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How to set up Memory for Mac

Easily capture activity on your computer, your way

Lisa avatar
Written by Lisa
Updated over a week ago

Plans 💳 : Everyone

User Permissions 👥: Everyone

Memory is Timely's tool that automatically records everything you do to your own, private timeline. It captures the time you actively spend in files, on apps, browsing websites, your calendar events, attending meetings, and even GPS locations. By capturing everything you do, you get a complete picture of what you work on each day. 🖼️

Below you’ll find everything you need to get Memory for Mac:

🔔 Important Memory for Mac Update

As of July 2023 we're excited to announce a complete "under the hood" overhaul and re-design of the Memory for Mac app.

⚒️ While we gradually roll out this update to all of our Mac customers, there will be some who are still using the legacy version of Memory for Mac and those who are on the updated version.

If your Memory application menu looks like this:

Please refer back to the Help Center article HERE for more information or troubleshooting steps.

Downloading Memory

First things first. If you haven't downloaded Timely, that's the first place to start. You can either go to our website or use this link to download it:

Now that you've downloaded Timely you'll be prompted to install Memory. 🧠

Installing Memory

After downloading Memory, open the .zip file and save the app to your Applications folder. Then, follow these steps and best practices to get up and running in no time at all:

  1. Open your Applications folder

  2. Double-click Memory to open the app

  3. You will find a brain icon in your top menu bar. It'll look like this:

6. Click to log in and you’ll then be routed to Timely in a browser, where you can use

your email address and password, Google or Apple authentication to sign in.

7. Once signed in, make sure the green button in the bottom-right corner is switched

ON to start capturing all of your work automatically. Here's what that looks like:

Pro-Tip ✅

If you want to turn Memory OFF, just toggle the button back to the left. When Memory is OFF, no data is collected or uploaded to Timely. Just be sure to turn it back on when you need to start capturing your work again.

Best Practice 💯

We also think it's a really great idea to have Memory set up to Launch on startup. This way, you won't forget to turn Memory on after restarting your computer. This happens often and we don't want you to lose any valuable activity that could've been logged.

Security & Privacy Settings 🚨

You need to grant Memory accessibility permissions to let it read window titles. Without this permission, it can't automatically capture everything you work on.

After launching the Memory app for the first time, you'll get a popup that asks for permission, just click the OK button for Memory to continue working.

If you hit Don't Allow by mistake, no worries! All you need to do is go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy, click Automation and check the unchecked applications under Memory. It looks like this:

To make sure the window titles of your applications are captured by Memory, it's a good idea to check that Memory is selected within Accessibility as well. Have a look here:

Customizing Memory

Enable scheduling 📆

You can schedule Memory to automatically switch ON and OFF for the duration of your working day. This is especially handy if you use your personal computers for work, ensuring that any personal browsing or desktop activity outside of work isn’t recorded. 👏

To get started, open Memory by clicking on the brain icon in the top menu bar. From there, click the Settings gear, select Preferences, then click on the tab that says Advanced. Click Enable scheduling then set the days and times you want Memory to be active. It looks like this:

Idle time detection 🟡

Not all work takes place at the computer. Impromptu meetings and water-cooler conversations can all lead to game-changing decisions. Whenever you step away from your computer, Memory can detect your absence, and prompt you to create an entry for the time you spend offline! 💡

To enable Idle time detection, click the brain icon in the top menu bar. Click the Settings gear, select Preferences, and then click Advanced. You’ll find the tab for Idle time detection. Once that’s enabled, Memory will detect when you’re not actively working and stop capturing activity after 15 minutes have passed.

Make sure you’ve enabled notifications for Memory. That way, you'll be prompted to quickly log any idle time, adding an extra layer of accuracy into your timesheets. 🎉

Pause ⏸

If you need to take a break from capturing activity for any reason, you can pause Memory directly from the Settings gear. You can select between 15 mins, 30 mins, 1 hour, or until tomorrow. A quick pause is recommended rather than turning Memory off completely.

Rules ⚖️

Using simple rules, you can now tell Memory for Mac to ignore or rewrite specific activities locally on your computer before anything is uploaded to your private timeline.

To start setting up rules, open Memory and then go to Preferences > Rules. There you’ll see a window where you can start creating rules by:

  1. Entering the name of the rule. This can be a simple sentence or statement about the app or website you plan to ignore or rewrite, such as “Hide Spotify”.

  2. If you’re hiding or rewriting a browser activity, select “Website title or URL contains”. For app activities, select “Application or document contains” and enter the name of the site, part of the URL, application or document name that Memory will look for.

  3. If you don’t want to see the activity on your timeline, click the “Ignore the memory” radio button.

  4. If you want to change the name of the activity, select “Change the memory to” and enter a new title (and URL if applicable) to be displayed when the memory is uploaded to your private timeline.

  5. Click “Save” and you’re done! You’ll then see your new rule in the list on the left along with any others you’ve created.

Note: You need to finish writing a rule and save it before you can create a new one. Rules are then displayed in chronological order and can be reordered by dragging/dropping in the UI.

Rules are then applied in the order they appear in the list, meaning that if you have set up a rule to ignore Spotify followed by a rule that changes the name of Spotify memories to “Music”, the rule to ignore Spotify will be applied first.

Keep in mind: rules apply only to the desktop or website version of the app in question. As an example, if you have a rule to ignore Zoom memories from the desktop application, a memory will still appear in your timeline whenever you launch Zoom or open a Zoom tab/window from a web browser. In this case, you would need to set up two rules—one for blocking web app activity and one for blocking desktop app activity—to stop all Zoom memories from appearing in Timely.

Uninstalling Memory for Mac 🚫

Before you can uninstall Memory from your Mac, you need to log out and quit the application. To log out from Memory, simply open Memory from your status bar, click on the gear icon, and select Preferences. From there, go to Accounts then select Log out from Memory…

To quit the application, open Memory again, click on the gear icon, and press Quit.

After closing Memory, you can open your Applications folder and move Memory to the trash to uninstall.

Note: If you’re unable to find Memory on your computer, search for Memory in Spotlight (Command+Space). Also, make sure you remove the file if it’s still in your Downloads folder.

Important Note: Within the Timely Ecosystem settings you'll see Memory listed as shown here:

Clicking the "Remove" button in this area will NOT uninstall Memory from your device. This option will log you out of Memory and will delete any existing un-logged memories captured to-date.

This option should only be used if you no longer have access to the physical device where Memory is installed and/or you would like to remove any of the captured memories associated with account you've logged in with.


What are the OS requirements? 🖥️

Memory for Mac supports macOS Mojave 10.14 and above.

What do I do if memories aren’t appearing on my timeline? 🤔

Our dedicated article for troubleshooting issues with Memory has all the info you need to get started.

Is my data safe/private? 🔒

Data from Memory is private to you and only you! We take privacy very seriously. Click to read more about what data we capture, how we protect and process your data, and how that data is incorporated into your Timely experience.

Still have questions?

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