Posts by Erik Petersen:

OOLYO on the Evolution of TimeTracking

OOLYO on the Evolution of TimeTracking

Evolution of Timetracking

Benjamin Franklin, one of the most infamous founding fathers of the United States, gave us this quote: “Time is money. and timetracking your employees makes you money!” This statement couldn’t be more true than in the relationship between workers and employers. In order for our free-market system to function, employees must exchange their time with employers for an agreed upon wage that those employers must then pay. This is why using a time tracker for tracking work is so important – unless employers ensure that they are doing effective time management, it is less likely that workers will be reimbursed correctly. Let’s take a look at a typical American worker (we’ll call him …. Julio) and observe his journey through the history of time tracking.

It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that tracking work became a necessity. Prior to this time, most work performed was farming labor. In the old days, time management meant working when the sun was up and stopping when the sun went down – tracking hours did nothing to improve your productivity as long as necessary work was getting done. But when the Industrial Revolution came roaring through the 1800’s, the environment of work delivery shifted. Instead of Julio running a plow on his farm all day, he’s now working in a lumber factory. It’s likely that no one, including Julio, is tracking hours that Julio works. The factory owners love this because Julio’s labor is cheap, making the process of turning lumber into… smaller pieces of lumber really inexpensive.

After a few decades of unbridled factory work expansion, the governments benefiting from the Industrial Revolution decided that maybe it wasn’t so great for people to be working as much as they physically could. Laws were passed placing restrictions on the number of hours employees could work, and companies were required to start tracking employee hours to ensure compliance with the requirements. Employees and employers both benefited from this change – employees like Julio would have a record of the number of hours they worked to ensure they received correct wages, and companies were able to verify that their employees were working the hours they claimed. In order for this to work, employers needed an effective time management system in place.

Soon after these requirements were in effect, the first time clocks were made available. Like most things, they weren’t a great first attempt. The time clocks were bulky, expensive, and extremely hard to use for both employee and employer. Employees were required to place a thick time-card in exactly the right spot and pull a lever to correctly stamp their time card when they arrived for work and when they left. The employer would then need to collect, review, and manually enter the data from those time cards into a payment ledger. Imagine the most mundane data entry task you’ve ever completed – still way better than this. Although time clocks became smaller and easier to use throughout the century, software programs for managing time card data, including simple spreadsheets, weren’t available until the 1990’s.

So what can we expect to see in the modern workplace? Although some businesses still use an electrical time clock system in which an employee must have their physical time card stamped, many businesses are choosing to use integrated software to track employee time. When our friend Julio clocks into work, he is probably doing it on a computer screen, or on a mobile time tracking app. New software manages employee time electronically and can link with payroll and benefit software. This gives Julio and his employer a lot of new planning tools, such as tracking employee hours worked, planning upcoming pay, and reviewing accrued time off to visit the old farm.

Although time clocks have changed significantly in the last century, their purpose – to provide an accurate record of employee hours – remains an important part of the modern workplace. In the future, Julio and the rest of us will have access to good time tracking software, including more fluid system interfacing and improved mobile applications, making the process of employee time tracking easier for everyone.

OOLYO Mobile: Apple and Android Time Tracking

OOLYO Mobile: Apple and Android Time Tracking

OOLYO has mobile versions for tracking hours while away from your desk:

  1. Android Timetracker Version
  2. iOS Timetracker Version

Use the mobile versions to enter hours while out of office, visiting clients, or you just forgot to add your hours at the end of the day and need to get them in before the morning.

Best of all, the mobile versions are included with all versions.

See our pricing for further information.

See our features for what great functionality you get when using OOLYO to track your time:





 Read client testimonials on the benefits of OOLYO for your business.
“Oolyo has been an indispensable tool for me and my team during the last year! Tracking time could not be easier or more user-friendly than this. The data is extremely easy to extract; I can pull monthly reports in seconds, and for quick snapshots, I can view the report online and see beautiful graphs of time spent on projects and tasks. Best of all, the Oolyo support team is incredible, and they often reply to my inquiries within hours. We could not be happier with Oolyo’s time tracking solution.”
Jamie Melius – IT Coordinator, First Service Residential
Oolyo is a great tool for tracking my billable hours and reimbursed expenses for my consulting business.  I have a lot of clients and projects, but setting up Oolyo is fast and easy.  The program allows “me to record time, to the minute, for each project. Also, it allows my subcontractors to track their hours online, and I can download their progress from anywhere.   I use the excel reports to download the pre-filtered data for billing. Oolyo is an indispensable part of my business for time tracking and billing.”
Brenda Nailor, Nailor Regulatory Consulting Inc.

Began using for time-tracking for a SRED project. Oolyo is now used for our entire company and has replace our paper time sheets.

Greg Patrick – Redrick Technologies

A big thanks to our customers who’ve reviewed us on Capterra: