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If you’re part of a mid-sized or large company or working with external clients, time tracking is definitely a part of your daily/weekly routine. Moreover, it could cost a lot of time which can be spent on doing the job.
The Timetracker Cloud team is continuously connected with users who share their time-tracking habits — some members of the teams become really PRO at time tracking. We collected the most powerful, real-life best practices to save time for you on time-tracking-related tasks.
Ok, let’s start with this basic question. Honestly, most of the team members think that time tracking is just an unnecessary task that should be done daily. But they’re all wrong because time tracking
helps you review your work and progress
helps managers to plan their teams' capacity and schedule
leads to a better estimation process
gives an overview to each member on their effectiveness
Plus, you can discover that fatigue kicks in, and when your productivity levels plunge during the day.
After understanding the importance of time tracking - we just need to figure out how to shorten the administration time.
It’s always hard to remember appropriately what you did (and how long) three or more days ago. Some developers complete their timesheets once a week - so they don’t need to open the timesheet each day. Sounds good? Definitely not if you realize how long it takes to research what you did a week ago. You have to open your calendar, check recent issues, open your personal notes, etc. Challenge this method and measure both techniques. Daily tracking wins - always.
Did you know? Timetracker Cloud supports daily time tracking by the Timeline view, where you can log your daily activities with the ease of writing simple notes. Plus, it provides full keyboard support so you can reduce time spent on administration.
Try to log work on the Issue/Task that you are really working on. Logging everything into a general issue or assigning everything only to an epic level doesn’t provide useful information to management or a client. Precisely created worklogs can improve your estimation process as well, eg. you have to estimate a feature or component for a new project which is quite similar to a task delivered before — the only thing you have to do is just browse previously finished tasks and check time spent on that issue/epic.
A short description of worklogs helps other team members understand the progression. For example, the project manager could share a quick status report based on your work log entries (otherwise, you have to do this job). You can keep these descriptions short but always include the essence. Pro tip: if you’re stuck on that task and spent extra time finishing it, it could be helpful to add this note as well. It won’t be misleading to understand that extra effort later on.
Although you can create worklogs without description, the Timeline view offers the description in the first place. Moreover, you can add a multiline description too.
You can create a laser-sharp timesheet (like Task 1 - 7min; Task 2 - 19min), but it doesn’t always meet the company’s needs. Why? Because rounding time values could lead to extra administration tasks. Hourly or half-hourly billing is the most popular way of working with an external client. To make administration convenient to other departments as well, always ask the project manager about the shortest work log you can create. Important: billing units can be different in each project.
You can use the basic (built-in) time tracking options and reports in Jira, or using an app like Timetracker Cloud to manage and check your timesheet regularly. It helps you to overview your day/week and find errors (missing worklogs, gaps, overlapping worklogs, worklogs outside your working hours etc). A quick check on your timesheet keeps the HR department away. 😉
Timetracker is loaded with dozens of solutions for overviewing your daily/weekly activities. The calendar view helps in finding gaps or even missing worklogs in your timesheet.
Let’s wrap up what we covered in this article. Logging work has become part of our life now because it leads to better estimation, capacity planning, and customer reports. If you want to keep yourself effective and save time on administration tasks, you should create worklogs precisely with the right amount of details daily and review them regularly.
Happy time tracking!
Looking for a tool that supports proper time tracking? Timetracker is for you. In addition to the easy-to-use work log creation, it provides a decent solution for creating reports.
Check it out on the Marketplace.
Dániel Ballabás - EverIT