Intro Project Time Log
When picking a time tracking tool, it’s important to understand the various kinds of tools out there. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services businesses. On the other hand, the time tracking features in these tools are available only as part of larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you are paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app discussion, progress reports, and shift administration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll discover pure play time monitoring tools such as Hubstaff (which begins at $5 a month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice instrument for time tracking. Project Time Log
Attributes and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar that leaves plenty of room around the right-hand side of your display for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an summary of the number of hours your employees have worked this day and the number of hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of every member, their most recent jobs, and how active they have been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which lets you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects that are becoming more than sufficient focus and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two ways to put in time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. Together with the timesheet feature, you log your hours as you probably did with pen and paper through the analog era of time tracking. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a fairly standard procedure of monitoring time. Regrettably, 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 can force users to need a motive to ensure they’re really adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin tracking time if they have not clocked into the machine in a while.
The second, and most bothersome, way of tracking moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this component can be found within the confines of your web browser–every alternative that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download a native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, and your own timer will begin counting. When you are done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a picture at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how often the admin wants to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred to not capture sensitive information on every grab, but a lot of this display is left unsullied you’ll still get a sense of whether the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This is an annoyingly complex and convoluted way to manually track time, particularly if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to add the stopwatch and also 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 exactly the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor movements via GPS tracking. This gives you an overview of how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab lets you assign dates and times for workers to work. You can put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The program’s reporting applications is terribly basic: You will get access to weekly, daily, job, and penis view reports in addition to a”custom” report that lets you filter information from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing so, if your target is to learn and evolve according to if and how your employees manage time, you’d be better off working with Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and funding limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and made depending on the time each employee worked, in addition to his or her associated pay rate. You can set up automatic payroll through PayPal, which lets you automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Users don’t need to send time through for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the number of hours they worked. There is no reminder for managers to double-check each timesheet ahead of automatic payments move out so, if you are concerned about making bogus payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Project Time Log
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when employees are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you need to cover them when the work is finished. The Fundamental $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment schedule supervisor, 24/7 support, and user settings which can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Moreover, this plan lets you keep tabs on whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they function in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse activity during shifts. Of the five tools we’ve tested, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this level of insight into how employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a shift screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover in the Basic program, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool with other third party software. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign shifts and assign tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to make invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two months free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is reasonably priced, especially given the extra tracking features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets supplies a basic free account, in addition to a $4-per-user-per-month account that costs a $16 base fee per month for groups who have fewer than 100 users, and an $80 base fee per month for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff does not charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM alternatives, then you’ll need to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of users (which is a fairly good deal if you want all of the extra PM attributes ). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan prices $24.80 per user per month.
What Ought to Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed specific feature weaknesses or omissions, including adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these features shortly and you will see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff doesn’t do an excellent job allowing for deeper shift supervision. By way of instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking company and you are less concerned about the number of 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 area, but that data won’t be mixed into reports. As a consequence, you can not use it to find out about who is working, how they’re working, and what they’re generating (aside from the number of hours tracked). TSheets not only provides you this choice, it gives you the ability to create six extra customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also add a question for every single clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the consumer to respond to the queries at the end of each shift or else they won’t be able to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the application does not allow for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they’re working from the office but they could actually be operating from a cruise boat in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a normal feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we analyzed. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I suppose it is overkill to make someone take a selfie right before you start recording their screen and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, construction, or amusement work). The software also does not let users clock in via a phone call, which can be an element TSheets and other service providers make readily available for employees who do not have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We’ve touched on how some of Hubstaff’s more Enormous Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has a lot of the hallmarks of employee monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking features include keystroke logging, URL and application tracking, GPS and place monitoring, and action screenshots.
As soon as you place your users and they download the timer program onto their machine, the desktop app not only tracks time but will require screenshots randomly or at custom intervals, for example three screenshots per minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it does monitor the activity provided via the mouse and keyboard, giving employers a calculation of just how active the worker is. This data all winds up on the Hubstaff dashboard in the Task tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to see what sites and apps an employee visited or opened and how long they were there. The Reports section can then run custom questions on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with project and task management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports by specific projects or tasks to monitor productivity.
One unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and site activity, it allows you to track and log location for employees working in the area. While the thickness of monitoring surveillance and data features can’t measure up to a grid application for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for worker tracking, Hubstaff includes a useful choice of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Project Time Log
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about monitoring employee behavior while on the clockthen there is no better program available than Hubstaff. You’ll have the ability to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and path moves via GPS monitoring.
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 perfect for you. In addition, in case you opt for another system, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary app for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other instrument we reviewed makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Project Time Log