With the many time-tracking apps available, choosing the best one can be tricky. You need to find the best time tracking app as you can use it for wise and effective time management.
I’m sure you already know how important time is. Since you only have 24 hours daily, you have to be more mindful and careful of where you spend your time. You need to develop effective time management skills so you can boost your productivity and ensure that you complete your tasks and projects on time.
While there are ways to track time, using the best time tracking app is the most valuable means of accurately reflecting time spent on working. Let’s get to know more about your options to track time and find out which one perfectly suits your needs and requirements the most.
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What is Time Tracking Software?
As the name suggests, time tracking software serves as a tool for monitoring multiple and unlimited tasks and time. It provides a solution for people and organizations who wish to manage time wisely and effectively.
This time tracking software or solution takes different forms with its core being the capacity to track and monitor time. Among them are the following:
An app, which mainly features the tracking of time as its primary function, is known as a time tracker. With a time tracker around, you can use your laptop or phone when it comes to clocking in or out.
It also allows you to use your stopwatch in recording the task’s start time and when it ends. There are also several time trackers with reporting and analytics capable of consolidating data for insights.
You can also classify the timesheet as one of the most effective and the best time tracking apps. The primary feature of this solution is an online timesheet, which you can access via mobile devices, laptops, or desktops. It often has a built-in payroll system capable of automating wage calculations.
There is also an invoicing app, which you can use for client billing. With the help of the cloud timesheet, you can capture the number of billable hours you worked whether you are in the field or office.
Another useful feature in the timesheet is the dashboard, which shows real-time data, so the number of hours put in by the employee will be approved. It also helps in managing absences and time-offs with replacements quickly.
Several time tracking solutions now belong to the larger project management system. The reason is that the time tracking process is vital in completing projects successfully and you can achieve that smoothly with the project management features of a great time tracking app.
If the ultimate purpose is for project completion, you can see the app being classified as a project management tool. However, because of their impressive time-tracking capability, you can expect the tool to stand out as an effective time tracker.
Benefits of Using a Time Tracking App
Several things make using a time tracking app truly beneficial for you – whether you use it for personal, career, or business reasons. Among the benefits of the best time tracking software are:
Increases your productivity
You can use the app to track time in optimizing the work capability of the entire team and every member. It allows you to set clear deadlines that you can easily monitor, making you and everyone on your team remain on the same page and stay accountable.
You can also easily spot and address any time that you waste. This promotes effective team management, which means you can manage your team and prevent them from wasting time on unproductive endeavors.
Captures time effortlessly
For sure, other more crucial things require your attention than just recording hours that you can bill. With the help of the time tracking tool, you can handle the routine task of invoicing or wage calculation and time capture.
You also have an assurance that the data is more accurate and transparent compared to manual time entries. Upon setting the rules, there is a guarantee that the entire time capture to payroll or billing is automated.
You also have an assurance that transparency in the workplace will be present if you use the best time tracking apps. Once you track billable hours and record them with a high level of accuracy, you can avoid disputes. It is possible for you to utilize data to compute dues and assess the performance of staff based on metrics driven by data.
Improves deadline accuracy
Another reason to start using a time tracking app is that it assures users that their tasks will be clear and visible. This means you will get a clear idea of your tasks, giving you detailed specifics of each one.
It promotes ease in estimating dates of completion and inserting some cases of delay. This is also a big help in estimating time more accurately. A good time tracking app also works well in automatically handling unfulfilled daily tasks in the sense that you can adjust deadline targets weekly and monthly.
Great way to keep employees and workers empowered
Having the time tracker, which promotes accuracy and reliability, can result in more empowered employees or workers, thereby boosting the accountability of the workforce. With increased accountability, managers and leaders will also find it easier to keep their targets under control.
This will further lead to the development of trust between the staff and manager. Soon enough, the use of employee time tracking apps will also result in employees obtaining more leeway when it comes to meeting deliverables.
If you are running a large company or organization, choose an app to track time that allows unlimited users so you can get your money’s worth especially if you get the paid plan.
Another benefit of using a time tracking app is that it makes you focus on a single task at a time. This enhances focus and concentration, which also lowers the need to multitask. While multitasking gives you the chance to finish several tasks in a short amount of time, it will not produce favorable results as it may also kill your personal productivity.
With the help of the best time-tracking app, you can concentrate more on your tasks and projects. This results in the faster and more efficient completion of your work.
Features to Look for in a Time Tracking Solution
Once you start using the time tracker, you will immediately notice how good it is for maintaining workplace productivity and ensuring that you constantly make good business decisions.
Once you understand how people spend their time, you will have a much better chance to develop better processes. You can also use this information to develop your team’s skills and for more effective team management.
Another great thing about the time tracking app is that it gives you a clear idea of the specific amount you should bill clients once the month ends. Note that regardless if you work as a freelancer or an agency, your goal will always be to make sure that you receive the payment you deserve based on the amount of work you do.
If you want to maintain the order of your time-tracking tasks, organize everything and keep it that way. If you don’t do that, you will miss around an hour every now and then, which can result in you receiving less income than others.
To ensure that you get to enjoy all the promised benefits of time tracking software, here are the main and basic time tracking features you may want to search for:
Automated time tracking
One thing to note about using the time tracking app is that there are instances when you will forget or fail to start and stop it. That said, make sure you look for one that is truly automated.
Ensure that the automatic time tracking app continues to monitor or keep track of the work you do even in the background. It should be that way so you no longer have to remind yourself to do anything.
You can also go for time tracking apps that are capable of working offline. This means that the best apps also include those that support offline time tracking.
It also helps to find an app to track time with a good number of integrations. Find integrations with the project management features and tools you prefer to use. For example, the app is one that you should be able to integrate with Trello or some accounting software.
As much as possible, look for a time-tracking app that allows invoice creation. For instance, if you decide to bill on an hourly basis, find out whether the time tracking app can help create invoices based on the number of hours you put in.
Another important thing to look for in time tracking apps is flexibility. Find out whether you can configure it in such a way that it perfectly suits your needs and requirements. For instance, you may need to have some additional features disabled, so users will have an easier time navigating the time tracking tool.
You may also add a feature that lets your management team gain access to more advanced features and functionalities. In other words, the time tracking app should be flexible enough to meet different users’ demands.
It also helps if the features are also intuitive aside from being flexible. As much as possible, the learning curve should not be so steep. It should be simple enough and easy to learn, so find color-coded menus and drag-and-drop functions that will indicate ease of use and simplicity.
On-premise versus cloud
In your search for the best deployment model, consider vital factors, like the structure of your company – whether it is distributed or local – and the potential for receiving internal IT support, and the available budget.
If you want to focus more on convenience, it would be much better to go for cloud service. Several products often include support and maintenance in their licensing fee. This prevents you from worrying too much about the lack of a dedicated IT team once you start using the time tracking software.
Top 12 Time Tracking Apps
Picking the most suitable time-tracking app for your business or personal use is vital for more effective and successful time management. With that said, you must comb through dozens of currently available apps, no matter how daunting this task is.
You have to read reviews and compare features of different time tracking apps to find out which one perfectly suits your needs and requirements. For you to have an easier time making your choice out of the many time tracking apps you can access right now, here are some of the most popular ones along with their brief overviews and pros and cons.
#1 – Clockify
While Clockify is mainly designed to work for teams of different sizes, you can still use this app to track your time even if you do not belong to a huge group. You will also find Clockify useful if you work as a freelancer.
It is very useful in your attempt to have an easier time making adjustments to a lifestyle that allows you to work anywhere. The good thing about Clockify is that it is flexible, which means it tracks time across various devices and platforms. This makes it possible for all users to do productivity tracking regardless of their device.
If you manage a team, you can use Clockify to track remote team activities and in-office work hours. The app also has this feature that allows you to set a timer automatically. There is also a simple system that you can use in clocking in and out.
One more thing that Clockify can do is give you a clear view of how productive your team is. You will be able to see the specific productivity level as the app breaks down the important data into easy-to-understand visual reports.
- Flexible as it works on different platforms and for different types of users
- Offers a free time tracking app plan that has basic features and functionalities
- Allows the automatic setting of time
- Helps you measure your team’s level of productivity
- You can only get the additional useful features and functionalities through the paid version – These include custom fields, features to add and set time for other people, timesheet locking, alerts, branded visual reports, and project templates.
#2 – DeskTime
DeskTime is another of the best time tracking apps to check out as it provides an automated solution for freelancers and any remote team. You can opt to download this mobile app to track time more efficiently. It also helps in managing attendance and workflow more effectively.
With the help of DeskTime, it is possible to see the URLs and apps used by employees during work hours. You may also use it in scheduling vacations and days off.
Most of the features that you can find in DeskTime cater to the needs of companies that need to boost productivity in the workplace. It also aids in minimizing business losses and streamlining business processes.
It also has numerous features that prove to be useful in tracking time and monitoring the entire team. With DeskTime, you can easily track vacations, overtime, daily activities, and sick leaves.
It also gives you a clear view of the whole workflow of the team as well as the URLs, track applications, and document title track. You can even use it for scheduling and organizing teamwork shifts efficiently and quickly as you will be able to use spreadsheets.
This app allows you to see the whole staff schedule on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis also lowers the risk of overstaffing and understaffing. One more thing that it can offer is the ability to coordinate the time off of the team effortlessly, thanks to the employee absence calendar.
With this feature, the team members can immediately see the times when various team members are on leave or vacation. This is a good way to prevent the confusion linked to the schedule and detect where certain employees are. You can even integrate it with Google calendar for further ease in scheduling.
- Easy to use tool for automated productivity tracking and monitoring the idle time of users
- User-friendly UI (user interface)
- Works for both freelancers and remote team
- Has desktop screenshot features, which gives managers a means of checking whether all members of their team are working
- Monitors vacations, time-offs, and overtime
- Some functionalities and features become unresponsive after some time.
#3 – Toggl
Another solution available on the time tracking market is Toggl. It is the perfect solution for freelancers who prefer to use a time-tracking app that comes with a fancy design. This is particularly helpful if you intend to juggle multiple projects.
In that case, you can separate multiple or even unlimited projects using different colors.
Through Toggl, project, task, and team management will be easier. This tool also comes with browser extensions that you can use for Firefox and Chrome. In addition, it is one of those time tracking apps that provide extensive and comprehensive software support, allowing you to use it for every platform and operating system.
Toggl also supports various time formats, the Pomodoro timer, and idle time detection – the latter being the ability to detect whether you are still actively working based on your keyboard’s activity. This tool also provides various keyboard shortcuts, tags, and reports.
Besides freelancers, Toggl is a great tool for small businesses, startups, and collaborative workers. It features a simple interface, which you can use to log time, allowing you to easily add clients, unlimited projects, and tasks.
This desktop app also allows you to track specific activities. It sets reminders, so you will never have problems meeting your deadlines and schedules. In addition, Toggl has plenty of unique features, including the time card calculator, timesheet magazine, and remote working guide.
- Provides an effective means of tracking the amount of time spent on various tasks
- A simple and intuitive interface, which means there is no need for extensive worker or employee training to use Toggl effectively
- Has a reminders feature, which helps prevent missing deadlines
- Works well for collaborative workers, small businesses, and startups
- While decent, the free time tracking app plan only has limited offerings, which also means that access to all features and functionalities of Toggle can become expensive.
#4 – Harvest
You may also want to check out Harvest, another highly efficient time tracker for different kinds of users. It is a simple time tracking app, which does not only focus on monitoring time but also in doing expense tracking.
It is also effective when it comes to robust reporting, estimates, invoicing, and timesheet approval. What’s great about Harvest is that it is a more advanced tracker and has a built-in invoicing solution that meets the demands and requirements of even the most advanced users.
The tool can provide you with an intuitive user experience. You can also expect Harvest to work on various devices and platforms. Harvest also offers users more than ninety integrations with various apps, including Jira, Slack, GitHub, Basecamp, Asana, Zapier, and Trello.
The reports that Harvest provides are also highly intuitive. You can use the information in the reports for the proper and effective management of the team. You will also have an easier time optimizing productivity as it details the level of work performed by the team members, what task or project they are working on, and the work time.
It also has what they refer to as the forecast feature, which is one of the most useful project management tools with its ability to schedule your team’s time in the future. With that, it is easy to plan projects in the future and avoid burnout.
Other useful features integrated into this tool are profitability analysis, budgets, automatic reminders, and timesheet approvals. As for its pricing, it has a free plan for a single user with two tasks/projects. Harvest also allows unlimited users and projects with a cost of around $10.80 per user per month.
- Effective and extensive time tracking, allowing you to input hours for the entire week in just one go
- Works on various devices and platforms
- Highly intuitive reports that help optimize team productivity
- Allows effective time scheduling, thanks to the forecast feature
- Has a paid plan for unlimited projects and users
- Does not have integration for sales tax – While it has plenty of integrations for several functions, it lacks the one for automated sales tax, which many users would have found useful because tax filing is mandatory.
#5 – Timecamp
If you are searching for a cloud-based time tracker, Timecamp is the perfect choice for you. This solution allows manual time tracking with ease with the help of its timer. There is also a desktop app, which you can use for automatic time tracking.
With the help of this app, project managers will have an easier time keeping track of the status of a project, monitoring billable hours at work, and collaborating with the team. You can also use Timecamp in creating automatic employee payroll. It is also useful when planning to create invoices and send them to your clients/customers.
Timecamp also works as highly effective productivity and employee monitoring tool, giving managers a clear idea about employees’ productivity level. This tool also seems to stand out when compared to other apps because it allows various app integration.
It provides over fifty integrations with various project management software, like Basecamp and Asana, as well as help desk applications, such as Zendesk. This offers a huge advantage if you want an easier time syncing and importing tasks that you have already created and tickets to Timecamp.
This tool is also suitable for organizations and managers who are in need of an all-in-one app that they can use for time tracking and billing. Moreover, it works effectively as productivity tracking software capable of integrating with several project management tools.
- Works effectively in manually and automatically tracking time
- Has plenty of integrations, making it even more functional and versatile
- All-in-one app, which you can use for time tracking, billing, and productivity monitoring
- Has budgeting and invoicing feature
- Offers a free plan for freelancers but the set of features is only limited
#6 – Hubstaff
If you are looking for a software solution with plenty of features, allowing it to have extensive coverage, go for Hubstaff. You can enjoy a lot of nice features in this tool, including time tracking for employees with screenshots to increase accuracy.
You can also take advantage of its GPS tracking ability, payroll solution, monitoring, scheduling and reporting, automated payments, and budgeting and invoicing. Hubstaff also provides online timesheets along with the choice to do team scheduling. Moreover, it can monitor the use of the application and the amount of time spent on various sites.
While teams and freelancers can use the tool, it seems to provide the most benefits to huge companies and organizations. The reason is that it has an extensive list of features that will help monitor and track the activities of remote workers. It is a good tool for a large company with managers who already have a hard time with the arduous employee monitoring process.
You can also automate the tracking of work depending on the location of the GPS. Moreover, you can use Hubstaff to check out all apps you used during the time the timer was still on. It also allows users to check out all the visited URLs during the entire tracking activity.
As for its pricing, you can choose from its three categories for the free and paid plans. Pick one based on the needs and requirements of your company. Note that while the free plan is already good, it still has limited options and is only designed for a single user.
You may want to choose the paid plans if you want to obtain more extensive coverage. It is also advisable to choose the enterprise plan of Hubstaff if you prefer a more customized paid plan and an unlimited number of choices and features.
- Tracks productivity of various types of users, including freelancers and remote workers
- Features clean and simple user interface while providing good reports
- Promotes ease in monitoring several projects across a number of teams
- Guarantees a high level of employee and employer transparency – The reason is you can gain access to the specific details monitored and the exact time for tracking.
- The screenshots are accessible only on the desktop app.
#7 – Time Doctor
Time Doctor is primarily promoted as employee monitoring software. Despite that, freelancers and large teams and organizations can still use it. With the help of the time tracking and employee monitoring features of Time Doctor, including web usage and screenshots, freelancers will obtain valuable data on work hours and billable hours.
These hours are the ones that they should be able to share with their clients so they can bill them accordingly. Meanwhile, large organizations and companies are given the option to gather real-time data regarding the workflow habits and time of their employees.
Time Doctor seems more effective for remote teams, organizations, and businesses than for individual users. What it does is it takes screenshots of the screen of a worker or employee automatically, allowing managers to monitor the activities of workers.
This can provide a more detailed report composed of attendance, wasted time, and actual usage. Another nice thing about Time Doctor is that it provides an offline mode, which is useful in tracking employees and workers without an internet connection.
Moreover, Time Doctor takes pride in its integrated tracker, which shows a worker’s inactivity, giving the manager the time to check out whether the quality of work suffered. One more thing that I’m sure you will be happy about when using Time Doctor is that it allows seamless integration with numerous apps.
- Provides plenty of useful information for monitoring the time of employees
- Works well for remote teams
- Offers convenience as it allows the manual adding and editing of time
- Has over sixty integrations, though, the availability will still rely on your chosen subscription plan
- Occasional inaccuracies in manual setting, especially if you fail to set it correctly
#8 – ActiTime
This app tends to deliver well as far as creating workflows is concerned. You can use it to keep track of your time, look at your tracked time and activities in the report, and then lock it. After that, the time log will be approved by the administrator.
ActiTime is perfect for advanced users because it focuses more on giving powerful reporting and puts more emphasis on workflows. The result is a user interface, which is more complex as it is more cluttered compared to other apps.
You may not need to spend a long time to master how to use this app but this task can be daunting and intimidating for someone who has no knowledge about technical stuff. Despite that, knowing how to use this tool is worthwhile, especially if your priority is obtaining clean workflows designed for your team.
Many are also in favor of using ActiTIME as it has a high level of accuracy in terms of automated time tracking. This fully automated tracker can help you record the time you spent on each activity you do on your PC. It also does so with the highest level of precision.
The fact that this tool is highly accurate is also good as it means that you will only have fewer invoicing and billing errors. You can also analyze productivity better as it provides more accurate and detailed data.
Another nice thing about ActiTime is that it has a reasonable price if you consider the many advanced features present in the app. It even gives you a free plan that allows up to three users.
- Works well in terms of creating workflows
- High level of accuracy and precision
- Lowers the risk of having invoicing and billing errors
- Reasonably priced – The free plan already allows up to three users.
- Can be too complex for beginners or those who are not that skilled in technical stuff
#9 – TSheets
Another time tracker that leaves a good and positive impression on users is TSheets. It is a web-based solution for efficient and accurate time tracking and is more advanced because of its several useful features. It even comes with a GPS tracker, which is useful in monitoring the locations of employees assigned to the field.
TSheets is purpose-built in such a way that it can record data for time entries and deliver them in real-time. It also boasts of its robust and solid reporting engine, which is useful in manipulating data based on the requirement of customers. It also continues to leave a good impression with its high level of functionality and intuitive user interface.
Another advantage of TSheets is that it promotes real-time tracking. This means that it can track in real-time the specific employees who are working, what their tasks are, and from where are they doing each task. It also provides overtime alerts.
TSheets also provides additional features that make the tool even more functional. These extra features revolve around invoicing, project management, and expense tracking and management. It even has a tool for efficient and effective employee monitoring.
This tool also greatly depends on its API or open application programming interface, allowing you to create your own integrations whenever necessary to the software.
Geofencing and GPS tracking are also among the core features of this tool. With such features, you can view the location of the mobile apps or devices of anyone in this tool’s desktop version. You can also use geofencing in tracking the employee’s location’s geographic perimeter.
- Has a robust and solid reporting engine
- Highly intuitive user interface
- Assures users of real-time tracking of time and other activities
- Has customizable fields that you can use for advanced tracking
- Has features for geofencing and GPS tracking
- Does not have a feature for scheduling future time
#10 – Trackabi
You may also want to take advantage of the web-based time tracking app called Trackabi. This tool gives consultants, freelancers, small businesses, and medium-sized companies, among many others, an efficient means of tracking time and work activities.
It has several useful features aside from time tracking and reporting, including team and project management, directory building, and leave management. With the help of this app, it is possible to monitor the specific apps used throughout the day.
It has a desktop timer that collects data that should be in sync with the web version to promote ease in processing and reviewing. The tool is so good that it can distinguish apps for leisure and work, which means it can automatically count the specific length of time the user performed their job productively.
You will also enjoy this tool’s employee monitoring and leave management feature. It even supports the process for request and approval. This app is also what you need if you want to be able to create directories for clients and employees.
You can use these directories to store critical information, like the contact details of past and present employees. It also holds summaries of the projects of clients.
Trackabi also allows users to record and monitor time spent on tasks, activities, or projects using manual logs or a timer. It is even possible for you to get the reports showing the time tracked from configurable timesheets that you can then export to Excel or PDF.
Many also agree that Trackabi is one of the cheapest time tracking software and project management apps available right now. Aside from its free trial, it also offers a free plan that provides access to its core features to up to five users. There are also a couple of paid plans that allow more users and additional features.
- Tracks time spent on work and apps used throughout the day
- Has leave management feature, which also supports request and approval
- Allows you to create client and employee directories
- Affordable plans – It has free plans and a scalable paid plan.
- The many features in this tool make it a bit hard to learn at first.
#11 – RescueTime
RescueTime is also a time tracker that you can use to block distractions and track the number of hours you spent focusing at work. Therefore, this simple automatic time tracker can help you analyze how to spend your time and evaluate how productive you are.
This app works not only for businesses but also for individual users. Note, though, that because it is somewhat lacking in terms of employee monitoring features, it fits the needs of individuals the most. It helps them monitor their level of productivity the entire day.
One thing that RescueTime can do is to start an automated focus session so you will always be reminded to work while retaining your focus. What’s even better about this app is that it supports your goal of staying focused.
It does so by choosing and blocking apps and sites that can potentially distract you. It can also provide you with detailed reports regarding your level of productivity. Moreover, it can give real-time alerts that will serve as a reminder for you to remain focused.
In addition, RescueTime will allow you to still think of yourself. You can use it in setting your daily goals while giving you reminders once it is time for you to take your break. It even allows you to learn and understand your daily habits, especially work-related ones.
RescueTime also provides a couple of integrations, especially with Google Calendar and Office 365. With such integrations, you can automate your focus time and compute the exact number of hours you spend in meetings.
- Works effectively in measuring your level of productivity
- Can block distractions, making it possible for you to work while retaining your focus
- Can be integrated with a few operating systems
- Gives a clear overview of your daily habits
- Lacking employee monitoring and management features
#12 – Timeular
The last time tracking app we will be talking about in this article is Timeular. Many find this octagonal hardware device for effective time tracking unique as it can record your tasks and activities when you flip it.
This app is a great choice for you if you are into multitasking who needs to fulfill up to eight activities. To use it, you just simply connect the device to your smartphone or PC through Bluetooth. After that, you can assign various projects or tasks to the sides.
It is a simple device with eight sides that many consider the best tool for time tracking. The process of using it is simple. You just have to use the erasable marker in labeling each side with the task or project you work on daily.
The device will then automatically track the amount of time spent on each task. The task will be the one that faces upwards. This device can also be synced with the app of the same name. This app is so easy to use and compatible with Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows.
It also supplies software that provides basic features capabilities for tracking time. The tool also makes the time-tracking process tactile. There is even a low chance for you to forget flipping over the device as doing so after completing a task or activity is very satisfying.
The tool does not also miss out on sending notifications. Installing this device will give you an immediate notification telling you the specific number of minutes you dedicate to past activity.
- Conveniently records tasks and time upon flipping
- Works well for those who are multitasking
- Has an app that you can easily sync with the device and is compatible with other devices and operating systems
- Sends notifications necessary for managing your time and productivity
- A bit buggy
Investing in the best time-tracking device or app can definitely help you keep your level of productivity high. It is what you need to remain productive and manage your time wisely. You can also physically see the time tracked by these mobile operating systems and apps through their accurate reports.
With the many time tracking tools, choosing one will be confusing but generally easy. You can even make your choice based on what you need specifically. It is also possible to pick a time tracking app based on the number of users – whether you want it to be designed for a specific number of users or unlimited users.