Wondering how to choose business time-tracking software? Our guide will help you to find what kind of tool will work best for you.
Most time-tracking applications these days are offered as cloud-based solutions, but there are still plenty of companies and freelance professionals who prefer are not quite ready to embrace the cloud. For some companies it’s a matter of security, while others just find it more convenient to work with a desktop application or have direct access to their timesheet information.
With that in mind, we have prepared a list of some of the best time-tracking tools for Windows for those of you who don’t want to store their data in the cloud, or simply prefer working with a desktop app.
actiTIME is available as a cloud solution and an on-premise package for both Windows and Unix. Its downloadable edition runs as a web application on the company’s internal server, with users accessing it via their web browsers. It fits both companies and self-employed individuals, who can run it on their personal computers. Should the need arise, the data can be safely transferred to the cloud.
The tool provides time-tracking, work management, billing and accounting functionality. It allows tracking both work and leave time, monitoring project progress, calculating billable amounts and payroll sums, and creating simple invoices directly in the application. Access to certain features can be restricted via a flexible system of assignments and permission.
The program offers two installation options – a simple installer with automatic configuration, and a custom installation package for more experienced users.
It was intuitive choice, which offered us good usability and attractive interface. We searched the internet, looked for people comments and actiTIME seemed worthy choice to try. And now we are happy that we use it. We ourselves are IT development and services company and we never had any complaints about the tool from our employees. And this we think is a good measuring criterion!
The self-hosted version of ActiveCollab is also an application that runs on a web server. Configure the environment according to the system requirements, install the application, and provide access to the employees. Installation process may seem a bit complicated for those who are not very tech savvy, but ActiveCollab support can install the software for you remotely.
The tool provides task management and collaboration features. For time-tracking, a special Timer app is available that records time expenses for specific tasks. You can also set up email notifications, invites and daily recap emails, and use the app’s search feature powered by the ElasticSearch engine.
Freelancer app is a free desktop tool that records time spent by freelance employees on specific tasks and facilitates communication between the employer and the freelancing employee. The app supports time recording, project overview, messaging, taking screenshots, and uploading files.
Both online and offline modes are possible. After disconnecting from the Internet, the app automatically switches to the offline mode and then goes online once a connection becomes available.
4. Manic Time
Manic Time automatically tracks your activity on the computer and creates reports based on the collected data. The app is installed locally on your PC, Mac or Linux machine, syncing your activity data with the server at regular intervals. It can also work offline and send your data to the server as often as you need. Manic Time provides managers with extensive data on their team’s productivity, simplifies project management, and allows you to share your timesheet information with your clients.
The app is available in both installable and portable packages, so you can put it on a USB and track your time on any machine. You can also easily deploy it on multiple machines within the same domain.
Grindstone is a free time-tracking tool that provides basic time recording features and allows you to calculate expenses and billable amounts, and generate detailed charts. A system of helpful reminders will inform users on upcoming deadlines, missing time records, exceeding estimates, etc.
The tool also supports a number of billing and invoicing features where you calculate due amounts and charge your clients for the performed work. Grindstone supports manual entry of hourly rates and can calculate them based on fixed amounts and recorded time expenses. Data collected in the app can be easily exported or printed out for future reference.
OfficeTime is an easy app with basic time-tracking and billing functionality that runs on Windows and Mac. You track your time with a simple timer that is quickly accessible from the system tray. The app automatically detects idle time and offers several options on how to process it.
You can add expenses to your projects, keep track of billable amounts, and generate invoices for your customers. If you need to save your records for a specific period, you always export them as a spreadsheet or create a chart.
Timely is a time-tracking solution for Windows and Mac that helps employees and managers keep track of their time expenses and project budgets. All entered hours are automatically organized in a clear timeline by a module called Memory. All tasks performed within a week are displayed as a simple and easy to read overview, with time totals and planned hours.
The app offers several features that make planning and entering time a bit more convenient. You can copy repeating tasks from one day to another, and export your scheduled meetings and other plans to Outlook, Office 360 or Google Calendar.
This tool offers automatic timekeeping for Windows and Mac. It runs in the background and captures the time you spend in different apps, so there’s no need to enter anything manually or start and stop timers.
The app automatically categorizes your activities by keywords, which is especially convenient if you need to know which portion of your time went to specific types of tasks or activities.
Chrometa can integrate with multiple project management and accounting tools to help you avoid re-entering your data. According to the developers, using the app can increase your billable time by up to 20% while actually reducing your working hours.
This tool is available for Windows and Mac and combines time-tracking features with billing, budgeting and vacation planning. It can work equally well for both individual users and teams who bill their clients by the hour. The app features a robust reporting system that’s great for both quick reviews and in-depth assessments of profitability and productivity.
TimeWriter is very easy to install and maintain and does not require a lot of time for user onboarding, so you and your team can get started within a day. Thanks to the mobile app available for iOS and Android, users can track their time even when away from the computer.
Clockify is timesheet tool with a strong focus on ease of use, and extensive reporting capabilities. It features a very clean and intuitive interface with a dashboard view and highly customizable reports that you can export to multiple formats or share with others via a link.
It’s available as an online desktop app for Windows, Mac and Linux that supports offline mode, and as a self-hosted solution that you can deploy on your company servers for better security, privacy and legal compliance.
RescueTime is all about improving your personal productivity. The tool automatically logs your activity and tracks any time you spend on websites and apps, allowing you to set up goals and alerts to keep you on the right track.
You can configure your schedule and define your working and non-working hours to optimize your performance and get notifications when you’re doing too much work outside of your working time.
RescueTime can work across multiple devices and has dedicated apps for Windows, Mac and mobile, as well as plug-ins for the most popular web browsers.
Know any better time-tracking apps for Windows? Feel free to submit your favorite tool at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add them to our list!