Timesheet Improvements: Easier Scanning and Fixed Date Row

Last week we made some improvements to the Harvest Timesheet; we fixed a few bugs and improved the performance overall. We also made a few usability improvements, most notably to the week view:

week-view

  1. When you’re entering time in the week view, it can be hard to quickly scan and see which date (column) and project (row) you’re on. We’ve put in some subtle visual cues to make it easier to quickly identify where you are on the timesheet.
  2. Some of you have a lot of project-task rows on your timesheet. When you scroll down, the header row used to disappear, and you couldn’t see which day you were tracking your time to. The date header row now sticks to the top page: as you scroll down, it’ll stay on the screen.
  3. We removed the row delete confirmation for empty rows (and if you need to add the row back, click “+ Add Row” and it’ll default to the project and task of the row you just removed). This is a subtle tweak that should save you some time.

We hope these improvements make time tracking a little easier and faster for you!

24 Comments so far
  • It would be great to have a possibility to enter notes in week view too!
    Let me know if you plan such an enhancement.
    thx

  • Hi Johannes, it’s not likely that we add enter notes to the week view, as it’s designed to be really fast entry. We’d recommend using the day view to enter notes.

  • What a pity that the notes entry in the week view is not planned. This would be very helpful for us too. Going to the day view slows us down and makes the week view actually slow for time entry – at least for our purposes. Thanks @Johannes for bringing it up.

  • I agree with Tomi and Johannes. This would save us a lot of time. Everybody at our company works in the week view (as rows have been preconfigured only in the week view) and then needs to switch to day view to enter a comment (we comment on a lot of entries). This could definitely be improved.

  • Johan Bakken October 1, 2013

    I absolutely agree with Johannes, Tomi and David. This would be very useful.

  • Dave Hammond October 1, 2013

    I agree, as well. My clients require some indication of what was done during those hours. Without the notes, I’m never able to use week view.

  • Eugene Farago October 1, 2013

    +1 Here also. Our developers have to enter notes about which change they were fixing or working on and have to to use daily view to enter time. Notes on weekly view would be great.

  • Ulf Mansson October 2, 2013

    A note on the week view would be really great for us as well.

  • Christer October 2, 2013

    +1 Here as well. Adding notes to tasks in week view would be a very sought out feature for us as well. Much faster to enter weekly hours in one single view.

  • Thanks for the feedback guys. How would you like to enter notes on the weekly view? Would you want to enter notes for the project / task for all the days, or would you like to put in notes for each project / task each day (in other words, notes per cell on the weekly view)?

  • -1 to notes in week view.

    I think adding notes to the weekly view would clutter it up. It presumes that there’s only one time entry per project per day, so any time spent would have to be all lumped into one entry with lots of notes crammed into that one note. I don’t want the notes popping up all the time in weekly view; if I want the detail I’ll click through to the specific day. If I want to see all the notes for a week, I’ll look at the timecard.

    We work on lots of projects and do multiple things on a project every day and we create separate time entries for each thing we do (sometimes with a ticket number or other reference, for instance.)

    The daily view is much easier to enter time as you’re going; it has keyboard shortcuts and you can tab through the fields quickly. Even then, I tend toward the Mac app so I can add new entries and switch on the fly if I need.

  • Johannes October 3, 2013

    @ Wes: i agree with you that´s too much – but i don’t want to see all notes in week view. I only want to enter notes in week view…!

    For us it´s important to enter notes in week view per cell and to see quickly which cell has already an entry.

    Idea – to clarify the request:
    When adding an time entry in a cell you can double click on it / pressing a keyboard shortcut or what else and you get the same pop-up as in day view clicking on the pencil button. Now you are able to enter the note.
    After closing the pop-up the cell format could be changed in order to show an existing note entry.
    Cell format standard: grey surrounding line with white background
    Cell format active: grey surrounding line with blue shadow and yellow background
    New (example): Cell format with existing note: grey surrounding line with green shadow and white background

    Hope this will help to understand better what we are looking for.
    thx

  • @Johannes:

    I still think that breaks down for users that enter in daily view. How do propose if there are two entries with notes for that project/day?

    If I pop them up and want to edit them, can I edit only the first? The last? I can edit if there’s only one, but once there’s more than one then I can’t edit it?

    It just feels like a maze of twisty passages and edge cases ripe for confusion.

  • Marcelle October 4, 2013

    Hi There,

    Does this new update prevent duplicates of times being captured? As our one IT Technician – when he captures his times in Harvest on his PC or mobile phone it sometimes makes a duplicate of the times:/

    Also for reporting purposes and invoice reports – can you add a feature to sort that order according to date, client, project etc. just to see which clients have been invoiced.

  • I like what Johannes said. I would make life easier.

  • +1 to add notes into the week view. Isn’t useful as it is right now.

  • @Shawn Liu -

    + for notes in week view

    Add a note that can be duplicated across days would be useful to us. As if you want the same notes for a tasks in day view its not fast to copy across.

  • If notes are so important, why are you not entering them throughout each day? In my opinion, that defeats the purpose of a time tracking system.

    Now, however, if you are interested in just adding one note per task/week then I see where the gap is currently in this solution when using week view, but you’re still just splitting hairs in my opinion.

  • I agree about notes being needed in week view. But I also agree about it getting cluttered up.

    What would really be useful, to me at least, is the ability to just click on the time in question, and jump to either the day, or the actual time entry on the day, in order to drill down and be able to edit notes and change project if needed.

    This would be useful to be able to do not only from the weekly timeentry view, but from some of the reports as well.

    To give you an example of what I’m talking about – for instance, right now my monthly invoicing workflow looks like this.

    1. Go to Reports, do an “Uninvoiced Time” report.
    2. Go down my client list, and click the “total hours” link to bring up a detailed report of total hours.
    3. There’s no way to jump to the specific time entry from the detailed total hours report (if I spot something that needs editing), so I have to go to the “Timesheets” tab, which defaults to the weekly view.
    4. If I scroll to the week of the task I need to edit, I can see the hours, but there’s no way to edit the notes or re categorize the individual time entry from this screen, so I have to switch to “day” view, which usually puts me back to today’s date.
    5. Scroll day by day (argh) back through my timesheet to the day of the entry I need to correct, and finally correct it.
    6. Go back to #2 for every time entry and every client that has an entry that needs correcting. Repeat.
    7. Hit the ‘invoice’ button on the ‘uninvoiced time’ report for each client with uninvoiced time.

    So, it’d be useful to be able to jump to individual entries from the weekly view, but also, would love to be able to jump to individual entries from the detailed time report / uninvoiced time report. Hope this was clear enough, if I am being confusing just let me know, happy to explain further.

  • agree with Barton. Would be great if you can edit (or jump to) individual entries directly from the Detailed Time Reports.

  • Fully agree with Barton – jumping to individual entries from Detailed Time Report would be a huge time saver.

  • The lack of notes on week view at the week level is the one and only reason we are note using Harvest. Instead we use ebillity which has a crappy UI. We would really prefer to use Harvest but can’t precisly because the week level notes feature is missing. Here’s how we use it:

    At our agency, the process we have is that people enter their time for each project and submit it weekly. We ask everyone to write notes at the weekly level for each project they are working on, summarizing what they did last week and what they plan to do next week. If there is a project that is not yet in the system and they are doing work (i.e. a Prospective Client), they write the name of that client in the weekly notes as well and put it under the Client name “Prospective Client.” This then gets synched with QuickBooks where Quickbooks puts the weekly notes into the weekly notes field in QuickBooks. This way we can keep track of everyone’s time and also report out to clients what happened last week and what the plan is for this week. It works beautifully. Since Harvest doesn’t have the notes field at the weekly level we can’t use it. It’s really unfortunate. I don’t think it would clutter things too much to add it in. Please consider it.

  • @Julie -

    In defense of Harvest, I think with what you’re describing, there would be an ontological problem with the way time entries are recorded. Harvest records discrete event that happen over a specified span of time – even if you could enter notes on a weekly level, you’d still be editing the notes for an individual time entry on a single day, not for an entire week period. You could make a single entry that took 168 hours (1 week), but that would be silly.

    I think not being able to jump to individual time entries directly from the weekly view is a flaw, but I’m not sure being able to assign notes for broad swaths of time would be a good thing.

    Maybe consider having your employees install the Harvest desktop gadget, or use the Chrome extension, and report on their time on a daily basis. The reporting insights you can gain are great, it is easier to keep up with than a running ledger for weekly entry, and I’m sure your clients will love it.

    -B

  • @Barton — employees do report their time on a daily basis. However, we need to report it to our clients on a weekly basis — they are not interested in the daily minutiae. And for our records and theirs we need to provide a weekly summary and our project manager is not interested in reading everyone’s daily notes to come up with a weekly summary on his own. The middle ground of having a weekly rollup summary of notes is really effective for meeting our needs so I don’t thinks it’s an ontological problem. We record our time by client by project by phase in blocks of 15 min so it already pretty discrete — we just like having a roll up.

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