Whether you are a design firm or a solo designer, if you are someone who works on an hourly basis, or have people working for you whose working hours you need to track, then this article is for you. For many designers, calculating the number of hours they have spent on a project is the key aspect of their business revenue. If you do not keep an accurate track of the time, you will be leaving money on the table and feeling undervalued and underpaid for a job you did so well. These days, most design companies use a time tracking application compatible with desktops and mobiles to track the time spent on each project.
The Importance of Timekeeping Apps
There is no need to remind you that time is money. But here are some reasons why a timekeeping application is the best idea for your business.
- Manually entering time on a paper or excel sheet each time is outdated, cumbersome, and mostly ineffective.
- Mobile compatibility gives ease of access to your timesheet app.
- They are easy to review, edit and update on the move.
- They save time spent on entering the hours each time you work.
How to Choose the Right Timekeeping App for Your Business
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a time tracker for your interior design business.
- Type of Business: You could choose the right time tracking app depending on your type of business – i.e., whether you are a solo entrepreneur or a design firm with several employees. The time tracker can be used to keep track of your employees’ activities or just for tracking and recording your own time and activities.
- Type of Application: Another way to zero in on your choice of time tracking application is to decide what you want the application to do for you; whether you need an app that does purely time tracking, or whether you want the application to integrate project management and workflow within its structure.
- Cost: A third and very important factor to consider whether a particular time tracker application is good for you is to consider the costs involved. See whether the free version will do the job for you or you need to upgrade to a premium or paid version to suit your business.
- Access: If you use a design studio management tool such as Ivy or Studio Designer, they come with built-in time tracking tools. Given that they are natively integrated with project management and billing, they have the potential to be more useful than standalone apps.
Best Time Tracking Applications for Interior Designers
Below are some of the best time tracking applications available on the digital market to make your time tracking easy and accurate and seem less of a chore.
Providing most of the time tracking facilities that other applications provide, And.co comes highly recommended by designers. It is free to install with a fee for upgrade plans. It is a great time tracking tool for solo designers and small companies.
This application is an intuitive, user-friendly tool for tracking time. The dashboard shows a clear view of what projects you have spent time working on. It also provides live status of the activities of each member of your team as well. It is great for small companies handling multiple clients.
This is one of the most recommended time tracking tools available for designers. Built to easily handle collaborative workloads, it integrates seamlessly with other workflow management systems such as Asana, Trello, and others. The app also works offline, allowing teammates to record time spent working on projects away from the computer. Designers can easily integrate retainer amounts, and as the work progresses, glance at how much is left.
Another favorite, its user-friendly interface allows employees to enter start and end time and you can monitor employee activities and payments. The app can also automatically clock in working hours by monitoring employees’ entry and exit from the job location.
Consider giving Hubstaff a try if you want an application that does more than time tracking – the Hubstaff dashboard allows you to track employee performance, has an option for GPS tracking (great to automatically record when you are on a job-site), and offers an integrated payroll function.
Toggle is a straightforward app that offers time tracking and some other interesting features including an HR module that tests job candidates.
This tool offers a wide variety of options to customize the application to your specific business. It can also track employees’ hourly breakdown, GPS location, and payments..
Having a time tracking app can greatly increase accuracy and ease of doing business. Instead of remembering to record the time taken for each task manually, you can free up your mind to focus on the job at hand while the time tracker takes care of making a note of the time you spend on each task. Having a firm grasp of how you spend your time can help you make adjustments to your schedules and steer your activities towards more business productivity.
Have you used any other time tracking applications in your design business? Let us know in the comments what you like or dislike about your time tracking application.