Another great usage is to track the time spent on non-billable or project activities. This is a must for metrics-driven (read: obsessed) executives!
I personally use it religiously to track how I spend my time during the day. I started by using simple Service Items like Administration, Sales, Marketing and Vacation.
I was then able to see where I spend my time for a given period using a customized Time by Item report. NetSuite's standard graph feature gave me the big picture:
I realized I was spending way too much time on Administration, so I set a goal for myself to spend 10% more time on sales, and delegate some tasks.
Now I needed more data within the Sales Service Item. On which prospect did I spend my time? When I sign a contract, what is my profitability, including my loaded cost?
So I started to enter the prospect's name on my time entries.
I make a phone call? 0:05 minutes on the prospect. Sent an email with a PDF? 0:15 minutes on another prospect.
Now I have a great image of how I spend my time!
It's all in the categorization
After 5 years of running this consulting shop, we came up with a good list. We are still improving on it and cleaning it up, but we are way ahead from where we started.
Here is the non-billable items we use as of today:
- Business Development
- Estimates, POC and Sales activities
- Family obligations (bereavement, kids)
- Marketing - AdWords & Analytics
- Marketing - Customer Surveys
- Marketing - Events
- Marketing - Newsletters
- Marketing - Press Relations
- Marketing - Technological Watch
- Marketing - Web Site - Content & Structure
- Paid Holidays
- People - Evaluations