Q. On Sunday, March 10, we change from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time. Do I need to change the time on my TimePilot clock?

A. The answer depends on which clock you have and how you use it. We addressed this question in our October 2012 newsletter. Here’s a link to that newsletter that gives a complete answer.

Q. We pay our employees bi-weekly, and when I collected the data from my Vetro clock with the USB drive, it only collected this past week. The previous week is nowhere to be found. What do I do?

A. First, a little background: You can collect your clock-ins and clock-outs from the clock with the USB drive at any time during the pay period. When they are transferred into the TimePilot software, the transactions are kept in “Current Transactions.” Think of Current Transactions as a pot where all transactions are held until needed. At the end of the pay period, you “extract” the just the clock-ins and clock-outs that occurred during that timeframe and put them in a separate folder.

It appears that you extracted your transactions before your pay period was over—probably at the end of the first week of your bi-weekly pay period. It’s important to wait until the pay period is complete before you extract, so you get every clock-in and clock-out and not just half of them.

To get things back to normal, you’ll need to find the past pay period that contains those transactions from the first week, put them back into the Current Transactions “pot” with the transactions from the second week, and then extract both weeks of transactions.

Here's how:

  1. Start TimePilot Central, then click the “Periods” menu, then “Open Past Time Period.”
  2. Find the prematurely extracted pay period (you’ll be able to tell by the dates) and open it. You’ll know it’s a past time period by the yellow bar across the top of the screen (the bar is green in Current Transactions).
  3. Click the “Administrative” menu, then “Reverse Extraction.” Click OK.
  4. The transactions that were in the extracted pay period will be dumped back into Current Transactions. Please note that if you have changed any settings in TimePilot Central since the early extraction, those settings will be changed back to the way they were just before you extracted. For instance, if you deleted an employee after the first week of the pay period, that employee will be back in the list of employees, because otherwise his or her transactions would not have a name attached to them.
  5. Now extract your pay period as you normally would, covering the true dates of the period.

To get a status report on your employees over a period of time that has not yet been extracted, you can run a report. This can give you the information you need without the problems caused by an early extraction.

Q. Is there a low-battery warning on TimePilot Tap+?

A. No. The clock is always charging when it is plugged in. The LED in the iButton probe will flash red periodically to indicate charging. When the device is fully charged, it will flash green. The Tap+ has been tested to run for a year under normal use before it needs any recharge at all.

Crank Forward: The scoreboard clock at Wrigley Field in Chicago has been keeping time since it was installed in 1937. When Daylight Saving Time starts, a Wrigley Field electrician disengages its gears before manually turning the hands forward one hour. But you probably wouldn't notice—baseball season is played entirely in Daylight Saving Time. (Although it could have come close to extending into Standard Time last season: If there had been a Game 7 between the Tigers and the Giants, it would have been played November 1; we "fell back" to Standard Time on November 4.)


Survey Says! Do Americans enjoy the extra evening sunlight that comes with Daylight Saving Time? National telephone surveys by Rasmussen Reports in spring 2010 and fall 2009 deliver the same result: Forty-seven percent of respondents agreed that they "don't think the time change is worth the hassle"; 40 percent disagreed.


TimePilot newsletter No. 23

Whether you're a current or future TimePilot customer, we're glad to see you.

Every month we'll offer news about TimePilot products, tips on how to use them more efficiently, some of the "cool stuff" our employees have come across and a special deal available only to those who receive this newsletter!

In this issue:

  • TimePilot Q&A: Daylight Saving Time; Reverse Extraction.
  • TimePilot Best Practices: Using TimePilot "Outside the Box."
  • Cool Stuff: Microsoft Excel cheat sheet.
  • The Deal: $30 off TimePilot software upgrade.

TimePilot Best Practices

Using TimePilot
'outside the box'

TimePilot’s timeclocks work great as basic time and attendance systems. But they can be used in other, more innovative ways, too. Here are some fictional examples of how you could add our Tap+ clocks and iPhone App to your current TimePilot system to make your organization more efficient:

Example 1

The Challenge

Phil Gallagher’s eight employees clock in and out daily at a Time Vetro at his workshop. They use five types of portable power tools in his workshop, and each tool is used at a different step in the manufacturing process. When they need to use a power tool, each employee retrieves it from a storage closet in the shop. Phil would like to see how much time each employee takes with each tool.

The Solution

Phil buys a 5-pack of TimePilot Tap+ clocks for $649. (He doesn’t need a Tap+ Starter Kit because he received the TimePilot Central software when he bought his Vetro and his employees already use iButtons.)

When he sets up the Tap+ clocks, he assigns each of the five Tap+ clocks the name of one of the power tools. Then he labels each of the clocks with the name of that power tool. To make it easier for his workers, he covers the “In” that’s printed on the front of the clock with a label reading “Taking” and covers the “Out” on the clock with a label reading “Returning.” Finally, he uses Velcro tape to attach each battery-powered clock to the shelf next to the appropriate tools.

When an employee removes a tool from the closet, he taps his iButton to the “Taking” probe on that tool’s Tap+ clock. When he returns it, he taps the “Returning” probe.

At the end of the week, Phil collects the five clocks and downloads the data they collected. In TimePilot Central, each transaction is tagged with the name of the clock, so he can quickly see when a particular employee “checked out” a tool and when he checked it back in.

Phil found an additional benefit to this system: When a power tool is missing, he can tell who used it last.

Example 2

The Challenge

Mary Tiant runs a home health care business. Her 12 home health aides visit 20 clients a week. For her office employees, Mary uses TimePilot Vetro. She’d like to verify how much time her home health aides are spending at each home.

The Solution

Mary will place a battery-powered TimePilot Tap+ clock in each client’s home. An aide will clock in at the client’s Tap+ clock when he or she arrives and clock out when they leave.

Mary buys 20 TimePilot Tap+ clocks for less than $2,500 and iButtons for each aide. (She received a discount from the list price; if you’re buying that many clocks, just ask us!)

When she sets up each clock in her TimePilot Central software, she assigns it the last name of a client. As clients change, she can change the clock’s name with just a few clicks. iButtons can also be reassigned as employees leave the company and new ones are hired.

Aides clock in and clock out during the week. Once a week an aide brings the clock back to the office, where it takes just seconds to download the data into TimePilot Central. Alternatively, a supervisor can visit the client periodically and download the data straight to a laptop.

With all the data now in TimePilot Central, Mary can see exactly how much time each aide is spending at each client and adjust their schedules accordingly.

Example 3

Our iPhone App—just $3.99 at the iTunes App Store—is a great addition to your system, too. Here’s an example of how it can be used. (For more examples check out this page on our web site.)

The Challenge

Joe Smith owns a small company, Riverville Software. Dana Lawson, one of his best technical support people, recently had a baby, so for the next few months she will work from home. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday she will answer e-mailed questions from customers. Joe uses TimePilot Vetro at his headquarters. Dana is paid by the hour and owns an iPhone. How can Joe keep track of the hours that Dana works?

The Solution

Dana downloads the TimePilot iPhone App from the iTunes App Store and links it to Riverville Software’s free Dropbox.com account. (Joe reimburses her for the $3.99 cost of the App.) At the start of the workday Dana uses the App to clock in and when the workday is done she clocks out. At the end of the week, she simply taps a button on the iPhone screen to send Joe her clock-in and clock-out data.

Within seconds, the data appears in TimePilot Central on the PC at Joe’s office, joining the clock-in and clock-out data collected by Joe’s other TimePilot products. Joe prepares the data for payroll and Dana gets her paycheck.

Do you have an innovative way to use TimePilot's products? We'd love to hear about it! E-mail us at Info@TimePilot.com.

This month’s special offer
to TimePilot newsletter readers:

TimePilot IV software upgrade

$30 off an upgrade to the latest version of TimePilot's software, for customers using TimePilot software version 2.92 and earlier.

Special prices for newsletter readers:

Software on CD with printed user manual:

Just $99!


Software download only;
no CD, no printed manual:

Just $89!

To learn more about the deal and the software, click here, visit www.TimePilot.com/newsletter/newsletter4.htm or call us at 1-630-879-6400.

Every once in a while, our employees come across “cool stuff.”
This is where they share their finds.

Microsoft Excel cheat sheet

Do you use Microsoft Excel? How often do you click your mouse when you use it? Let’s say you want to enter $5.42 into a cell. The typical way to handle it is to click the cell to choose it, enter 5.42, then click away to another cell, click the 5.42 cell again, right-click the cell, click “Format cells,” then click “Currency,” then click “OK.” By our count, that seven clicks.

There’s gotta be a better way, right? There is: Click the cell to choose it, enter 5.42, then click away to another cell, click the 5.42 cell again , then hold down the “Shift” and the “Control” keys on your keyboard at the same time and press the “$” key. Three clicks and you’re done.

Microsoft has written up a cheat sheet with lots more of these shortcuts. No one will use all of them (or even half!), but you might find exactly the shortcut to save you some time. It’s available here.