The 12 best time tracking apps & software

The 12 best time tracking apps & software
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Whether you’re a freelancer billing by the hour or a manager juggling several employee timesheets, a solid time tracking app is a workday essential. But how do you pick the right one? We created this guide to help take the guesswork out of your selection and bring you closer to timekeeping ease!

Here’s what you’ll learn in this blog post:

  • What to look for in time tracking software (depending on your individual needs)
  • The best time tracking apps in 2022 (complete with pros, cons, pricing, and screenshots)

Let’s get started!

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What makes a great time tracking app?

A great time tracking app helps with time management by giving you clear insight into how you (and other team members, if applicable) are spending your time. It also helps with necessary business operations like team management and reporting. Know when your employees clock in and out, encourage accountability for remote teams, and generate accurate invoices for your clients every time.

For many who feel like time is getting away from them, an activity log helps to see how you’re spending your time, so you can become more intentional and productive with your time management. The better you understand your personal habits, the more you can assess to find opportunities for improvement. Time trackers can become a part of revealing a bigger picture.

In order to make the cut as one of our time tracking app recommendations, a time tracking tool had to include the following features:

  • Integrations: Does this app connect with the tools I already use, either directly or through Zapier?
  • Cross-platform compatibility: Can I track time from multiple devices?

These are absolute must-haves, but we didn’t stop there. We also considered ease of use and pricing, and we scoured through reviews on websites like Capterra and G2 to make sure we recommended only the best of the best.

Below, our top time tracking picks for employers, managers, business-owners or freelancers, listed in alphabetical order!

The 12 best time tracking apps

1. ClickUp

OS: Works with iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, Linux, voice assistants like Google and Alexa, and as a Chrome extension. You can also download ClickUp’s email add-ons for Gmail and Outlook.

Time management features 

If you’re looking for an all-in-one project management software and time tracking solution, look no further than ClickUp. ClickUp makes it easy to plan and manage your projects, tasks, and team members all in one place. With the built-in time tracker, you can start logging your work hours in real-time in more than one way: from the desktop app, mobile app, Google Chrome extension, and more. Then, you can create and customize reports only using the information you’d like to see: Billable hours only, a specific time range, by person or group, and more.

Reporting

For time tracking reporting, you can create and customize your own time tracking dashboard in ClickUp. A dashboard gives you a holistic view of your workspace, and you can choose which widgets make up that dashboard. There are widgets for: Time Reporting, Timesheet, Billable Report, Time Estimated, and Time Tracked. As we mentioned above, you can also filter your reports depending on the specific info you want to display.

Pros

  • Combines project management and time tracking features in one convenient platform
  • Allows for real-time time tracking as well as manual time entries
  • Integrates with more than 1,000 tools

Cons

  • Although time tracking is available on the free plan, reporting and billable hours are only available on paid plans
  • Doesn’t include native invoicing functionality (although you can invoice clients using the Clockify and Timely integrations)

Pricing: Beyond the free plan, ClickUp’s paid plans start at $5 per user per month.

2. Clockify

OS: Works with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. You can also access Clockify via browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

Image source: G2.com

Time management features

Clockify is one of the few time tracking apps that’s totally free forever — no limitations whatsoever. Plus, it lets you generate timesheets, coordinate time and other resources with team members, issue invoices, and more. It’s a powerful tool with powerful functionality, yet its clean and intuitive interface makes it super user-friendly.

Reporting

There are three different types of reporting in Clockify: Summary, Detailed, and Weekly. You can see your time broken down by day, activity, or user, and you can filter your reports by team, client, task, and more. Overall, reporting is quite robust in Clockify, with plenty of ways to configure your data before you share or export it.

Pros

  • Completely free (no user or project limitations!)
  • Suitable for freelancers and teams of all sizes
  • Includes invoicing functionality
  • Integrates with a large selection of apps (including popular project management tools like Asana, Basecamp, ClickUp, and JIRA)
  • Includes a built-in pomodoro timer

Cons

  • Not as visually appealing as other platforms like Toggl

Pricing: Free

3. DeskTime

OS: Works with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Image source: desktime.com

Time management features

DeskTime is a time tracker marketed towards companies who are seeking to use their time tracking software to also manage employee productivity. With a focus on bigger picture productivity, DeskTime gears itself towards companies and teams looking to increase their productive work hours by sorting URLs, programs, and apps into buckets categorized as productive and unproductive. 

Reporting

DeskTime’s reports give you insight into employee productivity. You can analyze how much time your team members are spending in meetings, whether an individual is improving their performance or needs a boost, and more. Beyond overall performance and productivity, DeskTime also lets you create detailed project reports. 

Pros

  • Easily calculate employee productivity
  • Minimal configuration/set up
  • Paid tiers offer wide variety of additional features (such as a pomodoro timer)

Cons

  • Cumbersome for detailed project tracking

Pricing: Beyond the free tier, DeskTime starts at $7/user per month 

4. Harvest

OS: Works with Mac, Windows, iPhone, and Android. You can also access Harvest through their web app.

Image source: GetHarvest.com

Time management features

Harvest is a simple time tracking tool that’s easy to learn, making it a great choice if employee buy-in is a concern. At the same time, it delivers powerful features like reporting in several different formats. It’s also super convenient that you can create and send invoices directly from Harvest — no need for separate time tracking and invoicing software. Harvest lets you generate payable invoices based on tracked time, expenses, and fixed fees for a more streamlined workflow.

Reporting

Harvest offers a wide array of reports: time, detailed time, detailed expense, uninvoiced, invoice, payments received, and contractor. Whatever information you need to lay out in front of you (or share with an important business partner), Harvest has the report for it. There are also exports, which are similar to reports because they display data, but not within the app as reports do. You can export projects, estimates, contacts, and other helpful info to keep on-hand.

Pros

  • Integrates with 57 apps and includes the ability to build your own app with Harvest API
  • Includes invoicing functionality
  • Connects with PayPal and Stripe, so that clients and customers can pay your invoices online
  • Offline time tracking is available on Harvest mobile apps (Android and iOS)

Cons

  • Free plan only lets you have two active projects at a time

Pricing: Beyond the free plan, Harvest’s paid plan starts at $10.80 per seat per month

5. My Hours

OS: Works on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, or their web app. 

Image source: myhours.com

Time management features

My Hours provides simple and user-friendly time tracking software, allowing users to coordinate projects, track hours, and create detailed reporting for clients. Time tracking can be as simple or as detailed as you prefer, with optional fields for tasks, tags, expenses, and more. 

Reporting

In My Hours, you can generate reports based on tracked time and use filters to see exactly what you want to see. My Hours reporting stands out from other apps because you can actually schedule reports to land in your clients’ emails however often you’d like. The less manual work, the better!

Pros

  • Simple and intuitive user interface
  • Unlimited team members on free version

Cons

  • No invoicing in free version

Pricing: $6/user/month after free tier. 

6. QuickBooks Time

OS: You can access QuickBooks Time via web app, Android, and iOS.

Image source: QuickBooks.Intuit.com

Time management features

Employee time tracking is the main focus of Quickbooks Time, making it a top choice among businesses with employees clocking in and out. That said, freelancers and independent contractors can also put Quickbooks Time to use, although you may pay for features you don’t need (like shift scheduling and time-off management).

Reporting

Quickbooks Time lets you create a number of different reports, including payroll reports and project reports. We found their report selection to be very geared towards employers. If you’re managing a team of employees, then you’ll love Quickbooks Time’s reports.

Pros

  • Integrates seamlessly with other Quickbooks products
  • Timely and helpful customer support (as with other Quickbooks products)

Cons

  • Quickbooks plans are complicated
  • Mainly geared towards businesses with employee time tracking needs (not towards freelancers and independent contractors)

Pricing: Quickbooks Time starts at $20 per month (plus $8 per user per month).

7. RescueTime

OS: Mac and Windows

Image source: RescueTime.com

Time management features

Unlike the other tools on this list, RescueTime is more for personal productivity and doesn’t help with normal business procedures like invoicing. It works by giving you insight into work-life balance — including how often you multitask, how often you work during your downtime, how much time you spend in meetings, and more.

Reporting:

Reporting, in the sense of timesheets and tracked time per projects, isn’t available in RescueTime. However, RescueTime does gather stats regarding your focus, app usage, meetings, and more, then displays everything in an easy-to-digest visual.

Pros

  • Emphasizes wellness and work-life balance by notifying you when you work during your downtime (or browse social media during your work hours!)
  • Free for the first two weeks

Cons

  • Lengthy set-up process
  • Doesn’t offer a free plan
  • Not great for business use (i.e. no feature for tracking time per project, no reporting, no invoicing)

Pricing: $12 per month or $78 per year

8. Tick

OS: Works with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Image source: tickspot.com

Time management features

Tick’s time tracking app focuses on profitability through time budget management. Detailed reporting allows users to dive into client projects costs and predict timing for future similar projects. They offer a seamless integration with Basecamp, allowing existing users to track time and manage budget directly within the Basecamp project manager.

Reporting

In Tick, you can view your tracked time by user or client within any time range you’d like. We appreciate Tick’s simple reporting, with the ability to get a high-level view or view the finer details. Tick also lets you export reports to Quickbooks and Excel.

Pros

  • Easily track time budgets across teams and employees
  • Unlimited team members on projects
  • Detailed reporting

Cons

  • No automated tracking
  • Free version only allows for one project

Pricing: Tick’s pricing tiers are project based and start at $19/month after their free tier.

9. TimeCamp

OS: Works with MacOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can also access TimeCamp via browser extensions for Chrome and Edge.

Image source: G2.com

Time management features

More than just a time tracking solution, TimeCamp gives you insight into your team’s performance and project profitability. What sets it apart from most other time tracking software is automatic time tracking. Automate your time log by assigning certain keywords to clients and projects. When TimeCamp detects those keywords in a URL or window title, it will instantly track time for the appropriate client or project. That way, nothing will get in the way of your workflow!

Reporting

TimeCamp lets you generate simple reports based on your projects, tasks, date range, and people. There are more than 10 report types you can choose from. You can also filter by active tasks, archived tasks, and billable hours. TimeCamp also makes it easy to export and share your reports, whether you prefer PDF, Excel, or automated emails. 

Pros

  • Offers a free plan that includes unlimited users, projects, and tasks
  • Offers free 14-day trial for the paid plan
  • Automatic time tracking
  • Includes billable and non-billable hours
  • Integrates with popular tools like Trello, Asana, and Slack

Cons

  • Invoicing functionality is handy, but it’d be more helpful if Paypal wasn’t the only payment option

Pricing: Beyond the free plan, TimeCamp’s paid plans start at $6.30 per user per month.

10. Timely

OS: Works on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, or their web app. 

Image source: timelyapp.com

Time management features

Timely takes automated tracking to the next level. Their simple UI and automated time tracking claims to reduce users’ time tracking admin by 75%. Because Timely’s time tracking software is automated and tracks every minute of the work day, users can ensure they bill clients accurately and honestly.

Reporting

With Timely, you can create custom reports and save them for easy access. This is particularly helpful if you find yourself creating the same types of reports, either for yourself or for clients. Create your reports based on projects, clients, time frame (the usual), then customize how you’d like to view your data (e.g. bar chart, donut chart, or table chart). Then, share or export to PDF, Excel, or CSV.

Pros

  • Automation allows for uninterrupted work time
  • Timely’s AI gets more accurate at sorting projects the longer you use it
  • Clean and simple user interface

Cons

  • No free version

Pricing: Timely’s pricing starts at $8/user/month.

11. Timeular

OS: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS

Image source: timeular.com

Time management features

Timeular works equally well for personal and employee time tracking and is all about using data as empowerment to move forward on your goals. Like most other time tracking tools, Timeular lets you track individual activities/projects, generate reports, and submit timesheets. However, it’s unique in that users can also use the optional Timeular Tracker, a physical 8-sided device that fits in the palm of your hand and rests on your desk as you work. It links up to your app and tracks activities as you flip the device to another side (just like an 8-sided die). If tactical items help you work better (or if you simply want fewer windows open on your desktop), Timeular is a great option!

Reporting

Timeular is an incredibly visual and data-driven tool, so as you can imagine, reporting is a large part of that! Simply enter the time frame you want to display, filter the data for certain people or projects, then get ready for insight! You can export your data to CSV, PDF, and Excel with the Pro Version.

Pros

  • Unique time tracking experience thanks to the Timeular Tracker, a physical device that works in tandem with the app
  • Works with your goals so you can make meaningful change in your time management (e.g. spend less time in meetings or spend 25 minutes reading everyday)
  • Visual, color-coordinated, and drag-and-drop interface
  • Includes all the basic employee time tracking features like billable hours and timesheets
  • Works for teams

Cons

  • No free version available

Pricing: Timeular’s pricing starts at $5 per month, and the optional Tracker device costs $69.

12. Toggl Track

OS: Works with iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux. You can also access Toggl Track via web app and browser extensions.

Image source: Toggl.com

Time management features

A combination of simplicity and functionality, Toggl Track easily makes the cut as one of the best time tracking apps on the market. Not to mention, it has a beautiful and intuitive user interface and is free to use. Toggl Track lets you create detailed reports, which you can download as Excel, CSV, and PDF files, and it plays nicely with the entire family of Toggl products.

Note: The free version doesn’t let you mark billable hours, so prepare to pay at least $9 a month per user if that functionality is important to you — still a deal in our humble opinion!

Reporting

With Toggl, you can view your tracked time in three main ways: Summary, Detailed, and Weekly. Filter your tracked time by client, project, team, task, billable or non-billable — whatever you need! Toggl’s reports are simple, yet visually stunning just like the platform itself. And of course, you can export them in PDF and CSV form. Toggl also lets you schedule customized reports sent straight to your inbox, so you can stay up-to-date even without opening the app! 

Pros

  • Easy to get started (no credit card required)
  • Adaptable for all use cases (freelancers and solo users, small teams, and large teams)
  • Includes a built-in pomodoro timer
  • Sleek and easy-to-use interface
  • Integrates with more than 100 apps including Google Calendar, Asana, and Github
  • Includes offline time tracking

Cons

  • Billable rates and time-rounding are not available on the free plan
  • Doesn’t include invoicing functionality

Pricing: Beyond the free plan, Toggl Track’s paid plans start at $9 per user per month.

Going forward

Still having a hard time choosing? Here’s a quick recap of the apps we covered and what they’re best for:

  • ClickUp is the best choice for an all-in-one platform that combines project and task management with time tracking.
  • Clockify is the best free time tracking software with advanced features.
  • Harvest and Toggl Track are the best choices for freelancers and small businesses.
  • TimeCamp and Timely are the best choices for automatic time tracking.
  • QuickBooks Time is ideal for team management features such as scheduling.
  • RescueTime is the best for personal productivity and time management.
  • DeskTime is a great choice for big-picture employee productivity.
  • Timeular is ideal for a unique experience that combines software and a physical object.
  • My Hours and Tick are great for small teams.

About the author

Judy Tsuei

Judy Tsuei is a Simon & Schuster author, speaker, and podcast host. She’s been 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.

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