At a time when jewelers primarily made and repaired timepieces, jeweler Willard Bundy developed a solution that grew rapidly – the time clock. The timeclock and timesheet eventually became business standards in tracking billable/paid hours. However, these tedious and error-prone instruments lost their utility when cheap computers entered industry and small business. Computer use began the evolution of all aspects of business including time-tracking.
Microsoft Windows’ entry made technology more accessible, but its Office suite aligned organizations and powered business in a way no other set of tools achieved. Office’s Excel served as major time-tracking software Windows users relied on. Its design exploited 80s predecessors and Microsoft’s vision in pairing digital data with ease-of-use.
Tailored time-tracking solutions emerged with the explosion of IT across sectors. The combination of internet’s market penetration, falling technology prices, and rising technology power made IT critical and irresistible to competitive organizations. These purpose-built solutions offered impressive options and configurations whether standalone, plugins, or built-in functionalities of systems.
The next generation of time-tracking tools promises the power of IoT. They go beyond your typical screen capture and timers into precise, omnipresent technology acting as an assistant (or manager).
The Importance of Time-Tracking
The time-tracking software Windows users employ may seem like common tools for routine administrative tasks, but related problems can devastate businesses. Harvard Business Review reveals insufficient tracking costs the US economy an estimated 50 million hours in losses, or a daily loss of over $7 billion. Part of this comes from simple tasks like email, which a survey shows results in a yearly loss of $50,000 per worker. Many organizations battle this issue, but many remain totally unaware. They work harder and longer without proper compensation, or without knowledge of leak impact.
Fortunately, many have isolated the problems in time-tracking requiring the most attention. Any viable solutions address these areas and their effect on operations and business:
- Reliability – Accurate and consistent tracking records are required for financial reporting, employee compensation, financial management, and much more.
- Human Error – Manual data entry introduces high risk of serious errors, so systems must avoid it as much as possible.
- Productivity – Records must accurately reflect employee activities in order to present a clear picture of resource use.
- Fraud – Systems need mechanisms to protect against fraud or exploits in records and tracking.
- Automation – Manual data entry slows productivity to a crawl, so automation is of course preferred.
- Transparency and Optimization – Records must reveal all activities performed, resources used, and locations employed. This aids in compliance, project management, operations, and other aspects of business. It also offers deep insight, and reveals opportunities for growth and improvement.
- Corrections – Records cannot avoid errors, but system management of them must avoid excessive lag and provide proper access.
- Alignment – A system must integrate seamlessly with organizational procedures and existing IT infrastructure.
A Powerful Solution
Though many strong options with rich features exist, many time-tracking solutions suffer from fundamental problems. The biggest issues are ease-of-use and active use. Most of the time-tracking software Windows users employ simply gets in the way, or proves overly involved to use. An ideal tool quietly observes and records activities without interfering, weighing your system down, or requiring heavy intervention. Another major issue in time-tracking is the lack of sophistication. Better tools perform smart time-tracking. They not only record, but also precisely interpret and predict.
Our smart solution Chrometa passively captures time on a PC, Mac, iPhone, or Android device. Its capture documents every minute of your work time, and addresses all qualities of device and system use. This includes granular focus like time spent on a single email, its subject line, and its sender or target. It could also mean the name of an active file and its application, or the URL of a website and its title.
Note that Chrometa only captures information on the active task, regardless of how much you switch. On an idle mouse and keyboard, it triggers a prompt for intervention. This design allows you to optimize your work rhythm while still maintaining accurate records.
Chrometa timesheets offer the accuracy of keyword-based rules. You simply set it to assign entries to specific clients and projects, and then you enjoy robust precision when tracking multiple projects.
It also delivers seamless integration for capture across devices. This means you can switch devices comfortably with the confidence that it recordseverything. Strong integration also supports exports to multiple applications; for example, QuickBooks, Xero, Freshbooks, and Clio. You work unrestricted by system ecosystems or proprietary technology, and integrate in whatever infrastructure you prefer.
Chrometa includes many other competitive features like professional invoices and time entry creation through email. Leverage the Chrometa advantage today by exploring our solution in a 30-day free trial.