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TimeTracker needs to be more accurate

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Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
1 of 18

Based on my many years working on Elance and now Upwork, I have a pretty good understanding of how TimeTracker works and the weaknesses of its functionality. Kudos to everyone who contributed to this thread:

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/TIME-TRACKING-NOT-SYNCHRONIZED/m-p/407763

 

Today I was working on an urgent, short-term project and needed to keep close track of my time so as not to go over the budget I had agreed with the client.

 

I regularly work with two monitors, so I can easily refer to or work on information on one monitor while referring to or working on information on the other monitor. Using only one monitor would make me a lot less efficient, raising the price of my services to clients and in some cases making some common elements of my projects all but impossible to do efficiently.

 

One of the windows I always keep open is TimeTracker on my smaller monitor. Today I looked at TimeTracker and, in the instant I looked the total billed time for the day for that project went from 2:20 to 2:40, skipping 2:30 entirely. (I also always track time using an external timer, and 2:40 was the right number.)

 

This is inexcusable. I shouldn't have to worry about the accuracy of my time booked on my clients' projects. Close is OK in horseshoes; it's not OK when money is involved.

 

TimeTracker needs to be brought into the 21st century and tracking time accurately in real time, so both clients and freelancers know that a minute worked is a minute paid, not 20 minutes worked is zero minutes paid (which is what would have happened if I had closed TimeTracker a few seconds before it turned from 2:20 to 2:40.)

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Community Guru
Varun G Member Since: Dec 11, 2019
2 of 18

The time tracker is intrusive and not a normal way to work, but it certainly makes things a lot safer for clients.

Now, since the client is already watching what I do at 10 minute intervals, why doesn't Upwork start taking screenshots at 1 minute intervals too? It would greatly improve billing accuracy and would make the whole time tracking process a lot less confusing. There's no room for an argument like "that's too intrusive" because the time tracker is already inherently intrusive. Why not take it to the next level and make it as granular as possible (without disrupting CPU processes)? 

I'd much rather bill a client for the work I do, rather than billing them for less than what I did or billing them for more than what I did because of the weird 10 minute segment thing.

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Community Leader
Lisa B Member Since: Dec 29, 2015
3 of 18

Varun G wrote:

Now, since the client is already watching what I do at 10 minute intervals, why doesn't Upwork start taking screenshots at 1 minute intervals too? 

 

Oh gawd no!  That's the worst idea I've ever heard. 


 

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Community Guru
Varun G Member Since: Dec 11, 2019
4 of 18

Lisa B wrote:

Varun G wrote:

Now, since the client is already watching what I do at 10 minute intervals, why doesn't Upwork start taking screenshots at 1 minute intervals too? 

 

Oh gawd no!  That's the worst idea I've ever heard. 


 


Care to elaborate? They're already doing it every 10 minutes and it messes up billing for small clients, small freelancers, and small projects. Why not make it more granular?

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Active Member
Christian U Member Since: Jan 19, 2020
5 of 18

There would be degrees of how intrusive something is. And taking screenshots of your screen every min would not only be that but could also come with some proffessional risk. What If one of your imatre friends sends you something and notifications are on. Those dont disturb me when I work but if they get caught on a screengrab that could cause problems. 

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Community Guru
Varun G Member Since: Dec 11, 2019
6 of 18

Christian U wrote:

There would be degrees of how intrusive something is. And taking screenshots of your screen every min would not only be that but could also come with some proffessional risk. What If one of your imatre friends sends you something and notifications are on. Those dont disturb me when I work but if they get caught on a screengrab that could cause problems. 


Personally, when I work, I close all of my messaging apps so that I can focus entirely on the client's project. I guess you're right in that people who do other stuff in between won't be happy with higher levels of scrutiny. To each their own.

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 18

Varun G wrote:

Lisa B wrote:

Varun G wrote:

Now, since the client is already watching what I do at 10 minute intervals, why doesn't Upwork start taking screenshots at 1 minute intervals too? 

 

Oh gawd no!  That's the worst idea I've ever heard. 


 


Care to elaborate? They're already doing it every 10 minutes and it messes up billing for small clients, small freelancers, and small projects. Why not make it more granular?


Can you imagine what it would do to Upwork's servers if suddenly 10 times as many screenshots along with their associated data had to be processed? 

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Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
8 of 18

Hi Will. I'm not sure about this, but it seems to me that the total time for today figure in the tracker isn't necessarily an accurate reflection of what's been clocked up. So, while that figure may have gone up by 20 minutes in one leap, that probably doesn't mean that the tracker actually clocked up two segments at once. I never take much notice of that figure.

 

If I want to see how much time I've clocked up, I look in the work diary. Even then, I wouldn't assume that the work diary is always up to date. It might take some time to be updated. I don't think you can expect to be able to stop after you've clocked up exactly 3 hours, say. I think you will have to accept that you might go a little over, and then have to delete a segment to get the exact time you want.

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Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
9 of 18

Hi Will, 

I'm trying to understand your concern better, and would like to clarify if you meant you didn't see that the Dekstop App displayed 2:30, and instead, 2:20 jumped to 2:40? If you check your Work Diary, is there any screengrab noted for the time between 2:20 and 2:40? 

I can also check this for you, and if you would like me to do so, please share the Contract ID so that I can look into this further.


-Avery
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Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
10 of 18

Hi, Avery.

 

Thank you for the quick response.

 

The contract ID is 23552015.

 

This was a rush job that started at 7:54 PM Saturday (GMT - Upwork time), though no time should have logged other than five tracked sessions Sunday (yesterday) totaling just a bit over the project’s four hour limit (which the client upped from its original three hour limit).

 

Looking at the logs, all five sessions are contiguous 10-minute intervals. I didn’t write down my local time when the TimeTracker clocked from 2:20 to 2:40 (skipping over 2:30), but it must have been on or around the time of the 4:50 PM screen shot in the log.

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