I’ve said it before and will say it again: time management is probably the most common thing to be the subject of new apps online. Once in a while, though, these apps are interesting enough that sCommerce doesn’t just ignore their release and actually sees something worth mentioning.
Colorhat.com is one of those. In November, we reviewed Yast, an extremely simplified time management app that definitely suits most freelancer’s needs. Colorhat is basically Yast with charts/graphs and billable time tracking.
Like Yast, Colorhat has no special bells or whistles to get in the way and is so simple to use, your time spent tracking your time is almost nil. That is the greatest selling point to this software. I think most freelancers and small shops will agree with that assessment. For many of those users, the standard fare time management software is too complex and wastes time rather than saving it.
Using this app, you merely create a (free) account, select a language, a time zone, a currency (for billing time tracks), and the type of timeline display you’d prefer. This is not how it looks, but rather your most common work times, the default being 06:00 to 22:00 (6am to 10pm). That should work for most, but some might be night owls or early risers, so you can adjust it as you prefer.
Once you’re set up, the rest is about organizing your tracking and then the actual tracking. Three basic record layouts (interfaces) are offered and you can switch between them at will with just a click. These are Service, Period, and Department.
Each of these tracks specific time needs and their use is relatively obvious. If you don’t do billable hours, for instance, you can ignore the Service section. If you are the entire project team, Department is not really needed either. Period is likely the one you’ll be using most often as a freelancer while Service is the one most likely used if you’re part of a team.
Time can be tracked through a basic stopwatch or by just clicking and dragging to mark off time blocks. The stopwatch is useful, whether you bill or not, to see how efficient you’re being on some tasks and the drag-drop is great for just getting a general idea of where your time goes during the day as you work so you can create charts and graphs of daily, weekly, or whatever time usage to see how your time is spent.
Colorhat is a good app and the developers promise to keep it free forever. The site monetizes through donations and Google ads.