Completely stuffed after an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, I settled in to watch some football and think of new topics to write for my upcoming columns. With the tiring haze of tryptophan creeping in, I started thinking about an appropriately named online tool called Harvest. Harvest is a simple website that helps with personnel time tracking. It offers an easy way for teams to collaborate and track billable hours on multiple projects at once. It makes time sheets obsolete and data entry associated with time cards as easy as possible. It’s also perfect for any freelancer who may need to track hours while working on multiple projects. In just a few minutes, you can have your account up and running. Features like one-click entry and desktop time entry make it simple to enter hours worked on a project and create line items. If you need to turn on the stop clock while you work, it can stay open in a browser window, and then immediately be assigned to a specific client when stopped. After you’ve finished entering your time, there are robust reporting tools that can help you analyze your time or your whole team’s working hours and get a better handle on how billable time is spent. In addition, exporting the data to a Google spreadsheet or CSV is a one-click operation if you want to integrate the data with other reports. An added bonus is how easy Harvest can connect to popular small business accounting tools like QuickBooks. You can import the billable hours and assign them to clients as needed. If you have billable expenses, you can easily track them with Harvest and upload them via any mobile device and the Harvest app. Keep your receipts and you can use a mobile device to store them digitally into Harvest. Harvest does cost a modest monthly fee, starting at $12 for one user, $40 for up to five users, and $90 starting at 10 users. You can also add additional users to any plan for $10 per month. Since I work with a lot of contractors, I’ve found that Harvest is a wonderful tool to keep a good understanding of what each person is working on. It makes data entry for all parties involved easier than ever. More importantly for me, management of the data has become easier. I highly recommend Harvest if you need to improve how you handle your time tracking at your business. Stu Crair is the owner and lead trainer at The Digital Workshop Center, providing digital arts and computer training instruction in Fort Collins. Reach him at (970) 980-8091. [Originally published in The Coloradoan on...read more
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