How to Choose a Work Hours Tracker

ProjectManager.com

Time waits for no one, or so it’s said. That might be true, but even in its wake, time leaves a trail we can follow and measure. Time, being one of the many variables we need to schedule and monitor when managing a project, therefore is an important element of any project. It’s crucial we have a way to measure it.

Working on a project involves a lot of time and different types of time, from reporting on the progress of the project schedule to tracking your team’s timesheet, and therefore a powerful work hours tracker is going to help boost your project productivity. But what kind of time tracker is best?

There are lots of them, from standalone timekeeping apps to more robust project management software, with a work time tracker feature. To separate the wheat from the chaff, here’s a short rundown on the tools you can’t do without when your shopping for a timesheet software.

best features for time tracking projects

Track Tasks

Tasks are the worker ants on any project. What you want when tracking employee time is a way to determine what is do, when and by whom. To track all those tasks, you need a software that can take your team’s status updates and track their progress as they work to complete the task on deadline.

While a employee time log can do thing, when your time tracker is part of a larger whole, that time is tracked not merely on timesheet software, but thought the project management software. Now the data is populated on heir task lists, but also on the larger Gantt chart and feed to your dashboard.

Now you and your team are aware of the status of the task. Better yet, that task is also placed in context of the larger project. Your time tracker is now showing you how much time is being spent on each task, so you can reallocate resources if that task is falling behind schedule.

Monitor Progress

You can’t know if your behind or ahead of schedule if you can’t see where you are in the schedule. Monitoring your progress and comparing the actual progress to the planned progress is the most valuable tool you must determine if it’s smooth sailing to a successful project completion or if resources need reallocating to get the project back on progress.

What you need to have the most accurate measurements of project progress is a real-time view into the project. The only way you can achieve this is by using a tool that is cloud-based. When you have an online work time tracker, status updates are instantly reported throughout your software, which then reflects the project as it is, not as it was.

Having a real-time dashboard software as part of your timesheet software gives you the best data to make insightful decisions on your project. With one, you have a full view of the project’s metrics, including how your team is progressing through their tasks, not where you had planned for them to be at this point in the project.

See their task status, overall project progress and even the team workload, which is all laid out is clear graphs and charts. Not only are these graphics updated in real-time, but you can filter the data to report on exactly what you need to know, when you need to know it.

Timesheet Software

Don’t forget about your team. Of course, a time tracker is a multiuse tool, but it was designed to keep track of the time your team is working, and you need to have a timesheet software that does this efficiently.

When tracking employee time, you want to have a timesheet that’s easy to use, one that syncs with your team’s tasks, so that submitting timesheets is a breeze. This is facilitated by having an online timesheet software, so your team can update their timesheets whenever and wherever.

When your timesheet is online, team members can simply select their tasks and enter. It’s that easy. All the time they put into that task is now populated in the timesheet. All they need to do now is look it over and then submit it for approval.

Because the timesheets are synced with your team’s task updates, you are assured of their accuracy when they’re submitted. You also want to have a timesheet that locks when a team member submits them to keep it secure and untampered with.

The software should then alert you that the timesheet has been submitted. Now it’s ready for your review. If they’re good to go, you want a software that allows you to approve them in one click. Timesheets shouldn’t be any more difficult to complete than that.

Manage Workload

There are many reasons why you should love timesheets, managing your workload is another one. Because you’re already monitoring your team’s progress through their task list, you want to also see if those tasks are properly distributed.

Some of your team might be doing the heavy lifting, while others are idle. With a workload management feature, you can view your team’s activity in an easy-to-read color-coded chart. When someone is overloaded with tasks you can reallocated some of their work to another who has availability.

Not only can you easily see who is over- and under-allocated, but you can reallocate those tasks with a simple click of the keyboard. Because the data being fed into these calendar views of your team’s workload is in real-time, you able to balance the workload, stay on schedule and keep your team happy and productive.

Custom Reports

You might not think immediately of timesheets and reporting as related, but timesheets offer you one metric helps your stakeholders when they want to know about the progress of the project. You’re going to have to generate reports throughout the life cycle of the project, and if your timesheet software can assist you in that, more power to it.

From the real-time dashboard you can filter the data to target your audience, and then with one click create the perfect report. These reports are generated in colorful graphs and charts that show the project’s progress clearly. If your stakeholder wants to drill down deeper, though, you can do so easily with just a click of the keyboard.

You can create any kind of report needed, from workload to availability, task performance and much more. Then share it any way you want: print it or attach it to email and view as a PDF online, Excel or CSV document, if you prefer to see it offline. Because the right work hours tracker is much more than merely a work hours tracker.

ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based project management software that gives you real-time data to better manage your workload. Teams love it for the collaborative nature of the platform, but also the ease with which they can fill out and submit their timesheets. See for yourself by taking this free 30-day trial.

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