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We’ve compiled a list of top 7 time-tracking software based on our clients' experience and a value judgment. It’ll help you to choose the most suitable app for your business. And yes, don’t take it as an ultimate truth.
Time-tracking is a software category that allows employees to record time spent on their tasks and projects, and employers use it to better control their personnel.
In the recent years, there’s been a trend of using time trackers to record billable hours of freelancers (software engineers, accountants, customer support specialists, and so on) – employees who work remotely and are paid an hourly wage.
Time trackers show managers what their employees are actually doing at work and how productive they are. As for employees, it allows them to control working hours more effectively.
In this article we’ll compare 7 different time tracking products, their tools, features, and as a bonus, we’ll tell you about one more thing (try to guess what it is).
Tasks of time-tracking apps:
Most of these tools are freemium products: there’re paid features, and free ones (with the sort of «trimmed» functionality), it’s a no brainer, cause the development and support of any B2B product costs money.
So, here’s the list of our time trackers:
Tick is more suited to teams that are deterred by billing structure of the other services that charge you “per user”. Tick charges “per project”, and the number of users isn’t limited.
In other words, you save money, especially when you have a large team.
The interface is pretty basic and user-friendly, you track projects and tasks with real-time or manually afterwards.
Reports include info about:
The unique pricing policy for large teams, and when the number of projects is limited.
The actual interface isn’t as slick as other tools. The tasks must be set up in every project, and it takes time.
Support of unlimited team members (even in free plan).
For one project you won’t have to pay anything, and 10 projects will cost you $19 per month.
OfficeTime was created specifically for offline work. Windows, macOS and iOS apps cost $49. There’s a syncing feature (optional). OfficeTime is probably one of the best solutions for tracking offline data. It includes all tools needed for time-tracking.
When the app is active, the visible timer appears, you can categorize time that’s being tracked by a client or a project. OfficeTime tracking feature allows to record the amount of time when an employee or freelancer wasn’t working, when he was on a phone call, talked to clients (or stroked a cat).
You can add additional data to sessions, including the type of work and hourly rate.
OfficeTime has a feature of cost record, reporting, and basic invoicing.
OfficeTime’s capabilities are lower compared to Harvest or FreshBooks, but it’s quite ok for small and average businesses (for instance, when all the calculations are in one currency).
This is a cross platform service, moderate pricing (if you compare monthly fee).
The biggest disadvantage of the app is its price, when using it for a short period of time.
$49 for lifetime license.
This service for individual users and teams looking for a professional time tracker.
The uniqueness of Timely is its automatic tracking feature. It records every activity based on previous history of actions. There're prompts with tags and labels. You can accept suggestions, edit them manually or dismiss.
Every time when you edit data you improve the self-training feature, and prompts become more accurate.
Timely is not for everyone. For example, those employees who spend most of the time working with Google Docs, won’t find it comfortable to teach some AI to automatically track clients or projects. For users working with one particular asset it would be inconvenient to switch to other tasks. But if you have a lot of different tasks, or projects, then the automatic time tracking would be well-timed.
Automatic time tracking feature saves your time and allows to double check and make sure that important data aren’t missed. That’s also a good app that helps you to clear up what your employees were doing during the day.
Project Health Dashboard – a built-in tool – helps to control billable hours when you need to find out whether your team overspends the budget. The Dashboard shows important productivity data.
Sometimes (for instance, when an employee has to work all day in Google Docs), automatic tracking won’t be efficient. There're people who prefer to do everything manually.
There’s no free plan.
Timely changes $8 for a user, and $15 for a team.
Best fits to companies seeking for a basic time tracker with user friendly interface (there’s Team feature, but it’s not so advanced as in other tools).
Hours has one of the best UI. There’s a usable tool Timeline that quickly fills the gaps of time tracking.
The Timeline feature helps to fill the gaps when users forget to activate time tracker or when there’s a need for time tracking events without a mobile app. The UI looks quite slick.
If your workflow includes creating a lot of projects daily, then Hours won’t be as good as Toggl, which we’ll describe later on.
Hours supports web and iOS interfaces.
For web interface Hours charges $8 (for one user/month). There’s a free plan for iOS (without pro features).
The Harvest time tracker was primarily developed for freelancers or remote teams. There’s a spend record tool and some other accounting tools that every good time tracker requires.
There’s an invoicing function, including PayPal Business Payments (suitable for users who have accounts in American Banks).
Here you have third party integrations including project management tools, invoicing, CRM, client support, developer tools etc.
The time is tracked in web apps, browser extensions, desktop and mobile apps.
The built-in record feature, cost record, including receipts scanner.
The UI is not as simple as it could be, users will have to do more clicks and page refreshes, than in other similar time trackers. It doesn’t fit to freelancers working on numerous projects.
The interface with reports isn’t as flexible as in other tools, though most of the users do not complain about it.
There’s a free plan of Harvest (up to two projects).
Paid plan costs $12 for a one user/month.
This time tracking tool was developed for freelancers, although Toggl allows to record activities of the teams.
Toggl gives some flexibility in tracking settings.
The basic interface allows to delegate tasks in projects, quickly choose clients (creating projects, adding clients in every dashboard). Web interface, browser extensions, mobile and desktop apps allow to track activity and set reminders. More than hundred integrations with popular tools, like Trello and Asana.
There’s a tagging system for projects and clients. It takes few seconds to create a new project, or tag. No page refreshes, or additional clicks needed.
Detailed reports visualize your spending and generate reports for clients, there are additional filters.
More that hundred integrations. You can start tracking in Trello card and switch to some other tools.
There’s no invoicing feature, but there're integrations with third party tools.
The desktop app is a little bit clunky.
Free plan includes basic features, which are good enough. The paid plan starts from $9 (one user/month), and $49 for team users.
The best inexpensive time tracker. That’s a budget solution for time tracking on desktop, mobile, and web.
TMetric has reporting and interactive features. Small teams or freelancers – who would like to know how effectively they spend their working hours on various tasks – will find it quite useful.
Every minute is calculated, working hours are logged, and also breaks. The timeline is visualized (with working hours and breaks).
TMetric contains a wide list of integrations with other services, Trello, Wrike, GitHub…
Users can create reports, integrations, but TMetric doesn’t have a tool for task management and invoices.
Free for up to 5 user teams, paid plan starts from $48/year.
Our employee monitoring software – Kickidler – although relates to employee monitoring software, has time tracking feature. Well, EMS is sort of advanced time tracking, a pro level employee management.
Our program is localized to a number of languages, there’s a Russian and Portuguese version, and Spanish interface is going to be ready in a while.
On top of that, the cost of our software is not more expensive, and even cheaper than many other time trackers.
It all depends on a particular situation and a workflow. Well, for a freelancer it would be more convenient to manage projects in Toggl, cause its interface is quite thought-out. Toggl developers have done a good job – every single action is accessible in a separate screen, so the user isn’t distracted to other sections, and only go there to make a report.
In Timely there’s a unique feature of automatic tracking and self-learning.
And on the other hand, for teamwork, it’s better to use a tool like Kickidler that gives a bird's eye view of remote team productivity.