Time Tracking Software, A Love Story : Successful Nonprofits

Time Tracking Software, A Love Story

by Ro

Time Tracking Software, A Love Story

by Ro

by Ro



few weeks ago we shared a blog post that listed some of our favorite productivity tools. 

And that got us thinking about how much we love using a time tracking software.

You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, right! Who would like, let alone love, time tracking software?” And you wouldn’t be alone. I’ll admit that I was a little doubtful at first, too.

But it has proven itself it be a useful tool time and again. We’ve used it to easily bill clients, streamline processes, and reprioritize where we spend our time.

So what is time tracking software?

At its most basic, time tracking software helps employers track their employees’ working hours. Not only is this enormously helpful for accurate payroll, but it also helps everyone gauge how their time is spent.

From there it depends on the software you use. Some help you monitor computer activity, track location, take automated screenshots, create invoices and timesheets, and run detailed reports. Some even support collaborative tools like group chats and file sharing. If you’re looking for a tool for your team, there is a time tracking software somewhere that’s got you covered.

A love story

I know, I know. Time tracking software probably still doesn’t sound very sexy. So let me tell you our story:

A few months ago we made the decision to increase our capacity for client work. But we didn’t want to hire a new staff member or give up any of the things we were already doing. So this decision would require Dolph to free up some time and me to shift my primary focus from outward communications to client work. The question was: how?

The answer: Turn to our time tracking software, of course. 

Dolph realized he, like most people, spent waaaaay too much time on email. So he decided to read and respond to email one time a day. After a month-long trial, he had spent hours less on email each week to no detriment to our clients or our mission to transform the sector more broadly. Voila! Dolph magically found extra hours in his week.

I learned that I spent about 60% of my time on communications and 40% on clients. We decided to reverse that by taking a look at the projects I spent most time on and cutting out or streamlining as much as possible. So our weekly email newsletter became monthly. We stopped providing transcripts for each podcast episode and streamlined our guest recruitment process.  And we’ve slowly refocused my time and energy to our priority areas: our clients.

And where are we a few months later? We’ve brought additional attention and resources to our clients, we’ve both taken summer vacations, we’re pumped to host our first Ask Dolph! Live! webinar in August, and we’re prepping to launch a book club in 2022. All thanks to taking a few minutes to look at our time tracking software.

Why I’m writing about this

We all want to accomplish more than we realistically have time for. So it’s really important to make sure we’re spending our time on the most important things. And a great way to do that is through time tracking software (not to mention all the other benefits – like making payroll easier). If you’re thinking you might be interested in switching to a time tracking software, check out this article for things to think about when selecting software and a few recommendations to get you started on your time tracking journey.

Additionally, check out the following Successful Nonprofits® resources if this post was helpful:

Blog: How much is your time worth?

Podcast: Insider Tips from an Executive Assistant with Jeremy Burrows

Podcast: Creating a Strong Back Office with Sean Hale

Feel free to share your thoughts!

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