In this rapidly fast and competitive world, every second counts. It matters everywhere, be it personal or professional life. If you can manage your time well, it decides a lot of important aspects of your life.
It even translates to running a business or organization. Proper time management can influence your organization’s success rate. And why not; the more productive your team can be, the more will be the earning potential.
This is why modern organizations are now paying much attention to managing and utilizing their time properly. They are opting for ways to timeclock that an employee takes to accomplish a particular task for that matter.
Generally, time tracking is considered a close relative of productivity that calculates how efficient a person is at completing their job. Managers improve operations and cut costs based on this input for maximizing profits.
According to a report by Harvard Business Review, the US economy loses around 50 million hours per day, which accounts for $7.4 billion.
The reason could be so many as there are plenty of distractions out there like social media, casual talks with colleagues, reading news, and so on. Believe it or not – time tracking, in fact, abides by Parkinson’s Law, stating that work expands with available time, which is allocated for its completion.
You might have experienced it at some point in time. For instance, you give an employee two days of time to complete a 5-hour task, and then it takes them the full two days. It’s because people assume they require more time for task completion, and even if they could do it faster, they continue fine-tuning the work until the deadline arrives.
Besides, time tracking has also become important, especially when you have a remote team to manage. Here, you cannot keep an eye on every employee, and you can’t bug their PC with video or phone calls that further distracts them.
What’s the solution then?
Well, a time-tracking tool is designed precisely to address such issues and may help keep productivity in place.
What’s time tracking software?
A computer program that allows you to track your time by recording the total time an employee spends completing a specific task. It can provide reports and statistics.
The primary aim of this software is to increase productivity and keep an eye on time wasters. This process of tracking time started in mainly service industries, and now it has expanded to businesses of all scale and niches.
Today, big businesses, agencies, and even freelancers have started leveraging time tracking software to keep them productive during their work hours.
How do Time Tracking Software Help?
If you can track time, you can measure the actual versus allocated time for task completion. And if you can measure it and find the factors influencing the performance, you can work on it and improve it.
Understand when, where, and how time is being spent ⁉️
A time-tracking software helps you get a complete picture of when, where, and how your employees are spending their time. If you see any discrepancy, you can talk to them, set your priorities right, and help them where they lack.
Increase profits 📈
By tracking time accurately and watching how and where your resources are utilized, you can understand what’s paying off and what’s not. Based on that, you can monitor and plan project budgets while re-prioritizing tasks.
Based on how many hours a task will take for completion, managers can quote the price to their clients. Time tracking helps people stay dedicated and productive while working on current tasks. They can always measure how much time must be given to specific tasks and plan accordingly to achieve them instead of working haphazardly with no clear goals.
Convey progress 🚧
Anybody can commit mistakes or lose a beat sometimes; after all, we are humans. So, if someone is not able to complete a task over a specified time or takes a longer time than anticipated, they can convey this message to their managers by tracking their time before the deadline comes.
Tracking time gives a sense of responsibility and incites discipline. So, you get motivated to complete a given task within a stipulated period instead of procrastinating.
Now’s the time to have a look at some of the best time-tracking software available in the market, which can help your team stay productive, streamline your projects, and get them completed on time.
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Boost the productivity of your teams and monitor your projects’ progress with a secure and simple time tracking application – DeskTime.
The software helps you manage your projects as well as invoices easily. You can schedule days offs and vacation time with ease under one umbrella. Besides, DeskTime makes it easy for you to monitor sick leaves, daily activities, and over time to understand the workflow.
DeskTime offers superior data security by following industry standards through encryption, firewalls, data center certification under ISO 27001 9001, login and password protection, and data storage on Tier-3 servers.
Other features included are:
Auto screenshots & activity rate tracker
URL and App tracking
Document title tracking
Moreover, they have a dedicated support team via email and chat.
Time tracking that lives inside Slack and Microsoft Teams – what could be easier?
Since 2018, AttendanceBot remains the single most popular Slack & Teams tool for tracking organizational time and attendance for timesheets, projects, tasks, and clients. Without any need for logins, passwords, or extra apps, AttendanceBot brings timeclock functionality directly into your digital workspace.
For teams looking to improve timesheet accuracy for payroll or invoicing, AttendanceBot offers easily set billable rates and wages with a variety of useful reporting formats and an approval tool for manager oversight. Payroll integrations are also available for major providers like Gusto, BambooHR, JustWorks.
For organizations that need overtime calculation, AttendanceBot has preset configurations for all 50 states and easily segments policy regional or employee-specific employees anywhere in the world.
For those that want deeper insight into time spent on projects, tasks, or clients, AttendanceBot brings time toggling directly into Slack & Teams while providing instant access to data and project reporting via csv or a project analytics dashboard.
While AttendanceBot doesn’t offer device or application tracking like maximalist productivity software, it instead focuses on surfacing relevant information where it’s needed – things like automated reminder messages, project channel updates, and alerts for overtime or no-shows. Employees can even sync their work and vacation status directly with their Slack or Teams status.
Perhaps the final differentiator in a crowded field is the wealth of admin capabilities offered. Along with advanced permission settings and employee-level configurations, AttendanceBot offers integrated feature sets like time off and accrual tracking, shift rosters and employee scheduling, and onboarding tasklist automation for new hires.
Add to Slack or Teams for a 14-day free trial, and contact their support team for free configuration or training.
Bonsai is a suite of utilities for self-working professionals, including excellent time tracking.
This tool lets you set a custom per-hour rate for different projects and invoicing hours to your clients with just a click. Besides, you can choose to round off the time to make the calculations look easy.
But Bonsai truly shines when you track time for your entire team. In this case, you get a summary timesheet indicating total hours and billable amount.
Another good thing is Bonsai works multiplatform, including on macOS, iOS, Andriod, and as a browser extension for Chrome.
There is no free forever version, but you can benefit from the fully-featured, free 14-day trial.
And the subscriptions won’t limit you to just time tracking but comes with some handy integrated tools for invoicing, accounting, task management, tax planning, etc.
The award-winning time tracking tool of RescueTime lets you literally ‘rescue’ your precious time and convert it into productive hours.
RescueTime tracks time automatically with no manual entry enabled. It prompts you to add to 1-click Offline Time tracking because not everything occurs online. So, even if you are away, you can get a complete picture of what’s happening around you.
You can use FocusTime to block distracting apps and websites during work hours. Integrate RescueTime with useful applications like Google Calendar, Slack, plus hundreds of more applications. It works seamlessly with macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome.
You can try this software free for 14 days to see how it can help you.
Monitor your team’s work through timesheets and time-tracking software – Teamdeck. It allows you to keep track of billable hours across your organization’s departments and different projects. It also lets you compare a project’s schedules with the recorder timesheets and spot the correct part before discussing the budget.
Teamdeck allows you to monitor the performance of your team and compare estimated with the actuals. With your available information, you can easily create reports from the timesheets by calculating KPIs.
In addition, Teamdeck is helpful to track your bottom line and manage the team’s workload with ease. It is an excellent tool for creative agencies, software houses, product teams, OP, and finance.
The software is free for up to two members. Pay for the people using Teamdeck and add more in the future as your team grows at $3.99/member/month. Take a 7-day free trial with the plan, know what is working for you, and save time.
The powerful yet simple time-tracking software – Timecamp is ideal for multiple industries, businesses, and professionals.
Forget micromanagement and be on the same page as your employees by empowering them with Timecamp. Using the software, they can self-track their activities and work as per their responsibilities, knowing that they might be held accountable on the grounds of wasting time.
It can scan application domain names automatically and organize them to different categories. Insightful reports help you measure profitability and track budgets. Its billing feature lets you mark tracked time as non-billable or billable and accelerates the invoicing process.
Get over with boring attendance and time sheets as this tool helps you automate these activities with just a click. Timecamp integrates with over 100 applications, including Trello, Asana, Slack, Outlook, Google Calendar, Xero, and more.
Avail Timecamp at just $5.25/month when billed annually.
Nope, we aren’t talking about the Time Lord, Doctor Who!
Time Doctor is a time-tracking software that helps improve the productivity and focus of your team instantly. Daily reports and time-sheets showcase metrics for the entire day to help you understand how productive you remained throughout the day. By the looks of it, you can set a target by yourself and try to beat it.
Its intuitive dashboard makes time tracking effortless where you can see tasks, your clients, and distractions consuming your time. Time Doctor is fully customizable, so you can use only the features you need and turn other features off when you don’t need them.
Track a specific application or program usage along with the time employees spend on certain websites. You will immediately know if anyone spends too much of their time on YouTube or Facebook. With Time Doctor, it is also possible to take screenshots of employees’ monitors so you can know what they are doing exactly to identify distractions, and inefficiencies, and prevent time-wasting.
Besides, you can white-label clients by letting them access task reports and screenshots to map progress. Calculate payroll automatically based on fixed hours or salaries in addition to managing employee pay and client billing. The software is compatible with Windows, Android, Mac, Linux, iPhone, and Chrome.
Integrate it with GitHub, JIRA, Trello, Slack, Google Apps, Salesforce, Zoho, and more. Another interesting feature is that it gives pop-up alerts and nudges when employees use too many non-work apps or sit idle for long. You can also track attendance to identify latecomers and track break time as well.
Avail Time Doctor at just $10/month. If you don’t find it useful, cancel at any time as there are no contracts.
Time tracking is made easy with the user-friendly interface of Harvest. It was established in the year 2006, and today, over 50k businesses around the globe trust this software.
Harvest collates the raw data taken from time-sheets into a summary where you can see how your team is doing. You can use these visual reports with answers to vital questions and keep projects and tasks on track.
Turn your expenses and billable time into professional-looking invoices, forward them to the clients, and collect payments online without any hassle. A forecast is a sister app of Harvest, which allows you to schedule your time to be utilized in the future. You can pull this information into Harvest and manage your projects better.
Try a fully-functional 30 days trial to measure the efficacy of the software.
Toggl is one of the simplest time-tracking software out there that helps you complete your tasks on time.
All you need is just a click to get started with fresh time entry and continue tracking previous tasks. In case you forgot to start the time tracker, Toggl Desktop applications and Toggle Button remind you. Similarly, it also helps you when you forget to stop the timer by detecting idle time.
Toggl is capable of 100+ popular integrations. It lets you enter time manually after a week or day finishes, and you can also turn calendar events to time entries.
Filter the time tracking information so you can extract specific data when required. You can export reports into different file formats, including PDF, CSV, and Excel. Its Project dashboard is clear and easy to understand with visual data, allowing you to spot issues in the early stage and fight them off.
Allocate billable rates directly to all your projects, making sure you are paid fairly. It doesn’t matter what device you are “toggling” on; it syncs your data in real-time. Start and stop the time in your browser, phone, or laptop with ease.
Set yourself free from boring time reporting and choose TMetric as your organization’s time sheet app. It has over 20 years of experience in providing excellent services to businesses around the world.
TMetric can efficiently track your tasks by the minute while analyzing productivity at great lengths. Set a task budget, track developmental expenses, and get a clear view of your earnings.
Don’t worry while managing employees, both onsite and remote. It’s because TMetric lets you monitor work days, attendance, working hours, overtime, activity levels, billable hours, etc. Create professional and accurate invoices.
Integrate TMetric with applications that you use frequently. You can use a free plan of TMetric to track your team consisting of up to 5 members or go for paid plans or more features.
BeeBole offers a flexible and effortless time tracking that all types of business can leverage. They can track time monthly, weekly, or daily and manage holidays and absences.
You can lock entries; use it from anywhere as the software is available for multiple browsers and devices. Integrate BeeBole with billing software and ERP through their API. It also supports Office 365 and Google Suite integration using its Google time-sheet application.
Get better control through approval flow, managerial access, and automated reminders. Its dashboard is customizable, where you can generate reports regarding attendance, billable hours, budget, profit, and margin. You can export, audit, and print them anytime.
For security, BeeBole maintains 256-bit encryption, daily backups, hashed passwords, audit trails, and restrictive server locations to secure customer data.
BeeBole Timesheet app has DCAA approval and is GDPR compliant. It is available in multiple languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Polish, and Portuguese. They guarantee 99.9% uptime to serve you the best and is available to try it free for 30 days.
Keep an eye on your productivity by choosing Workpuls.
Manage your projects with ease and access every data of the projects from a clear Kanban board. Get notified about which websites and apps the employees frequently use while being on projects. It also helps you with screenshots to get proof regarding their work.
Track employees in real-time, take attendance automatically and analyze productivity with the help of insightful reports. The tool lets you access data that are up to 2 years old. You can opt to receive reports on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis via email.
Workpuls enable manual time entry, productivity labeling for websites and apps, and manage bills accurately to ensure profitability. Empower your clients by allowing them to access the data regarding their projects so they can track progress.
You can choose to store your data either in the cloud or on-premise. They leverage the robust infrastructure of Google Cloud for storing your data for better security.
Focus on productivity with employee time tracking through Hubstaff.
It offers a feature-rich dashboard that you can use to break down employee hours, manage time with ease, and view in-depth timesheets. See what your employees are doing using Hubstaff’s GPS as well as geofence time trackers. You can set Android and iOS mobile applications to clock in or out automatically.
You can also send reminders to your teams when they access unproductive websites. Hubstaff offers optional screenshots so you can choose to see employees’ monitors and lets you record the location and work hours of each team member to make sure everything is done properly.
Track pay rates and hours to pay them for their work and set maximum hours or budget to get alerts in case you reach the limits.
The time-sheet app and minimalist time tracker – Clockify is efficient in keeping you productive all day long.
This is free software that you can use forever for unlimited users, tracking, and projects. You can use it on both your desktop and mobile seamlessly. Start and stop the timer when you want, and input hours manually.
Log into your weekly time-sheet within a minute, see total time/activity in a day, load activities quickly, and add notes for more information. Its amazing dashboard lets you see top activities highlighting where your team members spent much of their time. The visual charts allow you to view money and time spent along with the live status of your work.
Filter reports by user, activity, and day; export reports through Excel, CSV, or PDF; and share them with your clients using a link. Invite your team to record attendance, provide additional permissions, and set your rates per user.
Automate time tracking and note-taking with Timely for greater accuracy.
Record your work along with the time spent on different applications. Next, let the AI draft timesheets with high precision for you. Its synchronized scheduling and real-time dashboard keep the work of every team member visible.
Get a quick review of logged hours, missing hours, weekly activities and capacity, over time, and so on. Manage projects easily by visualizing and scheduling project resources from a single intelligent space.
You can then track your budgets and pull a report to see how people are spending their time on the project. Timely involves no third-party or invasive screenshots in order to keep your data private. It supports a wide range of integrations and permits location tracking.
TrackingTime is an easy-to-use timesheet app that helps you record total working hours and view the status of your projects in real-time so you can measure productivity.
It exhibits superior flexibility for project budgeting, payroll, client billing, work analytics, and more. TrackingTime is compatible with multiple applications flawlessly, like Todoist, Smartsheet, Trello, Microsoft Teams, and more.
Bonus tips to get teams on board for tracking their time
Never leave employees in the dark; be honest to explain to them up-front the need for them to track time and its benefits for themselves and the company.
Make it flexible and easy for them, so they don’t feel exhausted. Automate the process by using an easy-to-use and intuitive tool to automate the process
Draft clear guidelines with no confusion or mess because task completion is important, but completing them properly is even more important.
Everyone in a team must follow the same guidelines; be it employees or the manager. When they see managers tracking their time, the employees perceive it as non-intrusive and take it as a valuable practice.
Collect feedback as to how the overall experience of time tracking has been for them. Understand their pain points, help them, and welcome suggestions if they make sense.
Managing time is not an easy task. It requires dedication, perseverance, and an achievable goal in mind. Using time tracking software, you can make things a bit easier for your team members so they can be more productive and disciplined, which turns out to be a win-win situation for everyone in the team.
Durga Prasad Acharya
Durga Prasad Acharya is a Freelance Technical Writer who loves writing on emerging technologies, such as AI & ML, Cybersecurity, Web Hosting, SaaS, Cloud Computing, and more. Besides writing, he’s a web designer and is passionate about… read more
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