Advanced Time Field with applied time-based calculations for timesheets

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    Asked on September 04, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    We need to have a field that easily allows submitters to report time spent doing an action (combination of minutes and hours / non-consecutive time calculation). Currently our main issue with whatever field mask we use is we don't get a standardized result through the different submitter responses in order for us to easily calculate a total amount of time for billing purposes or process efficiency comparison. (confusion due to 60 minutes basis VS metric/decimal calculation)

    Admin:      1.5 hours / 1:30 / 90 minutes
    Logistic:  34.5 hours / 34h30m / 2070 minutes

    The best solution for us would be a double numerical entry field (with sub-labels Hours and Minutes) for which the Minutes field would have a max of 60 (and a possible minute-stepping configuration just like the current Time field), but with an unlimited Hour field (Without current 12/24 max).

    Is there a way to tweak the current Time Field to remove the hour max or a way to create something similar by configuring another type of field?

    * By experience, giving submitters instructions regarding how to use decimals for time calculation is unsuccessful and we keep getting answers like 5.45 meant to be 5.75 hours and so on!

    Thank you!

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    Answered on September 04, 2014 at 01:21 PM

    I believe I partly understand your request that you are looking for a way to advance your timesheet and I think this might be possible to do.

    However, One thing I'm unclear about is what exactly did you mean by making the time field "Unlimited"?

    Did you mean making it go to 24 hours and per minute per hour stepping for each?

    Also, was your example an example output of how you want it to be seen? Or is that just a demo


    Can you please correct or clarify in case I've misunderstood you in any way?

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    Answered on September 04, 2014 at 04:46 PM


    Basically, no matter what kind of mask is used for this Duration field, we need to make sure that the entries are standardized with same measure unit through all submitters in order for us to export submissions to Excel and be able to sum the Duration column.

    The purpose of the example provided with the time spent on Admin and Logistic tasks was to explain how many different type of entries we currently get for a same amount of time/duration: Some submitters will put 5.25 hours, others would enter 5h15m/5:15 or even 315 minutes and we often get people mistakenly putting 0.15 instead of 0.25 when they mean 15 minutes. (1 hour ≠ 100 minutes since Time ≠ Metric Unit System). The challenge here is to force the use of a same time unit and a mask that doesn't allow mistakes.

    In that purpose, a field exactly like the default Time field (as shown in the image above) is really clear and could work. But it would have to allow submitters to enter hour values of over 24, let's say for a project of 34 hours and 45 minutes. Otherwise, another value mask/field type could be use to achieve a similar result as long as the duration validation makes it easy to avoid the current mistakes.

    Hope this makes it more clear and we are open to any alternate solution.


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    Answered on September 04, 2014 at 08:23 PM


    Can you please test this form


    I found it on this article.

    I think you can just go ahead and make use of the Time field (similar to my demo form) and then let the conversions happen in the Excel side.

    Please tell us if this cannot work on what you need.




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    Answered on September 05, 2014 at 10:50 AM


    Our problem remains the same: We need submitters to be able to enter durations of a task of over 24 hours in the field, which the Time field doesn't allow.

    If we take a more specific example here, imagine you are doing some freelance programming work for us and you must bill it to a certain project via the provided timesheet form. You need to bill 36.25 hours of programming on Project A and 5.75 hours spent on Project B. (Ideally you must put durations by ranges of 15 minutes minimum stepping)

    On our side we don't need to know the hours of the day you actually spent working on either projects, all we need is the correct duration spent on each project for billing purpose. At the end of the projects, we will gather all of the freelance timesheets information for Project A and B and bill each client the right amount of time.

    Since we don't have a proper field mask on the Duration field, we currently get so many different type of answers here that it becomes impossible to simply add-up all of the freelance timesheets in the example above.

    So in the end, the conversion in Excel is not an issue. It's the inconsistency in answers format that causes problems for calculation, which is why we need to create an appropriate field mask that forces a consistent format of duration time and clearly avoid the confusion of metric/minutes units.

    Any clearer? Thanks!

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    Answered on September 05, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Below are different fields we tried to configure but each causes its own issues.

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    Answered on September 05, 2014 at 01:32 PM

    Thank you for breaking this down more about what you are seeking. In my opinion I think this is mainly a method would create a consistent workflow while keeping things simplified.

    I think that it seems more like you are looking for a single method of masking this which currently isn't possible. I tried to think of a better alternative for a few, but I feel anything outside that would lead to the same problem.

    Perhaps it might be better to see if our developers would be able to build a separate built-in tool or advanced masking ability to meet that demand. I've sent this over to them as a feature request on your behalf. If found feasible we will implement something of the sort and will update you here.

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    Answered on September 05, 2014 at 01:52 PM

    Thank you so much for your time and your help on this!

    Have a great day.

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    Answered on September 05, 2014 at 03:05 PM

    You are very welcome. We will update you as soon as we can and I hope you have a stellar day too!