8 Best Time Tracking Software for Companies and Freelancers
April 17, 2017 · 12 min read
“What gets measured, gets managed.”
In a fast-paced world where time is the most valuable resource, the wisdom behind this proverb is more important than ever. Running an efficient business means budgeting your time wisely and streamlining processes as much as you can.
This can all be done with a time tracking system that suits your unique needs.
To make your days more productive, we rounded up the best time tracking software for small businesses, freelancers, and personal use.
Editor’s Note: Originally published in April 2017, this post has been rewritten to focus on the best time trackers today, with fresh descriptions and updated details.
What is the Best Time Tracking Software for Small Businesses and Companies?
For small businesses, time is money, and every minute counts. That’s why it’s important to find a time management system keeps track of productivity while making reporting and billing more efficient. Below our best picks for small teams and companies.
Time Tracking Software For Teams
|Name||Key Features||Integration||Pricing||Best For|
||Trello, Asana, Basecamp, Pivotal, GitHub, Jira||$7 per user per month;||Native integration, accurate time tracking and project budgeting|
||Over 80 integrations||Free for 1 person; $12 /month user;||Accounting, CRM, and finance software|
||Over 20 project management tools||Free for 1 person; $5 /month user;
||Companies that hire remote employees, and do not have that establish working relationship|
||Google Calendar, Wakatime, Office 365, Wunderlist, Todoist||$8 /month for 1 person; $15+ /month user;||Visualizing your project timelines|
Everhour: Best For Native Integration and Deep Custom Reporting
Everhour is an uncomplicated time tracking software that runs smoothly with your favorite project management tools, freeing you up to focus on what’s really important.
Everhour’s best feature is its ability to natively integrate with Trello, Asana, Basecamp, Pivotal, GitHub, and JIRA. There’s no need for your team to spend time learning a new system or familiarizing themselves with a new user interface. Everhour fits so smoothly into your workflow, it feels like a built-in function of the tool.
Once you set up Everhour, you can quickly see how much attention is given to each task or project, and providing you with data to prioritize and allocate resources more effectively.
Our easy-to-use reports reduce the time spent gathering data, allowing your team serve clients without spending too much work on the reporting aspect.
Over all, Everhour is a cost-effective solution that works seamlessly with your existing project management system, and gives valuable insights to help save your team a lot of time and effort.
Harvest: Best for Accounting, CRM, and Finance Software
Since 2006, Harvest has been widely used by teams of all sizes. Because it’s available as desktop, web and mobile apps, this gives your team the flexibility to track their work however way they want. It also includes the standard features you would expect out of a time management system, such as reporting, invoice creation, as well as timesheet approval.
One of Harvest’s biggest strengths is that you can use it well beyond developer and project management tools. With integration for Xero, Zendesk, and 80 other applications, Harvest can do more than just track time. Its built-in features help you automate and streamline manual processes like data entry, which allows your team to work more efficiently and productively.
Harvest can also be combined with Forecast, a tool that visualizes where your project is going and how much of your budget remains. A week-by-week analysis lets you see how the tracked hours compares with the forecasted hours, so you can make better scheduling decisions.
If you want to know how Harvest compares to Everhour, we’ve done a comparison to highlight the differences between the two.
Hubstaff: Best for Managing Remote Teams
One of the biggest challenges of managing a remote team is keeping tabs on each member’s work and productivity. Hubstaff not only solves this problem with its comprehensive employee tracking tools; it also comes with an automated payroll software that dishes out payments according to time tracked.
Its main feature is the timesheet app, which captures how much time each team member is spending on a particular task or project, and how their progress is. You can set deadlines and time caps on each project to make sure the team gets their priorities straight. If you really want to make sure each person is spending their time productively, you can activate the employee monitoring feature, which takes automatic screenshots, tracks keyboard and mouse usage, and which websites they are visiting during work hours.
Hubstaff includes pay rates within the time sheet, and automatically pays each team member according to their hourly rate and time worked. This set-it-and-forget-it feature saves business owners the time and effort normally spent on billing and payments.
It is also worth noting that Hubstaff has native Mac, Windows, Linux, and iOS apps, allowing you to track your team using their preferred platform.
Hubstaff’s solution is ideal for traditional businesses, but its features aren’t for everyone. For flat organisations that operate on trust, less intrusive time trackers might be a better option. DevAcademy shared an interesting story about why they switched from Hubstaff to Everhour after giving it a try for one week.
TimelyApp: Best for Visualising Project Timelines
TimelyApp proves that time tracking and project management does not have to literally be a black-and-white thing. This well-designed web application organises tasks and projects into a beautiful calendar, allowing you and your team members to map work in blocks of time and schedule their day more effectively.
Keeping with the calendar-like interface is TimelyApp’s integration with Gmail, Google Calendar, and Office 365. As soon as you’ve hooked it up with these tools, meetings, workshops, and other calendar events automatically get imported into your day. With this, you can check your schedule at a glance and see if you can accommodate a new deadline or two.
Besides tracking your team’s work, TimelyApp lets you tag each activity or project phase so you can stay on top of your progress. And with the new Memory feature, everything you’ve ever worked on for that day – including emails sent – gets logged into a stunning timeline. You’ll never forget a single thing you’ve worked on, and you get a complete picture of all the billable hours your team worked on.
What is the Best Time Tracking Software for Freelancers?
Whether it’s a simple time tracker for improved productivity, or an all-in-one system with reporting and invoices, we’ve identified the best time tracking software freelancers should use.
Time Tracking Software For Freelancers & Personal Use
|Name||Key Features||Integration||Pricing||Best For|
||80+ integrations||Free for 5 users; $10 /month user;||Simple time tracking and project management|
||None||$8 per account per month;||iOS time tracking|
||None||Free||Tracking time and performance|
||GitHub, Zapier, ITTT||Lite: Free;
Premium: $9 per month;
|Improving your personal productivity|
Toggl: Best for Simple Time Tracking and Project Management
You’ve probably heard of Toggl from their free Pomodoro Chrome extension, which also works as a time tracking and reporting tool. If you liked their Pomodoro timer, you’re probably going to enjoy using their full-featured time tracker.
There are good reasons why Toggl is used by individuals and businesses alike. With mobile and desktop versions, over 80 integration, and a simple interface, your use of Toggl can be as simple or complex as your needs.
Their web interface contains everything it has to offer, from project dashboards to team management. The main focus, however, is the ability to start and stop time tracking with no fuss. The great thing about Toggl its multi-platform experience; you can start the timer on your desktop, work offline, and end it on a different device. Your tracked time can then be converted into billable weekly reports, which makes invoicing clients a breeze.
If you’re curious about Toggl’s features versus Everhour, we’ve done a detailed comparison here.
Hours: Best for iOS Time Tracking
Very rarely is a time tracking app designed for a single OS, but this narrow focus on iOS devices is part of what makes Hours a huge success. Designed by award-winning indie developer Tapity, Hours is a very simple way to get started with time tracking, whether it’s for better time management or gaining insights into your billable hours.
Using Hours is as fuss-free as installing it onto any iOS device and setting up your first timer. The idea is to create timers for every project or every task and rearrange them according to priority. Hours then tracks everything in real time. If you need to work on several things in one morning, switching between projects is as simple as tapping the timer.
You can see your worked hours through the beautifully-designed reporting function, and view all of your activity in just one place. This lets you spot trends and allows you to readjust your priorities as needed.
Hours is available for all Apple devices, including the Apple watch.
TopTracker: Best for Tracking Time and Performance
TopTracker is as clean, intuitive, and simple as it comes. Designed specifically for freelancers by freelancers, TopTracker does simple timekeeping while offering features like webcam shots and screenshots of your work in progress.
Simply set up your project and enable (or disable) the features that you like. As soon as you start working, the app ticks and tracks quietly in the background so as not to disrupt your work session. If you’re working with a team, you can also get a centralised view of your team’s productivity and projects. Simple graphs and other data can be viewed with a simple click.
TopTracker is completely free and available as a web and desktop app.
RescueTime: Best for Improving Personal Productivity
RescueTime has been helping professionals and freelancers stay focused since 2008. Like all the other apps we’ve covered, RescueTime is great at fulfilling its core function – tracking time. But what makes it different is the kind of information it captures, and how it makes this data usable.
The moment you get it up and running, RescueTime sees which windows you’re using, takes down the window name, and tracks how much time you’ve spent on it. Through a detailed report, you understand exactly which tasks or websites are eating up most of your time. RescueTime also quantifies your progress with a Productivity Score, which automatically categorizes your activities on websites and applications, then scores them. You can customise the goals and activities to suit your needs.
RescueTime is available for free, but a premium upgrade gives you more sophisticated features, like detailed reports and website blocking.
Choose a Time Tracking Solution According to Your Needs
We hope this helps you find the right time tracking solution for your business. Choosing a software requires a bit of effort, but gaining more productive work hours and efficient processes in the future makes it worth your while.
If you have questions about the time tracking tools we mentioned, our team is happy to help. Contact us anytime, or book a demo of Everhour – it’s completely free.
- Top 5 Reasons Why Companies Fail at Time Tracking
- So Many Choices! Which Time Tracking Software Is for You?
- Why Integrate Time Tracking with Your Project Management Software
- Automatic Time Tracking: The Good, The Bad and the Alternative
- How to Help Your Team Switch to a New Time Tracking Software
Have questions or want to learn more? Contact Us!