Time Tracking Software for Employees: Desktop Software
written by: Joe Taylor Jr.
• edited by: Michele McDonough
• updated: 7/6/2011
In this installment of our series on time tracking software for employees, we examine options for employers who want to run project tracking solutions on desktop computers.
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Finding the Right Desktop Time Tracking Tools
Time-tracking software tends to be popular in client-oriented organizations, such as law firms, creative agencies, and accounting practices. Depending on the needs of a team or of a company, a variety of desktop tools offer time tracking and task logging capabilities. Although vendors release new titles and revisions of time-tracking software tools on a regular basis, many of the best tools tend to find a strong following among dedicated users.
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Active Time Tracking Software
Active task tracking software tools require users to punch in and out of work days or segmented tasks. Although active time tracking tools may require more regular user intervention than other tools, they can provide some of the deepest levels of information about how team members spend their time.
Popular time tracking software tools for Windows desktops include:
In organizations where workers don’t always remember to punch in and out of tasks, deploying a passive solution can help project managers understand how team members spend their time. Many of these solutions monitor a worker’s computer usage to estimate the amount of time spent on various tasks. For Windows users, TimeSnapper offers multiple levels of licensing and support. On the Mac platform, Slife has earned a following for its elegant reporting.
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Repurposing Existing Time Tracking Tools
In some cases, task tracking software can include tools that workers already use for other purposes. For example, team members that already plan schedules and appointments using popular software like Outlook or iCal can use those same platforms to track time and projects. Some users like to create parallel calendars to track the differences between their original plans and how they spent their days. Other users adjust calendars on the fly to respect what they really spent their time on.
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Industry Specific Time Tracking Software
For some companies, specialized time tracking tools offer tighter integration with organizational billing and auditing practices. Creative agencies may prefer to integrate time tracking with customer relationship and project management tools, using software like Studiometry. Likewise, many law firms have turned to the integrated client management and time tracking software tools in the TimeMatters suite.