How to export timesheets from OfficeTime

OfficeTime is one of the more popular/higher rated time-tracking apps for iOS / OS X. On the whole, it’s fine.

But exporting the data – which is half of the app’s purpose – is extremely difficult. There’s no docs I could find either in the app or on the website. You have to google, get lucky, and find some old blog posts by the author with hints. And even then you still have to jump through a 9-step process.

Every time I need to do this, its sufficiently un-obvious that I forget how and have to figure it out again. So, here’s a step by step:

  1. You must have a wifi network that both your computer and iphone are on
    • Yes, really :(.
  2. Run OfficeTime on the desktop
  3. Create a new project you will never use (author requires you to do this – if you don’t create the blank project, the app quits itself!)
    • I prefer names like “Delete this that Officetime created”
  4. Run the app on iphone
  5. Go to the Settings menu (cog icon from the home screen)
  6. Select “Desktop Sync”
  7. Select “Sync with”
  8. …if everything’s working, your computer name will appear in the list…
  9. On the computer, ACCEPT the sync
  10. …nothing happens. None of your data appears, but don’t panic, this is “as expected”
  11. On the computer, open the Reports menu, and create any report – your data from iPhone will finally appear

…after that, it’s plain sailing. The UX of the desktop app is poor, but it’s trivial from here to get to Excel, and clean up the data.

UPDATE: getting it into Excel…

At first, I thought you should use the “Reports” menu.

Don’t do that – the export GUI is terrible, it saves files in the wrong format, and … the output format is harder for Excel to use. There’s an easier, better way…

Instead:

  1. Open the QuickStart menu
  2. …this will silently, magically, have gained a set of new options now that your iPhone is connected. One for each project on the iPhone
  3. Select the project you want to export. A window will appear with all the data, nicely formatted, easy to read
  4. NB: for me, the desktop app creates a phantom “0 minutes long” additional entry when you do this. Select it and delete it
  5. Select all the rows in the window, then CMD-C (copy), switch to Excel/OpenOffice.org and CMD-V (paste)
    • (this uses a better format than the built-in exporter, and you can manually clean it up)

This gives you the exact times, down to the nearest minute. Most people don’t bill their client that way – although it’s good to show the actual numbers, you usually want to do a precise (accurate) total, and then round to the nearest 15 minutes for each billable period.

Here’s the Excel / OOO formula for that:

Create a SUM cell for all your times (use the appropraite column, not C6:C10):
=SUM(C6:C10)

Create a ROUNDING cell for final number (C12 is wherever you put your SUM cell above):
=CEILING(C12; 1/24/60 * 15 )

NB: the “15″ in that last formula is the “number of minutes to round to” … replace it with “30″ for half-hours, “60″ for hours … etc.

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