As promised, this is the follow-up of my 21 day OfficeTime evaluation (see original post “Where did time go?“). Not that all of you were waiting with bated breath for it! Nonetheless, I’m trying to stick to my blog promises.
OfficeTime certainly lived up to everything stated in the website. I was truly impressed with the integration with iCal and the ability to track not just your time but see the reports of others (I have yet to get everyone using it though, hence the blog). The benefit of the iCal integration is that when you’re trying to figure out where that time really went all you have to do is pull up your week or month and there it is. Sometimes you don’t realize how your time really gets used until you start discretely tracking it and see it visually.
The other major thing for me was the Global Menu Bar Start and Stop. It’s a quick way to start timing without having to go through the run around of launching the program (the application has already found its way to my dock). In all blog honesty I hit a few recurring crashes but I was able to submit the bug and get a quick response from the team. They are also really welcoming with suggestions and enhancements that you throw their way.
There are of course plenty of other talking points for this application that are really eye catching. Not that any of you look to me as the authority of all that is consulting, but this is a consultant must have App!
Where were you last week Tuesday? What did you do? How much time did you spend doing whatever you were doing?
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.