Take the 2-minute tour ×
Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A friend of mine is running a consultancy company and she needs software to manage the people that go to their customers. I've been using Project Management Software before, but this case is slightly different. Basically, the workflow would be:

  • Manager assigns a Consultant to a customer site, possibly on a calendar (e.g. John Smith has to go to Mr Customer on 3rd of April from 10AM to 6PM).
  • Consultant goes to customer for an X amount of hours. At the end of the day, he/she writes in the software how many hours were spent (and, eventually, doing what).
  • Manager generates a monthly report of billable hours and produces invoices to send to customers.

It should be relatively simple to manage, but I wouldn't be able to recommend a specific program for this. Funnily enough, I've been a consultant for 10 years, but, at the time, we did everything on paper...

Any suggestion is appreciated, thanks.

share|improve this question
    
This is opinion based, and is a project management question, not a personal productivity question. –  Rory Alsop Dec 7 '13 at 0:23
    
As I see it, any personal productivity answer is mainly based on personal opinions. There are no "hard and fast" productivity "methods" (in fact, I disagree with many of them). This said, the question is over one and a half years old. –  Diego Dec 8 '13 at 1:10
add comment

closed as primarily opinion-based by Rory Alsop Dec 7 '13 at 0:23

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

8 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The tag "time-tracking" tag does not give many good answers/suggestions, but the project management sister site has a few good ones:

A few years ago I have used toggl myself, for tracking my time spent at work relared projects. Toggl is webbased and has a desktop interface. It does time tracking pretty well, but does not support the appointment making.

Another idea is to use jira with the team calendars, but I am quiet an atlassian fanboy, and it maybe a bit oversized for what you are looking for.

Maybe do a search for timetracking over at pm.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for Toggl (I Mentioned it on PMSE posts, btw). –  Tiago Cardoso Mar 15 '12 at 19:55
    
+1 for Toggl.com. The free level is great too, but when you pay you can create live bookmarks for clients to check your progress on their job. –  JakeParis Mar 16 '12 at 14:13
add comment

I would suggest looking at http://www.casefox.com.

In this scenarios, the manager can log into CaseFox account and create individual logins for his consultants/staff. Then create a client and case/project for the client. Grant privileges/access to the case to consultants who are working on the project, including their hourly rates. (Consultants can be restricted from viewing data of other users and client information by assigning a restrictive role). Each consultant can then enter his/her hours and description what he/she did. This data is then used directly to create invoices (just two clicks) for the client.

The manager can see in real time what his consultants have done and how much billable/non-billable hours they have logged. CaseFox can also record payments and provide summaries of unpaid invoices, unbilled hours, billed amounts, etc. Real easy to use and simple interface. Free basic account to test drive the software.

Disclaimer - I work for CaseFox, Inc.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Time Tracker 2 Go - www.timetracker2go.com - is an iPhone app that helps consultants keep track of time spent at a customer's location. It uses the location awareness of the phone to determine when the consultant arrives at the customer's location and when they leave. The consultant does not have to remember to record when they arrive or depart. Time Tracker 2 Go also lets the consultant keep track of time spent on specific tasks. Additionally, the consultant can keep track of expenses associated with that customer. This includes using the phone's camera to take pictures of receipts. All of this information can be emailed to the manager in a formmat that can be imported into a spreadsheet.

I am the author of Time Tracker 2 Go. If you have any questions or ideas about time tracking for mobile workers, I'd be happy to discuss them with you. I can be reached at dennis@ltstechnology.com

share|improve this answer
add comment

We had been testing out several time tracking software before to fit our needs (outsourcing) but they were all a flop. Most endorsements said they can help to make time tracking a bit easier but most of them have complexities on their app. Perhaps a time tracker or a project management software that integrates google apps is more efficient in organizing tasks. In this way, you can be more productive in your work and at the same time more efficient in giving reports to management.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I use the same software as tcrosley - TSheets time tracker. It does seem that this software would be fitting for this situation because it does allow for manual time entry and can produce the desired reports at months end. When I signed up for TSheets I integrated it into FreshBooks since I was already using that software for invoicing. I've been happy with using the two softwares together.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for TSheets time tracking software is exactly what your friend needs to run a successful consulting company. It's worth lining up one before the first client is landed. –  KMed Oct 9 '12 at 19:00
add comment

I would recommend looking into SpringAhead, it is a relatively inexpensive solution for what you're looking for. It also connects to other accounting software like Quickbooks and Microsoft GP so make the back end work even easier.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I have used TSheets for some time now. It will keep track of multiple job codes with subtasks within the job codes. Clocking in and out can be done via smartphone app, website, SMS text, or dial-in. You can also enter/edit time manually. It has integrated payroll and invoicing.

I have no connection with the company, just a happy user. I use their freelancer account, which is single-user at $10/month. They have a business account for $20/month which includes one user; additional users are $5/month more.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Crisply can do this. I am the co-founder of a product called Crisply. Crisply integrates with your calendar and the other systems that you use. We have a video overview on the website: http://crisply.com. Crisply is a revolutionary time tracking system that builds a draft of your timesheet automatically to take the pain out of time tracking. Crisply is free for the first 5 users. Check it out and post your feedback here: http://support.crisply.com. Thank you!

share|improve this answer
add comment

protected by Community Feb 4 at 3:35

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.