Plans 💳 : Premium, Unlimited
User Permissions 👥: Admins, Managers
For legacy plans, please refer to the article here.
As we've gotten to know our users over time, we've noticed the established processes our users have around common tasks such as approving an employee's time sheet, invoicing and billing client hours, approving hours for payroll, and more.
We've been thinking about how Timely can help facilitate those sorts of processes and how to be a more central "source of truth" for teams overall.
With that in mind, we're excited to roll out a new feature - Time Entry States. The idea being that you can now assign custom statuses, or entry states as we call them, to time entries.
These custom entry states make it much easier to review and approve your employee's timesheets right within Timely, see the status of a time entry at a glance, and enables admins to create their own custom entry states to meet the needs of their business workflows overtime.
In this article we'll cover:
Creating a new custom time state
To get started, head over to the Settings area within Timely and then select the new States option:
Click the "Create new" button to begin setting up your new time state:
Clicking the ✎ icon at the top will allow you to enter the name of that particular time state, while clicking the symbol to it's left will let you customize the color or icon that represents this phase in your workflow:
Under the Permissions section you'll be able to customize which users in your workspace can assign time entries to this particular state. You can select Managers, Employees, and Team Leads. Just keep in mind that Admin level users will always have full access to all the time states within the workspace.
Next up, you'll want to make a selection under the Attributes header if time entries assigned to this state should be marked as "Billed" or "Locked". This is useful if you have completed invoicing for a particular set of hours, for example, and wish to use these states to indicate as such or prevent further editing.
Once everything looks good, go ahead and click the "Create" button to finalize your selections.
Editing a custom time state
Editing an existing time state is a snap! From the Workflow section, just click the "Edit" button to the right of any time state and make your changes to the selections:
Just like when creating a new time state, you can update the name, icon, color, and permissions or attributes. The two system managed states, Logged and Invoiced, can not be edited.
Once everything looks good, go ahead and click the "Save" button finalize those changes.
Deleting a custom time state
If you'd like to remove one of your custom time states, you'll just need to click the "Edit" button to the right of the time state in question and then click the "Delete" button.
It's important to note that deleting a time state does NOT delete any associated time entries, they just revert back to the default time state - i/e "Logged".
Assigning time entries to a custom time state
Alright, you've gone through and configured your custom time states to suit your teams needs. Now what?
Once those states are in place and the process communicated amongst the team, users can begin assigning a time state to their entries from either the Hours view or when reviewing a time sheet.
From the Hours view, simply click any existing time entry (or entries, you can assign a state to multiple entries if you'd prefer) and then click the selector box in the right hand corner. You'll see the bulk editing options along the top and can click the "update state" option to select the appropriate state:
Once that state has been applied, you will see the state's symbol in the bottom corner:
The time state is then visible when looking at a user or project's Timesheet and further updates can be made from that view as well:
Reviewing or reporting on time states
You can easily sort and review the different time states when looking at Timesheets for either an individual user or project. By default you'll see all the hours logged in that Timesheet, but can click the "Any state" drop down along the top to filter by just the specific state you'd like to review.
Just like from the Hours view, you can then select multiple entries and update their state when needed.
Likewise, you'll now see a new state drop down when configuring your custom reports in Timely.
You can use this option to really drill down into your data and determine where in your specific workflow a user's hours may be.
I'm looking at this feature and I'm still not 100% sure how it benefits me, can you give me a real life example?
Say you have a team of employees and are an admin who handles payroll for those employees. Where as you might have previously had to follow up with all your employees directly to see if their hours have all been logged and everything is final before payroll, now you can use custom time states to communicate where in the payroll process those hours are.
So for example:
An employee has completed their workweek, checked their hours in Timely are correct, and updates those hours with the "Submitted for approval" status. I as their Admin can go in to their timesheet, see those hours with the matching status, and update them to "Approved" once everything looks good. I might then update those hours again to the "Done" status once payroll has been ran and the employee's pay issue.
It's really about your own existing workflows and how we can help make Timely better integrate into those processes and hopefully prevent folks from having to use multiple apps or spreadsheets to stay on top of things.
How many custom time states can I create for my workspace?
Well, the sky is the limit really, but keep in mind that the more status you have the more crowded that drop down selector will be - and the more headache you might have when reviewing those time entries. We'd recommend keeping things short and simple to prevent confusion.
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