Virtual work-spaces have replaced many traditional offices. In such a setup, co-workers contribute from different parts of the world over the internet. Most of the teammates may not ever meet each other in person during the whole project lifetime. Still in many areas such setup is the most efficient if a manager can lead the team properly. Here are some tips on how to make your remote team more productive.
ScreenshotMonitor.com offers a white label service that allows freelancer websites to integrate time tracking / screenshot monitoring functionality into their service fast and with minimal investment. Continue reading
We have updated the Screenshot Monitor desktop application for Linux to better support Ubuntu, Debian and derivatives (Mint, Elementary OS, etc). The installation now is more familiar through the Debian or RPM packages. Users of Ubuntu, Debian would only need to download the appropriate package file and run the installation.
Download Screenshot Monitor for Linux – follow this link and select the appropriate package:
After installing the application, it will add the shortcut to the list of installed applications. For convenience you can put a shortcut to the desktop or to the quick menu.
What is Screenshot Monitor?
Screenshot Monitor for is desktop application for employees (PC, Mac OS X, Linux). It is started and stopped by an employee to track time and take their computer screenshots during work. No other information is being collected – this is NOT a spying tool. The time and screenshots are being sent to the web where managers can see them through the browser.
Taking screenshots (screen captures) of user displays in a .NET application is quite straightforward on Windows thanks to the Graphics.CopyFromScreen() method. If you want to take screenshots in your .NET Mono application on Linux or Mac OS X however, you will experience difficulties as System.Drawing implementation is incomplete on Mono.
Another limitation of Graphics.CopyFromScreen() is that you cannot take a screenshot of multiple displays at once.
We have stumbled on these problems when we needed to take screen captures reliably on all three platforms in our time tracking application Screenshot Monitor. So we have created a tiny open source .NET library that allows receiving screenshots of the main or all computer displays under Windows, Linux or Mac OS X (with Mono).
You can add it to your project via NuGet package:
PM> Install-Package Pranas.ScreenshotCapture
Then, you can start taking screenshots like this:
// take screenshot from primary display only
Image screen = Pranas.ScreenshotCapture.TakeScreenshot(true);
This library also allows taking screenshots from all of the displays at once with a single call like this:
// take screenshot from all displays at once
Image screen = Pranas.ScreenshotCapture.TakeScreenshot();
You can grab the source code or fork us on GitHub. The library is under MIT license, so basically can be used anywhere. Happy coding!
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!
Screenshot Monitor team has released a completely revamped version of its time tracking / screenshot monitoring desktop application for Mac OS X. The new time tracking application sports a native Mac OS X Cocoa user interface which is a huge improvement over the previous basic one.
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.
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.
If you are using Screenshot Monitor for time tracking, you usually select a project that you are working on and type a note that describes what you are doing. Let’s say in a few minutes you want to add a few more words to the note. If you add something to the note and hit enter – the app will create a new task. But what if you just wanted to edit the running task? To edit the task, right click on it (in the list of recent tasks) and select “Edit on website” (you can do it with a current or past tasks):
This will bring you directly to Task editing window on the website – here you can add additional comments to the selected note:
Managing employees and freelancers from across the globe can be difficult. You want to ensure that your freelancers are spending their time performing the work that you have asked them to perform.
Screenshot Monitor allows you to track your time against projects. Just click on the drop-down next to the current task and select a project from the list: