“Time is money.”
It’s a phrase you’ve undoubtedly heard before. Unlike most material things, you can never recover or replenish time once you spend it.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should fill every waking hour with work as that’ll lead to burnout. But it does mean that you should understand where your time is going, so you can make better use of it. One way to track time is to use the clock app on your mobile device (a watch will do fine too) and manually write down how long tasks take. The downside is you can’t track time across your team or easily visualize the data.
A better solution is to use time tracking software.
In this article, we’ll look at what time tracking software is and the value it provides for your business. We’ll also give you a template that you can use to gain insight into how you’re spending your time.
What is time tracking software?
Time tracking software is software that lets you track your time for individual tasks and across an entire project. It provides visibility on how teams are spending their time and improves the accuracy of work estimates.
Time tracking software typically includes the following features:
- Time tracking: a core feature of time tracking software, of course, is capturing work hours in real-time right down to the second.
- Project management: some time tracking solutions are part of project management software, allowing you to create task lists, set due dates, and more.
- User management: this feature lets you add and manage multiple users, useful for tracking hours in teams.
- Export: another feature is being able to export timesheets for invoicing and expense tracking purposes.
- Reporting: time tracking software lets you create detailed reports, allowing you to see a full breakdown of time by tasks and projects.
Time tracking software like monday.com includes all of these features and more, like in-context collaboration and workflow automations.
Here’s an example of time tracking in monday.com:
Project boards in monday.com provide a high-level view of what your team is working on and how much time they’re spending on individual tasks.
Let’s look at the value of using software to track your time.
What are the benefits of time tracking software?
Time tracking software goes beyond simply logging hours. The insights it provides can significantly increase efficiency and performance.
Here’s why you should use time tracking software.
Employees don’t want to be micromanaged. It displays a lack of trust and creates a more stressful environment.
A challenge for any project manager is to monitor progress without micromanaging. You need to know how your team is spending their time to ensure the project is on schedule.
Time tracking software from monday.com promotes transparency. An employee can track their working hours automatically and project managers can see how they’re progressing with their work, without peering over their shoulder.
Here’s an example of a time log that we use here at monday.com:
The Team Time Log is particularly useful for remote employees. They can provide status updates and keep track of their billable working hours for payroll.
Click here to learn more about this board and to get started with this template.
Cat videos are downright hilarious — it’s practically impossible not to laugh watching these little guys chasing their own tails or getting stuck in random things. But they do take time away from your work.
A time tracking app offers a useful way to measure productivity.
Just by being aware of how much time you’re spending on things like social media — which users spend 144 minutes on per day, by the way — and meetings, you can take steps to plug productivity leaks.
Improves resource management
Using a time tracker is also beneficial in terms of resource management. It gives you a more accurate overview of your team’s capacity and how much they can take on.
A time tracking tool can even indicate potential bottlenecks, training needs, and more.
For example, if one employee spends 10 hours on a task and another spends 30 hours on a similar task, you’ll want to investigate further to figure out why.
Improves time estimates
Time tracking software provides a complete breakdown of time spent by projects and individual tasks. This historical data lets you provide better estimates for future tasks and projects.
Why is it important?
Because only 59% of organizations mostly or always deliver projects on time.
If you have a better idea of how long it takes to deliver a project, you can plan your schedule and resources accordingly, stead of trying to hit what turns out to be an unattainable target. This data will also be useful when you prepare the project budget.
Provides accurate reports
If you’re a service provider, you need a way to invoice clients accurately. Time tracking software lets you view and export a timesheet that shows a full breakdown of work hours.
On monday.com, you can easily export time tracking data into an Excel spreadsheet:
This is also useful for managing payroll.
Automates repetitive tasks
Time tracking software can be used to automate repetitive tasks. For example, instead of manually calculating expenses, you can have the software perform and display those calculations.
In monday.com, you can use the Formula Column to automatically calculate hourly rates multiplied by time spent for billing purposes:
Once you decide to use employee time tracking software, the next step is to figure out which solution is right for your business.
Choosing the best time tracking software
Choosing the right time tracking software is important for any business.
Any time tracking software you use should make it easy for you and your team to track their time. If users can’t figure out how to use the software, they’ll likely give up in frustration.
monday.com offers a highly visual and intuitive interface. Users can quickly add their tasks to the project board and click on the play button to start and stop the timer any time.
Users can also manually edit a time entry if they forget to start the timer or accidentally leave it on. (Edited time entries turn red so you can easily see changed data.)
As more employees today increasingly put time in away from the office, it’s important to choose software that offers a mobile app for time tracking on the go.
monday.com’s mobile app makes it easy for your team to track time from anywhere. Whether you use an iPhone or Android device, you’ll be able to track your time on the go.
Software with robust reporting capabilities is a must. The time tracking solution you choose should provide detailed summaries of how your team is spending their time.
In monday.com, you can track time by tasks, projects, and individuals, enabling you to measure how your team is spending their time from one place.
If you’re looking for a robust time tracking software that helps you manage your time more effectively and see exactly where projects stand, we recommend giving monday.com a try.
Getting started with time tracking software from monday.comTime tracking software provides valuable insights that you can use to keep teams on track. But you need to actually put it to use.
Follow these steps to get started.
#1. Choose a template
Getting started with a template lets you quickly get started. monday.com offers a range of fully customizable templates for different use cases. Use these templates as is or customize them to fit your workflow.
#2. Add your tasks
The next step is to add your tasks to your project board. For projects with a larger scope, use a work breakdown structure — the process of breaking down a project into smaller and more manageable steps.
For example, for one part of a construction project like area preparation, you might break that down into tasks like:
- Land clearing
- Underground utility mapping
- Site excavation
Here’s an example of a construction schedule in monday.com:
You can access the construction schedule template here.
#3. Estimate task duration
Once you’ve added tasks to your project board, the next step is to estimate how long each will take to complete. Estimating task durations is important for project management as it helps you assess the time you’ll need to dedicate to a task
And when you define clear start and end dates for individual tasks, you can visualize your project schedule with Gantt charts — a bar chart that displays scheduled tasks over time.
Here’s an example of a Gantt chart in monday.com:
As you start tracking your time and completing tasks, you can export timesheets and analyze that data to provide more accurate estimates for similar tasks in the future.
#4. Add a time tracking column
With monday.com, you can add a time tracking column to any board. When users get started on a task, they can simply click on the time clock to start the timer.
The time tracking log lets you view how long you’ve spent on a task.
#5. Get to work
With your tasks and time tracking column added to your board, all that’s left now is to get to work. Don’t forget to start and stop the timer as you complete your tasks.
Simply saying that you’ll be productive is easier said than done. Check out this article, “6 productivity systems you should know” for a full breakdown of productivity methods you can use to stay on track.
Get real value from time tracking software
Time tracking software shows you see where your time is going, so you can find ways to increase employee productivity and improve overall efficiency.
Here’s a team task management template that you can use to assign tasks and keep your team on the same page. The temple is fully customizable, so you and your team can customize it to fit any workflow.