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Project Timesheet Submission

Your project timesheet entries should be made daily, as you work on your project. Timesheets are to be "submitted" the day after each design milestone so that the client can be "billed" for that milestone's work.

A new timesheet task list will be added to your list of tasks at the start of each milestone/project phase, in the project management website.

Use instructions:
It is a good idea to review the timesheet task list right away when it appears so that you know what categories to think about when you are working. Activities should be recorded on a daily basis. You do not need to make an entry on a day when you do not work on your project. For the first 3-ideas presentation phase timesheet, if you can remember how much time you spent on various activities in the first few weeks, please enter those times. Otherwise, just start from when the task list became available.

You can enter your time data online directly, or you can download an excel spreadsheet. However, if you use the spreadsheet, you will still need to enter the data online before each submission deadline. You may want to look at descriptions of the different categories when completing your timesheets as well as review the examples before you start.

To get started, login to your team's project management website at (opens in new window).

There are two methods in which you may log your time.

  • using the timesheet task list in the Tasks tab. You can enter times that you have manually noted elsewhere, (on paper or in a spreadsheet template that is provided).
  • using the timer available in the Time tab. The system automatically records your time and lets you associate it with a task in the timesheet task list.

Once entered, you can view a summary report of your logged time.

To submit your timesheet at the end of a milestone phase, check off the submit this timesheet sub task at the end of the timesheet task for the given phase.

Logging time using the timesheet task list

As each project phase begins, a timesheet task list will appear under your Tasks tab.

The first milestone's timesheet (3-ideas presentation) looks like the following:

The tasklist name specifies which milestone's activities should be recorded in that timesheet. Categories of activities are listed as sub-tasks within the task list.

Note that the last task in the task list is "Submit this timesheet". Check off the box next to this task to indicate that you are done recording time for this timesheet/project phase. This will tell the timesheet administrator that your timesheet data is ready to be processed.

Your timesheet tasklist is private to you. You can check this by clicking on the lock icon next to the task list name, which should indicate that only the 2.009 administrator and yourself have access to the task list. Therefore, although the sub-tasks default to being assigned to "Anyone", the only person that has access to those tasks is yourself.

Time should be recorded against the most specific description for the activity (e.g., sketching), and not the broad, general categories (e.g., designing) in the timesheet task list unless none of the sub-categories fit. There are two ways to expand the task list to see the sub-tasks (sub-categories of activities). One can click on the number of sub-tasks on the left or on the sub-tasks icon on the right.

Click on the more... link to see a more detailed description of what kinds of activities are included in the sub-category.

Click on the Log time icon (a clock to the right of the subtask name) to record time spent in that activity. A dialog will appear asking for more details about that activity. For example, specify what topic you are researching, what part you are prototyping, which team members you are meeting with. Remember that timesheets entries are usually sent to the client after management review, so please make entries that would be clear for the client to understand. Since you are logging time against a task, you do not need to repeat the name of the task in your description, but you should provide specific details about what you were doing.

Click the "Log this time" button when you are done entering the information in the form.
Do not click the "Task is now complete" button.


  • Please be sure to specify the date that the activity was performed, not the date that you entered the time into the system.
  • The start time is optional.
  • The time spent should be recorded as accurately as possible. Round to the nearest 5 minutes.
  • Most of the time, your logged time will be billable. Exceptions include class lectures and time spent on 2.009 organization that is not project related (e.g., electing team officers in Lab 1). Do not be too concerned about this field, just give it your best shot. Management always makes the final decision about whether time is billed anyways.
  • For meetings with the team/section, indicate that the meeting is with the team or section. If a meeting is with a smaller group of people, indicate who you are meeting with. This helps management identify what time recorded amongst different people reflect the same activity. Conventions include using initials or first initial and last name of colleagues. For 2.009, you may use your teammate's first names.
  • Any activities that do not mention you are doing them with a teammate or with your team/section are assumed to be individually performed (with the exception of things like class lectures, etc, which are obviously activities with other people). So, if that is not the case, be sure to indicate who you were working with in the description.
  • Try your best at recording activities in the right categories. You will receive feedback after the first timesheet.
  • You will spend a lot less time overall by recording time each day instead of trying to record time at the end of each design milestone.

Viewing your logged time

Click on the Time tab to view your logged time.

The time that you have logged on the system within the default time range will be displayed. Change the date range and hit the Update button to display time logs for a different date range. If you have just made an entry and it does not show up on this page, hit the Update button to refresh the page.

(Click on image for larger version.)

Click on a time log entry (each row of the table) to bring up a dialog that will allow you to view its details, edit the time log entry or delete the time log entry.

Logging time using the timer

Instead of recording time after the fact, you can also record time as you are performing activities by starting and stopping a timer. This is probably the most accurate way to keep time and, once you get into the habit of doing this, you will end up spending the least amount of time keeping track of your time. To use the timer, click on the Start timer button available from the Time tab.

A timer bar will appear in the bottom of your web browser window. The bar shows the time elapsed and provides controls for pausing the timer (Pause button), canceling the timer (Close Timer button), or logging the time that has elapsed (Log this time button). You may also indicate whether this time should be billable or not.

When you click the Log this time button, a dialog appears that lets you enter details (Add a description field) for your time log entry. You may also modify the time logged. Most importantly, you can associate the entry with a task so that the time can be classified accurately.

Clicking on the "Choose an existing task..." link will bring up a dialog with a combo box that lets you choose with which task to associate this time log entry. Putting the timesheet task list at the top of your tasks list (drag and drop by grabbing handle at far left of task list name) will make it more likely that the timesheet tasks will appear near the top of this combo box. Select the most specific category for your activity (i.e., "identifying design problems" instead of "Designing").


Alternatively, the time tab also allows you to enter completed time by clicking on the Log Time button.

A dialog form appears for you to enter the date, time, and description of the time log entry. Then click the Task tab to associate the entry with an existing task.

Other Notes:

  • A "day" may end at midnight or whenever you go to sleep, whichever is later.
  • When a block of time involves a mix of many activities, use your best effort to allocate the time spent among the various activities.
  • No entry is needed for days in which no time is spent on 2.009.
  • Do not over bill (e.g., record class or lab time if you did not attend class or lab). This timesheet system is not used to keep track of attendance in any way. The 2.009 instructor and your lab instructor will not know whether you recorded time for classes/labs or not.
  • The task list is editable/deletable. Please do not delete your task list, as it will be easier for you to complete your timesheet accurately using the task list template.

This is a new way of doing timesheets in 2.009. Unfortunately, the team project management software does not support labeling of time entries, which is why we are using the task list's subtasks to make it easier for you to label your time entries. If you have suggestions, questions, or comments about the system, let us know. You can talk to any course instructor or TA or send email to the 2009sysadmin mailing list.