Wish you had a couple more hours in a day? You’re not alone.
Time is the most expensive currency that people have. In fact, it’s invaluable because it can’t be exchanged or reversed. Time spent is time gone.
Whether you’re a freelancer on a tight schedule, or a leader who wants to make better use of your team’s hours, time management is probably your number one priority. And if it’s not, it should be.
If you’re an independent professional, handling your time efficiently is key to your financial satisfaction and work-life balance.
As for team managers and employers, managing the way freelancers and external consultants use their logged hours is crucial for achieving high levels of productivity and ensuring profitability of projects.
Enter time management apps – your partner in crime for boosting productivity. There are literally thousands of solutions on the market that you can choose from. While variety is great, it’s important to know what the main features to look for in a time management software are.
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Time management apps: the top choices for productive teams
Now that you know why time management is crucial, it’s time to choose the app that will help you make it happen.
Hubstaff has been called one of the best time management software options out there. It’s as great for freelancers as it is for remote and mobile teams.
Features: Track time spent on tasks with Android, iOS, Chrome extension, Windows, Linux or Mac desktop software. Send invoices to your clients with a few clicks. Monitor your employee hours worked and work activity. Automate payroll and timesheets. Geo location options for teams with field workers. Integrates with all major project management apps, as well as has its own Hubstaff Tasks software.
Suited for: Freelancers, remote teams, agencies and businesses that need detailed or more reliable timesheets.
Shift is a workstation for productivity, streamlining workflows so you can get things done more efficiently. Without the hassle of logging in and out each time, Shift users get single-click access to over 900 of the web’s most popular applications, extensions, and email accounts.
Features: Workflow management on Windows, Mac OS or Linux. Email integration with Gmail, Outlook or Office365 and app integration with Slack, Facebook, Asana, Spotify and 900+ top apps. Unified search, custom notifications, and more.
Suited for: Freelancers, agencies, productivity hackers, startup founders
Features: Real-time communication, file sharing, voice and video calling, team organization.
Suited for: Simple day-to-day conversations, small- to medium-sized organizations.
One thing emails get right is there naturally threaded structure, but it’s also way too easy to lose track of them. This could also be said of most team chat apps. Imagine a much more organized and real-time version of that, and you get Twist.
Features: Real-time communication, organized threads within channels, file sharing, seamless email integration.
Suited for: Day-to-day conversations, larger organizations.
Workflow is an impressive automation tool that makes it easy to create a set of commands that connect the features of different apps. In other words, you don’t need to click ten times to achieve one single goal.
Features: Automatic actions with a single tap, customized workflows.
Suited for: Mobile-driven tasks, freelancers.
6. Focus booster
The focus booster app is here to help you concentrate. It’s the perfect way to easily apply whatever time management technique you choose.
Features: Instant online timesheets, interval time tracking, in-depth reports, mobile tracking.
Suited for: Easily distracted individuals, freelancers, remote teams.
Features: Available for mobile, to-do list reminders, calendar, notifications, and virtual assistant.
Suited for: Freelancers, remote work, virtual assistants.
Wunderlist might not make you a wunderkind, but it will certainly help you stay sane during workdays. This to-do app has a personal version, as well as one tailored to businesses.
Features: Available for mobile, to-do list reminders, calendar, notifications, collaboration option, due dates, tags.
Suited for: Virtual assistants, freelancers, managers.
Todoist is a great option for making sure your to-do lists don’t get forgotten. It can be your partner in managing your own or your team’s tasks.
Features: Available for mobile, to-do list reminders, notifications, collaboration option, projects with subprojects, recurring tasks, labels, filters.
Suited for: Freelancers, managers, remote teams.
One of the best things about video games is the satisfaction you feel when you finish one. Seeing your daily tasks as video game achievements is one surefire way to increase your motivation. With Habitica, you’re playing your own character in the game of, well, your own life.
Features: Goal tracking, to-do lists, progress tracker.
Suited for: People who want to be productive outside of work, people looking for a stepping stone to increasing their productivity.
Smartphones are amazing, but sometimes they can be the biggest hurdle to productivity. Forest is simple: you plant a tree for every new task. The tree grows when you don’t use your phone, and it dies when you leave the app.
Features: Progress tracker, timer.
Suited for: People who find it difficult to focus, people who can’t let go of their phones.
Make your time work for you
The first step to business-boosting time management is knowing that the right tool makes it a snap. What’s your favorite time management technique? Do any of these time management apps help you get more done, or manage your teams better? We can’t wait to hear from you in the comments!
This post was originally published in September 2018. It was updated by the Hubstaff Blog Team in October 2019.