Track Billable Time With Klok Pro
At a Glance
Some time trackers, such as RescueTime, work by tracking your active windows to show how you spend your time on your computer, minute-to-minute. If you prefer to enter time data manually (and visually), Klok Pro ($16, free limited version available) is a time tracking application that looks like a calendar at first glance. You set up your projects, subprojects, and even sub-subprojects if you want, and track them using a built-in stopwatch or by dragging them out to a calendar.
Projects are arranged as a tree along the left-hand side of the window. Each project and subproject can have its own color and hourly billing rate. You set your own hierarchy, so if you need to track billable hours for multiple clients, the top level of your project tree can contain those clients, and the second level would contain the projects you do for each client.
To log your work on a project, drag it from the tree, drop it on the calendar and resize it to show how long you've worked for. If you're just starting now and want to use Klok Pro as a stopwatch, you can drop the project onto the target area that says "Drop here to work on." This is a neat feature, but it confused me when I was just starting out with Klok Pro: I tried dropping a document file on it, thinking Klok Pro would launch Word and start logging time for that project. It doesn't work that way--the only thing you can drop on that target is a project from the tree. That area does come in handy once you start working, because you can collapse the Klok Pro interface and leave just the timer visible and on top of all other windows, showing who you're billing at the moment and for what.
Klok Pro is an Adobe AIR application, and like so many AIR apps, it doesn't try to emulate the native Windows look, instead going with its own dark theme. This dark background makes the colored blocks of projects stand out on the calendar, creating a striking look. Klok Pro can also pull in appointment data from Google Calendar or Microsoft Exchange, and you can click individual appointments to confirm them and log them as billable hours.
Besides the calendar view, Klok Pro also has a dashboard view that shows you where your time has been going over a given period: You can see how many hours you've logged each day and for what top-level projects, as well as a pie chart showing the percentage of time you've dedicated for each top-level project (or client).
If you get paid by the hour, producing timesheets for billing is crucial, and Klok Pro can easily export timesheet data to Excel, including a subproject breakdown and billing totals. It also has a feature (currently in beta) for producing invoices right from the app as HTML files, or using Xero or Blinksale.
Klok Pro keeps time tracking relatively simple, but offers features powerful enough for users juggling multiple projects for multiple clients, and who need to charge for time spent in meetings and not just in front of the computer.
Note: This download takes you to the vendor's website, where you can download the Adobe Air app.