Review: Salary Book, by AppSequence
Salary Book – Time Tracking and Time Sheet, by AppSequence
$4.99 (iPhone), ***1/2
• Multiple expense accounts for tracking different projects
• Can track different salary rates and put in different times
• Can export data
• Entering times for different projects is a little tedious
• Reports, while present, and not very robust
When you are getting paid via contract, or from multiple sources, it is critical for you to track your activity for each project, as well as the amount of time you spend on each. I have a number of grants that I have received, and I need to track my activity and time on each for reporting purposes. Salary Book is an app that allows you to do this. This is the iPhone version, there is an iPad version which I did not review.
Figure 1 - The main home screen, where you can track your total earnings and time worked.
The first thing you can do in Salary Book is input a number of pre-sets. You can add any projects or contracts that you have, along with the salary for each, using a different color scheme for each (for easy reference). You can also add a “default” work day (such as 9-5) which can include the default project, default salary, and default working time. All of these have to be put in place once you start to use the app.
Figure 2 - Pre-sets include the various color coded projects on which you are working.
Once these are in place, each day you can then add work that you have done. It will automatically default to the pre-set conditions, but you can modify them, changing the projects that you are working on, or the amount of time you spent doing a certain project. In my case, I put in multiple USDA grants I have, and was identifying how much time I was spending on each. I was less concerned with the salary portion, but I included that as well.
Figure 3 - The pre-settings include nromal hours worked and the normal salary.
Each day you simply add the time values that you worked (start time, end time) and the project and salary for that time period. Unfortunately, you can indicate a default salary for each project (in case you are getting paid at different rates) – those have to be entered manually. On the main screen, you can see a running total of how much money you have made and how much time you have worked (you can also switch to a week or month view). I think this is more for show that anything else (I will admit, it is fun to see you salary tick through, seeing the dollar amount increase each minute).
Figure 4 - Click the plus to add work being done while in calendar mode. The calendar shows the projects for each day.
There is also a reports option. In my opinion, this is where this app fails the most. You can see a slary report (with the dollar amount based on the time interval and jobs you chose) or a worked time. Unfortunately the report gives you the total – it doesn’t break it down by job. So graphically, I see a line indicating how much I made (or how much I worked) each day (or month), but I can’t easily see which project I have spent the most time on, or which has paid you the most. You can export the information (to CSV or a table). The export is done via email.
Figure 5 - Reports are limited, they don't break down the time worked or salary earned by projects, instead just showing a total.
The one other thing I would have liked to see is an easier method to input data about the projects you are working on. I was envisioning something like a screen with buttons, where you can just hit a button and it “starts” the project, and then it again to stop with the amount of time automatically recorded (or you can hit another project button to stop the current one and start a new one). There is a place where you can type a note for each time interval, so you can identify what you were working on, but the overall method of inputting the data is a little cumbersome.
All in all, Salary Book is a reasonable app that can be used to record activity on different projects. It seems to focus a little more on “show” that usability (such as having a big counter slowly increasing as you work, showing the total money you have made), but it is still a usable app that can be modified relatively easily to keep track of multiple projects. Primarily for billing purposes, it can also just used just to monitor the amount of time you spend on certain projects. At $4.99, I would have liked to see a little more in terms of features or user interface, but if you need to track billable hours, this app certainly does the job. Three and a half out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. All opinions expressed in this review are precisely that – opinions. You may agree or disagree. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.