Best Time Tracking Apps. Did you really do any work if you spent an hour working on a client assignment and there was no timer there to record it? (Isn’t that the how the saying goes?)
However, understanding how you spend your time provides you with critical insight into—and control over—where you spend your energy, regardless of whether you operate as a 9–5 office worker or as a solopreneur like myself.
Apps for time tracking make it simpler to keep track of billable hours, optimize company workflows, and increase individual productivity. The greatest time trackers allow you to manually edit or add time in addition to having built-in timers. To provide a hands-off tracking process, some of these apps even use AI. This allows you to concentrate on deeper work and save the insights for later.
I’ve compiled the top time tracking apps for both individuals and teams after several weeks of thorough testing so you can select the one with the features and interface that most closely fits your working style.
What makes the best time tracking software?
Knowing how you spend your time allows you to examine work patterns and make more informed business decisions. Time tracking software may provide you with a comprehensive perspective of your daily, weekly, monthly, and annual work, regardless of whether you’re working alone or in a small team.
How are you going to use this information? Project time tracking can, perhaps most critically, help you get paid by giving you the confidence to submit accurate bills instead of attempting to guess how much time you worked after the fact. Time monitoring might assist you in responding to the inquiry, “What have you been working on this month?” if you operate in a team.
- Tracking in real time. Almost all time tracking applications provide real-time tracking, which entails a running clock that you can start and stop when working on a task.
- The option to manually add time blocks or modify the amount of time tracked. If you inadvertently leave a timer running while you leave for lunch, the finest apps allow you to make corrections to the time monitored after the fact. The time log should be editable so that you may take out the number of minutes that you weren’t working. In case you fail to start a timer at all, you should also have an app that allows you to enter a block of time after the fact. You may decide not to set a timer if, for instance, your phone rings and you take a 20-minute consulting call, but you should still record and bill for the hours spent.
- Reporting attributes. Dashboards and reports that allow you to split out daily, weekly, or monthly time spent per project, per person, or per client are available in the most potent time tracking programs.
- The capability to export data or create an invoice. You must be able to act upon the time you have allotted to your assignment after adding it all up. With the time tracking data kept in the app, all of these apps allow you to either automatically make invoices or export the data into Google Sheets, CSV files, or PDFs that you can share with the appropriate parties.
- Several access locations. Setting a timer is simple and convenient with the best time tracking software. With their adaptability, you can set a timer from your mobile device, desktop app, or web browser, whatever is most convenient for you.
- AI features are a bonus. Workflows in various industries are becoming more automated and straightforward thanks to artificial intelligence, and time tracking apps are no different. I paid close attention to time trackers that automatically measure your time using artificial intelligence (AI) or that automatically allocate time blocks to related jobs and projects using machine learning.
Best Time Tracking Apps
Toggl Track (web, browser extensions, Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android)
The user interface of Toggl Track—our choice for the finest tool for tracking leisure time—
Toggl Track is a good choice if you need a time tracker tool but lack the funds to purchase one. In fact, Toggl has been a regular component of my freelance process until I discovered my new favorite timer while doing research for this post. All of the essential features of a time tracking app are included in the time tracking tool’s extensive free service tier, which grants you access to all of its apps (Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web, and browser extensions).
The main reason Toggl Track functions so well is that it doesn’t require much of you after you begin timing tasks. A customer, project, and task must be added to your account in order for many time tracking programs to allow you to track time. If not, you will need to enter them and put your task on hold for the time being. You may track your time immediately using Toggl Track, view your recorded time entries in a calendar or grid style, and worry about the specifics later.
Moreover, if you use the Chrome or Firefox browser extension to enable Toggl Track, nearly every online application you can think of—from Help Scout to Google Docs and other Google apps—has a Toggl timer button. You have a constant reminder to track your time because you can constantly see the Toggl Track button while working. I also prefer to have my desktop program open, so even if I set a timer from a web window, my Mac’s menubar will always display the running clock. I’ve been using Toggl’s timer on a regular basis for more than three years because it’s one of the most versatile and user-friendly tools I’ve tested, and it’s easy to use from anywhere.
Some of the most comprehensive settings I’ve seen in a time tracking tool are also available in Toggl Track. For instance, you may set the Toggl Track Chrome extension to start and stop tracking time automatically based on whether the browser is active or closed. Additionally, it offers outstanding idle detection, which aids in maintaining high accuracy throughout all of your records.
The program provides options to adjust the recorded block of time when it notices that your computer has been inactive but the timer is still running. In this manner, Toggl Track can remove those 20 minutes from your record if you are interrupted while working and end up getting drawn into a 20-minute discussion. Even better, Toggl Track has a Pomodoro Technique setting that allows you to work on a focused subject for a certain amount of time, followed by a quick break. The reminders resemble simple stopwatches.
For even more thorough data analysis, Toggl has also recently improved its dashboards and reporting options. To view weekly statistics or team summaries, you may build personalized dashboards. You can also generate reports that are filtered by team, tag, or client.
Use Toggl Track’s Zapier connectors to link Toggl Track with your preferred apps for even more versatility. This will allow you to add new entries to a spreadsheet, start fresh time entries in Toggl Track when calendar events begin, and more.
For whom Toggl Track is inappropriate: You’ll need to subscribe to Premium if you want more detailed insights into your work, stored reports, or billable hours, even though the free plan is straightforward and easy to use for basic time tracking and reporting. You would probably be better off using another app on this list if you had more money. Additionally, there isn’t a free task management or planning tool, so you’ll need to go elsewhere if you need a way to schedule and monitor the workload of your staff.
Pricing for Toggl Track: Free for up to 5 users; $9/user/month for the Starter plan, which includes billable rates, stored reports, time rounding, and other features when billed annually.
Take a look at Clockify if you’re searching for a straightforward time monitoring tool without any extra features. The free plan includes unlimited tracking, unlimited users, unlimited projects, and unlimited reports—all for free—but it lacks Toggl Track’s features.
HourStack (Windows Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, and Web)
Our choice for the greatest time-tracking software to link with the project management application in your team is HourStack. HourStack is a project time tracker that works well with your preferred project management software to assist your team in scheduling and monitoring work.
A stylish and user-friendly calendar and time tracker combo. Popular project management apps like Asana, Google Tasks, Trello, Todoist, and even Google Calendar are natively integrated with the app. After connecting to one of these applications, you can schedule your team’s workload by dragging and dropping your tasks straight into your HourStack calendar from a sidebar within HourStack.
What’s the best thing, then? Because of the two-way connectivity, you can mark jobs as done in HourStack, and your project management will update accordingly. This feature thrilled and impressed me as a productivity tool geek.
HourStack’s simplicity is its power. Difficult settings or interfaces do not pose a risk of overload or distraction. You may schedule and log work hours on the Calendar page, which also displays your scheduled tasks. You can filter the Reports page by clients, projects, and labels. It shows the number of activities you’ve done as well as the difference between your scheduled and logged hours.
Additionally, you don’t need to input a task or project beforehand to add or begin tracking project time thanks to the browser extensions for Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Chrome.
You can create your own HourStack connections with Zapier if you need to link HourStack to a tool that isn’t supported natively. Establish a connection between HourStack and thousands of applications to organize your time tracking in the most beneficial way. Here are a few instances.
Timely (Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox)
Our choice for the finest time tracking app that allows for automated time tracking is Timely. The most effective time tracking applications strive to make the process of accurately recording your time spent as simple as possible. An automated time tracker is the most accurate and painless option available.
Memory AS’s Timely is a time-tracking tool that creates “Memories” of all the websites and applications you use throughout the day. You may then drag and drop these Memories into the projects or tasks they have been assigned whenever it’s appropriate to do so in order to generate a Timesheet.
A tool like this can seem a little terrifying if you work for a company, but Timely isn’t an app for employee surveillance. You are the sole owner of the data it gathers, and you control how much of it you choose to disclose on your timesheet. Additionally, you can quickly turn off the app from your menu bar if you ever want it to stop tracking your actions.
Timely’s user-friendliness is one of its best features. In order for Timely to arrange your meetings into your work schedule, you’ll be asked to connect to your calendar and/or conferencing software after downloading the desktop program. Setting up your hourly rate for individuals and projects, as well as adding tasks, clients, and projects, is also quite simple.
The software can then be left to run in the background. You won’t need to keep track of when to set and stop a timer if you take a few minutes at the end of the day to drag and drop tasks into the appropriate projects on your time sheet. This will provide you with a precise and thorough record of your time spent.
It also keeps track of when you’re in a Chrome tab group, which is great because I use tab groups to keep track of the various projects I’m working on at once. A significant feature of Timely is that it enables assigning recorded web activity to projects simple. Additionally, after a day or two, the new AI helper begins to identify patterns in your time monitoring and offers recommendations for classifying tasks as projects.
Timely provides extremely thorough and personalized reports. View reports and unbilled hours for the entire workspace or just a particular project with ease. For personalized views that are filtered by clients, projects, individuals, tags, or teams, you can also create report templates. When it’s time to send invoices, Timely links to QuickBooks to generate them and then pushes them to QuickBooks Online.
Additionally, Timely provides a task planner option for an extra $5 per month if you enjoy organizing your schedule. Tasks can be arranged according to the project or the assignee. Then, to compare planned vs. tracked time for each task, drag & drop your daily activities into the corresponding tasks on your Timesheet.
Timely is an excellent option for teams because it prioritizes project management and team scheduling. To obtain a dashboard overview of planned vs. logged time, a breakdown by user, and a team activities report, click the People tab. It’s simple to check who is overbooked and who is at capacity with Timely—you can even filter for overtime or missing hours.
Timely Time Tracking + Asana
Who Timely isn’t appropriate for: Users who don’t want an artificial intelligence program to monitor their online activities. Additionally, Timely might not be the best option for you if you spend a lot of time working off-screen because its main function is to track and organize computer-based work.
Timely pricing: the Starter plan ($9/user/month, up to 20 projects and 5 users) is available. For limitless projects and 50 users, the Premium plan is $16 per user each month.
Memtime for Windows, Linux, and macOS
Our choice for the finest time monitoring app is Memtime, which makes auto-tracking simple. A relatively new automated time tracking program that has quickly become my new favorite is Memtime (previously timeBro). After using Memtime in the background of my work for a few weeks, I might abandon my years-long reliance on Toggl.
Memtime is a desktop application that logs your computer activities so you can categorize it later, much like Timely. You may review and categorize your work by visiting the app at the end of the workday, eliminating the need to remember to start and stop a timer.
It’s the simplicity of Memtime that I adore so much. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of emphasis on team project management and timesheet preparation in the other auto-tracking apps I evaluated, including Timely. Tools like Timely can be unnecessary if, like me, you don’t expect to submit comprehensive timesheets to your supervisor or work on projects with others.
With a running log of your activities, an area where you can write entries with a click, and a summary of your work for the day, Memtime’s UI is far more straightforward. Additionally, there is a project management page where you can manually add clients and projects or import them from other apps, as well as a reporting page that displays productivity metrics. Memtime and your calendar can be synced so that events can be seen alongside recorded activity.
In the Timeline view, adding new time entries is as simple as clicking on the timeline and dragging the pointer to change the entry’s duration. Five-minute intervals are represented on the display (you can select a one-minute breakdown if you’d rather be more specific and don’t mind scrolling). As an alternative, you can log new actions by dragging and dropping them into List view.
One thing to note is that Memtime is only compatible with desktop apps; there is no web access or mobile app available. Additionally, I discovered that Memtime’s total logged work time was less accurate than Timely’s since it defaults to using five-minute intervals in the Timeline view. Memtime’s simplicity makes up for the sacrifice, though, as I’m only monitoring for myself.
I wholeheartedly suggest giving Memtime a go if you want to dabble in automatic time tracking without being overrun with team or project management tools.
Memtime isn’t appropriate for: People who don’t want an artificial intelligence tool to monitor their computer usage. Additionally, the solution is a bit too simple for teams; if you need a mobile app or several integrations, seek elsewhere.
Memtime pricing: the Basic plan, which includes fully automated time tracking and calendar sync, costs $12/user/month (with a 24-month subscription). For the integration of project management software, the Connect plan begins at $18 per user per month.
TrackingTime for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and the Web in Chrome and Firefox
Our choice for the greatest time tracking app for a unique way to see time is TrackingTime. Unlike many other time tracking apps, TrackingTime is a collaborative tool for tracking time. It displays time as windows or blocks, exactly like it would if the working period were a calendar event. Although it’s not the only software that organizes your schedule this way, it does provide the greatest customizing options. You can select a day, week, month, or team view, for instance.
The daily view has the most useful layout I’ve seen; it displays the calendar for the entire month on the left, with an icon for each day indicating the amount of time tracked, and the selected day, color-coded and arranged by tracked time blocks, on the right.
Compared to other programs, TrackingTime also emphasizes scheduling your time before you begin working. You can block out time on your calendar, for instance, to work on projects you want to finish later in the week or to arrange regular events like meetings.
With its elegant and intuitive interface, the Projects tab is the most like a standard project management application that I have seen. It resembles an Asana list with the ability to view tasks sorted by date, client, project, or priority. A side panel that appears when you click on a task can be expanded to show tracked time, include attachments or subtasks, and customize data. TrackingTime is worth looking at if you’re searching for a time tracker that also functions as a reasonably capable task management.
If you prefer to keep your task management separate, you may start a timer directly from apps like Airtable, Asana, and Notion thanks to TrackingTime’s Chrome extension integrations. Or, to enable TrackingTime to communicate with all of the other apps you use, you may connect it to Zapier. To get you going, consider these two instances.
RescueTime (Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux)
RescueTime’s layout, which makes it our top choice for the greatest time tracking tool to cut down on distractions. RescueTime is an automated time-tracking application that places emphasis on mindfulness, in-depth work, and minimising interruptions during your working hours.
Installing a little monitoring tool on your computer is the first step towards utilizing RescueTime’s “Focus” version, which is, in my opinion, significantly superior. This program runs in the background to track how you use your computer and drives RescueTime Assistant, which is described as “a digital wellness coach.”
You may use the Assistant to manage your daily work progress, goals, and reports from the menubar, taskbar, or system tray on your desktop. It might notify you, for instance, if you’re multitasking more than usual or are distracted.
The most intriguing elements of RescueTime are meant to assist you in concentrating and taking on deep work—high-value, intellectually taxing assignments. RescueTime calls work like this “Focus Work.” You can define what constitutes Focus Work in your settings and establish daily targets for the amount of Focus Work you wish to accomplish.
To begin this kind of in-depth work, you initiate a “Focus Session.” RescueTime restricts all websites (such as social media platforms or YouTube) that you have designated as being used for personal activity during this session. It monitors your level of concentration and provides you with a comprehensive report at the conclusion of the session.
There’s a RescueTime learning curve. You must become familiar with all of these words as well as the definitions and classifications used by RescueTime for various activities. However, you won’t need to adjust anything else once you’re at ease with the terminology and the configurations, allowing you to get right into your in-depth job.
Additionally, this is the only tool in this review that prevents you from creating invoices automatically or exporting your hours. RescueTime is designed for those who wish to monitor their own working hours in order to gain insights into their work patterns and maximize their efficiency.
A word of caution: you have the choice to select “Focus” or “Analytics” as your priority when you first join up for RescueTime. RescueTime excels at features that make it easy to focus, so if you give it a try, I strongly advise selecting Focus when you create an account. When I initially tried Analytics, I wasn’t that impressed. I lost out on the active coaching offered by the Focus app’s desktop version by choosing that path. Rather, the desktop application was really simplistic, leading me to a dashboard in my browser that displayed a summary of my activities. However, it lacked the simple categorization and exporting features that I discovered with an app like Timely.
Furthermore, I thought RescueTime’s recently introduced “Timesheets AI” function, which allows you to group monitored time into projects, was a little too complicated for regular use. RescueTime might become the ideal timesheet log and distraction reducer after a few updates. Still, it’s a terrific option for gamifying focus and minimizing distractions for the time being.
When you use RescueTime’s Zapier Integrations, you can accomplish even more with the platform. You can spend more time on that Focus Work by using Zapier to link RescueTime to all the other apps you use.
FAQs on Best Time Tracking Apps
What makes a good time tracking app?
A good time tracking app must be able to track different parameters, including clock in/clock out timing, time of, billable and nonbillable hours. It must also provide robust reporting on these parameters, which can then be used to assess the productivity and impact of each employee.
Does time tracking improve?
Using a time tracking tool will help you gauge your capabilities more effectively. It will help you learn how much time you take for a certain task. If you learn that, you'll be able to better decide which projects to work for and which projects you should not work for.
What are the disadvantages of time tracker?
While time and attendance software offer its fair share of benefits, one of its potential disadvantages is the risk of micromanagement. Constant monitoring of employees' work hours and attendance can create a sense of surveillance, leading to concerns about privacy and autonomy.
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