Maximize Billable Hours with the Daily Timesheet

16-Jun 2016
Product
hugh2
Hugh Cowling PRODUCT MANAGER

It was many moons ago that our product team went against the wisdom of “No need to re-invent the wheel..” and re-imagined timesheeting into a daily summary of work logs, meetings & emails grouped by client work - such as projects, tickets and sales. This approach was a big hit with our users, as it was easy to find and fill gaps in your day, add time against all those client emails you sent, and relocate work to the right place. And now - after consulting with devoted followers of the original Daily Work Screen - we’ve re-built it to be more useful, faster and much better looking!

ts day bigThe new Daily Timesheet screen can be accessed via a shortcut from the Weekly Timesheet, or from the Time menu in the top navigation:

ts nav link

Where did the day go?

Answering this question will be a lot easier thanks to the way your activities are represented in the graphs at the top of the Daily Timesheet. There’s 2 types of charting used, but together they paint a very helpful picture:

  1. The histogram (light blue bars) helps you see the volume of activity throughout the day, broken into 15 minute intervals. It includes calls, notes, emails, meetings - any activity logged in Accelo or captured by email. Move your mouse over a column to see the count of activities in that 15m block.

  2. Any activities which have billable time are plotted underneath the histogram in green. The length of each rectangle represents the duration. If you notice different shades of green, this indicates there are billable activities overlapping each other. You can mouse-over a block to see the time spent. Just below the billable row, you will find non-billable blocks of time represented in orange.

 ts graphs

One of the neatest things about these graphs is that as you edit an activity in the timeline below, whether changing duration or toggling it to be billable, the graphs will update in real-time so you can easily review your day and fill-in the missing pieces.

Can you log some time for me?

Certainly sir! As long as you have appropriate permissions (are managing other staff or are an admin user), you can view the Daily Timesheet for others - to update existing activities, relocate, log new work and more - just as if it was your timesheet. Of course, things like external appointments and private activities are still hidden from you.

ts usersAnd if you need to fix up their timesheet from last week - or even last month - you can easily navigate between days using the arrows in the top left, or click on the date to access a datepicker. The graph tucked away in here is handy for reviewing the total time logged over the last week.

ts datepicker

 

I need to log time for something else...

Sitting nice and central, the Log Work button opens a pop-up window for quickly finding anything you might need to log work for. We’ve added a keyboard shortcut too - try the comma key [ , ] to open the pop-up instead.

ts logwork

You might notice the new time inputs have some *smarts* built-in. While the Start and End times are completely optional we’ll still set them so that the time you log can be represented in the green/orange graph at the top of your timesheet. For example, if you just type “15” in the duration, we’ll convert that to 15m and assume that you have just finished doing the work - so we set the End time to the current time (NOW) and the Start time to be 15m earlier.

In the near future, we’ll be adding the new Log Work button + pop-up to a lot more screens!

From dawn ‘til dusk

The Timeline view lays out every activity you’ve created, and every client-related email you’ve sent - from first thing in the morning to those late night emails. If you’d rather sort by the most recent activities first, or those with the least time logged, you can - and Accelo will remember your last used filters and sorting the next time your load the screen.

As you scroll through the timeline, you can easily spot activities and emails which don’t have time tracked to them yet - just look for the orange 0:00 and click in the cell to add some time. As you make changes, the Start/End time on the left of the activity card will update - but you can always modify those values too using the time selector or even manually typing a time. E.g. typing “8” and pressing TAB will be converted to 08:00 AM.

ts startedit

If you spot a work log that has a typo in the subject, or just needs a touch more detail, now you can quickly edit on-the-fly using the edit option alongside the subject. Tidying up time entries at this step means your team will spend less time manually fixing activities in the approval process or even when invoicing!

Besides captured emails and work logs, we’ll also show meetings (marked with yellow on the edge) which require a report, and appointments imported from your external calendar (marked with red) - which you can easily convert into a work log, or dismiss if that appointment isn’t work related.

ts externals

As you’d expect, each activity in the timeline has a little menu giving you additional options for cleaning up your timesheet:

  • Log more work against the same object

  • Relocate the activity to a different work object for the client

  • Delete Activity to completely remove it from Accelo

Prefer a more compact “grouped” view?

We understand. You’re sending 60+ emails a day, frequently switching between tasks, and your calendar is bursting with appointments and reminders.. You need a more high-level view of how your day was spent, like which customers you’ve emailed, which projects you worked on, and which support tickets you chased up.

ts compact

The “Grouped” view will bundle activities and emails by the parent object they are tied to. E.g. if you logged several activities and emails across 3 tasks within a ticket, those activities will be grouped up in that ticket. Likewise for activities and emails under a sale, milestone, project or retainer period.

Simply click on the group to expand it, revealing the activities within. The activity cards here are identical to those in the Timeline view, so you can still update the billable time, activity class or subject with ease! Note that the filters on the grouped view are subtly different in that you’re sorting and filtering the groups - not the activities within.

Look at all my tasks!

The tasks panel on the right is designed to make it easy to log time for work already in-progress - so any tasks that you’ve started are shown first, followed by those you’ve accepted, then pending ones.

ts tasks

You can narrow down to just overdue tasks via the Overdue tab, or try the Scheduled tab for tasks which have some committed or suggested time scheduled on them.

Beta-testers: Thank You

We truly appreciate the time you've put in (pun-intended) over the last 2 weeks in testing and reviewing this feature. The timesheet is more polished and functional because of your helpful feedback.

Well, if you made it this far, you might need to fire up your Timesheet and log 15m non-billable time on your "Internal Training & Admin" project! And of course, if you have any questions, feedback or need support, please reach out via support@accelo.com anytime.

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