Also, check to see if the program supports multiple user entries made over a network. CyberMatrix Corporations Employee Project Clock ($75-$5,000, depending upon the number of licenses) offers this feature, which helps simplify the process of aggregating time-clock data from multiple users.
Expense tracking. Does the time-tracking software also let you enter expenses related to projects or clients? Some, such as Timeless Time & Expense, offer this capability.
Support for handhelds. Some time-tracking programs are available specifically for handheld devices. Iambics AllTime ($40), which works on Palm OS devices, is one example. However, pay attention to handheld OS softwares exporting capabilities. AllTime entries must be exported to the Palm Memo application or to TinySheet, a $20 Iambic spreadsheet application for Palm devices. TinySheet, in turn, syncs with Excel on your desktopmeaning youll need two programs (AllTime and TinySheet) to export time-tracking reports to Excel.
Other time-tracking programs have handheld OS utilities that sync entries made on the handheld to the desktop application. Earlier we mentioned Responsive Time Logger ($89 for one user, up to $2,999 for up to 100 users), which includes a Palm OS utility for recording time entries. This is particularly useful if you perform a lot of work on the gosuch as at client offices.
Web-based. Some time-tracking programs exist entirely on the Web. For example, MyHours.com (also mentioned earlier) lets individuals and companies perform basic time-tracking and reporting capabilities using any Web browser. You can export reports to Excel, though you cant generate invoices using the myHours service. A new addition to the service, MyHours Mobile (currently in beta), lets you use the service via a mobile Web browser. At the moment, use of MyHours, on either handhelds or computers, is free.
Stopwatch. Most time-tracking programs include a stopwatch feature. Click the stopwatch to begin recording a time entry, then click again to stop or pause it.
Recent revisions or updates. Small, independent software companies develop many time-tracking programs. As a result, they might not be regularly updated or revised like programs from leading software developers. Before buying the software, try to determine how recently it was updated. You can usually find this information on FAQ or support pages, such as this one for Spud City Software Companys TraxTime ($39-$64).
Free trial. The majority of time-tracking programs provide a 30-day free trial.
More Time-Tracking Choices
Some time-tracking software/services not previously mentioned include:
Dovicos Timesheet (Web-based software). Available for one user ($156); multi-user prices also available.
Complete Time Tracking Standard (Windows-based). Designed for individuals ($49). with a Professional ($74) edition for multi-user environments.
Timesheets MTS Software. Timesheets Lite ($32) for basic time-tracking software; Timesheets MTS ($64), which adds expense tracking and invoicing; Time Clock ($59), employee time clocking software with payroll functionality; plus an older version of Timesheets Lite for free.
Ace Project (Web-based) Project-management software that features a time-tracking component. Available in three versions -- free (supporting up to five users); $24 per month (for up to 10 users); or $39 monthly (for up to 20 users).
Scoutwest Inc.s Standard Time. Available as Web-based, Windows, Palm OS and Pocket PC software. Prices begin at $149 for one user.
The Bottom Line
It takes discipline to regularly track the time you spend on work projects. But eventually, it can become second nature. And the insights youll gain into how you spend your time pays many dividends. At a minimum, youll get better at balancing your workload because youll be less likely to inadvertently take on too many time-consuming projects at once. Thats good for your fiscaland mentalhealth.