Intro Windows 7 Productivity Tools
When choosing a time tracking tool, it is important to comprehend the various types of tools available. Tools such as Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all feature robust time tracking features for professional services companies. However, the time monitoring features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. Because of this, you’re paying much more cash for things such as file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find pure play time monitoring tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Windows 7 Productivity Tools
Characteristics and Utilization
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) is designed with an attractive 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 will be taken to the main dashboard, which gives you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked that day and how many hours they have worked over the past seven days. You’ll also find a list of each member, their latest tasks, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization which allows you immediately differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it immediately calls to attention projects which are getting more than enough focus and projects that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You can build manual timesheets with past hours worked, or you may use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop app. Together with the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours as you probably did with pencil and paper through the analog era of time monitoring. Basically, if you work your shift, you add time to your own timesheet, and you also sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of monitoring time. Unfortunately, because Hubstaff does not let you add future time, you can not use the platform as a shift planner. Administrators can allow users manually edit previously submitted timesheets, and they’re able to induce users to need a reason to guarantee they’re really adding hours that they worked. Admins can also set up the system to remind users to start monitoring time should they haven’t clocked into the machine in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of monitoring moment in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In each solution we tested, this component is available within the confines of your internet browserevery alternative that’s, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that lives within another window. In it, you can choose your job, press Start, along with your timer will start counting. When you’re done, your action and your screenshots will be transmitted to the main hub. The native app will take a photo at random intervals of up to three shots per hour depending on how frequently the admin would like to spy on employees. Screenshots can be partly blurred not to record sensitive information on each catch, but a lot of this display is left unsullied that you’ll still get a sense of if the screen is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted means to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task throughout the day. Hubstaff must discover a way to bring 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 is on the desktop app. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS tracking. This gives you an summary of just how much motion was performed by your worker by capturing location information at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign dates and times for workers to work. You can set a minimum number of hours to operate, a lunch break duration, and you’ll be able to make it a recurring change. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, job, and member view reports as well as a”custom” report which lets you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM options within this class, Hubstaff’s reporting is downright embarrassing consequently, if your target is to learn and evolve based on when and how your employees handle time, you’d be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications when they have reached weekly staffing and budget limits. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, in addition to 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. Remember: Users don’t need to send time for approval, therefore automatic payments will be made whether employees were right or wrong concerning the amount of hours that they worked. There’s no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments go out so, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then you can set PayPal payments to manual. Windows 7 Productivity Tools
Cost And Alternatives
Hubstaff has been built to give you Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they work, and what you really want to pay them as soon as the work is done. The Fundamental $5-per-month program gives you access to simple time tracking tools, a worker payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be managed in an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program enables you to keep track of whether your employees are working by letting you record screenshots while they work in addition to monitor keyboard and mouse action during changes. Of the five tools we analyzed, Hubstaff is the only instrument that provided this amount of insight into the way that workers are progressing. Although screen and keyboard monitoring are useful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change monitor, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be wanted (more about this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium program includes all you’ll discover in the Basic 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 bundle also comes with a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the power to assign changes and delegate tasks from within the console. Premium clients may also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Customers that pay annually will get two months free (for both cost tiers).
In comparison to TSheets, its closest competitor in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month accounts that costs a $16 base fee per month for teams who have fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee per month for groups with more than a hundred users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets marginally more expensive than Hubstaff, even in Hubstaff’s Premium degree.
If you’re more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you will want to pony up a little more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest program that includes time monitoring prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 per month for an unlimited number of consumers (that is a pretty good deal if you want all of the extra PM features). Wrike’s cheapest time monitoring plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original overview of Hubstaff, the business has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, such as adding a web timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding activity levels and monitor monitoring. We’ll be analyzing these attributes 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 change oversight. For instance, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you’re less concerned about how many hours a trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to manage this in Hubstaff. Users may add notes to a empty text field, but that data won’t be mixed into reports. This means you can not use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they’re working, and what they’re producing (aside from the amount of hours tracked). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six additional customizable innovative tracking fields. You can also add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an episode? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the end of each change or else they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about monitoring work, the tool does not permit for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the mobile program to monitor time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other instrument we tested. Hubstaff also doesn’t enable admins to require users to snap a photograph if they report to work. I suppose it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie right before you get started recording their display and tracking their keystrokes, but TSheets enables you to place this as a requirement (which makes sense, particularly if you’re tracking tasks done outside of a computer, like retail, building, or amusement work). The software also doesn’t let users clock via a telephone call, which can be an element TSheets along with other service providers make readily available for workers who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like features factor into time tracking. However, the platform also offers many of the hallmarks of worker tracking tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and program tracking, GPS and location monitoring, and activity screenshots.
As soon as you set your users and they download the timer program onto their server, the desktop app not only tracks time but will take screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots each minute. This applies not only to the user’s most important screen but any connected monitors as well. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys however, it will monitor the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of how busy the worker is. This data all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard in the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick a user from the drop-down menu to see their screenshots correlated with action data.
If it comes to application and URL tracking, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what websites and programs an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section may then run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and activity. Hubstaff integrates with project and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from particular tasks or projects to track productivity.
1 unique employee tracking feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the cellular app can’t take screenshots or catch mobile app and site activity, it lets you monitor and log location for employees working in the area. While the thickness of tracking surveillance and data features can not measure up to a powerhouse tool for example Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff includes a helpful choice of attributes for companies that want a little more oversight. Windows 7 Productivity Tools
Hubstaff is an easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time monitoring tool. If you are diligent about tracking employee behavior while on the clock, then there is no better software available than Hubstaff. You’ll be able to log screenshots, monitor keystroke volume, and path movements via GPS monitoring.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a platform that goes the excess mile to allow customization, irregular data entry, or even a much more advanced reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be right for you. Additionally, in case you opt for another program, your employees will thank you for not needing them to obtain a secondary program for tracking time–especially once you consider that every other instrument we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their online UI. Windows 7 Productivity Tools