Initial setup

Things to configure before you can start time-tracking

Kimai tries to be as simple as possible, while leaving you as much freedom as possible in the way how you use it for your time-tracking. But this freedom comes with a price: the initial setup phase … you have to configure several settings, before you can track your first time record.

After you installed Kimai according to the documentation, created your first user and logged in, you should follow these steps:

Kimai data-structure

It is crucial to understand that there is a certain data structure used in Kimai, which cannot be changed:

  • Customer -> Project -> Activity are mandatory fields for every timesheet
  • Projects are linked to one customer, while an activity can either be project specific or global
  • Each time-record is assigned to a Project and Activity

This structure is used to allow all kinds of features, like customer based invoicing or project based reporting.

First data and configuration

Before you are going to use Kimai in production, please create an initial data set and then check the configuration.

Track times for your company

In order to record your first timesheets, you will create some entries for your company:

  • Create your first Customer named My company
  • Create your first Project named Internal and link it to the Customer named My Company
  • Create your first Activity named Internal and link it to the Project named Internal

Your preferences

Open your user preferences (from the upper-left user drop-down menu) and check all settings.

Read more about them here.

System configuration

Now change to System -> Settings and configure the following settings:

  • Timesheet / Timetracking mode - read more about the available “Tracking modes”
  • User - default values - if you are using Kimai in a multi-user environment, make sure these preferences are correct, as they apply to every user that did not yet update his preferences.

Please read the documentation for the other configurations as well.