I hate time tracking. Really-really, and it’s not about any kind of problems I may have being watched – it’s just the fact that, in most organizations where employee time is carefully checked, humans slowly become robots – in a way or another. On the other hand, smart time tracking and wise decisions that follow from its analysis can lead to good things, especially in smaller companies. Well, considering all these, I am sure that StaffLogger is a pretty interesting option to a lot of people who have to assign tasks to other people and make sure that everything goes smoothly.
The last version of StaffLogger is 4.6 and, since there’s no official information about this but it doesn’t come with any drivers/services to install, I guess it works fine with most popular Windows versions. What I can tell you for sure is that this program works like a charm on my Windows XP SP3 computer. Other than that, I guess it’s trial and error… and since I said that, let me add that the trial version of StaffLogger can be used for as long as 30 days – I have no idea about the limitations of this edition, and the price of the full version is $29.95.
The setup package of this program has only 2.8 MB in size and installing it was a real pleasure – no toolbars, no spyware, no headache-generating options, nothing more but a few clicks and… time arrives to face the looks and works, of course!
StaffLogger has a really basic interface, but that’s not an issue. What really bothers me is its complete lack of documentation, multilanguage support with nothing more but five languages (English, Finnish, Hungarian, Russian and… Vietnamese!) and the fact that all the menus, except Help, contain a single item. Sure, the Help menu has two items (Web site and About…), both of them virtually useless to a user looking for some information…
From what I can tell, all you have to do is run this program and it will record the time you spend doing one thing or another. Obviously, you can protect it with a password, so the ones being watched shouldn’t be able to mess with it – at least messing with it won’t be anything really easy, since I am sure there’s gotta be a way to go around StaffLogger…
… but the problem is not going around it or not, it’s the lack of features. For example, there’s no way to save reports to a remote location or send them automatically via email, not to mention a really basic thing: export to local files in a format that can be easily processed by another application, for example CSV or even Excel/PDF files.
What I really like about StaffLogger is that, compared to some similar programs I used so far, it’s not heavy at all on your system. Sending it to background in invisible mode and bringing it back up can be done with a simple keyboard shortcut – Ctrl+Alt+F7, but there’s also a little problem here, since you can’t change this combination…
… and, to make things even worse, I must say that I have no idea how to assign actions to a category. For example, there’s Work, but what can be defined as Work? No idea, no documentation, no need to bother contacting the company behind this product to get support – this should be something really straightforward, not a mystery!
Anyway, since trial is free, you may want to leave this program running for a day or two, then check where’s your precious time going. It may not be a brilliant piece of code, but it can surely help you realize some things… or not.
Tips & Tricks
If you want to use StaffLogger to spy on your employees, be sure not to end up with a lawsuit on your hands!
StaffLogger 4.6 looks decent, works with all popular Windows operating systems and is really light on your system. At first sight, pricing for the full version seems like a pretty good deal…
… but the truth may be a bit different, since a lot of features I’d like to see here are missing, customization capabilities are completely absent and same thing goes for the documentation.
I’m not saying that this program is a complete ripoff, but if you consider buying it, I think you should throw a bunch of support requests at the company behind it before doing that. If you don’t get your questions answered properly before purchasing it, then… don’t purchase it! Oh, yeah – you may also want to take a good look at the features you get – for some people/companies, StaffLogger may be enough, but I can surely tell you a lot of others need much more than what’s here…