iPad/iPhone version of OfficeTime

The short version of this review is: A must have app for anyone who makes their living by billing for their time.

In the interest of full disclosure I am reviewing the pay version of iPad/iPhone version of OfficeTime for which I received a promo code at a recent meeting of the Cleveland Digital Publishers Users Group. That having been said, the price of $7.99 is well worth it. Simply said, this app is great and also justifies purchase of the Mac version.

There are both an iPad/iPhone version of the app $7.99 and an OS X version $47.00.

If you have both the iOS and OS X versions, you are able to sync your data between the two. I believe the options for invoicing and other reports is expanded in the Mac version.

In short, OfficeTime enables you to record the time you spend on any number of projects so that you can quickly and accurately gather the data to create an invoice for your services.

Keeping a record of the time I spend on any number of projects throughout the day has always been something I have done with pencil and paper on a low tech spiral steno pad. Some projects might have only 1 or 2 entires while others might have dozens. Tracking time has always involved a multi-step process.

step 1: entering a project description,

step 2; entering start time,

step 3: entering end time

step 4: calculate time expended

step 5: multiply time expended by hourly rate

step 6: add up all the amounts in step 5

After minimal setup, OfficeTime reduces these 6 steps to 2-3 button clicks, all in a much cleaner,minimalistic environment.

With OfficeTime you setup Categories of Work (such as research, text entry, layout, photo editing) and assign the appropriate hourly rate for each category.

There are some other refinements for settings like if you want to and how you want to round up minutes but basically you’re now ready to begin recording you billable time.

Start a new session by choosing your Project, designating the category of work and optionally entering notes to more fully describe the work you’re doing. Hit the start button and your time is recorded until you click the stop button.
Now keep in mind that after you have pre-entered the various categories of work all you do is click a start button and a stop button. You do this each time you work on theta project until your either finished or ready for an incremental billing. When ready for billing you SIMPLY go to the report section (more robust options with the OS X version) and your total billing is automatically calculated for you.
It is easy to appreciate how this app can pay for itself many times over, making you more conscious of accurate time keeping but with less effort than conventional pencil and paper methods.

A bonus feature:  a timer you can set to alert you when your computer is idle for a user selected period of time. Useful for those all too many times you’re interrupted by a phone call but forget to mark your pause time on your pencil/paper time sheet – then have to try and guess when the call started and the project paused. This alerts you and gives you the option to subtract the “idle” time or retain it.

In case you need it, the app also has an Expense recording function that is as configurable as is the time recordng function.

Reviewed by CDPUG Member, Marvin Sable of Network Laser Art and a Certified Expert. Indesign.

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