Background Best Personal Productivity Apps
When choosing a time monitoring tool, it’s important to comprehend the various types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services businesses. However, the time monitoring features in these tools are available only as part of bigger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you are paying much more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which starts at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Best Personal Productivity Apps
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with a appealing left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you first log into the system, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of each member, their most recent tasks, and how active they have been over the past week. This is a solid PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to focus projects which are getting more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being neglected.
There are two methods to put in time in Hubstaff: You are able to build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log your hours since you probably did with pen and paper during the analog age of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your change, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can let users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to require a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins can also set up the system to let users to begin tracking time should they haven’t clocked to the system in a little while.
The next, and most frustrating, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component is available within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that resides within another window. In it, you can select your project, press Start, along with your own timer will start counting. When you are done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the principal hub. The native app will take a photo at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy not to capture sensitive information on every catch, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied that you’ll still get a feeling of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and complicated means to manually monitor time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring the stopwatch and screengrab elements to the cloud-based architecture to simplify ease of use.
Tracking time in real time on Hubstaff’s Android and iOS programs is precisely the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile apps let admins monitor movements via GPS monitoring. This provides you an summary of how much motion was done by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to work. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring change. The program’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”custom” report that allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to understand and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they’ve attained weekly staffing and funding limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and made based on the time each worker worked, as well as their associated pay rate. It is possible to set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time tracked inside the tool. Keep in mind: Users do not need to send time through for approval, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the number of hours that they worked. There’s not any reminder for supervisors to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments go out thus, if you are worried about making bogus payments, then you can place PayPal payments to guide. Best Personal Productivity Apps
Cost And Options
Hubstaff was constructed to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really need to pay them as soon as the job is done. The Basic $5-per-month program provides you access to easy time tracking tools, a worker payment program supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep track of whether or not your employees are working by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument which provided this amount of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although screen and keyboard tracking are useful (albeit over-reaching) features for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The 9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll find in the fundamental program, but you will also get access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third-party software. The Premium package also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that provides administrators the power to assign changes and delegate tasks from inside the console. Premium customers may also use the application to create invoices and make PayPal payments automatically. Clients that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its nearest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the added tracking features that are unavailable in competitive resources. TSheets offers a basic free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that charges a $16 base fee per month for groups with fewer than 100 users, along with a $80 base fee per month for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring costs $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an infinite number of consumers (that is a fairly solid deal if you need all of the excess PM features). Wrike’s lowest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our first review of Hubstaff, the company has released a significant upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting options, and adding action levels and screen monitoring. We’ll be testing these features shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For instance, Hubstaff does not allow advanced monitoring. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to an empty text field, but that data will not be blended into reports. This means that you can not use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re generating (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this option, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative monitoring fields. You can also add a query for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) And the system forces the consumer to reply to the queries at the end of every shift or they will not have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is about tracking work, the tool doesn’t permit for IP address limitations, which means your workers can say they’re working from the workplace but they could actually be working from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a normal feature that’s available in almost every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to require users to snap a photo if they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you get started recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you set this as a necessity (which makes sense, particularly if you’re monitoring tasks done outside of a computer, such as retail, building, or entertainment work). The software also doesn’t allow users clock in via a phone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. But the platform also offers a lot of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee monitoring features include keystroke logging, URL and program monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you set your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s main screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff does not log keys but it does track the activity provided through the mouse and computer keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how busy the employee is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then select an individual from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond simply tracking time to learn what sites and programs a worker visited or opened and how long they had been there. The Reports module may then run custom questions on vectors like app usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools such as Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature supplied is GPS location tracking through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can not take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it lets you track and log place for workers working in the field. While the depth of tracking surveillance and data features can’t step up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee monitoring, Hubstaff has a helpful selection of features for companies that want a bit more oversight. Best Personal Productivity Apps
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about monitoring employee behaviour while on the clock, then there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will have the ability to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS tracking.
Regrettably, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the extra mile to allow customization, atypical data entry, or even a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. In addition, should you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–particularly once you consider that every other tool we reviewed makes this possible within the boundaries of their online UI. Best Personal Productivity Apps