10 Time-Tracking Apps That Will Make You More Productive In 2014

The new year is here. Don't waste it. Track it, and make your time work for you.

My favorite tools to keep track of my time are, honestly, pen and paper. What I lose in snazziness, I make up for in flexibility. I don’t have to turn on my computer or phone, which means I’m better about recording “off” hours. Since I’m not beholden to a spreadsheet or categories, I can describe my time however I want.

However, in this age of apps, many people want something a little more fancy. Lots of businesses need to keep track of employee time, and so the time-tracking product category is pretty crowded. What I like about the 10 apps in this post is that they can also help you monitor aspects of your personal time, so you don’t lose days to web surfing and TV--unless that’s what you really want to do.

1. Toggl

With this app, you say what you’re doing, start the timer, and stop it when you’re done. You can code things as personal if you’d like, and create charts of what’s consuming your time. The basic version is free, and full features are $5 a month. Apple, Android, and Desktop.

2. RescueTime

Running in the background on your computer or mobile device, the free version of RescueTime tracks minutes spent on various sites or applications. This is most useful if you think you have a bad email or Facebook habit, and would like to get it under control. The premium version ($9/month) lets you track time away from the computer, too, and block distracting websites after a desired amount of time. Apple, Android, and Desktop.

3. ATracker

This free app lets you track your whole life by tapping on your phone to start or stop each activity. It then produces reports on your day. The clean and uncluttered design is a nice plus, too. Apple only.

4. Eternity

Structured to remind you about work-life balance, Eternity divides time broadly into work, sleep, and play categories. Play is good! $9.99 in iTunes. Apple only.

5. Now Then

This app features personal categories such as shopping, entertainment, and travel, and lets you break work into its subcategories as well (administration, meetings). $2.99 in iTunes.

6. TIME Planner

This free app combines scheduling and time tracking features for both work and personal activities. You can schedule a bike ride at 1 p.m., then be reminded to do it, then say if you’ve actually done it--all to keep yourself on track. Apple only.

7. My Minutes

This free app focuses on goal setting. You aim to work out for 30 minutes, or spend “at most” 45 minutes on email. The app gives you a nudge when you’re out of time, or a virtual pat on the back when you hit your goals. Apple and Android.

8. Fanurio

While primarily aimed at freelancers billing time to multiple projects (it creates invoices and expense reports--hence the price), Fanurio also lets you classify activities as non-billable, which much of our personal time turns out to be. This app nudges you to record time if you haven’t in a while. $59 for a license with free technical support for a year. Primarily for desktop (Mac OS + Windows + Linux).

9. Timely

Schedule your life, then log it. Primarily aimed at work time (you can bill time as you’re logging it), the interface is simple enough that you could create personal projects too. One user with unlimited projects is $10/month. Desktop or Apple devices.

10. Timesheet

This free app lets you use voice commands, track and bill work hours, and record off-work hours too. Android only.

What time-tracking apps do you use and recommend?

[Image: Flickr user Brian Suda]

Add New Comment

46 Comments

  • I am a freelancer working at home and hubstaff is my time tracking tool of choice. It has options to manage and organize projects and all the team members involved, create invoices, track hourly rates and create reports. You can find out more about it here -https://hubstaff.com. It has an intuitive interface and is supported on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.

  • Slava Fedorov

    I'd recommend to all of you guys to take a look at http://www.itrackmytime.com/ for various reasons:

    1. It's easy to use
    2. Beautiful design
    3. You can visualize your activities in any way you want it
    4. You can share your data easily
    5. It is cheap
    6. You can always get quick feedback from designers

    I use it. I like it

  • Robert Macklyn

    Great resources. here with I would like to include the cloud based hours tracking software and applications from Replicon ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/hours-tracking-software.aspx ) as well that could manage the time and keep track of the same with extreme perfection that even a single minute gets importance along with the betterment and achievement of the success in the overall project.

  • Steve Freeman

    Hi Laura Vanderkam

    I have been using eBillity time tracking software for several years. The set up was quick and when I had a question there is chat support waiting to assist me. A real person not a robot! It also syncs with Intuit's Quickbooks, they got tons of 5 star reviews on Intuit!. Using the eBillity time tracking software has saved me a great deal of time and expenses.

    You should try it I've pasted a link to their website below! http://www.ebillity.com

    Regards Steve Freeman

  • Steve Freeman

    Hi Laura Vanderkam

    I have been using eBillity time tracking software for several years. The set up was quick and when I had a question there is chat support waiting to assist me. A real person not a robot! It also syncs with Intuit's Quickbooks, they got tons of 5 star reviews on Intuit!. Using the eBillity time tracking software has saved me a great deal of time and expenses.

    You should try it I've pasted a link to their website below! http://www.ebillity.com

    Regards Steve Freeman

  • Why not using <a href="http://goo.gl/61B2Zb">Keepek</a> android app. With the app you can track time and expenses : just snap pictures of your receipts, the app extracts then key information such as merchant name, amount and date. The picture itself is stored and you can view it on your smartphone anytime and anywhere. You can easily manage categories and enter manual expenses as well as mileages. You can also email pdf report expenses . The app is free.

  • Time tracking tools are great but sometimes the struggle is choosing the time you're going to track yourself for productivity.

    If I were to make a suggestion to add that's great for this, IN 5 Browser is a unique productivity tool that keeps a timer in your face while you browse with it (especially when you are spending too much time reading links and comments). Integrates pretty well with my day to day work flow. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sariodev.in5pro.app

    There's a free and paid version on the Android Play Store.

  • Time tracking tools are great and it's not just the tracking of the time, it's your mindset that you have something you should be tracking in the first place too.

    If I were to make a suggestion to add, IN 5 Browser is a unique productivity tool that keeps a timer in your face while you browse with it (especially when you are spending too much time reading links and comments). Integrates pretty well with your day to day work flow. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sariodev.in5pro.app There's a free and paid version on the Android Play Store.

  • Nice share. Using time tracking tool boosts productivity with little efforts. From the list I am familiar with most of the tools and they are work perfect in their respective domain. But here, I would also like to mention my favorite one and it is ProofHub. It is collaborative time tracking software that facilitates communication and task management. The pricing is reasonable enough.

  • Rich Dalek

    I've been using this app called Codealike (https://codealike.com/) and is really useful to keep track of what happens while you develop. When you lose focus and when you become more productive. How much time you spend debugging, etc. It also works for teams. The only limitation is that I'll only work for Eclipse and Visual Basic.

  • I've found that most times I am able to keep track of what to do using task lists. But its difficult to realize how much time you've put into a particular task. Even taking a small break goes from a few minutes to half an hour or so which becomes wasteful. To fix this I've developed an app called SenseTime which alerts me every 5 minutes as I choose to. This way the moment I feel I am procrastinating I get jolt and then I'm back on track.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.curvejump.timetrack