Tag Archive for 'Time Tracking'

Best Productivity Apps to Track Your Time

Where does the time go? With too much going on, it’s impossible to keep track of where those hours there doesn’t seem to be enough of went. A great way to get on top of your schedule is to log your hours and visualize your time. You’ll be able to see which tasks take the most time to do, which tasks take longer than they need to, which tasks may require more attention, and what your biggest time wasters are.

Toggl is a great free, simple, and intuitive application that allows you to track your time on your desktop or with any mobile device. Its simplicity is key and easily its best feature, but for a free app it offers a ton for your business. The tool integrates with a ton of other tools you might use like BaseCamp, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, or ActiveCollab. You can see clear reports and graphs to see where your day went and forward those reports in Excel or PDF formats. You can also track a team’s hours and even allot hours for specific projects. The app is free for up to 5 users but larger businesses will need to upgrade to the Pro edition at $5 per user.

Harvest is another popular time tracking and invoicing tool that offers a few more features than Toggl but costs more as well. Harvest allows you to track your time on a desktop or mobile device, provides extensive reports and graphs to help you visualize where your time went, manages your team’s hours and budget, sends invoices right from the app, and offers timesheet approval features. There’s also Google Apps integration, and other 3rd party add-ons. If you are a single user, you can get a free version that supports 2 projects and 4 clients but others will have to pay. A solo account for 1-3 users costs $12 per month, a basic account for 5-10 users costs $40 per month, and a business account for 10+ users costs $90 per month.

RescueTime is a different kind of time tracking tool but one that is very effective and helpful. RescueTime lets you see exactly where you spend time on your phone, tablet, and computer. You simply download the app and let it run in the background. The app will record exactly what applications and websites you are using. You can check in as often as you like to see how much time you spent on work and how much time you spent on Facebook. The app is great for spotting trouble times and zones in your day and doesn’t let you get away with spending an hour playing Words With Friends.

Use Metrics For Better Sales Productivity

Productivity is all about getting better results more efficiently, but what’s the point if you can’t actually quantify those results? The key to improving your sales productivity is performance metrics. Metrics are about setting clear goals and developing measures for those goals. As you go, you can quantify exactly how much progress you have made or how many goals you’ve hit, whether you are tracking your work hours, number of sales, number of leads, or income.

Just like you can see an athlete’s performance from stats alone, breaking it down for yourself allows you to stay away from the guesswork and analyze exactly how productive you’ve been. You can then tweak to get better results more efficiently. Or at least break out of that season-long hitting slump you’ve been in.

Measuring Sales Productivity
To measure your productivity, you have to first set specific areas you want to improve. Do you want more sales, more money, more free time, higher paying clients, or all of the above? Then consider all of the steps you have to take to get to your goal and which steps are the most vital to the process.

If you were to focus all your efforts solely on getting more sales, you wouldn’t only be measuring the number of sales per day, per week, and per month. You’d also want to measure the number of steps and the time that it took to get to the sale to ensure that you’re working smarter, and not necessarily harder. Be brutal. Cut everything that isn’t essential from the process. Remember the Pareto principle – 20% of what you do earns you 80% of your income. He had your sales operation in mind when he made his observations.

Keeping Track of Sales Performance
As you track your sales productivity, you’ll notice trends. You will be able to identify good trends and bad trends more easily because you’ll have the hard stats right in front of you. Now all that is left is to identify the reason good days were good and bad days were rough. Which daily tasks were more effective in getting you closer to your goal and maximizing your time, and which ones were essentially busy work that did nothing to help you reach your goals? It’s time to tweak your process and start using your time better.

Tweaking to Maximize Your Time
Now that you’ve started on the road to a more process-based sales operation, you can quantify results and steps more readily. Within a month or two, you’ll be able to see exactly which steps are giving you the most bang for your time and which ones are just losing you money because of the amount of non goal-oriented time they consume. You can outsource these tasks, automate them with applications, or even get rid of them from your operation entirely. More importantly, you’ll be able to see which steps provide you the most possible efficiency and productivity and get you closer to your goals.

Just like without measuring an athlete’s performance, we’d never know what a lousy passer Tim Tebow is, if you aren’t measuring your productivity, you will never know exactly how good you are or how good you can be.