First things first. What’s Driversnote? What’s the scope of its capability?
Driversnote is an easy-to-use mileage tracker for self-employed drivers and teams. The SaaS tool enables you to auto-track mileage using motion detection or iBeacon (we’ll get into details about how the two tools work). It also comes with an option to add trips and mileage logs manually.
The app doesn’t come with a start or stop button. Instead, it automatically tracks mileage when you exceed the base speed and meets other conditions. As a result, it tracks all trips but makes it easy to classify personal and business trips for proper remuneration and tax purposes.
Creating Teams with Driversnote
If you have a team that drives for work and need to compensate them fairly for miles driven, Driversnote is a safe bet. You can create teams and set mileage rates (either IRS rates or custom rates) to automate mileage reimbursement.
Adding Places With Driversnote
If you have a sales team or other teams that need to log places or customers they visited, Driversnote makes that easy for you. All you need to do is add customer locations.
When a driver parks within 500 meters of a location, Driversnote automatically selects it as the end destination. This way, you can get an overview of the customers each employee visited at a glance.
Driversnote Review: Key Features Walkthrough
When we test mileage tracking apps, we leave no stone unturned. We stretch the app to its limit to reveal its strengths and weaknesses. During our testing round, we were interested in answering the questions: how does Driverstone work? Is the mileage tracker by Driversnote reliable? Let’s dig in.
Driversnote is a mileage-tracking app with various features to record and report your trips. The app’s performance had some benefits and some limitations that we will discuss in detail.
Here’s what happened when we took the app for a spin on a 40.1 km trip.
On our way to the destination, the app took so long to fire up and start tracking miles. As a result, it missed more than 10 km of the trip — logging 29.32 km, representing a 73% accuracy.
On our way back, we decided to drive without stopping. One fascinating fact is that Driversnote recorded 39.10 km, representing 97.5% accuracy, and recorded one trip.
We couldn’t draw any conclusion, so we took the app out on the field for another test trip. This time around, we drove a total of 32.3 km. On the first trip, Driversnote recorded 23.22 km (72% accuracy) and logged 30.10 on the return trip (or 93% accuracy).
The results mirrored what we experienced on the first trip. Driversnote misses a considerable part of the day’s first trip. But once it fires up, it’s pretty accurate for all subsequent trips during that day.
We dug deep into how Driversnote tracks mileage to understand why it keeps missing parts of the first trip. The answer lies in the way motion-tracking technology works.
Auto-tracking With Motion Detection
Motion detection is not a new technology. Many (if not all) of the best mileage-tracking apps use this technology to track trips and record a mileage log. However, the apps tend to apply it differently, so their accuracy varies.
The best mileage tracking apps begin to track mileage when you exceed a predetermined speed, say four mph. Driversnote works differently. The app uses a combination of the phone’s GPS and accelerometer — but doesn’t start tracking miles when you hit specific speeds.
We contacted the customer support team to find out how Driversnote’s motion tracking works.
The agent told us that there’s no minimum speed required for the app to track mileage. To quote the agent:
“The system is configured so that there are a few conditions (other than speed) that will recognize if and when you are driving. One of these conditions is that the app and phone are frequently requesting and supplying information about a location.”
This certainly explains why the app keeps missing parts of the initial trip. We might have hit a minimum speed but failed to meet the other conditions.
Automatic Tracking with Driversnote iBeacon
Besides motion detection, you can use iBeacon to streamline mileage tracking. What is iBeacon?
iBeacon is a Bluetooth device you place in your car — you can put it anywhere. The device transmits a signal and is synced with the driver’s smartphone.
When the driver enters the car, the phone picks up the signal, prompting Driversnote to track your trips. When the driver exits the vehicle, iBeacon signals the app to stop tracking mileage.
iBeacon is handy for enhancing the accuracy of business mileage. It ensures that Driversnote tracks mileage when the driver uses a company vehicle. This way, if they are a passenger in another car, on a bicycle, or using public transport, Driversnote won’t log any mile.
That said, iBeacon isn’t available on the free version. You have to be on the paid plan to make the most of the tool. Besides that, you have to cough up an extra $40 (one-time fee) to get the iBeacon device. You can get the iBeacon device for free when you choose the annual subscription plan.
Lastly, Driversnote allows you to add a manual trip. This is a helpful feature in case you forget to track mileage. However, rogue employees can exploit this route without proper tracking policies to add trips they didn’t take.
We have seen numerous Driversnote reviews and complaints about its battery consumption. So, during our testing, we monitored the app’s power consumption.
It wasn’t long before the app flashed its battery drain trait. When we started the trip, the app was down the pile on the list of apps consuming the most power on the smartphone. However, after 18 minutes of mileage tracking, the app jumped to third on the list.
Driversnote Offline Mode
The battery drain niggle aside, Driversnote offline mode works. During the first testing round, we switched off the internet connection for 15 minutes on our return trip.
The app continued to track mileage as if nothing had happened. It garnered the highest tracking accuracy (97.5%) during this trip.
We needed no more evidence that Driversnote’s offline mode is functional. This makes Driversnote an ideal app for drivers traversing areas with limited or no internet coverage.
Whether using motion detection or Driversnote iBeacon, you still need to categorize your trips. Doing so is a cinch on the mobile app or web interface. The app doesn’t support one-swipe classification like MileIQ (read our MileIQ app review), but it’s still quite reliable.
Similarly, it’s easy to classify the trip on the web dashboard. First, click the trip to open it and hit “personal” or “business” to classify it. When you classify the trip, Driversnote applies the applicable rates and automatically calculates the remuneration amount.
That’s helpful as it means you won’t have to crunch the numbers to determine each driver’s earnings. Moreover, it helps you generate tax-compliant mileage reports for tax purposes with a few clicks.
Classifying each trip manually at the end of the day or journey can be tedious and time-consuming. Not just that.
If drivers forget to categorize a trip and have to do it at the end of the month, it can often lead to classification errors. Moreover, some rogue drivers might sneak in a few personal trips on your business mileage logbook to claim a higher reimbursement.
Rather than grapple with such classification errors, use Driversnote’s auto-classification options.
There are four options:
Based on previous trip: Let’s say you visit location A and classify it as “business.” The app will automatically classify all future trips to location A as “business.” However, you have the option to review and edit the classification.
Always as a business: Driversnote will classify all trips as a business with this option.
Always as personal: Driversnote will classify all trips as personal.
Based on work hours: This is more accurate than other classification options. When you choose this option, Driversnote will classify your trips as “business” if they happen during the stipulated work hours. The app will classify trips outside work hours as “personal.”
Driversnote Work Hours
When you choose the “based on work hours” auto-classification option, you must set work hours. Doing so is a walk in the park on the mobile app — you can’t set work hours on the web interface on the free plan.
Go to settings → auto-tracking → select “based on work hours” → and click “edit work hours.” Once you’re in the work hour settings, adjust the work days and hours to suit your employee schedule.
While still at it, you can turn off automatic mileage tracking outside work hours. This is a nice feature for privacy-conscious employees. When turned off, Driversnote will only track trips during work hours. This way, it won’t intrude on the employee’s privacy.
Reporting With Driversnote
You can create customizable reports with Driversnote. Each report comes with the details that matter for your business: reimbursement amounts and mileage logs.
You can send the report directly to relevant departments, such as the accounting department. Alternatively, you can download the reports and mileage documentation in PDF or Excel format.
Some of the reports you can generate include:
Reimbursement reports: Driversnote records miles and computes employee reimbursement based on the standard rates. The reimbursement report will show accurate employee reimbursements whether you’re using IRS or custom rates. You can filter reports by employee name, date, or submission status (approved, rejected, or awaiting approval).
Vehicle and workplaces: You can generate mileage reports for each vehicle or workplace. This is handy if you have different cars and want to keep separate logs for each.
Odometer log: If you want to monitor your mileage levels in lockstep with your car’s odometer, this report has got you covered. Driversnote lets you log the car’s odometer readings and sends reminders when you forget. Once the reporting period lapses, you can generate odometer logs and compare them to the mileage logged.
Each employee has to hand over reports to their manager for review and approval when the reporting period ends. You can set the reporting period as daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
If an employee forgets to send a report during the reporting period, Driversnote sends them a reminder with a preview of the report. This prompts employees to review their reports before forwarding them to the manager for approval.
Driversnote pricing model has free and paid plans.
The free plan is limited in that it lets you log 15 trips per month. If you log more trips, the app will still record the data, but you’ll need to upgrade to view the report for extra trips. Besides that, with the free version, you can’t use iBeacon.
The Basic plan, which goes for 11/month, lets you log unlimited trips and use iBeacon. If you are on the monthly billing cycle, you will have to pay an extra $40 to receive the iBeacon device.
However, if you decide to pay annually, you’ll get an iBeacon device for free.
Lastly, Driversnote has a quote-based plan for teams and companies. Here, Driversnote tailors a custom pricing plan for your business, depending on the size of your workforce. The plan offers the same features as the Basic plan, plus admin functionality to help you manage user access and share reports.
Timeero: The Best Driversnote Alternative
We tested numerous apps to find the best Driversnote alternative. Then, we focused on an app that betters Driversnote performance without the battery drain, missed trips, or privacy issues.
One app that ticked all these boxes is Timeero.
You can read our Timeero review to learn why it’s the best Driversnote alternative, but if you’re short on time, here’s a sneak peek:
Accurate Mileage Tracking
As we noted earlier, Driversnote doesn’t solely rely on motion detection technology to decide when to start tracking mileage. Other conditions should be met, which is probably why it misses the first part of the initial trip.
Timeero’s Android and iOS apps are the action hubs. The apps use motion detection technology to track vehicle speed but apply it in a way that prioritizes accuracy. When the speed exceeds a predefined threshold, the Timeero mileage tracker automatically starts to log mileage.
The app tracks mileage when the vehicle speed exceeds 4 miles/hour by default. You can tweak the base speed to suit your preferences.
The base speed enhances accuracy. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first or last trip of the day - Timeero captures all miles the vehicle exceeds the threshold.
Accountability With Route Replay
Sometimes drivers might be tempted to take longer routes for scenic purposes. This leads to missed ETA and can result in customer complaints and declining brand loyalty. Not to mention that such practices inflate your fuel and maintenance costs.
While Driversnote shows a driver’s route, it doesn’t provide detailed timestamps. Luckily, with Timeero, you can replay a driver’s route when on the clock. If you ever doubted a driver’s account, you can click on the breadcrumbs for speed and time data.
For example, if a customer complains of late delivery, but the driver tells a different story, fret not. Instead, click on the most proximate breadcrumb to the customer location to see when the driver arrived. Case solved.
Moreover, the speed data lets you pinpoint drivers not adhering to your speed policy. For example, data has shown that driving at 55 mph, not 65 mph, lowers fuel costs by 15%. You can monitor drivers to ensure they are maintaining optimal speeds.
Other Key Timeero Features
Solid offline mode
GPS location tracking
Time tracking with geofencing and facial recognition
Final Thought: Is Driversnote Worth It?
There’s no doubt that Driversnote is one of the best mileage trackers. The app may have displayed a few niggles. Still, its strengths make it a reliable tool for solo drivers and small businesses. There’s an offline mode, so even if you lose internet connection during work hours, the app will still log your miles.
However, the lingering battery drain issue can be a turn-off. If you’re a company that requires employees to use their smartphones, the battery drain could lead to employee pushback. Plus, the fact that the app misses certain parts of the trip could be a source of inaccuracies, leading to unfair reimbursement.
If you’d like to use an app that doesn’t cause battery drain, get Timeero. The app works flawlessly on iPhone and Android smartphones. It also uses motion detection technology, meaning it doesn’t miss any part of the trip. Sign up for Timeero free trial to get a first-hand feel for the features.
FAQs: Driversnote Review
How Does Driversnote Work?
Driversnote use motion tracking and iBeacon technology to track mileage. You place the iBeacon device in your car. When you enter the vehicle, the app picks up the signal from the iBeacon, prompting it to start tracking mileage.
Is Driversnote Free?
Yes, Driversnote comes with a free yet limited version. You can track 15 trips per month on the free plan, but you can’t use iBeacon.
Take Timeero mileage tracking features for a spin risk-free.
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.