Timesheets 2.0 23:52 on Tuesday
I’m a sucker for trying out things that streamline the day to day operation of my one-man enterprise. It’s important for any company to know how time is spent, so naturally I need a timesheet application, where I can enter time, approve entered time, and create various reports of time used… naturally. Umm, yeah. So, lately a couple of Web 2.0 timesheet apps caught my attention and I decided to try them out.
Tick has all the 2.0 ingredients, lots of AJAX, fading things, dynamically changing content, etc. I actually used Tick for a while — until I realized I need less fading divs and a report screen that can fit more than three numbers on a 15″ laptop screen. I mean, a spacious layout is nice, but needing a 20″ monitor to enter timesheets? No thanks.
There has budgets, tasks, and you can add more people to projects. And they can see all your projects, want it or not (and oftentimes in these networked times, the answer is “not”).
Harvest maintains an even more standard 2.0 look. A wild guess: Harvest is made with Ruby on Rails. It’s got daily and weekly timesheets, automatic timers, “powerful reports” (well, at least good looking reports), data export (how come no one has data import?), a nice task system, timesheet approval… pretty comprehensive feature set.
So what gives? The lack of a useful free version. The free plan includes three projects and one person. For me that’s way too little to find out if the application is useful. I need to be able to either a) put in all my scattered projects and get an overview of how my shattered time divides up, or b) be able to include more people on at least one project and see how the app works when reporting time usage for more than one person.
Could be useful for folks who do business in US only and can put up with a crowded interface. That pretty much shuts myself out.
Hence, I’m back with my original choice, Clicktime. It has everything:
a free plan with unlimited clients, projects, and tasks, daily view, weekly view, heck, it’s even got a monthly view, timers, ability to slice in the data and create whatever reports you need (available directly in Excel format, if you’re on Windows!), support for more people (don’t know how many, but I haven’t hit the free plan limit yet), employment types and security levels for employees, time-off support… in short: everything. And more, if you decide to pay for Clicktime: project phases, DCAA compliance, expenses, accounting system integration, audit logging, desktop application, handheld access… the list goes on.
And guess what? Clicktime doesn’t carry web 2.0 baggage. It’s interface is spartan, with only the essential elements tightly laid out. No big fonts, no tiny pixel fonts either, although It’s been around since 1997 (almost ten years!). Yes, a little AJAX goodness wouldn’t hurt, but neither does the lack of it. They realize a timesheet application is about data, and a data-intensive application has different design criteria than an application made only to wow the TechCrunch crowd.
[tags]timesheets, web 2.0, web apps, web, applications[/tags]