Maintaining timesheets manually can be a chore when you can start tracking time from your Google calendar. Jotting down calendar events with start and end times is the perfect way to keep track of the work you do daily. At the same time, you need to keep a track of how efficiently you are spending your time on these recorded tasks. An effective way of doing this is by using a time tracking app to extract your calendar entries and show you a report to make you more aware of how you’re making use of this precious commodity – time.
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Benefits Of Google Calendar Time Tracking
1.Identifies hours spent working
Time tracking lets you see how much time you spent working versus how much time you thought you spent working. Sometimes we tend to think we have spent a long time working whereas your time tracking log will show you otherwise. That’s because there are distractions like a phone call, an email popping up on your screen, or a coffee break. These can eat up time from actual work.
2.Shows the real picture
Often we tell ourselves we don’t have enough time to help out a new colleague or take a break for ourselves. If you keep track of the time you spend at work, you might see that answering an email the instant it showed up in your inbox could have waited till later. Instead, you could have spent these 5 minutes grabbing a cup of coffee or just popping over to the new colleague’s desk and offering your help.
3.Helps in priority-setting
You may believe that your highest priority lies in setting down marketing strategies and goals. But in reality, you may be spending less time on this task and spending more on other lower-priority tasks like daily status update meetings for 15 minutes with your team members. You’d be surprised how much can be done in these 15 minutes if spent on the top-priority jobs. Therefore, when you track time, you can identify and eke out time for jobs that are higher on your priority list.
4.Encourages more productive hours
Once you track the time you spend, you end up spending it more productively. You realize how precious time is and you make a conscious effort to spend it getting important jobs done. Many jobs in the office can be easy to do but may not need your involvement. Therefore, you learn to see the difference and invest your time wisely.
Time tracking is a great tool to show you your productive and unproductive hours. But it doesn’t stop there. It initiates a real change in the way you perceive and use time. You start to spend less time on small talk or discussing what your colleague did wrong. Instead, you invest time in coaching yourself and others to make a difference in the organization.
How To Use Google Calendar Time Tracking
To track activities and tasks on your Google Calendar, you need to integrate it with any time tracking software through a browser extension. There are many such apps like TimeTackle, TMetric, Time Doctor, Forest, RescueTime, Toggl, Clockify, Timely, Timeular, etc.
Tips To Track Time On Google Calendar
1. Precise and concise entries
Making entries in your Google Calendar should be precise and concise as these will be exported as they are into a time tracking app. Therefore, instead of vague entries like meeting with a new client, write clearly and precisely the name of the client along with designation. The more precise information you add, the better would be your Google calendar time tracking. Make sure to add the date and start and end times.
2. Update your calendar
It’s important to always keep your calendar updated by noting down canceled or postponed meetings. If you forget to cancel a meeting, it will stay on your calendar and eventually make it to the time tracking app. This won’t give you accurate data for the right analysis.
3. Add meeting descriptions
Use the description box in Google Calendar to write down some details of your meeting. If you add the specific tasks you did during this event, these could be added as comments in your time tracking app, enabling you to have a closer look at what type of task you did and analyze further whether this was a productive time spent or not.
4. Don’t add all-day events
These all-day events show 24 hours and can be tricky. As the time tracking software will not pick and choose the info it exports, it will include such all-day events, showing that you spent 24 hours in a meeting, and will not give you a clear picture of the time you spent on specific activities. Create preferences in the software so that these all-day events are not taken into account.
5. Hours vs Minutes
Make sure you are choosing the right way of recording your time – either in hours or minutes. This needs to match your time tracking app so be careful when you are clocking in time in Google Calendar. When all the data is exported to your time tracker, it won’t recognize hours if it is programmed to track minutes.
6. Meeting tracking
Track the time from when the meeting starts, not when you create the meeting. Otherwise, it would show inflated hours and won’t give you a true reflection of how you’ve been spending your time.
7. Vacation recording
Don’t forget to turn off the time tracker when you’re away on vacation as time-off shouldn’t be recorded as time spent at work.
How To Track Time Using TimeTackle
You can easily track how and on which activities you spend time by letting TimeTackle extract your Google calendar information and organizing them under neat labels with meaningful descriptions. Follow the steps below to start tracking with TimeTackle.
Step 1: Go to www.timetackle.com and sign in with your Google account.
Step 2: Create tags for your events using the Tags tab from the menu bar on the left panel. For a board categorization of the event, choose the Label option and write the event name in the tag key field below. To add more info, choose the text and/or options.
Step 3: Go to your Google calendar, create an event, and scroll down to the Add Tags button. When you click on this button, a dropdown menu will show all the labels and tags you created in the TimeTackle web app. When you are doing this for the first time, you will be asked to log in to your TimeTackle account.
Step 4: After you have logged in to your TimeTackle account, you will see a message on the top of the window asking you to install the Chrome extension to use this feature. Click on the button and install it from the chrome web store.
Step 5: Use your Google Calendar normally and add the tags to every calendar event from the Add Tags button. Edit these tags using the + sign to add and the trash icon to delete.
Step 6: Export your calendar from the TimeTackle web app by going to the Exporter page and choosing the calendars for which you wanted the time to be tracked. Don’t forget to set the date range, check the Export tags box, and other options. Click the Preview and Download Export button below to get a copy of the report.
Step 7: Choose the Analytics option from the TimeTackle web app to do an analysis of the time you spent according to the Google calendar inputs.
1. Can Google Calendar track hours?
Yes, you can track hours on Google Calendar by turning on the working hours. This will show people when you are not available so that they don’t schedule meetings with you during those hours.
Follow the steps below to set the working hours on your Google Calendar.
Step 1: Go to your Google calendar, click on the Settings wheel on the top right, and select settings from the dropdown menu.
Step 2: From the left menu bar, under General, select Working Hours.
Step 3: Check the box beside the Enable working hours option and deselect the days when you don’t work. You can adjust the working time by clicking on the starting and ending hours and selecting the ones that apply to you.
However, if you want to track the time you spend on the tasks you input in your Google Calendar, you will need to do so with a time tracking app.
2. Does Google have a time tracker?
No, Google does not have a time tracker but there are many apps with which you can connect your Google calendar to keep track of the activities you spend time on and how much time you invest in such activities.
3. How do I show start and end time on Google Calendar?
Step 1: Create an event in your Google Calendar and click the More Options button beside the Save button.
Step 2: Adjust the start and end times beneath the name of the event. Then click the Save button on top.
Step 3: Go back to your calendar, click on the event, and it will show you the start and end times.
4. What is the best time tracking app?
The best time tracking app is TimeTackle as it lets the user add hashtags and event details like no other apps can. It features not only labels of a calendar event but also a text option that can be used for any description. There’s also the options tag that you can use when you want to add options to a task. For example, when you want to choose a transaction type, the options feature will let you choose from different transaction options like cash, check, card, etc.