One of the most important things a small business manager can do is make sure that everyone is taking on a fair share of the workload. If some are taking on a bigger share of the work than others, it can lead to hurt feelings and inefficiency. Timely is an app that hopes to make that task easier to manage by thinking about how much time everyone is spending on work in total.
Unlike other apps that focus on when you worked on a specific task or project, Timely starts with a more high-level view of your work week. You estimate how long you’ll take to work on a project on an upcoming day and use that to decide how much more work to take on or meetings to have. Once that day arrived, you’d use the app’s timers to verify how long it actually took, and by entering billing rates you can even tell how much clients owe for your work.
It’s been available on iOS and the web for about six months now, and today the six-person team is releasing a new feature that lets you import meetings and events from your calendar so that you don’t have to enter the same information across multiple apps.
It works well, but if you don’t have administrative privileges for your calendar’s privacy settings, you can’t import that data, a problem I faced when attempting to test it with my TechCrunch calendar through Google Apps. Right now it handles calendar data using an iCal link, but a future update will let you bypass the issue by logging in directly.
Timely is free to use as an individual, but you’re limited on the number of projects you can manage at once. It makes the most sense to use Timely as a team or company on one of its paid plans, which start at $49 per month for a team of five. Along with making it super simple to keep track of how heavy of a load each person is working on (as you can look at co-workers’ hours spent on shared projects), it eliminates the Google Apps issue because you’ll only have to make one change to privacy settings for everyone.
The time tracking and management space has been getting a lot of newcomers lately. Hours is making it easier to log exactly when you worked on a project, while Timeful helps to find the best time slot for the activities you want to squeeze into your schedule. Each addresses a slightly different facet of task management, and lately I’ve been using them together to get a better idea of how I could get the most out of my days.
While Timely isn’t drawing in millions of dollars in funding from big VC firms, it did recently bring in $100,000 in seed money thanks in part to a grant from Innovation Norway. So far the company has managed to bring on 13,000 companies with essentially no marketing budget, and Timely CEO Mathias Mikkelsen says the grant money will go to rolling out new features that eliminate more steps in the app’s already simple workflow.
This video shows Timely in action: