Time tracking for employees has been prevalent in companies right from the industrial era. In those days, companies used to track their employees’ time based on fixed working schedules. Most of the work was manual in those days. Hence, there were other means too, apart from time tracking, to measure the productivity of the employees, like the number of packages handled per employee by a company.
But as we evolved from the industrial revolution to technological revolution, the time tracking practice has taken a different shape too. Everyone now is working on a workstation. Hence, the best time tracking apps that are available these days have become more specific and precise.
Benefits of using a time tracking software
Tracking time has a twofold benefit. First, it allows employees to measure their productivity and acquire a disciplined mindset to perform their regular tasks. Second, it enables employers to keep an eye on their employees and ensure that everyone is working efficiently concerning the time that they agreed upon during the recruitment.
You can have a very precise record of time that you need to complete a task. This helps in building invoices and charging to your employer for the amount of work you have done in those hours. Pay by work hours has become a new norm in today’s world.
This is especially useful in billing for the external consultants who are doing freelancing and working at different projects simultaneously. They need to use the best time tracking apps to keep track of the number of hours they spend on different projects each day.
These apps also have the features to subtract the number of hours you have taken for a break so that you can measure realistic and precise hours of your work. And, if you take a productive break from your laptop, for example, you get a call from the project manager discussing the piece of task you are working on, you would want those hours too to count on your billing hours. Hence, the best time tracking software must have a feature of manually updating the time as well for cases like these.
5 best apps available today
There are various such tools available in the market, and in this article, we are going to discuss the 5 best time tracking apps that you can choose from to use in your organization. The list of those apps is as below.
EmpMonitor is one of the widely used time tracking software in modern companies. It specifically measures the productivity of the employees while considering all the scenarios faced by companies of today’s generation.
You just need to install its agent on the employees’ desktop and install the admin setup on your machine, which is quite easy to perform by yourself to get going. It is a SaaS product. This means you can access it online through the login details that this company provides to you once you purchase it.
You can designate productive and non-productive hours right from the beginning so that this tool knows when to count the hours and when not to. It also takes into account the amount of free time you spend on non-productive websites like social media sites or any other personal web-browsing. Then, it intelligently reduces these hours from the productive hours to show you a clear and accurate picture of the number of hours you spend on your project.
It starts from the log-in and log-out time of the employees on their computer, between which it performs all its comprehensive monitoring. It also shows you the detailed report based on weekly, monthly, or any other customized date-slots that you can select from this tool.
One of the best features of this best time tracking software is that it is most useful for tracking hours of a team that is working from different locations. You can pre-assign the different departments and employees who are working from different locations, and it will give you the precise hours in impressive charts and reports for each location.
EmpMonitor gives a free plan to use for 15 days for 5 users. Then, it has three more plans – Bronze, Silver, and Gold for $5/user/month, $4/user/month, and $3/user/month, respectively. The Bronze plan is for 1 to 10 users. The Silver plan is 11 to 50 users, and the Gold plan is for 51 to 200 users.
This is another best app for tracking work hours that is widely used by companies today. Toggl is compatible with Android, iOS, Linus, Mac, and Windows. It also works on web browsers, which means it is also a cloud-based SaaS product. One of the aspects that differentiates this app from others is that it is free to use. It has all the core features in it that are freely available to end-users.
However, the advanced features are not free in this. So, if you need to track time only for your basic needs, I would recommend this app. But if you want to use it full-fledged, then this app is quite comparative with others in its league. The free version doesn’t include advanced features like collaborating with the team and advanced reporting tools.
It is one of the most simple and easy-to-use tools for tracking time across multiple projects you are handling. This is especially famous for its great onboarding experience. Unlike other time tracking apps, where you need to enter all details about your team, project, and tasks before kicking off measuring the time, this app lets you start tracking time right away. It also has the option of entering details, but that can be given as input later.
Overall, it is one of the best free time tracking apps available online today. If you are new to the time tracking mechanism in your organization, then this should be your first choice.
Toggle has a free basic plan that attracts a lot of users online. Its advanced plans start from $10/user/month.
This is another great time tracking software used by various companies worldwide. It is quite compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux and works on any web browser as well. This is especially known for accounting purposes but can be quite beneficial if you use it for time tracking as well.
It is quite capable of tracking the time in different sessions and generating reports on the usability pattern of your employees. You can use it for various purposes, like collaborating with a wide team spread across remote locations. It integrates quite easily with other online productivity apps like Trello, Intervals, Daycast, and Basecamp.
The app is quite handy, and you can use it on the go while you are traveling or in a meeting. It tracks all your online activities, including the web pages you are visiting on your browser.
This app is most useful for financial transactions as well because it integrates with the payment gateway. You can use this app for raising invoices and tracking your payment transactions, which your client can initiate right through this app.
It has a plan based on the number of clients you can bill to. The plan starts from $15/month.
Harvest is one of the tools that are especially useful when you are working in a team. It is quite compatible with all the major OS’s and can be accessed through web-browsers as well. Many independent consultants also use it, but it gives you clear and simple reporting when you use it in a collaborative setup.
Just because it is so easy to use, beginners mostly prefer it. Thus it has acquired a great name in its niche. It has a feature of working offline also that tracks the time of your work when you are out of network. All you need to do is to install its instances on your team’s workstations. It allows you to install as many instances as you like.
The admin has access to view the detailed report of the entire team in a quite comprehensive manner. It has a feature of sending notifications to your team members to fill their timesheets, and the employers can control it fully by editing, reviewing, and editing the timesheets
Its plan starts from $12 per user per month.
This is another tool that companies worldwide consider as the best app for tracking work hours. What differentiates this app from the rest in its niche is that it especially tracks your time while you work on multiple projects. It integrates scheduling and time tracking in one single app and presents the reports in a calendar-like view on your screen.
It shows you different hours for various projects you are working on. And guess what, you can pre-assign your hourly rate to different projects. Based on the time spent on each of them, it will show your total earnings made in a day. You can also see your weekly earnings if you make the right settings in this tool.
Another value addition tool that comes for free with this app is Memory Tracker. It has a desktop version that you can install on your system. It specifically measures the time you spend on each program on your desktop and links that to the total hours you are spending on a project. It means it has the capability of keeping a close watch on different programs you are running on your laptop while working.
The plan starts from $7/month for each user. And the team plan starts from $99/year.
A time tracking app may sound redundant if you are new to this practice. But with the evolving culture of work from home setup, time tracking is becoming more common day by day. Initially, it will take some time for you to get used to these tools. But with the time you will start realizing the immense benefits it offers in modern work culture.
Every tool that we discussed in this article has some common features and some unique features. Based on your work pattern, you should be able to judge which tool serves your needs best. The pricing is also quite competitive for each of them, except for EmpMonitor, which is quite cheap when you use it to manage a large team.
Most of the tools that are available in the marketplace offer free trial periods, which is one of the most useful features for the users. You must spend some time doing detailed research on the best time tracking apps that I have mentioned in this article before you finally pick one. Good luck!