Team Time Tracking, Part 3: Easy Team Timesheets

Note: In Part 1 of our series, you learned how to get started with Chrometa, set up your free trial account, and start tracking time. In Part 2, you learned about setting up new clients, automatically capturing time, and viewing time spent on projects across team membership. In this part of the series, we’ll address keyword-based rules for automatic time keeping and learn how to bring it all together in timesheets, invoices, and professional reports that you can present to your clients when it’s time to bill.

As far as your client is concerned, there are only two things you give them: the work and the invoice.

You’ve already got a handle on doing the work properly—that’s why you’ve come to Chrometa in the first place. But when it comes to presenting your clients with efficient and organized team timesheets that explain in detail everything you’ve done to create that work, you’ve been lacking.

At least until today.

In this article, we’ll explore using key-word based rules for automatic time categorization. This will allow you to effortlessly track your time simply by running Chrometa in the background of every team member’s device, giving you the long-term, no-muss-no-fuss solution you’ve been hoping for in an automatic timekeeper.

We’ll also take a look at creating invoices and reports that you can present to your clients when the time comes to pay the bill. These reports can include highly detailed information thanks to the data Chrometa provides—not to mention the team timesheet software can help you format the invoices and reports manually.

Using Keyword-Based Rules for Automatic Time Categorization

By setting up a new client (which you learned in the previous article), Chrometa will automatically use that client name as a keyword. For example, if you were to create a “testing” project and then opened a file called “Testing.pdf,” Chrometa would capture that data and store it in the appropriate place.

But obviously not every file name and email subject (as captured by Chrometa) will perfectly line up with the client name. That’s when you’ll have to make a few edits yourself to ensure that everything is being captured properly.

One basic way to do this is to click Rules at the top and then New Rule. You’ll be able to enter in a new keyword here:

team timesheet software

Do you see how the “Move To” option is filled with the original project? This alerts Chrometa as to how to organize a specific keyword that you’ve filled in on this screen.

Essentially, you’re telling Chrometa “every time you see me working on this keyword, I want you to assign it to this project.” Simple to understand and easy to implement.

Other options, such as “apply to the past 90 days,” will give you some flexibility and power when organizing specific keywords into their appropriate project names.

It’s really that easy to ensure that Chrometa is organizing all of your timekeeping information properly. We recommend giving Chrometa a look every so often to make sure that it’s assigning the right projects to the right events—though this will mostly apply in the beginning as you acclimate yourself to the program. As your team gets more experienced in using Chrometa, you’ll better understand how it organizes different file types into different projects and won’t have to review your data nearly as often.

Keywords: Tips and Tricks

Still not sure how to properly utilize the power of keywords with Chrometa? Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure that every project goes smoothly:

  • Start by identifying common keywords, file types, and subjects. Since Chrometa gets its informations from file names and email subjects, you’ll want to recognize which common keywords belong to which project. You should also keep this in mind when you’re corresponding on a particular project. For example, don’t just send an email with the subject “Details.” Instead, what about “Details – Peterson Project”? Not only will that enhance the organization of your emails, but it will ensure that Chrometa knows exactly what you’re working on. Make a habit of this and it you’ll barely have to spend any time keeping track of your time.
  • Don’t make your keywords too common. If you’re managing multiple projects across multiple team members, then you don’t want keywords to be too common. “Design” is a poor keyword, for example. Instead, you want client-specific pronouns such as a client’s last name so that you avoid any redundancy. Make sure to pay attention to this should it comes time to review your timesheets and you need to know where to enter in some time manually. This isn’t always necessary, but it’s something to keep in mind just in case.
  • Remember: you can always retroactively change things. You don’t have to manually update every single piece of a project. You can use a 90-day retroactive feature when adding a new keyword to ensure that anything you’ve been working on in the past 90 days is accurately filed by Chrometa. The beauty of Chrometa is that it works without you having to do anything, so avoid the temptation to constantly manage your dashboard.

Creating Timesheets, Invoices, and Reports

Okay, so you’ve learned how to create new projects, automatically track your time, and make sure that all of the time is effectively organized via the use of keywords. Now what? Well, as it turns out, there’s plenty you can do if you so desire.

Click Invoices on the top tab of your Chrometa dashboard for an entire cornucopia of invoice-editing options. There you’ll be able to create an invoice template based on your own tastes and likes. You can insert open-ended variables into this invoice so that every time you finish a project, Chrometa automatically fills in details such as:

  • Total amount of project due
  • Invoice issued date
  • Due date for payment (can be calculated via your own input terms)

With these variables fed automatically by Chrometa, you won’t have to worry about generating a completely new invoice every time. This saves you the pain of creating something fresh for each client and allows you to spend as little time as possible actually collecting the money. You can also use LawPay (credit card processing for Attorneys) or PayPal in these invoices.

For other reports, click on Time, then Timeline or Graphs to see some cool visualizations of how your project time has been spent, and by whom. You can always take a screenshot of one of these graphs to include in an invoice or an email report. Under the “Graph” option, you’ll see the ability to sort by:

  • Time by client
  • Time by project
  • Time by day

Many clients don’t actually need this information, but it can be a useful tool for a Team Leader.

Invoicing and Reports: Tips and Tricks

Although we help you create an invoice when you open the proper Chrometa tab, it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra advice to ensure that your invoices are easy to generate every time:

  • Don’t mess with the variables. The template invoice we’ve created for you already has the proper variables included. Unless you consider yourself an expert at this sort of thing, we recommend that you simply input some simple information, like your address, and include a nice, polite note to your client. There’s no reason to make an invoice any more complicated than it needs to be.
  • Run some tests first. Don’t try your first attempt at an invoice or a graph on a client. Instead, give it a test first—just as you’ve tested out many of these features with the free trial. This will help ensure that you know what you’re doing when the time comes for a real report or invoice.

Get the Team Going!

That’s it! You now have an introduction to managing an entire team by utilizing Chrometa. Although many of the ins and outs of timekeeping are automatically managed for you and your team, we hope that you’ll find these tips, tricks, and brief tutorials to be helpful when setting up a new account of your own. You now have the keys in hand to become a true Team Leader. The only question is, what will you do next?