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Never judge a book by its cover they say. Sound advice. It’s the kind of advice that can serve you well in all aspects of your life.

But it’s one thing having this advice, it’s another thing to understand it. Or as Albert Einstein famously said, “any fool can know. The point is to understand”.

So how do you understand what features you should have when deciding upon the kind of online time tracking software you need?

Do not fret, as Flapps is on hand – once again – to point you in the right direction with our top ten time tracking app features.

 

1) User Friendly

Probably the most obvious of all but it can be easy to overlook as the marketing wizards overload your senses with splendid sentences and fancy fonts. However, if you are serious about implementing new software into your company you need to be mindful of how your employees will react.

Managing the user software adoption is crucial. Getting clunky software that makes their lives miserable can kill the whole initiative and will result in bad data that will offset all the benefits that your company can gain using online time tracking software.

 

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2) Reports

Ah, reports. Who doesn’t love a good report?! Joking aside, the ability to have reports at your fingertips is crucial to the usability of the time tracking software. Take Flapps for example; we can break down your timesheet reports into daily, weekly and monthly formats.

Remember, you are not using the software only for tracking time. You want to see the big picture in terms of your business performance through reports, but also with dashboards, progress bars, monthly and yearly statistics. That’s where the software’s real value is.

 

3) Employee Notifications And Reminders

This feature is excellent for your employees as it sends automated reminders to their email reminding them to fill in their hours. This will help the whole time tracking process run smoother and cause less headaches for all involved.

It also frees up project managers and line managers, allowing them to concentrate on other aspects of their work.

 

4) Integrated Time Off Management

This is another crucial feature to look out for and one that we have continued to tweak and improve after conversations with our clients.

You begin using your time tracking software by looking into how you track employee time. But after that is taken care of what’s next? Well, very soon you will realize that you need a tool that allows you to track the paid time off (PTO) also.

You need it as part of the software because time tracking and time off management are so intertwined. It is important to mention that Time Off is the number one feature that gets you the highest ROI as it eliminates costly PTO-related fraud.

 

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5) Customer Support

Often customer support is a throw away comment for software companies. It’s an offshoot of the ‘take a ticket’ approach for dealing with customers.

That couldn’t be further from the case here at Flapps! We are old fashioned in our belief that the customer is always right. After all, who knows better about what they need from time tracking software than the people using it?

We take a serious approach to our customer support and that is why we have the best on the market.

 

6) Security

This one is not the most exciting but it’s very important to take the time to read the tech stuff. Good cloud software will describe their hosting, security and backup policies.

Make sure a well-known cloud company in the US hosts your data.

We do not recommend that you go with a company that does their hosting themselves. Always look if the company has a presence in multiple data centers, so your data is secure and accessible no matter if one server goes down.

 

7) Reliability

This feature combines part security and part customer support along with previous user experience using the software.

You need to do some research on this feature. The last thing you want to do is go all in on some time tracking product only for it to let you done when you most need it – i.e. payday!!

 

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8) Cost

Shop around. This is another slice of free advice that you already knew about but no harm in repeating it.

There are several really good online applications. Don’t settle with whatever Google has on top of page 1. Don’t miss out on an interesting newcomer. It is a fast paced area of software development and things are literally changing overnight.

Let’s break it down like this; monthly fees per user are small, however, we recommend comparing the yearly costs for the whole company, as this will help you understand the price difference better.

At the end of the day, the essence of online time tracking software is to save you money.

 

9) Customizable 

At Flapps we pride ourselves in our ability to listen and learn so we better understand what you need from our time tracking software. It’s why our product is able to mold into your company structure and not the other way around.

That’s why at the beginning of 2015 we implemented seven new features to Flapps after conversations with our clients.

You will want an online time tracking product that will be able to evolve to changes that your company goes through. It’s unlikely that your time tracking needs will stay the same so you need a product that can adapt.

 

10) Mobile / Works Offline

A real must in today’s world of living the mobile life. Make sure you try the mobile app yourself for at least a day. Don’t forget to test this out too late in the process.

An app that can track time while being offline is a good feature to look out for. Especially true if your company has employees who don’t have access to the Internet. A haulage company for example would find such a feature as invaluable.

So there you have it. A pretty in-depth look at the top ten time tracking features to look out for when you are looking to invest in software.

 

Picture credits:

Albert Einstein by Javad Alizadeh

It’s Nearly Time by Chris Kelly

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