Toggl is a time monitoring app. A great free tool that I have always personally used for work and have recommend to most of my clients. It is very quick, easy and intuitive to use. I am going to explore how Toggl can get your business ready for scaling up and prepare you for outsourcing.
Why you should use it
People often come to me as a source of more time, to outsource what they don’t have time for. But unless you know what you are spending your time on, how can you outsource it? How can you decide whether you can afford to outsource it, if you don’t know how much time you have spent on it?
Toggl is your answer.
Many of us find ourselves saying, “I don’t have time for that,” when really I think it comes down to our intentions and obligations.
Obligations – preparing and filing a tax return, paying our employees, client work generally etc. So for these things we HAVE to make time, whether we want to do them or not.
Intentions – more specific to the business owner but could include researching a more efficient finance tool, keeping up to date with industry news, attending a trade show, planning for the future. All of these things would benefit your business but could fall into the, “I don’t have time for that.”
So what if you could make time by working more efficiently?
How to use it
As I mentioned, Toggl is very simple. The most important thing to keep in mind when starting to use it is to ensure that you categorise everything in the beginning, in a way that makes sense for your business. This will allow you to get usable data at the end.
It has three ‘levels’:
1. Where it says ‘Toggl Production’ you write the task – here you can be a specific as necessary i.e. “Writing Toggl blog post.” 2. Where the coloured dots are, this is the project – here you want to be higher-level i.e. “Marketing.” 3. “Ziff Davies” and “Digi” are the clients – if relevant assign to a client. I use Toggl for client work so I also have a KeyboardSmash client to assign my work to.
If you don’t intend to use it for client work you could break it down further like:
1. Writing Blog Post 2. Website work 3. Marketing
The most important thing is longevity. Once you start tracking you do not want to have to run through and change the entries so find something that works and stick to it.
You can track in real time, and you can add time entries after if you forget or if you go out on a client visit for two hours, or spend 30 minutes travelling. I recommend tracking as you go along day-to-day rather than saving it up or you may end up forgetting to add an entry. Once you start it will become a habit fairly quickly.
You can set up all projects and clients using the menu tool bar and this is also where you can pull reports of where you have been spending your time.
You can run reports which show what you are doing by day, week, month, by client or by project. All different options that will help you to ascertain where you are spending your time.
Toggl the app
You may need to measure time on the go. That makes sense. The app is just as intuitive as the web page however I would recommend setting up using the website version in the first instance, so you can have a good think about what you will label the different levels in advance.
There are a ton of videos on YouTube, I looked for one when writing this post but all of them were too long and over complicated for what is and should be a simple tool to use. Everything you need to know is included on this blog or can be found on their website.
Having said that, if you have any questions, just ask! More than happy to lend a hand if you are struggling and we can run through it on a video call.
Look out for my next blog post which goes into detail about how you can use this information to help you to outsource. Because once you have the information you need, you can make some educated decisions about what you need to do, what you can afford and how you can start to go about doing it.
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