanvas:

Code: Select all

{MyImage#.jpg} - Image Viewer App

Code: Select all

{MyImage#.jpg} - Image Viewer App
"C:\Windows\System32\ApplicationFrameHost.exe|{MyImage#.jpg} ? - Image Viewer App
Windows Universal App."
With each "{MyImage#.jpg}" referencing to a different image name.

Thus, if I open x100 different images via the Windows App (my default), I will have x100 different entries (one for each image) in the TaskCanvas log.

This unfortunately, greatly reduces the usability of TaskCanvas, muddling the useful data sparsely between 100 other useless entries.

Apparently, "C:\Windows\System32\ApplicationFrameHost.exe" creates the window frame for native Windows apps to launch within.

TaskCanvas appears to be logging each unique window name (launch path) it can detects.

My proposed fix is either to allow (one or more of):

1a) Broader or Wildcard Filtering, eg: "C:\Windows\System32\ApplicationFrameHost.exe*"
1b) User Manual filter editing (needs wildcard).

2) Target parent process (as an option), for a more "catch-all", inclusive broad filtering result.

I believe this should fix the issue I am seeing, and it will make your program much more flexible and useful.


A second request/recommendation I have, is to improve the reviewing and capturing of "Documents" data.
Most specifically, for Web Browsers.

Typical PC users, I suspect, spend a very large amount of their active time within Web Browser windows, rather than other Windows apps.
(I won't be surprised if it's around 50% or more of the time, on average.)

Especially with so many popular products all being moved and promoted to "the Cloud", typical PC users now spend a disproportional amount of time within Web Browsers, now even doing everything from:
- Photo & Video Editing
- Document Editing, Emails
- Customer Service, Research, etc...

To make TaskCanvas more useful, I believe it should put a bit more emphasis on the tracking ability of web-browser usage (and more usefully presented data).

(Mostly all other task management software I looked at prior, had much better data/presentation on web-browser usage - but there were usually other things about those software which I didn't not like.)

Here is an example of a Browser-only tracker, that presents very useful browser usage data: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... gnklhicppk

While your program (TaskCanvas) technically does track most of this data already,
from what I've seen, it lacks the ability of inspecting individual entries/processes, such as "Documents" of a Web Browser.

I would like to be able to click on an entry, or at least those with "Document tracking",
and see a breakdown of my page/document usage for the given period, within that application.

In addition (if you can - understandable if it is too difficult), if each corresponding URL could also be logged (rather than only the Window Title), that will be a useful improvement.

This way, it becomes much easier for a person to analyze, for example, which websites in specific they are wasting most time on, and work on addressing the issue.


Note: I'm very willing (especially if you can accomplish these requests) to recommend your software, as I plan on starting helpful reviews, based around Productivity and Self-improvement software/devices/tips.

(I have a fairly decent size (and growing) following - xx,xxx)

As well as supporting by paying for your License

Thanks again and keep up the good work!

[PS: I appreciate the privacy in mind with TaskCanvas, not sending off private user data to "the cloud" or wherever else... out of the user's control.]
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Re: Flexible Filtering + Breakdown by Documents (Browser)

Post by DigitalVolcano »

Thanks for the detailed feedback!

The Windows 10 App tracking was a tricky one - the earlier version of TaskCanvas just tracked ApplicationFrameHost.exe as a single app.
It does split into separate apps now, but as you say it needs some one distinguishing multiple copies of the same program but with different docs.

As for browser tracking - it currently just tracks the web page title. I'll look at this.

Both requests added to the development list!
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