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TickSpot.com

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When my five dogs heard I was writing a blog on TickSpot.com, they were full of concern – and advice. “Wear long sleeves, Mom.” “Do you want to borrow some of my Frontline?” “Do they even make flea collars in your size?” After I explained to them that TickSpot wasn’t a place for picking up the latest strain of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, but rather a great website for tracking time, they quickly lost interest and trotted off to see if they could find the cat. (They said it was for a round table discussion on interspecies relations.)

I tell the folks at work that I only have a job to escape the zoo at home, but the truth is I like to get paid, too. (Okay, the donuts on Friday are a draw, too.) Since I’m a contractor, that means I have to keep track of my hours – and I haven’t been so good about that in the past. Filling out timesheets has always been an ordeal for me as I wrack my brain trying to remember what hours I worked on which days. Since I’ve discovered TickSpot, and more importantly, the TickSpot Yahoo! widget, keeping track of time is much easier.

Now, I’m going to make a confession here – I’m not using TickSpot to its full potential. I am pretty much a one-gig woman. I have but a single client, and although my tasks vary from time to time, most of my billing falls under one category. I’m also limited to 40 hours a week. (I have to write this blog some time!) TickSpot more than adequately meets my needs. Where it really shines, though, is its ability to help teams keep track of time they’ve budgeted for projects. The TickSpot team uses the analogy that time is inventory for service providers; when team members can see how much inventory is left (time budgeted for projects) it enables them to schedule resources much more accurately. Ahead of budget? Throw a couple of extra programmers at the project. Behind? Maybe you should give up on that super-cool extra feature you wanted to throw in and just get back to the basics.

The site itself is incredibly easy to use and the site design is beautiful in its simplicity. The widget, too, is beautifully designed and simple to use. Simply turn the timer on when you start working; when you’re ready to enter your time, click the Enter Time button and choose the Client, Project, Task and enter any notes. (The time is adjustable too. I find that especially handy since I always forget to turn on the timer until about 20 minutes into my task.) Click Enter Time again and voila! The time is submitted to the site. Timesheets can be printed at any time. In addition, reporting features are offered, as well as the ability to export data to CSV.

TickSpot has four flavors of paid plans but ifIf you only have one project (like me) and don’t need SSL, technical support, or Basecamp integration, then the TickSpot free plan will be fine for you. Basecamp integration and tech support (plus up to 3 projects) starts at just $9 a month; SSL is added in the 35 projects, $39 a month plan.

This site is definitely a must-see and I’d love to tell you more about it, however, I’m running late for work, and you know, time is money!

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