For those of us who are in the service business, it is important to keep track of how much time we are spending on each person’s project. Even if you don’t bill hourly, it is important to know how you’re managing your time. These are the systems I have used over the course of the past year and what I have found to work the best (and be the most user-friendly).
Honestly? Trello was my least favorite. Although, many people use it, I didn’t feel it was very user-friendly. Trello’s time tracking feature is a great tool to help you organize your projects and I liked the board concept, but it seemed like a lot of upfront work that I wasn’t really interested in.
I initially chose Google calendars because it was easy to use, but I hated that it would go straight to my phone and clog up my phone calendar (I am sure there is a way to stop that) and I wanted something that told me at the end of the month how long I spent on each project- insert Toggle.
First off, they aren’t paying me to say any of this (however if they would like to, I wouldn’t mind). I have found Toggl to be the easiest platform to use and also the most effective. I did a screen flow of how I set up clients, projects, and then track my time on a normal workday. Check it out below!
Taking the time to track your time may seem counterintuitive, however by putting in the effort up front you will have ACCOUNTABILITY, know how long projects ACTUALLY take so you can properly budget for the next one and charge correctly, and be able to provide your client with an accurate delivery date. You also then know how many projects you need to take, based on your rate, to get the salary you desire. I promise you can do it and just like the guy who invented time blocking (Francesco Cirillo who struggled to get anything done as a college student) found, it will increase your productivity in the long run!