Introducing Clockwise AI:
A first-of-its-kind calendar experience powered by GPT.
Sign up for beta
Blog
/
Future of Work
/
AI Time Tracking: Transform Productivity with Smart Solutions

AI Time Tracking: Transform Productivity with Smart Solutions

Judy Tsuei
Writer
May 9, 2024
Updated on:

AI Time Tracking: Transform Productivity with Smart Solutions
Photo by 

We’ve said before, and we’ll say it again: time tracking is the unsung hero of productivity. From employees to freelancers to business owners, everyone benefits from knowing exactly where their time is going. 

Nevertheless, time tracking can be a hassle — that is, unless you have the right time tracking software. In this guide, we’re breaking down why you need an AI-powered time tracking app in your tech stack — plus, which user-friendly apps we’re currently loving. Let’s start!

What are the benefits of AI in time tracking?

Artificial intelligence seems to be everywhere, and you’re probably already familiar with its applications in different industries like marketing, scheduling, and customer service (hello, chatbots). But what can AI do for time tracking?

Let’s define a couple of terms. Time tracking is the process of recording how much time you spend working on various tasks — usually with the intent of billing for your work hours (e.g. as a freelancer) or conducting a personal time audit. All you need is a way to time yourself (e.g. clocks, timers) and a way to record your time entries, whether that be a pen and paper, spreadsheet, or app.

With AI time tracking, you don’t need to record anything — the AI does that for you. Just work as you normally would, and the AI technology registers what you do and for how long. This type of time management tool provides all the benefits of time tracking with more accuracy and less work.

And on that note, let’s get into our top recommendations for AI time tracking tools you can start using today! 

4 best AI time tracking tools

We searched high and low for the best AI-powered time tracking tools, so you can say goodbye to manual entry. We considered details like functionality, user-friendliness, and pricing. (We also paid attention to UI, which is why we chose not to include RescueTime — despite being a popular pick on similar lists.) Below, discover which ones made the cut, in alphabetical order.

Clockk

Clockk believes nothing is more important for a business’ profitability than time tracking. To help professionals capture every second of billable hours and make timesheets less tedious, Clockk’s desktop app and browser extension record which windows you’re active in, and for how long.

From there, assign your time to specific projects. Clockk’s AI will then learn from your behavior, allowing it to organize and allocate your time for you. Clockk also generates detailed reports and timesheets for a more integrated workflow. 

Pricing

Clockk costs $15 per user per month, billed annually (or $18 per user per month, billed monthly). Although there’s no free plan, a 14-day free trial is available (no credit card required). 

Timely

timely time tracking
Image source: timelyapp.com

Timely is an AI-powered time tracking software that works primarily through the built-in app, Memory. Designed to provide accurate time entries, Memory works in the background to record which websites and desktop apps you visit throughout the day, then uploads these “memories” onto a timeline for you.

From there, you can review all of your memories and link work activities to individual projects. Timely’s Memory AI feature learns your logging habits and starts to generate entry drafts for you — all you need to do is approve them.

Timely is available as an in-browser web app and mobile app for Android and iOS. For automated time tracking, you can download Memory for macOS, Windows, and Google Chrome. Along with automatic time tracking, Timely includes invoicing and project management tools.

Pricing

Timely offers three tiers:

  • Starter: $9 per user per month, billed annually
  • Premium: $16 per user per month, billed annually
  • Unlimited: $22 per user per month, billed annually

Timeular

timesheet tracking with timeular
Image source: timeular.com

Timeular is a time tracking and leave management app. Along with tracking your apps, docs, and websites, Timeular also connects with Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and Apple’s Calendar app, so you can easily turn your calendar events into time entries.

What sets Timeular apart from other time tracking apps is that all data is stored locally as an added privacy measure. Even more unique, Timeular offers a physical time tracking device — an 8-sided dice that makes time tracking tactile. Assign the sides to different tasks, then turn it so that the side you want to track is facing up. It serves as a tangible reminder to stay focused.

Pricing

Timeular offers three tiers:

  • Personal: $7.50 per month, billed annually
  • Personal Pro: $11.50 per month, billed annually
  • Team: $15.80 per seat per month, billed annually


Timeular also offers a free 30-day trial (no credit card required).

Rize

Rize calls itself an “AI productivity coach,” designed to enable better focus and productivity through automatic time tracking. Like the other tools on this list, Rize automatically captures time spent in different apps, websites, and meetings, so you can get a clear picture of how you’re spending your time — without the need for a start and stop timer.

However, Rize doesn’t stop there. Because it’s designed to help you build better work habits, the app also sends you break notifications, plays focus-enhancing music, blocks distracting websites, and more. It also includes a built-in Pomodoro timer

Overall, if you’re looking for a platform that offers productivity tools and real-time support to be more focused, Rize is a great option. On the other hand, if you simply want to track and categorize your time for easier reporting and invoicing, Rize might not be worth the price point.

Pricing

Rize offers two tiers:

  • Free
  • Paid: $9.99 per month, billed annually (or $16.99 per month, billed monthly)

The paid tier includes a 7-day free trial (no credit card required).

What are the challenges and limitations of AI time tracking?

Even with all the amazing benefits that AI time tracking brings to the table, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

First, privacy. AI time trackers collect a considerable amount of data about your activities. When deciding on a time tracking app, be sure to read through the company’s privacy policy and choose one that’ll prioritize your data security.

This leads to another important point: the ethical considerations of employee surveillance. AI time tracking apps are not created equally. In fact, tools like Timely and Timeular specify why they’re against employee surveillance in their privacy policy, along with the measures they take to ensure their tools don’t enable it. 

As Michele Lerner writes in an APA article, “Data show that 32% of employees who are monitored with tech during the workday by their employer report their mental health as poor or fair (as opposed to good or excellent) compared with 24% who are not monitored. Results show 45% of those monitored report their workplaces have a negative impact on their mental health compared with 29% who are not monitored.”

Once you’ve decided on a tool and have begun rolling it out across your organization, be sure that you address this — as it’ll likely be an employee concern that gets in the way of buy-in.

Lastly, another challenge to keep in mind is accuracy. Despite being perhaps more reliable than start-and-stop timers — or worse, manual time entries made from memory — AI time tracking apps can occasionally produce inaccurate data. Think: technical glitches or spotty Wi-Fi. Verify your time entries, and see if your tool offers offline tracking.

3 best practices for using an AI time tracker

To maximize the benefits of AI time tracking while minimizing potential challenges, consider these tips:

  • Choose an AI time tracker that’ll fit your current tech stack and streamline your workflows.

Take some time to consider how well the app will work with your current processes. For example, do you need an app that can turn billable time into an invoice? If so, make sure your time tracker of choice has built-in invoicing functionality or can integrate with your existing invoicing tool like QuickBooks.

  • Communicate openly with team members.

If you’re rolling the new tool out to a team or organization, offer plenty of support to make the change as smooth as possible. Position the tool as an improvement to their workday, not as a means of surveillance. Address any employee concerns especially regarding privacy, and follow up post-rollout to see if anyone needs additional support. 

  • Review your data periodically. 

As we discussed above, automatic time entries may contain the occasional mistake. Maybe a timer ran too long, you lost internet connection, or the time allocation was incorrect. Whatever the case, be sure to double-check your entries — especially before billing a client.

Going forward

You’ve seen how AI can improve your time management through automatic time tracking. Now, automate your calendar with Clockwise, an AI-powered scheduling tool that coordinates the way you, your team, and your company prefer to work.

Clockwise uses AI technology to understand your unique scheduling preferences, then optimizes your calendar for your ideal workday. Hit your Focus Time goal, meet at the most ideal times, and carve space for your personal habits — all automatically. Clockwise also integrates with Slack, Asana, Google Calendar, and Outlook for a more streamlined experience.

It’s one of the best AI tools for any modern professional who wants a leg up in their time management, productivity, and work-life balance. Try Clockwise for free today!

About the author

Judy Tsuei

Judy Tsuei is a Simon & Schuster author, speaker, and podcast host. She has been writing for Clockwise for several years while also being featured in MindBodyGreen, BBC Travel, Fast Company, Hello Giggles, and more. As the founder of Wild Hearted Words, a creative marketing agency for global brands, Judy is also a mentor with the Founder Institute, the world's largest pre-seed accelerator. Judy advocates for mental and emotional health on her popular podcast, F*ck Saving Face. Follow along her journey at WildHeartedWords.com.

Optimize your work day with AI powered calendar automation.

Sign up for free

Make your schedule work for you

More from Clockwise