Life in the 21st century moves at a mile a minute on an almost daily basis. The notion of being able to sit down and plan anything with any clarity can feel like an ephemeral goal from time to time, not to mention being able to sit down and follow through on those plans. But being able to plan and be onboard for the ride is critical. Luckily, Timely has your back by making it easy to plan time for yourself or others, log hours against your planned time and report back to see how your estimates stack up against reality.

Logged time vs. planned time

First, it’s important to make the distinction between the types of time that can be recorded in Timely: logged and planned time.

Planned Time (striped color) is the time you think you'll need to complete a scheduled piece of work.

Logged Time (solid color) is the actual amount of time you end up spending on the work:

Creating planned time entries

The process for creating a planned time entry starts the same way as it would for creating a logged time entry. From the Hours tab, click the “+” button to create a new entry then click the calendar icon labeled “Plan”. Add a description, select the project and add any tags, then enter your estimate for how much time you plan to spend on that particular bit of work. Once the planned time entry is saved, it’ll show up in the Hours tab along with your logged time entries:

Need to adjust the amount of time you set aside? No problem! You can either open the entry and adjust the time manually or click/drag the bottom edge of the entry to adjust it in 15-minute increments:

Planning for other people

Small and large teams both benefit from set-ups wherein work can be delegated across groups, making it easier to get the right work in front of the right people. Using both Solo and Company view in Timely, you can quickly identify someone for whom you want to plan time and add it for them so they know what’s coming down the pipeline:

Reporting on planned time

Creating reports in Timely allows you to drill down into the detail you need about your business and being able to look at planned time estimates versus actual logged time goes a long way towards increasing your efficiency and profitability.

Timely’s report widgets also provide visibility into these metrics so you can dial straight into how long something took and how long you thought it might take:

Now you’re prepared for the next time with better estimates, budgets and understanding of your work and what it takes to get it done.

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