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Personal Analytics project to increase knowledge workers' awareness about work and productivity.


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PersonalAnalytics - Privacy-protecting, open-source Self-Monitoring Software

PersonalAnalytics is a self-monitoring software developed by the Human Aspects of Software Engineering Lab of the University of Zurich to non-intrusively collect computer interaction data and user's self-reports, store it locally on the user's machine, and allow users to voluntarily share a user-defined and potentially obfuscated subset of the data with researchers for scientific purposes.

The monitoring component captures computer interaction data including user input and app & website usage data. Every now and then, a self-reflection question asks the user a question, e.g. about the current stress level or perceived productivity. Since all data is stored locally only (and not automatically uploaded to a server to avoid privacy concerns), a data export component helps the user to decide which data to share and allows it to be obfuscated, before securely sharing it with researchers. In the future, it will add a retrospection that will visualize and correlate the automatically collected and manually reported data to help users learn more about how they spend their time, their work habits and how it impacts productivity and time well spent. This software is open source, can be adapted and re-used for researchers' own scientific studies.

Anyone is welcome to contribute to PersonalAnalytics by extending it with new trackers or improving existing ones. Feel free to use PersonalAnalytics to get insights into your own work habits, or use it for research studies. In case you re-use PersonalAnalytics, ensure to provide proper attribution as described here.

🧑‍💻 Installation & Usage as a User

Anyone may install PersonalAnalytics on their Windows or macOS device to non-intrusively collect computer interaction data, and analyze their activity, time spent and work habits for themselves. In the future, once we'll re-introduce the Retrospection (i.e. visualizations of the collected and self-reported data), it will be much easier to gain insights again.

Learn more about how to install and use PersonalAnalytics.

👩‍🔬 Customization & Usage as a Researcher

This project was created by and for researchers who want to ask study participants to run PersonalAnalytics on their device to non-intrusively collect computer interaction data in a privacy-protected way. As often times, having access to only automatically collected data is often not sufficient, PersonalAnalytics also offers an experience sampling component, which allows researchers to ask users to reflect and self-report on one or several questions (e.g. Have I been productive? Am I stressed right now?) at customizable times and using Likert-scales. As all collected data is only stored locally on participants' computers, there is an export component, guiding the participant through sharing and potentially obfuscating the captured data, before sharing it with the researchers through their data transfer service of choice. Most settings are configurable in the study-config, everything else can be customized in code.

Learn more about how to use PersonalAnalytics for your research project.

📖 Further Information

🕒 Maintenance Status

The original version of PersonalAnalytics for Windows (created by André Meyer) and for macOS (created by Roy Rutishauser and Chris Satterfield), and supported by several other contributors, have been deprecated and are no longer maintained. In case of interest, you can learn more about PersonalAnalytics-legacy here.

In 2024, we've revived the project in creating a multi-platform app using TypeScript and Electron. It is using the TypeScript-versions of our original, most used data trackers, the WindowsActivityTracker and the UserInputTracker. In addition, it includes an experience sampling component that can ask users to provide self-reports on one or several questions at customizable times. At the moment, the new PersonalAnalytics does NOT yet feature a retrospection, but it's the plan to recreate it in the future.

🙂 Main Contributors and People Involved

This work is carried by the following main contributors:

📨 Contact

  • You may contact André Meyer ( in case of questions on the project.
  • Do not attempt contact in case of questions on a specific study in which you are participating. If you encounter technical issues, create an issue, so that the community may offer help.

↪️ Dependencies

This project uses PA.WindowsActivityTracker and PA.UserInputTracker as its main data trackers. For the full list of dependencies, consider package.json.