GTimeReport has two base features for Consultants.
First it can help you with creating separate time reports per customer or project, to Excel or
Google Docs Spreadsheets, for further editing and pasting into your invoice templates.
Secondly it can give you overviews of time spent on tasks and projects.
GTimeReport works with your Google Calendars, either the apps version or the standard GMail type.
These instructions presuppose you use Google Calendar.
Creating time reports for invoicing
Use separate calendars per project.
When you start a project, create a new calendar for that project. This is done in order
to be able to get separate report per project.
(If you would like to have a report including multiple projects,
you simply select the projects you want when you create the report.)
Fill in this calendar every day you work with this project.
Even better if you work with a computer, keep a browser tab open and fill in the hours during the day.
If you are traveling, you can use your Android phone or iPhone to keep your calendar updated.
Keep every project you are currently working on updated, always.
When it's time for invoicing, begin by logging in to www.gtimereport.com and select the calendar
that corresponds to the project. Make sure the period is correct, and click Create Report.
The reported hours will be shown right below the button you just pressed.
Make sure the time zone offset matches the one you use in your calendar,
and verify this by checking that the start times on your events are correct.
The web site tries to guess your locale settings for date and time formatting, but
if you want to you can change them using the locale dropdown. This can be handy if your
customers is used to a different date and time format.
When you find that you are satisfied with your report, press the appropriate button
for getting the report in Excel format or to Google spreadsheets.
From there you can work with the spreadsheet as usual to create your invoice.
The dates in the spreadsheet are created by the Date function, so the formatting is entirely
up to the spreadsheet.
Overviewing tasks and projects
Tracking tasks in GTimeReport is really easy, and is done by a simple naming scheme.
Like stated earlier, keep separate projects to separate calendars.
Name the calendars using project names.
Now to track tasks, make sure you give your tasks names or id's. If you are using Scrum
you have the titles from the backlog, if you are using XP, you have your user story names,
When you write into your Google Calendar, reporting your work, you have two options:
Write either just the task name, like "Design meeting", or if you want to have more info
write the task name, a colon symbol, and then the info, like so "Design meeting: Discussed main views and color schemes".
You can use both ways interchanging if you want to.
When you want to get a project report using this structured input, log in to www.gtimereport.com as usual,
and this time, make sure to select the "merge similar items" setting.
Now for the period and the project (i.e. calendar) you select, you will receive a report
with two parts. The upper day to day part of the report shows all
"Design meeting" (and other tasks) hours added together per day.
The lower part gives you the sum of time spent on each task for the period.
If you select multiple calendars all of the tasks with same name will be merged.
This is useful for seeing how much time is spent on different kind of activities
across projects, but not for per project analysis.