Inside TSheets

Time Tracking for the Trackless

Joseph Patterson | July 2, 2008

I’m still relatively new to the TSheets team and still learning the ins and outs of this highly useful tool. Like everyone with a new gig, I find it my duty to know every little bit about the product that I’m working with. Therefore one of the very first things that I did was create a free TSheets account.

First off, I really dig the fact that each user has the ability to create their own unique subdomain. In other words, I don’t have to remember TSheets.com/(user id 28567…for example). Nope, I have my very own, easy to remember subdomain. Thisguyisawesome.tsheets.com seemed easy enough to remember to me. :)

Once in my account, the layout and features are simple enough to understand and I quickly got started with tracking my time. In the get go, I simply wanted to play with the system and start tracking time that I spend working. Fair enough, click the ‘on the clock’ button and let ‘er go. All’s fine and dandy and my clock is running. This was day one. Day two went pretty much the same way…except. While you’ve got the ‘on the clock’ running, you’re working. Many of us don’t focus on simply one task, but have 5 or 6 other windows/programs running, and are multitasking like the devil. Skype phone call from AJ, email from Martin, TextWrangler open for blog entries, iTunes shuffling through the days music collection, oh, and the dog needs to go for a walk, etc…at times, it’s quite easy to forget that you’ve got a clock running.

Low and hold, I fired up the machine the next morning and wanted to clock in. Upon entering my control panel, I was greeted with the Orange ‘clock out’ button. Oh crap. What do I do now? My time tracking for the week is now muffed. I don’t even think the most lenient of clients is going to believe that I just worked a 16:24 hour shift. Right. ‘Clock out’ it is then. But now what? Well fear not fellow Time Tracker…as the administrator of your own timesheet, you’re free to edit it.

On the left side of your control panel, there’s a very handy feature called ‘Manage Timesheets’. Woot! Give this baby a click, and a nifty little device called the ‘Time Slider’ pops up. Here you’re given a graphic display of your time worked (or any other time that you’ve chosen to track). You’ll see aqua colored bars representing the time that you’ve worked. If you click on these bars you’ll see either the pencil and paper icon, or the do not enter sign. The pencil and paper is the one we’re after here, as the other is ‘delete’ (heck NO I don’t want to delete those hours!). Clicking on the ‘edit timesheet’ icon brings up another small and easy to use interface that …. Wha POW … allows you to manually edit the timesheet. So, instead of 16:24 hours, I managed to crank that puppy back to a more reasonable 6:24 hours. Phew.

After getting pretty comfortable with clocking in and out and being able to edit timesheets, I ran my first report at the end of the week. Interesting. Whether you’re running full blown staff reports to hand over to the payroll department, or just running your own personal timesheet at weeks end, it’s quite easy to view where your time has been spent over the course of the week. And man…I need to spend more time in the sun, as 58.2 hours chained to a desk is not so much fun.

But wait…let’s break it down a bit further. After looking at my 58.2 hours I quickly thought, what the heck am I doing, and how can I make this a bit more manageable? Enter stage left…Job Codes. While job codes should be a primary step in setting up a TSheets account, I just went right past it and started tracking time (which I can only assume more than a few of you out there did/will do when you create your account).

Job codes are a great feature that allow you to break down your time into smaller segments, thereby providing you with more time data. I managed to set up job codes for each of my clients and then went to town. Clock on in the morning for the client that needs the work done before noon, clock out for lunch, clock back in for the client in a vastly different time zone, clock out for dinner, clock back in for the other client where I spend my time researching for an upcoming project. By the end of this week I had a precise breakdown of where 48.7 hours had gone that week.

All in all, it’s my job to get to know the ins and outs of TSheets and their Time Tracking tool. What they didn’t tell me was that along with learning about the product, I’ve also found new ways to be more productive, to manage my time better, and ultimately deliver a higher level of satisfaction to my clients.

Now…about that bonus trip to Hawaii…..

Zemanta Pixie
A little about Joseph Patterson

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