City of Boston: civic body

Malaina Saha

Hi Malaina! Tell us a bit about your work for the City of Boston.

I work for the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment (DYEE), a city entity that helps to employ, develop and engage Boston’s youth. We currently support around 4,000 youth and work with 200 partner groups.

Each year we get a grant allowing us to serve at-risk youth by providing career development opportunities. This lets us partner with nonprofits – who provide work and employment opportunities – and covers payroll, hiring and youth development. We use Timely with this group, which currently amounts to 328 young people and 15 partner organizations. 

328 people across 15 organizations...! How does Timely help with that? 

We need to accurately track youth work and time for our funders, so we can continue paying our youth employees wages rather than stipends. This has been particularly difficult while people are working remotely, but Timely has helped us bridge that visibility gap. It lets us ensure youth employee time records are accurate and match payroll information. It also provides an objective account of all DYEE’s efforts towards supporting youth career development, which is essential for auditing purposes.

Accuracy and remote visibility – what made you pick Timely for these?

We actually researched two other apps at the same time: Toggl and Time Doctor. Toggl didn’t do anything we needed it to, and didn’t seem customizable at all, and Time Doctor had too many irrelevant features for us. With Timely, it just felt right. The app was immediately very user-friendly, with pleasing aesthetics and a clean UI. Timely was also very customizable to our program, and I really liked the customer service from the start. 

However, the biggest selling point was probably the Memory feature – it’s what convinced our funders to let us purchase Timely over other time tracking apps! By tracking work activity automatically, Timely removes human error and subjectivity from time reporting. Timer-based tools just can’t provide our funders with that same confidence.

Can you walk through how your department uses Timely?

We make full use of Timely’s project and tag features. Each partner organization is set up as a project and assigned a set of tags to reflect the responsibilities young people undertake each week. Our youth employees then just add the right tag when logging their time. Some also took advantage of Timely’s automatic timesheet feature to expedite the whole logging process.


Managers at each partner organization then check employee time data in Timely to approve a youth timesheet that’s required by our Department. At the DYEE, we also use Timely’s reporting features for an annual audit for our grant. Together with accurate timesheets and payroll information, these reports tell the full story of what any young person on the program achieves during their employment.


What Timely features stood out the most? 

Automatic time tracking, hands down. No other time tracking app offered such accuracy or simplicity. It made the whole tracking experience youth-friendly and easy, and provided our funders with a compelling argument to let us buy the software.

We also love Timely’s reports, which are beautifully designed and easy to generate. The ability to quickly pull detailed reports saved our team a lot of time (which is money!) at the end of our grant reporting period. 

Timely’s intuitive interface was also popular among our youth employees – particularly the ability to quickly copy time entries across multiple days when working on long projects. It’s just another thoughtful touch that helped keep logging admin to a minimum.



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