How to Upgrade Desktop Time Tracking with Integrations


Written by Asim Qureshi
By Asim Qureshi, CEO Jibble

Hi, I’m Asim Qureshi, the CEO and co-founder of Jibble, a cloud-based time and attendance software. I have several years of experience in building and scaling software products and teams across various industries and markets. Before I founded Jibble, I worked as a VP at Morgan Stanley for six years. I’m passionate about helping businesses improve their productivity and performance through technology and smart time management practices.

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The workplace is evolving, and so is the way employers track time. According to a report from ExpressVPN, almost 78% of employers are already using some form of monitoring software to track employee performance, online activity, and, of course, their time. From the early days of manual time cards, employers now have access to a wide array of time tracking apps available on mobile, web, browser, and even right from their desktops!

Desktop time trackers offer an especially convenient way to track work hours and productivity regardless whether you use a Mac or Windows operating system. It can do most, if not everything, that your typical web time tracker can do – but the advantage is that it’s directly integrated into your desktop environment. Desktop time tracking tools can also let you track time offline and offer a higher level of employee monitoring, with some even offering time tracking with screenshots.

Now, desktop time trackers are already great in and of themselves, but what if I tell you they could be even greater? Enter integrations – the key to upgrading your desktop time tracking experience.

You can think of integrations as power-ups for your desktop time tracker. They allow you to link it with all your essential work apps, creating a seamless, efficient work environment. If you’re not using desktop integrations yet, you’re missing out! But don’t worry. It’s never too late to upgrade your desktop time tracking experience with these nifty tools.

In this article, I’m going to be giving you a better look at what integrations are, their many benefits, and how you can set them up with your desktop time tracking software to supercharge your productivity and streamline your workflow.

A guy working on his laptop that's placed on top of a wooden table. Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

What are Desktop Time Tracking Integrations, Anyway?

Software or app integrations, short for application integrations, refer to the process of connecting different software applications or services to work together and share data or functionality. This allows for a seamless flow of information and tasks between different tools or platforms. In this case, your desktop time tracker and other apps you use for work.

For example, the Jibble’s ultimate desktop time tracker can be integrated with project management tools like Asana and Trello. This integration would enable the automatic transfer of time entries from Jibble to the corresponding project in Asana or Trello. This reduces manual data entry and ensures that project progress is accurately reflected.

Aside from project management tools, the Jibble desktop app can integrate with payroll software such as Deel and Paylocity and accounting and invoicing apps like QuickBooks and Xero. This means that the time entries recorded using the desktop time tracker can be effortlessly synced with these systems, streamlining the payment and invoicing process and reducing errors that could potentially cost you hundreds of dollars from either overpaying your employees or underbilling your clients.

These cool app integrations can also connect your desktop time tracker with HR software, communication platforms, and customer management tools. They all work to help you stay organized and have an easier time tracking your hours. 

Integrations are made possible through various methods, including APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), webhooks, and custom connectors. These technologies serve as the backbone for the seamless communication and data exchange between different applications, enabling them to work together in harmony.

Benefits of Using Desktop Time Tracking Integrations

When choosing a desktop time tracking app, one of the main things you need to look for is its ability to integrate with the tools you already have in your workflow. Why, you may ask? Well, having seamless integrations with your existing software and services offers a host of benefits. Here’s a look at just some of them.

1. Efficiency and Productivity Boost

Integrating your desktop time tracking app with other essential tools in your workflow eliminates the need for manual data entry. If you work on multiple projects throughout the day, you can integrate your desktop time tracking app with project management platforms, such as Trello, Asana, or Jira, to seamlessly allocate your hours and tasks. You can also integrate your desktop time tracker with payroll or accounting apps so time data is automatically translated into precise payroll calculations or invoicing information.

This automation saves a significant amount of time that would otherwise be spent on administrative tasks. Employees can focus more on their core tasks, leading to increased productivity.

2. Enhanced Visibility and Insights

Aside from being a huge time-saver, integrating your desktop time tracking app with other business software, such as project management or customer relationship management (CRM) systems, provides valuable insights.

You gain a comprehensive view of how time is allocated to different clients, projects, or tasks. This data empowers you to make informed decisions, set accurate client expectations, and identify profitable areas of your business.

3. Accurate and Reliable Data

We all know how frustrating it can be when the time data on your desktop time tracker doesn’t match the hours on your employee payroll or client invoice. This discrepancy not only leads to confusion but also potentially affects your bottom line. You might end up underbilling or overbilling clients, damaging client relationships and leading to financial losses.

Thankfully, integrations can ensure that data is consistently accurate and up-to-date across all connected systems. Any time data changes you make on your desktop time tracking app is synced in real-time to your integrated tools. And when time tracking data seamlessly flows into project management, invoicing, or payroll tools, you can trust that the information is error-free. This leads to more precise billing, reporting, and resource allocation.

4. Improved Collaboration and Communication

Integrations facilitate better collaboration within teams while streamlining the time tracking process further. Jibble’s desktop app, for instance, has Slack and MS Teams integrations that let users seamlessly track time without having to leave these platforms. It also has handy shortcuts that can make clocking in and out a breeze.

When time tracking tools like Jibble are seamlessly integrated with project management and communication tools, team members have real-time visibility into project progress, deadlines, and resource allocation. This transparency fosters effective teamwork, ensures everyone is on the same page, and helps meet project milestones.

How to Set Up Integrations with Your Desktop Time Tracker

It’s clear now how integrations can significantly enhance your overall desktop time tracking experience. The next step is to learn how to set them up so you can start enhancing your productivity and efficiency.

There are two primary methods for achieving this: using direct integrations available within the app and leveraging APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). The latter is a tad bit more complex.

Using Direct Integrations Within the App

  1. Select Your Desired Integration: Start by opening your desktop time tracking application. Navigate to the settings, preferences, or integrations section, which may vary depending on your chosen tool.
  2. Browse the List: Look for a list of compatible integrations provided by your time tracker. Many applications offer a range of pre-built integrations with popular software, such as project management tools, accounting software, or CRM systems.
  3. Choose Your Integration: From the list, select the app or service you wish to integrate with your time tracker. For instance, if you use project management software like Asana or Trello, choose the corresponding option.
  4. Follow the Setup Process: Most desktop time tracking applications will redirect you to the web app and guide you through the integration setup. This typically involves linking your accounts. You might need to log in to your other app accounts or grant permissions for data sharing.
  5. Configure Specific Settings: Depending on the integration, you may have options to configure specific settings. For example, you can specify which projects or clients should be linked between your time tracker and your project management tool.
  6. Test the Integration: Some apps provide a testing feature to ensure the integration functions correctly. This lets you verify that time entries and data seamlessly transfer between your applications.

Using APIs

APIs provide a more flexible and customizable way to set up integrations. Fair warning, though, it will need some serious IT expertise. Here are some general steps on how to set up integrations with your desktop time tracker using APIs:

  1. Identify APIs: Research the available APIs for your desktop time tracking software. Check their developer documentation or resources section. Look for APIs that allow you to interact with your time tracking data.
  2. Register for API Access: Some time tracking apps may require you to register for API access. This often involves creating an API key or token, which serves as a secure way to connect to the API.
  3. Develop or Configure an Integration: If you have coding skills or development resources, you can build a custom integration to connect your desktop time tracker to other software. Alternatively, you can use third-party integration platforms or middleware tools that facilitate API-based integrations.
  4. Authentication: When using APIs, you’ll need to handle authentication to ensure data security. You’ll typically need to include your API key or token in your integration code.
  5. Data Mapping: Define how data should be mapped and transferred between your time tracker and the target application. Specify which fields correspond to each other.
  6. Testing and Debugging: Thoroughly test your integration to ensure it works as intended. Debug and troubleshoot any issues that may arise during testing.
  7. Documentation: Create documentation for your integration, especially if it’s a custom solution. This documentation will help your team understand how to use the integration effectively.
  8. Regular Maintenance: Keep an eye on your integration to ensure it continues to work smoothly. Updates or changes in either of the integrated applications may require adjustments to the integration.

Final Takeaways

Integrations offer a gateway to unleashing the full potential of your desktop time tracking software. By seamlessly connecting your time tracker to essential work apps, you not only create a streamlined workflow but can also reduce the risk of costly errors.

Try to choose a desktop time tracker that fits seamlessly into your existing tech stack. This ensures that the integration process is smooth and efficient. With direct integrations, you can easily link your time tracker with popular project management tools, accounting software, and communication platforms. If you have the IT expertise necessary, you can also make use of APIs for more customized integration solutions.

Regardless of which way you choose to go at it, leveraging desktop time tracking integrations is definitely a step in the right direction towards an improved desktop time tracking experience.

Not sure if you should go for web or desktop time tracking? Let our article on desktop vs. web time tracking help you make the right decision. Also learn more about desktop time trackers with our comprehensive guide to desktop time tracking.