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Time Tracking for Designers: 11 Time Tracking Tools to Boost Efficiency

Maria Kharlantseva, December 9, 2022
time tracking for designers: 11 time tracking tools to boost efficiency and productivity

Whether you’re a freelance designer or working as part of a design team, being able to accurately track your time is vital. Time tracking allows you to manage your time, provide transparency, and bill clients accurately. However, to ensure that you’re tracking time as effectively as possible, you need to find a solution that meets your requirements. Thankfully, there are various tools to pick from—time tracking for designers has never been easier! This article will outline the 11 best time-tracking tools for freelance designers and creative teams.

Why Use Time Trackers for Designers?

time tracking for designers: 11 time tracking tools to boost efficiency

With a time tracker, you can clearly see how much time you’re spending on each project. This information can be very valuable in helping you to determine which projects are taking up too much of your time and which ones you can complete more quickly. Additionally, knowing how much time you spend on each project can help you to budget your time more effectively.

Plus, designers often work as freelancers or in small teams. As a result, it is crucial for them to know exactly how much time they are spending on work to ensure they invoice clients accurately.

11 Best Time Tracking Tools for Designers

Several different time-tracking software options are available, so we’ve done some research to help you find a time-tracking tool that best meets your needs. Here are our top 11 picks!

Everhour

airtable time tracking: how to get more value with the right integration

Everhour is a simple, effective time tracker that helps you track your time and see where you’re spending the most time on your projects.

👍 Best features

Time clock app: You can see exactly how much time you have left on a project with the Everhour time clock app, allowing you to receive insights into where you spend your time.

clock in/clock out

Integrations: Everhour is a great option for designers looking for time-tracking software because it integrates with several popular design programs, including Photoshop, Canva, and Figma, so you can clearly see how much time you spend on each design app. This means you can track your time without switching between different applications or tabs.

Reporting: Everhour contains various reporting tools, including team timesheets, live dashboards, project summaries, and customization tools to create highly relevant customized reports. 

everhour vs. trackingtime vs. hourstack: which time tracking tool comes out on top?

Invoicing: Add billable time and expenses into invoices automatically. This ensures human error is eliminated, and your clients receive accurate and timely invoices for all the hours you’ve put into your design work.

If you’re looking for a simple, effective way to track your time and see exactly where you can improve your workflow, Everhour is a great option.

✅❌ Pros and cons

Pros:
  • Track your own time to better estimate project timelines and deliverables.
  • All your timesheet data is in one place, allowing for easy invoicing and reporting.
  • Use the timesheet app as a work hours tracker.
  • Access to detailed analytics that can help you improve your efficiency and productivity.
  • Integrates with design tools, including Canva and Figma.
Cons:
  • Entering time manually may lead to human errors.
  • Learning how to use advanced features may take some time.
  • Some features require a paid subscription.

💰 Pricing

  • Free
  • Lite: $5 per user per month, starting at 2 users
  • Team: $8.50 per user per month, starting at 5 users

Tick

the 12 best free time tracking apps to optimize workplace productivity

Tick is a simple but effective time-tracking application for designers, giving you a direct way to track time against a budget.

👍 Best features

One-click timer: With Tick, you can start timing your work with just one click. The software will then automatically generate detailed reports of your work, including how much time you spent on each task and client. 

Billing and invoicing: The information gathered through time tracking can be exported into a spreadsheet or invoicing system for easy billing.

Comments: Tick also allows you to add comments and notes to each task, so you can keep track of your thoughts and ideas while you work. Plus, if you’re working on a team project, you can quickly and easily share your time-tracking data with other team members.

Instant budget feedback: Receiving instant budget feedback keeps all team members on track.

✅❌ Pros and cons

Pros:
  • Allows you to track your time in great detail so that you can see exactly how much time you are spending on each task.
  • Identify areas where you can improve efficiency.
  • Can help to ensure that you are billing your clients accurately for the work that you do.
Cons:
  • It may take new users time to get used to using the software.
  • Some people find it intrusive or distracting to have to constantly stop and start the timer as they work.

💰 Pricing

  • 30-day free trial
  • 10 Projects: $19 per month
  • 30 Projects: $49 per month
  • 60 Projects: $79 per month
  • Unlimited Projects: $149 per month

TrackingTime

the 12 best free time tracking apps to optimize workplace productivity

TrackingTime is one of the best time-tracking software for designers. It’s a simple, effective way to track time and get more done.

👍 Best features

Timers: You can start tracking time with just a few clicks. TrackingTime makes it easy to see exactly how much time you spend on individual tasks and projects. This helps you identify areas where you can improve your efficiency and make sure you’re billing your clients correctly.

Flexible reporting engine: TrackingTime’s reporting engine offers valuable insights into project budgeting, payroll, client billing, productivity analytics, and more.

Real-time workload monitoring: See your team’s work in real-time to monitor progress and productivity closely.

✅❌ Pros and cons

Pros:
  • It can help you better understand how long specific tasks take—this understanding can help you plan and budget your time more effectively in the future.
  • If you’re working with clients or team members, showing them exactly how much time you’ve spent on a project can help build trust and transparency.
  • Real-time workload monitoring allows you to keep track of employee progress.

We talk in more detail about TrackingTime’s pros in the Everhour vs. TrackingTime vs. Hourstack article, make sure to check it out!

Cons:
  • In the wrong working environment, tracking your time can turn into a race to see how much work you can cram into each day rather than focusing on the quality of your work.
  • Tracking your time can also create extra administrative work if you’re not efficiently entering time.  

💰 Pricing

  • Free
  • Pro: $5 per month per user

TMetric

best time tracking tools for trello

TMetric is an excellent time-tracking tool for designers. It is an accurate and reliable way to keep track of your time, so you can fully focus on your work and be more productive.

👍 Best features

Time management: You can see how much time you spend on each task and project, so you can better manage your time and resources. You can also set up customized reports to see where you are spending most of your time, so you can make adjustments as needed.

Integrations: TMetric integrates with popular design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

Reporting: You can generate detailed reports on your time and activity. This is useful for billing clients or simply understanding where you spend most of your time.

✅❌ Pros and cons 

Pros:
  • TMetric is an affordable option for time tracking, costing just $5/month for the basic plan.
  • The software is easy to use and has a clean interface.
  • TMetric offers a free trial, so you can try it before purchasing a paid subscription.
  • The software integrates with other popular tools such as Asana, Trello, and Jira.
  • TMetric offers detailed reports to see where your time is being spent.
Cons:
  • The reports can be difficult to read and understand for new users.
  • Some features are only available in the paid plans.

💰 Pricing

  • 30-day Free Trial
  • Free
  • Professional: $5 per month per user
  • Business: $7 per month per user

Timely

best time tracking tools for trello

Timely is a great time-tracking tool for designers because it’s designed to help creatives optimize their workflow without unnecessary interruptions.

👍 Best features

Time management: Timely automatically tracks your time on each project and individual task.

Integrations:  Through Zapier, Timely integrates with popular design tools like Adobe Creative Cloud, so you can gauge how much time you spend on each design platform.

Reporting: The app produces detailed reports that show how much time you’ve spent on each project, what tasks you’ve completed, and how much time you’ve spent on tasks and projects.

✅❌ Pros and cons 

Pros: 
  • Improve your workflow and be more efficient with your time.
  • When you understand exactly how much time you’ve spent on a project, it will be easier for you to generate an accurate invoice for your client.
  • Integrations are available through Zapier.
Cons:
  • You may end up micromanaging your work, which can lead to unnecessary stress and burnout.
  • Some people may feel like they are being monitored too closely when using time-tracking software.

💰 Pricing

  • Starter: $10 per month
  • Premium: $18 per month
  • Unlimited: $26 per month
  • Unlimited+: Custom

AtTrack

time tracking for designers: 11 time tracking tools to boost efficiency

AtTrack is a great time-tracking tool for designers, as it helps you manage deadlines and keep track of team members.

👍 Best features

Automatic time tracking: AtTrack automatically tracks your time, even if you’re offline.

Break and activity tracking: AtTrack tracks your breaks and your activity levels to help you optimize productivity. 

Screenshot monitoring: The time tracking app also monitors team activity by systematically taking screenshots.

Reporting: Analyze business processes with AtTrack’s reporting tools. For example, see how time-consuming projects are and view each team member’s contribution.

✅❌ Pros and cons

Pros:
  • AtTrack is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface.
  • Offers a free trial period.
  • AtTrack integrates with popular project management software programs such as Basecamp and Trello.
  • Offers detailed reports that can help you analyze your work habits and find ways to improve efficiency.
  • The software can be accessed from anywhere, making it convenient for busy professionals who work on the go.
Cons:
  • Some users have complained that AtTrack’s reports are confusing and difficult to interpret.
  • The software does not offer a live chat support option, so if you have any questions or problems, you need to contact customer service through email or phone, which could be time-consuming.

💰 Pricing

  • Free
  • Pro: $3 per month per user
  • Business: $5 per month per user

TimeCamp

time tracking for designers: 11 time tracking tools to boost efficiency

When it comes to time-tracking software for designers, TimeCamp is one of the best options available for several reasons.

👍 Best features

Time tracking: Track team working time automatically or manually and mark time as billable or non-billable.

GPS tracking: Control the localization of team members, so you can monitor them as they work.

Team management: Track attendance automatically using employee timesheets.

Reporting: Generate detailed reports on how much time was spent on projects, clients, or tasks and use them for invoicing and payroll purposes.

✅❌ Pros and cons

Pros:
  • Track time automatically to stop you from getting distracted by manual time tracking.
  • Accurate reports show how much time you’ve spent on each project and monitor which tasks took the most time.
  • Automatic and hassle-free billing.
  • A free trial is available.
Cons:
  • Some useful features are only accessible via a paid subscription.
  • The mobile app has some usability concerns from past customers.

💰 Pricing

  • Free
  • Basic: $7 per user per month
  • Pro: $10 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Custom

MyHours

my hours vs everhour

My Hours is a simple but effective time-tracking tool that offers many great features for designers.

👍 Best features

Project time tracking: With My Hours, you see how much time is spent on projects, which leads to more accurate budgeting and ensures that projects are completed on time.

Reporting: Transform work completed into insightful reports to share internally or with clients to instill confidence.

Team management: Track employee attendance, absence, and tasks in one place.

✅❌ Pros and cons

Pros:
  • Easily track the time you spend on tasks and projects.
  • Get detailed reports on your productivity.
  • Integrates with popular design tools through Zapier.
  • A free plan is available.
Cons:
  • Limited integrations compared to other time trackers.
  • Some users find the software’s user interface difficult to navigate.

💰 Pricing

  • Free
  • Pro: $7 per month per user

Time Analytics

best time tracking apps: choose your champion

Time Analytics is another time-tracking tool to consider using as a designer, as it offers a range of valuable features to supercharge productivity.

👍 Best features

Project time tracking: The software also allows you to track your time by the project to see which projects are taking up the most of your time. 

Interface: Time Analytics visual interface makes it easy to see how you spend your time.

Team management: Time Analytics allows you to keep careful track of work hours with timesheets.

Reporting: The software provides detailed reports that can help you identify problem areas and bottlenecks and find ways to improve efficiency.

✅❌ Pros and cons

Pros:
  • Helps you to better understand how you spend your time.
  • Identify time-wasting activities and bottlenecks.
  • Track team progress over time with reports.
Cons: 
  • Some of the features are only accessible with a monthly subscription.
  • Requires some effort to set up and learn how to use.

💰 Pricing

  • Free
  • Starter: $4.99 per month per user
  • Optimum: $6.99 per month per user
  • Premium: $12.99 per month per user

PayDirt

everhour vs. paydirt vs. punchtime

PayDirt is a great time-tracking tool for freelancers, such as designers, looking to improve their workflow and increase productivity. 

👍 Best features

Track time in one place: PayDirt allows you to track all the hours you’ve worked on a project in one place. 

Invoicing: With PayDirt, you can easily create invoices for your clients that include all the details of your work.

Detailed reports: PayDirt provides detailed reports showing how much time you’ve spent on each task, what tasks take the most time, and more. 

Integrations: PayDirt integrates with several other tools, such as Basecamp, Trello, and Redbooth, which helps designers keep on top of tasks.

✅❌ Pros and cons

Pros:
  • Helps users stay on top of their time by tracking it effectively.
  • Easy to use and user-friendly interface.
  • Integrates with other productivity tools, such as Basecamp, Trello, and Redbooth.
  • Offers a free trial period.
  • Offers a refund if a customer cancels.
Cons:
  • Limited features and customization options compared to some other time-tracking tools.
  • Some users have reported technical difficulties with PayDirt.

💰 Pricing

  • Starter: $8 per month per user
  • Hustler: $16 per month per user
  • Co-op: $29 per month per user
  • Small Team: $49 per month per user
  • Large Team: $79 per month per user
  • Agency: $149 per month per user

Time IQ

time tracking for designers: 11 time tracking tools to boost efficiency

Time IQ is one of the best options for designers, as it offers features specifically designed to help creative professionals track their time.

👍 Best features

Team time tracking: Log working hours and vacation time quickly and send email reminders to ensure everyone tracks their time based on your specific rules.

Interface: Time IQ’s interface is designed to be simple and easy to use. You can quickly start tracking your time without setting up complex rules or categorizing your work. 

Integrations: Time IQ offers integrations with popular design tools like Adobe Creative Cloud, so you can automatically track the time you spend working in those applications. Additionally, if you’re working in a creative team, you can share your data and collaborate on projects easily.

Earnings: Time IQ allows you to track billable hours, so you can see how much you are earning from each project.

Reporting: The time tracking tool provides comprehensive reports that break down the time spent on each task, so designers can identify areas where they can increase efficiency and productivity.

✅❌ Pros and cons

Pros:
  • Can help you be more productive with your time and track earnings.
  • Integrate with design tools, such as Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • Reporting data helps you assess your team or personal workflow to make improvements.
Cons:
  • Can be used as a productivity tool, but for those not used to using time tracking tools, it may add pressure and stress.
  • Some features are only available to use with a paid subscription plan.

💰 Pricing

  • 30-day free trial
  • Paid plan: $5 per month per user

TL;DR Comparison Table

Pros Cons Pricing
Everhour Track time with automatic and manual timers
Timesheets for easy work hours tracking
Access to detailed reports
Integrates with design tools
Entering time manually may cause errors
Some features require a paid subscription
Free
Lite: $5 per user per month, starting at 2 users
Team: $8.50 per user per month, starting at 5 users
Tick Track time on tasks and projects to improve efficiency
Bill clients accurately
Learning curveSome may find time tracking intrusive 30-day free trial
10 Projects: $19 per month
30 Projects: $49 per month
60 Projects: $79 per month
Unlimited Projects: $149 per month
TrackingTime Use a time tracker to plan and budget better
Promotes work transparency
Track employee progress with real-time workload monitoring
Time tracking may cause users to rush work
Maybe a time drain if not used properly
Free
Pro: $5 per month per user
TMetric Easy to use with a clean interface
Free trial available
Integrations available
Detailed reports 
The learning curve for new users
Some features only available with paid plans
30-day Free Trial
Free Professional: $5 per month per user
Business: $7 per month per user
Timely Improves workflow and overall efficiency
Easier client invoicing
Integrations available through Zapier
Time micromanagement may cause stress and burnout some aren’t comfortable being closely monitored Starter: $10 per month
Premium: $18 per month
Unlimited: $26 per month
Unlimited+: Custom
AtTrack User-friendly interface
Free trial available
Integrations available
Detailed reports
New users may find reports confusing
No live chat support
Free
Pro: $3 per month per user
Business: $5 per month per user
TimeCamp Automatic time tracking
Accurate reporting tools
Automatic client billing
Free trial available
Some features only available with paid plans
Some mobile app usability issues reported
Free
Basic: $7 per user per month
Pro: $10 per user per month
Enterprise: Custom
My Hours Easy time tracking
Detailed reports
Integrates with design tools
Free plan available
Limited integrations compared to other employee time tracking toolsNew users may find the interface difficult to navigate Free
Pro: $7 per month per user
PayDirt Easy time tracking
User-friendly interface
Free trial available
Refund upon subscription cancellation
Limited features and customization options
Occasional technical difficulties reported
Starter: $8 per month per user
Hustler: $16 per month per user
Co-op: $29 per month per user
Small Team: $49 per month per user
Large Team: $79 per month per user
Agency: $149 per month per user
Time IQ Easily track time and earnings
Integrate with design tools
Detailed reporting
May add pressure and stress to those unfamiliar with time tracking
Some features only accessible with a paid plan
30-day Free Trial
Paid Plan: $5 per month per user

Final Thoughts

Obviously, designers are always looking for ways to improve their workflow and get more done in less time. Time-tracking software is a great way to do just that! By keeping track of the time you spend on each project, you can identify areas where you need to make changes to your process. By understanding how much time you have available for each project, you can better manage your workload and ensure that each client gets the attention they deserve. 

Maria Kharlantseva

Maria is a proud content guardian with experience working for international teams and projects of different complexities. Maria has a passion for fantasy novels, music, black-and-white films, and nitpicking (because there is always room for improvement!).