Set up AutoTime activity tracking

Available on Smokeball Grow and Prosper+ AutoTime_only.png

AutoTime is a feature that allows Smokeball to track activities automatically. It's especially helpful in calculating time billing or determining how much time was spent working on a Fixed Fee matter.

AutoTime tracks activity and inactivity, so you don't have to remember to start/stop a timer if you are interrupted or try to remember what activities you worked on.

Turn on AutoTime

AutoTime needs to be enabled on a user-by-user basis

  1. Select the gear icon on the top-right corner of the Smokeball desktop app to enter Smokeball Settings.
  2. Select the Staff & Users tab, then double-click on the user's name to open their details.mceclip9.png
  3. Select the Billing tab.
  4. Enter an Hourly Rate for the user, then tick Enable automatic creation of time entries.
  5. Tick and untick the components of Smokeball that you want AutoTime to track. 
    • Group activities as one entry will summarise activities
      • If this option is unticked, fees will be listed in the Subject column when viewing entries in the Time & Disbursements view.
      • The summary field can be edited in the Time & Billing section of Smokeball Settings.
    • Send email when time entries are automatically created will enable a daily email listing time-related activities transferred to Time and Disbursements.
      • AutoTime users receive an email as soon as their AutoTime run has been completed. The email will be sorted by matter including the entry duration and amount.
    • Mark my time entries as billable will automatically apply all-time recorded activities as billable items in Time & Disbursements.
      • This does not mean they are automatically billed, as you still have the opportunity to review entries before including them in invoices.
    • Include Matter Administration activities will record the time spent amending information in a Smokeball Matter.
    • Include Memo activities will record the time spent creating Memos.
    • Group email-based time entries by subject line will group activities for related emails.
    • Do not create time entries on Closed matters will stop AutoTime entries from being created if the matter status is marked Closed.
    • Only create billable time entries on first email read records the time spent only on opening an email for the first time. This is per user/log-in based.
  6. Select Save.

How AutoTime operates in the background

Every night, AutoTime will take all your recorded activities in Activity Intelligence during the day and automatically create time entries for you.

You can view these time entries before they're included in the nightly AutoTime run by going to the Time & Disbursements view at the top of Smokeball. They are marked as Pending:

Once the AutoTime run has been finalised, these time entries will be available in Smokeball Billing to add to your invoices. You can also manually finalise entries before the nightly AutoTime run.

You will receive an email when your AutoTime run has been completed overnight. The email will be sorted by matter, including the entry duration and amount.

Add activities not tracked by Smokeball to AutoTime

To manually add any other time activities not tracked by Smokeball, such as phone calls, select Activity on the Home screen or within the matter and enter the details of the activity. 

Once saved, this activity will be transferred into Time & Disbursements if AutoTime is enabled. Otherwise, select Add from Activity on the left panel.


AutoTime transfers tracked activities to Time & Disbursements overnight but can be forced to update at any time by selecting Review AutoTime.

Turn off AutoTime

If you need to disable AutoTime for a user for any particular reason, navigate to Staff Member Details in Smokeball Settings. Select the Billing tab and untick Enable automatic creation of time entries.

The settings related to AutoTime will be automatically disabled and appear greyed out.

Good to Know

  • Double-click on any fee entry to view more details or edit and delete the entry.
  • You can refresh the list of time entries at the bottom of the Review AutoTime table.
  • The duration of time entries is tracked in hours:minutes.
  • Enabling AutoTime will remove the ability to use Time Finder.
  • You can apply discounts on Autotime entries when creating an invoice. Note that the discount applies to the whole invoice.
  • AutoTime entries can be edited and modified before sending an invoice to a client. You can edit the date, description, duration, rate, and amount. These updates will not be reflected in Activity; they will only be reflected in the time entry.
  • AutoTime entries are not automatically billed.
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