Google Calendar Time Insights Review: Track Your Meeting Times to Better Understand Your Productivity
Meetings are an inevitable part of our professional lives. Few people – whether freelancers or employees – can work without ever participating in a meeting. Sadly, many meetings are unnecessary time-wasters that prevent us from completing actual work. This is true for 70% of all meetings.
Like a lot of professionals, you may feel that you spend a lot of time in meetings. For many of us, meetings get in the way of actual work. Scheduling a meeting seems like a good idea, but afterwards (or sometimes during) you ask yourself if it was really that important.
According to Get Clockwise, 78% of workers believe their meeting schedules are chaotic. 38% blame upper management while 16% blame their direct manager. 64% of employees are only excited about meetings when they are well-planned.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed countless industries in a myriad of ways. The concept of work is evolving. Where once work meant going all-in with a single employer, it is now more diversified and distributed. Freelancing is becoming a bigger part of our lives.
The pandemic’s damage to the workforce was quick. Millions of people were furloughed all over the world. Entire positions were eliminated, never to return. 40 million Americans were unemployed by May 2020. Millions were added to that number each week.
When your clients come to you for help, they are putting their problems in your hands. They seek your knowledge and expertise, your time, and your labor. Each client takes a risk when they hire you. Even if they already know the quality of your work, they assume an opportunity cost every time they engage with you.
If you want your clients to come to you right away when they need help, they need to trust you. They need to know that you have the solutions for their problems and that you will meet their needs in a fair, organized, and honest way.
We have to be honest though: Building trust with your clients is not quick. It takes time, effort, and attention to detail. You have to work for their trust, building it little by little over time. Some clients will trust you after the first job. Other clients require years of partnerships before you become a trusted ally.
In this article, we are going to explain why it is important to build trust with your clients, then we will offer some strategies to build that trust.
We have just released Timing 2021.6, which replaces the “Review” and “Details” screens with one unified “Activities” screen. We believe that this screen combines the best of both worlds, but we would love to hear your thoughts on it, too.
If you preferred the old “Review” screen, don’t worry; the contents of the “Review” screen are still available by selecting the “By Category” mode on the new “Activities” screen:
In addition, you can customize the appearance of the Activities screen by clicking the button next to the mode picker:
But that’s not all! The new version also introduces a ton of usability improvements that should streamline your time-tracking workflow even more:
- You can now start and stop timers right from the toolbar of the main Timing app.
- You can now also start timers via the right click context menu of a project.
- On macOS Big Sur, toolbar buttons now show labels next to their icons to make their purpose more clear.
- We have completely reworked the app’s onboarding. If you would like to give the new onboarding a try, you can access it via the “Replay Introduction” item in the “Help” menu. Maybe you’ll learn a trick or two that you didn’t know about yet!
- Timing will now warn when creating a time entry causes other entries to get overwritten.
- Slightly increased the width of time entry editors, giving you more space to enter details.
- When starting a new timer, Timing will now suggest the most recently used project by default.
- By default, Timing will stop any running timers when your Mac goes to sleep or when you quit the Timing tracker app. You can now customize this behavior in the app’s “Tracking” preferences.
And that’s just an excerpt of the full release notes.
That’s it for today! Feel free to let us know what you think of this bulletin, and take care!
There are more than 15,000 SaaS companies in the world. Most of us use several every day for work, personal organization, or entertainment. While each SaaS product we use adds a lot of value to our lives, they also create some risk.
SaaS applications store your data in the cloud. This makes it easy to access from any location, but it also puts your data at risk. If you can access it anywhere, so could malicious parties who might want to use your data for nefarious purposes.
But what is “data?” Doesn’t that apply to big companies that collect mountains of information on their customers and users? Yes, but you create data as well. Many people think they do not own or use data in their day-to-day lives, so they do not consider the trustworthiness of their applications.
“In computing, data is information that has been translated into a form that is efficient for movement or processing,” explains Jack Vaughan on TechTarget. “Relative to today’s computers and transmission media, data is information converted into binary digital form. It is acceptable for data to be used as a singular subject or a plural subject. Raw data is a term used to describe data in its most basic digital format.”
Essentially, you create data whenever you put your information into a digital format, like when you add your gym schedule to your calendar, when you log tasks in your time tracking app, or when you tell Alexa to make a shopping list. You probably create a lot of data every day without realizing it.
Do you know what the highest-performing teams have in common? They trust each other. They work in a safe environment where no one fears punishment or retribution for making a mistake, taking a risk, or voicing an opinion.
“There’s no team without trust,” says Paul Santagata, Head of Industry at Google. He knows this because of Google’s two-year study into team productivity. They interviewed 200 employees and looked at more than 250 attributes of 180 active Google teams.
They expected to find a perfect mix of talents and attributes. Surely the highest performing teams were a combination of advanced degrees, skilled specialists, and type-A personalities, right?
Actually, no. What they found is that who is on the team does not matter much. What’s important is “how the team members interact, structure their work, and view their contributions.” Ultimately, the study revealed that the best teams have strong trust and psychological safety, including the belief that you will not be punished for mistakes.
What happens when we don’t feel safe at work? According to evolutionary biology, a provocation or threat by an employer (or anyone with power or authority in our work environment), subordinate, or coworker is processed as a life-or-death threat in our brain. The fight-or-flight response is ignited, which shuts down analytical reasoning, thus preventing us from thinking our way out of a problem.
The very concept of work itself is changing. What used to be masses of people huddled in cubicle farms has become decentralized. A growing number of workers operate in their preferred locations, in different time zones, and on their own schedules. This new model of work, asynchronous work, is challenging the old model, synchronous work.
The pandemic had an impact on this change as well. Lots of people and companies who thought they preferred synchronous work discovered that they could operate just fine in a remote work environment. Countless companies – of all sizes – are staying remote after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Entire offices are simply refusing to reopen.
As a freelancer, you are almost always working asynchronously, especially if you work remotely. Some freelancers are expected to work during specific hours, or make themselves available during certain windows, or even work on the client’s site, but these cases are rare.
But that does not mean working synchronously is pointless or outdated. There are plenty of good reasons to work at the same time (and alongside) other people. In this article, we would like to explain asynchronous vs. synchronous work and discuss the differences. We will go over the pros and cons, and show you how to stay productive in both environments.
The timesheet is a simple but critical tool for businesses. They are used by small and large organizations alike to keep track of hours and keep projects moving forward.
Timesheets are especially important for freelancers. They help you maintain accurate records, they keep your relationship transparent with your clients, and they ensure that you are paid properly for your labor.
If you bill by the hour and aren’t using timesheets, there is a good chance you are failing to report all of your tasks and leaving money on the table. Plus, your clients may wonder if you are actually being honest with your hours. From their perspective, a generic figure (like “10 hours this week”) might make them think you are padding your invoice.
For the sake of your income and client relationships, it’s important to prepare accurate timesheets. In this article, we will explain what a timesheet is and how it works for freelancers. Then we will give you some tips to prepare timesheets accurately.
We are happy to announce that it is now possible to include app usage in the Timing web app’s reports! Until now, reports generated via the web app would only include tasks (i.e. manual time entries), but not app usage – i.e. the time you spend on your Mac that is not part of a task already.
With today’s update, that restriction no longer applies. If you are a Timing subscriber on the “Expert” or “Connect” plan, you can now use the “App Usage” switch to include or exclude app usage from your reports:
This change will be particularly useful for users of our “Connect” plan; read on to learn why!
Juggling multiple projects is one of the biggest challenges for many freelancers. It starts when one client decides to expand their services. Then another wants an extra project. Then someone refers you to their friend and they want a one-off job. Now an agency wants to subcontract through you. All of a sudden you’re busier than ever!
What makes this hard is that your clients don’t know each other. They don’t know, or care, but you have other obligations. They only know what you promise to deliver.
Keep in mind that having lots of work is a good problem to have. It means you are doing something right as a freelancer. People want to work with you, so your career is on the right track.
If you don’t find ways to manage multiple projects, there’s a good chance you’ll fail to meet your obligations. Clients will be dissatisfied if you deliver poor-quality work or submit it late. It could affect your relationship with those clients and your overall reputation.
So for the sake of your income and your career, it’s important to learn how to manage a busy workload.