Digital Nomad Tips: Why I Track Time With Hubstaff

Being a digital nomad is a lot of fun, but sometimes it gets way too easy to lose track of time. I can start the day with the best intentions of work, then get distracted by laundry, a dirty floor, my adorable dog, the promise of a sale at the mall, and much more. Once I finally do get in front of my computer, there’s imgur, Reddit, this cool thing and the latest episode of [Game of Thrones/Bob’s Burgers/Sherlock/whatever else I’m watching at the moment] tempting me away from my WordPress editor.

Short attention span

My point is, I need to focus. That’s where Hubstaff comes in.

What’s Hubstaff? Only the best time tracking software EVER

Hubstaff provides me (and my clients) with an accurate account of my time. All I had to do was sign up, set up my organization and download their desktop app. I created a separate project for each of my clients and different tasks under each project to see exactly where I spend my time. Check out the timer below; projects are on the left and tasks are on the right.

Hubstaff Desktop Timer

Hubstaff’s intuitive desktop timer (it works offline, too!)

Hubstaff also makes it really easy for me to bill clients, since I can download the automatically generated time reports to use as invoices. I opt to show randomized screenshots and activity levels, which are calculated based on mouse movements and keystrokes. That way, I don’t have to explain myself when I send the bill; my screenshots serve as proof of work and activity levels as proof of productivity. My clients have peace of mind that I’m doing the work they need, and not just leaving my timer running and going off to drink at a bar or something.

All this reporting may freak some people out, but I absolutely love it. It’s insightful and speaks for itself, so I don’t have to waste time justifying my bill to clients. I also often self-monitor my work by checking on my activity view. I aim for 80% activity levels or more, and if I drop under I’ll take a look at my working habits to see if anything is hindering productivity.

Rachel Go Hubstaff Activity Levels and Screenshots

This is what my activity view looks like

I prefer to work on an hourly basis, which is great for my clients because they only pay for the time I spend on their projects. Thanks to this set up and Hubstaff’s time tracking capabilities, I can also send invoices and get paid automatically. It’s like clockwork; I just log my time and the system works on my behalf. I get paid every Monday. It’s accurate, efficient, timely and so easy.

Eliminate Distractions

I started this blog post talking about distractions! Not sure how I veered off course, but it happens. Anyways, once I start that timer I know that it’s time to focus because the screenshots are being taken and activity levels are being recorded. The accountability keeps me focused and determined for longer periods of time than I would have been without Hubstaff.

My Home Office

My home office setup

Learn more about Hubstaff’s features and how it can make your digital nomad life even better.

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5 thoughts on “Digital Nomad Tips: Why I Track Time With Hubstaff

  1. Hi, thinks for this nice article. I’ve been using hubstaff as remote developper in a work team, and it was greet.
    now, I plan to use it to track/manage my personal activities, but I don’t know if the free plan will do the trick or I’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan ?

    btw, why did you share “this cool thing” here..it’s supposed to be a productivity topic, but this cool monster is here, draining my time and productivity like a vampire :s

    • I’m glad you liked the article! You can test out the free plan to see if it’ll do the trick, but right now I’m on premium Hubstaff plans for my clients.
      Also, “this cool thing” is there because sometimes I go brain dead and playing around with that is a great way for me to relax and recharge 🙂

  2. Hi Rachel!

    Great post! I understand that you like this moment after clicking “start timer”, but don’t you find it a little uncomfortable do remember about this clicking everytime you want to work? I’m asking because I wanted do suggest you an app that identifies tasks automatically so you don’t have to. I mean http://www.timecamp.com . Do you know it maybe?

  3. Pingback: Salary or Hourly Pay for Remote Teams? | Rachel Andrea Ko Go

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