If your answer is YES, then look no further than the MileIQ application.  Gone are the days of keeping the written mileage log in your vehicle, briefcase or purse.  With today’s technology, tracking your miles can be done directly from your smartphone.  Here’s how.

  1. Download the MileIQ app from the App store on your phone
  2. Create an account
  3. Enter your vehicle information including your current odometer reading. You can enter more than one vehicle, if necessary.
  4. The app will now be running on your smartphone and will use the built-in GPS technology to track your mileage.

Once you have the account set up, MileIQ will run in the background and track any drives that you take.  Drives will appear 15 minutes after completion.  Once they appear, you will need to categorize the drive for good record keeping.  Here’s how:

Swiping the screen to the right will categorize the drive under Business and swiping to the left will categorize it under Personal.  Swipe quickly and the category will be general.  Swipe slowly and you will be able to pick from one of the default or custom categories that you created during the setup.

MileIQ comes with a few default categories for both personal and business.  Personal categories include commute, medical, charity, and moving.  Business categories include between offices, customer, visit, meeting, errand/supplies, meal/entertain, temporary site, airport/travel.  You can create custom categories as well.

Additionally, there is the option to add tolls, vehicles, parking and notes about other expenses that might be related to a particular drive.  You can customize mileage reimbursement rates or use the current year IRS mileage deduction.  MileIQ automatically calculates the value of your drives based on your settings.

Once the drive is logged and any additional data is entered, you can create automated or custom reports and have them delivered by email.  Currently, MileIQ integrates with two bookkeeping apps: Freshbooks and Concur.

There might be instances where you don’t want to track your miles, such as when you are traveling in someone else’s vehicle, using public transportation, biking or running.  In these cases, you have two options.  You can simply delete the drive by hitting the trash can icon at the bottom of the drive screen.  Or, you can pause drive detection from within the MileIQ mobile app.  To pause automatic drive detection, go to Settings > Personalization > Drive Detection and slide the toggle switch to Paused.

MileIQ allows you to complete 40 drives per month for free.  If you drive more than that, then you will need to upgrade to the Premium version which is only $5.99 billed monthly or $59.99 billed annually.

Curious as to how MileIQ does its magic?  In a nutshell, the app uses the last known end point for one trip as the starting point for the next.  The app needs at least a .5 mile difference between locations to recognize that a new trip has occurred.  Depending on your WiFi connection, very short trips may not be logged.  MileIQ is able to measure speed to disregard some activities such as walking (too slow) or plane travel (too fast).

It does take MileIQ about 15 minutes after the completion of a drive to determine that a trip has ended.  At that point, the information will be recorded and downloaded to the app for classification.  It is worth noting that brief stops may be joined together and that prolonged stops of 15 minutes or longer for things like traffic may create a segmentation of your drives.

The benefits of this app are pretty apparent.  MileIQ runs in the background and creates a drive log every time it registers that you have traveled at a speed that is sufficient to assume vehicular travel.  You can customize the categories for your business and personal needs and have reports sent to you on a schedule of your choosing.

There are a few downsides including the need to pause the app or delete drives when using alternate transportation options.  Also, if you let your drives accumulate without categorizing them, it’s a little difficult to determine the location from the drive log screen.  The app registers the distance between the drives and notes the beginning and end location by the city.  If you take multiple drives within the same city, it can be hard to identify exactly where the drive took place unless you enlarge the map.

As a result, I do recommend that you develop a consistent habit of categorizing your drives either at the end of the day or first thing in the morning.  Otherwise, it may be difficult to remember, particularly if you have frequent stops for different purposes throughout your day.

Hopefully, in the future, MileIQ will provide the full address for the start and end point of each drive to make recognition and subsequent categorization that much quicker.  The app also uses battery resources because it is always running in the background.  As a result, it is worth having a battery charger on hand if your driving days are long or other phone usage places addition drain on your battery life.  MileIQ does state in their FAQ’s that the drain on your battery should be low.

Overall, the negatives are a minor inconvenience and the learning curve is small.  This is a great app and has been a welcomed replacement to my old-fashioned mileage log book.  If you have used MileIQ or any similar app, please add your comments and feedback to this post.

Would you like help to develop a process to streamline your record keeping for business reporting?  The Streamlined Office offers consulting services to help you use technology to your advantage, saving your time and money!  Contact us today for a FREE Consultation or call 480-221-0588 for more information.