I am in search of the perfect time tracking system. I want something I can hit a timer on, let it run, and then have it calculate not just how much time, but how much I should bill for that time. Ideally, it will also integrate with my Quickbooks and my CRM.

A friend recommended MyHours. It’s free and it has the timer feature I wanted. The dashboard is nice with graphs and charts galore. I love checking the dashboard to see where my clients are for billable hours, and more importantly where I’m at with my goals. I have some pretty easy-to-attain financial goals and the dashboard gives me an instant snapshot of where I’m at with them.

However, MyHours doesn’t integrate with my Quickbooks. At the end of each week, I still take my dashboard report that I’ve exported into Excel and input those by hand directly into Quickbooks. It’d be nice to see this happen automatically, because that would be one less task I’d have to worry about.

It’s also a website so if I want to use it, I have to have an internet connection. This isn’t too big of a problem, but I’m mindful of it. So far, though, MyHours is my go to system, and their customer support is top notch.

And then I found ActiTime. My ideal system would be something I can install on my server, access from any computer in my house (desktop in the office, or my laptop), and have it connect with my Quickbooks. ActiTime’s Pro version connects with Quickbooks, and I’m willing to pay for that functionality. I found it easy to install on my server and it was easy to configure. Soon, I verified I could access it from any computer connected to our network.

But then I began to use the program and quickly found that it didn’t allow me to actively track time. I wanted a timer! Instead, I could put in hours that were already completed, but then that required another tracking program. And sure, I could probably just set a timer or use a piece of scratch paper to jot down time, but that’s not really what I wanted.

Though I found ActiTime to have good support, it didn’t give me the active tracking I wanted.

So I’m back to MyHours for now. However, I’ve found OfficeTime and will be installing it this weekend on their 21 day trial to see how it works. It’s not free software like the other two, but if it gives me what I’m looking for then it may be worth it. (OfficeTime will export into Excel, which I think I can import into my Quickbooks and CRM so better than nothing.)

I’ll keep you posted. In the mean time, if you’re using a time tracking solution I’d love to hear what it is.