Time has a habit of passing by like sand through your fingers and as a freelance IT consultant, technician or MSP you are effectively leaving money on the table if you do not properly track ALL possible billable time. However what seems at first to be a trivial issue, logging some time worked, is often quite a bit more complex when you start looking into it more thoroughly. For example tracking work performed on multiple projects in parallel or by multiple techs working on the same project or on separate projects at the same time, etc etc. So clearly if you want to make the most of your time you need a solution which tracks the most of your time!
Fortunately there are many time tracking tools out there, which is hardly surprising since this is by no means a new problem, but these days with SaaS and Cloud services popping up everywhere and people working remotely from all corners of the globe, the market has spawned a whole range of new and exciting timer solutions which are not nearly as desktop bound as the old days and thus provide the flexibility that not only today’s IT workers demand, but the companies they work for, whether as a freelancer or employee.
Since there are many IT tools out there which are widely used and depended on by techs, such as a PSA, a fairly key feature requirement is the ability to integrate with those other tools where appropriate. Commonly this is done via an API either on the Timer side or with the other tool or even with both which would allow for a more complete and effective two-way integration.
In order to be effective and actually be used, a Timer app needs to be simple to operate as well as unobtrusive yet always within easy reach. If there is even the smallest barrier or perceived inconvenience to use it then there is a significant risk that it will be forgotten and billable time will ultimately be lost forever.
Some Timer services go much further than just time logging and include project management and more although those then morph into different products that happen to have a timer function and so run the risk of breaking that ‘keep it simple’ rule required to be effectively used.
Some examples of Timer apps/services include:
If you’re still in need of more time trackers to play with then this wikipedia article should provide you with plenty to keep you occupied – but don’t forget to log that time while you research them all!