Using Threadwatch To Visually Track Your Daily App Usage 1


Using Threadwatch To Visually Track Your Daily App Usage


Today I am going to show you are rather cool app. Its called Threadwatch, an app designed to track which apps you are using through the day. Its a  fun little application that visually shows which apps you what you are using by CPU usage. Through the day, as you use applications, the application at the front will typically use the most CPU usage. This will be tracked by the app which is then visualised.

Tracking Data

Once you download the app, the little app will run in the background. Through the day, or time period you elect, it will see which apps are using the CPU on your Mac and log the results. The app runs in the background and doesn’t take up much present, although it does take up a couple of percent of your CPU.

Visualizing your activity through the day is simple with Thread Watch

When you have finished for the day, you press the stop button. You are ready to visualise your data.

Visualizing Usage

The visualization is done through the web. You upload the text file that has recorded the results and a cool canvas app in your web browser will visualise the data. The app links to the website. The visualization takes a while but results are pretty cool. The circle that is created logs the CPU usage for each app. The bigger the bar for each app, the more CPU usage, time goes anti-clockwise around the circle.

Thread Watch visualization of CPU usage.

Time begins at the bottom of the image and move round to the left. The position on the circle relates to the time as if you look it on a clock. I started at six o’clock, went out at seven and came back a bit earlier. You can see I used a lot of Firefox in the beginning, then near the end moved onto Photoshop. Its fun to see how the usage moves and changes as time goes by.


The app is a bit clunky, you need to use a web browser to view the data. However, I like the results and I think it looks rather cool. I would like to see in the future the web browser part rolled into the app part.

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