14 Feb OfficeTime: Time and Expense App for Lawyers
I’ve recently been trying out the timekeeping app, OfficeTime from OfficeTime Software. OfficeTime is a universal app that efficiently captures time and expenses on your iOS devices, generates reports on how your time was used and exports that time back to your computer.
I think the strongest feature about OfficeTime is the ability to start a timer with two taps. Simply tap “New Session” and then tap “Start”. You don’t need to enter project, category or other notes to start a timer. Enter all that data later (or not at all). Eliminating friction between the start of a new activity and capturing time for that work is key.
Time and expense entries can be annotated with as much or as little additional data as you want. “Projects” are used to define each of your billable matters. “Category” can be used to define different types of job activities (e.g., “calls” “drafting”) or different rates. A freeform notes section accompanies each time and expense entry for capturing the details of your work, file notes or whatever else. New projects and categories can be added from the time entry screen and time can be manually adjusted or added if you didn’t get the timer started on time.
OfficeTime comes in both Free and Pro versions. The Free version is a good place to try out the app but limits the number of projects you can have and doesn’t allow export. OfficeTime Pro allows unlimited projects, categories and export options.
OfficeTime would seem to work best when integrated with its counterpart PC or Mac application (also named OfficeTime) but that is not required. If you have the counterpart desktop application, then your timekeeping data will sync directly to the application. If you use a diffent desktop application for timekeeping and invoicing, you will either need to reinput your data. While duplicate entry is less than ideal, if OfficeTime helps you to caputure even just .1 or .2 more per day, then the repeat entry would seem to be worth the effort.
Couple things I’d like to see in OfficeTime. For users of the iPad and iPhone versions, some sort of interdevice sync would be helpful. I’d like to be able to take time on my iPhone all day and see those time entries on my iPad when I pick it up that evening. Integration of this app with TextExpander Touch would be amazing. Lawyers love their timekeeping codes and TextExpander would make quick work of time descriptions.
All in all, I like OfficeTime a lot and wish it had been around when my practice was more tied to the billable hour. The app has a clean and intuitive interface that enhances usability. It is fast and low friction. I can see OfficeTime in the workflow for attorneys of small and large firms. OfficeTime could easily operate as the only timekeeping tool for a solo/small firm or supplement the server-based practice management software in the largest firms.