Charlotte Davis

Posted on

Best Time Tracking App for 2023

Home / Blog / Project Management / Best Time Tracking App for 2023

Whether you’re a start-up CEO, a small business owner, or a self-employed freelancer, tracking time spent on particular projects and work items is likely an important part of your day-to-day operations. If it isn’t, then you should change that, as keeping track of the time your employees spend on particular tasks makes project management easier, allows for more efficient time allocation for specific jobs, and makes the entire process of running a business much smoother.

However, in this day and age, the vast array of software at your disposal turns choosing the best app for the job into a nightmarish struggle. Without trying them all, how are you supposed to know for sure that the option you decide to go with is, in fact, the one that’s best suited to your particular needs?

Thankfully, I’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. After extensively testing dozens of the time tracking apps available online, I found nine that can safely be considered some of the best such tools available out there.

Overview of the Best Time Tracking Software

# Time Tracking App Best for Website
1 Toggl Track Logo

Start-ups that work on limited-budget projects

2 proofhub logo

Managers seeking to improve productivity

3

Those who want easy integration with project management tools

4 harvest logo

Combining time tracking with keeping track of expenses

5 hours timelord logo

Managers and freelancers who value simplicity

6 TimeDoctor Logo

Medium-to-large companies

7 Clockify Logo

Cash-strapped freelancers and large teams

8

Project-focused businesses that prioritize precision

9

Those who want to go beyond simple reporting features

Toggl Track

1

Toggl Track Logo

Toggl Track

 Expert Review

Very Good 10

Toggl Track Website

Best for: Start-ups that work on limited-budget projects.

I’ve been using this Estonian time tracking app for a couple of weeks now, and I can safely say that it is a great option for any start-up or small business that wants to track their employees’ work time and billable hours in an accurate, efficient manner. With over 100 integrations available, you can easily add Toggl Track functionality to the programs you and your employees use on a daily basis.

Why Toggl Track?

If you’re like me, then you’ve probably already lost count of how many billable hours were lost due to poor timesheet management or inaccurate trackers. Toggl Track’s users report that they were able to increase the number of their billable hours by 25%, without adding any extra tasks to the workload. The lost hours are usually due to using inaccurate time tracking software, or employees mismanaging the company’s timesheets. Toggl Track does away with these issues by integrating with dozens of different apps, and accurate, detailed reporting features. Time tracking data generated in Toggl Track can also easily be exported to create invoices or to show your clients.

If you’re a self-employed freelancer or are working on building a company from the ground up with a couple of trusted business partners, you can make use of all of Toggl Track’s varied functions completely free of charge, as their free plan allows you to add up to five users.

The comprehensive data gathered and provided by Toggl Track can be used to help you and your team utilize their time better, resulting in a more profitable business and happier clients. While it might not be the ideal choice for complex corporations looking for employee time tracking software, most other businesses should be more than satisfied with what this Estonian time tracking app has to offer.

Key Features and Integrations

Toggl Track is incredibly comprehensive for an app that’s focused mainly on time management. Despite its wealth of time tracking options, I never felt overwhelmed or confused when using the app, thanks to its intuitive interface and sleek design. Here are some of the main features of Toggl Track:

  • Tracking and managing the time of your employees
  • Offline tracking
  • Calendar view
  • Automatic time tracking
  • Timeline view
  • Scheduling reports to email

Integration is definitely one of the strongest points of Toggl Track. I never found myself missing the time tracking feature while using dozens of web and desktop apps. As I already mentioned earlier, Toggl Track can integrate with over 100 different programs, but here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Slack
  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
  • Outlook
  • Asana
  • Jira
  • Salesforce
  • Photoshop

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 100+ integrations
  • Offline tracking
  • Free plan for up to five people
  • Advanced reporting features
  • Useful and customizable reminder notifications

Cons

  • Can get quite pricey for larger teams
  • No invoicing feature
Toggl Track Logo

Toggl Track

ProofHub

2

proofhub logo

ProofHub

 Expert Review

Very Good 10

ProofHub Website

Best for: Managers seeking to improve productivity.

When I first opened ProofHub, I was honestly quite impressed by the sheer amount of features and functions this software boasted. During the first couple of hours, it almost felt a bit overwhelming! It’s got all of the project management solutions you can think of, such as kanban boards, calendars, Gantt plans, and many more.

Furthermore, it works great for creating and assigning tasks, as well as keeping employees accountable by using an accurate, reliable time tracking tool.

Employee monitoring with ProofHub is easy and straightforward. The software also gives you the option to create timesheets and export time reports that can easily be attached to invoices (which can also be automatically created within the app). Finally, ProofHub will accommodate the workflow of your company, so whether most of your employees work remotely, you follow the agile way of project management, or mostly need the software for client management, you can be sure that your needs will be met.

Why ProofHub?

After working with ProofHub for a few weeks, I can safely say that it is one of the most comprehensive project management solutions in the industry. When it comes to time tracking, the features here are nothing mindblowing, but they certainly get the job done as far as employee monitoring and tracking the time you spend on client work is concerned. However, the main selling point of ProofHub is the sheer breadth of features you get in one package.

Once you look at the pricing on their website, you might be taken aback by prices that are much higher than most of its competitors, but the elevated pricetag is actually fairly justified. First of all, ProofHub doesn’t have any per-user fees, which means that once you pay the flat, monthly rate, you can distribute the software among all of your employees at no additional charge. There are two pricing plans: “Ultimate Control,” and “Essential.” The latter one is much cheaper, but unfortunately, it is also a quite limited version of ProofHub.

All in all, ProofHub is a great option for medium to large businesses looking for a time tracking app alongside a project management tool. Now, if you’re already using different software for managing your projects and tasks, you won’t really find too much value in ProofHub. The same goes for freelancers — the breadth of functions will likely be much more than you need, and if you’re just looking for a time tracker, there are plenty of cheaper services that will accommodate your needs. However, if you are a manager of a company or a branch with dozens of employees under your supervision, ProofHub will make your day-to-day life much easier. At this pricepoint, it’s well worth recommending.

Key Features and Integrations

ProofHub offers plenty of features to its paying users. At times, I felt like the broad scope of the app worked to its detriment. All of the main features of this software work just fine, but I couldn’t help but feel like some of them were a touch unfinished because of so many other things that the developers had to focus on. With that said, here are some of the main features of ProofHub:

  • Time tracking,
  • Project management at a large scale,
  • Creating workflows,
  • Adding tasks and subtasks,
  • Daily agenda planning,
  • In-app messaging.

Seeing as ProofHub is a project management tool and a time tracking app in a single package, its developers understandably didn’t feel like there was a need to include too many integrations. Nevertheless, you can successfully integrate ProofHub with the following apps:

  • Box
  • Slack
  • Google Drive
  • OneDrive
  • Dropbox
  • Google Calendar
  • iCal
  • Freshbooks

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • All-in-one project management and time tracking app
  • Great for mid-to-large businesses
  • You can add unlimited users for a flat monthly rate
  • Incredible price-to-functionality ratio

Cons

  • The cheaper plan provides little value
  • Many decent features – but none of them really stand out
  • Not the best software for freelancers and smaller businesses

HourStack

3

HourStack

 Expert Review

Very Good 10

HourStack Website

Best for: Those who want easy integration with project management tools.

Using HourStack was a blast for me. Out of all the time tracking tools reviewed here, this one is definitely the most user-friendly. With a neat, easily understandable dashboard view and plenty of features that make time management easier, it is clear to me that HourStack’s developers have put plenty of time and thought into the UX side of things.

It is definitely not a webapp for everyone, and if you’re looking for an abundance of features that render other tools unnecessary, you’re not going to find it with HourStack. Whether this is an advantage or a drawback depends entirely on your current roster of applications, as well as the individual needs of your business.

Why HourStack?

As soon as I opened HourStack, I was struck by the simplicity and clarity of its user interface. The calendar view helps you track time and progress on a variety of your tasks, with each entry being clearly marked with the icon of the primary software you’re using to track or work on the project.

The majority of my time with HourStack was spent in the calendar view, mainly thanks to the fact that the time tracking features are integrated with it incredibly well. There’s no need to navigate to another app to start tracking the time spent on each task. You can demarcate specifically how much time you want to allocate to each project and then start the timer directly in the calendar view. If you’re anything like me and juggle between a number of projects at any given time, this feature provides a great way to improve your judgment when it comes to how many hours you expect a certain task to take up versus how long it actually takes to complete.

HourStack is a great choice for any manager who wants to better understand the workflow of their organization, as well as self-employed freelancers who’d like to have an easier time deciding which tasks to prioritize, and which ones can be dealt with in a shorter timeframe.

Key Features and Integrations

Although the line-up of HourStack’s features isn’t as loaded as in the case of some other time tracking tools I reviewed here, there are quite a few noteworthy functions that deserve to be mentioned. They include:

  • Optimizable calendar view,
  • Smooth, intuitive integration,
  • Tracking time across multiple devices,
  • In-depth, customizable reports.

HourStack can be integrated with 20 different apps and project management tools. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Asana
  • ClickUp
  • Slack
  • Google Drive
  • Trello
  • Github

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easy and intuitive to use from the get-go
  • Fully integrated modifiable calendar view
  • Useful reporting features

Cons

  • No integration with certain important apps
  • Limited roster of features

HourStack

Harvest

4

harvest logo

Harvest

 Expert Review

Very Good 10

Harvest Website

Best for: Combining time tracking with keeping track of expenses.

I never liked invoicing, expense tracking, and all the paperwork that goes into it. When it came to that aspect of running a business, Harvest was an absolute godsend. Its combination of time tracking and handling the financial side of things saved me a ton of time, especially towards the end of the month, which is when I do most of my billing.

As a time tracking app, it does the job very well, and I haven’t experienced any issues on that end. While it might seem a little barebone compared to programs such as ProofHub or Toggl Track, the fact that it doubles down as an expense tracking software makes it worth a try.

Why Harvest?

Keeping track of every employee’s work time, even if they do track and log it properly on a regular basis, can be a daunting task. The same goes for compiling all of the data you need to have in order to send invoices to your clients. Harvest does away with a lot of that busy work by automatically assigning the tracked time entries to their respective invoices. Furthermore, it is integrated with popular payment processing platforms, namely PayPal and Stripe. These features essentially strip hours away from the usual time required to send invoices and payments in a timely manner.

If you’re looking for a time tracking solution that allows you to promptly create invoices without the need to leave the app, Harvest is the tool for you. Granted, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive application, you might have to look somewhere else, but at its relatively cheap price point, it’s hard to discard Harvest without at least giving it a shot.

Key Features and Integrations

Harvest doesn’t have too many functions, but it was never designed to be an all-encompassing platform. The few features that it has are executed to near perfection, and while the lack of a proper calendar view was a bit cumbersome for me, I was able to look past it thanks to its great invoicing mechanics. Check out a quick rundown of Harvest’s main features below:

  • Accurate time tracking,
  • Option to add customizable reminders,
  • Comprehensive financial reports and expense analyses,
  • Invoicing feature that’s fully integrated with the time tracker.

When it comes to integrations, Harvest stands out thanks to its ability to work with payment processors. It can also be integrated with a number of popular project management tools and communicators, such as:

  • Teamwork
  • Asana
  • Jira
  • Trello
  • Slack

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Excellent invoicing functionality
  • In-depth actionable reports
  • Accurate cross-platform time tracking

Cons

  • Missing calendar feature
  • Integration is less intuitive than in the case of other time tracking apps

Hours TimeLord

5

hours timelord logo

Hours TimeLord

 Expert Review

Very Good 10

Best for: Managers and freelancers who value simplicity.

When I first logged in to Hours TimeLord, I felt as though this software was developed by Apple itself. Of course, there is no affiliation between this app’s creators and the Cupertino-based Big Tech giant. However, just by looking at Hours TimeLord’s user interface and design, it is pretty clear that they were inspired by the simplicity and utility of the Apple ecosystem.

This is especially true for the mobile version of this software, which felt like a combination of the Reminders, Clock, and Notes apps I use on my iPhone every day.

Why Hours TimeLord?

Hours TimeLord is a simple time tracking app, with all of the benefits and drawbacks that go along with it. It’s very user-friendly, and the visualization feature really helped me understand how I spend my work day and allowed me to figure out how to reorganize my time to be even more productive.

On the other hand, Hours TimeLord’s simplicity might be the reason why some people will prefer to steer clear of this software. It’s definitely not for everybody, and I would say that larger teams will struggle to coordinate their time tracking efforts between different departments when using Hours TimeLord. However, it could prove to be the perfect fit for small business owners and freelancers who like to access their time tracking systems on the go.

Key Features and Integrations

Hours TimeLord is a very simple, yet a functional tool that really shows its full potential when used as a mobile app. Although there is a browser version of this software you can use on computers, I got the impression that the creators intended for Hours TimeLord to be primarily used on smartphones. Here are the app’s most important features:

  • Work day visualization,
  • Color-coded timesheets,
  • Note-taking for each time entry.

If a large number of integrations is a must-have for you, then unfortunately, Hours TimeLord is not the app you’re looking for. It was designed with a sharp focus on individual time management, and while you can easily export the timesheets and reports to attach to invoices and such, you won’t be able to integrate it across a variety of platforms.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Simplicity
  • Great mobile app
  • Great visualization feature that can help you plan out your day
  • High customizability

Cons

  • Lack of a native desktop app
  • Not really useful for bigger teams
hours timelord logo

Hours TimeLord

Time Doctor

6

TimeDoctor Logo

Time Doctor

 Expert Review

Very Good 10

Timedoctor Time Tracking

Best for: Medium-to-large companies.

When looking for a time tracking app, I tend to ask myself one important question before deciding on a particular piece of software: am I looking for a simple tracker or a more comprehensive tool that will help me improve my productivity? Time Doctor fits the latter category almost perfectly.

Alongside tracking your and your employees’ work time, it also boasts a hefty line-up of other features, most of them designed to get the most out of your team’s work days. Certainly, the most impressive one of them all is the productivity-measuring functionality, which breaks down your employees’ time into productive and non-productive periods and connects them to the usage of various apps and websites.

That allows you to see which apps your employees spend the most time with, potentially struggling with their complicated features, and as such serves as a way to help reevaluate your company’s software choices and adjust workflow.

Why Time Doctor?

Time Doctor is one of the best time tracking tools if you’re looking for something to not only monitor your employees but also boost their productivity in a meaningful way. On top of the already-mentioned productivity measuring feature, it boasts additional functions that will help your employees focus on their tasks and avoid distractions.

Personally, I found the Time Doctor interface to be pretty good at balancing out complexity and clarity, but from the perspective of a small business owner or a freelancer, it can prove to be a little too complicated for its own good. However, if you’re a manager at a medium-to-large company, and overseeing dozens of people on a daily basis fits into your job description, then you should seriously consider adopting this tool. As far as employee monitoring software is concerned, Time Doctor truly is the full package.

It is a bit on the pricier side, though, so if you’re paying for it out of your own pocket, I’d recommend you reconsider whether or not you actually need all of its features. If not, then you might want to look into some simpler trackers instead.

Key Features and Integrations

The developers of Time Doctor have put a ton of effort and care into creating an application that doesn’t only effectively track the time your employees spend on various tasks, but also helps you use that data to improve the day-to-day dealings at your organization. Here are some of Time Doctor’s main features:

  • Productivity measuring function,
  • Invoicing and payroll,
  • Distraction alerts,
  • Offline time tracking,
  • Chat, app, and website monitoring.

Just like most of the more comprehensive time trackers out there, Time Doctor also allows you to integrate its functionality into other tools, including:

  • Salesforce
  • Jira
  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Github
  • Teamwork
  • Slack

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Comprehensive productivity analysis
  • Excellent employee monitoring features
  • Works very well for invoicing and mass payouts

Cons

  • Expensive in comparison with the competition
  • Cluttered interface
TimeDoctor Logo

Time Doctor

Clockify

7

Clockify Logo

Clockify

 Expert Review

Very Good 10

Best for: Cash-strapped freelancers and large remote teams.

Clockify is definitely my kind of time tracker app. Granted, it doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of features and is rather limited in its scope, but that’s part of what makes it so appealing to me. It is a simple tracker, designed with one goal in mind: to help everyone at the company be more accountable.

If you’re looking for basic time tracking features, easily creatable timesheets, and a tool that lets your employees control the whole process without too much input from management, you can’t go wrong with Clockify.

Why Clockify?

The main appeal of Clockify is, in my opinion, the simplification of keeping your remote workers accountable. The app mainly functions as a browser extension with a stopwatch function that lets each worker start and stop the timer as they go about their tasks. Each time log can be assigned to a specific task, making report creation easy and intuitive.

The web app itself is quite simple and doesn’t really score any points for multifunctionality in my book. With access to a few features, including timesheets, time tracking reports, and a dashboard overview of their activities, your employees can easily type in the number of hours they’ve spent on work each week, and generate a PDF report to be attached to an invoice for their services. You’re not going to get much more than that out of it, but it serves incredibly well as a set-it-and-forget-it online time clock that takes a lot of weight off the shoulders of your accounting team when it’s time to compile the payroll.

Key Features and Integrations

It may not have dozens of features like other time trackers featured in this article, but Clockify does pose a great alternative for apps that require a lot more input from the management team, with some of its key functions being:

  • Stopwatch extension,
  • Timesheets,
  • Exportable PDF reports,
  • Dashboard with useful insights.

The app can also be integrated into over 80 popular workflow and project management tools, including all of the most widely used ones, such as:

  • Jira
  • Trello
  • Slack
  • Teamwork
  • Google Drive

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Intuitive
  • easy way to track time
  • Excellent for coordinating distributed teams
  • Allows for a hands-off approach for project managers
  • Very affordable price
  • Plenty of integrations

Cons

  • Limited in its scope
  • Lack of customizability

Timely

8

Timely

 Expert Review

Very Good 10

Timely Website

Best for: Project-focused businesses that prioritize precision.

When I first looked into Timely, I was quite skeptical of its AI-based approach to time tracking. I thought that it would inaccurately report reality — after all, how can an algorithm accurately assess whether or not a person is actually working on a task or simply has the browser tab or application running in the background? Thankfully, it has proven me wrong after a couple of weeks spent tinkering with all of its functions.

Why Timely?

The app uses artificial intelligence to accurately track your active time on each web app your employees use at work. Moreover, it does so with impeccable precision. No need to set stopwatches, guesstimate your time, or account for manual error. Whether you need it to bill your clients or keep employees accountable, Timely will ensure that all of your time tracking data is up-to-date and accurate.

I also like Timely’s team’s approach to privacy. The developers stand against things like keystroke monitoring and screenshotting the employees’ screens, which often contribute to creating a toxic work atmosphere where nobody really trusts each other. Thanks to its unique implementation of AI to track time, it ensures accountability all the while eliminating the need to resort to such tactics.

Key Features and Integrations

Aside from automatic time tracking, Timely also has a few other tricks up its sleeve, making it a well-rounded program that helps you stay on track with the most urgent tasks at your company. Here’s a brief summary of its main functions:

  • AI-powered time tracking,
  • Project health reports,
  • Calendar containing all of the tracked activities.

Seeing as it needs access to a wide variety of apps to track time accurately, Timely boasts a hefty amount of integrations with the most popular programs, such as:

  • Asana
  • Basehunt
  • Github
  • Google Drive
  • Slack
  • Azure AD

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Effective alternative approach to time tracking
  • Keeps track of project progress
  • Low price
  • Dedicated to preserving employees’ privacy

Cons

  • The hands-off approach may not suit all managers

BeeBole

9

BeeBole

 Expert Review

Very Good 10

Beebole Website

Best for: Those who want to control labor costs easily.

To be completely honest, I was a little taken aback by BeeBole’s rather basic design and user interface. However, once I dug deeper into the app, the design resembling the late 2000s completely stopped bothering me, as I continue discovering the many ways in which BeeBole can help manage tasks and time effectively.

You can use it on your PC as a web app, or download the dedicated mobile app. After trying out both versions of BeeBole, I can say with full confidence that both of them perform very well, although I definitely preferred the desktop version for going about my daily business.

Why BeeBole?

BeeBole really shines when used by managers to assess their labor costs and compare them against their hourly workers’ output. Its exportable reports can really help understand where you can make improvements, and where some money could be saved by cutting hours spent on particular projects.

Your employees can also use the BeeBole app to request time off and set their own schedules. Alternatively, you can set these schedules for them, depending on your company’s policies. All in all, it’s a fantastic tool for HR reps and managers looking to get a better grip on payroll and time management.

Key Features and Integrations

This time tracking software is definitely one of the most limited options out of all the ones I mentioned in my review, but there’s a lot to be said about the quality and effectiveness of its main features, which include:

  • Schedule creation,
  • Time-off requests,
  • Stopwatch time tracking,
  • Exportable reporting features.

Unfortunately, BeeBole doesn’t integrate with any third-party applications, which could be a dealbreaker for major companies with distributed teams who want a streamlined, pinpoint accurate way to measure the time spent on these programs.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easy way to get schedules in order
  • A fully-functional mobile app
  • Insightful exportable reports

Cons

  • The hands-off approach may not suit all managers

Why Use Time Tracking Software in 2023?

Although the dark days of the heyday of the COVID-19 pandemic are over, remote work didn’t go anywhere. Many companies have switched to a hybrid workflow or allowed their employees to permanently work from home. This is why the need to track work hours is as necessary as ever to effectively manage projects, assess employee productivity, and ensure accountability throughout the organization.

Furthermore, time tracking solutions also enable you to utilize their advanced reporting features to justify price increases to clients, carry out budget forecasting, and send accurate invoices for the work your company has done.

How I Picked the Best Time Tracking Software

When I started looking for the best time tracker app, I tried to look at them from three different perspectives: a mid-to-large business manager, a start-up CEO, and a freelancer. These three positions have their own unique needs and requirements, and would therefore require different apps for time and productivity tracking. 

Freelancers, for example, generally don’t require as many features and integrations as big businesses. Start-up CEOs, on the other hand, face the difficult task of finding software with as many functionalities as possible, but with a low price tag.

These perspectives informed my selection of these nine time tracking apps in this review. Each one of them is great in its own right, and it solely depends on your needs and budget. You may be looking for a time tracker with project management features, such as ProofHub, or a regular tracker with plenty of integrations, in which case you should turn your attention to Toggl Track. Hopefully, my comprehensive review helped you find the right tool for the job, or at least push you in the right direction.

FAQs

Find answers to the most common questions people ask.

Are free time tracking apps worse than premium ones?

Completely free apps with no premium plans might be viable alternatives you can pursue if you’re running a tight budget, but don’t expect these trackers to have project management app functionalities as well. Usually, free time tracking apps are nothing more than glorified stopwatches. If you’re a self-employed freelancer looking for good, free software, you might want to check out a free plan for one of the trackers mentioned above.

Are time tracking tools safe to use?

All of the applications I included in this review are completely safe to use and obey international security standards. Beware of certain “freemium” time trackers that offer plenty of features at no charge — a lot of the time, such apps double down as tools that harvest personal data from unwitting users.

Are there any disadvantages to using time tracking software?

If you’re using time tracking tools to measure employee productivity, you might run into conflicts with some members of your team. Such clashes are almost unavoidable when introducing policies designed to measure the time your workers spend on their tasks, as they might feel like their privacy is being violated. In such cases, make sure to communicate your plans clearly, all the while reassuring your employees that you still trust them to be autonomous in their work. To ease some of their worries, you might want to consider an app like Timely, which openly stands against practices that encroach upon employees’ privacy.

Subscribe
our newsletter

Stay ahead of the tech curve with our cutting-edge software and technology newsletter

Index