In this post, we’ve put together a list of the best work timer apps from basic stopwatch type timers to fully featured software, and walk you through how these work timers can make you more productive and efficient, and how they will help you get more done in you (and your team’s) working day.
Staying on task is a real challenge in this day and age. With endless distractions at our fingertips, our daily lives center around screen-oriented activities from work emails to Facebook notifications — how is it possible to complete your to-do list and efficiently manage your time to be productive?
The answer is simple: by using an app for tracking work hours. Time trackers are an easy, affordable and highly effective way to monitor your time and assess how you spend your time to ultimately help you and/or your team make better choices and improve productivity levels in the future.
Some of the benefits include:
- Track time
- Reduce error
- Monitor productivity
- Assist in being more productive and efficient when completing tasks
- Manage and report time more effectively with tasks and integrations
As a central tool in many freelancers’ and managers’ roles, work timer apps range from basic work hour trackers all the way to fully featured work tracking software that integrates with a plethora of third-party systems.
The best working tracking software don’t try to do everything, but instead, put you at the center and should sync with your and/or team’s chosen task and time management apps whether they are fully featured development apps like JIRA, basic time driven Kanban boards like Trello, or something in the middle such as Asana.
Finally, before you select a particular work hours tracker to use, it’s important to ask yourself and/or your team a few questions such as:
- Does this work tracker integrate with the platforms I use? E.g. iOS, Android, Windows or Mac?
- Will it suit my mobile and desktop needs?
- What is the price of the time tracker and is it right for my budget?
- Is the program customizable to my current and potential needs as I grow?
- Do the features match what I do and need?
The right work tracker app will not only depend on these questions but other factors such as your job duties, budget, the number of people on your team, team performance, and so on.
Whether you’re a manager, remote employee or freelancer, these time tracking tools can help you understand how you are spending your time, make smarter working choices, and ultimately, be more productive at everything you do.
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Work stopwatch type timers
The first category of productivity apps to help you and/or your team be more productive is simple stopwatch type timers. Stopwatches and other basic apps typically allow you to record time in one place and give you the option to export your time data.
The great thing about these easy-to-use work timers is that most of them are free or barely cost anything to help you focus better. On the contrary, these tools have minimal features and capabilities and are a step up from basic pen and paper.
Given the low-cost and straightforward features, stopwatch type timers are best for individuals looking for a simple solution to help focus and be more productive.
Some of the top paid and free stopwatch type timers apps include:
Active Collab Timer
Active Collab Timer is your simple stopwatch for tracking time on tasks and projects. Available for free on Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems, the timer is extremely easy to use — pick a task, press play, and stop when you’re done. The desktop app can run in the background so it doesn’t distract you.
Active Collab Timer features include:
- Available for free on Mac, Windows and Linux
- See how much time you’ve spent on a task
- Track time on multiple assignments
- Sync your time records with Active Collab
- Create accurate reports and invoices
PomoDoneApp is the easiest way to keep track of the time you spend on tasks using the Pomodoro Technique, on top of your current task management service including Todoist, Trello, Wunderlist, Basecamp, Zapier and many more.
The Pomodoro Technique, created by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, is a time and workflow management technique based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility — the technique breaks down work time into 25 minutes intervals separated by 5 minutes length breaks.The Pomodoro Technique breaks down work into 25 minute intervals separated by 5 minute breaks. Click To Tweet
Quick, simple and easy to set up, the PomoDone icon in your toolbar allows you to start, stop, and pause task just in seconds. Download PomoDoneApp today on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux or your web browser for free or select from a variety of premium plan options starting at $12.90 per year.
PomoDoneApp features include:
- Free and premium plan versions on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux or web browser
- No need to create any tasks — simply connect your favorite task management service and start using PomoDoneApp
- PomoDoneApp chrome extension allows you to create tasks right from the browser (Mac & Win version only)
The Be Focused work hours tracker lets you get things done by timing and breaking up individual tasks among discrete intervals, separated by short breaks. Be Focused allows you to create tasks, configure breaks and track your progress throughout the day, week or custom period.
Positively rated by users for its effective way to help individuals retain motivation and focus, Be Focused is available for iPhone, iPad and Mac users in free and pro versions. To download the free worktimer, visit iTunes or the Mac App Store. The pro version is available for $1.99 on iTunes and $4.99 in the Mac App Store.
Be Focused main features include:
- Available for iPhone, iPad and Mac users in free and pro versions
- Manage your tasks
- Track your progress throughout the day, week or custom period
- Customize to maximize productivity
- Fast and easy goal tracking
- Ability to start, pause, or skip work interval
- Auto-start the next timer
- Customized sound options
- And many more!
Additional pro version features:
- Full synchronization between iPad, iPhone and Mac
- Export to a CSV file
- No banners or ads
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To-do or task-oriented work timer apps
The second category of work timers used to increase productivity and manage time more effectively is to-do or task-oriented timers. Because these simple apps focus on tracking time against unstructured tasks, they are ideal for individuals looking for a simple and fun method to complete tasks, and less able to deal with complexity of running teams.
To-do or task-oriented type of timers commonly have features including start/stop, recording and annotating time logs and basic reporting such as CSV for Excel — a perfect option for freelancers monitoring their own time and doing some very basic “lightweight” reporting.
Some of the top free and paid to-do and task-oriented timers include:
Beat procrastination and increase your productivity with Time task-oriented work timer available for purchase for $0.99 on iOS devices. The Time app allows you to add your tasks and start one while the time tracker counts down, keeping your focused on one task at a time. Rated high for its remarkably simple interface, artificial intelligence, statistics and more, Time makes completing your tasks fun in a game-like experience.
To start using Time, easily add new tasks to your list, hold and drag to reorder, and swipe to the left to delete. Once your to-do list is ready to go, tap on any of your tasks to start a timer — the color will change from green to yellow to red as time goes on giving you pressure to help finish your task. As you continue to use the app, Time learns how you work with artificial intelligence and, as a result, will begin offering productivity suggestions tailored to you and the app stats will give you an in-depth look of your time and productivity levels.
Time features include:
- Unique wave design keeps you focused on one task at a time
- Color-coding helps you easily know when your task will finish
- Simple gestures to add or remove time
- Overtime counter pushes you to finish when your time reaches zero
- Artificial intelligence gives you productivity suggestions, such as completing a specific task at a specific time of day
- Statistics screen allows you to see your daily trends
Todoist is another popular task-oriented timer positively rated for its beautiful design and intuitive user experience. Easily manage your tasks and projects from anywhere online or offline with Todoist. With apps and extensions for 10+ platforms, your tasks are always on mobile devices, web browsers, inboxes and more.
Download Todoist for free from any web browser, iOS,Android,Windows or Mac device. Todoist paid premium plan options are also available for individuals and teams starting at $29 per year per user.
Todoist features include:
- Access tasks from anywhere
- Collaborate in real-time on shared tasks
- Distraction-free design
- Sub tasks and projects
- Intuitive dates
- Labels and filters
- Productivity tracking and charts
Toggl is a leading online time tracking tool that allows users to track the time spent on various projects and analyze productivity in a fast and easy manner. Extremely popular among freelancers, consultants and small businesses, the work tracking software can be up and running from scratch in less than a minute, allowing you to measure your and/or your team’s profitability, productivity and accurate client billing.
A simple, user-friendly worktimer with powerful reports and team management features, Toggl makes tasks logging as easy as ever — just click a button to start the timer, and stop it once you’re done with your tasks. The visual reports make it extremely easy to keep track of your time usage and see exactly how long each task takes, how many hours you and/or your team spends on different projects and clients, and who’s currently working on what to help you plan your time and resources more accurately.
Toggl is available on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux and over 100 web tools through web browser extensions including Chrome and Mozilla. Download Toggl for free or check out the paid plan options with a plethora of features.
Toggl’s main features include:
- Real-time sync with web tracker, desktop widgets and mobile apps
- Track time with a single click
- Log time everywhere on the web
- Keep track of your time usage
- See what’s overdue and over budget
Additional paid version features:
- Find your time sinks & see where you earn revenues
- Increase client satisfaction with transparent reporting
- See how well you’re hitting project timelines and budgets
- Get a real-time view on project & employee profitability with Toggl Insights
- And much more!
Fully featured work timers with platform features?
The final category of work tracking software and apps to help you and/or your team be more productive, above all, are fully featured work hour trackers with platform features. Many people start with the lightweight tools previously mentioned and graduate on to these more robust, complete apps once they hit the roadblocks the simple and lightweight tools run into when dealing with a growing business.
These types of fully equipped work hour trackers typically have advanced features such as optional screen capture, activity level tracking, timesheets, invoicing, and even GPS location monitoring. They are very much designed to help businesses and remote team leaders who want and/or need a professional service to help with growing teams.
These apps are often designed to work both for the team and manager, providing all the tools needed including monitoring for the people they hire and boosting company productivity.
Some of the top free and paid fully featured work tracking software include:
With over 8,000 daily remote teams, Hubstaff helps virtual teams become more effective through transparency and communication to ultimately increase team productivity and profitability.
Hubstaff time tracker runs as work tracking software on your desktop or as a mobile app, making it easy to track time. However, after you track your time, you can also invoice clients, pay employees, see in-depth reporting and much more.
Hubstaff’s lightweight desktop timers take screenshots and measure activity levels so you can monitor your remote employees and the mobile app even lets you track time working or driving and offers fleet or employee location tracking via GPS.
Hubstaff key features include:
- 30+ integrations including project management, accounting, CRM, help desk and scheduling integrations
- Time tracking
- Internet and app monitoring
- Online timesheets
- Automatic payroll
- GPS and locations
- Advanced reporting
Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, iOS and Android, Hubstaff’s Solo Lite plan for one person is free with additional basic plans costing $5 per month and premium plans costing $9 per month.
Time Doctor is a time tracking and productivity monitoring software for remote teams. Created to help individuals and organizations be more productive when working remotely, the work tracking software will not only track the total time worked by every person on your team, it will also provide a breakdown on how much time is spent on which projects, tasks and clients.
Additionally, Time Doctor will monitor employee internet usage during their work day. When excessive amounts of time on Facebook, YouTube or other personal web browsing is detected, Time Doctor will give users a nudge to make sure that they are still working. With Time Doctor, you and your team will find it easier to focus on important tasks without getting sidetracked.
Time Doctor main features include:
- Time tracking
- Time in meetings
- Client white-label
- Powerful reports
- Web and app usage
- Mobile app capability
- Integrations with all leading management software such as JIRA, Asana, Trello, Slack, Salesforce, Basecamp and more.
Available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome users, Time Doctor’s plan features include a limited-feature free plan and a paid option for $9.99 per month.
Harvest makes time tracking a breeze. Whether it’s from the web, your smart phone, desktop or another application, Harvest’s simple, innate user experience gets you and your team onboard in a fast and easy way. Known for its simple time tracking, fast online invoicing and powerful reporting software, Harvest simplifies employee timesheets and billing — say goodbye to time tracking pain points!
Harvest gives you real-time access to keep your projects on time and on budget, therefore giving your team the insight you need to estimate future projects and make sure your business’s productivity and profitability.
Harvest main features include:
- Fast invoicing and payments
- Simple expense tracking
- Project budget alerts
- Integrations with 100+ apps
- Phone and email support
Download Harvest today on your Android, iPhone, Mac, Chrome browser or Safari browser for free. Additional fully featured plans start at $12 per month for individuals and teams.
No matter the size of your team, time tracking is vital to you and your team’s productivity, efficiency and profitability.
Do you have a favorite time tracking tool that works perfectly for all your work-related needs? Share your experience with us!