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We hate to promote our competition [1] but TimeCarrot.com is an interesting idea (albeit rough around the edges) that some of you will be interested in. Most of you know about StickK.com, which facilitates commitment contracts on arbitrary goals (but no visualization or automatic daily accountability, like with Beeminder). You also may have heard of RescueTime.com which automatically tracks your time by recording how long you spend in different applications or web pages.

So TimeCarrot combines those ideas: You tell it what sites or apps you waste time on and set up a real monetary commitment contract and the rest is on auto-pilot — you waste too much time and you lose. I tried it (with just a dollar at stake) for my goal of not wasting too much time on Hacker News, and lost. Actually I lost on purpose to see how they handled that case [2]. I had specified my co-founder as the beneficiary and she got an email saying she had 85 cents coming to her (TimeCarrot’s cut is 15%) but she had to create a TimeCarrot account to claim it.

List the websites that akratically take up more of your time than you intend or want.

In a recent post on my other blog, Bethany Soule and I talked about why we don’t like RescueTime-style time tracking and described the crazy system, TagTime, that we (and a couple intrepid users) are using to (bee)mind how we spend our time. But I’m not sure much of that criticism applies to TimeCarrot. Often it’s no problem to list the specific websites that akratically take up more of your time than you intend or want. And for many people it’s perfectly binary: if you have one of those sites or apps open, it’s safe to call it wasted time.

Thanks to Neema Moraveji for originally pointing me to TimeCarrot.com.

UPDATE: TimeCarrot seems to have gone under in the meantime. Check out our more recent list of competitors. And of course now that Beeminder has RescueTime integration we can bill ourselves as “StickK + RescueTime”.


[1] No, we’re actually happy to. And I should emphasize that this endorsement of TimeCarrot is completely unsolicited and uncompensated.

[2] Also I’m addicted to Hacker News.