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How to track non-billable hours
How to track non-billable hours

Get the complete picture on how your business spends its time

Lisa avatar
Written by Lisa
Updated over a week ago

Plans 💳 : Everyone

User Permissions 👥: Admins, Managers

Timely isn’t just a tool for teams that bill their hours; many businesses use Timely to track their non-billable internal time to understand how they actually operate. Whether it’s making sure deadlines are met, quantifying time spent on internal communication and essential admin, or simply getting the full picture of where your team’s time goes, Timely can help you hit the mark! 🎯

We know that no two companies are identical in terms of how they’re structured so we’ve put together some general guidelines to help you create the basic projects, clients and tags to track this information. 📈

Basic internal time tracking

One best practice we share upfront is to use projects for general tasks or overarching categories that apply to your whole company. For instance, we recommend creating a project specifically for 1:1 meetings, team social events, all-hands meetings — pretty much anything that your whole team or company will use. 

We also think it’s a good idea to either use your company name or “Admin” as the client for these projects, since they apply to the whole company. 

Tags 🏷

The same applies for things such as leave or time away from the office. In this case, you can use tags to get into further detail, such as a tag for vacation, sick leave or national holidays.

Not all projects will require tags though. Take lunch for example — there’s not much need to get into specifics unless you’d like to know more about sandwiches versus soup! 🥪 🥣 

Note: One of our best practices for tags is to create them in the global tag management system first, then apply them to individual projects as you create them. You can include as many tags in your tag list as you like when you add it to a project — it just needs to have at least one tag assigned to it.

Internal time tracking by team

Different teams within a company have different routine tasks and responsibilities, and you can set-up your internal time tracking to reflect that in Timely. Using a similar approach as your basic internal time tracking, create projects that correspond to a team’s specific functions and then use the team’s name as the client.

Take your Marketing team for example. Use “Marketing” as your client then create projects based on what they do (i.e. Market Research, Analytics, Media Planning, etc…). Don’t forget to create or add tags as necessary to specify what was happening (i.e. writing ad copy, pitching ideas or running reports). When it comes time to log hours, they’ll have a clear view of their team, the type of work they were doing and specifics about that task:

Assigning users to projects

Head to the Projects tab then click the “…” next to the project you’ve just created to “Edit” and add users:

You can also edit users individually and add all the projects they’ll be a part of as well. The same process applies for any users you add to Timely, so all their projects are ready for them when they sign into Timely for the first time.

This is especially handy if folks in your company don’t all work on the same project, or if you need to limit the scope of what they can log hours to. At Timely, we really value the fact that people from across the company have different insights that can be valuable to other teams. We’ve made it possible to assign any user in Timely to any project at any time, remove them if necessary and retain all the hours they’ve logged once that cross-functional project is done!

From there, rinse and repeat until your whole company is set-up in Timely! 🧼

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