One of the key aspects of productivity is to figure out where and how much time you are spending in a day. Whether it be for personal use or while managing a team, you need a time tracking and timesheet reporting software to ensure you’re putting precious hours to good productive use.
Nowadays, project management tools often have a built-in time tracking functionality because it plays a vital role in ensuring your projects get delivered on time. For this post, I took on some of the best time tracking software available in the market (both free and paid). To set the stage here’s a quick table on how these tools rank based on our 5-factor review criteria i.e design & ease of use, features and functionality, pricing, security and customer support.
|Ease of Use||Features||Pricing||Security||Support|
What makes a great timesheet reporting/time tracking app?
Here are a few essential features that every great time management app needs to have.
- Invoicing: Time tracking and invoicing go hand in hand. It is really important for both freelancers and business owners that they have a clear, transparent timesheet software that can generate accurate invoices.
- Real-time tracking: Almost all time tracking apps let you record time in real-time which means you can simply play the timer and start working on the task and stop it when you’re done. This takes away the need for you to manually enter time spent on each task.
- Flexibility: The app needs to allow you to easily edit/modify any time that you might’ve missed. This also includes the ability to withdraw timesheets, log time manually and preferably set a custom time period for timesheet reporting. Most apps allow weekly timesheets but this is not always the case for every business.
- Billing methods: Not all businesses charge on hourly rates. The billing methods can be fixed with a flat rate, billable by tasks, employee, or the project may not be billable at all (in case of internal projects). The timesheet reporting software needs to have multiple billing methods and should allow users to select the one which most likely applies to their business.
A good time tracking tool can easily make you more productive and greatly help you with cost estimates and accurate invoicing. Here’s a list of best free timesheet reporting software and time tracking apps to try this year.
A very popular name in the time tracking space and rightly so. Harvest has been in the market for more than a decade. It has helped businesses log, estimate and invoice millions or perhaps billions of hours and costs for their projects till date.
With built-in expense tracking, Harvest is one of the most feasible options available today. Built and designed for collaborative workload, Harvest is best for organizing teams. However, it is equally effective for solopreneurs and individuals.
Team time management: If organizing teams isn’t your strongest suit, Harvest makes team time management a breeze. Easily manage resources and their time by following a complete time management lifecycle.
Invoicing: Harvest allows seamless invoicing for time submitted and approved by project managers. You can easily view details on the time entered in a timeline format which makes the process really simple and effective.
Reporting: With visual reports, you can check time entries and ensure there’s no discrepancy and are always on track with your budget estimations.
Harvest comes with the following plans.
- Free – Forever free plan for 1 person with up to 2 projects. Great for personal time tracking.
- Solo – $12/user/month, 1 person and unlimited projects.
- Team – $12/user/month, for more than 2 persons with unlimited projects.
TSheets by QuickBooks is a cloud-based time tracking software that lets you set time estimates, track time spent, and offers hassle-free invoicing for clients and employees. One of the key aspects of accurate time tracking and invoicing is keeping a record of the time spent on tasks and TSheets does that exactly by providing a transparent timesheet approval process.
With an easy to use interface you no longer have to worry about tracking time for your employees on paper time cards and spreadsheets. TSheets is flexibly built and does the job for almost all industries including construction, IT software and more.
GPS time tracker: An ideal solution for your mobile workforce. With TSheets you can log and manage time with GPS time stamping.
Mobile apps: TSheets provides flexible mobile apps for iOS and Android with complete timesheet approval.
Reporting: Get in-depth reports for payroll, timesheet approvals, projects, and costs.
- Free – TSheets comes with a free fully featured plan for individuals.
- Small Business – $4/user/month, all features included for up to 99 users with $16 base fee.
- Enterprise – $4/user/month, all features included for 100 and more users with $80 base fee.
A project management platform cum timesheet reporting and tracking software. Paymo is one of the most feature-rich productivity tools available today. Designed to meet freelancers’ needs for time tracking and invoicing, Paymo has a great bunch of options for timesheet reporting and cost estimations. Paymo is a bit like Harvest but with an added functionality of end to end project management.
You can easily choose between time and materials billing method or a flat rate for invoicing and time reporting. Paymo’s built-in invoicing and reporting make the entire time management experience and process effortless.
Timesheets and invoicing: Paymo has made time entry and invoicing with clients extremely simple.
Built-in timer: With web-timer, you can start/stop time anytime and even dock/undock for convenience.
Mobile apps: You don’t have to wait to get back to your workstation to add time spent on your tasks. Paymo lets you easily add time on-the-go with state of the art applications for iOS and Android.
- Free – forever free plan ideal for individual freelancers. Includes to-do lists, Kanban boards, time-tracking, up to 3 invoices, Adobe CC extension, reporting and more.
- Small Office – $9.56/user/month, includes advanced reporting, project templates, unlimited invoices, estimates & expenses, and public access to API.
Business — $15.16/user/month, includes resource scheduling, Gantt charts, online remote assistance, free training and more.
Toggl is a free cloud-based time tracking software with a simple and easy to use interface. It’s a flexible tool ideal for individuals and freelancers to manage their time efficiently. With built-in project management features you can assign tasks and projects to team members or clients and log time manually or with a start-stop timer.
Toggl is pretty much available everywhere including Web, Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS and even has a handy browser extension. What’s fascinating about Toggl is that the free version gives you enough features to completely manage and track your personal time with ease.
Visual reporting: The free version gives you limited reporting but it’s more than enough to keep everything streamlined. You can generate reports for your clients or yourself to analyze where the time.
Offline support: Toggl is one of the very few applications that even work when you don’t have an internet connection. You can simply enter time and the time logged will automatically be added once you’re connected. This makes it an ideal app for teams who have to work off-site and are always on-the-go.
Third-party apps and integrations: Toggl’s browser extension works with 100+ applications.
Toggl has a very generous free plan and if you want it for team time tracking you can choose the paid plan.
- Free – includes time tracking, timeline view, tags, auto-tracker, offline mode, dashboard & reporting, mobile apps and more.
- Starter – 7.20/user/month, includes all free features plus enhanced reporting, customization, project estimates, alerts, unlimited team members.
- Premium – $14.40/user/month, includes all Starter features plus advanced team management, time audits, flexible reporting features, and more.
Another decent choice for time tracking and reporting if you’re running a team. Time Doctor helps you track time worked by everyone on your team. It is developed with an aim to make you and your team members more productive with some creative functionality including pop-up alerts, interval-based screenshots to ensure accountability and chat monitoring to see how much time is being spent on calls or meetings. It works by identifying inefficiencies and monitoring how much time was spent working or wasted.
Powerful reporting: You receive daily and weekly reports on the hours spent, websites visited and other useful metrics to ensure you make improvements to cut down time wastage.
Payroll management: You can easily calculate employee payrolls in the form of fixed salaries or number of hours worked.
Time use alerts: Do you worry about your employees sitting idle for too long? Time Doctor sends pop up alerts when it notices you’ve been inactive or stray onto any no-work related website e.g Facebook.
Time Doctor doesn’t come with a free plan however you do get a14-day free trial after which you’ve to pay $9.99/user/month.
Which time tracking software do you use? Let me know in the comments below.