More people than ever are working remotely, working from home or working freelance. How do you know you, your team or the people you employ are working effectively? By using time tracking software for PC and Mac. Traqq can do it.
There are many time tracking apps and services, like Toggl, Clockify, Time Camp, MyHours and more. I looked at time tracking apps for phones here: Tack time spent on tasks for work and billing with a phone app. Those apps are for tracking time as a freelancer so you can accurately bill clients for the time spent on jobs.
Traqq is a time tracking app for desktop computers and it monitors your and employee activity and stores the information in an online database. That information can then be analyzed and reviewed to see how many hours everyone has worked and even how hard they have worked.
It could be used by a single person to monitor their own activity and see the time they spent working and how much they are wasting each day, but it is really designed for teams. Create an account and become the owner. You can then invite team members, employees, freelancers and remote workers, who are then added as users. As the owner, you can see and analyze all users’ activities, but users can only see and analyze their own.
How much is Traqq?
Traqq software and online account is free and fully working with no restrictions for small teams of up to three people. This is a great idea either for small teams or for testing. You can easily create an account without providing any payment information and test it for as long as you want. For teams of four people or more, it costs $6 per seat per month the last time I looked.
Traqq software for PC and Mac
Traqq is a fairly small app for macOS and Windows and there is an option to automatically start it when the computer starts. It adds a timer to the Mac menu bar and the PC taskbar, but it does not begin tracking your activities until it is clicked and started.
The idea is that you, or employees, start the clock when you begin work and then it monitors and reports activity until you stop the clock. There are optional notifications, such as when activity is detected when the timer is not active (you forgot to enable it), or if the timer is running, but there is no activity (you left it running over your lunch break).
You and team members can choose when it monitors activity and when it doesn’t. You can quit the app if you really want to be sure it is not monitoring you.
There isn’t much to the software apart from turning the timer on or off and customizing the notifications. One All the clever stuff is done in your online Traqq account. Simplicity is a benefit.
What does Traqq track?
There are three options available to you as the Traqq account owner:
- Track websites visited and apps used
- Take screenshots of PC/Mac activity
- Record brief video clips of PC/Mac activity
It is up to you what you want to track and your choice is applied to team members. They cannot choose themselves what is recorded, but they can choose when recording is active.
Traqq does not record every second of every hour and screenshots appear to be taken at around 10 minute intervals. Videos are only a few seconds long and do not constantly record activities. Activity monitoring does not slow the computer and most of the time it shows 0% CPU in Windows Task Manager.
As the owner and admin, you can choose not to take screenshots or videos if you prefer. If they are taken, they are blurred for the user’s privacy. It is impossible to read small text and hard to read quite large text.
You can still tell whether someone is playing a game or watching YouTube instead of working on that report in Word you need for example, but if they opened their email, you will probably not be able to read the fuzzy text. If a user turns off monitoring for privacy, you will not know what they are doing, but gaps will show in their working hours.
There is a fine line between monitoring computer activity to make sure people are working effectively and spying on people. Traqq seems to have got the right balance and users can stop tracking completely if they want and any screenshots you see when working are blurred for privacy anyway.
Traqq activity and reports online
Users can open their Traqq account and see their own activity. As the owner, you can see team members’ activities. Any day can be selected and Traqq shows a 24-hour timeline with the times you or a team member turned on tracking. In other words, when they worked.
Traqq goes even further and color codes high, medium and low activity. It calculates this from the amount of computer activity, presumably typing and mouse activity. Bear in mind that if work involves spending a lot of time on the phone talking to people, low computer activity may be recorded, so you do have to be sensible about this measurement. However, it is helpful in understanding how people spend their time.
Below the timeline is a series of screenshots, which enables you to see what you or a team member was doing at the time. They are blurred for privacy, but adequate to tell what they were doing.
The Reports section offers many different ways to view activity and the Weekly Summary enables you to view daily activity in a table view. Each day shows the time spent working (when the user turned on Traqq), and the percentage activity (phone calls for example, may not generate computer activity). You can see the average daily time and activity percentage.
Other reports include Time and Activity, Apps and Websites, Idle Time and Amounts Earned. An hourly pay rate can be set for each team member. It is possible to manually add or adjust time periods. There are four levels of permissions and this enables you to allow or deny access to features for users. As the owner, you can do everything, but you can create users, managers ad admins in your team.
If you pay people by the job, then it does not matter how people spend their time, but if you pay by the hour, you want to be sure people are working when they should be and not wasting their time.
Traqq is very useful for tracking how you and team members spend their time on their Windows PC or Apple Mac. You can see when people were working, what they were working on and even how hard they were working. It does all this while maintaining as much privacy as possible for users. Recorded data is encrypted and screenshots and videos are blurred.
Both the app and the online account are about as easy to use as you can get. If you want simplicity, this is a great service to go for.
Traqq is free for one to three people and all features are fully working. I like it and recommend you try it.