The 6 Best Time Tracking Software and Apps
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It’s easy to lose track of time. After all, you are busy and multitasking between jobs every day. But even as you are ticking off all those pending to-dos, it’s important to keep an eye on where you’re spending your precious time. For a freelancer, it’s vital to account for all those billable hours.

Thankfully, there are tools that help you do just that with minimal hassle. Here are the best time tracking apps you should try.

1. HourStack (Web, Android, iOS)

HourStack is a simple time tracking tool. You can tell at a glance how your week looks like with the Kanban interface.

You can create new entries for tasks, move their slots around to any part of the day or week, and even drag them to increase their allocated duration.

HourStack lets you organize your workspace into various projects and labels. The built-in timer tells you precisely how much time you’ve left for a task. At the end of the day, the app’s comprehensive insights and charts show how much time you’ve saved.

To streamline your workflow, you can integrate the app with Slack, Todoist, Google Calendar, and others.

Want to track time on team projects? HourStack has Professional and Enterprise flavors for teams.

HourStack has Android and iOS time tracking apps but on your computer, you will have to rely on its web app. You can try it for free for 14 days and after that, you will have to shell out at least $7 every month.

Download: HourStack for Android | iOS (Free trial, Subscription plans)

2. Timely (Web, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)

Timely stands out with a set of smart abilities and a modern design. Like HourStack, Timely has a flexible layout where you can drag and drop your task blocks.

You can view your data by hours, projects, and members if you’re in a team. Use the tool to display productivity reports and use them as supports for the budget set for each project.

Timely’s biggest highlight is its automatic tracking module called Memory.

It is a separate and optional install for Windows and macOS. Configure the AI and it will track just about everything you do on your phone or computer. It groups the data and suggests time entry logs so that you don’t have to do it manually.

For instance, if you went to Starbucks and fired up Microsoft Powerpoint, Timely will recommend that you add that window to your dashboard as a meeting. Timely can be plugged into several third-party apps such as Google Calendar for an even more hands-free experience.

Of course, there are critical privacy concerns surrounding Timely’s Memory facility. While Timely explicitly says it doesn’t misuse your information, your digital security will always hang in the balance when Memory is active. Fortunately, Timely is a competent time tracking platform without that as well.

Timely has different pricing plans. There is a 14-day trial option where you don’t need to enter your credit card credentials.

Download: Timely for Windows | macOS | Android | iOS (Free trial, Subscription plans)

3. Toggl (Web, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS)

Toggl dashboard

Toggle doesn’t overwhelm you with a vast dashboard. It just asks you to add your task for the moment with the One-click timers. This includes Toggl Buttons for Chrome and Firefox.

You can set up automatic real-time tracking or enter time data manually at the end of the day or week.

The dashboard captures your complete progress. Toggl also prepares exhaustive insights and reports for your clocked hours.

Like any good time tracking software, Toggl offers all the standard features you would need for personal or team projects. This includes the ability to juggle between multiple projects, teams, and tags. Also, you can add billable rates to your time entries if you’re charging a client by the hour.

Toggl has a Basic Free plan. You can try out the paid plans for 30 days and then subscribe.

Download: Toggl for Desktop | Android | iOS (Free, Subscription plans)

4. Harvest (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Web)

Harvest time tracking dashboard

Harvest is a feature-rich time tracking tool that bets on a cleaner UX to assist you in handling your time. Its apps feature easy-to-understand elements and bold typography that anyone can master in a matter of minutes.

On the home page, you have access to your timesheet and weekly overview. You can effortlessly add new tasks, begin timers, and view what your teammates are up to. On top of that, you will find dedicated tabs for managing your budget, projects, and reports.

What’s more, Harvest also works like an invoicing app The 5 Best Free Invoicing Apps for Freelancers and Small Business Owners The 5 Best Free Invoicing Apps for Freelancers and Small Business Owners We rounded up the best free invoicing tools for freelancers and small business owners. Pick the one that's best for you. Read More which lets you instantly create a bill for the tracked time and expenses.

A key advantage of choosing Harvest is that it offers a free version for a single person with two projects. For more, you will have to go for the different pricing plans.

Download: Harvest for Windows | macOS | Android | iOS (Free, Subscription plans)

5. TimeCamp (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, Web)

You can think of TimeCamp as the ideal mashup of all the services we’ve discussed so far. The time tracking tool has a minimal feel that is both pragmatic and modern.

TimeCamp comes with nearly every tool a time management software should have. You can either log your day through a Kanban styled dashboard or do it step-by-step in the day view. You can segregate tasks by projects and generate extensive reports for insights.

If you install TimeCamp’s desktop app, you can also keep tabs on your computer time and breaks. That’s not all. TimeCamp offers 114 integrations with third-party apps like Slack, Trello, Evernote, Podio etc.

TimeCamp is free for individuals as long as you only want to track your time. To utilize advanced features like third-party add-ons, you will have to opt for one of the pricing tiers.

Download: TimeCamp for Windows | macOS | Android | iOS (Free, Subscription plans)

6. Clockify (Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Web)

Clockify is one of the most widely adopted time-tracking platforms. The reason behind that is that it’s the only free time tracking app—regardless of the team size. There are premium packages for a few extra perks but the majority of users won’t feel the need to upgrade.

Clockify has the usual array of time-tracking features. There’s a no-frills dashboard which allows you to create new entries, start timers, and analyze your historical data. Plus, Clockify has a Time Tracker section that puts your existing and previous tasks in reverse chronological order. Like the rest, Clockify can develop reports and has apps for all the major operating systems.

Download: Clockify for Desktop | Chrome | Firefox | Android | iOS (Free)

Get Better at Managing Your Time

Time management is essential if you want to get the most out of your day. And with these apps, it will be much easier for you to track your hours.

But just having a time management tool in your arsenal probably won’t cut it. You will also need to understand how you can stick to your plans. To do that, here are a bunch of surefire ways to follow through on your time management goals 9 Surefire Ways to Follow Through on Your Time Management Goals 9 Surefire Ways to Follow Through on Your Time Management Goals You want to meet your time management goals but just can’t seem to follow through. These tips and tools will help you take them more seriously. Read More .

Explore more about: Freelance, Productivity Tricks, Remote Work, Time Management, Timer Software.

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  1. Claudia
    April 23, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Damien

    We’re using elapseit for time-tracking, resourcing planning & invoicing, which are some important aspects when you are a freelancer or have a startup.

    The tool has a lot of functionalities (reports, dashboard, access levels, project budgeting including phases and tasks, resource costs, status tracking, approval workflow, multi-language invoicing).

    There is a free month trial for those interested to give it a try. And also free using for Freelancers and StartUps.

    Check it out!

  2. Ronald Nathan
    August 14, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Oh Damien,

    What a lovely post, i was searching in the whole web world, and ended up here.. So thankful to you,, for taking the pain in the A** to write this article.

    As a Developer, consultant , PMO , freelance buddy, one need this tracker very badly. And i found this article by 2017.

    I found Rachota and Baragla more user friendly, But unfortunately i could not find the source, anyways the Software itself a big finding.

    Please keep updating this post.

    Thanks
    Ronald

  3. Anonymous
    July 11, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Here's one that I wrote a few years back and have used ever since. It's a Windows desktop app and just recently decided to share it with anyone who's interested.

    [Broken Link Removed]

    It's free, really small, quick to use and makes it really easy to fill out your timesheets.

  4. Bruce
    February 9, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Psoda-lite is a free online time tracking system. You can have multiple users and run timesheet reports across your whole team.

  5. John
    July 24, 2009 at 3:36 am

    We've been using psoda.com for a couple of months now and we are stoked! We are saving about 20 hours per user per month compared to before we started using Psoda, a return of more than 2000%!!!!

  6. dennis hoff
    July 3, 2009 at 10:22 am

    You also might want to look @ Premember.
    It's a time tracking tool that allows you to look back into time.
    It's saves screenshots during the day so you easily fill in your hours at the end of the day or week.
    It's really intuitive and easy to use.

    • Damien Oh
      July 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm

      thanks for recommending. I will give it a try

  7. Andrew
    June 29, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Hi Damien,

    You should also check Fanurio: fanuriotimetracking.com

    Fanurio is a desktop application designed to help freelancers manage their work and be paid for it. With Fanurio you can customize invoice templates using your own layouts and export them to HTML or PDF. It also has idle time detection and it can be used on Windows, Mac and Linux.

  8. Dmitry
    May 18, 2009 at 10:42 am

    It's not a time tracking software. Just a (xnotestopwatch.com) stopwatch and timer but with multiple instances and save/load actions can be used as a simple time tracking tool.

  9. Lisa
    May 18, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I found a bunch of time tracking tools here: web-based-software.com/time/

    All these tools are web-based (accessible through a browser)

  10. Peter
    May 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Also have a look at psoda.com.

    • John
      June 19, 2009 at 11:03 pm

      Thanks Peter, Psoda is absolutely brilliant!

  11. Max
    May 11, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I'm using Paymo Time Tracker . So far so good :)

  12. Amit | Web Design
    May 7, 2009 at 3:48 am

    Hi
    I'm doing lots of outsource work and I'm using ManicTime to record all my actions. For me it's THE tool for the job.
    I rate ManicTime with 5 stars ;)

    I recommend to give this software a try!
    Amit.

  13. torahwriter
    May 6, 2009 at 2:55 am

    I do not know how to open a .jar file. Can anyone share this info?

  14. torahwriter
    May 5, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I enjoyed this information and tested several of these programs. manictime is great but it prevents gmail from uploading properly.

  15. sirfes
    May 2, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Damien, thanks a lot for your post!

    I've been underestimating the benefits of time tracking, mainly because of the lack of a powerful and friendly app (or was it the laziness to look for it properly?).

    Rachota is a really nice app and I could easily stick to it, even though I'm having a hard time trying to delete a task. The "Remove" button is either hidden or grayed-out. Is it a tricky thing to do or it is just me? :(

    Baralga wouldn't run on my iMac: "The jar file couldn't be launched. Check the console for possible error messages".

    After reading all the comments above, now I'm able to summarize what to expect from these time tracking apps (either free or not):

    * Intuitive (pleeeease!)
    * Reliable (no sudden crashes and losses!)
    * Low memory comsumption (no leading roles!)
    * Cross-platform (at least Mac/WIN)
    * Capable of importing and exporting data, so that you can update your hours between your laptop and your desktop.

    This is why the other 4 apps in your list didn't catch my eye.

    And, should you report or keep your tracking collaboratively, online services provide 2 additional features to look for:

    * Share data with multiple users
    * Access data from anywhere

    TIMETREK (free) could also make your list. It isn't as powerful as some other, but it is the only one which is giving me no trouble at the moment:

    http://www.gieson.com/Library/projects/utilities/timetrek/index.html

    Free will always be nice and sweet. I just wonder whether it is worthy to suffer the limitations of a single-platform (and maybe not-so-powerful) free app.

    Is there any other one left?

  16. WM
    April 30, 2009 at 12:16 am

    We are using TimeLive in our organization and it is awasome. One good thing about TimeLive is that it offers free 5 users hosted account. It means, you are not required to setup any application locally.

    • Damien Oh
      April 30, 2009 at 12:52 am

      Yes, TimeLive is a great web app for online collaboration. I used that when I were back in the past too, but no longer have use for that now.

  17. Abd Allah Diab
    April 29, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks for the list.
    I was working on a small project to track my time, it shows up every while (you can set the interval of course) and asks you about what you are doing, and at the end of the day you'll have your report ready for you, so my boss won't be angry the next day when he opens his email :D
    I'll try Baralga and Time Tracker, but I don't think any one of these has this feature of asking you every while ;)

    • Damien Oh
      April 30, 2009 at 12:50 am

      That seems like an interesting feature, though I feel that it might be a little bit annoying. Will you be releasing it to the public?

  18. Thien Rong
    April 28, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the list, I never seen any of them besides Klok which I didn't installed because I didn't want Adobe AIR.

    I tried all and seems to love Rachota for the idle time tracking, that should help stopping proscrination. However, the lack of import/export to other tools can be an issue.

  19. Dnyanesh
    April 28, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    I use ManicTime from http://www.manictime.com. The application is awesome. Checkout the demos on the website.

  20. VirginTech
    April 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Quite a nice list of Apps.. Thanks for sharing Damien:-)

  21. Paul
    April 27, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    There is one that I use a bit, it's called manictime.com.
    It will track every program you use, even down to what file your working on in Photoshop.

    Thanks
    Paul

    • Damien Oh
      April 28, 2009 at 1:01 am

      It seems like a great app. I will check it out.

  22. Claw
    April 27, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    And Damien, what do you use? :P I'll check it Baralga :)

    Regards! Excellent blog

    • Damien Oh
      April 28, 2009 at 1:03 am

      Personally, I use Rachota. It may not be the best, but it comes with some configuration options that are really useful.

      • Claw
        May 3, 2009 at 3:11 pm

        Thanks Damien, I'll give it a try :P

  23. David
    April 27, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks for adding actiTIME to this list. We have been using this time tracking tool in our organization for managing our projects and couldn't be happier. This is a very good product for the following reasons:
    - Easy installation and upgrade
    - User-friendly interface
    - Good access management
    - Clear reporting
    - Data export in CSV file
    I really appreciate Actimind team offer such product on free-to-use terms.

  24. John
    April 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    While I'm actually quite fond of Rachota (I used it at a previous job and would absolutely recommend it), I would be remiss in my duties of crass capitalism if I didn't at least mention my web-based counterpart at http://www.emanagr.com .

    It's partly a work in progress as we add new features, but like most of the rest, it lets you break a project down to tasks and subtasks. We also track the deviation from estimates over time, so you can adjust future estimates properly. You can also start and stop the clock either on the web page or by e-mail, in case you're away from your browser (we're investigating SMS).

    (There's also some social-like networking and priority-based scheduling, plus features still in development, but that's less not remotely related to the article.)

  25. Dan Gebhardt
    April 27, 2009 at 11:23 am

    If you need to share your time tracking data with multiple users, or you'd like to access it from anywhere, you may want to consider an online time tracking service like LiveTimer.com.

    You can run web-based time tracking services as desktop applications by using a site-specific browser such as Fluid for Mac OSX or Google Chrome for Windows. For instance, I created a video demonstrating usage of LiveTimer with Fluid, in which you can see how the running timer can be displayed in the Mac's Dock.

    • Damien Oh
      April 28, 2009 at 1:00 am

      Great tip!

  26. Jon Pero
    April 27, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I really like TimeSnapper

    • Damien Oh
      April 28, 2009 at 12:59 am

      Interesting app. It takes screenshots of your desktop rather than just record the time. Cool! I wonder how the memory consumption is like?

  27. Harsh Agrawal
    April 27, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Thanks for the useful list. I never used any of these software. Probably using time tracker will increase my productivity.

    • Damien Oh
      April 28, 2009 at 12:56 am

      I am sure it will definitely increase your productivity. It is like someone keeping a close watch on you now, forcing you to double your workrate.