Until someone invents a 30-hour day, busy professionals will be faced with the challenges of managing their time to maximize their productivity. Fortunately, there are several useful time management apps that have taken up the battle for you. The trick is finding the one that best suits your needs.
Here we’ll take a look at some of the major players — including their strengths and limitations — to help make the selection process easier.
Chrometa automatically captures every aspect of your billable time without requiring any user data entry. Chrometa notes your activities — reading emails, drafting documents, researching online, and phone or meeting time. If you step away for lunch or an errand, the app will prompt you to enter your absence as “downtime” when you return. No need to click start or stop. One caution: now you’ll know how much time you really spend on Facebook.
Designed for today’s busy mobile environment, Cube lets users track time, manage costs, assign tasks, and approve or reject time and expense data from any mobile device. The app works with all major browsers, including Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Plus, it’s available in English, Spanish, German, Italian, French and Portuguese.
Harvest is an easy-to-use time-tracking system for desktop or mobile that lets users monitor how much time they spend on a project. One-click tracking makes it easy to use, and there’s even an invoicing feature that pulls together all the time spent on a particular project and integrates it into the client bill. The $12-per-month individual rate lets users track the time spent on a project, input a project fee and track hours spent according to the hourly rate. Harvest then notifies the user by email when they’ve reached 80% of budget.
PayMo offers project management, time tracking and invoicing features for individuals or teams. The app offers an easy way to track time on collaborative jobs, stay within budget parameters, and provide clients with verified hours along with invoicing. PayMo also offers lots of add-ons to provide more detailed tracking of time spent online (for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari).
StayFocused keeps you on task by limiting the time you spend on time-wasting websites. Unfortunately it’s only available as an extension for Chrome. But if you’re up for an unflinching look at how you really spend your time online, StayFocused is worth checking out.
Tick offers straightforward time tracking against a budget. Ideal for freelancers or managers, Tick offers an easy-to-use timecard, running timers (as well as the ability to toggle between multiple timers), instant budget feedback and compatibility with mobile devices. The also app integrates easily with Basecamp.
Toggl, the self-described timesheet killer, offers a great deal of flexibility and functionality, particularly the phone apps. The app lets you see directly on your desktop the time you’re spending on a particular project. Also, Toggl can be used for free — which is great if you’re still shopping around for the most suitable tracking program for your business.
Hopefully this brief guide will help you select the best time tracking approach for you and your business. Now stop looking at puppy videos and get back to work!