What Do You Need to Know About a Time Tracker

Discover the benefits of using a time tracker and how it can help you stay productive and manage your time effectively. Learn what features to look for in a time-tracking tool and how to choose the right one for your needs.

What is a Time Tracker?

A time tracker works similar to an older time clock – it tracks the time that you are doing your job. The difference is the time tracker is an online device that can track every part of your job.

It can track each task that you do and how much time you spend with each client. It is a device that can track more than just the hours worked in a day.

These trackers are useful for many things at your job, especially jobs that deal with many clients such as lawyers, architects, contractors, and many others.

You can use a time tracking app to track the hours that you are working with clients. These hours can then be billed to your clients, and they will know that it will be an accurate billing.

This article will tell you a little about time trackers and how to use them to your advantage. They can be a great attribute for your business. If you use them correctly, you can also save your business some money.

Time Tracking Device

What Do You Need to Know About Time Trackers?

1. Using a Time Tracker Vs. a Time Sheet

Since there are two ways of tracking time, you need to decide which is the best for your particular situation. If you need precise and accurate time, you will need to use the time tracker. If it doesn’t need to be as accurate, then a time sheet will work just as well.

Most companies only need to have an accurate account of how many people fulfilled their eight-hour days. A time sheet can do this very well and those companies don’t need anything more accurate than that. There are some companies that need more accurate information than that, and time trackers work very well for that.

2. Automatic Vs. Manual

With automatic time trackers, you will just push a button and it will track everything that you do throughout the day. They can be useful to make sure that you are working all day long, but they can’t tell what you spend your time on.

A manual time tracker will measure the time that you are working on specific things throughout the day. You must push the button when you begin a specific task and then stop when you are done. This time can then be billed to clients if that is why you are tracking the time.

3. Don’t Track Everything

You don’t have to track every minute of the day. You can add bathroom breaks and lunch breaks to billable time. You could also track your lunch breaks differently and not include them with your billable time, depending on what you are looking for.

You might want to track communication time, such as when you are answering phone calls or email. You might also want to include that time in other parts of your task: https://peoplemanagingpeople.com/articles/what-is-time-tracking/. How you track and what you track is all up to you.

What is time tracking

4. You Can Track Non-Billing Activities – You will also want to track non-billable activities so that you can track your time doing them. You won’t include these items in your invoices, but you want to know how much you are doing that is not billed.


Basically, you are tracking this to see what your real hourly wage is. If you are billing for 90 hours, but you are doing another 30 hours on research and communication, you are actually working for 120 hours. This makes your hourly wage go down.

5. Organize Your Time Around Projects

You will want to organize your time around the different projects that you are working on. For example, you might want to organize your projects around a specific client. You will organize all the tasks that are pertinent to that client into one project.

You might want to organize things by departments, activities, or jobs instead of clients. This can help you to know who and what to bill a project to. For instance, you might have a client, research time, and communication time all billed to one department.

Time Clock

6. Tags Are Useful for Filtering Reports

Tags are especially useful when doing invoices since they can tell you exactly what part of the report or task that a specific item was from.

If you tag research, the person that is doing the invoices will know not to bill for that task. Look here to see how to use tags. If you tag a specific department, the invoice person will know to bill that department for the task.

7. Don’t Wait to Categorize at a Later Time

If you wait until later to categorize things, you might forget what each entry was for. If you do it at the time you record your entries this will save you time and effort later. You can do this by having required fields that you must fill out each time that you make an entry.

By doing this, it can require you to add the project to each task that you record. You won’t be able to move on unless you add the project to the entry. If you add these tags you won’t have to figure out what you were doing later.

8. Not Every Entry Needs to Have a Description or Note

Although you want to make sure that most things have descriptions, not everything needs one. If you are billing clients or the government, you should probably have descriptions or notes for everything. If you are billing another division or department in your own company, you probably don’t need as many notes and descriptions.

9. Take Advantage of All the Extra Features

There are many features that can help you while you are using your time tracker. If you are continually forgetting to stop the timer when you leave to go to the restroom or go for lunch, you can take advantage of “idle detection.” This tracks time when there is no activity on your keyboard for a specific amount of time.

If you can’t always remember to start your timer when you need to, you can set reminders at different intervals of time to help you to remember.

There is also a stop/start timer that can automatically start your timer when you open your browser and stop when you close it.

There is also a technique that can help you to work for short bursts and then take a break. For example, you could set it for 25 minutes of work, followed by a five-minute break.

10. Set Approximate Times When You Forget to Set the Timer

Everyone forgets to set the timer or to stop it at one time or another. It is best to have a strategy for when this happens. For example, if you forgot to set the timer when you began, you could just add an approximate time that you started on the log. You could also do this when you forget to stop the timer.

11. Have a List of Questions that Time Tracking Needs to Answer

You should have a list of questions that need to be answered by time tracking. These questions should be prioritized from most important to least important. Some questions could be the ones listed below:

What are we actually working on? You could run a summary report for the past week to see what everyone was working on.

What Should We Bill the customer?To figure this out, you could filter out all the detailed reports from the prior month, take out the non-billable entries, export that to Excel, and then give that document to the accountant.

There are more questions that you could ask, these are just a couple of them.

12. Audit Time Once a Week

If you don’t have the required fields as a part of your tracker, you will need to audit your times at least once a week to make sure that they are accurate. You want to make sure that the time is attributed to the right person or department.

You can see why audits are important for time tracking. Audits can also tell you which entries are too long or too short so that you can filter them out. If people forgot to start their timer, or forgot to stop it, you can catch it in an audit.

13. Set Hourly Rates and Assign a Monetary Value to Each Hour

This is especially important to freelancers to track their rate of pay. You want to be able to set clear and fair prices for your work, but you don’t want to cheat yourself, either. It is also important for teams so that you can track the costs of projects or your budgets. That way you can make sure that you are paying your employees a fair price for their work.

14. You Can Estimate Project Durations

You can use your tracker to track how much time you spent on each project. This will help you to estimate how much time it will take for future projects. This can help you to give a more accurate estimate of how much a job will cost for your clients.

15. Round Up Time When Running a Report

When you are using your timer, you can use a feature that can round up your time to the nearest fifteen minutes. This will help your reports to look nice and neat when you turn them in. Instead of having a job that was 2:37:43, you could round it up to 2:45 and make it look neat. Attorneys and accountants usually report their time this way to make sure that they get paid the amount of money that they are worth.

ALSO READ: How to Handle the Effect of Spending Too Much Time Online


Time trackers can be helpful to any business, especially if you are also billing customers for time. These trackers will help you to pay your employees correctly and help to bill your customers correctly. They will also help you to keep track of how much time is spent on each project that you are working on. If you are a freelancer, it helps you to gauge how much money you want to charge for your work.

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