Time Tracking Apps: The 5 Best Apps to Boost Productivity
The best tracking apps do far more than simply track time. With so many options on the market, they’ve evolved to include a wide variety of features that help you make smarter business decisions. When choosing a tracking app for yourself, consider features such as:
- Real-time tracking
- Ability to edit tracked time
- Detailed analytics and reports
- Setting billable rates
- Expense tracking
- Invoice generation
- Third-party integrations
- Mobile app
Choose the app that best suits your needs rather than the one with the longest list of features. For example, freelancers may not need sophisticated project budgeting or payroll management tools. Instead, they may be looking for a simpler, more intuitive interface with a streamlined experience.
Read on to learn about five of the best time tracking apps for freelancers and businesses.
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Most people know FreshBooks as accounting software built for businesses and accountants. However, FreshBooks has also added time tracking to its long list of features that support your professional needs.
- Easy-to-read breakdown of hours
- Mobile app
- Integration with Chrome, Asana, Trello, Basecamp, and Teamwork
- Centralised team tracker for collaboration
- Automated invoices
- Daily, weekly, and monthly views
- FreshBooks offers unlimited time tracking on all paid plans
- Lite plans start at just R85 a month
FreshBooks is an all-in-one accounting software. Besides tracking expenses, creating invoices, and handling payroll, users can also track their time. It’s such an effective solution that users report saving up to 8 hours of time tracking each month.
Whether on a browser or in the mobile app, simply start a timer and get down to business. You can add the logged time to an invoice when you’re finished. Need to bill regular customers? Automated recurring invoices make this a straightforward process.
The app offers three ways to create invoices. You can add unbilled time from time tracking directly or from projects and invoices. This allows you to streamline your invoicing process and get paid faster.
FreshBooks built its Time Tracking app with teams in mind. Team members can assign time to individual clients and view the shared calendar in daily, weekly, or monthly views. This makes it easy for team managers to know what work is complete and where they can optimise team resources.
The app also offers daily breakdowns, so you always know where you spend your time. The easy-to-read reports allow you to review which tasks take the longest and which need more time. This knowledge is essential for optimising your workflow and becoming more productive.
Toggl Track is a popular option for individuals or teams looking for a simple, user-friendly interface. Its generous free tier also makes it an excellent choice for users who don’t have extensive time tracking requirements.
- Quick and easy setup
- Intuitive user interface
- Simple to use
- Idle detection feature
- Pomodoro timer
- Many third-party integrations
- Web, mobile, and desktop app
- Toggl offers a free plan for up to five users
- Starter plans for larger teams start at R161 per user per month
- Premium plans cost R323 per user per month
Toggl Track attracts users with its beautiful interface and simple user experience. New to time tracking? Toggl has a quick onboarding process that allows users to get started right away.
The web app, desktop app, mobile app, and browser extension are all synced. So, you can track time on all your devices with just one click. This is particularly useful if you spread your work out across different devices.
To streamline the time logging process, Toggl offers background tracking. It automatically tracks your usage on apps or websites after interactions beyond ten seconds. This data then gets turned into time entries, making your reporting tasks a breeze.
But suppose you step away from your computer for a coffee break—what happens then? Toggl has idle detection to prevent inaccuracies in your timeline.
Smaller teams of 5 or fewer will appreciate Toggl’s generous free tier. Larger teams need a subscription.
Toggl has a firm commitment to standing against employee surveillance. As a result, it doesn’t have any monitoring features and values user privacy.
Harvest bills itself as the time tracker for teams. It allows you to manage time across large teams and projects in a streamlined, efficient manner.
- Tracking across apps and websites
- Offline tracking
- Invoicing for materials
- Extensive third-party integrations
- Mobile and desktop apps
- Custom automated reminders
- Harvest offers a free tier for single users with up to two projects
- Pro plans offer unlimited users and unlimited projects starting at R215 per user per month
Harvest is a professional time tracking software that offers a comprehensive set of features. While freelancers can use the platform, it’s best suited to larger teams.
One way it enhances team collaboration is by integrating with your entire workflow. It offers integrations with over a thousand different apps. Whatever software your team uses, Harvest can keep track of your work.
These integrations extend to payment systems like PayPal or Stripe as well. This makes it easy for clients to pay invoices online quickly and conveniently. Harvest collects time tracking data to create accurate invoices in a streamlined process.
The larger the team, the more data collected and the time tracker you choose should be capable of visualising the data in a digestible way. Harvest does that through a wide selection of visual reports. These analytics can help you understand where your time is going and how to refine workflow to increase productivity.
Even with all these advanced features, Harvest still does the simple things well. The time tracking function itself is lightweight and doesn’t get in the way of your other processes.
Timely is an app that uses automatic time tracking to streamline your workflow. While running quietly in the background, it helps individuals and teams focus more on their tasks at hand.
- Automated time tracking
- AI-drafted timesheets
- Ideal for visual planning
- Drag and drop Gant charts
- No timers or interruptions
- Users control which data they share with their team
- Starter plans start at R18 per month per user
- Unlimited plans cost R360 per month per user
One of Timely’s main advantages is that it helps you stay focused on your work, not your timer. Through automation, Timely works in the background to record your working habits while you stay on track. This eliminates the possibility of forgetting to turn off the timer when you go to lunch. Timely will do it for you, so you don’t have to edit your time report when you get back.
When it comes time to generate reports, Timely does that for you, too. The app uses artificial intelligence to draft accurate timesheets, so you and your clients stay on the same page. Timely also has live client dashboards to help you communicate critical business information in as much detail as you desire. Included are project budget spending, billable hours, overtime, and more.
Through Timely Zapier integration, users can connect to over 4,000 apps. This enables teams to use Timely to complement their existing workflows rather than having to build new ones.
Speaking of teams, Timely heavily prioritises user privacy. It doesn’t support surveillance tactics like screenshots or keystroke monitoring. Individual users completely control what they share with their team members and clients. More than anything, Timely’s focus is on supporting user productivity and promoting team trust.
Compared to most of the options on this list, ATracker is a relatively simple time tracking app. It’s built to help users track time spent on every aspect of their daily lives. But it can also be useful for monitoring work tasks.
- Break time tracking down by task
- Set daily and weekly goals based on task
- Widget for iPhones and iPads
- Easy to use and customise
- ATracker offers a free scaled-back version
- Pro plans are a one-time payment of R90 (iOS) or R54 (Android)
- Premium plans cost R54 per month for iOS and Android
ATracker is a manual time tracking app that is different from others on this list. It doesn’t have invoicing or payroll features. It isn’t built for teams and doesn’t have a plethora of third-party integrations.
However, it does all the simple things extremely well. And it allows you to break down your day into an endless list of categories.
For example, you can create categories for expense reporting or for working out. When you’re expense reporting, you tap the timer button. When you switch to another task, you tap that same button. By the end of the day, you’ll know exactly how you spent your time across all the various categories.
ATracker also has the ability to generate reports. You can view your data in pie charts, bar graphs, or according to the daily or weekly goals you set.
The app is extremely easy to use and customised according to your visual preferences. While limited to basic time tracking features, it may suit freelancers or anyone who wants a bare-bones time tracker.
Time tracking is essential for understanding where and how you spend your most valuable resource—time. If you know where your time is going, you can find ways to streamline your workflow. Ultimately, time tracking helps boost your efficiency and productivity.
There are a wide variety of time tracking apps on the market. Before deciding which one to use, make a list of your priorities. What do you value more—automation or the ability to customise settings? Do you prefer simplicity or extensive functionality? Do you want a free time tracking app option?
Knowing what you’re looking for will help determine your ideal software.
FAQ on Time Tracking Apps
How Do I Track Personal Time?
Each time tracking app has many features to help you automatically log your time. Some even have built-in productivity tools and features to help you stay focused. Best of all, most time tracking apps generate helpful analytics. These are invaluable when it comes to invoicing clients. They also help you understand how your behaviour matches your productivity goals.
How Do I Track My Daily Tasks?
There are plenty of task management apps available for computers or mobile devices. These apps can help you track your daily tasks and activities. When you complete a task, simply check it off the list. Many of these apps automatically track your task analytics and may suggest ways to boost your productivity. For task management apps with integrated time tracking features, refer to the above list.
How Do Time Tracking Apps Help Productivity?
Your time tracking app will record precisely how much time each task requires. This is crucial for enhancing your personal productivity. First, figure out how much time a specific task or client usually needs by viewing the time tracking app reports. Next, adjust your schedule or working habits to maximise your efficiency and save more time for other activities.