Time Management Software Solves “Where Did My Day Go?” Problem

by Meryl K. Evansmeryl93x125

The recent daylight saving time change has thrown my days for a loop. It takes me at least a week to adapt. I know it feels silly that a mere 60 minutes would affect my day. But it does. I’m one of those people who goes to bed at the same time every day. Sure, I go to sleep 30 minutes earlier or later sometimes. But I can’t do an hour earlier or later.

On the first Monday after daylight saving time returned, I checked out of the office at 7 pm. That’s unusual. Where did the time go? With Chrometa time management software, I can see the break down of where the time went. The summary shows I spent half the day in an Internet browser. Before you go thinking I do mindless surfing, much of the time falls into two buckets: research and customer service.

Like me, you’ve probably had many days when you wonder where the time went. With automatic time management software like Chrometa, you can see exactly where you spend your time.

Find out “Where did the time go?” with time management software

The second activity where I spent most of my time is Microsoft Word. A quick review of my timeline in Chrometa shows a mix of Internet research and writing an article. As Image 1 shows, I spent 2.5 hours in Microsoft Word. But that assumes I did nothing but work on the article for the whole time.

time management software

Before digging deeper, know that I have two monitors. This lets me have a document open on one and do research on the other. It does wonders for productivity. That said, while working on the blog post, I do research or look up information on my second screen.

I click the Microsoft Office Word entry to review all the entries as shown in Image 2. The first one shows almost 2 hours devoted to writing a blog post. I click “Timestamps” to view a drill down of the time spent writing it. Based on the timeline, I worked a little more than 2.5 hours straight on the blog article save for a 10-minute gap.

automatic time management software

What’s this 10 minute gap? It turns out Facebook distracted me. For shame! Still, Chrometa confirms I devoted 2.5 hours to the blog post between researching it and writing it. Although switching to Facebook for a few minutes is disruptive, it would’ve been more so if I had to stop the clock and start it again using a basic timer.

All in all, it was a productive day.

Recording offsite time and working with multiple devices

Not everything you do is on a computer or mobile device. Chrometa covers you by asking you if you’d like to record your time away from the computer. In a couple of clicks, you can assign this time to a project or a client.

I exercised in the early afternoon before switching to morning workouts. Whenever I stepped away from my desk for a set time, Chrometa would greet me upon my return asking if I want to record my offsite time. Entering the time spent exercising time provided a great feeling of accomplishment.

Most days, I’ll do a little work on a laptop. It lets me work standing up or get a change of scenery. Chrometa tracks that time too. While I don’t make phone calls or do much emailing on my phone, I could track that time with its time management software app for phones.

Integrating time management software with other business tools

I use accounting software to manage invoicing, receivables, customers and reports. As Image 3 shows, Chrometa can integrate time reports with accounting, law practice management and project management apps.

time billing management software

Although most accounting software come with a tool for tracking time, they’re basic. You just click the timer to start the clock and click it again to stop it. Rinse. Click. Repeat. This becomes tedious for people who do a variety of tasks throughout the day.

Attorneys, for example, tend to handle multiple cases throughout the day. Each email, phone call, meeting and paperwork needs to be billed to the right client. They don’t always focus on one client at a time. Most will make a chunk of phone calls in one sitting. Then they’ll chunk the next activity.

When I take a Facebook break or any other kind of short break, Chrometa tracks that time. It’s the little things of not having to mess with a timer that make the difference and save time.

Chrometa time tracking management software integrations

It’s more efficient to do the same type of task than to flip between different types of tasks: phone calls, emails, documentation. A better way to do time management for attorneys would be with automatic time management software with integration with Clio or RocketMatter. Chrometa also works with popular project management, accounting and other valuable software used by many businesses.

Here are apps that work with Chrometa time management software:

  • Accounting: QuickBooks Online, Quickbooks Desktop and Xero.
  • Calendar entries: Google calendar.
  • Invoicing: FreshBooks.
  • Law practice management: Clio and Rocket Matter.
  • Project Management: Basecamp Classic and Basecamp Next.

Automatic time management software improves your time tracking accuracy as it creates automatic timesheets. Add these integrations, and you save a few steps with invoicing and management. You can create keyword-based rules to automatically assign time entries to the right client or project.

And with the ability to track your time on other computers and devices, you won’t forget one minute of work as Chrometa tracks all your time for you.

Benefits of automatic time management software

Because Chrometa automatically tracks your time, you can work the way you want to work. No longer do you need to try to force how you schedule your day to make it easier to track time. Chrometa has graphs like the one here to give you a visual how much time you spent on client work, project work and personal activities.

Find Unbilled Time Report

The data can be exported into Excel if you want to analyze how much time you spend on your various activities. Lawyers, accountants, freelancers, solopreneurs, real estate agents, financial advisors and other professionals find it more efficient to use time management software to track the tasks they do.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked on tasks for a client only to forget to check the time when I started and finished. Chrometa solves that problem by automatically capturing this information. You can set up the time management software to be as simple or detailed as you want to fit the way you work.

“Passive” Time Tracking Infographic

Chrometa-1003

Chrometa Affiliate & Reseller Newsletter: March 2015

Here’s our Affiliate Newsletter for March 2015.  If you didn’t receive this, and you’re interested in joining our affiliate program, please click here to get started.

Here’s what’s in your Chrometa Affiliate Update for March 2015…

  • Major New Version “v5” on the Way…
  • New iPhone and Android apps…
  • New “Passive Timekeeping” Infographic (with Affiliate Link Embedded)…
  • and February Commissions Paid

New “Passive Timekeeping” Infographic (with Your Affiliate Link Embedded)

The notion of “passive” timekeeping can be challenging to describe. So, we created this Infographic to assist: https://chrometa.leaddyno.com/affiliate/content (here’s a preview…)

The linked version above already has your affiliate link embedded. Which means you can just copy the HTML and post it to your website or blog.

I’ve also updated the “one-click” social sharing from your Affiliate Dashboard… so that you can just click to share it on social media. As always, you can track your progress on your affiliate dashboard here:

February Commissions Have Been Paid

If we owed you $100 or more at the end of February, we sent payment via PayPal. Let me know if you didn’t receive it, or would prefer to arrange an alternate form of payment.

As you probably know, you can see your sales and commissions in “real-time” on your Affiliate Dashboard here: https://chrometa.leaddyno.com/

Chrometa for iPhone is Here (and Android Now Captures Text Messages)

As a reminder, our iPhone app is now here… and our Android app now captures text messages.

And if you’re kind enough to leave us a review in the Google Play Store or Apple’s iTunes Store, we’ll credit $50 to your affiliate account as a thank you. We do appreciate your help in leaving reviews.

Also by popular demand we have brought our Verizon-sync for iPhone users BACK! If you’re interested in this feature, just reply back to this email and we’ll get you setup.

Chrometa “v5” on the Way… and More Integrations, Too

Our “web app” interface is getting a facelift – it’s biggest one since 2012. Our goal here is plain and simple – to make it easier to categorize your time entries to the right projects. Preferably automatically, if possible.

Stay tuned for a “beta” opportunity announcement on Chrometa v5.

Also we now have a beta integration running with Tabs3 and QuickBooks Online, too. With more integrations on the way… we’ll be sure to let you know first!

 

Chrometa Review: “If You Keep Time… You Have To See Chrometa.”

This Chrometa review was originally published in the February/March issue of the MicroLaw Tech Review Newsletter by paid-up Chrometa user Sheryn Bruehl. You can subscribe to their excellent newsletter here.

“If you keep time…you have to see Chrometa.

Sheryn’s Take:

(This isn’t Sheryn)

I hate keeping time. I’m bad at it. Really, really bad at it. And I’m busy. All the time.  I get to the end of most days wondering how it could possibly be stupid-o’clock already, with only the barest idea of where it all went.

I found Chrometa at Chicago LegalTech last year and put it on my list of “things to review one day.” I’ve recommended a few  people take a look at it, but not really advocated one way or another. And then I actually tried it.

Recently I committed to track my time — all my time — for awhile, and knew I was going to need help. I signed up for the Chrometa trial, downloaded the app, and promptly ignored it for the better part of a week (other than dismissing the pop-up messages asking if I wanted to log my “away” time).

What I found was stunning. 

Chrometa runs in the background while you work on your computer, recording everything you do. It follows your screen focus, so it knows every minute you spend on each of the webpages, documents and emails you have open. It records the URL and title of the webpage or document, the subject of the email…and if you download the Outlook Utility, it will even give you the to/from information…minute to minute, every minute of the day (unless you tell it otherwise).  If your mouse and keyboard goes quiet for awhile, Chrometa asks if you’ve been off doing something you want to log, and makes it easy to make a note and assign it to a client or project if you want.

When you go back to look at the app at the end of the day, everything is neatly categorized by program (Chrome, Outlook, Word, etc.) on a summary tab or a time-line tab, divided by hour.  If you’re also using it on your phone or another PC, you can see those too.

It was intimidating to see hundreds of entries that first time, after ignoring it for days.But I quickly figured out how to use the simple sorting rules, and by the end of the next week I had most of my time sorting itself by project — because Chrometa “knows” much of what I am doing by the name of the website, parties to emails, or document titles.

The real proof came the very first week I did reporting. It took me a VERY long time to sort through a whole week of roughly ten hour days, not having made many (or any) rules yet…and not having written a single thing down all week. By the time I finished, I had a lot of new rules, and … 49 hours of clearly accounted for time.

Granted, it was a long and busy week, but I’d sat down thinking I’d barely be able to account for 25-30 hours that I could recall. There is no question in my mind that at least 25% of my time would have “disappeared” without Chrometa.  (Also…I’ve learned that I spend entirely too much time reading the news.)

If you keep time…especially if you’re bad at it…give Chrometa the 30 day trial.You can use it on a PC, a Mac, and Android devices (but not, apparently, an iPhone because Apple application restrictions). It integrates with Clio, Rocketmatter, Box.com, among others, and appears to have beta integration with QuickBooks, PCLaw, Timeslips, Google Calendar, and (rumor has it) PracticeMaster. I installed it for a Clio client recently, and it quickly brought down all the clients and matters and started sorting tasks rather neatly. I think he’s going to love it.

Chrometa is $12/month for a basic version, $19 if you want to integrate with your practice manager and/or use more than one device. $29 if you have a lot of devices. But give it the free 30 day trial. You’ll know what it’s worth to you by then.

(Fair disclosure: MicroLaw is a Chrometa affiliate. I pay for my own subscription in full–it’s well worth it.)

For more time tracking software reviews, you can subscribe to MicroLaw’s excellent newsletter here.