[The following is excerpted from Responsive Time Logger's F1 Help.]

To make sure Time Logger would be easy to use, we designed it to work pretty much the way a paper and pencil system might work. You'll see what we mean as you read through this next section.

The Time Record List

Let's say you were keeping track of your time with paper and pencil. Across the top of the page, you might put a heading that includes columns for "From," "To," "Client," and "Description."On each line below these headings, you'd fill in a record of what you did and when you did it.The result might look like this:

Paper List

With this system, each line on the paper is a record of your time (what we call a "Time Record").That is, it's a record of what you did and when you did it. The paper is a list of your time records; you might call it a Time Record List.

That's pretty much the way Time Logger works, too! Just like the paper system, Time Logger has columns with headings, Time Records, and a time record list. Here's what these would look like if you had been using Time Logger instead of paper and pencil:

Like Paper

As you'll see, there's much more to Time Logger than this. However, the basic concepts are no more difficult to understand than a list of time records on a sheet of paper.

Adding and Editing Time Records

Now let's take the analogy a little further. With your paper system, you'd probably want to record more information than fits on a single line. Thus, you might want to use a whole sheet of paper to describe a single time record. It might look like this:

Paper time record

You'd probably use a sheet like this when adding new time records. You wouldn't want all of this information in the time record list; there's just too much to fit on a single line. However, you could keep a sheet of paper like this for every time record, and copy the most important information over to your time record list.

In the same way, Time Logger uses a dialog for adding or editing time records. It's called the "Edit Record Dialog," and this is what it looks like:

Paper dialog

This dialog contains all the information about the time record. When you've finished entering data, you click OK, and Time Logger automatically copies the information over to your time record list.

Note that you can also use a stopwatch dialog (it looks a lot like this one) to time your work automatically.

Of course, Time Logger's dialogs have many advantages over the paper system: pick lists for client and project, fields that Time Logger fills in for you, and so on. But the basic concepts behind Time Logger are the same as those for a simple paper and pencil based system. You fill in a form with data about what you did and when you did it, and Time Logger then copies the information over to a list of time records.

[End of excerpt from Time Logger's Help File]

Reports

In the simple paper and pencil example above the time record list had only four columns: From, To, Client, and Description.

With Time Logger, the time record list can include many different columns, such as Project, Hourly Rate, Duration, etc. Also, you can use your mouse to change column widths or move columns around.  Click here to download a sample report that you can print out (in Adobe .pdf format).

Once you've chosen the columns and layout you want, you need only select Print/Report from the File menu to get a hardcopy time report. Time Logger will format the time report in exactly the same way it formats the time record list. That is, what you see on the screen is what you get in your report.  You can create a wide variety of reports to present, for example, subtotals by day or project, total time worked, hours for a particular client, billable vs. non-billable time, etc.

Invoices

Time Logger also prints and records invoices. Here's how this works.

First, you design an "Invoice Template " using your favorite word processor (Word for Windows, WordPerfect, Wordpad, or any other word processor that can work with .RTF files). Time Logger comes with a number of pre-designed templates that you can use as they are, or modify as desired.

An invoice template looks just like an invoice. However, anywhere that data should appear, you type a template field instead. For example, the template field for the client's name is: "%client_name". If you want the client's name to appear on the invoice, you type "%client_name". As another example, where the total amount due should appear, you enter "%total_due".

Then, when you tell Time Logger to print an invoice, it will start up your word processor, replace the template fields in the template with the actual data (for example, replace "%client_name" with "AR Software" and %total_due with "$4,232.00"), and print the invoice.

Summary of How Time Logger Works

Time Logger works a lot like a simple paper and pencil system. You use a dialog to enter data concerning what you've done and when you've done it, and Time Logger copies that information over to a time record list. You may customize the contents and layout of this list in order to analyze your time.

At any point, you may print out time reports displaying the time record list and/or other summary or subtotal information. Time Logger can also print out invoices for one or more clients, and keep track of payments made on those invoices.  There's much more to Time Logger, of course.  To get the full story, be sure to download the trial version .

PageName=/howitworks | Website Last Updated: Saturday April 20, 2013