Best Time Tracking Software Shortlist
Here’s some of the best time tracking tools on the market:
Employee time tracking software improves the present and future of project management. Let me elaborate. Currently, you are working with your team on a project. As part of your monitoring phase, you are keeping track of activities, your plan, and hopefully the hours being invested in each activity.
Knowing where your team is investing their time is informing your client conversations over budget spending, your talks with the team over time allocation, and even resource scheduling conversations with other DPMs wanting your resources.
Once this project is done, you will surely embark on another adventure and the cycle restarts. The time you and your team tracked will now inform future estimates for project activities and overall more accurate price and time-related conversations with the client.
Therefore, using time tracking tools is an essential part of a DPMs toolbox. Whether that is a best-of-breed or an all-in-one solution is up to you.
How I Picked The Best Time Tracking Software
I evaluated and compared the most popular time tracking software on the market, both for its reviews and user interface. Then I weighed factors that make software a good option for project management, such as the ones that follow.
- User Interface: The software needs to have a nice UI and be easy to use. A good interface will make it easier for your employees to clock in their work time. In contrast, a bad UI will deter them from it.
- Online time tracking variety: I look at all the ways in which a team can track accurate time. This could mean importing Excel timesheets, using a time clock or creating templates.
- Integrations: I looked at how you can expand the software's functionality. On the one hand, maybe some of these time tracking tools can be embedded into your existing tools. On the other hand, maybe the software can integrate other tools that enable invoicing like Quickbooks and Xero.
- Pricing: Your time tracking app should be a cheap addition to your current tech stack, especially if you are part of a small business. Therefore, I’ll point out the price and if there are available free versions or free trials.
Best Time Tracking Software Overviews
Here’s a brief overview of each tool.
Best for its customization capabilities
monday.com is a project management software with time tracking features that has done away with a lot of the trimmings of typical management tools and focused on simple, visually intuitive layouts that help clarify the sequence of work.
Why I picked monday.com: You can use monday.com to track project billable hours, employee productivity, and invoicing. More than being a time-tracking solution, you can use it for your employee productivity needs. Easily assign owners to new tasks, prioritize each item, set due dates and know exactly how every working hour is spent on each project and task. You can also keep track of time on their mobile app.
Time tracking is available in the Pro and Enterprise plans and has to be added to each board as a column.
monday.com Standout Features & Integrations
Features include dashboards, automation, file management, collaborative documents, resource management, forms, time-tracking, in-app chat, and reporting.
Integrations include business apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Harvest, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform, and many more, accessible via Zapier.
Overall, monday.com is a highly customizable software that can help you handle your projects, collaborate in real time, and track time so you can provide more accurate information to the client.
Best for comparing scheduled time to actual time worked
Hub Planner is a cloud-based, customizable software tailored for project planning, resource scheduling, and time tracking. It provides companies with tools that allow them to create and implement effective blueprints for project development teams and other employees.
Why I picked Hub Planner: Hub Planner is best suited for SMBs and large enterprises that want to move on from traditional spreadsheets when managing teams, resources, and schedules in various geographically distributed locations. The software features smart timesheets that provide robust time tracking and dynamic reporting modules. The smart timesheet tool is designed with intuitive usability in mind, offering users a user-friendly and efficient employee time tracking solution.
Hub Planner’s Timesheets module has a smart design that ensures better visibility for project managers, as it delivers a detailed picture of both the actual time and scheduled time worked by staff members. It also has charts and graphs that managers and team leaders can use to provide a visually interactive overview of team performance and available resources.
Hub Planner Standout Features & Integrations
Features include project planning, resource scheduling, timesheets and approvals, as well as advanced reporting and analytics. In addition, the software provides users with a complete overview and control over their active projects and resources within a unified system.
Integrations are available by connecting Hub Planner to a paid Zapier or Zoho Flow account.
Hub Planner offers an excellent free trial version you can test out before fully investing in it.
Best for mobile time tracking
Resource Management by Smartsheet, a high-level project and resource management software, helps modern teams make confident decisions about project planning, team capacity, budget forecasting, team utilization, and hiring needs in real time.
Why I picked Smartsheet: Its built-in timesheets, mobile time tracking, and expense tracking features enable you to create rich project reports by filtering project data with just a few clicks, making it the best time-tracking solution for a workforce with diverse operational setups. Get a detailed report that can give insight into historical data or offer a forecasted view of team utilization, actual vs. planned time reports, budget tracking, expense reports, and projects in the pipeline.
Smartsheet Standout Features & Integrations
Features include predictive timesheets, real-time budget updates according to spreadsheets, planned vs actual time tracking, and mobile time tracking.
Integrations include 80+ software applications, such as Slack, MS Teams, Brandfolder, serviceNOW, Okta, Salesforce, and Google Calendar. Additionally, it provides a flexible API and Zapier integration that can connect with top operational tools for analytics, communications, PM, ERP, and finance.
With a unique project and resource matching feature, Resource Management by Smartsheet helps match team members to the project’s requirements according to different criteria like disciplines, skills, availability, and more.
Best for its billable time tag
ClickUp is an all-in-one project management app that can help you schedule projects, collaborate using shared documents, and track your time while you do it.
Why I picked ClickUp: Its developers knew that time tracking is crucial for any business. This is why their native time tracking is available in all of their plans, including the free one! Tracking can be done within a specific task, or from any screen using the command center. You can access this command center by going to the left menu and clicking on the lightning icon ⚡️ next to the search bar. Once you are ready to see time tracking reports though, you will have to upgrade your plan as the timesheet dashboards are part of the business and unlimited plans.
ClickUp's time tracking allows you to add notes to your time, duplicate records and label them, and track time from any device where you are using the app.
ClickUp Standout Features & Integrations
Features include shared collaborative documents, whiteboards, in-app chat, task management, multiple views, and time tracking with labels, billable time tags, and estimates per task.
Integrations include native connections with Slack, G Suite, Dropbox, and many more tools, as well as over 1,000+ integrations through Zapier.
ClickUp is a tool that is best for teams looking to have an all-encompassing solution that tracks time but also lets them handle all other aspects of project management.
Best time tracking software with expense budgeting
BigTime is an expense and time tracking software designed for project managers, staff members, and stakeholders. The software can easily make time and expense entries using the platform’s smart timesheet, which has an auto-fill function for repetitious data entry.
The time and expense tracking software has customizable user rights for project managers and project leaders. They can restrict viewable timesheet information for staff members to minimize errors, accelerate the time entry process, and limit user access to sensitive data. Project managers can also use the tool to set up the required fields that team members must fill before saving their entries on the timesheet.
Managers can access daily and weekly timesheet view options with user-defined workweek functionality. They also have the ability to rename, remove, or add columns on the timesheet, as well as tag specific fields as required. The software has flexible submission times with optional custom lockout periods for approvals. Users can tie their expenses directly to the corresponding projects for efficient tracking. They can track expenses directly to the internal records of individual projects or through the billable client project.
Pricing for BigTime starts at $10 per user/month with a minimum requirement of five users, billed annually. There is also a 14-day free trial available.
Best for task tracking tied directly to timesheets
Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management platform tailored for businesses looking to optimize and streamline their project development workflows, regardless of scale or complexity. Zoho Projects offers project scheduling and resource manangement capabilities, allowing project managers and stakeholders to clearly define their project tasks, assign those tasks to the right team members, calculate the project costs, and keep track of progress across the board.
Zoho Projects’ hassle-free employee time tracking software allows users to record work hours via task timers and timesheets. Every project that is created with Zoho Projects will have a dedicated timesheet where employees or team members can easily log their task hours. Such records will enable project managers and team leaders to keep track of the current pace of their projects. Zoho Projects also offers comprehensive timesheet reports and dashboard statistics, which helps with improving time estimates and gauging team progress by simply comparing the planned work hours with the actual time consumed.
Zoho’s employee time tracking software is also designed to integrate seamlessly with accounting and invoicing solutions like Zoho Books or Zoho Invoice. This allows managers to record project expenses, calculate and set up a reasonable budget for individual projects, as well as efficiently transform their timesheets into detailed invoices for payroll and client billing purposes.
Features include roadmapping, project management, task scheduling/tracking, customer management, prioritization, and notifications.
Integrations include Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, Zendesk, and ServiceNow. Integrations via Zapier and Zoho Flow are also supported. Being part of the Zoho ecosystem allows you to connect to several of Zoho’s own services for Sales, Marketing, CRM, customer service, and others.
Zoho Projects offers a free plan for up to three users. Paid plans start at $5/user/month and come with a 10-day free trial.
Powerful and flexible time tracking that's easy to learn and use.
BeeBole Timesheet is an employee time tracking software for organizations of all sizes. With it, you can efficiently measure the time spent on clients, projects, and tasks, as well as control budgets, costs, and leaves of absence. The tool has a one-click timer to track time, as well as a drag-and-drop interface, which makes it easy to build dashboards and reports you need. For example, quickly generate, share, and print reports on employee time, budget, margin and profit, in addition to more than 30 customizable KPI reports.
In general, this tool is really flexible with a lot of useful features for larger organizations—you can choose how users can clock in, with daily, weekly or monthly timekeeping options. Managers can use the approval workflow to approve time entries, vacation (etc), and you can do it in bulk as well to save time.
This isn't on my list of criteria, but it's worth pointing out that BeeBole’s timesheets are DCAA and GDPR compliant. Another useful feature for international companies is that you can use BeeBole in multiple currencies, as well as multiple languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, and Dutch.
In terms of integrations, BeeBole Timesheet offers a fully documented API for you to integrate your application or service. You can also simply export your reports to CSV, PDF or Google Drive, which makes creating a professional-looking report (complete with your logo and graphics) pretty simple. The tool also integrates with Google Suite so everyone in your org can log in using their Google credential. In fact, this tool was the first timesheet app to integrate with Google Apps and its one of the top-rated for Google users. It’s compatible with Office 365 and SSO, too.
Beebole Timesheet costs $5.99/user/month.
Best for its free version with unlimited users and projects
TimeCamp is a great time-tracking software (with freemium upgrades) that includes manual and automatic timesheets, a time diary, and automatic task detection capabilities.
Why I picked TimeCamp: This software integrates well with invoicing and is able to automatically (or not) produce invoices based on billable hours. There is an integrated payment gateway, and you can get a notification when a client views an invoice.
A great feature of TimeCamp is their unique time management tools which give great insights into what people are actually doing; the most time-consuming websites and applications they’re using, with productivity analysis and detailed history on how people spend their time by using automatic computer usage tracking. This also enables you to evaluate time spent on documents, even tracking offline activity and the ability to approve or reject timesheets.
Timecamp Standout Features & Integrations
Features include time entries, multi-platform tracking, tags, goals, idle time tracking, weekly timesheets, guest accounts, and PDF reporting exports.
Integrations include project management favorites like Jira, Wrike, Trello, Podio, Basecamp, and Asana – invoicing including Xero, Quickbooks, and Free Agent, as well as Insightly, Wunderlist, and Zapier.
Timecamp is a great option for teams with limited budgets, as the free version provides unlimited users, projects, and tasks.
Best for its AI capabilities
Forecast is an AI project management software for professional services that takes advantage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support your estimates in becoming better and more accurate.
Why I picked Forecast: You can track time on the projects and tasks you are assigned, whether you're using the desktop app, on the go using mobile iOS and Android apps or directly on the web.
Every working hour spent on tasks will automatically be benchmarked against your estimates and the AI learns from this to improve future estimates, thereby reducing your risk of under or over-estimating your projects. This will have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your resource planning, enabling you to improve your delivery and profitability.
Forecast is great for distributed teams and has both daily and weekly timesheet views so you can track time the way that suits you. Set up weekly or daily reminders to ensure that everyone tracks every working hour correctly.
Forecast Standout Features & Integrations
Features include capacity planning, workload view, task approvals, portfolio management, planned vs actual reporting, non-billable projects, auto-timer, timesheet management, manual time entries, approvals, and automated timesheets to invoices.
Integrations include Asana, BambooHR, GoSimplo, Google Drive, Hubspot, Okta, Report, Salesforce, and Xero.
Forecast's functionality covers a large spectrum of the capabilities needed to run and manage projects and people effectively, with as little overhead as possible.
Best for its workload balancing
Toggl is a team project and work planning tool that allows you to create projects, tasks and track hours using your browser, Chrome extension, mobile, or desktop apps.
Why I picked Toggl: It has some good functionality to support helping people do their time tracking properly with automated reminders to keep people on track. Plus, you can create required fields for time entries, to ensure people always add comments or tags to their timesheet entries. You can also enable auditing tools where you can trigger alerts for suspicious-looking timesheet entries, like if someone claims to have worked 10 hrs straight on a single task!
Toggl Standout Features & Integrations
Features include a drag-and-drop interface, file attachments, estimates, guest user accounts, mobile apps, time tracking, and actual vs estimated time.
Integrations include Slack, Google Calendar, Toggl track, a browser extension for Chrome and Mozilla, and an open API so you can build custom integrations.
If you’re looking for a solution focused on comparing estimates and actuals, pulling client-ready reports, and billing accurately for your projects, check out Toggl Track.
Need expert help selecting the right Time Management Software?
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Best Time Tracking Software Summary
Here is a convenient list with all the highlights you need from what we covered above.
14-day free trial + freemium plan available
|From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)||Visit Website|
30-day free trial
|From $7/resource/month (billed annually)||Visit Website|
Freemium version available
|From $7/user/month||Visit Website|
Freemium plan available
|From $9/user/month||Visit Website|
Each plan offers a 14-day free trial.
|From $10/user/month for a minimum of 5 users||Visit Website|
10-day free trial
|From $5/user/month||Visit Website|
30-day free trial
|From $6.99/user/month||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $7/user/month||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $29/user/month||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $9/user/month||Visit Website|
Other time tracking software:
Check out the list below for 18 additional time tracking software tools we selected but couldn't make the best 10.
- Streamtime: Best time tracking for agencies
- Staff Timer: Best time tracking for enterprise
- Clockify: Best customizable time tracking
- MinuteDock: Best for professional services firms
- Zoomshift: Best for combined employee scheduling & time tracking
- Justworks Hours: Best for usability and user experience
- Time Doctor: Best for teams working remotely or hybrid
- BigTime: Best for timesheet reporting and analytics
- FunctionPoint: Best for internal marketing departments
- Freshbooks: Best for billing and invoicing
- SpringAhead: Best for integration with QuickBooks
- Replicon: Best for flexible time tracking
- Intervals: Best for combined task management & time tracking
- Journyx: Best for mid-size to large organizations
- BillQuick: Best for onboarding and set-up
- Hub Planner: Best for managing and scheduling remote teams
- Elorus: Best for customizable invoices
- TimeLog: Best for combined professional services automation & time tracking
Time Tracking Software FAQs
Find the answers to common questions about this topic.
What is the best time tracking software?
The best time tracking software is the one that works best for your situation. If you only need software that tracks time and generates invoices, you will benefit from most of the items on this list. However, if you are looking for a project management tool with time tracking capabilities, you want to stick with software like monday.com, Smartsheet or Toggl.
Project management tools will normally have time tracking or time entry modules. If not, they will offer integrations with specific time tracking tools in the form of plug-ins, add-ons, or power-ups.
What does time tracking software do?
Time tracking software allows project team members to track time to reflect the time spent on the tasks they are executing. It is a technological solution to the timesheets that were popular in the past.
Time tracking software also incorporates reporting capabilities, so you can see what your team has been up to and if they have free time to take on more work. Therefore, making it a great complement to resource management.
What is the benefit of time tracking software?
I thought it might be helpful to give you a list of benefits in case you are weighing if you should get a tool like this or not. Here’s a list of the most relevant benefits I selected.
- Prevents financial errors that result from manual work.
- Helps see where your money (or the client's) is being invested.
- Promotes ownership and accountability over tasks among the team.
- Uncovers time-consuming tasks.
- Improves data-driven decision-making.
Which key features should I look for when selecting time tracking software?
Different time tracking software will vary with the breadth and depth of features included or available on their free version. However, here are a few key functions to consider when picking which one to buy into.
- Quick access time tracker: Any user should have easy access to the time tracker. It can be a button that always hovers in a corner, an option on the navigation bar and even an embedded window within every screen in the software.
- Rates & Invoicing: I’d look for software that can store employee rates and help you automatically calculate the payment due by the client. The least number of hands touching numbers, the better.
- Reporting: It’s critical that your tracking app offers reports. These will help you isolate specific time periods and drill down into the details. Therefore, inform your justifications to the client or the WBS owner.
Time tracking software – why is it important?
Time tracking software and expense tracking software is no one’s idea of a party, but it’s a necessary evil in the digital agency world, for professional services and consulting when you’re charging time and materials or billing by the hour and you need to track budget burn. Likewise, invoicing is not fun, but it’s necessary and requires accurate timesheet detail to function.
Fundamentally, there’s budget and financial tracking information that’s needed to keep a business alive; we need to know the project budget essentials:
- Are we above or below the project budget?
- Are we tracking to hit the budget?
- How much should be invoiced to the client?
- How profitable is the project / job / client?
Are timesheets important?
Timesheets are important if we want to give proper estimates based on past project performance. The accuracy and reliability of these timesheets will depend on how easily your team can track their time, and the nomenclature behind that reporting.
In order to estimate properly, we need to be able to look back at timesheet data, and gauge how much should be charged for the next project.
In choosing the best time tracking tool, it’s worth thinking through your agency or studio workflow, and think about the end to end experience – from the person creating the estimate to the person doing the work, to the person invoicing it; how does it all fit together?
Since we are on the subject of time tracking, here's a useful article on project budgeting that explains what analogous estimation is and other estimation techniques used in project management.
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Nice article! As for me, I use SCREENish (https://www.screenish.com/), it’s easy and convenient. Work day is visualized as a timeline, there are integrations with popular project management systems. You can also prepare flexible reports by using different filters.