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.

MS Project Integration with Timesheet


In this video let’s take a look at bringing in a Microsoft Project file. Turns out you can integrate with MS Project for the purposes of tracking time to project tasks. When you bring in an MPP file into Standard Time® you’ll see all of the tasks that you are assigned to on your timesheet. If you log in as a different user you may see different tasks that those users are assigned to. After you’ve logged time administrators can then send that time back to MS Project.

To get started I’m going to choose Tools, Projects and then the projects dialog opens up. I can then go to the Tools menu in that project dialog and choose New Project and name the new project anything I like. I’ll name it MS Project. I can then go up to the Tools menu again and choose Microsoft Project Integration Wizard. When I do that a wizard comes open that allows me to go and integrate with a Microsoft Project MPP file. I can then browse for that file open it up and here’s it’s actually complaining about having a local hard drive path to the file. But this should be OK this is just a test. The next thing I’d want to do is Test the Connection to make sure I can see all the tasks in that file. When I do that MS Project opens up and I see all of the tasks listed here. They all look good to me so I’ll click close, click Next, click Next again, you can choose to have a Bidirectional or Unidirectional connection to MS Project; I’ll choose Bidirectional and also choose to Map the work column in MS Project to the Standard Time duration column. I’ll click next again, then click finish. Standard Time will go out to MS Project and pull down those tasks. So when I click OK I can then go over to the Project Tasks tab; I see my new project here, all of the tasks listed, some of those are assigned to me some to other users. I’m going to check the Quick Task check box and that causes those tasks to show up in the timesheet. When I go over to the timesheet, open up the project I then see the summary tasks and the actual tasks assigned to me. I can then go and put in some hours for those tasks. I’m going to send this time back to MS Project. Now that I’ve done that I can go over to the View menu choose Refresh Project Tasks. This is only available to administrators who want to send the actual work back to MS Project. I choose that and see my project listed here, to send the time back to Project I click Refresh Now. We can see the project file has been updated; I click OK, close this then I can open my MS Project file and see the results. We see here we have some actual work on those tasks that we have been working on in the Standard Time timesheet. I’ll close out of the MS Project file.

That’s essentially the round-trip story for MS Project files-you simply bring them in, integrate with them, log some time to them and go and refresh the project tasks to send the actual work back to MS Project.

Hopefully that helps!

Benefits of using Standard Time®


This segment addresses the three benefits or biggest benefits of using Standard Time®. And addresses the three biggest pain points that consulting and manufacturing companies have. Those being 1. Being to maximize your billable versus non billable hours and addressing admin vs non admin time. 2. having priorities messed up so that you’re working on projects that don’t matter. 3. Cost over-runs or budget over-runs. I’m going to address those quickly. First thing you see here with the Standard Time timesheet is you get a weekly total at the bottom so that you make sure that you’re hitting your weekly goals. Another thing you can do is go over to the left hand side, open up this Billing section and look at Billable hours. We see 24 ¼ hours here, if I click on Not billable you have 18 ½ hours. So you can compare and find you’re billable versus non billable hours. Another thing you can do is go to the Tools Users and Organization, right click on a user, choose email notification and make sure you get an email out when people have less than 40 hours or people haven’t submitted their timesheet for approval. That obviously doesn’t affect billable vs non billable but it does make sure people get their time in. Another thing you can do is run a Utilization report from the Management section. When I run that, in this case I’ll run it for the last 120 days, you’re able to see the billable vs the non-billable plus the percentages for each user. Then you’re also able to see the effective billing rate so you can keep those billable rates under control.

This next pain point would be having priorities messed up so that you’re working on projects that don’t matter or their not strategic to the company. One of the things you can do here is run a pie chart, I’m going to run the pie chart for projects, no filtering. You see right off the bat which projects are having the most time spent on those so those would be the highest priority. And you can check yourself to make sure you’re doing the higher priority projects. You might consider running another report, a custom report Project Percentages. This is a simple little report that finds all the percentages for each project. This is much like the pie chart but in textual form where you can make sure you are working on the projects that are highest priority to you.

The third pain point I’d like to address for consulting and manufacturing companies would be budget overruns. If you click on the Project Tasks tab this can be set up so you see columns for the Cost Client, Cost Client Actual and Cost Client Remaining. You can also see salary rates. You can use these to find out where your project is. You can see % complete, status % column, things like that to help you see where your project is. If you’re using an Excel spreadsheet you’re not likely to get this kind of information. So that’s a valuable dashboard view. If I open up another report Project Budget Burn we can see here from a report like this a list of all the projects and for each project we get to see the budgeted amount, the amount used on tasks, amount used on expenses and then the remaining amount for each project. That is another way to keep those things under control.

Those are some of the ways Standard Time can help keep the company in line for those three issues. Which were the billable vs non-billable hours, project priorities messed up and budget and cost over-runs. Hopefully that has helped!

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

Best and Easiest Timesheet


Hey, Warren. I was wondering if you could go through one thing for me. Could you in just a few minutes show me why Standard Time® is the best timesheet and why I should use it above others that are on the market?

Sure. Standard Time probably is one of the easiest timesheets to use on the market. For example it’s very intuitive, you see your projects and tasks in your timesheet. You can assign those to employees according to what you want them to see. But more importantly when the employee puts their time in they literally type their hours into the timesheet and they’re done. Most of the other tools on the market force your employees to make 4 or 5 drop down choices every time they enter their time, including whether it’s billable or not. That leaves room for mistakes and obviously isn’t as easy to utilize whereas Standard Time allows your project manager or administrator to set that up on the front end, then your employee simply enters their time and they’re done with it. The other thing an employee can do is run a single timer if they prefer to use timers, they don’t have to type their time they can do that. And if you’re going to use timers there’s a third method; you can go here to the View menu, scroll down to Quick Tasks, when you open up the Quick Tasks window you can check a box and it starts to time that tasks. And if you want to go to something else you check a different box. It stops timer the first one and starts timing the next one. This stays in the foreground of Windows and all day long as you toggle back and forth it puts that time in your timesheet every time you check boxes. It’s pretty simple to use, it’s one of the main advantages. The other thing it has, although the timesheet is simple there is a whole lot of project management functionality in Standard Time. For instance you can go to the Tools menu, you can see Billing Rates, and you can have multiple billing rates per employee or type of work for every single type of project you run. So it’s very flexible in that manner. If you want to see some other project management stuff; if I click on this tab here, Project Tasks tab, it’s a little dashboard screen that gives you a little update on all your projects. And you can customize this window to display a multitude of columns. You can show cost client actual or employee salary to date, there’s are all kinds of things you can view in this window. And each person gets to choose what they want to see without changing it throughout the whole organization.

Is there an extra fee for the project management and other features?

No, it’s all included so everything in Standard Time is onetime fee for the license and that’s it. In fact there is a web version Standard Time comes with as well, we’re looking at the Windows version buy you get both Windows and Web along with all the expense tracking and all that goes with it at no extra charge. We do not charge you anything for all of the components it’s automatically included in one price. I’ve shown you the timesheet the Project Tasks tab. If I click on the Time Log tab this is a simple historical record of all the time entered in through the timesheet, they become what we call time logs. The Expenses the same is true, if you enter expenses into Standard Time they appear in this window. Billing is the same, all your invoices will show in this window. And your Time Off, Standard Time allows you to create as many time off reasons as you want. It will automatically accrue at the rates or levels you set for each employee. And when employees request time off and it’s approved by the manager it gets deducted from the amount available in their bank of time for whatever reason they are utilizing.

There’s no extra fee for this automatic time accrual?

No, not at all. Here’s the time off reasons in the timesheet. You get to type in your request and there’s no extra charge for that. It automatically calculates and accrues and keeps track of all that stuff. In fact there’s a litany of reports you can run that are included in that as well. One of the reports is Time off reports which I won’t get into here but if I click on the Time logs reports you can see if I click on List, by employee and I want to see for the last 60 days, I run this report. It breaks out by person and you can see what each person did for that time range. And it comes in with a built-in report writer so you can customize or change these reports or create your own if you like. And all that is included with the price there is no extra charge with that either. Now if you want to go over here on the project management side of things you go to the View menu and scroll down to Project Revenue. This will show you the expected revenue and you can choose a certain project or all projects to see what you’re expected to gain throughout the coming months. Another thing you might want to look at is in the View menu, Employee Status, it gives you a quick little glance what your employees are tracking time against or what they are doing. And from a more project management side View, Project Resource Allocation is nice. If you click on Resource Allocation you can see the inverse; I can see who is available right now. Jill is allocated in this week but out into the future she has plenty of time available to take on additional work. And you can look at this by department or companywide. In this case I’ll choose another employee, let’s look at Buzz Paterson. When I click on Buzz you tell Buzz is not able to accept any work clear out into July. And then he’s available to take on additional work.

That’s awesome!

In addition there is automatic email notification that will warn the employee that their timesheet doesn’t contain enough hours or that a task is overdue or scheduled to start. There are a lot of features in here that you can utilize or you can turn them off.

Thank you!

Time Off and PTO Accruals


Here is a little tip for your Human Resources manager!

Time Off accruals in Standard Time®.

You know… for vacation, sick, personal time.

Standard Time is more than a timesheet.  It accrues time for PTO and other time off reasons.  And, employees can submit time off requests for vacations and other things.

Managers approve them.  Time is subtracted from their bank of hours.  Employees get time off.  And everybody is happy!

Did you know Standard Time even computes compensatory time?  Otherwise known as comp time?

And even has customizable time off reasons that employees see in their timesheets?

  1. Eliminate your time off management nightmare
  2. Keep managers in the loop and up to date
  3. Keep employees happy!

Send this link to your human resources manager and tell them you liked it.

Then download and show them how it works!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuVPH_aZ45Y

Employee Utilization Report


Hey Warren. We have consultants working on billable projects for clients and they have a certain client billable rate that each client works on. Problem is they don’t always work on billable projects. Sometimes they work on an admin project or an in house project. What I’d like to know is the final effective billing rate that we end up with on these consultants. Is that something that Standard Time® can do?

Absolutely. There are a couple ways Standard Time can help you. One way is you can simply look at a person’s timesheet if you want to and see what projects they are working on, it’s as simple as that. Another idea and something Standard Time offers is a report that will show you some ones billable time or their effective billing rate. Let me touch base on both of those briefly here. I’m looking at my timesheet right now. If I wanted to see what a particular person was doing or see if they were working on a billable project; I can go up here to the Users menu, as an administrator I can do this whereas end users cannot. I can go ahead and see Jordan Ford; I open up my list of users and click on Jordan Ford’s name. When I do you’re going to notice my timesheet will change because now I’ll be viewing Jordan Ford’s timesheet. If I needed to I can make changes to this timesheet or make adjustments if I have the user right to do so. Even as an administrator you can prevent people from changing timesheets if necessary. Then when I want to go back to my normal view and see my timesheet or someone else’s you can either click on another name to view another timesheet or to remove the filter all together and go back to my normal view. I click the yellow X up here on the top of the toolbar and that will take me back to my normal view. Now the report I was talking about is found here under the Management Reports. If I expand that I can scroll down to the bottom and show Utilization and rates. So when I open up this report I can view it by user, by project or any number of ways I choose to. In this case I want to just look at a couple projects. Let’s look at LBIR-Phase 2 and if I hold down my control key I can look at Chevron at the same time. And every choice I make will appear in the bottom left corner of this window. And in fact let’s make one more choice; let’s say I just want to see only This week. I’ve made these choices at the bottom and I can save these choices if I want to run reports repetitively over the course of time. In this case I’m going to run it today so I click OK. When I do the report pops up and I can see what Jordan Ford worked on, we can see that Jordan was scheduled 40 hours, he actually worked 22.2 hours and of those 22.2 hours every one of them were billable so therefore he’s considered 100% billable. However a distinction here is utilization percentage. He was only 55% utilized, in other words although all of his time was billable he was scheduled 40 hours and only worked 22. Therefore he was underutilized.

I see that Effective Billing Rate over on the right hand side essentially $51.59 per hour.

Exactly. You can see at the bottom he was a net loss for the company. And if you look at this other person here, Warren, you can see he scheduled 44 hours, worked 40.45 all of them were billable, 100% billable. My Utilization was 91.9%. In that sense if you look at the Effective Billing Rate I’m pretty accurate, I’m pretty close to where I should be. And this employee is a net profit for the company. And when you combine the two at the bottom that’s what this bottom number gives you, the combined efforts of everybody in the report. It shows you that although one person was a net loss and one person was a net gain; combined together you still had a profit between the two employees.

OK, that about does it. Thank you.

Watch the video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKVs1XnHMPo

Project Revenue Win-Loss Graph


Have you ever seen a sales funnel for projects?

In other words, a graph showing how much revenue you’ll get for all your projects?

Standard Time® has one.

Of course, with any sales funnel, you’ll win some and lose some.  Proposals go into the funnel, and the best ones come out the bottom as cash revenue.  We help you close more, and finish faster.

Here’s how:

  1. Start by creating a project
  2. Set the revenue you expect
  3. Set the timeframe
  4. Set the win percentage

Now view your projected sales revenue for all projects in the funnel.

And watch your revenue grow with tools like:

  1. Project proposals
  2. Project dashboards
  3. And Project task warnings

Standard Time is the best tool to win projects.

Start a free trial today!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY9gadNXmvE

Field Names


I would like to change some of the terminologies or field names in Standard Time®. Wondered if you could run through that, show me if that is possible to do?

Yes, let me go here to the Time Log first. When I go to the Time Log screen I’m going to open up a time log, and when I do you’ll notice down here at this location it used to be a text 1 field and I changed that to say location. You’ll notice also that changed it throughout the whole system. If I go to Tools, Projects, if I scroll down to the bottom you’ll see location here as well, it used to be a text 1 field also. And finally let me show you one other area. If I go to Users and Organization, you’ll see Location where it used to say text 1. The way you do that is go to the View menu, scroll down to Field Names and you’ll see that there is a text 1 and I changed it to Location. Let’s say I don’t want that to read throughout the whole program I just want to change it for one area. All I have to do is identify the area I want to change it so I’m going to do it here on the text 1 field and say I just want this changed for projects only. I’ll put the name: and once I put the name: in there save and close this. Now when I go click on another Time Log..

Back to text 1.

Exactly. Now if I go back to Projects, however, you’ll see that it’s still there. I’ve now told the system I only want Projects to be the field that is changed.

So it’s a little contact sensitive. Could you change one of the fields I would like to change is the category field in the Time Log to activity.

Sure let me show you. If I click on Time Log you’ll see the Category, let’s change that to say Activity. I’m going to cancel out of this, I’m going to go to the View menu scroll down to Field Names and right here change Category to Activity. Hit Save and Close and click back open on…


Let me show you that again. Now you see the category has been changed to activity. Again, you can decide if you want that throughout the whole system or in one specific area.

Very good, that answers it.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iaP4MHjZWw

Project Billing Rates


Hello consultants!

You’ve probably heard of the Standard Time® timekeeping app, right?  But have you seen how it handles client billing rates?

It’s pretty slick!  Watch this.

You have clients you bill hourly for, right?  And you probably do multiple projects for those clients.

In Standard Time, each project can have different employee billing rates, and even different salaries.  That means you are free to negotiate rates that are advantageous to you.

You’re not stuck with a single billing rate.

Every time you log a single hour, Standard Time calculates the rate and billing amount.  It doesn’t matter if that’s on the web, or the Windows client, or even a smartphone.

Now, just click to send an invoice.

All your time and expenses are included.  And the project rates are just right.

Want to try it?  Click here!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZI9GZ0sdrM

Personalized Timesheet Columns


Can you show me how to put different columns, different views in all the tabs in Standard Time®?

OK. So I guess you’re wanting to see additional information that you don’t necessarily see out of the stock views.

Right, customize my screen or each of the tabs.

OK. Let’s start by talking about the six tabs along the top. You’ve got various information in each one of those tabs. You can go to the View menu and choose Columns to add additional information to those tabs. Right now you see the time sheet tab selected. When I choose Columns you see a series of columns of information that you could add to that particular view. Let me click close here, we’re going to come back to this but when we go over to the Project Tasks tab and I choose View, Columns you’re going to see a different set of columns. Why don’t I go there…

When you do each tab has their own list of columns.

Yes. Each of these 6 tabs that you see at the top here has its different list of fields that you can display. Right now we’re looking at the Completed field, the Name, Duration and Gantt.

So the duration and the hours is there and the Gantt chart. And if I wanted to add other fields I could or if I wanted to take those away I can.

Right. So I just removed the Gantt field and put in the % status bar. Maybe you want to see the client rate. There’s some other cost client fields, cost salary fields that are available to administrators. So those are some of the things you can do. When I click on this now we’ve got some other fields here. The others are gone, we've got new fields. If I click on the Timesheet, go to the View menu choose Columns I could put the client in. Now you see another column that shows the client we’re going to log time to. If I were to go to the Time log tab, go to the View menu choose Columns. You see a completely different list, this is actually a shorter list. Let’s say in this case I wanted to see the Project and the Project task. Now we’ve got another column here, the old ones gone, new column. Over in Expenses go to View, Columns, you’ve got a completely different list here, different fields that pertain to expenses. Same thing with Billing, let’s go over and take a look at those. These are completely different fields that are related to invoicing.

Right. PO numbers and such.

The Time Off tab has fields that are related to taking time off for things like vacation, PTO, sick, training so on and so forth. So those are fields that might pertain to each one of those records. That’s the jist of this. Go to each of those tabs, put in different columns and see more information.

Thanks for sharing this with me.

Employee Availability


Are you with an engineering or consulting organization?

If so, here’s a question:

How do you know when your employees are available to work on new projects and tasks?

Do you have a chart for upcoming availability?

Or a tool for task scheduling?

Standard Time® does!

There’s a nice graph showing upcoming weeks and months.  Choose any employee, or the whole organization.  You’ll see tasks assigned to employees, and exactly when those employees become available for new work.

What a simple way to manage projects!

-          Find tasks that are taking too long

-          Find employees that are over or under allocated

-          Find resources by skill

Take a look at Standard Time today!  It’s more than just a timesheet; it’s a whole new project planning tool.

Click to download now.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeojAhq6bWc


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