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Beginner's Guide to HourStack

Welcome to HourStack! This guide will help you learn more about using HourStack, especially if you're getting started for the first time.

In this article, we will be exploring how to easily create and schedule tasks, how to track time, how to connect with apps you already use, and more.

1. Easily create and schedule tasks

Everything begins with a task. You can manage tasks under Projects or your personal My Tasks list. HourStack also connects with the top project and task management tools so your tasks can be managed across platforms with centralized scheduling, time tracking, and reporting in HourStack. HourStack's visual Calendar lets you view and adjust your schedule by dragging and dropping your tasks directly onto your Calendar.

To create a new task in HourStack:

Hover over a specific day and, when the "Add task" link becomes visible, click on it. Alternatively, click the "New task" icon in the right sidebar of your Calendar.

To add a task from an integration:

Click the "Integrations" icon at the bottom of the right sidebar of your Calendar. This will open up your account integrations page where you'll be able to connect the applications you use — Google Calendar, Asana, Trello, and many more.

When you've integrated with your favorite tools, click the icon of the integration you’d like to use in the sidebar of your Calendar and drag the tasks you’d like to schedule directly onto your HourStack calendar.

Scheduling and rescheduling tasks using shortcuts:

Toggle between day, week, or month views—depending on how you like to plan—and easily reschedule tasks by dragging them to a different day. To reschedule multiple tasks at once, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard, and select all of the tasks you want to move at once by clicking them. Drag them to the new date. To copy multiple tasks, hold down the Option key (Mac) or Alt key (Windows) and drag the tasks to the day you'd like them copied to.

Useful resources:

2. Manage multiple schedules with team views

If you use HourStack to manage a team, take advantage of the "Team" button in the top right corner of your Calendar. This will display all of your team members' schedules in one window, making scheduling and allocating resources easy. Use the "Personal" toggle on your Calendar to view each member's Calendar individually.

To add new teams, or team members, click "Settings" in the sidebar navigation. To edit team member roles and customize member permissions, click "Permissions," also in the Settings page.

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3. Accurately track time

Every task in HourStack has a built-in timer. You can track time on tasks by starting a timer on tasks scheduled today, or by adding time manually. You can also track time within other apps you use by installing our Browser Extension.

Track time automatically in HourStack:

To track time automatically from your calendar, first, make sure you are viewing today's tasks by clicking the "Today" button at the top of the calendar. Look for tasks with a blue timer button and click the "play" button to start tracking time. Click "pause" if you're taking a break or working on something else, and click the green check mark icon if you have completed the task.

Track time manually in HourStack:

To add time manually, edit tracked time, or plan how long you intend to work on a task, simply click the task you wish to adjust and input your details. Once you've made your changes, click the "Save" button.

4. Understand how your time is being spent

Once you or your team have tracked time against a few tasks, head on over to the "Reports" tab. Within minutes you'll be able to generate a report that can help you improve on inefficiencies, prepare for payroll, or bill clients.

Be sure to make use of filters (at the top of the Reports section), and task groupings (at the bottom) to view your data through different lenses. Group tasks by client, projects, labels, members, and teams to drill down into the details.

Exporting report data:

You can export your reports to Excel, Google Sheets, or CSV, and create "Saved Views" to access charts and data you frequently refer to. Exports can be emailed to you, or found in "Data Exports" under the "Settings" page where they can then be downloaded.

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5. Connect the apps and tools you already use

HourStack allows you to work on all of your to-do's in one place. By connecting the applications you already use, for example, Google Calendar and Asana, you'll be able to drag events or tasks directly into your HourStack calendar and start tracking time against them immediately.

How to find and connect an integration:

To connect an integration, click Settings from the main navigation in the left sidebar. Click the "Integrations" link in the sidebar and then choose the tools you would like to connect. This is also where you can manage settings for each of the integrations you connect.

How to start using your integration:

To start tracking time on tasks from the apps you've integrated with, return to your Calendar. Click the icon of the integration you’d like to use in the right sidebar of your Calendar. This will open a sidebar on the right of your screen. From here you can filter through your tasks, dragging anything you want to schedule or track time for directly onto your Calendar, or onto a team member's Calendar.

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6. Use Workspaces to keep things organized

A user can be part of any number of Workspaces. Workspaces are managed independently and may have separate billing, team members, clients, labels, projects, and so on.

How to create a Workspace:

To create a new Workspace, click the workspace switcher in the left sidebar and select "Add a workspace." Follow the directions to get your new workspace set up. New workspaces include a free 14-day trial.

How to manage your Workspace:

To manage your Workspace settings, click the "Settings" link in the sidebar navigation and then choose the settings you’d like to manage under the section titled "Workspace Settings". Here you'll be able to change your Workspace's name and logo, change plan and payment information, manage roles and permissions for members of the Workspace and delete the workspace should you need to.

Note: If you are a member of a team, you may not have permission to view or edit some of these settings.

Useful resources:

There is much more to learn about HourStack, but hopefully, this guide explained the very basics you need to get started. For more in-depth guides about scheduling tasks, tracking time, and using the different views in the Calendar, visit the Scheduling guide. If you have any questions you can always reach out and we'll be glad to help!

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