Time tracking software can make quite a difference in your life. This is true of those who use it for their personal life, as well as those who use it for work. Many companies, large and small alike, are starting to use the software thanks to the benefits and advantages it offers for those who want to understand just where the time goes and how they and their employees are spending that time. The software really can help to make a business more efficient and productive, and it can work just as well for freelancers.
However, many different options are on the market today, which can make it a bit difficult for those companies and individuals who are hunting for the best quality software. After all, you canâ€™t simply choose the first software that you see. You need to do some research and put it through its paces before you choose to adopt it into your company.
Here are five things that you need to consider when you are choosing your time tracking software.
Will the Software Work for Your Company?
First, you need to make sure that the software is actually right for your company. If you are a freelancer, do they have a version of their software that will work for you? Those who are running a company need to make sure that the software will work for a larger number of employees and that those employees can access the system without trouble.
You also need to think about the features that the software offers when you are examining the software. Does it offer an easy way to use colors for tracking different projects? Does it have the ability to work as a means to help keep your payroll accurate and your employees accountable? Will the software offer the ability to print out or export your time reports so you can show clients where you spent time on their projects? A feature such as this can be quite useful to freelancers and those who are working on an hourly basis.
Look at all of the features the software offers. Even though you might not need all of them right now, itâ€™s nice to have a piece of software that has a robust feature set that can grow along with your company. Make note of the features it offers when you are trying to narrow your choices.
Should You Choose a Web-Based System?
Some companies use software that they actually download to each individual computer. While this might be a solution that worked well in the past, times and technology are changing. The real way to go is with web-based software that resides in the cloud. This means that you and your employees will be able to access the software no matter where you are as long as you have a computer with access to the Internet.
If you are often out and about, or you have employees who do sales, or who are out of the office frequently for other reasons, this can be quite a large benefit. It means they can keep up with the tracker from other computers. The software should also have mobile apps that people can access through their tablets and smartphones, making it even more useful and simple to bring into the work environment. As you will soon see, simplicity is the real key to having a great piece of time tracking software.
Is It Hard to Use?
If the software you are considering is hard to use with a lot of convoluted controls, how often will you really want to use it. The software should never hinder your work process in any way. It should integrate smoothly and be a very simple addition to your workday.
Software that has a steep learning curve will quickly turn you away. Even if you have the best of intentions to use it, chances are good that it will soon fall by the wayside with so many other failed technologies that you couldnâ€™t bear to adopt. The last thing you want to do is try to use software that actually eats up more of your time than it helps you to save.
Some developers fall into the trap of thinking that an overly complicated interface with hard to understand features somehow means that it is â€śgood business softwareâ€ť.
Do They Offer a Trial or Demo?
The best way to determine whether the software is too difficult to use and if the learning curve is to steep is to try it. If the company does not offer any type of trial or demo for the product, you might want to reconsider using it entirely. When you find those that do have a demo available, make sure that you use the demo version in the same fashion that you would use the actual product. Put it through its paces and see what it can do in terms of features. Make note of how easy or difficult it might be to use as well.
At the end of the demo, you will have a much better idea of exactly what the product will offer when you bring it into your business. If the demo shows issues or it is too difficult to understand and use, it might be time to move on to another option. This makes it nice and easy to find a product that should work nicely.
Look for Reviews of the Time Tracking Software
Whenever you are buying anything, from a car to time tracking software, you need to check reviews to see what other users have to say about the product. They may have noticed things that you did not notice in the demo â€“ both good and bad â€“ that can influence your decision to buy or not. Check several reviews that have honest feedback about the product and youâ€™ll get the best idea of what people really think. Stay away from the reviews that do nothing but completely disparage or glowingly praise the software. Look for the real reviews instead.