Your business, whether it is large, small, or somewhere in between, can benefit from using some good time tracking software. Solo entrepreneurs often find that the software is even helpful for them thanks to the variety of advantages and benefits it can offer. Yet, it is important to remember that even though there are plenty of different options out there, they are not equal. Naturally, this causes people some consternation. How can they determine which software product is right for them?
This article will cover the elements of a good piece of time tracking software, and it should help to make it easier for you to find the ideal one. Naturally, having a good reputation is important, but you do have to remember that this is the Internet and it is possible to manipulate reputation. It takes more than just a good reputation to be worth considering.
How Do You Use It?
You want to make sure the software is as simple to use as possible. If it takes too much effort, then people simply wonât use it when they should. Even if you are adamant about tracking your time, you will forget or simply not want to take the time to enter the information. If the software is difficult to use, you might actually find that you are spending too much time with it, which would really defeat the purpose! The only thing you will find out is that you should not have been using that particular piece of software.
Thus, simplicity is the key. Yes, the software should have a nice amount of features, but you have to make sure that all of those features are actually usable and worthwhile, and that they are easy to incorporate. The easier the system the more likely you will be to use it â itâs human nature. When you use the tool regularly and actually track your time, you will be able to see the actual benefits it can offer, such as showing you where you are wasting much of your time.
What Features Does the Software Have?
Now that you know just how important simplicity is, itâs time to look at the features that a quality piece of time tracking software will offer. One of the best features, which can make it easy to tell whatâs happening on screen at a glance, is color-coding. By adding colors, you can identify different projects and elements within the project quickly. Whenever you go back to working on the task, the same color should be associated with it.
Does the software have a mobile app as well as a computer version for your laptop or desktop? Having a mobile app that will connect with the desktop version is great, as it will let users who might not be in the office all the time still be able to track their time. They can do it while they are on the go and not have to try to remember how they spent their time later or try remembering to write it down while they do it. The app can simply make things easier, and, as weâve mentioned, easy is good. Also, check to see if the system is web-based rather than specific to each computer. This is important because it means that the users can log in from any computer to log their time. This is far more convenient than having the software tied to a single machine.
Will you be able to print out timesheets for employees? Can you print out project sheets to provide to clients who might not have access to the system? These things might seem like common sense necessities, but some pieces of time tracking software really do not have them.
Does the software support multiple employees? Some time tracking software is solely for individuals, which might be fine if you are your only employee. However, when you are running a business, chances are good that you will want everyone to be on the same system that you can manage. Check the time tracking software you are considering to see just how many people it can handle and see if it can scale.
Try It First
Do you have the ability to try the software before you buy it? Honestly, in todayâs world, every piece of software should come with a demo. If the company believes in their product, then chances are very good that it will have a demo or trial period. It is always a great idea to take advantage of these offerings, as it can provide you with the added knowledge you need regarding the software. You will be able to see firsthand whether it is easy to use or if the reviews were all hyperbole. You will be able to try the features as well, and make sure it is the right choice for you and your business.
Since all businesses and business needs are different, there is no single piece of software that will necessarily be right for every company. Fortunately, the addition of a demo ensures you do not waste money finding that out on your own.
Whatâs the Cost?
The cost of programs can vary greatly. Even a single product might have several price points based on the number of people at your company who use it. The cost, while it is important, should never be the sole deciding factor when it comes to choosing software. The most expensive software is not necessarily the best, and the cheapest might not be the worst. Always judge each piece of software based on their individual merits that you can discover during your demos.
When you find time tracking software that you like, be sure to use it and to have others in your business use it as well. The only way to get the full benefits of the software is to put it into action so you can get the data and results you need to make changes that will improve the effectiveness and productivity of your company.