There are several types of time tracking solutions available online, with time trackers being the most versatile ones.
A time tracker is a software category that allows you to record the amount of time you spend on a project or task. Time-tracking software is used in almost every industry. However, it’s especially useful for freelancers and employees working on an hourly basis.
With that said, it only remains to understand what a time tracker really is, how it works, and what app/service you should choose among the variety of options.
We made a review of the best solutions, evaluating them by key parameters. If you work as a freelancer then, trust us, you definitely need one.
A time tracker is a must-have for anyone who is self-employed or works remotely.
The tool helps you keep track of your time – you can easily see how much you have spent on a particular task to manage your working day.
It’s not just a timer, it’s a universal tool to control your productivity and efficiency. A functional computer activity tracker allows you to achieve your goals promptly and accurately, helps you organize your workflow, and reveals your weaknesses. So if you want to start working better and more efficiently, it’s worth a try.
If you have to monitor a remote team, a time tracker can efficiently help you with that. Here are a few features to consider:
An important advantage of time management is that time tracking solutions not only monitor business processes for the management but also help employees plan their schedule and free time. Thus, each employee at any time can see their workload, overtime, time off, vacation, etc.
For those who just can’t get started. The Pomodoro Technique is based on a quite simple principle: work for 25 minutes, rest for 3-5 minutes. One cycle = one “tomato.” After you collect four tomatoes, you can take a bigger break of 15-30 minutes.
Of course, we have so many time tracking services out there, but this time tracker stands out among them for a couple of reasons. With Pomodor, you can adjust the length of your work and breaks + the number of tomatoes you get before the long break. Thus, you can customize the web app to fit your needs. For this, go to “Settings” (left sidebar) and make it custom.
One of the most popular time-tracking services that are suitable for tracking the activity of individuals or teams. Toggl can also be perfect if you work as a contractor (if you work alone, it’s fine too). Up to six people can share the app for free.
Toggl is available as a:
Toggle Track is quite intuitive to use, and you can also run it offline – it will sync automatically once your connection is restored.
The basic Toggle Track version has limited functionality. However, there’s an extended account and a premium subscription. The paid version gives you access to a full-fledged scheduler to work on projects. Still, most people are fine with features in the free version.
Available features include auto-tracking, quick reminder set-up, and online/offline time tracker. You can divide projects into paid and unpaid, build reports on progress and time spent.
There’s an option to split your team (when signed in as a team) and a convenient control panel. Integration with other services includes Trello, GitHub, JIRA, Asana, and Google Calendar. This allows you to quickly add tasks that are already in use to the time tracker. You can also import tasks directly from your site.
Toggl Track Pros
Toggl Track Cons
For those who just can’t focus and are distracted by social networks.
The app is not free but totally worth your attention since it’s really unique. Forest uses the gaming approach. You set a timer for the required period in the app and grow your very own virtual tree. The set period has to be 10 minutes at least (two hours max). If you close the app, your precious tree will die. And you won’t kill a tree, right?
For each grown tree, the app rewards you with coins, which can be used to buy new plants. You can grow your custom virtual forest! The less you distract, the bigger (and more beautiful) the forest.
The coolest thing is that the Forest team partners with a real-tree-planting organization. This means that for every 2,500 virtual coins, you can make a planting order. The app will then plant a REAL tree on your behalf. Isn’t it cool? You can plant as many as 5 trees!
Hours is a web-based timekeeping app, suitable for freelancers and small companies.
The time tracker is available as:
The trial period is 14 days.
Hours can be used free of charge for personal purposes. For this, you should choose the “Personal” plan, which allows you to add one participant. Once done, you can use the tracker without any limitations.
The app is most suitable for users who are looking for a simple time tracker with a nice and simple interface (the “Team” function is available, however, it’s not as good as with other similar tools).
Hours also has the “Timeline” feature, which makes it easy to fill in the blanks. Say, when you forget to turn on the tracker or when you need to track an offline event without the mobile app.
Harvest is a free time tracker for Windows/Mac, Android/iPhone. It was designed back in 2006 but is still widely popular among freelancers. Harvest is perfect both for individuals and small teams. The free version allows you to keep two projects. More of them are available in the paid version.
Harvest is all about simple time tracking, fast online billing, and powerful reporting software.
The tool features expense tracking and other accounting features that should be present in a universal time tracker. Other features include integration with a myriad of third-party tools, and you can set up a payroll system. You can make effective schedules for each employee (or for yourself). An online/offline Harvest tracks your activities 24/7 to collect clear statistics and provide analytical reports. There’s also GPS location tracking.
Hours can be complicated for a novice, so some users will need some time to get used to it. However, once you know everything, you will fall in love with it.
Timely is an automated time-tracking tool that also lets you track projects, monitor budgets, and view team performance all in one software. With Timely, you can examine past costs, tasks and turnarounds to set competitive rates and improve future project profitability and efficiency. Timely prioritizes privacy in its functionality, giving each team member their own private work timeline so they can control what information is displayed publicly. And with automatic time-tracking and timesheet drafts, your team can focus less on daily admin tasks — and more on the work itself.
There are many situations where you might find yourself under pressure to deliver a project on time. For example, when marketing an ICO or preparing for a project launch, time is of the essence. When you find yourself in a time crunch, using one of these apps can give you the peace of mind you need to be the most productive version of yourself.
We’ve shared some of the best time trackers for freelancers existing today – the final decision is up to you. Study their pros and cons, read a few other reviews, find customer feedback, compare their functionality, and download the app that perfectly fits your needs.
Don’t forget to use the tool regularly to get better and control all your work processes. It will definitely help you reach a new level of efficiency.