Apps tracker is an open source program that logs which programs are being run on your PC, and for how long.

The program is portable, so there are no intrusive drivers or Windows services to worry about. Just launch it, click the window close button and it minimises to your system tray.

(There's no "stealth" option, no way to fully hide it from other users, so it's not a reliable way to spy on other people. Young children might not notice it, but anyone faintly technical will spot what's happening easily enough.)

Click the "apps tracker" system tray icon when you're ready, and the data section lists all the applications you've used.

Choosing an application displays the date it was used, the length of time, and the title of each active window (which should record details like document names or URLs).

The "Day Summary" tab uses tables and graphs to give you an overview of how much time you've spent in each application.

The "Screenshots" tab displays images taken at regular intervals as you worked. Assuming you turn it on, anyway (Settings > Screenshots).

An "App Categories" option allows you to organise applications into groups, like "work" or "play". Apps tracker then totals up the time spent in each category.

An "App limits" feature enables time limits to be set for particular applications, with warnings displayed if these are reached.

There's also a password protection feature to prevent others changing your settings. Anyone determined to bypass the program can simply close its process, though, so don't rely on this too much.

Verdict

Apps tracker is a useful way to monitor how your PC is being used, simple to operate and with a good range of features.