Introducing Project Template

You might need to create and manage multiple projects, and in many situations you want to set up the projects in a similar way. For example, you want to allow users in your projects to be able to add tasks, you do not want the Observers to see the rate of the users in the project, you want to prevent your users in the project from discarding logged screen shots, and etc. These options are not the default options therefore currently you need to adjust them manually after the project is created. When the number of projects is large, this could become quite tedious and time consuming. Now we have come up with a new feature called Project Template that allows you to pre-build a set of settings of a project and save them as a template. When you create a new project, you can use the Project Template to populate the settings to the new project. This will greatly reduce the effort to configure each new project and make the process much more efficient.

Here is how it works. First, you go to Manage >> Manage Templates to create a new Project Template. You will be presented with a 3-step wizard that guides you through setting the necessary options. These options are pretty much replica of those in a real project.

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Introducing Always-Active Task

Sometimes, a user does not always use computer to do his work. For example, one might need to make phone calls, have meetings, read documents, or write notes. These tasks are not necessarily performed using computer. Even on computer, the user might just be having a Skype call, in which case he does not really need to interact with computer therefore he might appear to be idle. In order to facilitate the tracking of these activities, we have introduced a new feature called Always-Active task. When a user logs time by selecting an Always-Active task, the time logged is always considered to be active, regardless whether the user has been interacting with the computer or not. This way, when a user needs to go to do work off the computer, he can simply switch the task to an Always-Active task and keep logging his work time.

When creating a task, a Manager can set the option to make the task Always-Active. It is completely to the discretion of the Manager.

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After a user logs time to the Always-Active task, it appears slightly different on the Track Time page. The color indication is little different and the activity meter is always in full strength. Here is an example.

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By logging time using Always-Active task, you have the benefits of (1) eliminating the need to manually add offline time later, and (2) still keeping the screen shot record if you do work on computer such as Skype call or watching video.

We hope that you find this feature useful. For more information about the feature, you can find it in this help document.

As always, we will be glad to hear your feedback and comments.

Basecamp 3 Integration is Available

We are happy to announce that Worksnaps now works with Basecamp 3. Basecamp 3 is the newest incarnation of the hugely popular project management tool. It is the 3rd revision and 37 Signals (the company that created Basecamp) claims that it is so much improved that it is a game changer. You can read more about Basecamp 3 here.

Worksnaps has been supporting integration with the previous two versions of Basecamp (called Basecamp Classic and Basecamp New, or Basecamp 2). Now Worksnaps can work with Basecamp 3. The projects and to-do’s from Basecamp 3 can be imported into Worksnaps and users can log time against those projects and to-do’s (we call them “tasks” in Worksnaps). For those who use Basecamp as project management tool, you will find Worksnaps enhances Basecamp with time tracking  and makes it even more powerful.

To integrate with Basecamp 3 in Worksnaps, you can go to “Profile & Settings” >> “3rd Party Integration“, you will find the Basecamp 3 section where you can link your Worksnaps account with your Basecamp 3 account. Then you will be import your Basecamp 3 projects and to-do’s into Worksnaps and start tracking time against them.

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For a detailed description on how to set up the integration with Basecamp 3, you can look up this help document.

We hope that you find the Basecamp 3 integration useful and look forward to hearing your feedback.

 

 

 

 

Worksnaps Mobile Version

We are happy to announce that Worksnaps mobile version is available in beta release. You can use the browser on your mobile device to go to our web site, then you will be directed to the mobile version once you log in. The mobile version allows you to easily check the stats of the logged time and view each user’s screen shots and detailed activity.

mobile_screen_shot_01    mobile_screen_shot_02

We hope that the mobile version will provide a convenient way for our users to check the project status and logged time on the go. It is a beta release now so there are still some details that we are working to refine. We will continuously improve it and provide better experience.

As usual, we welcome and appreciate any feedback and suggestions.

 

 

 

New Screen Shot Viewer

We are happy to release a new screen shot viewer that has much improved usability. Now, if you go to Track Time page to view your users’  time, you can click the magnifier icon next to a thumbnail image to bring up the new screen shot viewer to see the image with full resolution. The screen shot viewer will show as a overlay on top of the thumbnail page so that you can easily go back and forth without leaving the page.

The following is a diagram that explains various functions on the screen shot viewer.

screen_shot_viewer_03

(Click to enlarge the image)

With the screen shot viewer, you can easily navigate the screen shots by moving forward or backward for the next or previous image. For each screen shot, you can zoom in/out either by using the buttons or by using your mouse scroll wheel. You can use mouse to grab the image to pan it (when the image is enlarged and overflows the viewer). On the right-hand side, the information for the time slot (such as task, user entered description, activity meter) is displayed, as well as the detailed activity history. You can also adjust size the default image panel to suit your viewing comfort. If you select the largest size, the screen will fill the whole page and the right information panel will be suppressed, which is handy if you wish to see only the screen shot image.

We hope that you find the new screen shot viewer useful. As always, we welcome any feedback, comments and thoughts from you.

 

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New Worksnaps API Documentation

We are happy to announce the availability of the new Worksnaps API documentation. As you might know, Worksnaps APIs have been available for more than 3 years. Many customers are utilizing the APIs to do useful and interesting things such as generating customized report, integrating with internal accounting system, embedding Worksnaps time tracking into their own business workflow, or building pages that are more adapted to their own interface framework.

We see APIs as an important part of our product offerings. Why? There is an abundance of software solutions, especially as SaaS offerings, available to businesses to improve productivity. Worksnaps participates in this ecosystem by providing a leading solution for remote work time tracking. Businesses will pick and choose best-of-breed and most fitting solutions for their specific needs. No one solution can solve all the problems. Therefore it requires many of these solutions to work together in complex business processes. An open and flexible API will be crucial to make this happen. That is why we put a lot of emphasis in designing and providing a robust and flexible set of APIs for our customers.

api_documentation

We use Swagger to create our new API documentation. Swagger is a powerful tool for generating beautiful API documentation. What is best about it is that you can test the API calls within the documentation. All you need to do is enter your API token and prepare necessary input data (if needed), then you can launch the API call right there. It is explained in How to Test API section in the documentation.

Also, one quick reminder — the API entry URL has been changed to https://api.worksnaps.com/api as previously announced in this blog article. Please make any necessary adjustments in your programs where the API calls are issued.

We hope that this new API documentation will help you better understand how to use Worksnaps API and make use of it. As always, we will be happy to hear your feedback and suggestions.

 

Change to Worksnaps API Entry URL

We are making a change to our API URL entry point. Before you might be using https://www.worksnaps.net/api or https://www.worksnaps.info/api to access Worksnaps API. Now you are required to issue API requests to https://api.worksnaps.com/api which is served by a new server dedicating to handling API requests.

For example, if you want to retrieve all your projects, the API invocation URL will be

https://api.worksnaps.com/api/projects.xml

(Please note that you still need “api” in the path of the URL.)

Here is the visual example of invoking the API using a web browser for illustration purpose —

api_call_new_server

Please make such adjustments in your API caller programs. We will block the API access to all other URLs on Oct 31, 2015. If there is any question, feel free to send your query to support@worksnaps.net. We will be happy to hear from you.