BeeBole in Italian, German and Portuguese

As BeeBole Timesheet gains ground internationally, being used in 60+ countries every day, we are happy to announce another step in our international presence with the addition of 3 new languages: Italian, German and Portuguese.

These languages will complete the existing ones: English, French, Spanish, Flemish and Polish.

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Each user can decide the language of his timesheet interface.

To change it, nothing easier!

Just click on the language in the top-right corner of the screen and make your selection

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Arrivederci, Tchau, Auf Wiedersehen!

Link several BeeBole Timesheet accounts to your Google Apps domain

It is now possible to link several BeeBole Timesheet accounts to one Google Apps domain.

A typical case would be for larger companies using one Google Apps domain and having created different BeeBole accounts for each department.

Now, when users will log in using their Google Apps account, if the user exists in several BeeBole accounts, he will be presented with a list of accounts to choose from.

Note that this option will also be available to users with a Google email not included in a Google Apps domain (gmail.com emails for example).

As a reminder, the configuration to link your Google Apps domain to a BeeBole account is done via the Account module in the Settings screen.

BeeBole Timesheet Account module

Under the section “Google Apps Integration”

BeeBole Timesheet integration with Google Apps

For the full process, here is a link about how to link your BeeBole account to a Google Apps domain.

And the Account module documentation page.

Support is Now Just 1 Click Away

BeeBole has always been about supporting our customers the best we can.

It was true when we started the company and only had a few customers for which we were fighting hard. It is even truer today, strong of 9 years of experience, to assist you in measuring the time spent in your company.

Today, we bring this goal even further with an exciting feature for all admins.

BeeBole Support

Get Support Directly from your account

From now on, you will see in the bottom right corner of your screen a small Support icon.

BeeBole Chat Support

 

Click on it, and it will open a chat window with direct access to our support.

BeeBole support conversation

No more emails, BeeBole Support is just 1 click away.

Past discussions will also be displayed, so it’s easy for you to go back to previous answers.

This option will only be available to admins.

Helping you when you need it

Best support is when you get answers at the moment a problem happens. With this release, this is exactly what we aim for.

The chat window can become a conversation, also offering us the opportunity to fully understand your problem and helping you the best we can in real time.

Enjoy!

 

 

Timesheet Reports with advanced filtering

In BeeBole you can easily create timesheet reports with your own reporting axes, thanks to our Groups feature.

Typical examples are to group your employees in teams or departments. To give them a grade such as senior or junior consultant. To attach them to an office in the UK or the US.

Once these groups have been assigned to your employees, they can be used in the reports results as new axes or as filters.

Timesheet reports with groups

Introducing AND/OR filters in timesheet reports

Today, we are really excited about introducing a completely renewed filtering feature for your timesheet reports.

Let’s welcome the AND/OR conditions.

Groups filtering in timesheet reports

Until now you could filter the timesheet data based on one group, or based on a list of groups with an “AND” condition, meaning that the employees or projects displayed in the results had to match all the groups.

But the reality was often more complexe. With the AND/OR conditions, your filtering possibilities are endless.

In the example above, you can easily create a report with all the employee’s timesheet records who belongs to the Sales & Marketing department, from the UK or US offices and with the grade of a Senior consultant.

This is of course just an example. We have often be surprised by how far certain of our customers have pushed the use of Groups to literally add dozens of dimensions to their reports.

Full details about the use of the new filtering options are available in the Reports module documentation.

Enjoy!

How to Create a Project Plan Checklist

You’ve done it! You’ve been made a project manager! Ah yes, but now anxiety is creeping in.

Where do you start? How do you get organised? In our experience, whatever business you’re in, establishing a project plan is essential for running your projects. This document helps you organise how the project unfolds by addressing several major questions. Here are some tips for writing an effective project plan. The key to success? Answer four key questions.

1 – Why? – What are the goals this project should address?

These elements are defined during the project launch. In practical terms, you should organise a kick-off meeting with all participants as soon as possible. This is where you’ll set goals together. Don’t skip this step, as it will help you focus on the project’s reason for being.

2 – What? – What is the project going to achieve?

In other words, what are the expected deliverables: documents, products or services? These elements are also defined during the project launch. Does all this seem obvious to you? Don’t be fooled: it is very important to know how to answer this question right from the start of the project, as it will help you avoid someone saying, “I didn’t know you were expecting that of me!”

3 – Who? – Which people are in charge of what?

And now, who does what. The project plan identifies the people involved, their responsibilities and how the team is organised:

  • Project Manager (PM)
  • Production team members

When you adopt the project plan, you should determine the time and budget management tools to use. We recommend time tracking tools and budget tracking tools which always allow the PM to:

  • Know the progress of various tasks
  • Estimate the time each resource spends on the project
  • Manage the budget
  • Control costs
  • Measure the cost-effectiveness of the project

Everyone knows that you can’t be everywhere at the same time to monitor each detail of the project. Make life easier on yourself by getting these kinds of tools. You’ll save time and be more efficient, guaranteed!

4 – When? – What is the project schedule and its key dates?

Drawing up a schedule is an art in itself. The goal is to set milestones and spread things out over time, depending on the delivery of various items by project team members. Some deliveries will determine how the rest of the project goes, others less so. Identify them in advance.

Tip: Don’t be too optimistic when you’re writing your schedule. Give yourself some wiggle room.

Have you followed our advice and answered the four big questions for organising the project launch? Great! You’ve given yourself every chance to coordinate project management and make sure it’s a success!

New Features Tuesday

We have just released a set of new features requested by many of our customers:

  • New feature in the Timesheet Settings module allowing admins to disable hours recording previous to a certain date for all users
  • Addition of two Daily reminders in the Timesheet Settings module, one checking if hours have been submitted on the day of the reminder, the other one checking if hours have been submitted on the day before the reminder
  • Exclusive Members module can now be used on Sub-projects
  • Exclusive Members can now be set up on sub-projects through the API
  • Specific Tasks module can now be used on Sub-projects

Enjoy!

How to Organise your Office

When you got to work this morning, your messy office brought you down: loose papers, PostIts, coffee cups… It’s enough to make you forget your priorities. Sounds familiar?Here are a few tips (tried and tested by yours truly) to help you organise your office.

Tidy up for clarity

It’s just like your mother used to tell you about that unholy mess in your room.

Job one: ORGANISE. There’s nothing better to help you see clearly!

Take a proactive attitude towards those papers cluttering up your workspace:

  • Is there an e-mail that requires an answer? Do it.
  • A document that needs filing? Don’t wait.
  • A meeting jotted down on a scrap of paper? Enter it in your schedule.

The aim? To keep only what you’re using right now.
This also goes for your computer area. At the end of the day (or at least the end of the
week), organise and clean your desktop. What a great background! Haven’t seen that in a
while, have you?

Keep useful things within reach

Like us, you’re probably in the habit of sprawling a multitude of things on your desk, some
useful and others not so much: handwritten notes from three months ago, a postcard sent by one of your co-workers last summer, a stress ball, a half-eaten chocolate bar… No? Well, have a look around. See, we told you so! Take a few moments to identify the items you need for a working day:

  • Pens and pencils: Collect the ones that still work and put them in a pencil case.
  • Seals and stamps: Only keep the ones) you use most on your desk. The others? In a drawer.
  • Notepad: Choose a bound notepad rather than loose sheets.
  • Dictionary: Find a place for it on a shelf next to you.

Generally, anything you only use ‘once in a while’ can be put away.

Get some storage

Now you’re probably asking, “But where can I put all this stuff?” Equip yourself with the
tools you need to tidy up your office. Ask for the following equipment:

  • Inbox: to hold your documents until you process them.
  • Binders: with inserts to find things faster.
  • Furniture: set of drawers, shelving, filling cabinet.

Get rid of stuff gradually

Ask yourself this question: How long should this piece of paper be kept? Most of the time, you can throw it out. The only exceptions are a few official documents (bills, contracts, etc.). Place a paper bin next to you. For documents containing confidential information, use the shredder.

Centralise and digitise

Your paper diary is overflowing. And what about your phone book? How many old to-do lists are lying around on your desk? Use your computer equipment. Digitise and centralise your information in a tool. Do you use a time-tracking system like we do? If you do, cleaning up your desk will help you fill it in easily. With to-do lists and an up-to-date calendar, you won’t have to worry about your mind going blank, which happens to all of us, when you have to fill in your time sheets.

Now that you’ve cleared your space thanks to our tips, stand back and admire your workstation. Take advantage of the reclaimed space to work smarter and happier.

Assign a Team Leader to a Department or to any Group

Team Module

You can now assign a team leader directly to one of your BeeBole group.

As a reminder, the Groups module is probably one of the nicest feature when it comes to adding reporting axes to your timesheet data and gather results into groups.

One of the commonly use is to regroup employees into departments or countries.

With this new feature in the Team module, you can directly set a team leaders to a department.

This way, you can even completely build your org structure and its managers in BeeBole.

More information here: http://help.beebole.com/home/modules/team

Back to Work after a Vacation

First of all, I wish you the best for 2015.

The vacation came to an end for most of us. But it seemed so short!
Back to work, some of you are maybe worried about the workload waiting for you at the office?
Don’t panic: Here are a few tips I usually apply for easing back into things.

Day one: Under the radar

Because you’ve followed my check-list for getting ready to go on vacation, you’ve set aside some time for yourself on this first day. Good.

Make the most of it by:

  • Talking to your coworkers: Get updated on projects’ progress and find out about everyone’s vacations.
  • Read your e-mail: Newest first. The older ones have probably been dealt with already.
  • Draw up a list of priorities: This will reassure you that you can handle things. At least it does the trick for me.
  • Just get back on track.

A word of advice: Don’t delete your vacation message from your e-mail inbox right away. Give yourself a few hours, or even a day.

Ease back into things

Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. You’re not going to be at peak productivity on the first day back. Ease back into things. Even top athletes don’t start their workouts with a sprint. Avoid breakdowns: pace yourself.

  • Don’t start back with a long day.
  • Don’t plan any important meetings.
  • Don’t promise your clients anything for that day.

You’ll get back into the swing of things gradually.

Review your working habits

Those days off will have given you some perspective and you may have even made some resolutions. So take advantage of your return by developing new working habits. Target: To be more productive and strike a better work-life balance.

Get some rest

Barely back at work and already tired – you might say that’s contradictory? But it isn’t really. It can be tough to get back in step with working life. During your vacation, you probably got to sleep in, take afternoon naps, or just spend time doing nothing. So make sure you continue to get enough sleep.

What about you? How do you prevent the back-to-work blues and manage being back in the office after a long break?

Getting work done before your vacation

The holidays are almost here. Are you wondering how to plan your vacation without stress? Here are a few tips to help you go worry-free.

Plan your vacation in advance

Stress-proofing: planning. Plan your vacation several months ahead. Try to work around the start-up or closing phases of large projects as much as possible. If you must take your vacation during the rush (school holidays), be sure to let your coworkers know well in advance and enter your absences in your company’s time-management system .

Notify your clients

As well as your coworkers, let your clients and other key people know when you’ll be leaving and when you’ll be back. Do it a few days/weeks ahead so you can handle urgent questions or requests. Give them the contact info for a coworker who’s in charge of the project in your absence.

Hand it over to coworkers

Make sure they can answer your clients’ urgent questions. To ensure you have backup in your absence, choose people you trust and delegate tasks so that you’re not leaving it all with one coworker. Give them all useful information: brief them on the project and its progress; give them the customer contact information; tell them where all relevant records and files are.

Free up some time

Allow yourself two days before going on vacation to tie up loose ends: no appointments, no meetings, no new projects. Take this time to list priorities. Ask yourself which tasks can’t wait for your return.

Record a vacation greeting

Set up your e-mail inbox with an automatic response. Include the dates you’ll be away and the contact information of the person who can cover in an emergency.

Do you have a work cell phone? Record a voice greeting with the same information.

Tidy your office

If you put everything where it belongs, you’ll be happier when you come back after your vacation. Throw out any useless papers. Organize your files. Gather up your pens, pencils and highlighters. Got an indoor plant? Water it or give it to someone you trust.

Ease back into things

Set aside a day (or two) to get back into the swing of things when you return. Don’t set up any meetings. You’ll need to gradually get to grips with your workload again: read your e-mails and find out where your projects stand.

Now you’re ready to get the most from your vacation. And don’t forget the last step: switch off. It’s the best way to come back to the office refreshed.

Happy holidays to you all. Best wishes for 2015!