Did you just forget to write in the attendance sheet today? Oh my god! I just forgot to input my updated attendance sheet to my boss, and now I’ll get my salary deducted without this updated time!
Or, Let’s say you just saw one of your employees doing suspicious deeds in back row. How do I know what he is doing? To answer all these questions on monitoring your employees, tracking the time of work shifts, managing the time spent on projects and so on, we need a robust tool which can do all these things for us. If you’re an employer with a large team, Time tracking is probably a must have app installed in all the employees to get a better overview of office productivity.
Now, to help both employees and admins, let’s check one of the most used tools in modern offices and corporates, i.e., Time Tracking Software.
- Robust and learner-friendly time tracking, with little setup time.
- Very generous plan for free users in form of the 30-day trial
- Good employee monitoring features along with screenshots.
- Detailed time report and attendance report for all employees.
- Inbuilt salary and billing calculator along with automated invoice
- Workable project management features, which needs some more improvements.
- Filled with amazing and lots of integrations to incorporate external data.
- Comes with support for keywords, which help to switch tasks automatically.
- Provides a list of useful, non-useful time used along with work efficiency.
- Complicated report setup. Users need to be well versed in its usage to understand it fully.
- Mediocre timesheet section, which needs better UI and details.
- Manual time monitoring and task switching is needed sometimes, especially if multiple keywords for more than one tasks are same.
- Only supports PayPal payment option which readily hinders in use of other salary checkout option.
- Does not provide keyboard monitoring and mouse tracking in it.
- Mediocre payroll features, which need some good updates.
- Project management needs to be more detailed, and more role availability is a must.
- Too many different reports on separate places and there is some amount of disorganization, as pointed later in this review.
- The worst experience for us was that we were unable to track computer time for one of our employees. Although support team tried their best, but it was all in vain.
Wow! What does this tool do? Can it solve all problems regarding employee time tracking and billing? Well, it depends on what features these tools come with. Don’t worry as most time tracking tools come with features like traditional time tracking, billing and invoice generations, employee monitoring, and other such features.
Amongst such tools comes TimeCamp from land of vodkas, Poland. Founded in year Aug 2008, TimeCamp has quickly risen to fame owing to its amazing functionality and ease of usage.
Currently, they have their headquarters at Walnut, California. It has risen to top with featured among many top pages like Wall street’s journal, American Genius, and so on.
When it comes to time tracking, billing and invoicing, and automated tracking, TimeCamp won’t disappoint you. So, without wasting another eon, let us go and review this product
Using The Tool
To see the operating procedure of this tool, we need to see how it uses the clock to track time, how it tracks user activities, and how it generates reports accordingly. To begin, they have given a generous cost-free trial mode for the inexperienced users. This trial mode is for full 30 days, and so you can be assured to get a detailed report of the tool’s working.
There is a setup given by TimeCamp for desktop applications like in Windows, MacOS, and for Linux too. After installing them, you can login into the setup, and then it will start the tracking job.
Like any other time-tracker, it will collect data of your activities as well as other details and submit it in the final report. Now, to check reports, you will have to login into the admin portal on web browser.
Here, you can look at number of reports and data collected by TimeCamp. It has assigned separate tabs for each type of data, and so it will be very easy to check for one of them.
After you have checked the data, you can use billing and invoice section to generate an invoice of any employees and then complete the payment. This entire process requires little pre-training, and so any new user can learn it by quickly.
However, it will take some time to understand many features of this software, which can be done over time with ease. In this way, TimeCamp has given a very unique interface for time monitoring and employee tracking. Let us now move to see the core features of these tools.
Wanna see the features of this application?
To explore the features of this application, we will dig up its entire setup on its browser-based interface. Since the desktop UI is minimal, we will need to check the online web setup to learn and review its features.
The main task or core functionality of time tracking tools is monitoring time, track it, and then generate a report based on it. Now, just like other tools, TimeCamp has a vigorous tool to monitor the time shifts. The first job here for the admins is to decide time shift of their work and then input it in the settings tab.
To do this, admins must first create new groups based on their company requirements. After this, assign staff members to them using the invite button. Enter their Email IDs, select a position/access level, and then assign them to individual groups.
After this, admins need to set various things for each group. One of them is Time Tracker Settings. As you can guess here, time tracker settings include details on how the time will be monitored, the work shift, breaks, and much more similar stuff.
However, TimeCamp does not include these settings in this section. This made it a bit more confusing to deal with. In the time tracking portion, admins can only set various checkbox based settings like billing flag display, count productive/unproductive time in the final sheet, role priority, etc.
To do real changes on time tracking methods, admins need to go to desktop app settings. In this section, there are many options to customize time shifts. The main option to be properly set here is the work shift duration on right side. In this field, you will see a list of all weekdays and then you will have to input time duration of your office.
This will allow the application to track time automatically and close monitoring once the office shift is over. Then there are options to set idle time, overtimes, away time, and so on.
Idle time is like a micro break you take while working, like closing your eyes, stretching your fingers, etc. This idle time is generally around 5 minutes for most people.
Also, there is an Away-Time too. This time is used for logging time you have used the computer. It can be lunch breaks or coffee, or anything else. This away-time starts once you haven’t done any activity on your device for 10 minutes or above.
One thing that we reflect that could have been added here, is allowing admins to input fixed time for certain breaks. In cases where the work shift of office is pretty consistent throughout months, there are full chances that there will be a fixed time for lunch breaks for majority of employees, let us say it is 12:30 in afternoon.
And this can be preset by admins. These types of custom breaks feature must be available like it is in other tools viz. DeskTime, eBillity, etc. Overall, this setup has some usual options to customize time tracking methods.
When it comes to displaying tracked time, there is a report section separately made by TimeCamp. We will discuss this report section in detail later on. For now, you just need to know that it will not only display tracked time, but also used apps, total slack time, productive time, etc.
Let us now head on to employee monitoring system, the one that bosses reading this might want to know about.
As a boss, or company head/CEO, or maybe surveillance head, it is one of our duties to make sure that each and every staff member is doing their task, and also make sure there is no partiality when it comes to rewarding your employees based on their hard work.
Like other tools of time tracking, there is also an employee monitoring system in TimeCamp. On the contrary, many time trackers do not have this system like eBillity, who rely on manual input of all data.
By now, you must have guessed a bit on use of employee monitoring system and its working. Basically, it is same as you do in your homes with your kids.
To do so, there are a number of things that you need to look for. The first and foremost is time tracking. We have already discussed time tracking in above section. Only difference noticeable here, is to see how much time they have spent on each project.
The second thing is to see if their activities on the system are legit or not. Are they using too many irrelevant sites? Is that staff on last row watching Simpsons in the office? Such questions may often ponder in minds of people monitoring employees.
For this, we can use tools that can capture screen of employee’s system and note down the activities they do on their PC. This can help in finding exact thing that these employees are doing.
Let us check the screenshots feature first. Just like you take those pesky screenshots on your mobile phones, TimeCamp will also take some screenshots randomly.
These screenshots are fixed at an interval of 10 minutes. Sadly, this cannot be edited in the current setup by TimeCamp. Unlike other similar tools like Hubstaff, DeskTime, etc., it can become quite annoying sometimes to see so many screenshots at the end of a day.
One good thing about these snapshots is that TimeCamp also captures the title of screen along with entire screen. This gives advantage to everyone given that we can filter out our own content and also see exactly what they are working on.
The recording tool not only captures screen and title of screen but also notes down apps used in that time period. So overall, both time tracking and app monitoring is a part of staff monitoring.
All this data is easily accessible in the reports section. Admins can edit the submitted data too. One of the notable parts here is that they too have assigned a concept of productive apps and unproductive apps in this section.
Simply speaking, productive apps are those that are categorized based on their usage in office work. Apps like MS Office, Notepad, Sheets, etc. are part of office apps in most workplaces. For other people, apps like CAD for design engineers, C++ compilers for some programs, Mathematica for others, and such apps can be added in the productivity zone easily.
There is also a feature of keyword addition here that allows admins to add certain keywords related to these office apps. For e.g., using words like WinWord, sheets, market, SEO, rankings, SpyFU, SEMRush, etc., for SEO firms can automatically filter any apps with these words, and so it will save the hassle of adding every single app in the useful apps list.
Similarly, unproductive apps are categorized like music, video apps, news & websites, sports websites, or any other entertainment types. These apps are given negative points. TimeCamp also notes down average time spent by staff members on these apps.
Moreover, we can use TimeCamp to perfectly keep a watch on our staff members and avoid any mishaps. You can also generate alarms if the employees are late for most time.
Now that you have snooped on your employees and their search for polka dots underwear, it is now time to get final reports of these activities and then decide billing and salary based on it.
Going through all the hassle of getting your team members tracked all the time, and then not able to summarize it in reports may be quite hurting, to be honest.
Like most time tracker software, TimeCamp also provides report generation as one of its features. This report contains all the details as well as a summary of time tracked, apps used, individual project time, etc.
To access the reports section, TimeCamp has given a tab on top navigation bar. You can see a drop-down menu with options like report summary, detailed, by date, attendance, billable, unbillable, etc.
The main page of report section shows a summary of tasks. From here, admins can see total time spent by selected staff at work and on every project. You can export this report in either Google Spreadsheets or in formats like XLSX, PDF, and CSV. Compared to other tools like eBillity, Hubstaff, etc., these export formats are quite limited.
There are many useful filters given here viz. timeframe, user, projects, status, billed/unbilled, and invoice status. These filters are more than enough to sort out required time report.
There is a notes section too in which you can input used keywords and directly filter needed report. This was the summary report and will only give a brief idea of staff activity. For a detailed report, go to the drop-down menu in this section and select Detailed Report option. This will redirect you for long reports on each staff members.
Select the user, timeframe, and start reviewing each report. Rather than incorporating things into one section, they have linked certain items to other section. How? Let us see that then.
For e.g., if you click on project name, you will be redirected to that project info. Click on any one of the time stamps, and you will be redirected to the timestamp window. This may make it a bit annoying to use.
This is because users need to press back button to go to the reports section again. This act of moving screen back and forth is what makes it terrible with the current report system in TimeCamp.
In other software like DeskTime, eBillity, Hubstaff, etc., reports are confined to one page, and there is no need to reload or redirect it to another section of the site. This is same for even for the detailed reports in these tools.
TimeCamp must adopt this feature and make it in a single interface. Along with this, detailed report section has a very boring look. They need to give it more aesthetic and technical visuals and make reading the report easier.
Then there is an attendance report section. As we know that we also need to get a brief report on how many leaves an employee has taken, or how much late they have been in work and when?
To see these things, we have an attendance reports in time tracker software. Unlike other similar software, TimeCamp has very limited info in attendance report. In the attendance report, they have included total shift hours, first and last entry times, vacation hours, number of days, etc. This report can be exported in XLSX format.
The excel report has more details on it. Other than the main report, it also contains productive, non-productive time, neutral time, offline time, private time, late time, and extra work hours.
This list can be exported for either each user or you can use the bulk export button to see a report of all staff members, making it easy to compare. Moreover, this report is also decent enough to give useful info on work shift of staff members.
Then there are options to sort out the attendance sheets based on various criteria, like sorting people by tasks, days and tasks, single days, and then based on project. Using these options, it is easier to configure report, and you can handpick any discrepancies using them.
This was the attendance report, let us now see the final report in the billing section.
Salary And Billing Calculator
As we all know, once the calculations for time and attendance are done, it is now time for the admins to lighten their pockets and give employees what they deserve. Unlike early days, without using any such automated technology, it was very difficult to manage these things and many mishaps used to occur in salary department.
However, it is a child’s play using these automated tools. The billing section can be accessed in the report’s tab on top navigation bar. The first section of this report is the global billing report. This report has listed all the charges like billable, unbillable, and invoiced.
In this section, there are lots of details that are needed to be checked before you pay out the salary. The main entries that need to be paid attention, are the total time elapsed and billable rates.
In this report, you can select individual employees or entire group in a project. The report shows total salary based on earlier preset rate in the settings section. It will also display invoice option to generate an invoice.
This report too, can be either exported or sent via Email to employees or the admins. The time shown in this report is under billable category. If there are offline hours or extra work hours included in it, then the admins can go to that time stamp and delete it or simply make it unbillable.
Even with so much automation, it does need human intervention to make a perfect checkout. There are other reports based on number of factors used in general billing. The admins can see the reports based on set standards of Estimates, Revenues, Margins, and Costs. This is a very detailed report and will indeed squeeze your financial knowledge.
Nevertheless, this process is quite stress-free, given that most calculations are done by TimeCamp itself. Now, the main pointers to be noted here are way these reports are used, i.e., how payment happens and what methods are used for it?
To do this, you need to access the Invoice Section. From here, admins can generate invoices for their clients. Select the client name and then the projects assigned for that client and then add whatever details you want in it.
You can also use the quote button to verify it before any payment. In this tab, using the Manage Clients button, add, remove, or edit client details for your payments.
There is one big issue we found that many people will see. There is a lack of an alternate payment method. Currently, in the version 220.127.116.11, only PayPal is available. As we said earlier and with so many integrations at its disposal, they must include more payment methods like Wire Transfer, Stripe Payment, Check Payments, COD, etc.
Some of the physical payment options as in above must be available for selection in the invoice section. This allows admins to be flexible in reports and also use any suitable mode of payment to the employees or from clients.
Now, we will head on to the project management system. As we have already used this feature in many other tools, most of you readers here might be familiar with it. Before reviewing this feature, many people may not have used any project management system before, and for that, we give you a short summary on it.
For office works, project management software has a main task to record new entries of projects, enter the tasks, subtasks, time used over each task, and so on.
But in TimeCamp, project management is limited only for time tracking, and so we will discuss that now. The Project Management feature can be seen on top navigation bar itself.
Click on any one of these tasks. There is a tab on the right side that will show list of all activities in the task. In this tab, you can see name of the project, list of people assigned in, description of the project, budget based on estimated hours or fee, and keywords field.
Out of these, the most useful one is keywords field. How so? Well, whenever you are working on a project, there are certain apps, websites, activities that you will use to complete it.
Some of the apps may be under non-productive region and some in a productive. Keyword tool has one more function to accomplish via automation.
Whenever TimeCamp notes some words from keyword entries in the title, URL, or anywhere, in any application, it will automatically switch to project these keywords are used.
It means that you can input the name and activity of apps, tools, URL, etc. you use in that project and voila! You no longer need to switch between project hence and forth.
Moving on to other stuff in this section, there is also an Assign Group button. As per the name, this button helps admins to make various groups under a single project and assign members accordingly.
Not only this, you can separate settings for each subtask in the project and then accordingly let it generate reports. The good thing here again, is that you can assign different keywords for these subtasks too.
On the project selection menu, admins can change colors of groups, archive them, clone them along with subtasks, or move them among other projects.
There is one more vital information button here as Time Report. This button will open a new tab on your browser, and it will show the time report of the selected projects.
On this screen, users can see the details of tracked time, costs, etc. There are main filter options over the top that can sort results based on time period, and people involved. There is a cumulative hour’s graph yielding info several hours for different times.
It will show other info like Start date, Total hours, Total budget, Total cost, and Revenue. In a section just below this, users can see four tabs for more detailed info.
These tabs are Tasks, People, Activities, and Time entries. The first tab, tasks, shows lists project names and total hours, income, cost, and budget. The next tab shows a list of people involved in it.
It will also show total income and cost made by each person. The third tab, activities, will show a list of all apps that were being used while that project was active.
This will allow admins to note activities of the staff members in that project and allow them to judge which ones are serious about the job. Also, staff members who are spending more time on other non-project activities can be dealt with accordingly.
The last section is Time Entries. As you can find in this window, there is a list of hour shifts, total income, and cost generated.
So this was all about project management system given by TimeCamp. There are some amazing integrations related to project management given in this setup, which we will discuss later on.
Other than this, the setup was mediocre at best compared to detailed one like provided by Hubstaff, etc. Although the keyword thing was a unique and amazing feature, we would be much satisfied if they decide to give more detailed reports in projects section.
Managing Computer Time
Now you may ponder what this Computer Time is? What to do with it? All such questions are normal, unless you are familiar with time tracking tools, especially ones with employee monitoring tools.
Well, this is the most important feature in monitoring and time tracking. This section will show admins almost every detail in time tracking and especially monitoring. Since the name itself says, these statistics are mostly based on usage of computer rather than simple time tracking.
This means that unlike mobile apps, it will completely show monitored data from your desktop. Let us now review whether they list out some useful data or have they used graphs for shows and gimmicks.
In this section, first item is main panel. In this panel aka computer time dashboard, the top section has info regarding total usage, per day usage, total time, and distracted time.
Tool usage shows amount of productive and neutral time spent by users. It is obvious that this percentage must be higher. The per-day time is simply total work time since the counting begin.
There is also a total time display here. Only difference between these two is that per-day time indicates the computer time.
On the sidebar, you can create goal section. These goals can be set manually like productive hours greater than 5, or non-productive hours less than 2, and so on.
The subsequent section is graph section. This is one of the interesting parts where we can see most detailed info quickly via graphs.
One of the graphs is a work shift indicator. In this graph, all 24 hours of day are on the abscissa, and ordinate has hours divided in 5 minutes interval. In short, it will display productive work in each hour.
You can use switch button on top of these graphs and get more data on another graph. The second graph has same variables, but it will show various projects done in that time period.
Below these graphs is one more beauty, and that is pie chart. These pie charts have info about top used apps and sites.
The pie chart of apps & sites shows distribution of most used apps on selected day along with number of hours it was used. If you click on one of these charts, you will see another window with data collected for that app.
Like this, the next chart is used to show top categories of product used. Categories like Office apps, Productivity, Home, News & Blogs, etc. are mostly used.
The last chart is for checking time spent on each project on that day. All these data can be easily interpreted elsewhere in time tracking sheet, but it requires time and lots of manual calculations, which most people have no time for.
There is a section for Away Time too in TimeCamp. This time is used to list inactive time. This can include tea breaks, lunch, gossips, etc. A quick way to find how many breaks your employees took, isn’t it?
Then you can see Activities section in this menu. It will list out all apps used by users and also how much time was spent on them. Along with this, they have also given categorization, as we discussed before.
It will also show a bar graph for these activities based on hours and display it with various colors like green for productive apps, and red for breaks and unproductive apps.
Similarly, there is a section for Categories that displays the hours spent on each category, as discussed above. Admins can configure these settings manually too. For e.g., someone wants to research social media profiles of certain celebs to draft articles on them. They will need to spend some time on Facebook, Instagram, etc. of that person.
In such cases, under regular algorithm, TimeCamp will report it as unproductive time, which may penalize the employee. To prevent this, admins can see those pages and add them in productivity feature.
There is another section called Timeline in computer time too. This section will show a list of apps used at a particular time just like you see timelines on your social profiles.
One more useful calculation here is Efficiency calculator. These calculations highly depend on amount of time spent on productive apps. However, this section must also list out number of words typed, mouse clicks over these apps, etc., to get more detailed info on efficiency.
Lastly, there are two more sections to display the computer activity of employees. These are User Statistics and Screenshots. Well, user statistics is very short and only gives login and log out related info besides login attempts, app version, etc.
Finally, the bane of all black deed employees do behind their screens, has arrived as the Screenshots. It is very simple, and it logs all screenshots with 10-15 minutes intervals. Only admins can access them and delete them. There was only one issue here, and that was that these snaps were not of good quality.
Overall, computer time section has listed is more detailed in employee monitoring and quite on par with other top services like Hubstaff, Time Doctor, DeskTime, etc. This makes is one of the top contenders of this category.
This section is equally important compared to above sections. This is because the more data this tool can assimilate from other software, better its usability becomes.
You will not need to use manual imports or submission along with typing all these data from other apps into it. There are many integrations provided by TimeCamp for the users. Let us see which one are they?
Some of the extensions available are as follows.
- Project Management: Asana, Basecamp, Basecamp 3, Smart sheets, Zapier, Breeze, Assembla, ActiveCollab, etc.
- Help Desk: Freshdesk and Zendesk.
- IT Management: AzureDevOps, Calendar iCal, GitHub and Gitlab, Jira, and Pivotal Tracker.
- Collaborative Tools and CRM: HeySpace, and Slack, and for CRM, Insightly, and Salesforce.
- Accounting: QuickBooks and Xero( for invoicing), and PayPal as payment gateway.
To be honest, integrations given here are more than enough, but they need to increase some more in the accounting section. Especially, include more than one payment gateways. Other than that, syncing with so many tools is very easy in TimeCamp.
Isn’t it so draining to go through a full review and then still get confused if you want the product or not?
Well, in our view, and from our rigorous tests, we’d say that TimeCamp is really worth a paid subscription. Only issue we encountered during our use, was that screenshots of one of our mates were not visible, neither his time was logged even though setup on his machine was ON.
Later, with the help from support team, we managed to get it done. Being available on mobile as well as desktop platform made it quite easy to utilize its services.
Regardless, they offer a long trial plan and so we’d highly advice the enthusiasts to try it. Make sure to submit your views below and tell us how do you feel about this software?