There are many time tracking apps. All accounting softwares have the option of submitting timesheets within the system. And many people use that very happily. To be honest, I am more of an Excel-girl. I much prefer using Excel (or Google Sheets) timesheets. 


Having a spreadsheet in front of you, while you add time spent for the past day, helps keep an overview. 

Where did all that time go? Today? This month? The past month? What did I spend it on? How long were my days? 

My favourite app

I do use an app. (Clockify is my fave, and free, tool for this.). It really is very practical to start a clock on my phone. Or laptop. Instead of looking back at last week and trying to figure out what I did and when. 

But it also has a feel of social media to it. A post-and-run feeling. Like when you post a clever insight and nobody responds. And you move on to the next post. Forgetting about all the things you shared before. (Unless Facebook reminds you with a memory post). 




So I’m still transporting all this data from Clockify to my snug little Excel sheet. Where I can see day by day, month by month, what I’m spending my time on. How many hours I worked in a day. Which weekend days I used for work (or not). And when I was ill.

I feel more in control looking at my numbers like that. (And I love making different overviews and presentations out of my Excel that help me highlight whatever it is I want to understand better).

And I don’t think I’m the only one. 


In my experience, other people find it easier to look at a spreadsheet, too. Finally it makes sense to them that they feel super tired. Because they suddenly ‘see’ the full days. Five different projects in a day. Long days. No weekends. Same picture last month, the one before, then we can sit and talk about that. And figure out solutions for this toxic way of working. 

But apps look nicer

Obviously, apps and accounting software plugins can also generate overviews. And even nice looking graphs. But sometimes, looking at something simple that you remember filling out. Something that didn’t disappear after you clicked. Sometimes that really is a more powerful conversation starter.

Timesheets as a conversation starter about toxic work habits

For me, timesheets aren’t just an accountability tool. They are a management tool, for better management of your people. And in that, conversations are more key than pie charts. 

How about you?

How about you? Do you keep track of time spent and how? What tools work best for you in visualising possible issues?

And how do you hold yourself and your team accountable for what that picture looks like?

How I can help

 If you would like simple steps to set up and organise your finance & admin foundations guidance by me, you can get my bundle of six simple and short workshops. 

  • This bundle includes a Timesheet workshop for better planning, budgeting and management in your nonprofits that could be purchased separately.

You can also check out my YouTube channel here, and find a collection of videos on HR issues, fundraising, annual reporting, donations and other nonprofit operations topics.

Want to know more and ask questions?

If you want to discuss this more – jump into my nonprofit support community and get input from a wide range of peers and from myself!

Here is how you can join my free nonprofit support community

You can join my free nonprofit support community on the Heartbeat platform here. This group is a safe space for open exchange and discussion on potentially sensitive topics like boards, nonprofit management, fundraising, etc. You can visit the community via a browser or via an app. Here is the link to download the Heartbeat chat app in the Google Play store.

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