Time-tracking software can help anyone, from an individual to a business owner, it helps you to learn how you and your team are spending time, as well as how productive your time management is.
Due to the world-capturing quarantine life, most companies have switched to remote work. Employees can experience increased pressure because they work from home and planning work hours productively is not an easy task anymore. In this regard, the use of time-tracking programs, that allow teams to record the time spent on tasks or projects and employers to control them, is gaining popularity.
Time can be your friend if you know how to control it effectively. It’s essential for companies that experience changes where managers need to know the productivity of their team.
Time-tracking software can help anyone, from an individual to a business owner, it helps you to learn how you and your team are spending time, as well as how productive your time management is. A quality time-tracking tool can really be priceless. And in this article, we are going to share our experience of 5 time-tracking tools, their functionality, and the way they can substantially save your time and money.
The Main Tasks of Time-Tracking Programs
Almost all time-tracking tools let you track in real-time, many of them have various features that appeal to different types and sizes of businesses. But mainly the time-tracking tools are used for the following purposes:
- Employee time tracking
- Productivity analysis
- Monitoring of websites and applications visited
- Remuneration of employees
- Screenshots of the desktop
- Integration with other applications
- Keystroke logging (recording the keys struck on a keyboard)
Top-5 Time Tracking Tools
After considering some of the most popular apps, we selected the Top-5 best time trackers for remote workers and businesses, that can also be used for personal time tracking:
- Time Doctor
Let’s look a little closer at each tool:
1. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is a powerful time tracking program that focuses on productivity and managing daily tasks.
Time Doctor not only monitors the work of the team but also provides a breakdown of how much time is spent on specific projects (or clients). The application is configured for real-time time tracking and provides a work time control – real-time data is displayed accurately to the second.
Time Doctor’s pricing system is simple. There is a limited free plan, or you can choose to pay $9.99 per user per month for all the features.
- Work time control and Timer
- Tools for distraction alerts
- Website and application monitoring
- 23 integrations: Bitrix24, Asana, Basecamp, Google Docs, JIRA, ZenDesk, Trello, Slack, Teamwork, etc.
- API integration with other services
- Screenshots for monitoring the teamwork
- Reports of time spent (on programs, sites, tasks,etc.)
- Payroll, integrations with PayPal, and Payoneer
- Differentiation of access rights while using different roles
- Account statuses
- Managing reminders and pop-ups
- Increased security
- GPS tracking
It’s difficult to edit time from the desktop app directly, you need to log into the web app.
The “Are you still working?” nag appears even if you have a legitimate reason to work on social networks and can’t be removed.
Timely is a cross-platform tracker. The program allows you to automatically calculate labor costs and understand the price for the work performed.
The main work with Timely is carried out in the web interface, and an agent program is installed on the computer. It simply monitors the currently active application, the time spent in it, and transfers data to the server. You can configure autorun or work in a fully manual mode.
Timely starts at $7 per month for the user, or $20 per month for teams.
- Automatic Time Tracking Function
- Integrated Project Health Dashboard that helps you control hours to make sure you or the team don’t go over budget
- Timely records all your activity and groups it together
- Offering labels and tags based on your activities
- Learning from your edits for more accurate suggestions
- Drag-and-drop capabilities, it means you can move around the dedicated blocks
- App Integrations
- Project Time Management
In some cases (if the user works with Google Docs files all day), the automatic tracking function will not be as effective.
There’s no free plan.
Hubstaff is a time-tracking system with functions for capturing screenshots, monitoring work, automatic payroll, advanced reports, real-time tracking, and GPS.
The service integrates with more than 30 popular tools. Hubstaff is suitable for remote teams, small businesses, and freelancers. It works as a desktop or mobile app, and also supports smaller operating systems like Linux and Chromebooks.
Paid team plan is $5 per user per month and has options of $10 or $20 per user per month for more integrations, automatic functions, and other features.
- Levels of activity
- Conducting weekly budgets
- Permissions for each user.
- Tracking time of remote teams.
- Activity tracking with full-screen mode and screenshots
- Integration with PayPal and Payoneer for auto payroll
- Schedules and reports systems
- GPS monitoring
- Setting deadlines for each team member
- Powerful API
- Adding time points for accounting
- Real-time team monitoring
- Real-time view of programs used by teams
- Auto-export data to PDF, CSV, QuickBooks
- Screenshots, applications, and URLs review
- Review of the task’s speed and cost
There are cases of incorrect automatic starts/stops.
UI can be a bit dated in spots, especially while using the desktop app.
This tool has an excellent free version that includes all the basic functionality that you expect to see in a time-tracking application. But users of the free version can’t use this tool to work in teams.
Toggl is very easy to use and offers excellent functionality for a wide variety of needs. For example, in the extension for Chrome, you can set the time when Toggl should automatically stop tracking the time of work on the task. The program also keeps track of downtime, which helps to more accurately keep your calculations and if you are interrupted while working on a 20-minute conversation, Toggl can subtract these 20 minutes from the recording.
It offers a generous free plan with various functions for individuals. Paid plans start at $9 per user per month and offer an enterprise plan for $49 per user per month.
- Email reminders
- Keyboard shortcuts and Pomodoro timer
- Offline mode
- Scheduled reports to email
- Locking time entries
- Exporting (PDF, CSV, XLS)
- Summary, detailed, weekly reports
- Project time estimates
- Archiving projects
- Unlimited projects and clients
- Adding time for team members
- Unlimited team size
- Team’s access levels
- Asana, Basecamp, Freshbooks, Github Integrations
- Toggl Button Chrome Extension
It offers no invoicing but has integrations for third-party tools.
The desktop app can work a bit clunky at times.
Harvest time-tracker is more suitable for freelancers and remote teams; it includes implemented cost tracking function and other diverse accounting functions.
Harvest is a very popular option for teams. It’s used for solo entrepreneurs, but it’s built to operate a collaborative workload in a clear and easy way. The app can work offline, allowing you and your team to record time on tasks even when you’re not online.
It offers a free plan with limited functions and a paid plan that offers $12 per month per person.
- Tracks time and all expenses
- Collates timesheet data into a visual summary of your team’s time
- Keeps your projects on track with answers to key questions
- Turns your billable time and expenses into professional invoices, send them to your clients, and get paid online
- Has its own employee scheduling app Forecast that lets you schedule your team’s time into the future
- Integrates with a long list of apps (including Asana, Basecamp, Slack, Trello)
- Business owners can always edit, review, and approve team timesheets
- Exporting (PDF, CSV, XLS)
- API Integrations
When you’re exporting through Zapier, to Google Sheets, there a problem. The system is built in this way that you can’t export the person’s name, but you need an ID.
In order to do reporting in Google Sheets, you have to fill lots of Google Sheets formulas to be able to run your reports.
Comparing all the functions for ourselves, we, in UppLabs, gave our preferences to Time Doctor and Hubstaff for their broader features set that extend to project management tasks and functions. Both time-tracking tools have many useful employee monitoring tools like keystroke logging, GPS and location monitoring, URL and application monitoring, and activity screenshots.
Hubstaff and Time Doctor are easily integrated with our projects and task management tools such as Asana and Trello and can filter reports by specific projects or tasks to track productivity. So, we actively use them, especially now, when everyone needs effective remote team management.
Heads Upp! We know what to do!
The original article was published here.