How to automate time tracking - 7pace
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Published:Apr 02, 2024

How to automate time tracking

Time tracking can help you to assess productivity, streamline workflow, allocate resources, and estimate future project timelines. offers built-in features that can help you track time. But how well do these native features serve your needs? And more importantly, are there more efficient ways to automate time tracking?

In this article, we’ll delve into how the time tracking feature in works, its advantages, its challenges, and how to automate time tracking.

How does time tracking work?

The native time tracking feature inside of is super straightforward. Here’s how to set it inside of your board:

To add the Time Tracking column to your board, scroll over the + to the right of your other column fields. screenshot showing the "Add Column" feature with the drop-down for column type options

Click on More columns. A new page will appear. Type “time tracking” into the search box. Select the Time Tracking option by clicking Add to board.

screenshot of the time tracking power-up and Add to board button

To start tracking your time, click the play button in the appropriate cell corresponding to the activity or project you’re clocking to.

screenshot showing the Time Tracking column with little play buttons in each cell

Press the pause button when taking a break or fully completing the task.

You can manually add your work time by double-clicking the cell in the time tracking column.

screenshot clicked into a time trackign cell showing the Add session manually option

How to automate time tracking

Pressing play/pause may not be the best way for your team to track their time, as it can easily lead to forgotten or inaccurate entries when work gets hectic. has a feature to help automate time tracking.

All you need is a Status column on your board.

Status column showing default options done, waiting on it, stuck, and not started

If you don’t see this column on your board, you can add one by following the steps above. Click + > Status (under Essentials).

Now, click the Automate button at the top of your board.

Automate button in the upper right hand next to a robot icon

You’ll see a popup page of the Automation Center. Click on the Create custom automation button.

create custom automation blue button underneath "when date arrives, do something"

Choose your When this happens trigger by selecting status changes to something. Click Status and select the name of your status column from the drop-down. Then click something and select the status that will kickstart your timer. In this example, we’re using Working on it.

Status and Working on it selected as options to update

Click Then do this and select start time tracking. Select time tracking and choose the relevant time tracking column name (in our case, it’s just the one: Time Tracking). Click Create automation.

when Status changes to Done, then stop Time Tracking

Whenever you or someone on your team changes the status of any task Working on it, the time tracker will start ticking.

Next, you’ll need to create at least one more automation to stop the time tracker when you change to another status.

Again, click the Add automation button.

blue add automation button in the upper right hand corner of the screen

Click When this happens > status changes to something. Click Status to select your status column and something to update the stop indicator (in our example, we’re using Stuck). Click Then do this > stop time tracking. Click time tracking and select the relevant time tracking column title.

when Status changes to Stuck, then stop Time Tracking

If you need to add more statuses (maybe Break or Pause) to stop the tracker, you can duplicate the stopping automation you just created. Click on the three dots to the far right of the automation sequence and click Duplicate Automation.

three dot drop down with Duplicate Automation showing as the section option

Then, modify the status (e.g., click on Stuck and select Done).

when Status changes to Done, then stop Time Tracking

You can repeat this process to attribute start and stop times to different status markers.

Advantages of using the native time tracker:

The native time tracker offers a lot of flexible features. Here are the most important ones:

  • Accurate and easy time tracking: You can start, pause, and resume the timer with a simple click and manually edit or delete the entries.
  • Customizable time display: You can show the time in seconds or minutes, depending on your preference and project needs.
  • Detailed time log and history: You can view each task’s progress and time intervals and the total time tracked across all items in the group summary using the Formula Column.
  • Exportable data to Excel: You can export the entire Time Tracking column or specific items to Excel for easy reporting and analysis.

When an app can enhance time tracking in

The time tracker is a workable solution for basic time tracking—but larger teams may find the manual nature of status swapping cumbersome. 

Manual time tracking can result in mistakes

Some teams might find that time tracking needs more flexibility for their organizational setup because you only have the Start/Pause button as an option to log time. But by using a third-party app — like 7pace Timetracker for — you avoid relying on your team to hit the start and pause buttons every time because you can use direct time entries inside of your items and subitems.

Add time to a project with 7pace Timetracker for

Or you can use the drag-and-drop features to log your time.

you can use the drag-and-drop features to log your time

When time tracking feels like a “second job.”

Inflexible time tracking can feel like a second job for your team members. Inefficient time tracking leads to various issues that can hinder your productivity and progress. Some of these issues may include:

  • Decreased productivity: Manual time tracking can slow your team down, especially if they have to track every single task they do manually every day.
  • Less workflow efficiency: The focus shift that manual time tracking requires can lead to workflow inefficiencies and project bottlenecks.
  • Payment and timesheet errors: Inefficient time tracking increases the chance of mistakes, which can confuse your team and lead them to underestimate or overestimate their time just to be on the safe side. Inaccurate estimates, in turn, can lead to payment issues.

When you need more data

The time tracker enables you to export the data into time sheets. But you might need an additional app if you want deeper insight and more sophisticated reporting on project health and team performance.

The app marketplace  offers a variety of apps that temas can leverage to create a deep reporting and analytics dashboard that can help you run your project in a more data-driven way.

7pace Timetracker for – a time tracking alternative

7pace Timetracker for simplifies time tracking within your boards, providing comprehensive tracking, reporting, and insights seamlessly.

You can install 7pace Timetracker from the app marketplace and start tracking your time on any item or subitem on

The app automatically syncs your time entries with, showing your total logged hours on each item, group, board, or workspace.

You can compare your estimated time vs. actual time directly in the item view and use integration recipes to track your project progress based on your total logged hours. You can also analyze your time tracking data using attributes, such as item title, group, board, name, workspace, or person, across all boards and workspaces.

overview of 7pace Timetracker for

Gain access to detailed reports packed with critical data points, empowering managers and stakeholders to effectively assess the project’s progress and health.

Some critical reports that this reporting provides include:

  • The budget spent versus planned.
  • The cumulative budget spent week over week.
  • The billable hours spent on each item, subitem, and project.

If you find that one of your items went over budget and time, you can check the data by opening the item and checking who’s in charge.

You can use the 7pace All Time records feature that aggregates all the data from time entries and puts it in one collective dashboard.

Aggregating the data provides a transparent 360 view of time spent across the whole team. You can then filter all work logs and check comments to understand how the tasks are progressing and the causes for inaccurate estimates.

You can adjust the project to keep the budget or rearrange things with other stakeholders.

In short, teams can use time tracking data to:

  • Keep track of the planned budget and hourly rates.
  • Identify and understand potential blockers and obstacles.
  • Calculate the amount needed to complete a project.
  • Send out invoices and do budget forecasting.

The benefits of automating your time tracking

Time tracking automation doesn’t just improve your workflow efficiency and project management. It also significantly impacts your team’s morale and mental capacity. Let’s go over some key benefits of automating your time tracking.

1. Precision

Precision is vital for time tracking. Manual logging of hours can often lead to inaccuracies, as it relies heavily on human memory and interpretation. On the other hand, automated time trackers like 7pace bring in a level of accuracy that manual methods can’t match.

Your team works on various tasks throughout the day, from high-priority projects to internal meetings and emails. Each task takes up a chunk of their day, but not all make it onto their weekly or monthly timesheets.

Automated time tracking guarantees that every minute of work, including the often overlooked tasks like internal work, communication, and travel, is captured accurately. This comprehensive tracking leaves no room for error, making your timesheets more precise, fair, and reliable.

2. Focus

Research suggests that employees can spend up to two hours each day searching for information about what they need to work on. Now, add the hassle of manual time tracking to that. The cumulative mental impact that would have on your team is staggering.

Removing manual logging allows your team to focus on what they do best — their work. And with the added time, they can channel their energy into productive tasks rather than administrative ones.

3. Boost productivity

Automating “shallow work” like time tracking can save significant time for strategically valuable tasks. Manual time tracking can also be a source of anxiety and interruptions for many. Automated tracking alleviates these concerns, allowing teams to focus on their most meaningful work.

This increased focus and efficiency can lead to a noticeable boost in productivity.

4. Increase job satisfaction

Purpose, autonomy, and mastery are three intrinsic motivators that drive better performance. Repetitive and mundane tasks like manual time tracking can sap motivation.

By automating low-value tasks like time tracking, you enable employees to focus on tasks that align with their personal goals and contribute to their growth. This enhances their job satisfaction and improves their performance and well-being.

5. Streamlined billing and reporting

Last but not least, automated time tracking can simplify your billing and reporting process. With automatic reminders, employees are more likely to remember to log their hours, improving time-tracking compliance.

The data collected through automated tracking can be translated into detailed reports. These reports can provide valuable insights for billing and management.

Automate your time tracking today

The time tracker will get you started, but you might eventually want a time tracking app to take your analytics and reporting to the next level.

That’s where 7pace Timetracker steps in. The app streamlines your time tracking, making it effortless. You can record time right where work is done, spot gaps using various calendar views, and compare planned versus actual time to improve estimates.

Use the 7pace Timetracker for and see how it helps you and your team amplify your work.

Free eBook

Rethinking Timekeeping for Developers:

Turning a Timesuck Into Time Well Spent

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