Time is money, as the old adage goes.
This holds true especially in the world of business. Come to think of it, the business computing revolution can be said to have been built around attempts at automating processes to save us time. In fact, some would go so far as to say that time is another valuable business resource that needs to be used as efficiently as possible.
To actually make the most of this resource, you first need to track how you spend your working hours. This isn’t just useful for consultants or freelance professionals who bill by the hour, but applies to any business or organization.
This is where timekeeping and timesheet apps come in. For consulting personnel and others billing by the hour, timekeeping apps are an indispensable business tool. But these are also pretty handy for any business entity seeking productivity gains. Even if your business model doesn’t include time-based billing, it might help to keep track of where your employees’ energy is truly focused.
Here are some timesheet and timekeeping apps that should help you get started with a ‘time audit’ of your team:
- Harvest: This web-based time tracking service also comes with desktop and mobile device integration. Features include detailed reports and automated invoice creation.
- Toggl: Offering Basecamp and Google calendar integration, Toggl prides itself on its ease-of-use and simplicity with its ‘one-click time tracking’.
- Paymo: A full-fledged project management, invoicing, and timesheet application, Paymo includes several collaborative features that make it easier to work with colleagues and clients.
- Clicktime: This online timesheet app features integration with popular accounting packages and also offers highly-customizable reporting options.
- Clockodo: Yet another web-based timekeeping system, Clockodo also offers apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Freckle: One of the new breed of online apps that focus as much on the user experience as on the features, Freckle is targeted as freelancers and small teams.
- ProjectManager.com: This web-based project management solution offers features like time tracking, task management, budgeting, document management and reporting. This app has a user-friendly interface, make it relatively easy to adopt.
- Manictime: Manictime offers one much-needed feature most timesheet apps lack – the ability to track work completely automatically. This desktop app works in the background and keeps track of the application you use. While this might not be the best solution for you if you’re looking for an app to help deal with billing and invoicing, it can make a great productivity enhancer.
- RescueTime: Another timekeeping app that works in the background and tracks your web and app usage, RescueTime also makes a fantastic productivity tool.
- Excel/Google Sheets: Spreadsheet software might not exactly seem tailor-made for use as timekeeping apps, but their customizability makes them surprisingly suitable for this. It’s as simple as setting up a few columns for your projects, clients, etc. and being diligent about entering your time usage (Hint: Excel offers a rather useful keyboard shortcut that fills in the current time)
Timekeeping apps and services can make a big difference to your productivity by making visible exactly how you utilize this valuable resource. The plain fact of the matter is that unless you really know where your time goes, you can’t make much headway in reducing the time spent on relatively non-productive areas.
Some timesheet apps also boost your productivity further by helping automate invoicing and billing. Give one of these a whirl, and see which works best for you!
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