Frequently asked questions

What is timeBro?
What is timeBro?
timeBro is an Add-on for ERP and Project Software. It helps the employees of service companies to find out their working hours on projects and allows them to export all data at 1 click.
Who can benefit from timeBro – and why?
timeBro reduces the time spent on time tracking to the absolute minimum - and improves data quality enormously. This is worthwhile for all service providers and freelancers who charge their customers working time.
But we already have a Time Tracking Software?
Excellent. timeBro delivers its times to this ERP or time recording software. It is connected via an interface and is, so to speak, an automatic entry help, which saves the employees up to 8 h per month and improves the accuracy of the times enormously.
What products do you provide?
We offer two products:
1) timeBro Small Business – it creates a time sheet in Excel from the recorded times. It is perfect for small businesses and freelancers.
2) timeBro Enterprise – it forwards all project hours at 1 click to the API interface of the respective ERP or time recording software. The hours are entered there – so the user doesn’t have to do it.
How does the tracking work?
What does timeBro actually track?
All Activities and calendar entries. Every system software stores the sequence of all executed activities on the computer. timeBro accesses that list of activities and measures their duration with its tracking core. If the user is not working on the computer timeBro concludes that there is a meeting. If there is neither an entry in the calendar nor any computer activity there is no tracking.
What if there are various open windows?
timeBro always tracks the window that is currently in the front. For example: If the user writes an email while listening to music, timeBro only measures the duration of writing that email.
Are calls also being tracked?
Scheduled calls are usually entered in the calendar so they are recognized accordingly. With spontaneous calls it’s different. In the majority of cases they are captured indirectly. When users take calls that they aren’t prepared for – they usually open a relevant file or email that fits the subject/project of the respective call. They do so in order to be able to respond to the subject of the call properly. So there is a computer activity that can be measured and allocated to a project. That means the call is tracked accordingly.
What if I leave for lunch and there is still a window open?
After 10 minutes with no movement of the mouse or keyboard timeBro stops the tracking until there is a movement again. This period of 10 minutes you can arbitrarily change within the options menu and customize to your own work habits.
Why is automatic tracking software superior to filling timesheets or pressing stopwatches?
All previously existing time tracking concepts are based on the assumption that users are motivated to capture their times. Unlike freelancers employees just have no monetary incentives to do their time tracking properly. In addition, the project hours of heavy multitaskers are very difficult to track if there’s a high motivation. A good example is the job of a project manager: once a mail for project A, then a cost estimate for project B, then write a document for Project C, then there’s a meeting for project D…and so on. With timeBro users can forward their project hours quickly and correctly at the end of the day – or even at the end of the week.
How does the automatic allocation to projects work?
How does the algorithm know to which projects the captured times belong to?
To allocate activities timeBro analyzes the storage location of each file first. If the file is saved in the correct project folder the allocation works automatically. For files that aren’t saved in the project folder and for emails and calendar entries timeBro checks the document name – respectively the title/subject. Finding the complete and identical name of the project that was created in timeBro the allocation also works automatically. For further information have a look at our Tutorial.
How does the allocation of websites work?
Websites are usually assigned to projects by drag & drop. However, some of the browser activity is automatically assigned – this is made possible by the files that the user spent time on before or after the respective browser activity. The time in the browser is added to these files – the files swallow the browser time so to speak. This corresponds to the usual search behavior of users: a person who researches, retrieves information from websites (for example spelling or translation) and then saves it somewhere or processes it. This swallowing of browser times is becoming more and more precise by timeBro’s self-learning algorithm.
What is the matter if the automatic allocation has not worked out?
This happens when the user neither has saved a file in the project folder nor included the project name in his document name or title/subject. These time blocks are then displayed in the project overview and can easily be assigned to the right projects via drag and drop. From then on, if the user works in these files again the self-learning algorithm knows what project it belongs to and automatically adds the work time to the respective project.
Do I have to adapt my behavior to timeBro’s algorithm?
No, because it is timeBro that adapts to the usual processes. Clear names and saving files in the right places are proven best practices that save everyone’s time. Everyone will find much faster what they’re looking for and will be able understand quicker what files, mails or appointments are about. In the case of documents it is even sufficient to just save them in the right place. But if there are users who totally refuse to see the use of these best practices they don’t have to change anything to use timeBro. Because those who wish can completely proceed as usual: They just estimate their project hours and enter them into the project overview. Everyone else can just name emails and calendar meetings properly and save files in the right place. They benefit twice thereof: Less expenses for tracking project hours – plus the positive effects of clear communication and a tidy folder structure.
How do employees like it?
Is timeBro a monitoring tool?
Not at all. timeBro is discreet to 100%. All data remains on the user's computer and cannot be accessed by anyone else. It’s always just the user who knows what he has worked on specifically. timeBro therefore does not change the the roles within the time tracking process because employees retain full control. The algorithm virtually makes proposals that correspond with the actual project times. The users themselves decide whether they accept the proposals. They can edit their hour totals arbitrarily before forwarding. Redirected is nothing other than the respective number of hours on the project – and only after the user has approved them and pushed the submit button.
If employees can change their totals arbitrarily – what’s the point of timeBro anyway?
We believe that no employee likes to work overtime or to pretend being busy during idle times. But both scenarios will occur if managers expect employees to be actively working on projects 8 of their 8 hours and write down their project hours as if they were. This type of culture with an unrealistic expectation logically leads to manipulated project times. That kind of data makes a proper resource and project planning – and therefore cost and revenue optimization – practically impossible. timeBro works perfectly in corporate cultures that maintain an open approach with capacity utilization – or in companies that want to introduce this open approach. In such companies no one has to manipulate his times. Finally both parties the staff and the management benefit from it.
What do work councils say about timeBro?
Definitely. In timeBro the user always stays in control. He always has got the option to edit the hourly totals proposed by timeBro. At the end of the day he passes the same information as before: project name and number of hours. timeBro never does anything without the consent of the user/employee and stores all data locally. That means only the users have access to their data. The timeBro management has over 15 years of experience in adapting software to the needs of works councils. We are happy to provide further information in a personal conversation.
Why is time tracking by algorithm so employee-friendly?
Because the users can focus on their actual profession. They don’t have to use stopwatches or permanently take notes about start and end times. But timeBro does not only save time. It provides employees such as project managers or team leaders reliable data to speed up other work processes (e.g. resource and project planning, bidding, billing, etc.). These employees don’t have dangle after their colleagues or make up estimates for them.
How much time can be saved?
How much time is actually saved – just within the process of time tracking?
This depends on the user type:
a) For conscientious employees, who have so far been tracking their hours for 15-30 minutes everyday, timeBro saves up to 8 hours of work per month. In addition, all processes associated with the data are also accelerated.
b) In the case of less motivated timekeepers, who have so far only entered their times once a week or at the end of the month, timeBro ensures, above all, an increase in data quality. The project overview with the automatically measured hourly totals and the practical drag & drop of time blocks make the process itself so playful that even non-motivated users can capture as exact times as the conscientious ones.
How much time does timeBro save in total?
As mentioned it’s different from case to case – but in general the time saving is enormous: By the simplification of the time tracking process consistent data are available on a regular basis. So project managers get relieved in many processes. Concretely timeBro accelerates bid proposal management, resource and project planning, invoicing as well as strategic decisions – such as specialization or outsourcing of inefficient project steps. In addition, the actual service provision is accelerated by increased concentration: Because the employees can fully focus on their core task – instead of having to permanently document their expenses for this task.
What’s the value of increased data quality?
Why can realistic data (project hours) increase profit?
If a company knows how long certain projects/activities have actually taken place it is able to optimize revenue and costs by:
a) realistic proposal calculation for future projects
b) additionally created capacities through realistic resource and project planning –the data of busy employees with high hourly rates in particular are very precious for planning (e.g. senior managers)
c) specialization on core competencies or on projects that could be completed very efficiently in the past
d) outsourcing of less efficient process steps
How can timeBro help to avoid idle time and overtime?
With improved data quality managers know the total time that similar projects in the past have taken. Based on this data they can make a better planning when it comes to the total duration of projects. They know what resources are needed for it. Thus projects don’t overlap all the time because buffer times can be scheduled where they are actually needed or the start dates of subsequent projects are stated earlier so there is no idle time.
Is timeBro easy to introduce?
What operating systems are compatible?
Mac OS X 10.9 and higher. Soon Windows 7 and higher. For the latest information about the Windows release just contact us.
How complex are the installation and the use of timeBro Small Business?
timeBro can easily be downloaded to the computer. The installation and registration take 5 minutes tops. A workshop or a bigger tutorial is not needed as timeBro explains its use within a short introduction. It is kept simple and has a total of only 3 different screens, each with a button and an intuitive user interface.
How complex are the installation and the use of timeBro Enterprise?
timeBro takes care of the details of the connection to the with the respective Project Software provider. Also we offer a one-hour workshop for all employees. For further information, please contact us.