To anyone who still believes that tracking time is a time-consuming exercise. We know how to make it simple. What about you?
Time trackers available on the market provide different features and options, and there are so many tools to organize timekeeping that it’s often hard to figure out what would work better for your team.
In this selection, we’ve collected the most popular timekeeping apps. We’ve divided them into three categories by timekeeping method: manual entry, clock in and out and automatic activity tracking.
Manual logging of time spent on work assignments provides managers with very detailed data on where exactly their employees’ time goes. It is used mostly in knowledge-based fields, for example consulting, IT, architecture, etc. – but sometimes also in manufacturing, construction and other areas where workers tend to switch between several tasks during their workday.
The primary purpose of collecting this data is usually billing customers and processing payroll. However, the data collected by manual entry tools is also used to analyze business processes, handle performance issues, improve productivity, and optimize the work process.
actiTIME is a simple and robust tool for work management and timekeeping that uses manual entry method. It allows employees to record time they spend on various tasks, leave comments on their time entries, and keep record of overtime and various types of paid time off. Employees and managers can see time tracking data summary for any specific period with a detailed breakdown of how time is spent. For managers and business owners, actiTIME offers a robust and flexible reporting module. Data represented in actiTIME reports gives valuable insights on time and costs of performed work.
BeeBole helps teams keep track of time they spend on work assignments. The tool also allows to track vacation and leaves of absence. To get timesheets filled out on time, the app sends out automatic reminders and, to encourage good timekeeping habits, allows setting up a reward system.
eBillity offers useful features for remote employees and teams: it supports time entries from any device, includes team messaging, and allows GPS tracking to verify employees’ locations. The tool also offers a billing module that helps keep track of expenses and billable amounts for performed work. Legal module by eBillity is designed for lawyers and includes various legal features.
Everhour is a timekeeping and resource planning tool. It allows to track time for work assignments, calculate budgets, and schedule future work. The app provides managers with their team’s performance statistics to evaluate work progress and make adjustments if necessary. It also integrates with other tools used for work management, collaboration, accounting etc.
The app allows logging time from desktop and mobile devices and get insights on team’s work progress. On the basis of collected data, managers can run performance reports and accountants can prepare invoices. Hyperlogs also helps get insights into project costs and get visual cues when any workflow adjustments are necessary.
MinuteDock offers timekeeping, billing and progress monitoring functionality. It supports manual time entry, allows creating reports for clients based on collected time data, set targets for individual employees and teams, and monitoring current results. What’s more, it can be integrated with accounting systems for more efficient management of billing data.
Clock-in and -out
Clock-in and –out tools are mostly used in the fields where employees need to be available within defined working hours – possible areas are consultancy, banking, support, etc. Another common application is organizing shiftwork, which applies for both field and on-premise workers.
Software tools of this type are intended to allow managers to monitor attendance and tardiness. They usually don’t provide details on how time is spent by an employee, so this option works best for the teams where people normally work on one single task throughout the day.
The tool allows tracking of time expenses with start and end timestamps. It’s not possible to specify tasks you’ve been working on, but you can select time types: regular work time, paid time off, non-paid time off, vacation, and sick leave. The software has simple built-in reports for payroll: managers can prepare an individual report for any employees or all company’s employees, and a payroll totals report.
ClockIt is an attendance management tool that supports tracking attendance, time expenses, and geolocation. The tool helps record work hours, breaks, overtime, vacation, etc. Employees can punch in and out from the web application, mobile devices, kiosk, or biometric fingerprint readers. The tool prepares attendance reports and sends them to employees and managers.
Jibble allows clocking in and out from mobile devices and web application – biometric login (by selfie) is also available. The app collects statistics, prepares performance reports for employees and managers, and sends out daily, weekly or monthly alerts. For clock-in at a physical location, the app allows to set up an iPad kiosk – you only need a tablet with an Internet connection and Jibble app installed on it.
The app provides clock-in and scheduling functionality, which makes it convenient for organizing shiftwork and monitoring attendance. Time Clock Wizard allows creation of daily, weekly and monthly schedules, shift change requests by employees, and time off requests. It also can turn any tablet into a wall-mounted or desktop kiosk for on-premise clock-in and –out.
Office Timer helps get real timestamps on employees’ entry and exit from work. It can be integrated with existing biometric attendance management systems to manage attendance and tardiness data more efficiently. The tool also allows logging time for specific work assignments and preparing expense reports for invoicing and billing.
PrimaERP is a timekeeping and billing tool for office and remote teams. It helps record attendance and work time spent on tasks, specify breaks, and track billable amounts based on work costs. Its mobile app allows clocking in and out in the field. For management and monitoring purposes, time records can be easily exported out of the program and emailed per click. The tool also includes performance overviews of employees and teams, and real-time view of team’s work.
Time Clock Free allows recording employees’ attendance, absences, shifts, and PTO accruals. The tool offers clock-in by web camera photo and face recognition, punch-in from home, and landline telephone dial-in for employees who work on remote sites without Internet access. The app is simple and offers customizable reports for managers.
Automatic activity tracking
As the name suggests, this method doesn’t require any employee’s actions: the data is collected by the software automatically in the background mode. This method is often used by teams where employees are not actively involved in work types that don’t require any devices. Managers can access the data summarized in activity reports, and see screenshots that are also automatically captured.
Among the arguable effects of this method, impaired work environment and low data accuracy are worth mentioning. While being a recognized measure against low morale and poor discipline, automatic activity tracking tends to undermine trust and demotivate teams. As activity trackers only log time spent working on devices, such types of work as meetings and communication are not taken into account.
This tool organizes activity monitoring within a team. It automatically tracks what users of company’s workstations are doing in real-time mode and captures screenshots. The tool also handles suspicious activities by sending alerts, blocks malicious websites, and monitors web traffic. Its activity alert feature supports various actions in case of a possibly harmful activity: from an email alert to remotely terminating an application.
ObserveIt is targeted to handling insider threats: according to the authors, most attacks are carried out by insiders, not by outside intruders. An insider threat happens when someone within the company misuses their access to sensitive data, which negatively impacts company’s protected information or systems. The tool detects security risks by identifying risky activities, investigates users’ suspicious actions, and prevents risks with real-time alerts, blocking, and education.
ManicTime runs in the background and monitors user’s activities on the workstation. It keeps information on what apps a user has been using and for how long, what websites they visited, and what documents accessed. It works offline and keeps all recorded data on the user’s local machine. This way, it helps achieve accurate timekeeping records for individual users and teams.
Chrometa automatically tracks computer-based work time. Mac and PC editions are available. Records are based on documents, apps and websites a user is accessing, and time they are spending working on them. After the time is recorded, users can assign it to specific projects and tasks – manually or automatically with keyword-based rules. The app also supports timekeeping data export to various billing and accounting tools for further processing and invoicing.
DeskTime keeps track of computer-based activities throughout the workday and helps identify and eliminate time wasters. Managers can also activate screenshot capturing for detailed monitoring of where their team’s time is going: the app takes screenshots of what employees are working on every 5-30 minutes and automatically highlight those that indicate unproductive activities. This tool also offers the private time option that can be enabled if an employee has to do something work-unrelated during their workday. While the option is on, DeskTime doesn’t track user’s activities.
PCLogger is a secure automatic monitoring and timekeeping app. It records employees’ activities and evaluates their engagement by the 0 to 100% scale depending on how much time they spent on their work duties. The app also keeps apps and websites history for detailed monitoring and analysis. PCLogger has been audited to ensure security, and uses Microsoft certified data centers.
This app for Mac is designed to analyze individual productivity trends and improve performance. It automatically captures activities and sorts them by categories: productive, neutral, and distracting. The tool can turn the collected data into timesheets with activity summary, timelines, and notes, and create productivity reports for days, weeks and months. For users’ privacy, there’s an option to ignore private browser tabs or to pause tracking. The collected data is stored on the local computer.
SCREENish is an automatic time tracker with screenshot capturing. It runs on desktop or mobile devices and records user’s activities. The tool takes screenshots, monitors activity levels, and tracks what apps are being used. It allows using collected data for payment calculations with its built-in prefilled payrolls, and see in-depth reports on team’s productivity.
Whether manual entry, clock-in and -out, or automatic tracking has been proven to work best for your company, selecting the right tool is essential for the efficient implementation of this procedure. Functionality and features provided by your software tool define what data you’ll be able to collect and how much value you’ll be able to get from it. Carefully review possible options to choose the best solution that will work for your team.