I've seen enough Law and Order episodes to know that if I'm ever asked those questions I better have an accurate answer. But have you ever really stopped to think how much time was spent working on "X" or "Y" last week Tuesday? For a small business consultant the answer to those questions directly translates into dollars and cents.
There are so many different things fighting time falling into the buckets of billable and non-billable. Keeping track of everything usually becomes a memory exercise when you actually have time after the fact to sit down and write it up. I would guess that more often than not things are forgotten. Think of the phone calls, the quick emails, the text messages, and multiply that by each simultaneous project (Dare I say per client?). Besides project scope creep, not tracking time and billing accordingly can lead to a serious migraine.
So where I'm going with all of this? I've been poking around for something other than my notebook, iCal and/or memory to track time. I've tried various methods over the years but haven't been able to really get a solid solution. Personally, every minute needs to be tracked WHILE I'm doing the work.
OfficeTime seems to solve the problem. Upon mentioning it to my business partner 'JH' he responded - "Another tool"? But I think I've found a winner here. Here is why in a nutshell:
- Simple "Play, Pause and Stop" buttons to activate a timer
- Reporting of time spent based on a number of fields (Time, Project, Etc)
- Team tracking to see how others are spending their time
- Calendar Integration (Great for me as an iCal user!)
The only way to know if its truly it is the time tool of all tools is to demo it out for 21 days. I'll let you know how it went.