Sometimes, it can be hard for managers to check the availability of their employees or how much time they spend on specific workflows. And, the need for online time tracking tools arises here.
Some managers are not working in the same office as their employees or they have freelancers and remote workers working for them. Especially in such cases, it gets more difficult for managers to monitor what employees are doing and to communicate with them to learn.
Good managers do not want to sound too bossy asking “what have you been doing”, but they have to know exactly what has been done and how long it took for a specific person. That way, managers can arrange the workflow and planning, prepare the quotes for third parties, see the performance of a person or group, etc. Well, because it is their job to manage and they need this data to do that.
On the other hand, most of the time, the employees do not want to be tracked. It is not because of the fact that they are not working, because they are. But, they feel under more pressure when they need to click on a tracking tool for their daily work.
Also, sometimes they take it very personally and think that their managers do not trust them and want to macro-manage. However, they should not be concerned, because this is not the point of online time tracking tools. They can consider it as a tool to show how good they work.
This is why communication should be done very delicately for the first time when you decide to use an online time tracking tool in your company.
Why should you use an online time tracking tool for your business?
There are a lot of reasons why time tracking software is needed. Also, there are different perspectives which should be taken into account. Here are the main reasons why:
- Planning & quote
- Saving data for the future
- More accurate and reliable
Planning & quote
If you exactly know how much time you spend on a specific type of work, you can estimate how long it will take for a larger load of work. That will help you to plan for workflows, set deadlines, estimate the time when the project ends, etc. Especially when you need to charge someone for the work, this data is much more valuable to enable you to prepare a quote.
You can guess approximately how much money you will get or pay at the end of the project. So, no surprises with better planning thanks to time tracking tools.
Saving data for the future
When you use a time tracking tool, of course, it keeps the data and displays it in different ways. So, for example, if your project is over or if it is time for you to ask for a performance-based raise, you can always go back and check the data saved in the tool and use it for your evidence.
It might be hard for your manager to recall how you have been doing, especially if the manager is responsible for a lot of people.
Whether you are a freelancer or remote worker or the project manager, this feature of time tracking tools is very beneficial.
More accurate and reliable
The results on the online time tracking tools are more reliable and accurate than what a person says. One person can be great at self-marketing and sound like she is working a lot.
However, another person might be doing much work in a better way and in a shorter time, but not marketing herself. In this case, the data kept in the online time tracking software will show that.
What are the top online time tracking tools?
Here, we have compiled a list of the best online time tracking software you can use for your business:
- Time Doctor
RescueTime is an online time tracking tool. It enables you to track time you spent on apps, websites and even on specific projects or documents with offline mode available.
With RescueTime, you can block the distracting websites and apps, integrate it with the other tools such as Slack and Calender, and set goals with alerts to build better habbits.
They clearly state on their website that they want you to be in control of your day. If you have any doubts, you can start with their 14-day trial to make up your mind. As their name also indicates, they aim to help you rescue your time from wasting.
On their website, there are reviews from people using this time tracking tool from different sectors. There are companies which use this to track their teams, freelancers to control their own time management and even business owners who want to control what they spend their time on.
When you launch Time Doctor’s website first, it asks you some questions and allows you to start a demo without any card information required.
Time Doctor has a lot of features which you can prefer to turn on and off. For example, it can take automated screenshots, you can see which websites and apps are being used, you can synchronize it with devices like Windows, Mac and Iphone, it can serve detailed reports & time sheets and it can be integrated with project management tools.
You can try their free trial for 14 days without any contracts and cancel or upgrade it later. They claim to increase your productivity by 22%.
Everhour is a time-tracking tool that enables you to track your team easily with its user-friendly structure.
With Everhour, you can get a summary of a member’s work, with top tasks and details on each time entry they made. If you are a freelancer working for different companies or projects, you can keep track of how much time you have for each client and project.
When you want to limit your work on a project, you can configure to auto stop running timers at the end of the workday. If you are a remote worker, you can ask for leaves or holidays through Everhour also. One of the most outstanding features is to make budgeting easier to track.
You can use Everhour completely free of charge if you have less than 5 users without integrations (like Asana, Trello, Basecamp, etc.).
If you prefer a trial that gives you access to everything Everhour has to offer (including integrations), you can get a fully-functional account for 2 weeks upon your sign-up. After 14 days, you will need to pick a plan and enter your credit card details if you wish to continue with their Basic plan.
Whether you are a freelancer or remote worker or manager, you can benefit from Clockify and its features.
With Clockify, you can get an accurate look at your workweek, improve the profitability of your projects, show clients/managers how much you have worked, and see where your team spends time. You can start and stop the timer as you work, or enter hours manually.
Their visual charts are very handy with tracking your work. It enables you to filter the reports as a summary, detailed or weekly ones.
The best news about this tracking tool is that it is free!
Hubstaff is another online time tracking tool with a lot of features to help you manage your work by tracking.
What it offers different from other time tracking tools is its GPS tracking feature. It might not be ideal or needed for freelancers or remote workers. It still allows you to show your location when you clock in. However, what is the point of it if you are already a freelancer or remote worker?
On the other hand, if you are a manager working away from your team, you might want to check whether they are working from the office or not. Or it might be useful to monitor when they have a work from home day.
It has the other features too such as online timesheets, productivity measurement, employee scheduling and detailed reporting.
When it comes to pricing, you can use it for free forever. However, with their free plan, you will only have time tracking and limited screenshots. With their basic plan, you can go with their free trial for 14 days with unlimited screenshots and one integration. You can check other plans and benefits on their website.
As a freelancer or a remote worker, you can get help from Freshbook to work more efficiently. They are actually an accounting software which also enables you to track your time.
From invoicing and expenses to tax time prep and online payments, FreshBooks is an all-in-one bookkeeping and accounting solution that saves you up to 200 hours a year.
Their support service is available all the time and it is free to ask for support.
Moreover, they offer free trial for 30 days (no credit card required). After your trial is up, you can choose from one of several paid plans. If you’re not ready to subscribe, no problem. Your invoices, expenses, and other data will be securely stored in case you decide to upgrade later on.
When you are freelancer, it sometimes can be hard to control what you spend your time on. Actually, it is not easy to notice when you waste your time on something. Connecteam is here to support you with tracking your time. Here, they explain who they are:
Apart from the common time-tracking tool features, Connecteam also offers chat between team members. Other online time-tracking tools usually integrates with other communication tools such as Slack. However, Connecteam has its own communication app in.
They have free trial for 14 days, which includes everything Connecteam has to offer. By the end of the free trial, you can choose whether you subscribe to a premium plan or use the free plan for an unlimited time.
With the free plan, you will have features for time tracking, employee scheduling, checklists and forms, employee engagement, chat and employee directory, and top notch customer support!
Now, you know what the best online time-tracking tools are and what advantages they have. We hope that they help to control your time and improve your productivity.
If you are looking for other tools to support you with increasing your productivity, you can see our article about the top productivity tools.