Time Logging Programs

July 30, 2009

I decided to take the plunge with my new MacBook to use one of the time logging programs. I needed to be able to show my customers what time was spent; more importantly I wanted to understand where my time was going. I did my research for the possibilities with the help of Google (as you do). I tried out a few.

Billings. Heard about this from Apple’s web site. The good is that’s is “pretty” and the reports look great. The bad is that the data is hostage. Can’t get it out into a database or a spreadsheet.

TimeCache. From pandaware.com. This appeared interesting. It had a lot of settings and it appeared that the data could be sent from a report to a CSV file that could then be imported. It seemed like it was written by and for accountants as it used a lot of nomenclature that I found non-interesting, e.g. Posting. While it had a lot of settings and it appeared to be the one I wanted. I went ahead and bought a license key. However, after a couple weeks of use I grew less enthralled with its odd user interface (caused maybe by its Mac roots), the complexity of getting data in and out, and all that. I looked around again.

OfficeTime. I can’t remember how I found this. At first glance it looked great. Less complexity than TimeCache which could be good or bad. Sometimes with complexity the software can be around for the long term since it can handle most anything. I used it in parallel with TimeCache for a few days and soon discoved that OfficeTime was just better for me. It’s now the “standard” around here. They even have a Windows version which could be useful for some business opportunities I see.

Since it had only been a few weeks since I bought a license for TimeCache, I wrote them and asked for refund, explaining why I wasn’t going to use it anymore. I got back a snotty email from them about how they had a problem with that since I had full opportunity to test the software before buying it. True. But who would have thought to treat a customer that way. I told them to keep the fee and and I’m glad the relationship is severed.

Meantime, I’m using OfficeTime. I’ve been in contact with the developers to suggest how they could do some simple integration with SharePoint to make it a more valuable product. Hopefully that happens.