Screenshot Monitor Desktop Notifications

When users are tracking their time on the desktop, they see small notifications next to the system tray. There are examples of these notifications:

When a screenshot is taken, users see this:

This notification can be disabled if a manager sets “Notify when screenshot is taken” to Off in Manager’s settings  or employee disables this setting in the program.

When monitoring starts, users see this:

started

When monitoring stops, users see this:

When monitoring is paused after 5 minutes of inactivity (you can change this in Manager’s settings), users see this:

When a user resumes the work (after the program was  paused because of inactivity), the program automatically resumes and gives the choice: discard the idle time (default) or add this time as offline:

You should note that in these cases the time is discarded automatically and this option is not  given when a user was idle for more than 8 hours or less than 1 minute. This option is also inaccessible, if a manager prohibit this employee to add offline time.

Manager & other roles in Screenshot Monitor

Screenshot Monitor  has 4 roles:

  1. User – an employee/freelancer/worker who tracks his time and has access to his own data only
  2. Manager – an employee who can be granted access to other employees’ data.
  3. Administrator – an employee with full control over Team, Projects & Settings. Does not have access to owner’s “My Account” page settings
  4. Owner – the owner of the company account. Can optionally track his time.

Assigning user to a role is simple: on the Team page select a user (in the example below it is Brian) and select a proper role. If you’ve selected a Manager – then you will see “Manager for” section with toggle buttons next to employees you want him to manage (in the example below James, Till & Victor).

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Note the icon with number 2 next to Brian’s name – this indicates that Brian manages 3 employees.

Your newly created manager will now be able to see the selected employee’s Timeline and run Reports.  A manager will never see money values for a person he manages. Rates & money are visible to admin and employee himself, but not a manager. Manager will still have no access to Settings or Projects pages – only admin can change these.

Note that you can also share the screenshots and reports with clients without a need for them to login.

App & URL tracking – employees don’t like it

After notifying our users about the release of App & URL tracking, we have received this colorful opinion from the employee’s side of view, and we’ve got a permission to post it unedited without mentioning the author’s name:

I’m not happy with this. You keep adding more and more performance indicators for workers… I don’t know how everyone else feels about this, but I feel persecuted, haunted. What’s wrong with trust anyway? Are you like this with your girlfriends or wives? I understand the means of this kind of service and I believe it’s really useful. But things are getting quite uncomfortable for me, at least.

OverTheShoulder

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App & URL tracking

App & URL tracking  is a  feature of Screenshot Monitor that will monitor what applications your team members are using and what websites they are visiting. You can see it under “Apps & URLs” link on the Timeline next to “Tasks”.apps and urls

App & URL tracking is turned ON by default and can be disabled by the account owner. This feature is available in the Professional version only. See Demo (click on an employee’s name there to go to timeline)  to get a feel for it.

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”.

A case study on sharing tracked time & screenshots with client

In freelancing clients often request from freelancers to use time tracking / screenshot monitoring services. Even if clients do not require that – there are still many reasons for a freelancer to use such services – clients will value it. Lets see how a freelancer can track time for himself, and then share the time and screenshots with client.

ShowScreen

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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