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Using TimeTracker By CreativeWorx To Efficiently Track Creative Projects

by Ryan W. Neal, Managing Editor on January 29, 2013 · 1 comment

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You’re a professional creative and took on a project. You did a kickass job but went over your initial budget. Now you are forced to either swallow the expense or ask the client for more money, which can sour the relationship.

It’s a situation that nearly every creative is familiar with, and one that Mark Hirsch, the CEO of CreativeWorx, hopes to solve with his TimeTracker program.

“We built a platform that captures what you do in real time,” Hirsch said. “It can save client relationships and allow you to ask permission [to go over budget] rather than forgiveness. And it’s all happening automatically.”

TimeTracker is a hands-free solution for creative professionals to log the time they spend on projects. The program integrates with Adobe’s Creative Suite (with Microsoft Office coming soon) to know exactly which project you are working on, what program you are using, and then automatically upload this data to the cloud.

After installation—a simple process that takes less than a minute—you simply need to create the project names in TimeTracker’s browser-based app. You can then tag files as part of these projects either through the CS extension, by saving the file to a dedicated folder, or doing it on the app later.

Using TimeTracker By CreativeWorx To Efficiently Track Creative Projects

TimeTracker’s browser-based timesheet automatically records time spent on different projects.

For example, I open a file in Photoshop and click “Magnet Labs” in the extension’s window. In a few seconds, a color-coordinated block appears on the TimeTracker timesheet, tracking in real time the amount of time I spend working on a Photoshop project. If I switch projects or go idle, TimeTracker automatically responds appropriately without any manual input.

“Securely and privately, that information goes to a server that is not available to managers,” says Hirsch, who adds that this eliminates any “big brother” situations. “The only person that has access to this information is you.”

Just because I wasn’t actively using InDesign doesn’t mean I wasn’t still working on a project. I could have been researching or typing. That’s why the information can all be configured and edited by the user.

Users can also specify their budgets and use TimeTracker to ensure that they are staying on schedule. They can see how much of the work they have billed, how much more work they have done, and the percent of the budget they have used. Additionally, TimeTracker can alert a user if he or she is in danger of going over budget.  This can be invaluable for freelance designers and editors.

Hirsch says this is also a great tool for CFOs looking to capture more billable activities, reduce expenses, and save time. He estimates that TimeTracker can save each employee about 30 to 60 minutes in time logging each week.

Using TimeTracker By CreativeWorx To Efficiently Track Creative Projects

Review analytics for a look into how you work.

“Guestimates and inaccurate data make it harder to defend against budget erosion,” he said. “This gives accurate information, empowering account managers and helping to avoid friction and fight when you say that you did more than the budget allocated for.”

Hirsch and his partner, Mark Erickson, are currently working on a mobile app that will allow users to add and tag projects on the go so creative professionals can use it in the field. Right now, the timesheet function will work on a mobile browser and is designed to fit an iPad screen.

You can check out a 30-day, free trial of the full version of the software by visiting the CreativeWorx website.

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What do you think about TimeTracker? Let us know in the comments and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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Ryan W. NealRyan W. Neal is a journalist from Sacramento, California. After earning a B.A. in English and philosophy at UC Santa Barbara, he interned with the Santa Barbara Independent and wrote freelance stories for the Sacramento News & Review, The Summit Daily News, and Virgin.com/music. He earned his M.S. in journalism from Columbia University, and now works as Assistant Editor at Magnet Media.

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