Tracking time and expenses

In my previous job, I simply had to keep track of time spent on some project. I used SDS Time for years, simple, straightforward, and with the data in CSV format on my desktop, quite easy to fill out the company time sheets. We didn’t monitor anything beyond “hours on a project”, and with categories and so, I could also keep track of time spent on certain private projects and boards and so.
When I started working as freelance consultant, I wanted to track time, and expenses as well, in more detail: what kind of activities do I spent my time and money on? SDS Time no longer fitted my needs, so I started to look around. Surfing around, it’s obvious we’re moving into a category where there’s money attached 🙂

  • Standard Time offers a lot, including project management, integration with M$ Project, and so on. But it seemed a bit too much focused on pre-determined plans, and have an overlap with my more general notes and task tracking habits. Also, during my trials, it seemed to eat up a lot of processor time when it started up, making other work almost impossible.
  • Project Companion also is quite a beast. It even needs Internet Information Server on my desktop to be useful at all… And then it just didn’t really feel as if it would help: not too responsive in behaviour, and not fully supporting my idea about linking projects, tasks, and activities.
  • The best match so far is iambic’s Time Reporter, the most expensive solution, but with some nice features: importing from my calendar, and the ability to change the data model a bit (switch off milage tracking as I’m not racing around in a car, link projects to clients, and some tasks to specific projects, and the best interface to add new items to lists while I found out what I really want to track).

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