Keeping track of time is something writers and bloggers have difficulty with, myself included. The problem is that we get lost in our work and lose track of time. If you are on a project that is invoiced by the hour, this can be especially problematic. Harvest time tracking software provides a solution if you find yourself struggling to remember to look at the clock.
Why time tracking?
Whether you have a team of one or a team of 20, a time tracking tool can be the best investment you make. The key to reaching our goals is staying on track, but it is easy to get distracted during the day. Many times, you do not even realize how much time you spend answering emails, answering phone calls, or taking “5 minutes” to scroll social media. All this time you spend distracted takes you further away from your goals instead of towards them.
Another challenge is for projects that are billed by the hour. We have all been caught up in what we are doing and forgot to record the time. Billing can creep up on you, and you might find yourself trying to backtrack and remember what you did. Not only that, customers want to see accurate time tracking so that they know what they are paying for and can see that their money was well-spent.
What is Harvest time management?
Harvest is a time management tool that you can use on your desktop, phone, or browser. Harvest lets you keep track of how your team is spending time, set automatic reminders, receive email reminders, and do expense tracking for you. It even has an automatic invoicing option that will integrate with QuickBooks.
You still have to turn the time tracker on and off. You can make a list of to-do’s and start a timer that appears beside each task when you start and stop working on it. The advantage is that it is right in front of your face where you are more likely to remember, and you can use it to remind yourself to take a break. Also, if you want to work on a task until it is finished, you can just let the tracker keep track of your hours for you.
The advantage to using a time tracker like Harvest is that with it monitoring time, you don’t have to monitor when you start, stop, calculate total hours, and all the other personal time tracking tasks. Instead, you can open Harvest, create an entry, and do deep, focused work on a task. You can get in the “zone” and let your creativity flow. This allows you to do your best work and get tasks done more quickly than having to worry about whether you will forget your next deadline or lose track of some hours. This is one of the main advantages for writers, bloggers, and other creatives.
Is Harvest time tracking free?
Harvest has a free version that allows one person to track up to two projects. If you need to manage a team or have more projects to manage, you can sign up for the pro version which is around $12 per month. In my opinion, this is a negligible cost, and you will see the results and benefits if you start using this program.
Does Harvest’s time tracker take screenshots?
Some time tracking software takes screenshots periodically, or randomly, which allows supervisors to keep track of what their employees are doing. When the screenshot is taken, you can see exactly what the employee was working on or if they have social media minimized in the tray, but this has some downsides. It can destroy trust between employees and management, and it can make employees feel alienated. Harvest takes a strong stance against taking screenshots and this type of monitoring, and they are transparent about it.
How to use Harvest time tracking
Harvest time tracking is a powerful program. If you are managing a project, you can get an hourly review of what each employee was working on during that time. This will help you make adjustments and meet deadlines. You can color-code projects so that you can distribute the work evenly, and it adds the time spent on a task automatically.
Let’s say that you are working on two projects during the day. You work on project one for 42 minutes and then take a 23-minute break. You return and do 17 minutes of work on project two. If you go back to working on project one, Harvest Time allows you to add just the time for that project without having to stop, write it down, and add it all up, which you probably forgot to do anyway until a good bit of it has piled up!
All you have to do is to click the timer for each task in the list. Also, it assumes that you are not working if you are not actively working on a task. One nice feature of Harvest’s app is that if you forget to turn off the timer before you take a break, you can set Harvest to detect idle time. It will ask you how you want to record that time when you return. Or, in the case you forget to turn off a timer in your Harvest browser or app, it will send you an email nudge asking if you’ve forgotten to turn off your time tracking!
Harvest Time Tracking Tips
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of Harvest.
- You can change the idle time detector to something that is right for you.
- List all of the tasks that you will work on during the day in the morning with the most important first.
- Use Harvest to set benchmarks and track them.
- Color code projects to find them easily.
- You can use it to track non-work tasks to see how to use your time more efficiently.
What is the best time tracking app? In my opinion, Harvest is the best out there, and it is an excellent price. Plus, it also integrates with other team management software like Asana, Basecamp, GitHub, and Slack. You can use it for delegating tasks on Trello, too. If you are thinking about self-publishing, Harvest would be an excellent tool for tracking and reaching your goals.
Here is what one of my coworkers had to say about the NeoLuxe Harvest user experience.
“We LOVE Harvest. It’s simple. It integrates with EVERYTHING and its UX is one of the best when it comes to time tracking for singles or bigger groups.”
The bottom line is that Harvest will help you reach your goals more quickly and make you feel like you have accomplished something at the end of the day. You will know exactly where your time went. You do not need to worry about losing focus and forgetting to write down your time. At first, Harvest can be an eye-opening experience because you soon realize how these little distractions add up.
Try Harvest and get a free 30 day trial, plus $10 off your first month!