While the BigTime website has been optimized for use on your mobile device, the iPhone companion app is a perfect tool for customers who want advanced features like online/offline entry and integration with the contact, phone and email features of your iPhone.
This article will introduce you to some of the basic features in the system. We'll also show you where to go if you need more in-depth help.
Once you've logged in to the system, you'll be forwarded to the main screen for the mobile application. Click any of the icons on that screen to jump into specific areas of the system. You can always follow the BACK button in the application's navigation bar to walk backwards to the home screen.
- The mobile app is organized around key areas of work. It’s designed to accommodate the tasks that you’ll most likely do when on the go: Timesheets, Expenses, Project List, and Staff List.
- To make it even easier to track time, you can access timers from the home page. Once you’re logged in, you’ll see the timer icon, and the number of timers you have paused. Click on the icon and you’ll see the timers you've got “in progress.”
- The project and staff lists are automatically connected to maps, phone and email functions. Tap on a client’s address and you’ll be able to open the maps app. Tap on a phone number to dial it or an email to send a quick note.
- Your data is synced with you BigTime website behind the scenes.Your Not connected? No problem. Log your time or expenses offline, and BigTine will sync with the website behind the scenes when a connection is available.
- Drag to refresh lists and items. Most of the screens in the system support drag-refresh. Just pull down on the screen until you see a refresh icon and then release to update your local data cache.
If you’re using the mobile app to track time, you’ve got a couple of options. You can enter time into the system manually, just like you do in the website. Or, you can use the mobile application's "timer" feature to keep track of work in progress throughout your day.
When you navigate to the timesheets area, you’ll be able to scroll through your timesheets week-by-week. Your total hours for the week display at the top of the page, right next to the time period that toggles through the calendar by week.
The days of the week display in separate, easy-click tiles. You’ll notice that days are marked with a gray, green, or red triangle to indicate whether they are partially or completely filled. Days that are partial are in red, and full days are in green. Future days, where time has not yet been entered, are gray.
TIP: Timers Are Added to Today
If you have any running timers, that time is added to the hours entered in the current date. You’ll see the total time in active/paused timers broken out in the current day’s tile.
Adding New Time to Your Timesheet
From the daily detail page, you can tap NEW to create a new entry. While the project list will popup automatically (time is always associated with a project), you should tap on the other fields on your entry for to fill them out. the Project List opens automatically.
Remember that the more information you put into BigTime, the more likely that one is to pass review/approval by managers and clients.
Tap SAVE to save your entry once you’ve filled in at least the required fields. If your mobile device is connected to the Internet, then we’ll upload that entry to your BigTime timesheet in real time. If not, we’ll store it on your mobile device until a connection is available.
Copying Time Entries
You can reduce the time it takes you to track time by using the COPY feature, located at the bottom of the time entry screen. Instead of typing your notes again, use it to copy an entry and apply it to the either same day or another date.
Working With Timers
Tapping the CLOCK ICON opens a list of timers, screen where you have several different options. You can add a new timer or click on an existing one to start/stop or edit its details.
Timers work just like regular time entries, so there are a couple of other information fields you can fill in (including notes). It’s always a good idea to fill in some notes about the project right when you add a timer, before you get distracted by multi-tasking.
Converting Timers to Time Entries
Once you’re finished with your day, you should convert your timers to time entries. Just open up the timer and click SAVE one final time. The app will ask you if you want to save your timer or convert it. Click CONVERT IT and BigTime will close out the Timer and create a final time entry.
Submitting Timesheets From the Mobile App
Throughout the week, you have been entering, editing, and saving your time. Once your timesheet is completed, you’ll want to submit it.
Keep in mind, that once you submit your timesheet it is no longer yours to edit. You will have read-only access to your submitted time (unless a submitted entry is returned to you for correction or clarification).
The SUBMIT cloud icon is at the bottom of the screen on BIGTIME...TIMESHEETS. Before you tap the SUBMIT icon, make sure you have the calendar showing the correct week for submission.
With the ability to mark the expense billable or no charge and even submit receipts using your iPhone camera, you’ll spend far less time on this task, with more time for the work (and life) you love.
Adding a New Expense Entry
To add expenses, tap into the Expenses tile, and then tap into your Unsubmitted Expenses. Note that you can only add new expense entries to an “unsubmitted” expense report.
Once you open up your unsubmitted expenses, you can click ADD EXPENSE to enter a new entry. You’ll be asked to select a project and an expense type automatically. Then, you can tap on the other fields to enter additional data. Make sure you enter an Amount and a Note before you tap save.
Attaching Receipts to Expenses
For expense entry, there is the ability to enter receipt images via your iPhone camera. Simply tap the camera icon to take a picture and upload a receipt from your gallery images.
Submitting Expenses From the Mobile App
Once you’re ready to submit your expenses, go ahead and hit SUBMIT and name your expense report. Once you submit, you’ll get a confirmation that this submission has been completed. If you go back to the Expenses view, you can browse through previous expense report and copy/review any of those expenses -- just like you can with the BigTime web app.
Access to the Client/Staff List is limited to users who have permissions to view these lists within the web application. When non-permissioned users tap into list tiles in the mobile app, they’ll get a message stating that these views are restricted. For Managers or Administrative users, these views show contact information for staffers and clients, including addresses.
These lists are convenient for calling an employee, or getting directions to a client location (just tap the address to open your favorite GPS app).
Using the Mobile App in Offline Mode
If you have a spotty connection, don’t worry. The BigTime mobile application allows time entry while in offline mode. If you’ve already loaded your mobile app views while connected to the internet, we’ll cache that data.
Even if you lose your internet connection, your client list, labor codes, or expense codes will load while offline. If you enter hours or expenses in offline mode, you’ll notice a light gray cloud next to them. This means the sync is pending. Once you have internet access, the data will sync up into your web application.
Help, Settings, Feedback and More
Tap the ellipses located in the upper right of every screen for access to support, settings, the ability to switch from one firm to another, and logout.
Help is only an email away. Email support and use the preset subject line, BT Mobile Question. If you prefer, online help is also available 24/7 with our online Knowledge Base.
From Settings, you can sort the order in which BigTime information displays on your iPhone. For example, you can sort by Projects, by Hours, newest record created, oldest modified and so on.
You can also control the length of the Preview Display of the notes you’ve made in your timesheets and expense reports. Choosing from 1 to 4 lines of text, or opt out of the preview altogether.
The default setting for the frequency with which BigTime fetches new data is every 15 minutes. However, you have several other options to choose from: every 30 minutes, hourly or manually. BigTime will automatically ask before deleting information. If you don’t want to see this particular message, you can turn it off with a tap inside Settings.
You can also decide how much of your Project and Staff list information is saved to your local cache, choosing only selected items or download everything.
We want the BigTime mobile app to be the business app you can’t do without. If you have feedback on how we can create an even better experience for you, please let us know.