7 Essential Features of Online Timesheet Software

There are literally thousands of online timesheet software out there. These help you keep track of your employees billable hours. In fact, a quick search on Google will leave you confused.

Unless you are a time tracking application expert or you have a checklist to help you when looking for a time tracking application, you may end up choosing the wrong application for your business needs.

Online timesheet software is an absolute necessity for businesses.Especially, those that hire remote freelancers or whose employees work remotely. It allows you to track time and ensure you are getting value for money.

This software gives you a quick breakdown of what your team is working on and allows you to manage your payments. You can also view what projects were worked on and for how long, and keep track of paid time and unpaid time.

The following are the essential features in a time tracking application.

If an application lacks any of these features, scrap it.

Activity Views/Screenshots & Versatile Timesheets


One of the most important features is the ability to capture and upload screen shots to the server. Whoever invented screenshots was a genius. There is no better way to monitor what a worker has been working on that to discreetly capture screenshots. It is final and conclusive. There cannot be any argument or debate about what the worker has been up to.

The application should have functionality to set the screen shot frequency e.g. every 5 minutes, ten minutes, thirty minutes etc.

For privacy reasons and compliance with HIPAA and PCI, the app should also have a feature to blur screen shots. The team should be able to add work notes to each block of time and screenshots.

Customizable Reports

Any application worth its salt must automatically generate time reports that are customizable to your exact needs. You must be able to filter the reports by the name of the department, project and employee. Also, there should be a feature to toggle work notes and turn activity on or off.

The application should allow report downloads as PDFs and enable emailing to a contact list. Records should be accurate and easy to refer to.

Add Departments and/or Organizations

A typical small or medium sized enterprise has a number of departments. Also, an entrepreneur running many small outfits may prefer to use one application to track time for employees in all your businesses.

Online timesheet software must have a feature that allows you to add an unlimited number of departments or organizations and track time. You should be able to invite team members to departments or organizations, configure pay rates and change the plan at any time to include or reduce team members.

User roles must be defined, for example; owners, managers, supervisor, staff and so on.

Integration with other Applications


As already mentioned, there are numerous time tracking applications. A well designed application must therefore be able to fit into this ecosystem. Specifically, it must allow seamless integration with other apps on the market (such as Basecamp or Asana) to give more control and insight into how your team works.

Projects, accounting and payments must all integrate with other applications and it should be possible to export time records from one system to another.

Lightweight Design

It is surprising that despite this being one of the first topics taught to developers in tech schools, many tend to forget this simple rule of application design. Any web or mobile application must be lightweight in the sense that it doesn’t unnecessarily hog system resources.

Don’t you find it annoying when you launch an application on your computer and suddenly the computer freezes, or you have to keep waiting every time you click your mouse?

The online timesheet software app must run silently, undetected and out of the way in the background.

Online Timesheet Software System Compatibility

Your workers will likely not all use the same operating system. Your choice of time tracking application should therefore be compatible with multiple operating systems. As a minimum, it must be compatible with Windows, iOS and all major Linux distros released from 2010.

Full Feature Free Trial

Finally, don’t use any application that isn’t free or that doesn’t offer a fully functional free trial. You must be able to use it and make your assessment of its inner workings for a period of not less than seven days. Anything less and you are getting a raw deal. Would you buy a car without test driving it? Supposing a car salesman told you that you could only put the keys in the ignition but you couldn’t rev it up and take it out for a spin? Would you still want to buy that car? It’s common sense, isn’t it? Yet, it’s surprising how many people make this blunder with software. Don’t purchase any software that doesn’t let you try out all the features for a short period.

Hubstaff’s Online Timesheet Software

The Hubstaff application meets all these essential features and comes with a fully functional 14 day free trial period. For the full list of features and pricing information, please see our online timesheet software page. If you have any questions or need clarification on any feature, please feel free to contact us.

Try Hubstaff's Timesheet Software

Free for 14 Days