My partner and I really want to track our hours closely. I find however that I have a hard time remember to write down or record when I get inspired and sit down to work (sometimes flashes occur at some obscure hour and I find myself up at 10pm working on a project that I couldn’t work on earlier).
I tried using some timeclock programs, but I haven’t found one that is simple and easy enough to work with quickly. I’ve seen Basecamp, but I don’t feel our workload justifies it (yet!).
So I’m curious, for those who work hourly or perhaps at least track their hours, how do you do it efficiently?
The wonderful world of Freshbooks! It’s free if you’re only using it for 3 clients, but if you just want to use it for time tracking purposes, that’s even easier.
If you are running on a Mac, you can download their little widget thing for your dashboard. My time tracking is super easy now, two steps:
1. Hit F12 (brings up dashboard)
2. Hit "start timer" on the widget
You can write notes about what you’re doing during that time, select client, project, etc. Once you’re done, hit "submit hours" and they get uploaded to your account online. They even have a free app for the iPhone for time tracking on the road (I use it when I do work on a plane or ferry, or if I go to a meeting, etc etc).
I have used 2 – currently use Timeloc – the other was klock – they are adobe air apps. Klok is probably better I think – the only problem I have is remembering to turn them on… I have heard of a third that I have not yet tried called dukt
I second the recommendation of Freshbooks’ timer. It works in XP, Vista and Win7. Of the 3 adobe air apps, klok was by far the best, and I still had a hell of a time making it work for my day-to-day life.
Honestly, I have a little calendar binder next to my keyboard, and I write down my time in there… It’s got a week on two full-size pages, so I have enough space to write time down for multiple clients…
I have recently been turned on to Freshbooks. I’m just on the free version, testing it out and haven’t downloaded the time-tracking app yet, but friend has been raving about how great it is. (If it’s anything like the Freshbooks website, I’m sure it’s awesome.)
Our Time Tracking process was a good one, but with http://www.hourdoc.com we suddenly found how much time and energy we had been wasting on things that could be done automatically and with much better accuracy than through manual data entry. They offer free application to companies less than 50 employees. You must Try it!
I use this app https://codealike.com/, it works for teams too.
I recomend you install a time tracker that is active 24/7 so both of you don’t miss those little moments of productivity.
The app I recomended, besides keeping track of your working hours, creates charts to show you your coding patterns and when you reach high productivity levels and when you get distracted.
Hope it helps.
A less expensive alternative to Freshbooks is Harvest. I have it on my phone as well as the desktop timer.
Typically we don’t record every hour for every project, but in cases where we do, or in cases where we gauge how long projects take, it’s great. The phone is nice because you can easily start timers when you’re doing things like meeting the client. That’ll give you a full scope of the time involved.