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Time Tracking Software: Increasing Productivity In Your Projects

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While time tracking is not the sexiest topic around, it's certainly a necessary evil. Whether you have a team or work as a freelancer running a profitable lifestyle business, you can't escape using time-tracking tools for your projects if you want to know where time is going.

Essentially, finding the best time tracking software for project managers and business owners is an essential step in increasing efficiency and saving money.

The good news is that tracking time will allow you to identify inefficiencies and determine how people spend their time during their working day.

The right time tracker for you will depend on your needs, the size of your team, and how you prefer to work.

This article will review the best time tracking software - from simple timers to sophisticated tools that track activity and billable hours - giving you an idea of what tools and features work best for you.

With that said, let's get started.

The Best Time Tracking Software

These are the best time management software on the market today.

Workpuls

Best Overall For Tracking Time

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Workpuls allows you to combine productivity-minded modern teams with workforce analytics.

Work more proactively with actionable data insights. With employee productivity monitoring, you'll always know who's working, what they're working on, and how much work is being done.

This time tracking software gives you everything you need to run a successful business.

Creating projects is fast, easy, and efficient with the Workpuls’ all-in-one project management software. You'll also get data visualizations that inform you about various time activities to gain better insights into your team's performance.

Employee monitoring, remote work management, and easy-to-set up billing and invoicing are all built into Workpuls.

You can also use the computer activity-tracking feature to monitor computer usage, allowing you to block access on devices that need to be more secure.

To know how employees are spending their time, you can use the various parts of this time tracking software to ensure that everyone is being more productive.

Key Features

  • Establish a common goal for your entire team and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Automates screenshot taking and monitors various computer actions to prevent you from being charged for time spent on non-work-related activities.
  • Employee work schedule and working hours monitoring allow you to monitor your employees' time, location, and activity during the day. This increases security and enhances productivity.
  • Detailed reports let you better plan your budget and allocate resources.

Pricing

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Based on your needs, you can opt for any of these plans:

RescueTime

Best For Those Looking For A Solution That Keeps Them Focused

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RescueTime gives you the ability to take back control of your time.

RescueTime is one of the most popular time tracking software solutions. It's reasonably priced and easy to learn, so it's suitable for people who are just getting started with their time management efforts.

A goal for every day's focus work allows you to be more productive and understand you need to adjust your priorities.

RescueTime is also great for tracking website activity. You can see how much time you're spending on each website, enabling you to identify time suckers and eliminate them as needed.

Your day is kept on track by constant encouragement and encouragement from an early hour which means you spend your time doing what matters to you.

The RescueTime software is linked with your email account, and this allows the software to gather relevant data to identify your usage patterns. 

It then presents this information in a series of interactive reports that show you exactly how you spend each day and help you manage the time better.

You can also use a focus session to block distracting websites when you need to get things done.

Key Features

  • Discover what distracts you from concentrating on your job so you can prevent it.
  • Avoid wasting time on unproductive activities and focus on what matters.
  • Use daily goals to make it easier to focus on the right tasks at the right time.
  • Dashboard view gives you a snapshot of your daily productivity and progress toward achieving your goals. It is a robust engine for understanding where your attention is going and how to manage it better.

Pricing

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Rescue Time offers a free two-week trial to see if it's the right fit for you. After that, the RescueTime pricing plans start at $6.50 per month.

Wrike

Best For Combining Time Tracking With Project Management Apps

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Wrike helps you unblock your mind and discover clarity with simple team project management.

Wrike is a flexible tool that helps you focus on suitable projects and tasks with just enough structure to stay organized but not too much to get in your way.

Wrike's time tracking software is an excellent fit for startups with tons of things going on at once.

If you run a startup and don't have a clear picture of what's going on, this might just be the software for you.

In addition to time tracking, Wrike is great for team collaboration and project management. Its robust features let you collaborate with your teammates from a single interface.

With the most effective product solution on your computer, anything is made possible for your team.

Wrike may be customized to suit your company's needs, from a simple task list to a complete project management solution.

Collaborate in real-time with everyone in your organization and manage your company's projects, tasks and ideas.

Key Features

  • Real-time information will provide you with up-to-date insights and potential roadblocks before they occur.
  • See individual activities or zoom out to see the big picture on your organizational timeline.
  • Wrike is all about workflow automation, which frees you to do more productive work on your own time.
  • Take advantage of the best security in the business to get more done without distractions or worry.

Pricing

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With a free plan available for teams that are just getting started, Wrike's paid plans are as follows:

The Enterprise and Pinnacle plan comes with custom pricing - contact their sales team for more information.

Buddy Punch

Best For Providing A Streamlined Time Tracking Solution

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Buddy Punch is great for those who want to streamline their business and enhance productivity.

In addition, the software is affordable for small businesses, making it a great tool that won't break the bank.

Buddy Punch provides a comprehensive reporting feature to quickly see how your time is spent and how productive you are throughout the day.

You may also simplify payroll with an online punch clock to save time and money.

The online time clock in 'Buddy Punch' makes it simple to keep track of attendance, time off, and overtime in real-time.

In addition, you can use mobile push notifications to remind your employees and managers to clock in and out.

Key Features

  • Forget about complicated spreadsheets to track time and stay on top of your projects.
  • View all of the projects you're working on in one place, at any time.
  • To simplify payroll, create customized reports that track time across all employees.
  • Keep track of everyone's progress and efficiency from anywhere and at any time.

Pricing

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With an annual billing set up, the following are the pricing plans available:

Time Doctor

Best For Providing Time Tracking With A Focus On Compliance Protocols

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If you want to build a workplace that helps increase productivity and eliminate distractions, Time Doctor might be the right fit for you.

This time tracking software lets you monitor employees' computer usage to determine what tasks are taking up too much time or if your employees are spending their day browsing non-work-related websites instead of working.

Time tracking is made easier with automatic time monitoring, which lets you know where the team excels and where it needs assistance to enhance individual and overall performance quickly.

It's also a great piece of software for managers that want to monitor their team's productivity.

In addition, using this software, managers will spot top employees fostering team morale.

When your staff understands how tracking their time keeps everyone accountable, they'll be more productive.

It also helps discourage time theft and misuse by eliminating rounding up/down to end an hour.

Key Features

  • Remote workers will understand their team's work more readily and take action.
  • For those that work with a hybrid workforce, you can monitor your employees even when they're working from home.
  • In addition, managers can monitor team activity in real-time, so there are no surprises when billing clients or doing payroll.
  • Time Doctor provides real-time productivity analytics to help you achieve your goals no matter where you work.
  • Security and deployment at an enterprise level give you the peace of mind you deserve as a manager.
  • With 60+ integrations, you can track time from any software the program connects with.

Pricing

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Time Doctor offers these pricing plans:

All of these prices are billed monthly.

Forecast.app

Best For Using An Artificial Intelligence Approach To Time Management

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Forecast.app gives you one platform to manage your time across your projects.

From managing your daily tasks to tracking hours, this time tracking software makes it easy for you and the rest of your team to stay on top of their work.

Create an AI-native platform that unites your data, projects, and people - without forcing you to learn a new system.

With collaboration becoming a crucial part of day-to-day operations, this tool lets you chat with your team in real-time without switching between separate programs.

With a visual all-in-one platform, you may supervise projects and teams to ensure work is done on time and within budget.

Key Features

  • Scheduling is streamlined with drag-and-drop functionality.
  • You'll always know where things stand with real-time reporting and automatic billing.
  • When you check in at the end of a project, Forecast.app provides task management analytics that lets you efficiently oversee various progress points and results achieved.
  • Focus on the capacity accessible in each of your projects when forecasting.

Pricing

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Forecast.app comes in at these prices:

These plans require a minimum of ten seats and are both charged annually.

actiTIME

Best For Integrating With Thousands Of Other Software

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The easy-to-use KPI solution from actiTIME is ideal for tracking progress and making effective company decisions.

Understanding where your time goes is the first step toward controlling it and making better use of it.

This time tracking software gives you the needed insights to maximize your team's performance.

This helps you find out the bottlenecks in your business and solve them to move forward.

ActiTIME will convert your recorded hours and hourly rates into a complete picture of your expenditures and earnings, which means that forecasting and budgeting will be a breeze.

If making transparency a priority is essential for you, you can even share your time tracking with all of those involved in the project, allowing everyone to understand what they’re doing right and what needs to be improved.

Key Features

  • With more than 2,000 software integrations, you can track time from a diverse range of programs.
  • Connecting actiTIME with your business software can help you accurately handle time management and tracking.
  • Reports & Data Analysis give you the information you need to make critical decisions about your team's progress.
  • Billing & Invoicing will give you the correct information regarding how clients are billed and how much they owe.

Pricing

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Based on the number of users, these are the plans found on actiTIME:

The above are all annual costs.

What Is Time Tracking Software?

Time tracking software is used to track daily tasks for billing purposes and project management.

Various companies use time tracking software to ensure their employees work on set tasks during business hours.

Freelancers also use it to keep an eye on their productivity levels and bill clients accurately based on their work.

How Does Time Tracking Software Work?

The way time tracking software works largely depends on the type of program you're using.

For example, some programs are web-based, which means they run in your internet browser; others might track your location to see where you spend most of your day, using GPS tracking to get an accurate view of how far you travel and how long it takes you to get from one place to another.

There are also multiple ways these software used to record the amount of time you spend on tasks:

  • One can manually input time spent in the software.
  • Connect with other apps on your computer or mobile device.
  • Let the software do the job for you by pressing a start/stop button.

In any case, having an accurate log of how much time different activities take will allow you to improve your work habits in the future.

The Main Benefits Of Time Tracking Software

One of the most significant benefits of this type of software is that you can easily manage budgets.

For example, log how much time you spend on different parts of a project or activity, then set an hourly rate for each person working on the project.

Once the hours are logged, you'll have all the data needed to efficiently allocate resources when planning new projects or directing resources in existing ones.

Features To Look For When Choosing A Time Tracking Tool

The right time tracking app will offer all the features you need to manage your projects efficiently. Below are some of the features that the best time tracking software programs will have:

Background Mode

Background mode means that the program will track your actions even when you're not actively running the software. If the program has this option, it will automatically start up when you're working with a computer or mobile device (sometimes, you might not even need to be connected to the internet).

This is useful because it will track your location and the time you spend during all your activities, whether they are work-related or not.

Data Export

Having the ability to export data is helpful because it means you'll have access to information in a way that's most convenient for you. Different programs offer different ways to do this: some use CSV files, while others use proprietary software. 

At the very least, look for a program with an API so that integration with other apps is possible. Web services are good, too, since you can use them on any platform or device.

Multi-Platform Compatibility

Time tracking software tools are made for various devices and operating systems.

For this reason, look for a program that's compatible with your computer, smartphone, or tablet. It should also have an app for central platforms like Android or iOS.

Working on multiple platforms and ensuring that automatic time tracking is happening as you work is essential for reducing the amount of time you spend on administrative tasks.

This is why accessing your data is so helpful, no matter where you are or what device you have with you. It's also part of automating your workflow, so manual entry isn't necessary.

For example, if an app has an iOS app and a multi-platform API, it can send information directly to its web service every time you start working on new activity on your phone. From there, your time management software will have all the latest data available automatically.

User Privacy Protection

Some tracking apps don't take user privacy very seriously - by storing location data without permission, they might be dangerous to use in the workplace.

Be sure to check that any software you're thinking about buying doesn't do this, mainly if this software is being used as part of a professional organization.

This is even more important if your time tracking app will have access to personal information like social security numbers or bank details due to integration with other services.

Customization Options

The best time tracking tools provide various options for customizing how data is collected and displayed. For example, time tracking solutions that seek to manage employee time will have the opportunity to select specific days of the week and set custom overtime rates.

Customization should be one of the basic time tracking features you look for when deciding which software to use.

Collaboration Tools

Look for a time tracking app that allows collaboration with workmates. The best tools integrate with the most popular project management solutions, so your time tracking software will likely have at least one primary function of the program you already use built-in. 

Used as part of overall project management tools allows for better workflow, saving time and money, which are all very desirable results.

Performance Metrics

One of the best ways to accurately track your performance is using software with smart analytics tools. This means that it's able not only to give you data about what you've worked on but will also factor in how long it took you to complete tasks or manage projects. 

It can tell if you're working efficiently or wasting time (and money) along the way. Intelligent analytics will provide the data to understand where things are going wrong.

You might also be interested in looking for software that provides action steps to improve performance. This is helpful if you're new to time tracking or aren't sure which apps or services you should turn to.

Integration With Other Services

As part of an overall workflow management system, your time tracking program not only needs to work on its own but also has to integrate with other services. The more programs it can connect with, the more valuable features are available.  

For example, some time trackers allow users to create information on projects and clients using a simple web-based form. This makes it easy to keep all of your project data in one place, as well as access it from any device. This is a feature that every business owner should consider when looking for the right time tracking solution.

Expense Tracking Software

When it’s time to create invoices and billing employee hours, the right software will allow you to know exactly how much time was spent on specific tasks. This is useful when it comes to tracking employee productivity.

Most of the time, this software also allows you to create quotes for new jobs that are customized with accurate pricing information. It's a lot more efficient than sending out paper invoices because it reduces the necessary data entry, saving time and money.

Conclusion

There are dozens of different time tracking apps on the market, making it difficult for managers to find a tool that suits their needs. Managers need an app that provides accurate team productivity and efficiency data to save time invoicing clients or preparing reports.

In addition, the right time tracking software should have features like intelligent analytics and integration with other services to provide a complete workflow management system.

When looking for a good time tracker, consider that location tracking is a serious concern. You'll want something that either doesn't collect this type of information or does it in a way where you're conscious of what kind of data you're giving up. 

At the end of it all, the most important thing to do is get a sense of what features the right time tracking software requires and how much it will cost you. With all of this information, you can then make an informed decision about the software to go for, and ultimately stop overthinking about every business decision you make.

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About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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