How to use your Outlook calendar for time tracking – save time and increase timesheet accuracy at the same time.

Calendar appointments hold all of the important time information needed in a timesheet (the date, start / end time, duration, subject, notes). Calendar time tracking uses this data to save employees time, increase timesheet accuracy, employee productivity and more.

How Does Calendar Time Tracking Work?

It’s surprisingly easy:

  1. After inital setup, users just carry on using Outlook or Google calendar as they normally do.
  2. As users add appointments to their calendar, they are seamlessly added to their timesheet.
  3. Timewatch automatically analyzes appointment content for customer / project data and adds this to the timesheet.
  4. Where customer / project information is found, the items are shown in green or blue, depending on whether the employee wants time automatically added (blue) or if they want to review entries first (green).
  5. Appointments that don’t have customer / project info are shown in red, to highlight that they need attention.
  6. That’s it! Semi or fully automated calendar time tracking from Outlook or Google.

What Are The Benefits of Calendar Time Tracking?

As the time data used in calendar time tracking is derived from calendar data, employees save time and timesheet accuracy is increased. Administrators, Project and Account managers report time savings from more streamlined day-to-day functions, analytics and notification systems; Business and C-Level managers report better, faster decision making through real-time analytics configured to perfectly meet the organization’s needs.

How Much Time Does Calendar Time Tracking Save?

Depending upon the level of time sheet details required, calendar time tracking typically saves employees between 1-3 hours a week, or 4-12 hours a month, an potential increase in productivity of 2-8%.

Outlook calendar showing appointments that are shown in the calendar timesheet format to the right

The screen above shows the Outlook appointments to the left included in this calendar timesheet.

How is a Calendar Timesheet More Accurate than a Traditional Timesheet?

Calendar timesheets benefit from the accuracy with which people manage their calendars, which is less prone to error than manual time tracking.

How Timewatch’s Calendar Timesheet Saves Administrators Time

Timewatch is highly configurable and customizable. Timewatch helps each customer setup their system in such a way that it perfectly matches their organization’s needs: their terminology, rules, analysis levels, entry fields, workflow, notifications, analytics etc. Once setup, it is as if the system has been specifically written for that organization, but without the pain and cost of a custom solution. It is a solution that works how the company works, not the other way around. This makes for the most powerful, intuitive and easy to use solution for administrators and managers, which saves them time.

A Calendar timesheet is simple, easy, fast and users love it!

Why? Customers tell us their weekly timesheet entry is no longer a chore. As one customer explained:

“Our technology team suggested Timewatch’s Outlook calendar Timesheet system would help us get faster at tracking time and also help us with reports. Both those suggestions have been proven true.”

How does Calendar Timesheet Entry Work?

Timewatch’s Calendar Timesheet can be viewed in the classic spreadsheet layout, or in a calendar format like Outlook and Google calendar. The image to the right shows a calendar timesheet in weekly format, which will be very familiar to Outlook and Google users. The system supports a full or work week timesheet format, a two-weekly timesheet, bi-weekly / half month and four week timesheet formats.

The items in the calendar timesheet are color coded. The blue appointments are calendar entries that have successfully been added to the timesheet. The red appointments are ones that need a customer/project.

Calendar Time Tracking
A personal dashboard shows employees their current timesheet status, PTO and vacation time taken and remaining.
The calendar timesheet format can be displayed in work week, full week, two week, bi-weekly and 4 weekly formats.
Outlook or Google appointments are automatically included in the calendar timesheet, but they can also be viewed as a list of appointments here.
This Outlook appointment is colored green to show that it has a Customer / Project assigned, but needs the end user to approve it’s inclusion in the timesheet. This is a two step timesheet where users approve additions to the timesheet, but it could be a 1 step timesheet where items are automatically added.
This item is blue because the user has added it to their timesheet.
Appointments colored red indicate ones that need a Customer / Project to be added.
This item has come from Google, which can be seen from the Google Calendar icon in the appointment
You may be wondering why there is an appointment in Outlook, but not in the timesheet. This is because the Outlook appointment is a personal appointment, and these can be set to be ignored.
Users can toggle between the classic spreadsheet timesheet format and this calendar timesheet format.

Each item has an icon that shows where it came from: Google calendar, Outlook calendar, or the keyboard icon shows time that has been manually entered.

If your organization uses Outlook or Google and also enters timesheets, Timewatch® is the perfect choice for your timesheet and time tracking. It provides a powerful time and billing capable back end, which, with it’s configurable rules, terminology and workflow, is made the simplest, easiest and most intuitive timesheet and time tracking system for end users as it was configured to perfectly match the way your organization works.

“We previously used a web-based program but most of our staff didn’t care for it because of the amount of manual entry on the front end,” a current Timewatch® user explains.

“I would say that 20 percent of our staff struggled to get their time in at the end of the month. Our staff, however, is very diligent about calendars and the Timewatch® calendar time tracking system has made it possible for employees to go from their calendars to their timesheet with a few clicks, and from any device. It has made our employees’ lives better.”

Calendar Time Tracking From Any Device

Timewatch’s Outlook and Google calendar timesheet systems support all versions of Outlook and Google on all devices. Whether you use Mac, PC, iPhone/iPad or Android, you can use your Outlook or Google calendar for time tracking. Timewatch doesn’t change the way you use Outlook or Google, there is no app or plugin to install that slows down Outlook or Google, and nothing new to learn, it uses intelligent systems to utilize data you put into your calendar to automatically allocate time to the right customer/project in your timesheet.

Office 365 time tracking and Google calendar time tracking is now super simple and super easy. Rather than having to re-enter data already in your calendar into a timesheet, Timewatch seamlessly and automatically turns calendar appointments into timesheet entries – but always with the user in full control.

No matter which version of Outlook you use, PC, Mac, Phone or Tablet, OutlookTime® can turn appointments into timesheets in seconds. There is even an Outlook plugin for Outlook for Windows desktop users that brings OutlookTime® functionality right into Outlook itself.

“What impressed our team about OutlookTime® was the ability to tie categories you already use to a project. That clicked a lightbulb for our team: we continue to use the categories we already have set up and the software automatically charges it,” explains another customer who works in the health care sector. “ At the end of the week we submit and are done. That was the ah-ha moment. OutlookTime® ties in so well with what we are already doing.”

If your organization uses Outlook and needs to track timesheets, OutlookTime® can save your users time, increase timesheet accuracy, and improves timesheet analytics and reporting. If you are using timesheets for billing, OutlookTime® can also decrease delays in billing and increase cash flow.

What about Reporting and Analytics?

One of Timewatch’s key strengths is its reporting and analytics. The system includes traditional reporting tools, as well as dynamic, interactive drill down tools, dashboards and notification systems. There are also optional report writers and dashboard designers which allows customers to create custom reports and dashboards, and Timewatch also provides a reporting writing and dashboard creation service.

Discuss your calendar time tracking requirements

You know your business, we know our software. Working together we can save you valuable time. Let us show you how Timewatch® can be setup to match your business requirements, how we can save your employees time, increase timesheet accuracy, staff productivity and utilization, save administrators time, improve business analytics, help project and customer managers do their jobs better, and help C level managers view business performance.

We provide you access to product specialists free of charge to help you appreciate how Timewatch can help your organization. We do this because we’ve found that by letting prospects speak directly with the people that implement our systems, they get the answers they need more quickly, and are more likely to become customers. Contact us today to book a free session with an implementation specialist.

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