The Best Mac Time Tracking Apps in 2017

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It’s never been so easy to get distracted. Forget social media — even if you have the willpower to ignore your Facebook feed, can you resist the ping of a new email notification? The interesting headline of the latest Entrepreneur article? The pop up of a text on your iPhone?

Despite the fact that every day I faced a mountain of work, I still found myself getting sucked in by these online distractions. Luckily, after many, many failed attempts to solve the problem, I discovered time tracking.

Mac time tracking tools can be lifesavers for freelancers and employers who primarily work on the OSX operating system. They serve as a reminder, disciplinary assistant, and motivation booster for both solo freelancers and home-based work teams.

Even better, many Mac time management tools often come with financial management functions, such as generating invoices for your clients. Employers using Mac time tracking applications can have the assurance that they are getting value for money paid to their employees.

Whether you’re a freelancer, founder, or remote employee, time tracking software helps make you and your team more productive. In this post I’ve rounded up the best Mac time tracking apps to make your decision easier.

1. Hubstaff

Hubstaff mac time tracking

Hubstaff is hands down the best Mac time tracking application. Workers log time and employers can check the time logs complete with screen shots and timesheets to verify that the employee has put in the contractual amount of hours daily.

The Hubstaff time tracker is also great for companies and individuals who hire remote workers and freelancers. With this desktop client, you can see what your freelancer is doing in real-time anywhere in the world.

Installing Hubstaff’s Mac app will lead to instant benefits for your entire team. First, your team members and freelancers will never have to worry about being under-paid again. They can use the one-click timer to track their time to the second—so if they tell you a task will take 4 hours, and it ends up taking 5, you can pay them what they’re owed.

This accountability goes the other way, as well. As a manager, you can view each worker’s time logs, activity level (based on their keyboard and mouse activity), and optionally, random screenshots of their work. If you need even more oversight, Hubstaff gives you a list of which applications and URLs an individual has been using while they’re on the clock.

With all of Hubstaff’s integrations—which range from project management apps to customer support software—you’ll get even more use out of this time-tracking tool.

The Hubstaff app is available for OS X (10.6 Snow Leopard and later), Windows (2000 and later), and Linux (distributions released in 2010 or later). Hubstaff also has an iOS app currently available on the app store >>

Try the Hubstaff Mac Time tracker for you and your entire team

Free full feature trial for 14 days

2. On The Job

Dashboard for On the Job time tracking software

On the Job lets you track time with an automatic idle time detection and sits quietly on your menu bar. Every time you start the timer, a new session will be automatically created. It can also generate invoices based on customizable hourly rates.

With On the Job, you can organize your clients’ information by their names, addresses, their hourly rates as well as the different currencies for different clients.

3. Klok

Example of the Klok time tracking application in action

Klok features a visual display of your time and tasks and allows you to customize the organization of your clients and projects. It automatically begins a new timer when you start working on a different task, and you can always adjust the time later.

You can also connect Klok to other time-tracking apps, such as Harvest and Freshbooks (more on them later), for added functionality. Other Klok functions include timesheets that can be exported, generation of invoices and dashboard reporting.

4. Harvest

Sample staff report in Harvest dashboard

With Harvest, you’ll never have an excuse not to track your time. Not only will it run on your Mac app, but it’s also available on your phone, web browser, and even your Apple Watch.

Plus, once you integrate it with the other apps you use, you’ll see the option to track your time pop up in Trello, Jira, Zendesk, and so on.

Harvest also makes it easy to get paid. Once you’ve completed a task or work cycle, you can instantly convert your billable hours into invoices. Want to add an expense? Just snap a picture of your receipt, and the cost will be pulled into your invoice.

5. Freshbooks OSX Widget

Freshbooks mac time tracking

Probably the best choice if you’re looking for a free mac time tracking application, Freshbooks is both a time- and finance management tool. You can track team time sheets, set timers and time limits, or handle accounting tasks from the Freshbooks desktop widget.

6. Toggl

Toggle dashboard with overview of employee activity and cost

Whether you use Toggl’s web app, or download its Mac version, tracking your time is as simple as logging in and clicking a timer.

Of course, Toggl’s functionality goes beyond that. Like any standard time-tracking app, it lets you allocate your time toward specific projects. But you can also create sub-projects, give your entries tags (think “bug fix” or “SEO research”), and visually organize your time graphs by giving each project its own color.

Furthermore, Toggl’s clean, streamlined design makes it really pleasant to use.

Once you’ve completed a project, share your report with your client via a custom URL, or export it as an Excel, CSV, or PDF file.

7. Tyme

Example of time and task tracking in Tyme app for Mac

You want to make the process of tracking your time as effortless as possible. While Tyme doesn’t run automatically, it does let you set up a custom keyboard shortcut so you can launch the app with a quick tap of a button.  And once you’re in, almost every action has a corresponding hotkey. In theory, you’d never have to touch your mouse.

Tyme’s dashboard gives you an overview of your current clients and your most recent entries for each. Being able to get a bird’s-eye view of your work is definitely handy, and Tyme’s sleek, futuristic interface is fun. However, I’ve noticed that Tyme’s dashboard can start to get cluttered if you have more than two projects going at once.

For those of you who always forget to track your time, you’ll appreciate Tyme’s reminder feature. The app learns your habits and will you send you friendly messages to start or stop your timer if you’re doing something unusual.

In addition to time, Tyme will also keep track of your mileage and business expenses.

8. Timing

Screenshot of the Timing app designed specifically for Mac

To get more insight into how you spend your time, give Timing a try. Unlike most of the other options on this list, this app doesn’t have a “turn on/turn off” button: It runs around the clock.

If you open it up, you can see everything you’ve been doing, with as much or as little detail as you’d like. Timing automatically groups your activity into categories, like “Web browsing” or “Games.” Open up a category to learn how much time you spent into a specific application, then go one step deeper and check out which files or URLs you opened.

You can assign time to projects, but you’ll have to do it manually by creating a new file and then dragging and dropping your relevant time entries into it.

9. OfficeTime

What the OfficeTime app looks like on an iPad

If you’re looking for simple, no-frills time-tracking software, check out OfficeTime. Its interface is nothing to write home about, but it makes up for its appearance with several handy features.

Like its Quick Access option. Simply click on your Mac’s top navigation bar, choose the project you’re working on, and start the timer. There’s no need to open the app itself, so you don’t need to waste a single second.

When you need a break, want to switch projects, or would like to stop timing, just open the menu again and select the relevant option.

OfficeTime also syncs with iCal, which makes it easy to bill clients for meetings or blocks of work you’ve scheduled.

10. Fanurio

Sample timesheet in the Fanurio app for Mac

Fanurio is a budget-friendly option for freelancers and small teams. It’s fairly flexible when it comes to logging work: you can bill tasks in units or hours, add expenses and trips, and record products (like a set of icons, a blog post, design mock-ups, etc.).

Fanurio also gives you a couple different ways to track your time. Of course, you can open up the app to control the timer, but you can also start and stop it using the drop-down menu in your menu bar or the icon in your dock icon menu. Handily, the Fanurio badge in your dock icon menu will display how much time has elapsed.

To help you stay on top of things, Fanurio reminds you to start, pause, or stop your timer based on your regular work patterns.

11. Timely

Calendar window in the Timely time tracking app

Most time-tracking apps are focused on the present: You start and you stop the timer depending on what you’re doing in that very moment.

But Timely is all about the future. First you schedule your work, then you log your time. So, let’s say you’re planning on Skyping with a client for an hour on Wednesday. Timely integrates with most calendar tools, so your meeting will automatically show up in the app. When you begin your Skype session, click the Timely entry to start tracking your time. When the meeting is over, click it again to end tracking. You’ll get a side-by-side comparison of how much time you scheduled versus how long it actually took.

Timely’s calendar view is really elegant and easy to navigate. Each project is color-coded, so you can get a visual overview of what you’re working on each day, week, or month.

12. Billings Pro

Sample of invoice created in Billings Pro

Every time you work on a new project, you’re probably switching apps several times. First, you use an estimate tool, then you switch to a time-tracker, then you switch to an invoice generator, and finally, you log into your payment app.

Well, with Billings Pro, you can do it all within a single platform. This tool lets you prepare estimates, create detailed time logs, send invoices, and track who’s paid you.

That’s not the only way Billings Pro provides convenience. It’s available on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, so you’ll never be far away from a digital timer.

13. Tick

Sample timecard created with Tick tiem tracking app

Tick is designed to keep you and your teammates on budget. After you create a time budget for an entire project or an individual task, Tick will show you how much time you’ve logged versus how much you’ve got left. This feature is definitely useful for freelancers trying not to exceed how much time they’ve budgeted for a specific client, but it’s even more useful for managers who want to compare how much time each worker has logged.

Tick’s reporting features are also useful for team leaders. You can look at the data for each employee, or toggle your view to see how much time you’ve billed each client. Since Tick integrates with Quickbooks and Freshbooks, turning these reports into invoices is fairly painless.

This app integrates with Basecamp as well. Track time within Basecamp projects and instantly see how much time is left in the budget, export Basecamp to-do items as tasks (or import Tick tasks as Basecamp to-dos), and see how much time your workers have logged without leaving your Basecamp discussion.

Mac Time Tracking App Reviews Summary

Application Description Pricing
Hubstaff Track time with screenshots and easily pay employees for hours worked $5-10/employee/month
Toggl Have remote workers track time with one click and see what’s being worked on $10/employee/month
On the Job Track time and expenses and bill clients with professional invoices $39.95 for license
Klok Manage time logged by team from local team application $99.99 for team console and $19.99 for desktop app
Harvest Keep project budgets on track with dashboard that displays money spent on team $12/employee/month
Freshbooks Widget Track your billable and personal time for you and your team N/A
Tyme Track your time spent on various tasks for various projects and clients $16.99 for license
Timing Timing tracks your time so you don’t have to $38.99 for license
OfficeTime Track time for jobs you work on and view reports $47 for license
Fanurio Track time, use multiple currencies, and create invoices with your own layout $59 for license
Timely Have your team track time and easily manage projects $14/employee/month
Billings Pro Track time, create invoices, and get paid $5-10/user/month
Tick See how much time and money is being spent on team projects $19-149/month

More Mac Time Tracking Tools

Can’t get enough of mac time-tracking apps? Here’s another 10 to help keep you productive:

  • Time Edition – Keeps track of time and statuses of projects with a simple display, ideal for quick glances. [Free]
  • Minco – Tracks time and shoots reminders to your synced iPhone. [$14.99]
  • Cashboard – Fantastic for the freelancer, tracks time and expenses, handles invoices and even online payments. [Free or $10+/month]
  • Rescue Time – Tracks time spent on apps and websites, ranks your productivity and blocks distracting websites. [Free Lite or $6/month]
  • Slife – Keeps tabs on your usage, has real-time tracking and provides visual analytics, depending on your subscribed plan. [$5/month or $10/month]
  • SlimTimer – Creates tasks, shares statuses with your team, and exports timesheet reports. [Free]

Hubstaff Time tracking for you and your entire team

Free for 14 days – Mac app available!

  • Niels

    Hi Dave, I’m the developer of dailytimeapp.com, a time tracking utility for Mac that asks what you’re doing. This results in a way of tracking your time without requiring the user to start and stop activities manually. If you want to test it out, please send an email to hello AT dailytimeapp.com so we can send you a promocode.

  • Check also TimeLime (http://timelimeapp.com), that’s what I use. It’s similar to tyme or timingapp, I guess. With grate import/export functionality. There is also an open source timetracker app: http://rainer.4950.net/timetracker-for-mac/ Developer seems to be working on an update with jira support.

    • Dann Albright

      Thanks for sharing those! I wasn’t aware that there was an open-source time tracker. That’s very cool.

    • Dann Albright

      I wasn’t aware that there’s an open-source timer; that’s very cool!

  • David Timms

    amazing how hubstaff is your number one choice….biased?

    • Dann Albright

      Well, the options aren’t ranked in any specific order. But we do believe that our integrations, automatic payments, team management, and other features make Hubstaff the best option out there.

  • hbadger30

    Hi Dave, do any of these apps track time by the current application you have in focus and then sub divide that by the specific project you have open? I’d like a time tracking app that will track when I have a particular file open but say ignore tracking if I switch and do some web searching. Is there anything out there that can do that effectively?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Freddy Low

    Great list Dave! I track my time with http://moneypenny.me/. Wether you want to track your time on the go on in the web-app – no problem. It’s very fast synchronized, so you can e.g. start to track your time in the app and end to track your time on your laptop. I really hope it makes it into your list sometime in the future.

  • Danny_HubStaff

    Hey Tim,

    Thanks for your comment! I’ve removed Timepost from the list.

  • Michael D.

    I’m partial to TimeNet myself, and was surprised it wasn’t on this list. The new TimeNet 4 update is really great. Definitely worth checking out if you need time tracking/billing software. Here’s the website: http://www.applesource.biz/software/timenet

    Thanks for the great article, there were several apps on here I hadn’t heard about.

  • Hi Dave,

    I’d like to suggest Fanurio (http://www.fanuriotimetracking.com) which is a time tracking and billing software application, highly appreciated by freelancers for its intuitive interface, flexible timer and ability to produce detailed invoices.

    Fanurio is not free but it has a free trial. It costs 59 USD (which means about $5/month for the first year) and you can use it for life.

    I know that there are many freelancers who prefer to use a desktop application in order to keep their data on their own computers. Since Fanurio is a desktop application, it integrates very well with the platforms it runs on. On OS X, you can easily access timers from the the menu bar and from the dock icon menu. On Windows, you can start a new timer or control the active timer from the thumbnail toolbar or from the tray icon. You can also use global hotkeys to control the timers from within any running application.

    Fanurio is used by many freelancers not just to track time but to bill their clients as well. Fanurio can export invoices to HTML, PDF, Microsoft Word 2007, OpenOffice OpenDocument and other formats so they can be printed or e-mailed. Invoice templates can be created manually, with a visual editor (Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Word or OpenOffice) or with the built-in template editor.

    I hope this helps.