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Top 10 time tracking software
Work Management
Last modified date

Jan 9, 2024

Top 20 Time Tracking Software for Consultants

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Laurențiu Bancu

Blog average read time

27 min

Last modified date

January 9, 2024


In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of consultancy, time is not just a resource; it’s the very currency of your profession.

As a consultant, you grapple with unique challenges – variable schedules that change week-to-week, multiple projects that demand simultaneous attention, and diverse billing rates that vary from client to client.

In such a scenario, standard time tracking solutions fall short. They often lack the flexibility and specificity required to navigate the complex tapestry of consultancy work. This is where time-tracking software designed for consultants enters the scene, offering a beacon of organization in the dynamic seas of consultancy.

This article highlights the pressing need for specialized time-tracking solutions in the consulting sector. It’s not just about recording hours; it’s about capturing the essence of consultancy – its fluidity, diversity, and adaptability.

As you delve deeper, you’ll understand how the nature of consultancy, with its intricate juggling of varying schedules, multiple projects, and differential billing, necessitates a more tailored approach than what general time-tracking tools can offer.

Based on careful hands-on testing, here is my list of the best time-tracking software for consultants:

  1. Paymo – best automated time tracking coupled with easy invoicing
  2. TimeCamp – for consultants new to time tracking and seeking a cost-free option
  3. Clockify – for consultants who need GPS time tracking
  4. Harvest – for consultants that use project management tools that lack time tracking
  5. RescueTime – most advanced automated time tracking features
  6. Replicon – for AI pre-filled timesheets ready to review and submit
  7. Toggl Track – ideal for freelance consultants seeking a straightforward time-tracking tool
  8. Time Doctor – best if you need screenshots and video recordings of users’ screens
  9. Timely – best for consultant work involving a high degree of context-shifting
  10. Time Analytics – the cheapest option if you don’t need invoicing

Top 10 time tracking software

1. Paymo

best automated time tracking coupled with easy invoicing

Pricing: Average

92

of 100

Pros
pros-image

most advanced time tracking features

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integrated invoicing system for one-click invoices

pros-image

strong task management features

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good support service

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among the most affordable

Cons
cons-image

limited communication features

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not the most intuitive

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fewer integration options than other popular tools

2. TimeCamp

for consultants new to time tracking and seeking a cost-free option

Pricing: Low

88

of 100

Pros
pros-image

good for beginners

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user-friendly

pros-image

one of the cheapest in the market

pros-image

automated time tracking feature

Cons
cons-image

no automated time tracking in free and basic packages.

cons-image

occasional bugs

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desktop version shortcomings

3. Clockify

for consultants who need GPS time tracking

Pricing: Average

86

of 100

Pros
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precise location-based GPS time tracking

pros-image

user-friendly interface

pros-image

quick learning curve for essential functions

pros-image

automated time tracking features

pros-image

free version available

Cons
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free functionalities are severely limited to encourage paid plan upgrades

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complicated and prolonged cancellation procedure

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occasional glitches and downtime reported

4. Harvest

for consultants who use project management tools lacking time-tracking

Pricing: Average

83

of 100

Pros
pros-image

ideal for incorporating time tracking into pm tools like Asana, Basecamp, or Trello

pros-image

user-friendly and straightforward interface

pros-image

good support team

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offers invoicing features

pros-image

robust time tracking capabilities

Cons
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lacks many advanced project management features

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not suitable as a standalone project management tool

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focused almost exclusively on time tracking

cons-image

outdated design

5. RescueTime

most advanced automated time tracking features

Pricing: High

82

of 100

Pros
pros-image

strong emphasis on automatic time tracking functions

pros-image

innovative use of Timesheets AI

pros-image

helpful for self-critique

pros-image

focusTime to reduce distractions

Cons
cons-image

the timesheets AI feature is still in beta

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interface appears outdated

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lack of roadmap & significant product updates

6. Replicon

for AI pre-filled timesheets ready to review and submit

Pricing: Average

81

of 100

Pros
pros-image

automatically captures work and time data across various apps

pros-image

AI-driven pre-filling of timesheets for more accessible review and submission

pros-image

exceptional customer support team

Cons
cons-image

AI-powered features are still in the early testing stages, requiring further assessment

cons-image

user interface design is described as clunky and not intuitive

cons-image

interface inefficiencies can cause user frustration, especially for frequent tasks

cons-image

requires investing time in training to utilize the platform’s capabilities fully

7. Toggl Track

ideal for freelance consultants seeking a straightforward time tracking tool

Pricing: High

80

of 100

Pros
pros-image

well-suited for freelance consultants

pros-image

a key feature of simplicity

pros-image

standout free version

pros-image

ideal for independent work without the need for complex features

Cons
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it can become cumbersome to manage complex projects

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interface design has excessive dead space, limiting project visibility

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navigation can be confusing due to the use of multiple colors

8. Time Doctor

best if you need screenshots and video recordings of user screens

Pricing: Average

78

of 100

Pros
pros-image

suitable for intensive oversight of employee performance

pros-image

offers screen capture functionality every 3 minutes

pros-image

video screen capture feature

Cons
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potential negative backlash from employees due to intensive monitoring

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screen captures can be manipulated by tech-savvy employees

cons-image

issues with the transition to TimeDoctor 2

cons-image

limited functionality in the mobile application

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users report bugs and slow performance

cons-image

the Interface can be confusing, especially for new users

cons-image

customer support is not up to par with competitors

9. Timely

best for consultant work involving a high degree of context-shifting

Pricing: High

77

of 100

Pros
pros-image

useful for high context-shifting work

pros-image

user-friendly interface

pros-image

adheres to a strict anti-surveillance policy

pros-image

exemplary customer support

Cons
cons-image

AI requires training

cons-image

technical limitations in tracking

cons-image

the Memory app fails to sync occasionally

10. Time Analytics

the cheapest option if you don’t need invoicing

Pricing: Low

76

of 100

Pros
pros-image

among the most affordable

Cons
cons-image

limited set of features

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relatively new on the market (2019)

Other Time tracking software worth considering

11. My Hours

My Hours is one of the more user-friendly time-tracking tools, akin to Paymo and TimeCamp, known for its intuitive design. Users frequently commend its simplicity and clean user interface, which minimizes distractions. This tool is appreciated for its straightforwardness, eliminating unnecessary friction and extra steps in the time-tracking process.

In terms of pricing, My Hours is competitively positioned, being among the more affordable options in the market, though it is not the cheapest. Additionally, it offers a compelling free package that adds to its appeal.

However, compared to competitors like Paymo, My Hours could benefit from additional features, particularly in reporting and invoicing. Consultants seeking more comprehensive options and advanced reporting functionalities might find My Hours a bit lacking in these aspects.

Despite these areas for enhancement, My Hours remains a strong contender in the time-tracking software arena, especially for those who prioritize ease of use and affordability.

Pros

  • Simple and clean user interface
  • Good free package
  • Affordable paid packages

Cons

  • Could use more invoicing features
  • Reporting could be better

12. actiTIME

ActiTIME is one of the most cost-effective choices for large consultancy firms. It employs a tiered pricing structure, which becomes more economical per user as the total number of user accounts increases.

For instance, the cost is $6 per user for fewer than 40 accounts. However, this rate drops to $5 per user for those purchasing between 40 and 200 accounts and continues to decrease with higher numbers. Therefore, while actiTIME may not be the least expensive option for a small number of accounts, its value increases significantly for larger companies, making it an attractive option for those managing a substantial workforce.

ActiTIME also includes invoicing capabilities in this price range, a feature that many of its competitors lack. This is particularly noteworthy, considering that invoicing is a critical component for many consultants and often comes at an additional cost with other software.

The notable exception is Paymo, which includes invoicing even in its free package. In addition to invoicing, actiTIME offers a decent array of project tracking, team management, and reporting features.

The primary grievance users have with actiTIME centers around its user interface. While the interface’s simplicity does not necessarily hinder the program’s functionality, many users feel there is significant room for improvement in its design.

Users describe the interface as essential and lacking in aesthetic appeal, which they believe detracts from the overall user experience. Despite acknowledging that the desktop version is comprehensive and well-developed in meeting functional needs, users are dissatisfied with its design elements.

They expressly point out the basic design and color scheme used in the graphs, statistics, and login fields, suggesting that these aspects do not foster an engaging or focus-enhancing environment for employees.

Pros

  • Cost-effective for large consultancy firms
  • Invoicing capabilities included.
  • Comprehensive features for project tracking

Cons

  • Basic and unappealing user interface
  • Higher price point for smaller companies

13. Zoho

Zoho One is an ideal choice for consultants seeking a comprehensive solution that extends beyond basic time tracking. It offers an integrated suite of over 40 business and productivity applications, encompassing various needs, including project management, customer relationship management, finance, HR, and more.

This makes it particularly well-suited for larger enterprises with sophisticated and diverse business requirements rather than for small business consultants dealing with everyday tasks. Zoho One’s extensive functionality caters to a full-scale enterprise’s complex and varied needs.

However, it’s important to note that the time logging module within Zoho Projects is not as well-developed as some of its counterparts. Users often find it somewhat cumbersome and less intuitive, particularly compared to the excellent time-tracking features of Paymo.

User reviews of Zoho One are mixed; while many users commend its overall usability, others highlight specific shortcomings, suggesting a need for careful consideration. The tool tends to be more favorable for power users who can fully leverage its extensive functionalities.

In contrast, newcomers to project management might find Zoho One less intuitive and more challenging to navigate, especially in comparison to more user-friendly platforms like Timecamp or Clockify.

Zoho Projects stands out in the market for its reasonable pricing, positioning itself towards the more affordable end of the spectrum compared to its competitors. Furthermore, the pricing for the entire Zoho One suite is perceived as excellent value, considering its extensive array of features and tools.

This comprehensive suite, encompassing various business and project management applications, makes Zoho One an appealing choice for consultants searching for robust solutions at a competitive price point.

Pros

  • Complete business package at a very reasonable price
  • Praised for ease of use and intuitiveness by power users

Cons

  • Cumbersome time logging
  • Customer support could be better

14. TrackingTime

What sets TrackingTime apart in the time-tracking software landscape is its feature of automatic reminders, which are incredibly useful for many consultants engaged in many activities. TrackingTime automatically checks each team member’s scheduled hours versus the actual hours logged from the previous day.

If it detects that a user has not completed their daily timesheet, TrackingTime proactively sends a reminder email to the individual, prompting them to submit the missing hours. This functionality ensures that time tracking remains up-to-date and accurate, significantly benefiting consultants juggling various tasks and may overlook logging their hours amidst busy schedules.

Another beneficial feature of TrackingTime is its integration with numerous apps. It conveniently places a play button near tasks, such as in Asana, or next to the title of an email in Gmail. This allows users to effortlessly start the timer and record their working time directly from these applications.

However, user feedback suggests a desire for more diverse integrations, especially with different types of calendars. Additionally, some users express dissatisfaction with the current integrations for project management tools like Basecamp or Smartsheet.

One common critique is the quality of the reports, which some users feel could be improved for better clarity and utility. Additionally, there are complaints regarding the pricing structure, with many finding it on the higher side. This is especially noteworthy concerning the features offered in the free version, which users find pretty limited. Users have also reported encountering some bugs while using the software, although these do not significantly detract from its overall functionality.

Despite these issues, TrackingTime is generally considered a competent time-tracking tool. While it offers some project management features, many users prefer using it primarily for time tracking, integrating it with other project management tools they use. This suggests that its strongest suit lies in its ability to seamlessly blend time tracking into a broader array of project management environments.

Pros

  • Automatic reminders for incomplete timesheets
  • Daily checks comparing scheduled vs. actual hours worked
  • Good app integrations to start the timer (e.g., in Asana or Gmail).

Cons

  • It could use more integrations
  • Reports could be improved for clarity and utility
  • Pricing is perceived as high, especially considering the limited free version.

15. ClickUp

ClickUp is an ideal choice for consultants with unique and specific requirements that aren’t quickly addressed by standard solutions. Its high customizability allows users to tailor the platform extensively to meet their diverse needs.

However, for those managing simple projects with straightforward requirements, ClickUp may not be a good idea. The plethora of options and features it offers can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate, especially for users who need a more fundamental and less feature-rich tool.

The needs of most consultants typically revolve around straightforward requirements, beginning with robust time-tracking features and culminating in easy invoicing capabilities. This is a crucial reason why ClickUp ranks lower on this list, as its complex and highly customizable nature might not align well with these basic needs.

However, for those consultants who struggle to find a suitable solution for their unique or complex requirements, exploring ClickUp could be a wise decision. Its adaptability and extensive range of features make it a strong candidate for addressing more specialized or unconventional consulting needs.

Pros

  • Feature-rich with regular additions
  • Highly adaptable with versatile applications across various scenarios
  • Responsive support team

Cons

  • It can be overwhelming due to its many features, posing a steep learning curve.
  • Occasionally sluggish performance with occasional server downtimes.
  • Pricing can be deceptive; initial costs seem affordable, but expenses can accumulate swiftly.

16. Hours TimeLord

Hours TimeLord is an excellent choice for those who require nothing more than a mobile app to track their time. The reality is that many mobile apps for popular time-tracking tools fall short—they’re often underdeveloped, lack essential features, and are riddled with bugs. If your needs are centered around a straightforward, hassle-free mobile app, then Hours TimeLord could be the perfect fit.

It doesn’t come with a desktop app, automatic time tracking, AI features, or one-click invoicing, which are common in many previously mentioned tools. However, it offers a simple and user-friendly mobile app, which could be precisely what a consultant on the go needs. This focus on simplicity and ease of use makes it a compelling choice for mobile-centric time tracking.

However, it’s essential to know that despite its basic functionality and limited features, Hours TimeLord can be more expensive than complex tools like ClickUp or Paymo. Additionally, their online presence is minimal, consisting only of a single-page website.

This site lacks comprehensive resources such as tutorials or guides and doesn’t even provide precise details about the app’s features. This limited online footprint could be a drawback for users seeking extensive support or information about the tool.

Pros

  • Straightforward mobile app
  • Works on iPhones & Android

Cons

  • Limited features
  • High price
  • Limited online presence

17. Timeneye

Timeneye is a time-tracking tool designed for consultants using the Microsoft Office Suite. Suppose you’re already relying on this suite for project management and various other tasks and are not looking to switch platforms but need efficient time tracking. In that case, Timeneye is an ideal solution.

It seamlessly integrates with various Microsoft tools, including Microsoft Teams, Microsoft To-Do, Microsoft Projects, Azure AD, Microsoft Planner, and Outlook Calendar. While it also works with other project management tools like Asana, ClickUp, or Jira, its primary focus and optimization are for the Microsoft Office Suite, making it a tailored choice for users deeply embedded in the Microsoft ecosystem.

Timeneye includes invoicing capabilities, which is a valuable feature for many consultants. However, it lacks automatic time tracking features that you would find in a tool like Paymo. Additionally, it doesn’t offer AI helpers similar to those in Replicon or RescueTime. Compared to more sophisticated tools like ClickUp, the feature set of Timeneye is relatively limited, catering to a more specific set of needs rather than providing a broad range of functionalities.

Pros

  • Useful for consultants that use Microsoft Office Suite
  • Has invoicing features

Cons

  • Limited feature set
  • Reporting is basic and could be improved
  • High price when compared to competitors and actual feature set

18. Beebole

Beebole is one of the more straightforward and more user-friendly time-tracking software options. If you haven’t yet found a time-tracking solution that suits your needs, Beebole could be worth trying. It doesn’t boast fancy features, but many users commend its intuitive interface and ease of use.

Giving it a shot might just be the right move. As highlighted in one user review, “the most valuable part of Beebole is its customer support,” suggesting a reliable and responsive support team. This aspect of solid customer support is less standard, with only a few of the 20 time-tracking software mentioned in this article, like Paymo, Harvest, Replicon, Timely, and ClickUp, receiving praise for exemplary customer service. On the other hand, competitors such as TimeDoctor and Zoho have been noted for their less satisfactory support.

The dedication to user satisfaction extends further. Following a user review that criticized the user interface for not being as aesthetically pleasing, I found out that the Beebole team is actively addressing this feedback.

They are currently in the process of developing a new, more modern, and intuitive interface. This overhaul indicates Beebole’s commitment to maintaining and enhancing the user experience by staying attuned to user feedback and evolving their software accordingly.

Pros

  • Simple and user-friendly
  • Exemplary customer support

Cons

  • Limited feature set
  • The interface might not be appealing, but they are working on updating it
  • Reporting is basic and could be improved

19. WebWork

WebWork is comparable to Hubstaff, which ranks closely behind and is similar in terms of its focus on employee supervision and monitoring. Like Hubstaff, WebWork takes regular screenshots, but it goes a step further by adding detailed information such as activity levels and app and website usage. Its distinct feature is the “Employee Activity Level,” which tracks and stores data about the number of employee keystrokes and mouse clicks.

This data is categorized into three levels: high, medium, and low, enabling easy differentiation between employees based on their activity. Notably, while Webwork records the number of clicks and keystrokes, it does not log the specific content of the clicks or keystrokes. Instead, it calculates an average, which provides a general overview of activity levels without delving into the precise details of the employee’s actions.

The utility of WebWork for consultants is likely to be most apparent when they employ entry-level staff for tasks where the quantity of clicks and keystrokes is a critical measure of productivity.

For instance, an SEO consultant employing personnel for outreach tasks would find this a helpful feature, as the work heavily involves online interactions and communications, where click and keystroke counts could indicate work volume.

Similarly, a marketing consultant who hires an assistant for digital tasks, such as managing social media or conducting online research, would benefit from WebWork’s ability to track and quantify these routine yet essential activities. In these scenarios, WebWork’s tracking capabilities align well with the job requirements, providing a simple metric to gauge employee activity and productivity.

Compared to time tracking tools like Timely, which prioritize privacy and store data exclusively on the employee’s computer, only transmitting it with the user’s consent, Webwork, similar to Hubstaff, demonstrates less concern for employee privacy. Both WebWork and Hubstaff employ more invasive monitoring methods, including detailed tracking of keystrokes and clicks, which are seen as more intrusive than Timely’s approach.

As for the drawbacks, Webwork’s dashboard lacks the level of customization available in tools like ClickUp, limiting the ability to tailor the interface to specific needs or preferences. A significant issue with WebWork is its time-tracking approach; the clock automatically stops after ten minutes of inactivity. Additionally, compared to Hubstaff, which offers similar features, WebWork’s pricing is slightly more affordable.

Pros

  • Good mainly for task-based work
  • Intensive employee monitoring features
  • Detailed employee activity tracker
  • Cost-effective, among the most affordable

Cons

  • Limited customizability
  • Inactivity time-out
  • Serious privacy concerns

20. Hubstaff

Hubstaff is a time-tracking software that significantly emphasizes supervising and monitoring employees, similar to Clockify and TimeDoctor. However, it distinguishes itself by offering more intensive monitoring features.

Hubstaff captures screenshots or videos of an employee’s screen and tracks URLs visited and keyboard and mouse activity. From a consultant’s perspective, Hubstaff may have a drawback compared to its competitors.

It measures productivity based on mouse and keyboard interactions within specific intervals. This approach might not align well with standard consulting work, which often involves prolonged talking or participating in Zoom meetings without frequent mouse or keyboard use. In such scenarios, Hubstaff might not recognize this type of activity as valid work.

On the other hand, Hubstaff could benefit consultants who manage employees performing tasks requiring constant keyboard and mouse interaction. So, it could be helpful but in particular cases, and that is why it is the last on this list with time tracking software for consultants.

Users in their reviews point out that while Hubstaff might be effective in boosting team efficiency for task-oriented roles, it significantly falls short in recognizing the value of work that doesn’t involve constant keyboard and mouse activity, such as participating in calls or watching training videos.

Many users express frustration and demotivation, citing instances where their productive work was undervalued because it didn’t meet Hubstaff’s narrow criteria for activity. This oversight leads to feeling micromanaged and distrusted. It impacts morale when employees receive notifications like “You missed your shift” after a day of productive work not tracked by the software.

Comparisons with other time trackers like Clockify reveal that Hubstaff may miss tracking a significant chunk of work time — as much as 20-30%. This discrepancy is particularly noticeable in activities vital for professional growth and teamwork, such as video conferences or training sessions, which Hubstaff’s tracking metrics do not adequately capture.

In conclusion, while Hubstaff offers certain advantages for specific monitoring needs, its limitations in recognizing a diverse range of work activities and their impact on employee morale and trust present significant challenges.

Pros

  • Takes screenshots for monitoring employee activity
  • Monitors URLs, mouse, and keyboard activity

Cons

  • Significant privacy concerns
  • Some bugs and crashes while tracking time
  • It does not work well for tracking activities with no keyboard and mouse input
Laurențiu Bancu

Author

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.

Alexandra Martin

Editor

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.

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