To save you precious time, we did the hard job of in-depth market research and app testing to come up with 9 free time-tracking software for small businesses that are “la crème de la crème.”
Plus, we’ve also included 31 contenders as alternatives.
Also, in the second part of this article, we’ll walk you through why time tracking is important, its benefits, and key criteria when choosing time-tracking tools in project management.
Best time-tracking software
We have our fair share of expertise and experience when it comes to time-tracking software—here’s a list of the best time-tracking software available on the market and the main benefit of each one:
- Paymo – best overall time-tracking software for small and medium businesses
- TimeCamp – time tracking and invoicing app with a robust list of integrations
- Timely – tool for time tracking, scheduling, and automatic timesheets
- Beebole – customizable project time tracking software that helps teams thrive
- Toggl Track – time tracker, reports, and team insights for companies of any size
- Harvest – simple project delivery and billing with time tracking
- RescueTime – tool for time tracking, goal-setting, and website blocking
- Everhour – reporting and plenty of integrations in a time tracker
- Time Doctor – automated time tracking, payroll, and desktop screenshots
- TrackingTime – time-tracker for recurrent tasks and events
Our tests only looked at those online time-tracking software with time-tracking as a native feature.
If you already use an app to manage your work but it doesn’t have a native time tracking module, an integration with a time tracking app can be a quick fix. However, we don’t recommend this as it might bring additional complexity and increase your costs—why juggle multiple digital tools when you can get one that covers your necessities?
We tested each tool in the first batch of the 10 best time-tracking software and included an in-depth review. We kept the review concise and useful, answering these questions:
- How does the software position itself, and who is it best for
- What are three standout features
- Pros and cons according to people who actually use these apps
- What are the price points
- How well does it rate
In the second batch of 9 tools, we’ve focused on feature highlights along with cons or snags experienced by users (reviews drawn from Capterra or G2), while in the third batch, we’ve listed 21 tools with their features at a glance.
Without further ado, let’s explore 40 time-tracking software:
best overall time-tracking software for small & medium businesses
reliable time tracker
various modes of time tracking, from automatic to Pomodoro
easy adoption and onboarding
great customer service
the only export formats are .csv and .pdf, PM data via API
limited integration options with other software
Create a free account and start tracking time right away.
time tracking & invoicing app with a robust list of integrations
income function and different billing rates
detailed reports regarding users, tasks, and time
automatic time tracking
less user-friendly UX
privacy concerns regarding employee monitoring
tool for time tracking, scheduling, and automatic timesheets
dashboard to manage team hours, overtime, capacity, and activity
automatic reminders for employees to add their time
neat user interface
can be laggy at times
expensive paid plans
customizable project time tracking software that helps teams thrive
flexible scheduling and overtime balance
simple time tracker
lack of customization
steeper learning curve for managers and accountants
free plan no longer available
5. Toggl Track
time tracker, reports, and team insights for companies of any size
integrates well with other project management tools, e.g., Asana
unreliable time tracker
its AI feature can mix up tasks and time entries
simple project delivery and billing with time tracking
time approval for managers
invoice generation from time tracked
Xero and QuickBooks integration for bookkeeping
no time summary
tool for time tracking, goal-setting, and website blocking
automatic time tracking
daily highlights (completed tasks)
goal setting and progress tracking
lacks core project management features
no substantial product updates in the past 4 years
reporting and plenty of integrations in a time tracker
natively integrates with 30 software, from Slack to GitHub to Salesforce
auto-stop timer at the end of the workday
glitches with the stopwatch
users find the dashboard UX not very intuitive
automated time tracking, payroll, and desktop screenshots
alerts and notifications for idle time to curb procrastination.
automatic tracking records only active time (mouse moves & keyboard strokes)
employee monitoring tool with screenshots
unintuitive user interface
frequent app crashes
time-tracker for recurrent tasks and events
importing time entries into your account
weekly overviews of team activity
attendance tracking and time off
bumpy integration with other software
no idle time detection
Founded by Nenad Milanovic in the Bay Area in 2017, Clockify allows overseeing the project progress, tracking employees’ workload, budgeting, and tracking time spent. If you’re a manager, you can approve timesheets & manage schedules, create invoices, track expenses, and control budgets and hourly rates.
A neat feature/tidbit is that there is no limit on the number of users, projects, or time-tracking periods under any plan.
- Web stopwatch. A simple start-and-stop timer to track work hours. You may also edit hours manually and mark them as billable. There’s a “Force Timer” feature, which won’t allow users to edit or enter time manually.
- Timesheet approval and reminders. Fill out, submit, and approve timesheets in one dedicated Dashboard.
- Time Kiosk. Set up a work kiosk on a shared device for users to clock in and out, take breaks and see how much they’ve worked.
- Customized reports. Generate customized reports, export, and share them with clients. Track leaves and holidays and approve time off for employees
- GPS tracking & screenshots. An optional feature, you may take computer screenshots every 5 minutes and track your team’s location while on the clock.
- Some users complained of inaccurate reporting, deeming it “borderline useless, at best incredibly confusing”
- Other users complain that “sometimes the program is a bit slow and unresponsive”
There’s a free plan that allows time tracking—for Kiosk users, there’s a small fee per month. While the Basic plan starts at $4.99/user/month, it’s aimed at simple administration; for complex time tracking, billing, and scheduling, you’ll have to opt for more expensive plans.
Clockify is an established brand – 4.7/5 on Capterra and 4.5/5 on G2. Some users find the UI outdated or unintuitive—the drill-down UI is clunky. Most users find that the free version is good enough but hate the fact that there is no ‘Add Time in Bulk’—at least in the free version. If adding time in bulk is a must, a free option that allows it is Paymo.
Insightful.io (formerly Workpuls) was founded by Ivan Petrović in 2016 and is, at its core, an employee monitoring software with automatic time-tracking features that let employers and managers monitor how their team members spend time on their computers at work.
Insightful.io believes that your company’s biggest asset is time. Having said that, it’s big on surveillance and monitoring—a practice we don’t stand by.
- Regular Screenshots (up to 30/hour): You can set a specific number of screenshots/hour you want for proof of work.
- Productivity Analysis: Get up-to-date charts of your working style and adjust them for increased performance.
- Activity Categorization: Your computer activity is instantly added to a specific category so you can see exactly how you spent your time.
- Time and Attendance: You’ll see the exact times you started and ended your activities and workday so you can forget about punch cards.
- Monitor Computer Activity: Get a closer insight into how you use certain apps or websites to spot abnormal usage patterns.
- Users complain about inaccurate data capture affecting productivity analyses
- The stealth mode automatically tracks activities in the background without user input
- Weak/lacking task management features
There’s no free plan available: plans start at $8/user/month, and all plans feature real-time monitoring, activities tracking, screenshots, and stealth mode.
Should you use Insightful.io as a freelancer? If you like extreme accountability, by all means. You know your work patterns, and you’ll make the most sense of the tracked data. If not, there are better options on the market without needing a “stealth mode,” e.g., Paymo Track for automatic time tracking.
Founded in 2012 by Dave Nevogt and Jared Brown, today Hubstaff employs more than 90 people worldwide. Dave Nevogt and Jared Brown founded Hubstaff after hiring freelancers and wanted a better way to manage them. Nevogt was previously the founder of McCordsville-based Innovative Solutions Inc, while Brown had a background as a developer. Hubstaff is suitable for teams in e-commerce who want to see what everyone is working on—screenshots included.
- Screenshots and activity rates: Take up to three screenshots every 10 minutes. They’re taken randomly to understand better how your employees work.
- Team dashboard: See all your team members, when they worked, what they’ve worked on, their average activity levels and the total time worked in the past week. You’ll immediately notice who is working and who is slacking off.
- Scheduler: An employee attendance tracker is a way for you to manage the overall team schedule. Get email alerts to inform you of any late, missed, or abandoned shifts.
- GPS Location: When your team uses the mobile time tracking app for logging time, you can monitor their location via GPS. You can also track the time worked at a specific job site and determine which locations require more attention.
- One user remarks, “It’s terrible being monitored by mouse and keyboard usage for 8+ hours a day. Your productivity isn’t measured by those metrics.”
- Another user concludes that such micromanagement in terms of time tracking “ends up being distracting and fosters an unhealthy urgency mindset.”
Hubstaff is free for one user but has its limitations. The starter plan ($7/user/month) needs a minimum of 2 users and is time-tracking oriented, while other plans include task management and reporting add-ons with a maximum of 200 users. All plans change their pricing depending on the number of users chosen from the scale bar.
Hubstaff has a monitoring system that takes screenshots of desktops to ensure work is delivered and to increase accountability. If close monitoring is what you need, the Hubstaff time tracking tool scores 4.3/5 on G2 and 4.6/5 on Capterra. Clients and supervisors can be invited for free and don’t count as paying users—“Guests” can also be invited in Paymo and not count as paying users, and you can set visibility layers for each and one of them.
14. QuickBooks Time
QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. First introduced in 1983. It acquired T-Sheet in 2017, rebranding it to QuickBooks Time to help teams coordinate jobs, track time, and manage projects.
- Time tracking. Also, there’s a “See who’s working” feature for real-time visibility.
- Timesheets. One neat capability is Timesheet Signatures, allowing you to capture signatures for project sign-offs.
- Geofencing. It reminds you to clock in and out when you enter the work premises.
- Integrations. QuickBooks Time integrates with, well, QuickBooks. You can review and approve employee time, run payroll, and create invoices.
- Some users complain of functionality errors, e.g., being unable to clock out or start the timer
- Users complain of laggy timers and slow loading speeds
There’s no free plan available. QuickBooks Time is by no means affordable – paid plans start at a $20 monthly base fee plus $8/user/month, allowing users to track their time, create custom reports, and set up a time kiosk. Payroll is available in two separate plans, “Payroll Premium” for $75/month + $8/user/month or “Payroll Premium + Simple Start” for $105/month + $8/user/month.
Primarily, QuickBooks Time is an accounting-focused software that offers time tracking and project planning secondarily. It scores 4.7/5 on Capterra and 4.5/5 on G2. If time tracking or generating invoices is all you need, you’re overspending.
Timeular is marketed toward software houses, design & marketing agencies, architect’s firms, lawyer’s practices, and freelancers. It’s another simple time-tracking app that offers insights, analytics, and reporting. They also have invoicing features and billable hour tracking.
They offer a physical time-tracking device that’s pretty unique. ZEIº looks like a die (an 8-sided polygon) that users can personalize, connect, and use to keep track of their time.
- Multiple time tracking options. From the classic stopwatch with a Quick Track, to its mobile app and automatic tracking, Timeular offers users multiple ways to track their time.
- Timeular’s time tracking gadget, ZEIº. It’s a tangible, tactile device that connects with Timeular and automatically switches between tasks as you flip sides.
- Custom reports and insights. Generate reports and charts depending on your tags, assignees, time, or trends.
- Context tracking (Beta). A step ahead towards automation, context tracking automatically fills your timesheet with the apps and websites you’ve used throughout your work day.
- The ZEI device poses connectivity issues, and its battery gets quickly depleted
- Some users find the setup of ZEIº “too much work,” especially if they forget to flip the device
There’s no free plan available; paid plans start at €8/user/month. The Timeular Tracker costs €57.50 (excl. taxes) and works with any active subscription.
Timeular scores 4.5/5 on G2 and 4.6/5 on Capterra. I give you that the device is unique since it’s a die you can “play” with. But you’ll have to purchase the device, maintain it, and pay for the monthly subscription. As one user put it, “The tracker is only as good as the person using it,” since you have to stay on top of your tasks, flip the die, and remember to switch between tasks. If you want to simply leave the stopwatch running and cherry-pick timestamps to link them to task entries, try the Agenda view in Paymo Track.
Tick (formerly TickSpot) is a simple time-tracking app for desktop, mobile, plus a Chrome extension. It isn’t marketed towards a specific industry, but it’s ideal for freelancers who track billables. Tick offers minimal project management features mainly to make time tracking easier, such as setting up projects and tasks. It has limited functionalities when it comes to complex projects or teams.
- Timecards. Time-tracking happens on a card level, where you have to select your project and task, and then enter your time. You may leave multiple timers as you move between tasks.
- Automatic time tracking. The Tick Mac App can run in the background to capture work in real time.
- Integrations. It integrates Apple Watch, project management apps, or QuickBooks for accounting.
- Some users complain of functionality errors, inaccurate tracking, and slow loading speeds
- Users find the UI outdated, and in need of a more modern style
There’s a free plan available with one project and integrates with Basecamp. Paid plans start at $19/month for 10 projects and unlimited people.
Although Tick scores 4.5/5 on Capterra, there’s no information on any new updates, and it seems like it is lagging behind its competitors.
MyHours, owned by Spica, was founded in 2002 and is based in Slovenia, Ljubljana. It is a time-tracking software designed for freelancers and organizations that want to monitor employee working hours, track time, manage billing, and organize their work. MyHours allows you to track time across multiple devices – iOS and Android apps are free. It has complex reporting and a straightforward time-tracking app.
- Tabular view. MyHours’ interface looks a lot like a spreadsheet, alleviating the nostalgia for Excel.
- Native time tracking. There’s a simple start-and-stop stopwatch to keep track of your time.
- Timesheet management. Send submission, lock approved timesheets automatically, and see who hasn’t submitted their timesheet yet.
- Timesheet Assistant. With the help of OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4, you may convert logs into timesheets via the chatbox.
- Integrates with Zapier.
- Some users complain of slow load speeds
- Most users find the new reporting system cumbersome
There’s a free plan available that offers time tracking with some limitations (e.g., you cannot add time in bulk or delete time logs) and unlimited team members and projects. The paid plan costs $9/user/month.
MyHour scores 4.8/5 on Capterra and is a popular choice for freelancers who need a free time tracking tool. However, you’ll have to opt for a paid plan to generate client invoices. In contrast, you may invoice clients for free with Paymo. MyHours is a privacy-friendly tool just like Paymo, where users can rest assured of their private data—there’s no screen monitoring or surveillance.
Timeneye was founded in 2013 by DM Digital Software, an IT company in Modena, Italy. It is intended for both freelancers and managers, offering time-tracking features and apps, simple project tracking, and reporting. It also has billable tracking and team management capabilities. There’s no information on any new updates or features. Timeneye boasts a pleasant and inviting UI that’s easy to use. Some users applaud its nice aesthetics, while others find it lacking.
- Time tracking. Users can keep track of their time spent on tasks and projects, set time budgets, and generate timesheets.
- Reporting and insights. Time reports show a breakdown of activities and costs, resource allocation and other relevant data.
- Project planning. If you’re a team manager, keep the team aligned and monitor project progress. As a freelancer, stay profitable and track your billable hours.
- Integrates with Microsoft, Google, Trello, Basecamp, etc.
- Some users complain that the mobile app “freezes” sometimes
- Users would like more flexibility when tracking their time, e.g., when adding time entries, for more accurate data
There’s no free plan available. The Pro paid plan costs $7/user/month for unlimited projects and clients, and there’s the option for a tailored Enterprise plan.
Timeneye scores 4.8/5 on Capterra and is perfect for freelancers who need a simple tool to track their time and billable hours—otherwise, it’s quite limited for its price point.
HourStack is a time-tracking and scheduling tool good for teams of all sizes. It offers different views, like a drag-and-drop Calendar, allowing you to pull reports and schedule tasks. It’s suitable for managers who need to set custom permissions. As for recent updates and improvements, Hourstack introduced its v3.0, which now includes task management and scheduling. Recently, HourStack rolled out a dark mode.
- Time tracking is done via stopwatch, mobile app, or timesheet entries.
- The Scheduling feature allows managers to keep track of workloads and team capacity
- Its Reporting feature generates time reports and key insights
- Integrates with Microsoft, Google, Firefox, Chrome, Notion, Slack, Trello, and many more
- Some users complain of bugs and frequent crashes
- Users point out slow loading speeds and slight lags with app integrations
There’s no free plan; there’s a paid plan at $12/month for a single user and a team plan for $15/user/month, which some users find expensive in contrast to other products on the market.
HourStack scores 4.8/5 on Capterra out of 13 reviews, so there might not be enough user review data to paint a vivid picture of its suitability for you. You may try it out for 30 days or look further.
Based in Latvia, DeskTime is a time-tracking software designed for companies, freelancers, and managers who want to track employee productivity and manage time. It is also a great tool for remote working and hybrid offices thanks to its absence calendar and shift scheduling. There’s a free plan available for one user; paid plans start at $7/user/month.
One distinct feature of DeskTime is its “Private Time” feature, allowing you to take a digital timeout on your computer, which means that your websites and activities, e.g., social media browsing, won’t be recorded automatically. One downside: you have to remember to turn Private Time off for accurate time tracking.
FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software with time tracking capability designed for self-employed individuals—freelancers, solopreneurs—and small businesses. It is a great tool for bookkeeping as well, suited for professional accounting.
There’s no free plan available; paid plans start at $17/user/month (the first 6 months are 50% off, so $8.50/user).
Time tracking is not its forte, though. The latest update allows users to pause timers, and a pop-out time tracker was added. A feature highlight of FreshBooks is its Mileage Tracking, where users can track their commute or business trips to create reports and reduce their taxable income. It automatically logs each trip and saves travel history, which can be labeled as business or personal.
Float is a resource management software with time-tracking functionality to help freelancers and businesses schedule tasks quickly with a real-time view of availability, including time off and public holidays. It can be connected with project management, calendar, and communication workflows via direct integrations.
There’s no free plan available; plans start at $7.50/user/month, but the Starter plan does not include built-in time tracking, lock logged time, or estimated vs. actual hours—the Pro plan starts at $12.50/user/month. If you need reliable time tracking, other alternatives offer competitive prices.
Float’s main feature is capacity planning, so time tracking is built around scheduling work. Users can track their location and work time and compare it to their scheduled work or pre-fill timesheets based on their scheduled tasks. Further, they can lock the logged time and submit it as timesheets.
ActiTIME is a time-tracking software that allows solopreneurs and businesses to manage their projects and clients in a single place. It allows logging of working hours across tasks, registering time-offs and sick leaves, tracking individual and team productivity trends, and monitoring project costs and profitability.
There’s a free plan for up to three users with limited functionality; paid plans start at $7/user/month (or $6 if there are more than 40 users).
ActiTIME is, firstly, a time-tracking solution with a focus on timesheets – overtime, locking timesheets, and timesheet approval are key features. One major update is ActiTIME’s Time Management Assistant, which automates time tracking with the help of a Chrome extension and helps find time wastes in your workday.
Replicon is a cloud-based time tracking and project management software for freelancers and businesses focusing on billing, payroll, and compliance. It seems to be one of the platforms geared for managers of mid-size to large teams who love to micromanage or for HR departments with complex payroll features.
There’s no free plan available; paid plans start at $6/user/month for time and attendance and $12/user/month for complex time tracking.
Besides its AI-based auto time-tracking, which analyzes and optimizes user data, Replicon’s feature highlight is its GPS time tracking. Another major product update was its AI-enabled timesheets, in which your chat prompts turn into timesheets, making work easier.
Tip: If you’re looking for project management software for creative agencies or a similar tool for architects, we’ve got a handful of reviews that we’ve personally tested and written thanks to our experience.
In business for two decades, ClickTime has been built for project-based teams of 20 to 1,000 users (mid- to large businesses) needing to effectively allocate time. ClickTime does a little bit of everything, from project management to time tracking and reporting.
There’s no free plan available. The Starter plan at $10/user/month offers basic time tracking, namely timesheets, timesheet notes, and a stopwatch. For overtime, billable & non-billable hours, billing, and cost reporting, pricing starts at $13/user/month.
ClickTime’s newest feature is time-off management, allowing employees to request time off and approval from managers.
26. Hours Time Lord
Hours Time Lord is a mobile time-tracking app targeted toward people who work billable hours, such as freelancers and lawyers. It’s a simple time-tracking solution with notes, exportable reporting, and customization. It’s a neat app—terrible name. A free account offers a visual timeline, 5 timers, and summary reports. For unlimited timers and customization, pricing starts at $9.99/user/month.
Its most appealing feature is the color customization of the platform, offering 100+ colors to customize your work entries; you may also tag, personalize, and title data entries.
ClockShark is specifically marketed towards franchise companies, offering GPS tracking and employee scheduling. Designed for field service and construction businesses to track employee time, run payroll, and save on job costs. There’s no free plan available. Paid plans start at $20/month, with an extra $8/user/month, offering time tracking with scheduling, geofencing, and administrative features.
ClockShark’s feature highlight is the GPS functionality, the “Who’s Working Now” feature, which provides up-to-date location and timer. There’s been no information online on updates since 2020. ClockShark is a niche app for specific industries and purposes and doesn’t need many bells and whistles.
Qbserve for Mac is meant for freelancers, consultants, and small teams who need time tracking and invoicing. They offer automatic productivity tracking for websites and apps, automatic project tracking based on opened documents and web pages, and invoice generation. A rarity in the industry, Qbserve has no subscription but a one-time yearly payment of $35. Data is stored locally for each user.
Qbserve’s feature highlights are its real-time performance feedback and notifications, various reports and timesheets, scheduled data export, Slack team, and Skype chat tracking.
BigTime is intended for professional services firms, especially accountants, architects, engineers, IT service firms, and consultants. It unifies budgeting, project planning/execution, team communication, task management, resource management, invoicing, and project financials.
There’s no free plan available; pricing starts at $20/user/month for time tracking and project management, along with rate management, approvals, and expense management.
A niche selling point that might be of interest when choosing software is that the app is DCAA compliant.
30. Buddy Punch
BuddyPunch isn’t marketed toward a particular group, but it’s intended for teams of up to 1000 users. The software features time tracking and scheduling with a drag-and-drop interface, PTO tracking, and integrations with payroll apps.
There’s no free plan available; on top of a $19 monthly base fee, a $3.49 monthly fee is paid for each user for time tracking, basic GPS, Time Off tracking, Job tracking, and Break planning—or $4.49 for employee scheduling, and attendance reporting.
BuddyPunch advocates that employees should “punch in” their schedule at all times—they offer GPS tracking and even slightly dystopian face image recognition to ensure employees are “punched in.” The facial identification biometric technology ensures employees are present, so the webcam takes automatic pictures of employees when clocking in and out.
Homebase provides employee scheduling, time clocks, payroll, team communication, hiring, onboarding, and compliance. Their product is aimed at hourly teams, including restaurants, retail, healthcare, beauty, home and repair, and professional services businesses. Homebase’s agenda is to minimize time theft and control labor costs.
Homebase is rare in the industry by paying per location. So, there’s a free plan available for 1 location with unlimited employees, time clocks, and timesheets—otherwise, plans start at $24.95/location/month. There’s another $39 monthly base fee plus $6/user/month for payroll.
Homebase is strong on GPS tracking and image verification features in its mobile app for off-site teams. There’s not much information on any recent updates; it seems they are mainly aimed at hospitality and offsite companies that need employees to clock in and out.
Connecteam caters to hospitality, retail, construction, manufacturing, healthcare, services, security, HVAC, and any other industries needing to manage and supervise their staff. The app also offers task management, scheduling, and payroll connected to time tracking.
There’s a free plan for teams of up to 10 users with limited time tracking; paid monthly tiers ($29, $49, or $99) are available for the first 30 users, plus a small monthly fee for each additional user.
Connecteam is set on eliminating time theft and buddy punching. Thanks to geofencing, managers get notifications when employees clock in late and complete visibility of employees on the go. Their Training and Onboarding module is a standout feature that helps you integrate employees quickly.
There’s no free plan available; paid plans start at €10/month per single user on up to two Macs (or €13 for three Macs). There’s a Connect plan for €18/user/month for teams.
With all the aggressive monitoring out there—from screenshots to mouse tracking, geofencing, and facial biometric clocking—Timing is efficient while protecting user privacy. For instance, users can set exclusion lists, surf privately in incognito mode, and store data locally. It’s a nice app, refreshing even after all the previous aggro apps, to be honest. Automatic time tracking is integrated with many apps for in-depth tracking.
Jibble is a free-forever platform with unlimited users, offering clock-in and out via mobile, tablet, web, MS Teams, or Slack. Jibble is aimed towards construction, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, F&B, education, startups, agencies, companies with field employees, and office-based and remote companies.
Jibble offers a free plan, but there’s no transparent pricing system—Capterra has some rough prices per user.
Jibble integrates with Slack and Microsoft Teams to track time—or you can use the Chrome Time Tracking Extension. It also offers GPS tracking and biometric identification, so you must take selfies for attendance. One of Jibble’s standout features is its offline timesheets, meaning you can keep tracking time if you lose connection.
Apploye is aimed towards freelancers that need to bill by hourly rate, small to mid-sized remote and hybrid companies. It offers time tracking on mobile and desktop, project and task tracking, project budgeting, invoicing, payroll, client, and team management. There’s no free plan; paid plans start at $5/user/month ($4 if you are a solo user).
If you’re a solopreneur, the time-tracking module might be a good fit. Otherwise, I find Apploye really strong on micromanagement. Managers are updated on team performance and activity in the Reporting and Dashboard area. So, whether users add or delete entries, actions are shown in the activity report. Managers get a live feed of employees’ tasks and projects with the option to take screenshots of their screens. In contrast, Paymo’s Active Timers displays users’ timers without aggressive surveillance.
One of Apploye’s standout features is its automatic time reports in calendar format on a daily, weekly, monthly, or custom basis in a calendar format. The visual layout is neat and easy to understand.
TimeBro is an automatic add-on that connects any project management software with any open API that allows it—currently around 50, with more coming soon. It’s an automatic tracker that follows your app activity, displays it on a timeline, and allows export. It’s best for IT teams, marketers, lawyers, or digital creatives.
There’s no free plan available. Paid plans start at a minimum of $14/user/month—excl. taxes—and can be paid with your local currency. Other plans allow integration with project management software—which can be quite expensive. Opt for project management software with time tracking to save up.
TimeBro boasts 100% privacy: nobody can see your recorded activities, and there’s no data monitoring.
nTask is designed for all-sized teams and industries aimed at managing campaigns, sprints, product development, inventory, clients, and company goals. It’s an affordable project management app that offers time tracking and timesheets.
There’s a free plan for teams of up to 5 users with unlimited tasks but no projects. Even so, the prices are competitive, starting at $4/user/month.
As for time tracking, the platform is fairly standard. It doesn’t offer anything that stands out or differs from other apps. Some of its key features include time estimates, time reporting, and manual time entries.
Avaza is a work management software with time tracking that is Intended for client-focused businesses that manage internal and customer-facing projects. It includes invoicing, project management, resource scheduling, time tracking, expense management, quoting & reporting.
There’s a free plan available for one user (but unlimited collaborators) with limitations, e.g., 5 active projects or 5 sent invoices. Paid plans start at $11.95/month with monthly fees per different types of users, like team members (+$2 each) or admins (+$7 each), for example.
Avaza’s time tracking is geared towards better timesheet management: timesheet approval, locking approved entries, and easy review of timesheets. One standout feature is its internal live chat for employees. This alone helps with quick communication and eliminates noise and the pain of Microsoft Outlook et co.
Lathem’s PayClock is designed for small to midsize businesses to assist with record punches, shift differentials, data export for payroll integrations, summary reports, and attendance tracking via biometrics. It is a suite of products also offering proximity badge tracking and fingerprint recognition.
There’s no free plan available, only two pricing tiers – standard (starting at $35/month) and enterprise (minimum $50/month).
One standout feature is their physical badge reader that integrates into their time tracking and payroll system. Its 2010ish interface design could be spruced up.
ManicTime is a time-tracking solution aimed at both individuals—freelancers and solopreneurs—and teams. It requires some know-how for its setup – ManicTime Server is an on-premise installation, allowing you to install ManicTime Server and ManicTime Clients behind your firewall.
There’s no free plan; however, as a single user, you may opt for a one-time annual payment of $67 or $9 monthly on a 3-year plan (or $11 over 5 years). Pricing changes for teams of a minimum of 2, where each extra user costs $12/month on a 3-year plan or $15 for 5 years.
ManicTime appears clunky and rather old-school, needing a revamp for the 2020s. It is installed on work devices and collects computer usage data for each team member, who can then use the data to log their work hours accurately.
Why do I need time-tracking software?
You’ve probably asked yourself what hour tracking is, “Why would I need it?”—and if you’ve established you need it, “How do I track my work hours?”
Time tracking software is a type of computer software or mobile application that allows a user to register time spent on tasks or work in general. It is used in various industries, especially by those who employ freelancers, contractors, and hourly workers. It is a must for those who bill their customers by the hour.
Why is time tracking important?
If you’re not yet convinced about the utility of time tracking, look at the following benefits:
- Identify non-essential tasks: Time tracking can help you replace unimportant tasks with productive ones since you don’t have time to waste. Tracking your time is insightful: an automatic time tracker maps out everything you’re working on your device, so review your activities to identify time wastes.
- Improve time estimates: Use previously tracked time entries as the primary indicator for future projects to make better estimates and set more accurate deadlines for similar projects. Monitoring their evolution can help determine if an employee has enough time to finish a task based on past activities.
- Get paid fairly: If paid by the hour, an easy-to-use time tracker will help you get the money you deserve. It eliminates guesstimates and awkward conversations with problematic clients who are unwilling to cooperate or hesitant to decide on a pay rate. You’ll have the evidence of your work securely stored online and measured second by second with all your time logs.
Key Criteria for Choosing Top Time Tracking Software
Here are key factors we considered when reviewing this project time tracking software:
- Core Features: The time tracker software’s main features should influence your decision first. Then, task management and online reports are indispensable; time-tracking working hours is the basis of timesheet software for invoicing and billing purposes. (Bonus: teams can use collaboration and resource scheduling, but this feature is useless for individuals.)
- Cost: Consider your budget and what you want to pay for. Most time-tracking software are free—see if the paid tiers make sense to you and your needs. For teams: some top-time tracking tools charge more for additional users, so you’ll need to consider the number of active users on the app at the same time.
- Reviews: Surely, there’s subjectivity in reviews, but reading what existing users have to say can be insightful. Capterra and G2 are two reliable user review platforms that aim to provide objective user feedback.
- Extra features: Think of any other feature you might need, anything from GPS tracking and integrations to a timesheet approval system, a payroll function, or even a clean or colorful design to keep your team engaged.
Take these factors and grade them according to your needs.
First, create a spreadsheet.
Then, write down your must-have features (give 5 points for each one), nice-to-have features (2 points for each one), and bonus features (1 point for each one).
Add it up to create your rating of the best time-tracking software and make your own top to test before choosing one.
What else do you need with your time tracker?
By now, you’ve probably chosen 2 or 3 online time-tracking tools to look at. The best time-tracking software is one that meets your business requirements, delivers what you need to get work done, helps you complete your work, and is easy to use for your entire team.
But your personal experience with the app might be the decisive factor when choosing the right time-tracking software. Therefore, with all this information at hand, you just need to start a free trial and “play” with the apps. Test them thoroughly and invite your team to do the same.
On top of time tracking, you need task management to keep track of your daily duties and time reporting features based on your work to measure performance and monitor past activity for future reference. In our opinion—and experience—task management in the form of Kanban boards software simplifies planning and execution thanks to its visual nature.
Time tracking works even better when you pair it with other features. What’s also great to have—and it’s becoming increasingly popular—is an invoicing feature. Read our invoicing guide for examples and processes for generating invoices based on time tracking and what invoicing mistakes to avoid.
As a freelancer or business owner, a simple invoice generator allows you to insert your details and signature to create, send or download an invoice in under five minutes.
Other nice-to-have functionalities, such as automatic time tracking, team resource scheduling, or accounting capabilities, help balance your time, budget, and human resources. Moreover, you’ll no longer have to switch between apps, tools, and techniques to complete your tasks.
Note: Check out our task management guide to find out more about how you can prioritize and organize your tasks using relevant tools and techniques. Also, you might want to look at these professional cloud-based tools that we included in this top list of resource management software or the best Gantt chart software in 2023 to view and do project planning—besides just tracking time.
Drawing from a background in cognitive linguistics and armed with 10+ years of content writing experience, Alexandra Martin combines her expertise with a newfound interest in productivity and project management. In her spare time, she dabbles in all things creative.
Laurențiu started his marketing journey over 18 years ago and now leads a marketing team. He has extensive experience in work and project management, and content strategy. When not working, he’s probably playing board games or binge-watching mini-series.