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busybusy App Review: An In-Depth Look at Its Advantages, Drawbacks, and Cost

Samson Kiarie
Last update on:
Nov 24, 2023
Published on:

busybusy is a cloud-based time clock app geared toward field service teams such as construction companies. We took this app for a ride to determine how well it suits the construction crew, and the results are relatively good. In this busybusy app review, we’ll tell you how the app works on various fronts, such as time tracking, GPS location tracking, and scheduling. 

We’ll highlight the busybusy app’s strengths and weaknesses to help you determine whether it ticks the right boxes for your construction company. While still at it, we’ll compare the busybusy app to time clock software tools such as Timeero, so you can understand how it stacks up against the best time clock for construction

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busybusy App Review: Key Features Walkthrough

To determine whether the busybusy app is cut out for your construction company, you must rigorously test it. This can sometimes be time-consuming and complicated. Thankfully, we put the app under the microscope for you and compiled this comprehensive report. Keep reading to learn how busybusy works. 

1. Time Tracking

Time tracking is busybusy’s main feature. During our busybusy app review, we zeroed in on how the app improves overall time card accuracy. We also looked at how the app prevents offsite and buddy punching — two of the most common time theft tactics. 

From the off, we noticed that the mobile interface embodies simplicity to pave the way for effective time tracking. Clocking in is as easy as hitting the “clock in” button and entering the job details, such as a project or a specific task using the cost code and equipment.

Once that’s done, the employee has to click “save” to start tracking time. busybusy will track time and create error-free timesheets. This ensures you pay employees fairly to avoid potential FSLA Penalties. 

Sadly, there’s a caveat with the busybusy time tracker. When you skip the job details, busybusy will still track time. We left the project, cost code, and equipment fields empty, and to our surprise, the app clocked us in. 

The app continued tracking time but didn’t attribute those figures to any project or task. That puts a damper on busybusy’s ability to accurately track labor costs and leaves room for unscrupulous workers to circumvent geofencing rules. For example, employees who run late only need to skip the project to clock in outside the geofence.

The time clock works flawlessly on any device, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and other Apple devices. The mobile apps for Android and iOS devices are available on the Google Play store and Apple’s app store, respectively. You can also access the web portal on any web browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari.

Geofencing

Speaking of geofencing, busybusy treads a unique path. It doesn’t let you pick the geofence radius by adding figures such as 100 meters. Instead, you have to drag one of the four dots on the geofence boundary to make it smaller or larger. 

busybusy geofence
Thanks to busybusy’s ease of use, setting the geofence is a walk in the park, even for total beginners. 

You have to set ‘require on-site clock in’ to enforce geofenced clocking in or out. 

We activated the feature and went on a walk to test the geofencing feature. Outside the geofence, the ‘save’ button was inactive, blocking us from clocking in. However, once we crossed the geofence boundary, the ‘save’ button became active, and we could clock in. 

There’s one huge drawback, though.

The ‘require on-site clock in’ option is only available to paid users. If you’re on the free plan, you can't enforce geofenced clocking in or out, meaning you can’t stop off-site punching.

We also enabled the “Enable location reminders” button, essentially built to prompt employees to clock in or out when they cross the geofence boundary. 

The app alerted us to clock in within five minutes of entering the geofenced zone. Likewise, when we left the job site, busybusy sent us a notification, prompting us to clock out. 

busybusy notification
busybusy notifies employees on their smartphones and iPad devices when they cross the geofence boundary when you activate location reminders. 

Cost Codes

In the construction industry, where different tasks attract different rates, achieving payroll accuracy can take a lot of work. Not with busybusy cost codes. 

Cost codes represent the jobs or tasks at a specific job site, such as flooring, roofing, etc. When clocking in, we could pick a cost code to track the time for each particular task at the correct hourly rate. This enhances the accuracy of time cards and streamlines payroll processing. 

Photo Verification

Facial verification helps eliminate buddy punching. For example, a time tracking app such as Timeero snaps a photo of employees as they clock in or out. Then, it compares the photo to what’s on the employee profile. In case of a mismatch, it flags the time entry and notifies you instantly.

busybusy's photo recognition feature treads a path similar to Timeero. The two differ in that busybusy compares the photos, but you won’t get a notification in case of a mismatch. 

You have to pull up a photo verification report to catch buddy punchers. The report displays the number of photos the app took on a specific day and how many failed to match the employee profile. You can click on the failed matches to pinpoint buddy punchers. 

2. Equipment Tracking

busybusy equipment tracking
The user-friendly equipment tracking module helps you maintain a bird’s eye view of company equipment. 

Equipment tracking is one of the busybusy unique selling propositions. We can’t emphasize the importance of tracking equipment for construction companies enough. 

If you don’t track equipment, you leave them prone to theft and misuse, which can shorten the equipment’s life span and maintenance cycle. Ultimately, the acts eat away at your profits. 

Thankfully, the busybusy equipment tracker enables you to sidestep these issues to maintain healthy profit margins. You can track heavy equipment, highway trucks, and light vehicles. 

For example, when your loader operator is clocking in, they’ll have to specify that they are using the machine that day. You can monitor where the loader is used, the employee’s GPS location, and log specific hour meter readings for that machine.

You can even set the hourly rate of running the machine. This way, you can zero in on equipment to understand the non-operator costs, such as fuel and maintenance.  

Project Budget Tracking

busybusy job costing
busybusy lets you track project progress against expenses or hours. 

busybusy prides itself on its job-costing capability. Of course, being a time-tracking app, it helps you track labor costs. It has other job costing tools, but the’ budgets’ tool stood out for us. With the tool, you can set a budget for a project, such as flooring or roofing.

There are four types of budgets:

  • Labor costs
  • Labor hours
  • Equipment costs
  • Equipment hours

For example, you set a flooring project to take 30 labor hours. busybusy will track the project’s progress alongside the hours and let you know when you’re nearing that figure. Then, if the project is falling off course, you can take remedial actions to put it back on track.

3. GPS Location Tracking

You pay your employees to work on the assigned tasks on the job site. If you’re not strict, employees might leave the job site to hang out with friends or run errands during work. Then, come to the end of the pay period, you’ll pay them for work they didn’t do.

busybusy helps you keep tabs on employees and equipment whereabouts. Again, the free plan limits what you can do regarding GPS tracking. You can click on the map to see where each employee or equipment is. This gives you basic location details of clocked-in employees. 

You’ll see who is working where and on what project in real-time or pinpoint employees wandering outside the job site during work hours. Unfortunately, the shortcomings of the free plan begin to emerge when tracking employees who’re constantly on the move.

We took the app out on a test drive, and it only gave us lean details of the employee's whereabouts. As you can see in the map below, the app provided a map with three pins. The green and red pins represent our clock-in and clock-out locations, respectively. 

busybusy map
While it gives you a real-time overview of employee location, busybusy isn’t apt for tracking the location of the on-the-move workforce. 

The gray pin is the only breadcrumb busybusy app captured. From the results, we can conclude that busybusy doesn’t show where the employees have been since they clocked in. This is because employees can clock in from their designated job site and spend the entire day outside the zone, only to return and clock out from the work site.

Also, think of engineers or managers who have to travel from site to site to coordinate projects. Or employees who have to dash out of a job site to pick up supplies. busybusy app leaves you in the dark about the routes these employees take. You can’t tell when they take detours or longer routes with scenic sites. 

To put this in perspective, we turned Timeero on during the test drive, and the results were interesting. Timeero took location data more frequently and depicted the exact route with numerous breadcrumbs. Besides showing employee location, the breadcrumbs provide detailed timestamps and vehicle speed. 

The breadcrumbing technology is one of the reasons Timeero snags the top spot in the best time tracking app for the field service teams like construction crew. 

timeero breadcrumbs‍
 The breadcrumbs give instant access to employee location, time, and vehicle speed data.

To give credit where it's due, the busybusy app also uses breadcrumbing, but this technology is reserved for paid users.

In addition, with a paid plan, you get more flexibility to enforce GPS tracking to mitigate rampant cases of offsite punching. You can configure the app to clock an employee in or out only when their mobile GPS is enabled. If an employee switches the mobile GPS off, the app will restrict them from clocking in or out.

busybusy mobile gps
The mobile GPS is only available to paid users.

 

Offline Mode 

The offline mode comes in handy for construction crews working on projects in areas without internet connectivity. It enables the app to track employee data and sync it to your system once the employee turns on Wifi or mobile data. 

We turned off our internet mid-trip to see if busybusy ticks this box. We compared the app’s data with what Timeero gave us and didn’t find any discrepancy, which is a good sign that the offline mode works just fine. 

4. Employee Scheduling

Employee scheduling entails ensuring employees work on the right tasks at the right time.

busybusy app has a scheduling module, which isn’t as advanced as standalone scheduling software but gets the job done.

We liked that busybusy allows you to easily create employee schedules and assign shifts. Adding schedules is straightforward; you only have to double-click the day you want to schedule a shift.

busybusy gives you two options: ‘schedule work’ or ‘schedule break.’ When you pick the former and set the shift time, busybusy displays a list of employees who are available during that time slot. This a nice feature as it helps avoid schedule conflicts. 

busybusy scheduling
Creating an employee schedule is a cinch with the busybusy scheduling module.

If you want the employee to work a particular shift during the week or month, you check the ‘multiple days’ button and set the days. Another great addition is color-coding, which lets you have a quick glance at who is working on what project and when. 

Moreover, you can add instructions to each schedule to ensure employees pull in one direction. And to ensure employees are on the same page, you have to check the ‘send notification’ button. This way, the app will notify the employee every time you update their schedule.

A break scheduling tool is also handy, particularly if you want to keep your company out of legal battles with employees. Employees in a state like California could sue you if you don’t let them take enough breaks.   

busybusy app enables you to schedule breaks and can even pull up reports to see whether employees adhere to break and time-off rules. 

PTO Tracking

busybusy app lets employees request time off from their mobile device: Android or iOS. The request form leaves nothing to chance, allowing you to collect as many details as necessary to make an informed decision. 

You’ll see the PTO type (vacation, sick, personal, etc.), days, and a description to clarify their request. You also get a list of pending requests in order of their submission to ensure the approval process is done fairly and in a manner that sidesteps potential understaffing issues. 

Overtime Enforcement

Rather than grapple with intimidating volumes of spreadsheets trying to crunch the overtime numbers, busybusy lets you enforce overtime payment with a flick of a button. 

You can choose to enforce state laws such as California’s Overtime Law. You can also create custom overtime rules for an employee or group, or better, develop company-wide overtime rules.  

busybusy overtime enforcement
busybusy lets you enforce the overtime rule with a few clicks.

5. Reporting and Integrations

Beyond the photo verification report, the busybusy app gives you several filters to generate activity reports. You can filter data by:

  • Project
  • Employee
  • Equipment
  • Cost code
  • Day 
  • Data ranges

Other notable reports include time off reports, which give you a 360-degree view of time-offs in your company. The machine vs. operator lets you highlight discrepancies between the operator’s and machine’s hours, if any.

The break hours report lets you understand whether your team is taking enough rest. You don’t want a team rampaged by stress, depression, and anxiety, which accounts for 51% of work-related health issues

Regarding integrations, busybusy integrates with the apps your construction company uses. It works seamlessly with the following software: 

  • Quickbooks Desktop
  • Viewpoint
  • Sage
  • Foundation Software
  • Procore
  • ADP

6. busybusy App Review: Pricing 

Now that you know what the busybusy app brings to the table, let's add pricing to the equation to help make a wise buying decision. 

busybusy Free Trial

If you want to tinker with the app risk-free, you can do so thanks to the 14-day free trial. You can give the app a whirl and see how each feature works. The good thing with the free trial is that it lets you try all features for 14 days, including those on the paid plans.  

Is busybusy Free?

The free forever plan would suit many small businesses. But before you take the plunge and subscribe, let’s depict the whole picture. The free plan is so trimmed down that even some essential functions don’t work. 

Let’s start from the top. You can track time, but your job sites will be a playground for offsite and buddy punchers. The free plan doesn’t support photo verification, meaning you cannot prevent buddy punching. 

Even worse, you cannot enforce GPS location requirements. The app lets you create geofenced job locations, but you cannot enforce on-site verification. As a result, the employee can clock in from anywhere, even outside the job site. 

Not to mention that the free plan is missing core features such as budgets, scheduling, and photos. busybusy has a built-in payroll feature, which is also missing on the free plan. 

busybusy App Paid Plans

The paid plans unlock the busybusy app’s full capability. There are two plans: Pro and Premium, which can be billed monthly or annually. The good thing is that busybusy doesn’t charge a base fee. 

The Pro costs $11.99 per user per month on a monthly billing cycle or $9.99 per user per month annually. On the other hand, the Premium plan goes for $17.99 per user per month billed monthly or $14.99 per user per month billed annually. 

7. busybusy Customer Support

busybusy customer support

Based on busybusy reviews and our own experience, the support service is good. 

When you hit a snag with the busybusy app, you have four channels to find help: chat, phone, email, and knowledge base. We used the live chat function and were overly impressed with the customer support team. 

The vendor claims that live chat agents respond in fewer than three minutes. That’s true, but what’s impressive is that the agents seemed knowledgeable and answered our questions comprehensively. 

The only quibble is that live chat isn’t available 24/7, so it might take longer to get a response when customer support agents aren’t live. 

Beyond chat, you can email support. While it’s not as fast as live chat, the support agents respond within 24 hours, which is good. You can also call busybusy support.

The knowledge base will be helpful if your issue doesn’t require a human touch. The articles are laid out in three categories: employees, supervisors, and office admins. The search function makes it easy to find relevant articles. You only have to type in a keyword, busybusy will serve up all related articles.

busybusy App Review: Is It Worth It?

There you have it: a detailed busybusy app review highlighting the tool’s strengths and weaknesses. The app is quite reliable for its users. It streamlines time, GPS tracking, and equipment tracking, and the job costing module gives it a leg up on its competitors. 

However, comparing it side-by-side with other time-keeping apps, there are certainly better apps. Take Timeero, for example. While it doesn’t offer budget tracking modules, it outperforms the busybusy app in all other categories.

Timeero: The Smarter Alternative to busybusy App

We took a deep dive into how busybusy works, and as we mentioned, the app has flaws. If you want a time clock app that offers busybusy benefits while patching up its weaknesses, pick Timeero. Here are some reasons Timeero is the best busybusy alternative:

  • Intuitive user interface: Timeero is easy to use for all employees, including the non-tech-savvy. Ease of use goes a long way toward ensuring employee time cards are accurate. 
  • Facial recognition: Buddy punching can leave your organization bleeding money through labor leakages. With Timeero facial recognition, you can rest assured that no employee will punch in or out for their buddy. 
  • Mileage tracker: Timeero has a mileage tracker, a feature you don’t get with busybusy. If your field service team has to use their vehicles for business purposes, the Timeero mileage tracker will help you reduce your taxable income. 

Learn more about our app in the full Timeero review. Alternatively, you can take it for a spin when you subscribe to the 14-day free trial. 

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AUTHOR
Samson Kiarie

Samson is a mathematician turned content marketer specializing in SaaS and Tech content. He focuses on the practical aspects of software systems while keeping abreast of the industry’s cutting-edge principles to create informative and engaging content. When he’s not writing, Samson spends time playing or watching soccer.

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