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Time Tracking

Loann McGee
Loann McGee ✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2015 Posts

I have been tasked with creating a time-tracking sheet to hopefully avoid looking elsewhere. We have various areas that work on the same project, so we need to track their work. I have started by creating a parent row (listing the name of the project) followed by the various columns of data we need to track.

However - and this is a biggie - I'm being asked if there is a way to create a form that will allow updating of existing projects. I know how to use the web form, but that is to add a new line of data.

Recommendations? Curious how any of you - including the wonderful peeps at Smartsheet - manage your time-tracking sheets.

I've thought of creating reports for the individuals so they'll only have to see the columns that pertain to their contributions to the project.




  • Jim Hook
    Jim Hook ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Loann,

    I assume you are talking about project timesheets as opposed to timesheets used by payroll and thus have to meet various government regulations (I live in California and they are quite complex).


    I created a Smartsheet project timekeeping system that has had a big impact on how accurately projects are quoted and how efficiently they are executed by providing almost realtime feedback to managers on how things are going. Each employee has a dedicated timesheet that they fill out daily and are processed weekly. At first I planned to just list the types of work (I call them functions) that each individual would typically work on but, since we are a relatively small company, ended up allowing each employee to charge to any of seven functions on each project since people often help in areas other than their main area. Each employee timesheet thus has a parent row for each project and child rows under them for each function and a column for each day of the week's charges. Totals at the bottom of the sheet show the hours charged per day with a total for the week. Having all projects and all functional areas on the timesheets makes it simpler to link each person's timesheet to a consolidated department timesheet that supervisors can view. From there each department timesheet links to a master project timesheet that combines all the department hours into a summary for each project. The totals for each project are then linked to a unique project tracking Smartsheet for each project. I validate the charges on each employee timesheet each week before formally updating the individual project tracking sheets. This is necessary to avoid errors that would sneek into the system if someone mistakenly charges hours in the wrong place or forgets to enters all their hours for the week. 


    From the individual project tracking sheets data is linked into a project financial summary Smartsheet so our CEO can see the hours, costs and profit on each project all on one sheet almost in real time. Using links instead of reports to move data through the system means that everything updates automatically each time an employee enters a time charge on a project. Processing everything including recycling the employee timesheets takes about 30 minutes per week. Adding or removing projects to the system is quite simple and takes about five minutes when a new project is started. Right now the system is handling about 40 active projects with about 15 employees working on them and has been running smoothly for about 18 months now with a couple of updates as new features were added.

  • Jeremy Michels
    Jeremy Michels ✭✭✭✭✭

    For a simple version of time tracking use the Web Form. Have it go to its own page. Have the form report the date and time stamp it was created. People can log in and out. They can switch projects quickly. The columns in the page may be Job Name person assigned email address in a drop down list. Task done in a drop down list. 


    The sheet will time stamp it and you will see the in and out for the sheet. When you process the data with a filter on the page. 



  • JamesR
    JamesR ✭✭✭✭✭✭


    With regard to the team members being able to update thier own work then you mentioned creating a report that shows them thier work only.  Just wanted to be sure that you were aware that they can edit these reports.  Somanu people do mot realise that Reports are live data and editable which kind of makes then a for of sorts.

    Also do not forget the use of scheduled update requests.


    Also until SS get the Baseline functionality built in you may need to ensure that you design your project sheets in such a way that you retail the original planned data(Baseline) seperatly from the dat that the team members are updating.

  • Loann McGee
    Loann McGee ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Yep - love the report functionality and that all cells talk to each other wherever they exist across sheets/reports. ;-)

    One question - I did a report, but the parent/child layout from the sheet did not transfer to the report. I didn't realize that wouldn't be the case. Is there a work-around to keep that in-tact? 



  • Tim Meeks
    Tim Meeks ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    Did you ever come up with a solution? I need to do the same for a specific project.

    Just curious what your sheet looks like nad how the users get the data in?




  • Mariana
    edited 08/22/16


    I've used TrackingTime's Button. This is what it looks like: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/publish?EQBCT=55db8d07e94749b1a49ad95581238645

    You just add this formula ="TrackingTime:"+[select the cell for your task]+"
    and then click on the play button to track and to stop.

    Here's the help page http://help.trackingtime.co/article/177-time-tracking-for-smartsheet


  • Roland Horwood
    Roland Horwood ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 10/28/16

    Jeremy Michels - what a great idea to use a simple web form and it's time submitted to produce a basic live time tracker. I've just set one up and it works very well.


    Only 2 issues. The first one disappered somehow. I couldn't reference a yet to be submitted row to calulate the time against a task submitted by calculating the difference in time stamp to the next submission.

    The second is still a small lisue. The time stamps are GMT with no account taken that it's BST at the moment.



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