Time Tracking Apps for Working at Home
How many items are on your to-do list today? If you’re a busy mom who also works another job from home, the answer is probably “too many to count.” I find myself starting a project, getting distracted by the phone, Facebook, or an email, and realizing hours later that I never finished what I began. At the end of the day, I often ask, “Where did the time go?”
Time management is essential for a successful work from home career. The more you lose focus on a task, the longer it will take you to complete it. If you’re in an industry where you bill your time at an hourly rate, taking too long to finish a project can mean money out of your pocket.
What’s a busy woman to do?
Track your time, that’s what! It may sound like a hassle, but keeping track of where, on what, and how you spend your time each day can be educational – and make you more productive. Today, we’ll look at a few time tracking apps that can help you gain control of your workday.
aTimeLogger (free, available for iOS)
This is a fun and easy to use app that tracks not only your business activities and projects each day, but virtually anything else you do, too. It comes pre-loaded with 14 categories for which you can track your time, including work, sleep, eating, sports, internet and housework (boo).
If you want to track how long you spent on a client project, simply tap “work” and aTimeLogger begins tracking the activity for you. You can add comments to the activity (your client’s name, for example). Hit the stop button to stop tracking. You can track multiple categories at one time, but only one task in each category. So if you work on multiple work projects at one time, aTimeLogger cannot track both simultaneously.
aTimeLogger keeps daily, weekly and monthly logs of your activities, and you can also run time tracking reports, which are exportable in .csv or .html format.
If you want to get a 360-degree view of how you’re spending your day, aTimeLogger is a good tool. If you have a complex work at home environment with multiple projects at the same time, it may be too simple for your needs.
TimeSheeter ($2.99, available on iOS; free version also available)
Timesheeter is a highly customizable time tracking app that is more focused on the business professional. Timesheeter’s time clock allows you to assign projects, clients, hourly rates, and more to a particular entry you’re tracking. It also features the ability to add expense entries, export to a file, import to Dropbox, and database backup.
Timesheeter also has a nice stats component that lets you see all of your work that is assigned to a particular project by various date increments. Timesheeter then builds a pie chart that shows how your work broke down and money earned.
Like aTimeLogger, you can only use the time clock for one activity at a time. But Timesheeter’s other features make it a solid choice for the self-employed.
OfficeTime ($7.99, available for iOS)
My favorite time tracking app for iOS is OfficeTime. It can clock multiple items simultaneously, so if you are billing time to drive to a client meeting and also taking a conference call at the same time, OfficeTime can handle tracking time spent on both.
It also supports multiple categories of work, multiple projects, and easily identifies what it’s currently tracking for you by highlighting items in green. You can assign various hourly rates to different categories of work, track expenses, and of course, run reports by project or overall.
One other nice feature of OfficeTime is that the clock will continue to track your activity even if you lose wi-fi connectivity.
If you are juggling lots of different projects and clients and want a robust way to keep track of it all, OfficeTime is well worth the $7.99 investment.
Photo Credit: Flickr North Charleston