Timesheet & Project Management Blog

The goal of this blog is to provide tips and ideas for improving time tracking and project managment for our customers and other interested people.

Animated: Why Engineers Don’t Hate Standard Time


Hey… look at those engineers…

They hate every stupid app you stick on their computers and phones, including social media and text messaging.

But they don’t hate Standard Time®. Why is that?

Here’s why:

-          This timekeeping app manages projects

-          It reminds you of things you forgot

-          You learn which projects mean the most to you

-          Plus, it has cool graphs you’ve never seen before

Try Standard Time in your engineering shop. We promise your engineers won’t hate it.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT0JrV-P9-0

Quick Questions: PTO Accrual Policies


Mike: Today on Standard Time®; PTO, vacation accruals and you. Up next. Mike with Standard Time back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. Ray, my company determines vacation depending on years. How do we do that in Standard Time?

Ray: Ok. People who have been there a long time get more vacation than those who have just joined. Let’s switch over to the time off tab and I’m going to right click and show you how to set up time off policies. So these policies would be for each employee in the company. Pick time off policies and I’m looking at Buzz Aldrin, you can see the different kinds of time off that he can take; these are all set up by you. The first column that you see here would be the hours that are available to Buzz. The number of hours that he earns and when he earns those; whether those are biweekly, weekly, yearly, semimonthly. You get to set up when people earn time, how much they earn. So if they’ve been with the company longer you can give them more time more frequently.

Let’s switch over to another user. You can see the numbers change, these are the number of hours available again for vacation. Each one of these time off reasons has a different number of hours, the bank of hours. So sick, personal, you can go negative on these if you need to. Again you get to set the number of hours that they earn and when they earn it. So that each person has their own profile of policies that you’ve set up. That’s how you do it.

That’s great. So a lot of religious organizations and non-profits, companies that give sabbaticals for leaders who’ve have been there for eons. Can you do that within Standard Time?

You could set up another one of these time off reasons. You can click time off reasons here, create a new one for sabbatical and then you can earn hours toward that. As you’re with the company you can earn hours or you can just grant them a number of hours for that sabbatical.

We’re answering more of your questions out of the mad hatter’s hat which that one was. Next time on Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Iq3rufnfms

Quick Questions: Project Triangles


Mike: This time on Standard Time®; project management and project triangles. Mike with Standard Time back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. Ray, I have a boss, he wants his project, he wants it now, he wants it at the lowest cost and he wants it layered with gold! Obviously that’s not doable what can I do to show him that it’s not?

Ray: That’s a common demand. You have three competing demands; time, cost and then scope. Which is what you want out of the deliverable. It turns out Standard Time can illustrate this. We’ve got this little thing called project triangles. Let’s take a look at the screen, I’m going to click on the view menu and choose project triangles. When I do first of all you see one project here that illustrates the issue that we’re talking about. We’ve got scope of 25% you see in the tool tip. Our cost is about 33% but look at the time, we’re going to go over budget. If you get 100% of what you want your time is going to be like 400% because you can see the direction this is going right now. It’s a terrible looking triangle, look at the peak way up here, this is going to go way off the chart.

Let’s take a look at another example, same kind of situation the one over on the right hand side. Again we’ve got our time, cost and scope, the three competing demands. In this case we’ve got our scope around 30%, our time is about 13, but look at the cost, we’re way over here at 81%-it’s peeking out its way over. By the time this is project is done it’s going to be way over budget. These triangles you can see are illustrating these three demands that can get out of wack if you don’t watch them.

Switch to another project in this case time and cost kinda looking good but look at the scope we’re only at 20%. When you hit 100% on this both time and cost will be out of control. You’ve got to watch those things. Let’s take a look at the perfect, nirvana project. Down here we have the scope at 90, you’ve got 90% time, 95% cost everything is looking really nice. That’s hard to achieve but still this illustrates the health of your projects, how they can get out of control and things that you want to jump in and take a look at, figure out some resolutions and get your project back on track.

With the popup box I notice that quality was on there.

Oh, good point! You can actually click here and show a fourth demand which is quality. You’ve got time, cost, quality and scope. Quality would be the goodness and how well the product is proceeding. That’s going to change over time but you can look at that demand as well. Usually people are looking at the triangle only but still you have that fourth demand that you can look at.

That’s awesome. So the proof is in the triangle! No more explaining, you just show it and pick which you want.

Project managers can document and point out and illustrate where their projects are going. We’ve got these three demands all in check to make that perfect project for time, cost and scope.

Thanks Ray. We’re answering more of your questions next time on Standard Time so be sure to check back very, very often. We’ll see you soon.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toohN6bxImU


Quick Questions: Timesheet on a Tablet


Mike: Coming up next on Standard Time® we’re talking freelancing, contractors, the field and tablets. Mike with Standard Time back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. Ray, we all know that Standard Time runs on a desktop. What about tablets?

Ray: OK. Let’s take a look and I’ll show you how it works. This little notebook is actually a tablet. You can buy a system like this for $200. I’m going to just pop this screen off so you can see that this is a two-in-one. We’ve got Standard Time running on it right there. And when I turn it over I get a nice portrait view. I’ve got the desktop version of Standard Time running but I’m going to switch over now and look at the web edition. You have the same look there; you’ve got your timesheet, time logs, expenses, back to the windows edition. Yes, perfect little set up for freelancers, consultants out in the field, works great.

Let’s say I’m a Mac guy or an Android phone guy, can we do that?

Yeah, if you don’t want to take your notepad, laptop out into the field you just have your phone, your iPhone, iPad, Android. Yeah let’s take a look here and I can show you what they look like. We’ve seen the tablet here; Standard Time runs nicely on that, Windows and web. If you have your phone out there you’ve got your time and expenses here on your phone. iOS and right there on your iPad. Any one of the systems Standard Time will run great you can take these out in the field do your consulting, client billing, and you’ll have it all right there, time and expenses.

That’s great. All you freelancers out there, all you contractors, you field workers, you have no excuse. You have Standard Time in the field now to take with you. We’re answering more of your questions next time with Standard Time. We’ll see you then.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbVu6HAHHS8

Animated: Why Consultants use Standard Time


If you’re a consultant, you probably know this: we love Standard Time®!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a freelancer, small shop, or a full service consultancy. This time tracking app will work for you.

Consider these tools for your consulting practice:

-          Client invoicing with milestone billing

-           Task lists assigned to each consultant

-            Project management

-            Graphical timesheets

-            Android and iOS, for the road

Get more done, get more customers, and get paid faster.

Get Standard Time. stdtime.com

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMdn9-9jenw

Whiteboard: Customer Login and App


Hello, consultants and service techs!

Is your client asking for project status?  Like practically every day?

They want to know:

-          What projects you’re working on for them

-          How far along you are

-          And how much it is costing them

And why shouldn’t they?  They pay the bills and keep revenue coming in.

So actually… your time keeping app should have tools just for them.

Now it does.

Here are three good reasons to try the Standard Time® time tracker:

-          Number one, there’s a special client login page just for your customers

-          Number two, there’s a ‘ProjectBot’ smartphone app that brings status down to them

-          Number three, there’s customizable invoicing and QuickBooks integration

Sound pretty sweet?  Sure does!

Click here to try Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O96Stsuojvo

Consulting Software


Let’s take a look and see how Standard Time® would be used by consultants. First of all everything starts with the timesheet and maybe the time log. In the timesheet you have your projects that you’re working on for clients, you have your Monday through Sunday hours here. Daily totals at the bottom weekly totals as well, simply type your hours into a particular project and task and you’re good to go. You might also consider using the timer, you can start and stop a timer. You can go over here to the view menu and choose quick tasks. Here you can actually just click and click again to start and stop a timer for particular quick tasks. That’s a quick way of putting time into the system.

What I also want to draw attention to is the time log tab, let’s click on that at the top. These are some of the columns I like to display in the time log; start time for each record, actual work on each record, these again are the same records you see in the time log except they are displayed from top to bottom in record format rather than Monday through Sunday. You’ve got your project maybe a client category. The category column, notes for each record, the client rate and then the cost client and whether these records are billable and marked as billed. Those are some valuable fields you can display and make sure everything comes out alright. But again those are the same records you’ll see in the time log.

Where do those billing rates that you see over here come from? They come from the tools menu choose billing rates and then employee billing rates or category billing rates. You can choose a client or project, set your billing rates for each individual consultant then you’re good to go.

One of the other things that’s valuable is go over to view menu and choose project revenue. This little window allows you to look out into the future for a year and see where you’re project revenue is coming from for each of the jobs that you have. So you see a couple of bad months like this, bad quarter; want to make sure you take care of that. I’m going to close out of this show you some other things.

One of the other things you can look at for individual consultants is the quick info window. Click that icon, you can choose a particular project from the drop down or show all projects, it will show you spent today, this week, this month. You can choose little drop downs to look at yesterday, last week or the different months of the year. That allows you to see how many hours you have for these different time periods. And it helps you coordinate the billable hours.

By way of reporting you might consider going over here and looking at the time logs. One of the good reports for consulting is the client receivables. When I run this I can look at this month; when I do that I see records that show me the start time and date, the hours, the rate and the cost client along with some notes. Scroll down and you will see the totals for that; these are the dollar totals that are still outstanding for each of the clients. You can see the clients here then the total at the bottom.

There’s another report we can look at; we close the time logs and go in the management. Take a look at the utilization and rates report. This on also wants a date range; let’s look at the last 120 days. When we do we see individual employees and we see scheduled hours, actual hours they worked and that yields a utilization rate and effective billing rate. As I scroll through this you see the effective billing rate for each of the consultants and then it averages down here at the bottom for the entire company. That is useful to look through and increase your effective billing rate for the entire company.

We’ll close out of that. There is so much to see in this product and I’ve just touched the surface. But hopefully it gives you a chance to focus on a few things and then take a look and see what you like.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wigs3dTT7q8

QuickBooks Integration


In this video we are going to integrate Standard Time® with QuickBooks. You can see from this view that I have no projects currently in my timesheet. If I go to tools, projects the list is empty. So what I want to do is bring in the customers and jobs from QuickBooks so that I can begin to track time to them. The first step to do that would be go to the tools menu choose QuickBooks then choose import customers and items. When I choose that this dialog box pops up and tells me that it is going to transfer the customers jobs and service items from QuickBooks to Standard Time; that will allow me to track time to them. You can see customer: job field in QuickBooks maps to our project field and the service item in QuickBooks maps to our category. Make sure QuickBooks is up and running before you start this process.

I’ve switched over to QuickBooks; first thing I want to do is go into customer center, take a look at all my customers and jobs, you can see the list. These are all my clients that I do work for. One of the things you might want to do is go through each one of these and make sure that they are active or inactive, if you are not using them so that they don’t come over into Standard Time. Because Standard Time is going to bring in a list of all the active customers and jobs. You might also want to go to the item list; we talked about how the service item’s map to the Standard Time categories. Here you see a list of all the service items, these are the kinds of work you do the all have a price so you can put those on invoices. You might also consider deactivating any items you are not using. That might be the first step to preparing for the integration this with Standard Time.

One of the first things we see when we go to import the customer’s jobs and items is that we have to grant permission to Standard Time and that is in QuickBooks. As soon as we click this button we then see that QuickBooks wants to allow us to grant permission.  We click yes always continue are you sure you want to allow this access, yes. It tells that this is Standard Time with Scoutwest, we click done. Now we have allowed access and Standard Time is able to continue we’ve imported our lists. We want to go to the tools menu and choose projects and also to the tools menu and choose categories to see these imported items.

After the import let’s go to the tools menu choose projects. We can see that all of these new items were imported; I’m going to go and show them in the timesheet so that I can put time against them. We now see them show up in the timesheet. If I go to the tools menu choose categories, remember that the service items are mapped to categories; I see that these were imported. If I were to open up one of these in the Standard Time timesheet I see these categories under each of the projects.

I’ve entered some time against some of these projects. You see the projects here and then the categories below them, they map to customer: job and then to the service item over in QuickBooks. You see the hours I’ve put against my project. I’ve got my daily totals down below and the weekly total here.

The next thing I’m going to do is go to tools, QuickBooks, export time. When I do that I then have the ability to choose a date range that represents the billing period that I’m going to bill. In this case it’s the 1-15. The next thing I want to do is assign users; this is a mapping between the Standard Time user name and the QuickBooks employee. I have mapped this particular user to the QuickBooks employee, click OK then click export. I’ve exported 11 records over to QuickBooks.

Let’s go over to the QuickBooks program. Go to the employee center to see where the time came in. I’m going to click on this employee go up here and choose use weekly timesheet. You can see all of the entries that I had in the Standard Time timesheet, make sure they are marked as billable. Then you can click save and close if you’ve made any changes there. You can if you like go up to the customers menu and choose create invoices. Choose the customer: job that you’re going to use to create the invoice for and we can then select all of the time, put that on our invoice. Then save and close to run that invoice.

We’re back to Standard Time, hopefully you understand the full round trip message where we import our customer’s jobs and items from QuickBooks. We then put our time into the timesheet, you can see our daily and weekly totals and then we go and export that time over to QuickBooks that we can use for payroll and invoicing clients. Hopefully this tutorial has been helpful.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIlPqiE59tI

Time Off Calendar


Wouldn’t it be nice when you submit your time off request for vacation or personal time that you could see what other employees might be taking time off at the same time? What holidays are around the same time and what meetings you might be missing? That’s the subject for this little video. We’re going to login as Buzz and submit a new time off request and see those exact things.

First thing you might notice is that Buzz has a reduced user interface; you only see three tabs along the top instead of six, his manager has turned off some of the functionality so that it views less. I’m going to go to the insert menu and choose new time off request and see what Buzz might be seeing when he takes his Alaskan cruise.  He’s going to schedule this time for the 3rd of June out to 7th, one week. That’s five days, 40 hours. One thing he wants to know is what other coworkers are going to be out at this time. Because there are certain people who cannot be out at the same time because the work doesn’t get done. We click in the coworkers out field, click the … button. Turns out that during this time period there are two coworkers who are also going to be out at this time. We click OK, we see a calendar that shows us the other coworkers that are out at this time. Fred and Dan are both taking vacation at the same time Buzz wants to. And he knows that this is not going to be approved and so he’s got to pick another time for his cruise. Well it turns out as he’s looking at this calendar there is a company holiday maybe he could take advantage of; if he just takes these 4 days he’s not conflicting with these two people plus he gets one Fun Day off.

Let’s close this calendar and change from the 10th through to the 13th. Now he’s only taking 4 days off, that’s 32 hours instead of 40. Look at the coworkers out, there’s no one out. Again we look at the calendar, we’re using these 4 days and Fun Day is a holiday so we get that off, long weekend take advantage of that.

Next thing we want to look at is the number of meetings that Buzz will miss during this time. Click in this field, click …, turns out he’s going to miss the Friday pizza party and the Monday morning staff meeting. So if he can get permission to skip that meeting then this time off request is likely to be approved.

You can see here he’s got 60 hours remaining so this 32 is going to subtract from that. His bank will then still have some time that he can take at another time. That’s a little tip as to how to see coworkers, meetings, holidays, other things that might coincide with your vacation request. Hope it helps!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1eSzzbYYtw

Quick Questions: Categories for Time Tracking


Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. We’re taking time to answer your questions about how to use Standard Time just a little bit better. Hey, Ray. Question, as a manager can I find out how much time its taking on each kind of work that I actually do?

Ray: Oh, yes, absolutely. Let’s switch over here, I’m going to start by going to the tools menu, choosing categories. You can use categories to define the different kinds of work, the different types of work you perform. When you track time to those you can then find out with reporting how long it takes. So here I’ve got a list, this is my customizable list, you can create your own list that would define the kinds of work you do. You can see that there are lots of different types in here that you might consider creating like management, meeting, accounting, administration. But you have your own types, the kinds of work that fit your business. And when you log time to those you can simply report on it, this is irrespective of the project. You will find out the amount of time for each kind of work.

There’s another thing you can do, you can choose the billing for those kinds of work. Normally billing is done on an employee basis or roles, different ways to do billing. But you can actually bill for the kind of work you do. I choose category billing rates, you can see the same list, remember the list we saw earlier? Here it is, you can override, you can see some here are using default and some are overridden, this is using British Sterling pounds instead of US dollars. It’s the same sort of thing, you override these for each project. So each project has a different rate, potentially, for each of these kinds of work. I would start by going up to the tools menu choosing categories that really is the place to define the kinds of work you do. There it is.

Go to the website we have a lot of videos there answering some questions. If you don’t see your question answered there submit it to us. We’d be happy to record one and answer it for you. We’re answering more of your questions next time with Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbBGpBICxuQ


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