Yesterday we discussed the importance of tracking the time you spend on each wedding job. By tracking your time, you’ll be able to determine if:
- you are charging enough for your product or service
- you are spending too much time in certain areas that don’t bring you enough income
- how to price your product or service
- how to estimate and plan your time on future jobs
Today, I want to share my favorite tools for tracking time. Let’s be real here: I don’t expect you to track every minute of your day. (If you do, that’s great! I just can’t keep up with it.) But, choose a few “random samples” and see how much time you spend on your projects. A system is only as good as you use it. Make sure you choose a tool that ensures you’ll use it!
Tools for Tracking Time:
Toggl is a fabulous online tool which allows you to literally update your time with a quick click. I love the iPhone/iPod app for this also. You can also incorporate the “team module” which allows your team to track their time too. I love the charts and graphs Toggl offers. It really helps to see the visual cues for where your time is going.
Basecamp Time Tracking
I love the time tracking feature on Basecamp. (We discussed Basecamp for client and project management a few months ago.) This is a great tool because you are linking the time you spend to a specific project. It can also be used with team members on multiple projects. You can export the data to Excel and create all sorts of cool analytics.
This is a cool little app called TimeTracker that is available for iPhone or iPod. If you are attached to your phone, then this little app will ensure that you are logging your time. It’s always within reach and you don’t have to open up a spreadsheet or jot notes on paper.
No recommendation for tracking anything would be complete without a nod to good ol’ Excel. I love Excel because it’s easy and functional and you can add up details quickly. Just create a tracking spreadsheet with the date and hours spent across the top columns. List clients’ names down the first column. And voila! You’re set! You can also print this out and share with employees to track their time. (By the way, you should have your employees filling out time sheets. If you get audited, the IRS will want to see this.)
Here’s an easy-peasy tracking sheet for you: Sage Wedding Pros – Time Tracker. (FREE!)
Within Quickbooks’ Payroll module, there is a great tool for tracking time and linking it to your employees’ wages. If you pay yourself thru an equity draw (most sole proprietors and LLCs do) then you won’t want to have this linked to actual payroll and checks. But, you can still use the tool to see where your time is going. This is best used if you already used the payroll function to pay hourly employees.
Good ol’ pen & paper
Why complicate things? Grab a post-it and pen and start making notes!
Do you have any good tools for tracking time? Please share!