5 Questions You Must Ask Yourself When You Choose a Time Tracker
41,100,000. This is the number of search results you’ll see if you type “Time Tracking Software” on Google.
How does a manager to make sense of it all? What’s the right time tracker for you and your business? With such a perplexing number of solutions available, where do you even start?
Here are 5 cases to start your evaluation process:
Why do you need time tracking in the first place?
It’s a simple, but often overlooked, problem. The most popular tasks which the time tracker solves are:
- Billable hours tracking – When you’re billing for your time, it’s essential to analyze cost of every minute of your work;
- Project management – Though you may be billing per a project rather than per hour worked, you still need to measure worked time.
Tracking billable hours often requires a new level of accuracy. The simplest example is the NYC lawyer who bills down to the 5-minute increment. And lawyers are often in a firm where CPAs, consultants, freelancers, and other professionals work who bill their work time and need to track it precisely.
Project tracking is typically used to measure the hours spent for a given project or job. Often, employees and companies who bill a fixed price will still track their time on every project, to understand the level of efficiency for given jobs.
How complex is your time tracker?
The more customers and/or projects you work on, the more difficult it will be for you to keep a record of your time. The more you multitask throughout a workday, the more challenging it’s to track your time properly. The CrocoTime time tracker is designed for employees who work on both single and multiple tasks and projects every work day. It’s built to accommodate the busy, multi-tasking professional. We will look into the specifics of this case in our next topic.
Is manually clocking your time sufficient, or you need the automatic time tracker?
The main types of time tracking are:
- Clocking in your work time manually using a timesheet;
- Using a start/stop time tracker’s button when you switch from task to task.
Remember our single-threaded professional above, who works on one or two projects per day? In such cases, manual time may be enough in the beginning.
But what if your staff is too busy to track their time correctly? In such a case, you should consider a time tracker that allows automatic time capture, like CrocoTime. This is a relatively long-supported feature, but many managers don’t realize it exists.
With automatic time tracking, CrocoTime will capture and summarize work time for you, as you work, without you having to do anything! In other words, as you crank through e-mail, draft docs, edit spreadsheets, and visit sites, the time tracking software will keep this record for you as you work. This capability is very handy for employees who multitask on a bunch of different activities.
What are you doing with time you tracked?
When you have your time tracked, where do you need to use this data? Is it enough to simply have it in your computer’s memory? Or do you need to synchronize it up with a billing or project management system? Of course, yes.
Think thoroughly of your workflow, analyze it and set the “end game” of your time tracking. If it is possible, take your potential time tracker for a free trial period, so you can realize what an end user experience would look like.
What kind of collaboration you need among company’s team members?
At last, if you work in a team, or manage it, you need CrocoTime to improve collaboration between the team members. You may or may not want project managers to be able to see the time tracking information of every single team member. And you may or may not want team members to be able to collaborate and view each other’s tracks.
These preferences are likely specific for your business, your employees, or for yourself. For instance, some timekeeping systems allow to see what staff is doing right now. This can be right what you want, or it can be the exact opposite if you fear a pushback to a “Big Brother”-like system. Well, only a CEO knows his team and business situation.
Again, we highly recommend taking our offer of 14 days free trial of CrocoTime, using it on other team members as well. Nothing beats a live spin to define if the time tracker will work for you.