Time is fleeting. There’re not enough hours in the day. You can quote any excuse you want, but there’s still work that needs attending, and you’ve got to do it. So, how do you get proactive and squeeze the most productivity from you day as possible?
One way is with time management software. Software tools are designed to improve efficiency. They can show you where you’re wasting time and direct you to using your time better, so you get more done.
If time is money, then invest a bit of your valuable time to see how a time management tool can give you an edge at your job. You’ll be happy with the return.
Improve Time Tracking
Keeping track of all the various accounts that you’re responsible for is a full-time job. There are your team members, of course, who you need to make sure are keeping busy and being paid correctly for their time. But there are also vendors, contracts and more, each hired because of their expertise and experience. They’ve been contracted to help fulfill the goals of the project, and need to get paid for their services.
Instead of manually collecting and calculating their hours, you can use software for time management, which simplifies the process by sharing timesheets digitally. When these documents are online, team members, vendors, contractors, et al., can enter their hours anywhere and at any time.
Just as easily as they can input their hours, you can approve them. It just takes a keystroke, and you can lock timesheets. Timesheets are synced to tasks, which are all stored in the cloud, so updates are instantly reflected in your time tracking software.
Not only are you streamlining your time tracking, avoiding the chaos of paper, but you’re able to have another set of eyes on the project to ensure it is staying on .
Improve Team Management
You’re not the only one who can save time with a time management software, and teams can do more with the tools than just enter timesheets. When you invite teams to collaborate, they can gain visibility into their own task progress, see potential blockages, and help improve inefficiencies on the project writ large.
When your team is also using software for time management, they’re getting better data on the duration of the tasks they’re assigned. This means, when they’re working on future tasks that are similar, they can use that information to make better estimates.
You can help your team, too, by seeing how much work their doing. If a team member is overallocated, you’ll see it, and can quickly and easily adjust their workload. No longer will one person shoulder the weight of the work, but those tasks will be balanced among the whole team.
Improve Scheduling with Integrated PM Tools
Timesheets are but one of the ways time tracking software can help you and your team improve their time on tasks and their reporting. So if you’re using a time management app that is a stand-alone tool, one that requires you and your team to toggle back and forth between programs, then you’re not only still wasting time, but you’re not reaping the benefits of an integrated project management tool.
Find a PM tool that has timesheets so you can avoid time-consuming exports and see all your data in one place. Imagine having your workflow and timesheets integrated. You can automate a lot of busy work, like tracking down a contractor or a team member for the status of a task. Or having to change a schedule in your PM tool, and then manually go into a time tracking tool to change hourly availability on tasks. With an all-in-one tool, when you update a schedule or the time planned for specific tasks, all the time throughout the system is updated as well. That includes resource calendars and project timelines. All of which frees you to focus on more crucial steps in the project.
Alerts and Notifications
Speaking of automation, there’s so much work that you might be doing manually that can be easily given over to your time management app. Emails can be scheduled to tell you all manner of things, as well as be set up to keep your team aware of their task due dates without micromanaging them.
For example, instead of pulling your team out of a task to talk about a change in schedule, you can set up email notifications to alert them that the deadline is coming up. You don’t have to take the time out of your day, and you don’t have to threaten team morale by making too much out of a simple scheduling check.
Also, you can get alerts when tasks are completed, so you have a clear idea of how the project is progressing without interfering in its process. Also, you get notified when team members complete their timesheets, so you can approve and move those documents to accounting, facilitating your team’s payment. They’ll love that about the time management app.
Get Better Estimates
We’ve already mentioned that involving your team to help collaborate on time tracking can help with task estimates, but you can also save time estimating as well. For one you’ll build up an historical database that is a wealth of information. You’ll be able to see how long similar projects took in the past and use that data as a baseline when estimating you time commitment this time around. This is another benefit of an all-in-one PM and time tracking tool.
You’ll also be able to capture billable hours, and then track those hours as they occur for clients. You’re only paid for those hours worked, so the better you can track that time, the more profitable it is for you. And the less time you do that work, the more time you do the work you’re paid for. A time management app can help you compare the planned to actual hours, so you can save time on the next project when you provide an estimate of the time necessary to do the work.
Finally, you’re able to better assess performance in terms of how your team in working. No two team members work the same, and each takes a slightly different amount of time to complete their tasks. By collecting and looking back at those previous hours reported for time worked, you’ll be able to get a better idea of how much time each team member will take to complete their tasks, which makes your scheduling more efficient.
There are many reasons why you should love time tracking software. It’s collaborative, and saves time. The more people you have working together and independently, the faster the work gets done. It’s not micromanaging, but the opposite: it gives your team autonomy while at the same time keeping you updated on their progress. They save time, providing up-to-date information and automating many tasks. Using a time tracking app is going to help you become more efficient, more productive and the project more profitable.
ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based software that has a suite of project management tools, including online timesheets that can save you time and money, while streamlining your project. See for yourself by taking this free 30-day trial.