Portals are simply locations for which you want to track your time and obtain Time Sheets. Portero tracks your Portals for you and automatically creates Time Sheets as you enter and leave them.
How do I add a new Portal from my contacts list?
Go to the Settings tab of Portero by tapping on it’s icon at the bottom of the screen. Make sure you are consulting the Portals section of the Settings tab by tapping on “Portals” in the top menu. Tap the “+” button to add a new Portal. In the map view that appears, tap on the book icon found inside the map’s search bar to access your contacts database.
How many Portals can I add?
As many as you need! Portero supports an unlimited number of Portals.
How do I complete, pause or cancel a current Portal’s timesheet?
Go to the “Status” section of the Dashboard. Swipe left on the Portal listed under “Current Portal” and tap on one of the three available buttons: Complete, Pause or Cancel. Swipe left again on a paused current Portal and tap the “play” button to resume it.
What is the Portal Customer ID?
The Portal Customer ID allows you to match your exported Time Sheets to a corresponding customer record in an external database or accounting system. See the Export Options FAQ for more information.
What are Activities and do I need to use them?
Activities are entirely optional. If you prefer not to use Activities, Portero will function perfectly well without them. However, by foregoing this feature, you are losing one of Portero’s main strengths.
Activities are used to add job details to your Time Sheets. The advantage of using Activities is that they save you considerable time by eliminating the need to type in job information by hand on your Time Sheets. Instead, you simply add Activities to a Time Sheet and Portero will automatically combine all of their individual descriptions into one job description and allocate it to the Time Sheet’s job description field.
Activities can be assigned not only to Time Sheets, but to Portals as well. Because Portero generates Time Sheets automatically, adding Activities to Portals lets Portero know which Activities to assign by default to the Time Sheets it creates for these Portals. It is important to understand that the default Activities that get added to new Time Sheets are not immutable. If they don’t fit the specific work you did that day, you can replace them entirely with different ones.
The point of this feature is that by creating a list of very specific Activities, with a detailed description for each one, the need to fill in Time Sheets by hand can be greatly reduced and, in some cases, eliminated altogether. With a well constructed list of Activities, filling in job details for a Time Sheet simply becomes a matter of mixing and matching different Activities on that particular Time Sheet. The more detailed your list of Activities, the less time you will spend filling in Time Sheets.
What is the difference between a Main Activity and a Supplementary Activity?
A Main Activity sums up the work done at a particular Portal for a specific Time Sheet. The Main Activity is linked to a Time Sheet as a whole and is part of it’s identity. A Main Activity’s description will be used as the first element for a Time Sheet’s job description.
A Supplementary Activity has only one purpose: providing additional and more specific details about the work done on a Time Sheet. When you add Supplementary Activities to a Time Sheet, Portero combines all of their descriptions with that of the Main Activity, and allocates this combined description to the Time Sheet’s job description field.
In many cases, setting only a Main Activity will suffice. But if the Main Activity does not adequately describe the work you did for a specific Time Sheet, you can add Supplementary Activities to create a more elaborate and detailed job description. Mixing and matching different Supplementary Activities allows you to create a unique job description for each Time Sheet without ever having to type in anything by hand. You simply need to choose an appropriate combination of Supplementary Activities that best represent the work you did that day.
Do I need to add Activities to a Portal?
Portero is designed as a fully automated time sheet manager. Adding Activities to Portals allows Portero to know which Activities to assign by default to the Time Sheets it creates for these Portals.
It is important to understand that the default Activities that get added to new Time Sheets are not immutable. If they don’t fit the specific work you did that day, you can replace them entirely with different ones. You can change the Main Activity, and add or remove Supplementary Activities, from any Time Sheet at any time.
Adding Activity information to a Portal is entirely optional. However, if you choose not to associate Activities to a Portal, the automatic Time Sheets produced by Portero when you enter and leave this Portal will not contain any Activities and therefore will not contain any job information. If you nevertheless need job details for these Time Sheets, you will then need to either choose and set Activities, or type in the job description by hand for each individual Time Sheet.
Even though I use Activities, I sometimes need to customize a particular Time Sheet’s job description. Can I modify the job description for individual Time Sheets manually?
Absolutely. By default, Portero uses the combined descriptions of all of a Time Sheet’s Activities, both the Main Activity and all of the Supplementary Activities, to fill in the Time Sheet’s job description. However, the Job Description field remains fully customizable at any time and if you need to modify it’s content by hand, simply tap on it and type in new text.
Be warned that any modifications made to a Time Sheet’s Activities will automatically reset the contents of the Job Description field to it’s default value. Therefore, it is very important to make sure you have set the Activities you need before you customize your Time Sheet’s job description by hand. Otherwise, if you first customize the job description manually, and then add, remove or change an Activity, you will lose the manual description you just entered when the job description gets reset.
What is a Reminder?
Reminders in Portero are location-based. They are useful for setting reminders for repetitive tasks that need to be done at specific locations. They are tied to one or more Portals, and they trigger when you enter these Portals. The advantage with using Portero Reminders is that you can define a Reminder once and assign it to as many Portals as required. So if you need to be reminded to do the same task at different places, you don’t need to create a duplicate Reminder for each location. Create a Reminder once, use it for as many Portals as you need.
What is an Reminder’s Trigger-Delay value?
Reminders in Portero are location-based. They are tied to one or more Portals, and they trigger when you enter these Portals. The Trigger-Delay value determines how long after arriving at a Portal the Reminder should be presented. For example, if you set the Trigger-Delay value to 30 minutes, the Reminder will appear 30 minutes after entering the Portal to which it has been associated.
How do I complete, snooze or cancel a Reminder?
Go to the Dashboard and make sure you are viewing the Dashboard Status. Swipe left on the Reminder listed under “Reminders” and tap on one of the three available buttons: Complete, Snooze or Cancel. The snooze time value for Reminders can be set in Portero’s preferences.
What is the difference between completing or canceling a Reminder?
When you mark an Reminder as completed, it means that it’s task has been done. The completed task will appear on the Time Sheet with it’s completion time. If you cancel an Reminder, it means that it’s task has not been completed and the task will not appear on the Time Sheet.
What is Minimum Time?
Minimum time defines the minimum total time value required for a Time Sheet to be considered valid. The default minimum time is 5 minutes, but can be adjusted to 5, 15 or 30 minutes. When leaving a Portal, if the total time for the completed Time Sheet is less than the minimum time value, the Time Sheet is automatically deleted.
What is time rounding?
Portero always rounds time values when logging arrival, departure and pause times. The minimum default Time Rounding value in Portero is 5 minutes, but Time Rounding can be set in Portero’s preferences to one of three values: 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. Once set, Portero will log arrival and departure times to the nearest Time Rounding value increment. For example, with a time rounding value of 5 minutes, a user arriving at one of his/her Portal at 9:08 AM will obtain a Time Sheet with an arrival time of 9:10 AM. With a 15 minute Time Rounding value, the same Time Sheet will have an arrival time of 9:15 AM. Finally, with a 30 minute Time Rounding value, the Time Sheet will have an arrival time of 9:00 AM.
What is Smart Rounding?
Smart Rounding is a feature that automatically rounds arrival and departure time values to the user’s advantage. Arrival times are always rounded down to an earlier time, departure times are rounded up to a later time. For example, a user sets the Time Rounding value to 15 minutes and turns on Smart Rounding. If he/she arrives at a Portal at 9:14 AM and leaves at 5:18 PM, the resulting Time Sheet will have an arrival time of 9:00 AM, and a departure time of 5:30 PM.
How do I export Time Sheets to a comma-separated (CSV) text file?
To export Time Sheets to a CSV file, simply tap the Share icon when available and choose to export your Time Sheet(s) to email, text message or notes. Depending where you are in Portero, the share option will allow you to share single or multiple Time Sheets to a single CSV file.
How do I export Time Sheets as events to my calendar?
To export Time Sheets to your calendar, tap the Share icon and choose the “Export to Calendar” option at the bottom of the share sheet. Depending where you are in Portero, you can export single or multiple Time Sheets to your calendar.
What is Calendar Auto-Add?
With the Calendar Auto-Add feature turned on for a Portal, Time Sheets created for this Portal will automatically be exported to your chosen iOS calendar. Before you can turn on Calendar Auto-Add on a Portal, you must first select one of your iOS calendars by tapping on the Portal’s “Calendar” field.
What are the Employee ID and Portal Customer ID used for?
Both the Employee ID, found in in Portero’s CSV export options, and the Portal Customer ID, found on a Portal’s detail sheet, are used to match exported Time Sheets to a corresponding employee record and/or customer record in your billing system. Simply set your employee ID in the export options, add a Portal Customer ID to your Portals, and export them with your Time Sheets. Then, when you export your Time Sheets to a CSV file and import this file into your billing system, you will be able to match each Time Sheet to the proper employee record and/or customer record.
What is the Split Time Sheets option?
The Split Time Sheets option will split exported Time Sheets that have been paused into separate Time Sheets. With this option turned OFF, a paused Time Sheet will be exported as a single Time Sheet with the total pause time indicated and subtracted from the Time Sheet’s total time. With the option turned ON, a separate Time Sheet will be exported for each “unpaused” block of time. For example, a Time Sheet with an arrival time of 9:00 AM and a departure time of 5:00PM with a 1 hour pause at noon will be exported as two Time Sheets, one from 9:00AM to 12:00PM and the second from 1:00PM to 5:00PM.
General Use and Troubleshooting
Why does Portero ask permission to always have access to Location Services?
Portero uses your iPhone’s Location Services to monitor and log arrival and departure times for the Portals you have defined. In order for Portero to function as promised and provide a stable, reliable and consistent user experience, it must be able to process this location information in real time, even when you are not actively using the app. It is thereore essential to Portero’s functionality that it always has access to Location Services, even when it is closed and running in the background.
I’ve added Portals and turned them on. Why is Portero not generating Time Sheets?
Make sure the Portal tracker is turned on! The tracker is responsible for tracking your Portals and generating your Time Sheets. You turn the tracker on and off from the Dashboard, by tapping the Portero button in the upper-right corner of the screen. When the tracker is on, the button turns green.
One of my Portals is having trouble registering my arrivals and departures and/or randomly logs me in and out when I am inside it. What is going on and what can I do?
Erratic Portal behaviour can occur if Portero has difficulty obtaining a clear GPS signal. This can happen in a variety of situations, most commonly in older buildings with thick walls. Issues can also occur if a Portal is set for a very large location such as a hospital, and you use a back or side entrance, or if a Portal is set for a site without a clear address, such as a construction site. If you are having any of these issues with a specific Portal, follow these guidelines:
- If possible, always connect your phone to a WiFi network. A WiFi connection will allow your iPhone to obtain a clear position even in the absence of a reliable GPS signal.
- If your arrivals are not registered for a large location, simply delete the Portal and recreate it using “Current Location” on the map when you find yourself at the actual entrance or location you need to track. Once you have setup the Portal from the actual entrance or location, tracking should work normally.
Why can’t I change the Portal of a completed Time Sheet?
You can change and customize several elements of a completed Time Sheet, but not it’s Portal. The Time Sheet was created by, and is linked to, a specific Portal.
TIPS AND TRICKS
-The more time you spend setting up Portero, the less time you will spend managing time sheets. A carefully constructed list of Activities can make filling in Time Sheets fast and hassle-free.
-Every time the Portal tracker is turned on, Portero scans your activated Portals to determine if you are currently inside one of them. If you are, a new Time Sheet will be started for the Portal, just as if you had just walked in. Therefore, if you mistakenly canceled a Time Sheet while inside a Portal, you can simply start a new one by turning the tracker off and back on again. Please note it can take up to 30 seconds for the Portal scan to complete.
-If a Portal is set for a very large location such as a hospital, and you use a side entrance, or a Portal is set for a site without a clear address, such as a construction site, it could happen that Portero doesn’t register your arrival. To overcome this problem, simply add a new Portal using “Current Location” on the map when you find yourself at the actual entrance or location you need to track. Once you have setup the Portal from the actual entrance or location, tracking should work normally.
-If you work in an area which you also visit frequently in your leisure time, such as the downtown area of your city, turn on “Notify on Entry” for those Portals that are in the area. You will get a iOS Notification if a Time Sheet starts for a nearby Portal you do not want to track. You can cancel the Time Sheet directly from the notification.