All posts by Ross Sudentas

Employee desktop application settings

Most of the settings – like number of screenshots, Activity tracking, App & URL tracking – are controlled on the web by a manager on the Settings page.  This post describes web settings in details.

Nevertheless, there are other settings – primarily related to user interface – that are controlled by the users in the menu of their desktop applications. Here we will explain what these settings do.

Launch Screenshot Monitor when I start system

The app will be launched when the computer starts. While the application will be loaded, the tracking will not start automatically by default. The default is “Yes”.

Automatically start tracking when I launch Screenshot Monitor

The tracking will start without pressing “Start button” right after the application is launched. This is often combined with “Launch Screenshot Monitor when I start system” setting, when tracking has to be run all the time while the computer is running (for example when using time tracking in an office). The default is “No”.

Display a notification in tray when a screenshot is taken

A small notification will pop up next to the tray, showing that the screenshot was taken and the name of the current task. The default is “Yes”.

This option on the desktop is only available when in web settings manager selects “Notify when screenshot is taken” – only then an employee has an option to show, or not to show the notification.

Minimize button minimizes to the tray

When Minimize button is pressed – the app will be shown on the taskbar (like any other program). If you check this option, the minimize button will collapse the app without showing it on the taskbar,  so only the icon in the tray will indicate it is running. The default is “No”.

I hate Activity Levels in Screenshot Monitor

We have recently released Activity Levels in Screenshot Monitor – many employers have been requesting it for quite some time. Immediately we have received this very frustrated email. We are publishing it unedited (it was anonymous and it had no reply-to address), because despite the tone, it voices a very real concern that kept us from introducing the Activity Levels into SSM for quite some time. The concern is that productivity will be measured – to a large extent – by how actively user uses the mouse and the keyboard, not by results – and in most of the cases it is just wrong. What do you think?

I really hate the Activity level in SSM! I hate it!

I know you said in the mail, that activity does not reflect your job, because every job is different. Continue reading

New features: Summary on the Dashboards and Pie Chart reports

You may have noticed that Screenshots Monitor got a few small improvements. If you go to My Home (you can see it on Demo), at the top you will see the summary or work for today – how many employees were active today and how much time they have worked: img005

If you want to see more – just click on one of the links to get to reports. For example, if you’ve clicked on the time for today (10h 12m in the image above) – it will take you to reports where you can see in greater details how much time was spend today per employee, per project, or per task note (select one of the tabs Employees, Projects or Notes):

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Don’t neglect “Share this report” link on this page – it allows you to share the report with your clients without asking them to login.

How to share your tracked time & screenshots with clients

In ScreenshotMonitor the typical scenario is when a freelancer (or an employee) tracks their time and a manager looks at the submitted data on the ScreenshotMonitor.com website. But what if a company works on a project for some client with whom they’d want to share the same information? Or a freelancer tracks time for himself and then would want to share it with his clients? Easy!

save report

Continue reading

How random the screenshot are being taken? Can freelancer cheat?

how often

Time between screenshots

Screenshot Monitor in Professional version can take screenshots up to 30 times per hour or every 2 minutes on average. Does it mean a freelancer has 2 minutes to do nothing between screenshot? Not  with our program!

Let’s say you’ve set to take screenshots 12 times per hour (or every 5 minutes on average).  Then in 90% of the cases a screenshot will be taken in 2 to 9 min after the previous screenshot. In 10%  – and here’s the catch that won’t allow freelancers to cheat – a screenshot is taken in 1 min after the previous.

Have any other suggestions how to cheat time tracking? Share in comments – we will have no loopholes left!

How to use task references in Screenshot Monitor

When you track time with Screenshot Monitor, you often work on a task defined in one of a dedicated project management applications (Basecamp / Asana / Pivotal Tracker, etc). Screenshot Monitor allows you to add a reference to that task’s ID in a very simple manner. Add a text prefixed with “#” like #245 (where 245 is the task’s ID in another app) to the notes  –  and ScreenshotMonitor will pick it up and place it into a separate “Ref #” field when you export your report to Excel (Detailed report only) or access your data via API. RefNo

The reference does not need to be a number – it can be any word starting with #.

Another way it is often used is to add into the notes common tasks or categories like #support, #meeting, #UnitTesting, etc. When managers export it to Excel, they will get these categories in the “Ref #” field. This make it easy to get a summary (using Excel pivot tables for example) of how many hours was spent on each of this tasks/categories. Most of the users will probably never use this, but if in addition to Projects and Notes you need categories/tasks – this mechanism gives advanced users a very flexible and easy to use tool.