Susanne Wakefield is a Toggl Master, as well as Copywriter at Writecloud. She is checking in to answer all of your Toggl Master FAQs.
Using Toggl has had an enormous impact on the way I work. I use it every day, even if I’m not actually working on billable client stuff. I think it’s important to see how long all the around the task stuff takes, too. When Toggl reached out to its users a few years ago, I jumped at the chance to share my enthusiasm and practical advice for concentrating and getting the most out of the workday.
That was a couple of years ago now, and since then, I’ve worked with tons of Toggl clients, businesses of all shapes and sizes, from all over the world. Here are some of the most popular questions that I get asked, again and again.
“What’s the best way to set up projects and tasks?”
It can feel daunting to set up the workspace. If you want to get it right the first time, you’ve got to make it as straightforward as possible across your whole team. How do you decide what’s a project and what’s task, and what about all the non-client work, how do you define that?
An important thing to remember is that however, you categorize your projects and tasks, it needs to reflect the way you refer to these in your day to day work. It makes sense, and you can extract the data you need from it when you run the reports. Some things to bear in mind: Do you have an existing workflow or project/client reference system, and how do you already define this, then why not mirror that on Toggl?
“What are ‘tags’ for?”
This question comes up often in Toggl Master FAQs. Tags are free text labels that you can stick on to your time entries, so you are free to define them as you wish. If you need to create a tag called ‘Dave,’ then you can (although, I’m not sure why you’d need to). Some common uses of tags include marking work as ‘completed’ or ‘billed’ or ‘in-progress.’ They can also be applied retrospectively, therefore useful for workspace administrators to apply, as needed, to suit their reporting.
I like to think of them as a bonus level of categorization and what’s great about them is that they can slice right across the main client/project categories to give you the option of a horizontal reporting filter that will scope up all entries with that tag regardless of project or client.
“How many hours a day should my team track?”
The answer to this one will depend on how you and your team define work. Someone who works 9-5 is highly unlikely to be on-task for 8 hours straight. Use Toggl to help focus productivity and provide insight, rather than replicate the clocking in and clocking out culture. I’ve helped out teams that wanted every minute of their working day tracked and others who only expected four or five hours a day.
Look at your company culture and objectives, and then let your team know what you expect to see on the reports. If you’re only interested in tracking billable client time or looking at project profitability versus over-servicing, then ask your team to track time spent on client and project work foremost. But if they track other work tasks, then that’s a bonus, and you’ll be able to cut through that on your reports to extract the information that’s of most use to you.
“How can I make sure my team uses Toggl?”
Any new tool or system can take a little time to settle in, and there’s no doubt that you could face a little resistance from some as they view time tracking as another set of watchful eyes over their work. Some basic training and orientation of Toggl can help with this and will encourage team members to find ways of using Toggl – via Chrome Button, App Integration, Desktop App, Mobile – that works best for them.
During the Toggl Master sessions, I often suggest getting your team to check over their own time entries each day or each week, via the detailed report. This will involve them in the timesheets and might even empower them to view it as a useful productivity tool rather than a chore while they work. Both the Toggl Chrome Button and the Toggl Desktop App have time-tracking prompts and idle detection settings. Toggl Premium also has a couple of nifty features that can help with this.
“What is a workspace?”
For some, this might seem ridiculously obvious. For others, this is one part of the Toggl vocabulary that can cause a little confusion as people have the misconception that they might need more than one workspace to use for different teams within their company. That might be true if you want a personal workspace or if you yourself work directly for different companies and they add you to their workspace.
Generally speaking, though, the workspace is the area that unites that team and their clients, projects, tasks, and overall reporting. So, if you’re setting up a Toggl for your team at your company, then it would be usual to have that as one workspace. It’s a bit like one room, and then the clients, projects, and tasks are in buckets around that room that you can chuck your balls of time into.
Of course, I get asked many other types of Toggl Master FAQs, such as integrating Toggl with different apps, setting up permission levels, how to use Insights to gain, surprisingly, insight into the profitability of teams and projects. No question is irrelevant or trivial, we all have different ways of looking at things. And that’s why I enjoy working on the Toggl Masters Program; finding out about people’s businesses and helping them to get the most out of using Toggl without overcomplicating things.