7 Best Time Tracker Tools Compared – Find Your Perfect Employee Time Tracking App Here

There are only so many hours in a day. And if you want to know what those hours actually went towards, you need a time tracker because, let’s face it, no one’s memory is that good!

Whether you’re an individual or a business owner, time tracker apps help you learn where you and your team are spending your time, as well as how productive your time management is. A quality employee time tracking app can really be invaluable.

In this post, I’m going to share and compare 7 different time tracker tools, including multiple options for individuals, teams, or employers looking to manage remote teams.

I’ll start you off with this handy comparison table to set the stage. Then, I’ll go a little more in-depth and share some basic features and pros/cons for each time tracker tool.

Best Time Tracker Tools Summarized
Best for…Type of trackingFree plan?Premium Starting Price (Monthly)
TogglIndividuals and teamsManual or automatic (with desktop app)Yes, generous$9 per user
Time DoctorEmployers tracking remote teamsManual or automaticYes, limited$9.99 per user
HarvestIndividuals and teamsManualYes, 1 project$12 per user
HoursIndividualsManualYes, but only iOS app$8 per user
TimelyIndividuals and teamsAutomatic time tracking, with manual correctionNo$15 per user for teams, or $8 for solo
HubstaffEmployers tracking remote teamsManual or automaticYes, limited and only for solo user$5 per user
TickIndividuals and teamsManualYes, 1 project$19 for 10 projects with unlimited users

Best time tracker apps compared:

1. Toggl

Best for…Individuals and freelancers, though Toggl does have enterprise plans for teams, and can be a great employee time tracking app.
 
Toggl is a beautiful freemium time tracker app that gives you a great deal of flexibility for how you organize your tracking.

It offers a simple time tracking interface that lets you assign tasks to projects and clients on-the-fly, including time-saving options that let you create new projects or clients without leaving your dashboard.

You can use it pretty much anywhere – it has a web interface, browser extensions, mobile apps, and even a desktop app.

toggl time tracker app
On the desktop app, you can automatically track certain activities and set reminders. With the other apps, you’ll need to manually start/stop your timers.

To round things out, you get a great reporting invoice as well as 100+ integrations with other popular tools like Trello, Asana, and lots more.

πŸ‘ What you’ll like…

  • Easy tagging by project and client. And creating new projects/tags only takes a couple seconds – no page reloads or clicking around required.
  • Detailed reporting functionality which helps you visualize where you spent your time or generate reports for clients. It also gives you flexible filters.
  • 100+ integrations. For example, you can start a timer from inside a Trello card, or connect to a number of other tools.

πŸ‘Ž What you might not like…

  • No invoicing, though it does have integrations for third-party tools (I’m nitpicking here – I find very few flaws with Toggl)
  • The desktop app can be a bit clunky at times.

Pricing

Generous free plan. Individuals can probably get by with the free plan (on a personal note, I use the free plan with zero issues).

Paid plans start at $9 per user per month (billed annually) and range up to $49 per user per month for the enterprise plan, which is probably a good choice if you need an employee time tracking app.

2. Time Doctor

Best for…time tracking for remote teams and businesses. Not for individuals.
 
Time Doctor helps you track time across your entire team and markets itself specifically as “Time Tracking for Remote Teams”, which should give you a pretty good idea of who their target market is.

If you want to get more control over your remote team, it includes an option to automatically take screenshots to ensure everyone is on task.

And you can also view website and app usage to see what people spend their time on.

employee time tracking app: time doctor
Then, when it’s paycheck time, you can automatically calculate your payroll based on fixed salaries on hours tracked in Time Doctor and pay right away with PayPal, Payoneer, TransferWise, or other methods.

πŸ‘ What you’ll like…

  • Detailed reports that let you drill-down by project, time use, attendance, wasted time, and more, making it a great employee time tracking app.
  • Lots of different integrations, especially with project management tools.
  • People consistently praise its ease of use.

πŸ‘Ž What you might not like…

  • You can’t edit time from the desktop app directly – you have to log into the web app.
  • The “Are you still working?” nag can be annoying if you have legitimate reasons to be on social networks.

Pricing

Time Doctor has especially simple pricing. You can either use the limited free plan, or you can pay $9.99 per user per month for all the features.

3. Harvest

Best for…freelancers and teams who like the idea of built-in support for invoicing, billable hours, expense tracking, and other accounting features that a good employee time tracking app should have.
 
Harvest is a time tracker…with a little more added on. Beyond the simple time tracking, it also helps you track:

  • Expenses
  • Billable hours

And Harvest also supports invoicing, including an option to turn billable hours into invoices. One especially great thing about Harvest’s invoicing is that is supports flat-rate $0.50 PayPal Business Payments (if you have a USA bank account).

Harvest

πŸ‘ What you’ll like…

  • Built-in invoicing, including support for flat-rate $0.50 PayPal Business Payments (an awesome option for USA-based people).
  • Lots of integrations with tools, including project management, invoicing, CRM, customer support, developer tools, and more.
  • Can track time with web apps, browser extensions, desktop apps, and mobile apps.
  • Built-in expense tracking, including receipt scanning

πŸ‘Ž What you might not like…

  • The interface isn’t as pretty as the other apps (this is kind of nitpicky because it doesn’t affect the functionality – but using something beautiful makes life more fun).
  • Creating new projects takes more clicks and page reloads than other tools, which isn’t great for freelancers who might need to create lots of projects.
  • The reports interface isn’t as flexible as other tools, though it should be fine for most uses.

Pricing

Harvest has a free plan that lets individuals create up to 2 projects.

After that, unlimited project plans cost $12 per user per month.

4. Hours

Best for…individuals who just want simple time tracking in a gorgeous interface (Hours does include a Team function, but it’s not as in-depth as other tools).
 
Hours has one of the nicest interfaces I’ve seen in a time tracker. It might even be better than Toggl!

You can start and stop timers as needed using that gorgeous interface. And it also has this really helpful Timeline feature that lets you quickly fill in gaps in your time tracking to fully account for your day.

The Reports interface is just as well designed and also gives you a good number of filters to slice-and-dice your reports as needed.

Hours
Hours is still a little young, though, and is only available via its website or an iOS app, which doesn’t offer as much coverage as most of the other time tracker tools.

πŸ‘ What you’ll like…

  • The Timeline function makes it easy to fill in gaps, like when you forgot to start a timer or need to track an offline event without the mobile app.
  • The interface looks gorgeous and has stellar UI/UX.

πŸ‘Ž What you might not like…

  • If you need to create different projects every day, the interface isn’t quite as streamlined as Toggl.
  • It’s only a web app and an iOS app, which might be limiting depending on your needs, especially if you want advanced functionality from your employee time tracking app.

Pricing

Hours costs a flat $8 per user per month for access to the web interface. You can access the iOS app for free (without the Pro features).

5. Timely

Best for…individuals and teams who specifically want anΒ automatic time tracker.
 
Timely’s unique selling proposition is its automatic time tracking

Automatic time tracking can be a finicky thing, so here’s how Timely does it:

  • First, Timely records all your activity and groups it together based on what you’ve been doing
  • Then, it suggests a label and tags based on what it thinks you did.
  • You can either accept Timely’s suggestion, manually edit it, or discard the time entry completely.
Timely
Now, here’s the cool thing…

Every time you manually edit a time entry, you’re training Timely to improve in the future.

Basically, it’s not stupid. It learns from your edits to make more accurate suggestions in the future.

It’s not for everyone – for example, most of my day is spent exclusively in Google Docs, so it’s difficult for me to train something to automatically track all my different clients/projects when I’m using the same website all day.

But if you’re doing different tasks – the automatic time tracking is pretty neat.

πŸ‘ What you’ll like…

  • Automatic time tracking. You already saw it above. It can save you time, make sure you don’t miss hours, and keep you on track. It’s also a nice feature if you want an employee time tracking app that would tell you what your people have been doing throughout the day.
  • There’s a built-in Project Health Dashboard that helps you control billable hours to make sure you, or your entire team, don’t go over budget.
  • The team dashboard also gives you insights into the productivity of your entire team.

πŸ‘Ž What you might not like…

  • In some unique situations (e.g. you work exclusively on Google Docs all day), it might be hard for the automatic time tracking to work effectively. I actually prefer manual time tracking, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
  • There’s no free plan.

Pricing

For monthly prices, Timely starts at $8 per month for solo users, or $15 per user per month for teams.

6. HubStaff

Best for…time tracking for remote teams and businesses, making it good as an employee time tracking app. Not for individuals.
 
Like Time Doctor, Hubstaff is more geared towards employers who want to monitor and track their employees’ time.

Hubstaff works as either a desktop or mobile app, including support for smaller operating systems like Chromebooks and Linux.

If you want to really monitor your team, you can:

  • Take up to 3 random screenshots per 10-minute period (or disable this feature if desired)
  • Track mouse movements and keyboard clicks
  • Monitor Internet and application usage, including a chart of time spent at every website/app
Hubstaff
Then, once you have all the data for your team, Hubstaff can automatically calculate payroll, including automatic payments via PayPal, Payoneer, or Bitwage.

πŸ‘ What you’ll like…

  • You can create multiple separate organizations, each with its own employees and projects.
  • Hubstaff supports both manual and automatic time tracking, including whether or not team members can manually create entries.

πŸ‘Ž What you might not like…

  • Some people report weird automatic starts/stops.
  • UI is a bit dated in spots, especially with the desktop app.

Pricing

Hubstaff has a limited free solo plan. Paid team plans start at $5 per user per month and go up to $10 per user per month for more integrations, automatic payroll, and other features.

7. Tick

Best for…larger teams who are put off by the “per user” pricing of other tools and would prefer their employee time tracking app to be less restrictive in terms of users on board.
 
Tick’s billing structure is one of the most unique things about this time tracker. Whereas every other tool charges you “per user” for team plans, Tick charges per “project”, with each plan supporting unlimited users.

Depending on how many projects you work on, that might mean a significant cost savings, especially for larger teams.

The actual interface is pretty basic – it sets you up with projects and tasks that you can track either with real-time, or by manually entering data once you’re finished.

Tick
Then, you can view your tracking in custom reports that let you drill-down by:

  • Client
  • Team member
  • Billable vs non-billable hours

πŸ‘ What you’ll like…

  • The pricing strategy is attractive for large teams that don’t work on a ton of projects.
  • Can set a “time budget” per project to help you stay on track.

πŸ‘Ž What you might not like…

  • Its interface isn’t as nice as most of the other tools.
  • You have to set up tasks in each project’s interface – you can’t create them on the fly. This makes creating new tasks for a project take longer than necessary.

Pricing

Remember – all these plans support unlimited team members (even the free plan). The plans are:

  • 1 project – free
  • 10 projects – $19 per month
  • 30 projects – $49 per month
  • 60 projects – $79 per month
  • Unlimited projects – $149 per month

Archived projects do not count against your limits.

Which employee time tracking app should you use? πŸ€”

Well, obviously this one depends heavily on your needs. It’s impossible to predict because it’s so heavily based on your own workflows.

But here are some suggestions, starting with the actual tools that I and the CodeinWP team use.

I’m a solo freelancer, so my needs are different than the CodeinWP team as a whole.

  • Personally, I use Toggl to manage all my freelance projects because I found its interface to be the most streamlined. The Toggl team has done a great job of making every relevant action accessible right from a single screen – I love that I never have to waste time navigating to other areas. The only time I ever leave that unified screen is when I need to generate a report.
  • On the other hand, theΒ CodeinWP team uses Time Doctor because they’re a remote team who needs to be able to track projects together.

Beyond that, Timely offers a unique approach with its heavy focus on automatic tracking and learning. Hubstaff might potentially be cheaper than TimeDoctor, especially for larger remote teams. And Tick offers a unique pricing approach that can make it really affordable for collaborative teams, even if I’m not personally a fan of its interface.

Here’s the great thing, though:

All of these tools either offer free plans or free trials, so you can play around with all of them and see which works best for you and/or your team’s workflows!

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