Q. We have been using your TimePilot PC for over 15 years and currently use the Professional version of your software. I have a question regarding clock in/out. Is there a way to stop employees from clocking in before their scheduled time? I have employees clocking in ahead of time creating overtime, especially during lunch time.

A. Firstly, thanks for being a longtime TimePilot customer. And yes, there is a feature in the software that addresses your question. It's called "Snap-To" and can be used both at lunchtime and at the start and end of the day. You'll find a complete explanation and instructions in the TimePilot help files. In the left column, scroll down to "Definition: Snap-To."

Here's an excerpt:

"Having employees line up to clock in at the exact moment their shift starts is a very inefficient procedure. TimePilot's Snap-To function allows employees to clock in early and not go ‘on the clock' until their shift starts. It also allows them to clock out late but go ‘off the clock' when their shift ends. In Snap-To setup, you can designate how many minutes will be ‘snapped' and when that will occur.

"For example, let's say your employee's shift starts at 8 a.m. and you have Snap-To set to 5 minutes for clock-ins and clock-outs before and after the shift time. With those settings, an employee can clock in as early as 7:55 a.m. and not go on the clock until 8 a.m. If they clock in as late as 8:05 a.m., they also will go on the clock at 8 a.m. If their shift ends at 4:30 p.m., they can clock out at any time between 4:25 and 4:35 and still be off the clock at 4:30."

Q. I use the TimePilot Tap. How do I add a second Tap clock to my system?

A. It's easy. Because you are already using a Tap clock, you're pretty much set. See this Quick Start Guide.

If you use Extreme Blue Enhanced, Vetro or TimePilot PC, it's also simple: You'll need a small program called Tap Manager (it's on your Software CD and available for download here). See the Quick Start Guide mentioned above for full instructions.

Q. If an employee clocks in at one location and then clocks out at a different location, and the transactions on each clock are collected by different foremen on different smartphones, will there be issues when the data is sent to TimePilot Central?

A. Not at all. The software doesn't care where an employee clocked in or out or who collected the transactions. TimePilot Central is like a giant pot where all transactions are held; you'll see them organized by employee. The location of each transaction appears in the column titled (appropriately enough) "Location."

Don't see that column? Right-click on the green header bar at the top of the transactions and check the box next to "Location" to add that column.

Holiday Edition

‘Tis the season to spend time waiting in lines. They're fertile ground for researchers:

Studies have found that we are more concerned with how long a line is than how fast it's moving. Given a choice between a slow-moving short line and a fast-moving long one, we will often opt for the former, even if the waits are identical. (This is why Disney hides the lengths of its lines by wrapping them around buildings and using serpentine queues.)

Surveys show that many people will wait twice as long for fast food, provided the establishment uses a first-come-first-served, single-line ordering system as opposed to a multi-line setup. Anyone who's ever had to choose a line at a grocery store knows how unfair multiple queues can seem; invariably, you wind up kicking yourself for not choosing the line next to you, which seems to be moving twice as fast.


TimePilot newsletter No. 54

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

Every issue will offer news about TimePilot products, tips on how to use them more efficiently and some of the "cool stuff" our employees have come across!

In this issue:

  • TimePilot Lead Story: TimePilot Support Center:The Grand Tour.
  • TimePilot Q&A: Snap-To, new Tap; different locations.
  • Time Trivia: Holiday edition: The science behind waiting in line.
  • Cool Stuff: Scratch-Off Map.

TimePilot Support Center:
The Grand Tour

Sometimes when you need help, it's sitting there waiting for you.

TimePilot's Support Center, on the TimePilot.com web site, is a place where you can find guidance and advice on setting up and using your Extreme Blue, Vetro, Tap or TimePilot PC system.

There's a link to the Support Center at the top of every page on the TimePilot web site. Here's a look at what you'll find there:

General assistance

At the top of the page, in the red box, is a link to a form you can fill out to contact our tech support specialists. The form collects information that gives the tech support specialist information about your system. You can save yourself—and our specialists—a lot of time by using the form instead of just sending an email.

Below that is a section labeled "General Assistance." This is where you'll find a link to support information specific to each of our products. When you click the link you'll be taken directly to the bottom of the page, where each product is pictured with its documentation.

In the General Assistance section you'll also find frequently asked questions, software downloads and content from past editions of this newsletter, including questions and answers from our customers as well as articles that explain the ins and outs of the TimePilot software.

Cheat sheets for all of TimePilot's timeclock systems
can be downloaded from the Support Center.


Next is the documentation section. Here you can download cheat sheets that show how to extract a pay period—that's crucial to using your system—and sheets designed to be posted next to a newly installed clock that will show your employees how to use it.

Also in this section is an article showing how to use the system for "job costing" and a handy chart that converts minutes into decimals. If you need your software's serial number or want to know your software's version number, click the link in the gray box for instructions.

If you're exporting your data to one of the popular payroll software programs or services, you'll find instructions here. You can also learn how to create a report with just the information your organization needs ("User-Defined Exports"). Also available are copies of the money back guarantee and return policy and the software license that you received when you purchased your system.

Individual products

At the bottom of the page is a list of our timeclock systems and the documentation provided for each. Here you can get extra copies of the Quick Start Guide and other materials you received your with system. The most important links in these sections are those to the online Help files for users of the TimePilot software. There you'll find how to set up and use your timeclock system, a full explanation of how our systems work and an extensive glossary, which explains all the features of the software.

If you use an older TimePilot product like TimePilot Standard or TimePilot Extreme (both of which are no longer manufactured or sold by TimePilot), at the very bottom of the Support Center there's a link to a page with help for those products.

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

Scratch-off World Map

Scratch Map Christmas gift for the family traveler? This is a map of the world with a coating over every country and U.S. state. Trace your travels by scratching off the coating when you visit a particular country or state. The coating scratches off with the edge of a coin.

It's $26 for the standard size (23.4" H x 32.5" W) and $40 for the large version (33" H x 46.8" W).

Scratch Map at Uncommongoods.com