8 Time Management Apps & Extensions for Your Web Browsing

Close up of man using multiple mobile device - phone, table, and laptop


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Online distractions can be a real problem for those who aren't mindful or disciplined enough to resist unproductive browsing habits, but there's no reason why even the most distraction-prone individual can't train themselves to become a more intentional user. Tools like time management apps and browser extensions can be a big help when just getting started.

If you want to start being a more productive web user who has more free time to enjoy, consider downloading or installing one (or several) of the following tools.

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Rescue Time Screenshot
What We Like
  • Set and monitor time-management goals.

  • Lite version is free.

What We Don't Like
  • In-depth reporting requires pricey premium version.

  • No iOS version.

RescueTime is one of the most popular time management applications that you can use on both the desktop and mobile web to track your time spent browsing websites and apps. A free membership gets you this plus the opportunity to set goals for how you want to spend your time, as well as weekly and quarterly reports.

You can also use the tool to get alerts about when you've spent enough time on a certain activity, block specific websites, log achievements throughout your day and more.

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Pie Chart

Walker and Walker / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Unobtrusive.

  • Won't track activity on pages you're not focused on.

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks customization options.

  • Doesn’t track time spent passively (e.g., watching a movie).

Want to see exactly how much time you're spending on specific websites? Trackr is a simple Chrome web browser extension that displays a nice pie graph and corresponding legend to give you a visual idea of where you're spending your time. According to the developer, it only tracks active time on a web page — meaning if you leave lots of browsers open, it won't detect mouse movement or any other actions on the web page that counts toward tracking.

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Go F***ing Work

Cursing thought bubble

Epoxydude / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Humorous way to stay on track.

  • Close a site when a preset time has elapsed.

What We Don't Like
  • Not suitable for work or school because of swearing.

  • Some features are not readily apparent.

This one isn't exactly for people who prefer proper language. Like Trackr, Go F***ing Work is a Chrome extension that acts as a website blocker. Just tell the extension which websites you want to block (like Facebook, Netflix, YouTube, etc.) and then every time you try to visit it, you'll be dissed and sworn at for even trying.

You can put the extension on pause for as little as five minutes or as long as 48 hours, but the extension will ask you if you're f***ing sure before doing so!

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Illustration of a business man flying with arrow representing productivity

akindo / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Blocks access to websites according to limits you set.

  • Interspersed with humor.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited options.

  • Ad-supported.

If you're not too keen on having profane language spewed at you by the previously suggested browser extension, you may want to try StayFocused as a similar, much more polite alternative. StayFocused is also a Chrome extension that works by limiting your access to time-wasting websites.

This particular extension allows you to limit access for a specified amount of time — say, for an hour of productive time. You also can set a daily maximum time allowed for access, but when that time is up, those websites will be inaccessible for the rest of the day. 

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illustration of hand holding sign with skull and crossbones on it

erhui1979 / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Completely free.

  • Simple and straightforward.

What We Don't Like
  • Restarting computer doesn’t deactivate settings.

  • Doesn’t block subdomains.

Are you a Mac user? SelfControl is a free Mac app that allows users to block pretty much anything they want — websites, mail servers or whatever else.

Be warned, though: unlike the Chrome extensions mentioned above, which can be bypassed just by deactivating them, SelfControl keeps working even after you restart your Mac. So when you set a time limit to block distractions, make sure you really don't need them during that period of time. 

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Illustration of a forest

mashuk / getty Images

What We Like
  • White noise function.

  • Visual progress display and possibility of planting actual trees provides motivation.

What We Don't Like
  • Earning coins can take a long time.

  • No ability to pause.

Okay, so maybe you're more of a mobile addict. If you are, you'll want to check out Forest — a premium app available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices that takes a super nice approach to beating smartphone addiction. Planting trees!

You plant a tree whenever you want to focus on your work, and as you do, the tree grows. If you leave the app, the tree is killed. There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox too, so you can grow your forest on the web too!

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Moment logo


What We Like
  • Insight into what draws your attention most.

  • Attractive, clean interface.

What We Don't Like
  • Counts screen time when you’re not interacting with an app.

  • Reminders and notifications may be too preachy.

If you're an iPhone addict just looking for a simple, free app to help you kick your bad habit of constantly checking your phone and spending way too much time on it, consider Moment.

See exactly how much time you're spending on your phone, set alerts to remind you to get off the thing every X minutes and set a daily limit that warns you when you've reached it. You can also track which apps you use the most to get an idea of what's most addicting to you.

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Cold Turkey

Illustration of a thanksgiving turkey with leaves falling behind it

id-work / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Quite customizable.

  • Set timer to end at an hour and minute, rather than after an interval.

What We Don't Like
  • Advanced features require purchase of the pro version.

  • Unintuitive interface.

Cold Turkey is another all-in-one time management tool built for the desktop web. With the free version, you get to set a maximum block period, create multiple custom groups for block lists that cater to specific occasions and also enjoy the convenient work/break timer.

The pro version gives you a lot more including a scheduling tool, the ability to block applications, the opportunity to set up wildcards or exceptions, work/break intervals and something called "frozen turkey" for locking yourself out at specific times of the day.