Wondering how to choose business time-tracking software? Our guide will help you to find what kind of tool will work best for you.
Measuring time spent on work has always been one of the simplest and most common ways to understand performance and calculate payable amounts. Timekeeping became a necessity after the Industrial revolution: in the era of high-volume manufacturing and shift work, the “Time is money” cliché defined the relationship between employees and employers.
Today, time is one of the most valuable assets of an employee, and timekeeping is one of the most efficient tools not only to calculate and justify billable amounts, but also to analyze productivity, and optimize workflow.
Not only companies find it necessary to keep track of work time. Freelancers and solo entrepreneurs are a large group of users of time-tracking tools. They use reports on their time expenses for billing customers, analyzing profitability of projects they undertake, and working on their individual performance.
Low price and ability to adapt the tool for specific needs are often key factors in choosing the right timekeeping software. In this selection, we’ve reviewed free and open source time-tracking software that many tech savvy specialists would definitely appreciate.
Kimai is a simplistic time-tracker that keeps record of your time and prints out your results when you need them. The tool works great for those who need a simple solution without any extra features: in it, you can record time in multi-user mode, manage customer and project data, run reports, and export timesheet data.
No database setup is required for installing the app – it has database support out-of-the-box. The new version of Kimai is based on the newest technologies and has a JSON API for setting up integration with other applications.
Rachota is a lightweight portable timekeeping app that can run on various platforms. Its time-tracking technology is timer-based: the app creates tasks and tracks time for them. Rachota also provides basic reports on how efficiently work time is spent, and gives recommendations on how to improve productivity. The reports can be exported in HTML, CSV or TXT format.
As the app is portable, there’s no need to install it on a computer. You can run it from a USB stick on any machine. As it is written on Java, it can work on various operating systems – the developers specify Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac on the website.
OpenProject is a project management, budgeting and timekeeping solution that helps keep track of both time and costs. In this tool, you can create projects and assign them to users, set up project budgets, and keep track of how your team is performing. The tool also has task management and Gantt charts modules for more detailed picture of how project work is being performed.
The Community package of OpenProject is free forever. Its Cloud and Enterprise options are paid and based in the cloud – so no installation is needed. The downloadable option is available for various Linux distributions: CentOS, Debian, Suse, and Ubuntu.
Charm time-tracker is a relatively new and promising cross-platform time-tracker app. It allows to create tasks and subtasks and track time to them. It’s a simple solution for those who need just a time-tracker with basic reporting options. Charm offers weekly and monthly performance reports that can be exported in XML or printed out.
eHour is a web-based time-tracker for companies and individuals that supports multiple projects, default projects assigned to all users, locking timesheets, rich reporting, and automatic email reminders. While having more extensive features than most other open source timekeeping tools, eHour is designed to be as simple and user-friendly as possible.
eHour is available for Windows, Linux and macOS. Alongside with its downloadable version, a new cloud-based version is available. It is provided as a service on the subscription basis.
Project Hamster is a timekeeping app for individuals. It automatically tracks daily activities with time slots and shows them in a chart. You can add locations to your activities – for example append “work” location to the “meeting” task – or use tags to categorize your tasks. The tool also supports adding descriptions to specific activities.
Project Hamster allows run reports with statistics on how you’ve been spending your time, export them to different formats (HTML, XML, iCal), and print them out.
Hourglass is an open-source time-tracker for personal use that allows to record time spent on various tasks, and then run reports to analyze performance. It supports several levels of time-tracking hierarchy, calendar view, and recording time slots for specific activities. You can also use a timer to automate your timekeeping process.
Hourglass allows to generate basic reports (timecards) on time recorded throughout a week or any specific date range. You can use them for billing customers, working on productivity, or reviewing how time is spent.
Anuko is a simple time-tracking tool that supports basic features, such as time-tracking, reporting, team management, and data export. In Anuko, you can track time in two modes – projects, where each time entry is associated with specific project, or projects and tasks, where time is tracked against tasks that build up a project.
Anuko works as a web application and can run on different operating systems. The tool is installed on a web server and works with a database where the data on time logged by the team is collected and stored.
Kapow is a punch-in and -out tool that allows to track time for different projects. In it, time-tracking is based on the time clock method: click on the start/ stop button to clock in and out. The tool allows to correct time entries captured automatically if necessary.
For those who use timekeeping tools for client billing, Kapow provides an ability to log hours since the client was last billed. To do that, flag previously recorded hours as “billed” using the special checkbox, and keep tracking time for the next dates.
Kapow installation packages are available for Windows, Linux, or MacOS.
Baralga is a lightweight time-tracking app that allows to record time spent on projects using a timer, or to log time manually – fast data entry with shortcuts is available. The tool provides reports and charts based on the data logged for any specific period, and allows to export them to Excel, CSV or iCalendar.
The tool is offered as a desktop application or portable edition – so you can use it from a USB drive instead of installing it on a machine.
Although actiTIME isn’t open source, its flexibility and customization options are no less. It supports custom billing and pay rates, individual overtime calculation settings, time-off accrual rules, and granular data access configuration. Its rich reporting options streamline work management, accounting and bookkeeping. Whether you are a business of any size or a self-employed individual, try actiTIME and get full control over your time.
Is your open source time-tracking software not listed here? Share it with us at email@example.com!