Overview: RescueTime automatically tracks your time in the background and can also block distracting websites. It runs in the background of your devices.
No need to hit a start and stop button to switch tasks. RescueTime also automatically tracks and categorizes where you use your time. With the focus on productivity and not clients and invoicing like apps further down this list , RescueTime has a feature called FocusTime. This feature is built so well that it rivals pure site-blocking apps like Freedom.
You can schedule recurring sessions when you want to block distracting websites say, no Facebook before 9 AM. Toggl was initially built to help teams and professionals track their time and billables. Toggl is simple to use — just hit Start and the timer gets going. You can add the task to a project. If you switch between devices, Toggl keeps the timer synced across them. Toggl has a basic Pomodoro timer as part of its Chrome extension — useful for staying focused on a task. Overview: Clockify is a time tracking app designed for teams, though it can also work well for solo professionals and students.
Clockify is a time tracking app built with project teams in mind. For example, the big draw for Clockify is that its free tier lets you have unlimited users and projects. This said the interface is definitely better-looking than Toggl. I like how easy it is to switch from a manual time-entry mode and timer time tracking mode. Overview: Timely is a time-tracking app that uses AI to learn what you work on and automatically categorize it.
Best time tracker apps compared:
Timely is another app built for professionals. Unlike more team-focused apps like Toggl and Clockify, though, Timely straddles the line between a personal and professional time tracking app. I really liked the visual calendar view and the automatic, behind-the-scenes time tracking. Its AI gets more accurate as you edit and tag your tasks.
Overview: Truly in a category of its own, Timeular mixes digital time tracking with a physical device that helps you visualize how you spend your time. Timeular attempts to give you an accurate look at how you spend your time by blending the real world and the virtual worlds.
For the purposes of this review, I tried using just the free software. One example is that you have to create an activity on your desktop before you can track time for that activity on the app. Hat-tip to Nat Eliason , who turned me onto this nifty gadget.
How does its design compare to the other apps?
5 Best Time Tracking Apps for Mac To Boost Your Productivity | TechWiser
Things like client, project, and task creation should be extremely fast and easy. Starting and stopping timers should also be very simple. There should not be a steep learning curve here. Since the way we work has evolved, so must platforms that track our time. This might be responding to email, writing, or doing research. If these are billable tasks, then I need to be able to track them regardless of the device.
Things I do on iOS should sync back to a central database. I would also like the option to start a task on my Mac, open the app on iOS, and be able to interact with it stop, view current time, etc seamlessly. I have multiple clients I work for, and I have multiple projects running at any given time. I need the ability to create projects and start timers for said projects with maximum speed and simplicity.
You must also be able run reports and create spreadsheets for clients. I use Freshbooks for invoicing, so double bonus if it can export natively into a format that can be used by other tools. After researching various options, I settled on Toggl as the best overall time tracker for freelancers. It features the most detailed design, with all the bells and whistles the service offers.
The web interface is also a full-featured timer. The beauty of the platform is you can start a timer on one device, but stop on another. The web interface feels modern, but still finds the right balance of utility and simplicity. Starting and stopping a timer is a key focus of the main screen, so you can get right to work without a lot of fuss. Toggl on the Mac finds the right balance in simplicity and power and feels like a streamlined timer app with lots of power waiting in the wings. For example, on the Mac, it supports keyboard shortcuts for bathroom breaks, etc.
On iOS , we see the same simplicity as the Mac version. When you launch the app, you see a green start button in the top right corner. Tap that, and the timer starts.
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The mobile app is not just a simple timer either. You can also add new projects and clients. Toggl supports clients, projects under those clients, and then tasks under those projects. This feature allows you to easily show how time spent under a specific project was used. Tasks might be research, client follow-up, design brainstorming, etc. Support for clients, projects, and tasks is a key feature of a product like this. This allows you to better track how profitable your time is. Tracking time is great, but being able to bill time is even better! Toggl supports a number of export options.
Paid plans also includes time audits that can help you find misplaced time entries long durations, etc. One of the cool things about Toggl is its third-party support. As great as a product may be, price can often make or break its usefulness. The free plan offers a lot of features that will cover you if you just need basic time tracking. If you need detail reporting and project management, the pro options might be useful to you. Overall, Toggl is fantastic. It finds a great balance of powerful features, but remains simple, and its pricing model is fair.
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The free version will cover a lot of people, but the paid plans offer enough to make them useful. If you are in the market for a time tracking tool, be sure to check it out. Toggl shined brighter in a few areas, and they also offer a free plan. From a design point of view, Harvest has clearly put a lot of resources into the design of their apps.
Similar to Toggl, the Mac app is more of a basic timer than anything.
The best time tracking solution for freelancers
Harvest comes with many more tools than Toggl. It can manage expenses and actually invoice clients as well. On the web, you have full access to the platform.
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You can start timers, build new projects, add clients, etc. On the iOS side, you can start timers, build projects, and add clients. Overall, I found Harvest extremely easy to use. The time tracking aspect allows you to get to work without a lot of taps.