Stefania

Marketing Manager at Timeneye. She’s passionate about technology and finding better, smarter ways to work. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and belting out tunes from Broadway musicals (although the neighbours don’t seem to appreciate that). Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Time Management: projects priorities and how to track them

August 11, 2022

You know the old saying “Time flies when you’re having fun?”. 

Turns out, time also flies if you’re not in control of your day. This tends to happen if you can’t manage your daily tasks and lack some time management skills that would make you able to save a lot of time. 

Keeping track of time is generally a good way to keep productive all day. If you track time for the tasks you work on each day you will briefly improve your project planning and you will be an expert in avoiding time-wasting activities

Thanks to Timeneye we will show you how to check your work time and see if you allocate the right amount of time to your tasks and if, in the end, you can achieve your goals and objectives

But before we put our hands in the dough and start tracking time, let us see if you have a fruitful approach to time and are interested in developing some time management skills. 

From the Eisenhower Matrix to the time tracking software, Timeneye.  Here is how to prioritise tasks and check the time spent on each of them.

Dwight D. Eisenhower is considered the precursor of time management

He was twice President of the United States and a five-star general during World War II, he created NASA, he ended the Korean War, and made Alaska and Hawaii part of the union. 

These are not even all of the activities that he took care of during his life and, there is no need to highlight that he was a very productive and highly focused person

Eisenhower pointed out the difference between urgent and important saying that what is urgent is not important and what is important is not urgent. 

And it is from this Eisenhower’s thought that was born the so-called “Eisenhower’s matrix.” 

The Eisenhower Matrix

 Urgent Not Urgent Important Do it: Under this list go all of those activities that already meet a deadline and consequences if not taken or done. Handing in the last project before summer holidays; Picking up the suit before wedding’s day; Buying a present to your partner’s birthday. Plan it: Tasks and activities that do not meet a deadline yet but they move you closer to your goals and objectives. They are both important but it often occurs that they get postponed since they do not meet a deadline. Long courses able to boost your career; Starting a new sport able to help your posture; Networking events. Not Important Delegate it:  Those activities that have to be done but they do not require any of your peculiar capabilities. Washing your car; Answering some emails; Scheduling.  Delete it: Enjoyable but distractive activities that make you feel fine in the moment and guilty afterwards. They are important for a balanced and fun life but only if done with moderation. Watching TV or binge-watching Netflix; Eating junk food; Going shopping. 

The Eisenhower Matrix is important because it differentiates activities in order of priority as long-term and short-term ones

To develop time management skills, it is important to understand what needs our attention or does not need it (DELEGATE IT), what needs immediate prioritization to avoid any trouble (DO IT), what might be considered superfluous (DELETE IT), and, also, what should be kept in mind to meet our goals (PLAN IT). 

To sum up we need to ask ourselves two main questions:

  1. Is this activity important to me? 
  2. Is this activity urgent for me? 

After having replied to these questions we can feel ready to start a task and, while working on it, keep track of the time it requires us. 
A time tracker is useful to prevent time-wasting tasks and improve our project planning to achieve our goals and objectives. 

And it is here that time management meets technology developing time managing tools able to avoid the mess of spreadsheets that become impossible to read, inaccurate guesstimates, and a lot of manual labor made of filling cells and tables. 

So the best way to track time spent a daily task is to rely on a time tracking software such as Timeneye! 

tracking project time - Timeneye dashboard

Timeneye and how to track time on different tasks

Timeneye let users track time effectively, but it integrates with several popular tasks and to-do list software. Timeneye isn’t just a timesheet, but it adds several visual reporting tools to see where the time went and helps you to better project planning and develop your time management skills. 

It is easy to see exactly where your time went and, in the end, evaluate if that were an important/urgent activity that needed your time or that could wait. 

But let us start seeing the advantages that a time tracking tool like Timeneye can offer you to make time tracking a daily working habit of yours

Let us set it up! 

Sign up, open your project, and start tracking time with Timeneye 

First, get started by signing up for the time your tracking software account (in Timeneye you can do it from the website). Then, what you have to do is create your first project

new project to track time - Timeneye

When you track time, be accurate as much as you can so you will not forget the “email-answering time” or the numerous meetings requested by your client. 
Tracking your whole time on a project is a perfect way to bill properly your client because in this way you are aware of the billable vs non-billable hours you have worked on. 

As you set your projects in Timeneye, you will also break them down into phases.

Every content marketing activity will require you some time, as shown in this Timeneye project view. 

And now you can track your time, making sure you assign the right amount of time to the correct project and phase you’re working on. 

project's phases to track time - Timeneye

Connect Timeneye and Todo List Apps 

If at work you are already using to-do lists and a project management software, you can just add Timeneye’s time tracker to them

In this way, you won’t have to switch between multiple tabsand you will focus on the task, just right where you are. 

Track time - Timeneye integrations

Timeneye also tracks the time you spent on each task thanks to native connections and to its handy Timeneye Browser extension. 

  • To track time for Asana’s tasks and Basecamp to-dos use a combination of the browser widgets for starting timers. You can also just leave a comment on the task/todo with the time spent on the project; 
  • To track time for Clickup and Microsoft Planner sync your ClickUp project and Microsoft Planner plan with Timeneye. Then use the Timeneye Browser widget to track time; 
  • To track time in Todoist, Taskade, Microsoft To-Do, and Trello, use the combination of the Timeneye Browser widgets and use the widget button to track time. 

The integrations will link the time you track to the specific task you’re working on

How to know what the most time-wasting tasks are

A time audit will show you how you have allocated your time across your projects and it makes you know what project, task or client has been taking most of your time

Timeneye is a time tracking tool that automatically saves data on the software each time you track your time. 

In this way you can take advantage of the data and get time insights; it’s waaay more efficient than extracting data from endless spreadsheet rows, or worse, relying on your memory and guess on whose activities you have worked on during the last month. 

For example, in Timeneye’s personal report section, you can check how you have been using the time across all the projects.

data about projects'time and phases - extract reports with Timeneye

How to know how much money you should spend on repetitive tasks?

You can use a calendar to get organized and track your repetitive tasks

You can create recurring events for the task you do often, and then sync your calendar with Timeneye directly from your Outlook Calendar and Google Calendar Integration. 

Using a calendar for productivity is not only useful to remember tasks and appointments, but also for time blocking or deep work. 

If the calendar event is synced in Timeneye, all you need to do is to look for it in the Timeneye dashboard and use the suggestion to track time. 

We might now say that time management is something in between our organization and ability to recognize urgent and important activities and tricks and tools able to make our life easier to avoid distractions and interruptions, manual labor, or silly, repetitive tasks. 

First of all, we would need to focus on our time management skills and see how able we are to prioritize, delegate and delete non-important activities. 

Once we are confident and we know what to do and when to do it, we can rely on time tracking software, such as Timeneye, to enrich our time management skills and check how much time a task requires us

In this way it is up to us to decide if we want to put more energy into improving our work performance or, in case it is not worth it, it would be better to just leave it and not taking similar commitments in the future

Time management plus time tracking tools not only make us save a lot of time but they also make our business flourish

Give it a try and sign up for a free 30-day Timeneye trial! 

How To Audit Your Team’s Time And Measure Productivity

July 4, 2022
Talking about “employee productivity” usually brings up a bad feeling. Employees don’t like having their work scrutinized, and managers (at least, some of them) don’t want to be chasing people around to ask them about their work. Yet, if teams want to improve, or at least have an idea of how their work’s been going. Monitoring and measuring productivity is necessary. When done correctly, it can help the manager find costs and time sinks, and also benefit the way the organization works as a whole. Thankfully, Timeneye gives managers the tools to do just that.

What is employee productivity, anyway?

It’s hard to measure employee productivity without knowing what to look at. Is it the number of tasks completed? Is it the economic return of projects after employee costs? Obviously, every business is different. This means that the idea of productivity may not be the same. One way to start measuring could see how people spend their time. As the old saying goes, “time is money”, right? “I know! I’ll simply count how much time they stay in the office and the one who spends more hours wins! Right?” Wrong! You don’t just have to count hours, you have to see where these hours actually go. You have to see if time aNd resources are being used effectively This is why a time audit comes to help.

Time audits: what are those?

Time audits are useful tools for personal productivity but can work really well on a team as a whole. Basically a time audit is an analysis of how time is spent. By conducting a time audit, it’s possible to identify time drains and see where improvements can be made. Managers can help employees with their time management skills and keep the whole team happy and productive. For a full guide on how to do a time audit for personal productivity, read here.

Why you need to audit the team’s time

For some businesses who bill their work by the hour, keeping an eye on time is a no-brainer: there’s no other way of getting paid, and paid accurately for the work done. But auditing time is useful in general to measure and alayze productivity. 
  • You understand exactly how much time a certain task/service takes;
  • You see what’s working on the team’s current schedule and what doesn’t;
  • It gives you an idea on workload and how it’s impacting your business;
  • You can identify what’s wasting your time (and money).
What you need for a time audit You can perform a time audit only using
  • Pen and pèaper
  • Spreadsheets
However we advise agains spreadsheets, becosue on the long run they become unmanageable, prone to error, and difficult to read Instead it’s better to use time tracking tool like timeneye with his reporting features.

Auditing your team with Timeneye’s reporting features

Timeneye will give you exactly the tools and data you need to perform your evaluation. What you need: 
  • A Timeneye team workspace
  • Adocument (online or otherwise) for setting and tracking goals

How to time audit your team, step-by-step:

  1. Explain the “why”
  2. Onboard the team on the process
  3. Set goals
  4. Let the team track
  5. Monitor
  6. Report
  7. Evaluate

Step 1: Explain the “why”

It’s important for your team to understand the reason why you’re evaluating their time. Otherwise, it just will feel like an imposition. The last thing you want is people stacking their timesheets with meaningless entries, just because they have to. Also, include yourself in the evaluation: every good leader knows how important it is to lead by example. Not to mention, the evaluation for the team and business as a whole won’t be completed without you.

Step 2: Onboard the team

The team will need some time to adjust to the new tool, so give the chance to get used to it. Timeneye thankfully offers a series of helpful guides and how-to posts on how to use Timeneye to track time every day. Also, establish and explain some rules and good practices. (For example, it may be useful to add notes every time entry registered for a more detailed evaluation).

Step 3: Set goals

Setting goals is important for any evaluation. It makes no difference if you’re evaluating yourself or your team. Make sure to write everything down so you can compare the results later on.

Step 4: It’s time to track

After the goals and setup have been laid out, it’s time for you and your team to track your time. Consistency will be the key: tracking time every day will ensure you’ll have enough data to then carry out all the analysis you need. Don’t forget to also think about when your team is on the field, in meetings, or switching between multiple projects. Make it easier for them to track time by activating the integrations with the tools they use, and recommending they use the Timeneye apps on their mobile phone.

Step 5: Monitor

Here comes the dirty work of the managers: keeping an eye on people. Obviously watching your team like a hawk all the time would be a) a huge waste of your time and b) a huge bummer on the team’s morale. Let technology lend you a hand. Schedule regular reports and weekly overviews from Timeneye on your team’s work, to be delivered to your email directly. This will allow you to keep an eye on the process without disrupting or interrupting your team’s rhythm. Project status views will also help you see where the time efforts of teams’ been going, and whether they’re sticking to their budgets or not. Project effort view from Timeneye

Step 6: Run some reports

This is were you go to really dig in the data. While you and your team track your time, it’s immediately organized in Timeneye and associated with the correct project, team members, group, phase. All this data can be visualized in one of the many reports in the reporting section. You can run the following reports in Timeneye:
  • Project report
  • Member Report (Team or Me)
  • Group Report – for Teams using the “Group” feature
  • Phase category Report
  • Clients Report
  • Billable hours Report
  • Tag Report
  • Tag list Report
  • Custom Report
Whichever report you choose, you should also know that you can schedule reports so that they run automatically, at the frequency you decide. This will save you a lot of time and also help you keep up with your reporting on regular basis. A Team report will let you see how the team allocated their time, and you can also target specific members you included. Then compare the data with the goals you gave yourself and the team and you’ll know if they were met or not.

Step 7: The final evaluation

When the auditing perios is finished, you can use all the data you gathered to understand the productivity and effectiveness of your team. Where the goals met? How much time did they take? What projects and task usually took most of the time? Is your team overworked? The time audit will open your eyes on all these aspects- and more.

How to Improve your and your team’s time management

You’ve arrived this far. Good job! But simply checking the boxes of your goals and counting hours will do nothing for the team productivity. Find out where the work can improve and strengthen what is already working. If you have explained the importance of good time management for employees and colleagues alike, all of you should benefit from the time audit you carried out. New to time tracking? Start improving your team’s productivity: create a Timeneye workspace today.

Timeneye PRO features: best ways to set up Phases and Tags

June 24, 2022

To become a PRO at time tracking with Timeneye, you should take the best out of our features called Phases and Tags.
Check your project life cycle dividing it into different steps and name them properly!

This guide will focus on:

  • What are the Phases;
  • What are the Tags;
  • Which ones you should use and how;
  • What is the best way to set them up (with examples).

What are the Phases?

Phases are the steps in which you can break down the projects and monitor your project life cycle. They can be the actual phases of the project or the single activities you perform for that client within the project itself. Remember to create at least one Phase per project!

timeneye project phases breakdown

Examples:

  • A project called Marketing can have Phases like “Social Media”, or “Email Marketing”, “Market Research”;
  • If you build an app, the Phases can be “App 1.0”, “2.0”, and so on;
  • Not sure what Phases to use? Select the option “Copy from…” and use our templates!

Best practices

  • Try to keep your Phases consistent, this also including the name you gave them. Try to avoid having a Phase called “Development” that’s also called “dev”, “Devs”, “dvlplt”. Being as tidy as possible is a great plus;
  • If you use similar Phases or tasks for your projects, make use of the copy from option and copy your phases from one project to another;
  • Avoid hyper-specific phases. If you need to be extra detailed, use the tags (more on that later on);
  • On the other hand, avoid generic names for your phases such as “phase2” or “general” because they would not be useful for analyzing work.

What are Tags?

You cannot track time if you do not know where you spend it.
With Tags, you can add another level of classification to your time. This feature will help your timesheets to be tidy and understandable and they will also help you to billing your working time accurately.
Plus, when you will need to run reports and measure your productivity, your time data will be easily stored!

How do Tags work?

Tags have to be assigned to a specific time entry. They cannot be assigned to projects, or phases, or phase categories, or clients.

The best thing about Tags is that they are very flexible: you can create them just to make your work easier and later delete them if you do not need them anymore.
Tag Lists help you manage your Tags and keep them organized.

How to set Tags in Timeneye

Only Owners and Admins can create Tag lists and Tags. Once created, the rest of the team will be able to select the ones they need and use them in the manner they prefer.
In Management>Tags, there is a dedicated dialog to create and manage Tags.

You can create, manage, and delete your Tags from there.
To keep your timesheet as precise as possible, it would be better to first create a Tag List and then fill in with tags.

How to assign Tags to a Time Entry

Opening the Register Time Button and, consequently, Project and Phases, you will notice a new Tag field!
If you start typing the name of your Tag, Timeneye will make you appear the one you need from the list you created!

(Note: because of the limited space, the menu only shows 20 Tags at a time. If you do not find the Tag you need on the menu, just start typing the Tag and it will appear as suggestion).

Tag reports and Tag list reports

Time reports are very effective in showing people where their time goes, helping them to see time and costs sync.
Now you can run reports on your Tags and Tags List too!
If you want to know how much time you tracked for a particular Tag you used, simply run a report and see it in detailed!
You can also run reports to see how much time was tracked for whole Tag Lists.

Best practices

  • Make smart use of the Tag List to group your tags and keep them organized;
  • Avoid having rogue Tags that are not really assigned to the correct list;
  • Color code! This way you can see the Tags at a glance;
  • Do not make the Tags too similar to the Phases, and vice versa. Keep them different as they are distinct features on Timeneye.

Your time is priceless, take better care of it

Start managing your time in Timeneye with a 30-day trial.

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