With remote work constantly on the rise, software solutions are becoming more and more important to the way businesses operate.
Remote teams use time tracking tools so they can easily monitor their time usage and productivity despite being in separate physical locations. One of the popular time trackers today is Time Doctor.
Time Doctor offers various features such as time-tracking software with distraction control, application monitoring, and screenshot recordings.
Because of its overall popularity and feature set, Time Doctor seems to be an easy choice for your time tracking needs, especially if your team has recently transitioned to remote work. However, many remote managers, business owners, and freelancers find it insufficient for their specific business needs. As remote work becomes increasingly common, managers have higher standards for their software.
Here’s the good news: there are other time tracking tools that are better-suited for your business. That’s why we’ve set out to look at the best Time Doctor alternatives in order to help you find one that works for you. Many of these apps can make you an expert at time management and productivity optimization.
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Why you should consider time tracking in the first place
If you’re here, it’s likely that one of your goals is to optimize productivity and reduce stress. The internet is full of distractions and it’s easy to get pulled away from your tasks. Statistics show that people spend an average of 3 of their work hours on activities unrelated to business.
Time tracking apps allow managers to monitor team activity, thus minimizing distractions and enhancing productivity. These apps can also track billable hours, as they precisely show the hours being spent on specific projects.
Time tracking alternatives to Time Doctor
Time Doctor uses an interactive approach to ensure that employees are actually doing their tasks. It is primarily designed for managers as a way to monitor performance.
Employees enter their work priorities and specify the tasks they are working on. Then, the app uses the compiled data to generate various reports, including timesheets for payroll purposes, poor time use reports, absence/late time reports, web usage reports, and so on.
Below is a list of alternative time tracking apps you should consider for your time management needs.
Hubstaff is a simple yet sophisticated time tracking solution for growing teams. Its lightweight desktop and mobile apps allow teams to record work hours from anywhere, any time. The versatile dashboard gives managers a clear view into how their team works, allowing them to identify and address any roadblocks as they come up.
Hubstaff tracks every minute you spend on different tasks and projects with accuracy. This gives you a much clearer understanding of how your team uses time so you can optimize your workflow for productivity.
The app offers varying degrees of work tracking, from activity rates to apps and URLs visited. You can configure the optional screen capture feature to take up to three screenshots during a 10-minute timeframe or turn it off altogether.
Hubstaff’s feature set includes everything you need to manage a remote team with incredible ease. Add unlimited projects, set time or budget limits, and review and approve timesheets. You can also set time off earned per hour of work, and manage time off requests from inside the app as well.
Once time and activity is tracked, Hubstaff feeds that information into highly valuable reports that can then be exported to CSV or PDF formats. You can use these reports for future planning, including estimates, staffing decisions, and creating achievable timelines.
Payroll with Hubstaff is extremely simple. Set pay rates for your team members and send them automatically calculated payments through popular payment platforms like PayPal, Gusto, and TransferWise. You have the option to send fixed amounts for one-time jobs or freelancers.
What’s more, Hubstaff has a geofencing feature that combines its powerful time tracking and GPS capabilities together. Teams can now start tracking time by simply entering a job site without even having to open the app. This ensures that every second of work is accounted for and that timesheets are always correct.
Hubstaff generates invoices based on total hours and bill rates which you can send to clients straight from the app. See when the client has viewed the invoice, get notified of late payments, and record payments all on one platform.
Hubstaff provides affordable pricing options for different business sizes starting at $7/user per month, and it has a free plan for solo users with basic features. Plus, with a free 14-day trial, there’s no reason not to see for yourself.
RescueTime provides a comprehensive picture of how teams spend their time and what they focus their attention on. The goals and alerts feature allows users to assign a certain amount of time to specific goals and get alerted when a goal has been met/exceeded.
The comparison dashboard allows users to compare their most and least productive days. The ability to block time-wasting sites is a good way to minimize distractions.
RescueTime is a silent tracking app. Once installed, it runs in the background, quietly monitoring user behavior. This non-intrusive behavior has its perks, but can also be viewed as a flaw. Since no user input is required, the app can only guess which activity is business-related.
RescueTime is a good solution for freelancers who find it hard to stay away from accidental digital wandering. Even for the most well-intentioned employee, the act of muscle memory bringing up Facebook or clicking to read the rest of an article from a teaser is difficult to catch before it happens. Users can set alerts for time limits on certain activities, outright block certain websites and more to help them understand daily habits.
Their detailed reporting shows how and where you were spending your time and attributes those proportions to your achievements of the day with the help of your customization.
RescueTime starts at $9/user per month, but it has a free Lite version with limited capabilities. You can try its premium features with its 14-day free trial.
Unlike the previous options, ManicTime is a Windows-only app. User data is stored locally (not on a server).
ManicTime is easy on resources and runs as a background process, keeping track of used programs and accessed files. The app generates customized reports by combining documents and applications, and exports them as graphs and spreadsheets.
ManicTime tracks four categories of time: user activity (idle or active), time spent per application or document (including web search), and time spent on specific tasks via personalized user tags.
This way, the app accurately measures the time users spend working, browsing social networks, etc. Users can tag both active and idle time blocks, including meetings, phone calls or non-work related activities.
ManicTime has a license-based pricing model that starts at $67 per user. It has a 15-day free trial and a limited free plan as well.
TimeCamp is another decent time tracking app. Once you install it and assign the essential categories and productivity values, it automatically tracks all computer activity. Due to the comprehensive nature of collected data, it provides invaluable information about user habits and sources of distraction.
TimeCamp supports an unlimited number of projects and tasks, detects idle time and generates timesheets, detailed reports, and computer use statistics. Additionally, it can be used together with several project management and payroll apps.
This software records the use of applications, browsing behavior, and offline activities. Since it tracks practically every activity on a computer, TimeCamp may be perceived as intrusive by some.
TimeCamp has a very freelancer-friendly user interface with the ability to “sum” the tasks of the same projects completed at different parts of the day, as well as the ability to add notes to managers directly in the timesheets. However, it’s also ideal for managers due to the ease and clarity with which managers can swap between viewing time from the lens of a single employee, or from the view of a project with multiple employees.
TimeCamp has a free solo plan with limited features. It has three paid plans beginning with the Basic plan which costs $7/user monthly.
Toggl is one of the most user-friendly time tracking apps. After you sign up, you can immediately start tracking time by clicking “start.” Once you’ve finished working on a project, click “stop” and your time will be recorded.
Toggl is another great option for freelancers who want an advantage in clearly reporting to their clients. Toggl achieves this with a three-tier hierarchy tag system: client, project and task. Freelancers can also make customized tags to mark notes to themselves or their employers and distribute multiple tags to each task.
If you’re leading a team, the app is free for up to five people. It supports an unlimited number of projects and clients, different levels of user access rights, an offline tracking mode and various reports (summary, weekly and detailed).
The Starter plan offers unlimited team members, various billing and invoicing features, exporting reports to the XLS format and the option of sharing timesheets with clients and colleagues. Toggl is best suited for freelancers, individual users and small companies (see how you can grow your business using Google My Business).
Toggl doesn’t have a free trial, but it has a free plan with all the time tracking essentials. Its paid plans start at $9/user per month.
Like many of the platforms listed here, Harvest uses a simple “click to start and stop” timer for employees to record their work. One of its unique strengths is the diverse variety of devices on which the platform can operate, from web to desktop to various mobile operating systems.
This allows both employees to stay productive in flexible work settings, while giving managers insight into when and where their teams are the most effective. Harvest also prioritizes allowing managers to communicate with their employees with alerts like reminders to submit timesheets, etc.
Harvest has a 30-day free trial and a free solo plan. Its pricing is fixed at $12/user per month.
Replicon actually offers three different forms of software solutions depending on the reporting type needed, from attendance to billing. The reporting strength of Replicon lies in how easily the platform can be configured specifically for manager needs.
Team leaders can not only build in policies for attendance and overtime but also allow for multi-level approvals for larger organizations. A useful feature to note for remote teams who work internationally – time can be billed in multiple currencies per project.
Replicon has nine pricing models for different business sizes. Its most basic time tracking plan costs $60 per month for up to 5 users, with the option to add new users for an additional $10 each.
Fanurio is great for freelancer productivity thanks to its flexibility in defining what a task is. For some projects, a time clock might be the most fitting way to bill, while for others, a certain number of pages translated, ad groups added or clients secured might be a more fitting metric of productive accomplishment.
All these metrics and more can be put into a day’s work with the ability to add tasks by description, as well as what the measurable output will be. Also, unlike many straight-forward time clocks, Fanurio allows freelancers to bill things like travel, products, and other expenses directly in the same interface.
Self-regulating productivity features include things like alerts to restart a timer if you’ve been idle for a customizable amount of minutes, and filters for quick answers to the questions about how you’ve been spending your days.
Fanurio doesn’t offer a free trial or a free plan. To use it, you’ll have to pay a one-time fee of $59 per user.
Timely has a couple features that make it great for managers who prioritize clear reporting from their employees. The first of which is the ability for employees to “schedule” their work planning ahead with time estimates, so employers can clearly see who has too much or too little on their plate. Their platform easily integrates into any of the major web calendars to schedule tasks as estimated times.
Then, as work is completed, Timely tracks those tasks as logged hours compared to the estimates, showing employers what the actual cost of the work was compared to the predicted budget.
Timely has multiple pricing models, starting at $39 per month for two users when billed annually. You can try it free for 14 days.
Tick is a solid option for managers who are working with extremely tight budgets. Managers can set the maximum time/budget per project for each employee so they can get real-time reporting on the number of hours remaining on a budget.
Tick makes it simple to toggle between multiple timers by sub-tasks within a single project to help employees work effectively, as well as communicate back to managers about what tasks are taking the longest.
Regardless of your choice, the bottom line is that time tracking apps are a cost-effective way to manage the time of your employees, keep them focused on their tasks and maximize efficiency.
Tick’s pricing plans are project-based. It’s free to use for one project, and its paid plans start at $19 per month for up to 10 projects. It has a free trial period of 30 days.
What other alternatives did we miss?
Do you already use one of these Time Doctor competitors? Tell us about your experience, or, if you use one that we didn’t cover, let us know in the comments below.
Still not happy with your findings? Check out our full list of time tracking software reviews to learn about other available alternatives.
This post was originally published May 22, 2015, and was updated for accuracy May 2020.