Keeping a diary is something most of have tried from time to time. Usually it's a resolution for the new year, so I was intrigued to get a mailing from German software house Synium announcing their new diary application, Chronories. This is a Mac app with a difference and I would really recommend downloading a trial version. Now I'm no Samuel Pepys, so I've never managed to keep a diary going for long. With Chronories, though, this doesn't matter because your daily doings are recorded automatically. All you need do is add a few lines of background if you wish. Left to its own devices, Chronories logs everything you do on the computer and presents the information in list or chart form as appropriate.
Among the many aspects monitored by Chronories are your local weather, your most-used applications, your contacts (in the form of a tag cloud), and your iCal appointments timeline. You can go back to any day and see a list of email messages, appointments and contacts.
A neat trick is the ability to record an iSight photo and a screenshot. A little toolbar icon nags you to take these shots during the day and it is surprising how good it is to look back on life in this way. Obviously I'm a couple of weeks into Chronories, but it is becoming an indispensible part of my desktop.
So what does MacOldie get up to? Not surprisingly, the bulk of my computing time between December 16 and January 7 has been spent using Safari: no fewer than 38 hours. I've spent 12 hours checking and writing emails, nine hours fettling my OmniFocus tasks, five hours with Finder and Skype alike, three hours in my accounts system (Moneydance) and two hours each in iTunes and Chronories. Phew! I never realised this and it's sort of worrying to see how much time I spend glued to the cinema display.
I found out about Chronories because I use two other Synium products, CleanApp and Mac Family Tree (or Macstammbaum as the Germans will have it). Mac Family Tree, especially, is an elegant and graphically excellent product, so I was not surprised to find Chronories so rewarding. It costs $19 US from Synium.