“Time is money” as the saying goes. And in any business, it’s as important to track time as money.
Here at Tiller, we make tools to track money in spreadsheets. So it’s not surprising we also track time in spreadsheets.
Few of us at Tiller need to track our time for invoicing or HR. Instead, we track time to better forecast future projects. And as our company grows, tracking time helps us quantify where it makes sense to hire and add more help.
Some of us track hours directly in Google Sheets. Others use apps to track time, then sync that data into Google Sheets. For example, Heather uses Toggl. I sometimes use Toggl to track time but am more likely to allot time in advance with Todoist and Google Calendar.
Here are a few things we’ve learned about tracking time in Google Sheets.
1. Use Google Forms to build your own simple time tracker.
Many people use Google Forms to create public surveys. But you can use Google Forms to track anything. They work well on smartphones, and they easily sync to Google Sheets.
The post “Track Key Areas of Your Life In 1-Minute with Google Forms” explains how to use Google Forms to track fitness, dreams, and time. The video below is also helpful.
2. Try the TrackingTime Chrome Extension
Positioned as “the most popular time tracking app in the Chrome Store,” the TrackingTime Chrome Extension is a seamless way to track time in Google Sheets.
It’s free for teams of up to 3 people. It integrates with many other leading productivity apps and services, including Slack and Todoist. Besides its Chrome extension that syncs with Google Sheets, TrackingTime also has native apps for Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, and even Linux.
More about its Google Sheets integration here.
3. Look for a Zapier or IFTTT Integration
Many time trackers integrate with Zapier to sync to Google Sheets:
- Time Tracker by eBillity Zapier instructions
- Timecamp – “Track time with Zapier on any task without leaving Google Sheets” Zapier instructions
- Toggle – “Add new Toggl time entries to a Google Sheets spreadsheet” Zapier instructions
- Todoist and Google Sheets Zapier instructions
IFTTT also offers some time-tracking applets:
4. Try Harvest’s Direct Google Integration
Harvest is a leading time tracking platform. It features a direct Google Apps integration, sidestepping Zapier or other third-party services. Read about the Harvest + Google Apps integration here.
5. Download This Free Tracking Spreadsheet from YoungAdultMoney.com
This free time tracking spreadsheet is made of 30-minute increments. For each 30-minute time slot you should assign what you did with the time, or simply put “other” in the box.
The spreadsheet accommodates up to 10 weeks of time-tracking, and creates summaries that show total hours per week, average hours per day, and percent of the ent of week by category.
6. Get Inspired
Take a look at these solutions to track time in a Google Sheet:
- Track and gain insight into your productivity with Google Sheets
- Use Google Docs to Manage your Digital Projects, from Freelance to Large Agency
- Best Practices for Creating Time Tracking Systems in Google Spreadsheets
Our team is currently developing an automated Google Sheet template for business, based on how we use Google Spreadsheets to grow Tiller. Eventually, we plan to integrate a Google Sheets-based time tracker in this template. What would you like to see in a spreadsheet-based time tracker? Your feedback will help guide development.
“It seemed mundane at the beginning. On Monday, April 20, 2015, I opened a new spreadsheet on my laptop. I put the days of the week along the top. I put half-hour blocks, from 5 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. along the left side. I began recording what I was doing on this time log: work, sleep, drive to train station, make kids breakfast.” – This 3-minute habit changed my life, Fast Company