How To Turn Outlook Into a Timesheet Calendar
In the business world, what you take from it all depends on what you put into it. Creating and managing your own business is one of the most exciting and rewarding processes in the entire world, but it does require a lot of hard work. If you are willing to do that however, the rewards will quickly begin to pile up.
Entrepreneurs all over the globe are constantly looking for innovative and creative ways of enhancing their companies, which is one of the primary reasons why so many companies now implement timesheet calendar software and time tracking software into their business protocols. Though employees will likely be hesitant to embrace time tracking software at first, once they understand how it works and see just how efficient it can be in a business environment, you will wish you’d implemented an Outlook calendar timesheet solution sooner.
To help get the most out of it however, here’s a look at a few useful tips for utilizing a timesheet calendar and time tracking software in a business environment.
Try to create block schedules
When it comes to using a timesheet calendar, it’s important that you organize yourself, and your employees. To get the most out of time tracking software, you need to organize things and try to create block schedules for work. It’s no good just playing it by ear and seeing which tasks take priority each morning when you walk through the doors and sit at your desk. Before you even start work for the day, you need to know what you, and your team, have to do. This is where block schedules can integrate so well with a time tracker. As the typical working day is around 8 hours, including time for lunch, you can basically take these 8 hours and divide them up into sections for each of your employees and yourself. So, when people start work in a morning, they likely have emails and paperwork to get through, so there’s a good 2 hours right there. After that, it can be another couple of hours of solid work, before an hour for lunch. By 2pm you can again work on whichever projects or tasks need completing, and so on. Basically, creating a block schedule means that you, and your employees, are all organized and know how to spend their time. They aren’t spending 10 minutes working, then answering an email, then working for a few more minutes before filling in an invoice, and so on. Block schedules help organize workloads, which makes your time tracking software extremely effective.
Utilize Outlook as a timesheet calendar
Another very effective way of getting more out of your time tracking software is to utilize it with Outlook. Ideally you want software that integrates with Outlook to create a timesheet calendar. From here, you can then project your time. If you have deadlines for tasks and projects, put them into the calendar as appointments, along with rough estimates for deadlines to have them completed. Basically, if you envision a task taking 3 hours, or 3 weeks, to complete you can then block off those 3 hours, or those 3 weeks, and focus primarily on that task at hand. By projecting your time, you get a rough idea of how long a certain task is going to take, and you can then focus on it accordingly. Finding timesheet software that integrates with Outlook is incredibly beneficial and is well worth looking into.
Make sure you review the data collected from your Outlook Calendar timesheet solution
As a business owner, the whole point in utilizing time tracking software in the first place, is to ensure that you and your employees are utilizing time in the most productive manner. The great thing about this type of software, is that time can easily be reviewed and broken down clearly via the use of graphs and charts if need be. As the manager of the business, you need to understand how time is being utilized, so each week, go over the data collected and see whether time is indeed being used productively. If for example, you have three employees working on three virtually identical projects, all due in at the exact same time, and you can see that one of the three is behind schedule, this indicates that there may be a problem. Now, you don’t use this info as an excuse to admonish the employee and simply tell them to work harder, you look deeper than that. The fact that they are struggling shows that they either have too many smaller jobs and priorities and that their overall workload is perhaps too busy, or it simply shows that they are struggling for other reasons. You can then use the data to quietly pull the employee aside, sit down with them, and find out if they do require any assistance. Another very useful part of the data reviewing process is the fact that it allows you to see if you are on schedule with projects and tasks, and if not, you can simply re-assign resources accordingly. Don’t forget to review your own time management skills as well, as this is equally as important, if not more so, than knowing how well your team is performing.
Make sure all employee’s time tracking is organized
When it comes to tracking time, another very effective thing to remember is that all employees’ time tracking should be organized and on-time. You can’t simply have some employees submitting their timesheets when they feel like it, as that will slow everybody down and will make your life much harder. When it comes time to submit weekly timesheets, have each employee send theirs over at the same time each week. The most logical solution would be at the end of the working day on a Friday, although it all depends on the hours and days that you work. Another good option is to submit your time entry when you’re done with the appointment. It doesn’t matter whether you do the reviewing, or your project manager does it, the thing to remember is that all timesheets should be submitted in due time to help make life that little bit easier. Again, this is where time tracking tools and software becomes so useful, especially an Outlook Calendar timesheet solution, because basically it means that timesheets can be submitted, and reviewed, with the click of a button.
Always back up your data
Whether you are in charge of going over your team’s time tracking data, or your project manager is, you must make sure that timesheet calendar data, and timesheet data, is constantly backed up and kept secure. Remember, not only does time tracking help you in the short-term, it can also help you in the long-term as well. Say for example, you wish to review an employee’s monthly performance, all you have to do is bring up their time tracking data for the month and use the info to find out what’s what. You can look at whether they have consistently met deadlines and can identify their strengths. You can also use it to identify their weaknesses too. Basically, time tracking data helps you to get an understanding of how well your team, yourself, and your business is performing. You can see whether you are meeting deadlines consistently, and whether they’re being met with time to spare. If some have been missed, you can look for patterns or common denominators to perhaps explain why they are being missed. You can then act accordingly. However, if you don’t have access to your time tracking data, how can you know what’s going on? As great as technology is, there is always the risk of a loss of data, or cyber-attacks, which is why you need to back everything up. Say for example, your system did crash and you lost several weeks’ worth of timesheet data, assuming it was backed up you could get it back in seconds. If it wasn’t backed up however, you would have a real problem on your hands.
This is also why you should go with a trusted provider of your time tracking solution, so that you know that you are in good hands.
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