How To EASILY Track Your Outlook Calendar Working Hours
How to Optimize Your Outlook Calendar Working Hours
Time is a crucial commodity to have when you are a business manager. But in order to ensure that you are getting the most out of what you do in the time you have, it is important to track every minute of it. Any time tracking is better than having none at all, but which system you choose to track time also plays a vital role in how your business or organization will thrive.
A complicated system can result in employees neglecting to use it which can be worse than having no system at all. With simple time-tracking software in place that goes along with the applications you already use, you can make things much easier for you and your employees. From scheduling meetings to using time sheet entries to calculating quotes, time reporting ensures your business is always performing at its best.
Make the Most out of Your Outlook Calendar
Gone are the days when you had to manually schedule individual meetings or tasks. The nature of work has changed dramatically in the past few decades, and employees are no longer tied to their workstations.
The Microsoft Outlook Calendar is an extremely useful and time-saving tool that helps you to schedule meetings, organize project activities, monitor employee performance and manage tasks more efficiently, if you have a proper time tracking add-in. The calendar working hours plug-in for reporting time, greatly facilitates project managers in organizing and maintaining their daily, weekly and monthly work schedules in a single place, affording them the big picture that can prove to be useful in managerial decision-making.
Moreover, an Outlook Calendar working hours timesheet plug-in has greatly benefitted virtual teams and professionals on the go. Especially when things have moved to the popular ‘work-from-home’ arrangements or simply working out of the office, managing your daily work commitments and staying organized is made a lot easier with the Outlook Calendar.
Some Useful Outlook Calendar Features
What are the basic features of an Outlook Calendar? How can I add an upcoming event, or schedule tasks and activities according to their deadlines?
One of the biggest challenges that we all face during a typical working day is managing our work-related commitments alongside our co-workers, colleagues and team members. Today’s corporate employees and professionals can benefit significantly by the availability of convenient and well-integrated calendar features in their Outlook.
- Scheduling Assistant: Outlook Calendar features a Scheduling Assistant, a particularly helpful tool that informs the user of the availability of a contact (client, co-worker, supervisor, subordinate etc.) for an upcoming meeting that you wish to schedule on a certain day and time.
- Responses: The Outlook Calendar also comes with a meeting organizer, an excellent feature that helps you to monitor invitation responses from recipients. You can easily keep track of who has already consented to attend a meeting or an event, and whether you need to send reminders to those who have not responded to your original invitation yet.
- Inviting Attendees: Inviting people to the next meeting you want to schedule is also extremely simple and quite effortless with Outlook Calendar’s ‘Inviting Attendees’ tool. You can also schedule appointments with clients using the same feature.
And for all the above scenarios, you can of course easily use your time tracking add-in to Outlook, to report your time on these events, bringing even more benefits to you.
Why Your Business Needs Well-timed Time-Reporting?
If you have never thought of tracking and reporting time before, you would be surprised to know that many business owners consider it the livelihood of their entire business model. It is one of the most significant things to do, as indispensable as accounting, project management or payroll. Here are some of the reasons why you need to track your time accurately.
Bill Your Clients Efficiently
If you are someone who is billing their client by the hour, you should be able to track time spent on servicing them because how else will you know how to charge your clients? Instead of guessing the amount of payments each time, why not try time-reporting software?
If you work on fixed-fee projects, you also want to know if the projects make financial sense, and if the time that you spend on them makes sense.
You would not want to sell yourself short or underestimate the amount of time you spent finishing a project. You also do not want to overcharge your clients because this could damage your long-term relationship with them. This can be easily done via time-reporting applications that integrate into Outlook systems that you already use, which will help to incorporate your billable time into invoices, taking care of everything for you.
Improve Your Turnover
In order to ensure your business stays afloat, it is always best to compare the total price you are charging your client with the amount of costs you incurred while working on their project. The only way to figure out your actual costs is to see how many hours you put into the project and that is where time tracking comes in. With time tracking, you can constantly have a check on your budget when a project is underway. Not only that, but you can also monitor how you and your teams are utilizing the hours to increase profits and make the most of your time.
Create Records of Your Work
Apart from providing you with important summary data, time tracking software ensures that you have a record of what your team has worked on. This can come in handy in a lot of situations. Sometimes clients can ask you why you took that much amount of time on a project and it is always handy to have a record of your work. With the right time reporting tools, all you have to do is generate your report and the details are already mentioned in there.
Learn How to Make Accurate Estimates
The projects you have a record of with the help of time-reporting and tracking software, can be used as a guide to estimate how long your future projects might take. No client likes it when you cannot deliver on time. Alternatively, when you know how long your project will take, you can hire staff and plan your team’s strategy accordingly. This makes it less likely for you to overbook someone. With more accurate scheduling and forecasting, you are only taking on the work that you and your team can handle efficiently.
What About Internal Projects and Non-Billable Projects?
You may think that tracking time is only for organizations that bill clients. The case, however, is that even if you don’t bill clients or are not working on billable projects, you still need to know how time is being spent. This is to ensure that you spend your resources in the best way and on the right activities and projects.
This can also help you get an overview of the time your staff puts in and see if you need to add more resources to a specific project or area.
Tips for Using the Outlook Calendar
Alright, we all understand and acknowledge the value of time-tracking in all professional workplace settings, but the reality is that not everyone in the organization is necessarily a calendar nerd! Most employees do use the Outlook Calendar to some extent in their daily routines, but they fail to utilize the full extent of the tool’s usefulness. Here are some tips for employees to optimize the use of Outlook Calendar in their working hours.
- Set Your Working Hours: Setting working hours in the Outlook Calendar means that you will not end up moving meetings again and again or dealing with inconvenient meeting requests.
- Out-of-office: When you think you are going to be out of office for a while to attend to an errand, or will be unreachable for an hour or so, all you need to do is mark that time on your Outlook Calendar. This way, others can see that you are unavailable, and the Calendar will automatically skip those time blocks if anyone wants to schedule a meeting or an appointment with you.
- Manage Important Information: When creating appointments in your calendar, you can add additional details about what the entry was about, what you did, etc. All this should also be automatically included with your time tracking solution for Outlook.
Why Should You Be Looking For A Good Solution?
Some business people are not focusing on the benefits of time tracking when they are running their businesses. This can lead to a weak link forming in your business since time tracking is crucial for any new client that you want to bill, or simply to stay on top of all your activities. With time tracking of your Outlook calendar working hours, you can make more intelligent decisions concerning your business like how you assign resources to a project, how you monitor employee performance, how you choose to schedule your time and even how you end up spending your day.
The most common problem arising is not knowing how many hours your team has worked for you that year, month, week or day. Time tracking software that integrates with your calendar is a crucial first step to avoid any discrepancies in your work records. As such, Outlook calendar working hours’ tools will be providing you with invaluable information that will further decrease any work-related inefficiency.
As the world is transferring more and more of its data online, the time of doing paperwork is getting redundant. With a good time tracking software and additional Outlook calendar working hour capabilities, you can not only save a lot of money on stationary supplies required to manually put in time, but you will also save yourself the energy of dealing with paperwork clutter later on.
Optimize Your Working Hours Today!
With the data that you collect over time with the help of an add-in to track your Outlook calendar working hours, you can estimate how long it takes you and your team to complete a certain task or project. From there, you can assess whether or not:
- You are pricing your projects or products correctly;
- You are spending more time than you should be on certain projects;
- You have some extra time to fit in and deliver a higher-quality and higher-yielding product.
Time tracking with calendar integration also focuses on tasks that usually go unreported. Tasks like project communication, client calls, task management and meetings tend to take up a huge chunk of our time but they are usually not taken into account and certainly not reported. Time tracking software with calendar working hours provide the added benefit of being integrated with all the digital tools you already use on a daily basis, so your business is always improving and getting better with time.
Good time tracking software with calendar integration not only need to have a simple, user-friendly interface, but it is important that they are compatible with Microsoft Outlook to make it as easy as possible for your management and employees alike.
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