Q. How do I record our employees' vacation days on our Vetro time clock?

A. It's done in TimePilot Central, and here's how: Click on the name of the appropriate employee in the Employee List on the left side of the screen. That employee's clock-ins and clock-outs will appear in the Transaction List on the right. Now click the "Insert Time" button at the top of the screen. In the window that pops up, select "Vacation" as the Transaction Type. Enter the date and the amount of hours and click "Save."

Q. Can I set a maximum number of hours for a week for employees?

A. No, but the software does have a feature that will alert the administrator if the employee's hours meet certain criteria you established. Here is a link to our support page with some more information regarding the Alerts feature of TimePilot Central: https://timepilot.com/

Q. We use Extreme Blue Enhanced. When I try to move my data from Dropbox into my TimePilot software, a warning box pops up saying "If you move this file to Archive, it will no longer be shared with anyone, and it won't be available in Dropbox or on any devices." Below this is a checkbox with "Don't ask me again" and two buttons, "Cancel" and "Move Anyway." Should I be worried?

A. In a word, no. This message is due to a recent update in the Dropbox software. It is a notification only and does not have an impact on TimePilot's data transfer. It's just telling you that when the data file is uploaded into the TimePilot software, it will be deleted from your Dropbox shared folder. That's OK. To continue the data transfer into TimePilot, click the "Move anyway" button. If you don't want that message to appear again, check the box that reads "Don't ask me this again" before clicking the "Move Anyway" button.

Q. Can you tell me how long I am able to store employee data for?

A. If you're using the software as intended—by extracting your pay periods—there really is no limit to the amount of data or duration of time that can be stored. When you extract your pay period, the data from a chosen time period is removed from your Current Transactions and stored in its own data file, along with all the employees and settings that were in effect at the time. Extracting your transactions is an important procedure to keep your TimePilot system healthy. Here's a link to a past newsletter with more information regarding extractions: https://timepilot.com/newsletter

Q. Our employees go from job site to job site throughout the day, and we need them to clock in and out at each property and for lunches or breaks. Is there a limit as to the number of times that a single employee or a group of employees can clock in and out?

A. No, there's no limit. All the clock-ins and clock-outs will be dumped into the same pot, no matter which clock recorded them. (Actually, instead of "dumped into the same pot," the proper term is "merged in the same database.") From there the TimePilot software can handle all the time calculations with ease.

Q. We have a Vetro clock in our back shop. Is it possible to add a Tap clock to our system for our office?

A. Absolutely! That's a very inexpensive option, too: All you'll need is the Tap clock and USB cable for $159. There's no need to buy software because you already have it, and your employees can use the same iButtons they have now. You can add as many Tap clocks as you want to any Extreme Blue Enhanced, Vetro, Tap or TimePilot PC system.

You'll get a Quick Start Guide with the clocks, but basically all you need to do to get them running is download a small software program called Tap Manager onto the same PC running your TimePilot software. When you plug the clocks into the PC running Tap Manager, the internal clock on each Tap unit will be set to the correct time and you'll be ready to go. (In other words, you don't have to set up your employees on each Tap clock.) Employees can clock in or out at the Vetro or at the Tap clock; it doesn't matter to the system.

It's still "two weeks" to me: A "fortnight" is a contraction of the words "fourteen nights." That's not to be confused with the popular online game "Fortnite," which got its name from an early version in which players had to survive for 14 days to win, as well as build forts.

Source 1   Source 2

And the time in Marrakesh is ... uh ... : Just two days before much of the world switched from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time last month, Morocco's government announced the country would not make the switch. On Sunday, October 28 (in the U.S. the change was a week later), many Moroccans awoke to phones that had mistakenly switched back to Standard Time, and even Google had yet to update to the correct time in Morocco by the following day. A government official said the decision to remain at Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus 1 hour year-round was due to a study that showed that the time change caused "confusion" for citizens. Many other countries in Africa also do not make the change every six months.


TimePilot newsletter
No. 59

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

Newsletters are published about every other month and offer news about TimePilot products, tips on how to use them more efficiently, time trivia and some of the "cool stuff" our employees have come across!

In this issue:

  • TimePilot Q&A: Vacation days, storing data, adding a Tap clock to a Vetro system.
  • TimePilot Lead Story: Holiday Schedule tips; handling bonus pay.
  • Time Trivia: What's a fortnight, and do you have the time in Morocco?
  • Cool Stuff: Powerburst Jump Starter and Battery.

TimePilot Best Practices Rerun

All About Holiday Schedules

(This article ran in our newsletter several years ago, but with the end of the year approaching, it's still relevant.) 

Setting up holiday schedules in the TimePilot software is pretty straightforward, but there are some things you can do that will get the job done more quickly and efficiently.

When you installed the TimePilot Central software, you created one or more holiday schedules and then assigned one to each employee.

Now, each time you start TimePilot Central, the software looks at your holiday schedule(s) and determines if a holiday has occurred since the last time the software was started. If a holiday has occurred, the software then runs down the list of employees, looking for those with a holiday schedule that includes that holiday. When it finds one, it inserts into the employee’s record the number of hours you specified when you set up the schedule.

So how can you handle your holiday schedules more efficiently? Here are a few suggestions:

  • It’s tempting to label your holiday schedules something like “Salaried Holidays 2019” or “Hourly Holidays 2019.” That’s a very clear way to do it, but by making the schedules specific to certain years, you’re going to have to create new ones every year (“Salaried Holidays 2020,” “Salaried Holidays 2021,” “Salaried Holidays 2022,” etc.) And then you’ll have to go through every employee’s profile every year to assign them that year’s holiday schedule. That’s too much work!

    Make it easy on yourself by giving your holiday schedules generic names like “Salaried Holiday Schedule" or “Hourly Holiday Schedule.” Then all you have to do at the end of the year is return to that schedule and change the dates of the upcoming year's holidays. Handling it this way lets you avoid the drudgery of changing each employee's profile, as you would if you had created a schedule named after a year (for instance, "Salaried Holidays 2018.") Where in the software do you change the schedules? In TimePilot Central, click “Setup,” then “Holiday Setup,” then highlight the schedule you want to change and click “Edit a Holiday Schedule.”

  • Want to save even more time? When you're entering your holiday schedule in the TimePilot software, you'll see slots for 20 holidays. Most companies don’t have 20 holidays in a single year. (If your company does, please let us know!) After you fill in your holidays for the upcoming year, keep going and fill the remaining slots with the holidays for the following year, too.

  • What happens if you realize on Monday, December 31, just before extracting your pay period, that you've forgotten to include Christmas as a holiday on your schedule? You could insert the holiday time for every employee, but that's probably quite time-consuming. A simpler choice would be to add the missing holiday to the holiday schedule and then use TimePilot’s “Check Holiday Transactions” feature. This feature looks at your holiday schedules and at your Current Transactions and adds missing holiday transactions. Here's how to use it:

    1. First, add the missing holiday to your holiday schedule(s) and save it (TimePilot Central > “Setup” menu > “Holiday Setup” > Click the schedule you want to change > “Edit a Holiday Schedule”), make the changes and click "Save." The date will show up in red, because it's in the past. That's OK.

    2. Next, start "Check Holiday Transactions" (TimePilot Central > “Edit” menu > “Check Holiday Transactions”).

    3. In the box that pops up, click the down arrow and choose a date that occurs just before the date of the holiday you just entered in Step 1. In the example above, you might choose December 23.

    4. Click OK. The software will inspect the newly changed holiday schedule, see that the December 25 holiday is missing from the appropriate employees' work hours in Current Transactions and insert the missing transactions where needed automatically.

Bonus item:

All About Holiday Bonuses

Bonuses show up in TimePilot Central

If you have the Professional or Enterprise Edition of the TimePilot software, you can set it to reward an employee with a bonus in dollars. To do this, you'll use the "Insert Pay" function. Here's how:

Start TimePilot Central, then click the "Edit" menu and choose "Insert Pay." (If you want to reward them with extra hours of pay, you can use the "Insert Time" function.) You'll specify the employee and the amount of his or her bonus. You can also specify the time and date of the bonus as well as the location, shift, department and company where the employee was working when they earned the bonus. There's a place to add a note, too.

A transaction will be created for the employee in Current Transactions. A dollar sign will appear in the first column of the Transaction List to signal that a transaction is a bonus. To see the amount of the bonus, make sure you have a heading called "+Pay." To do so, right-click the green row of headers in the Transaction List and check the box next to "+Pay" in the list that appears.

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

The Royal PowerBurst jump starter can start your car or charge your phone.Royal PowerBurst Jump Starter and Flashlight

(This was a sellout last spring, so we're offering it again, just in time for Christmas.)

'Tis the season when cars won't start because of the cold. It can take hours for someone to come along and give you a jump-start, even if you have the cables. Royal's PowerBurst jump starter has a powerful battery in its flashlight that can provide the power for up to 20 jump starts.

It can also charge your cell phone or power your iPad or Android tablet for up to 10 hours, not to mention that if a fellow motorist needs a jump start, you'll be all set to be a good samaritan.

Cool Store Exclusive: We're including a free zippered pouch to carry the entire system and keep your trunk neat.

  • The 27,750 mWh jump starter provides up to 400-amp peak power output to start cars, SUVs and trucks with up to a four-liter engine.
  • Smart circuitry in the jumper cables prevents overcharging or short circuits.
  • Charges cell phones, tablets, MP3 players and mobile devices with fast 2.1A USB output. (2 USB ports in flashlight handle)
  • Can be recharged more than 500 times.
  • Holds a charge for up to 6 months.
  • Charge-level indicator on side of flashlight.
  • Includes jump starter, AC and vehicle chargers, USB charging cable and zippered pouch.

$72.99 with free shipping at TimePilot's "Cool Stuff Store." Click here to visit the store.

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