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Many people think that unless they are freelancers and need to charge per minute/hour, there is no point in using time-tracking tools. If you want to become more organized and do better planning, then tracking your time becomes an essential habit.
When part of your job is dealing with people, ie resolving conflicts, conducting development interviews, hiring, and overall lots of speaking, by the end of the day you might not remember what you’ve done. You haven’t had a chance to sit for 5 minutes and read news, yet no productive work has been performed. Why is that?
The answer to the above question might differ from situation to situation. One way to find is is to track the time you spent doing various things throughout the day: from having a toilet break and 5-minute coffee pause, to being interrupted by a colleague of yours on Slack or helping a junior employee with onboarding. A week or two of such data gathering would present you with surprise insights. And to help you with that, here are some of the best time-tracking tools in no particular order.
There’s no learning curve with Toggle, you just click start and off you go. There tens, if not hundreds, of tools that Toggle seamlessly integrates with. And the reports feature is the ultimate killer giving you an easy to digest overview of where your time went. There are also native clients for Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS.
Toggl is a remote-first company that has some useful and actionable advice in their blog on how to organize your time productively. This is especially useful in the days of Covid-19 stay-at-home policy in many countries.
actiTIME provides a convenient way to manage project scope, assign tasks, track time and analyze business performance based on the collected data. While you can track your time as a solo entrepreneur, where actiTIME shines best is within your team. You can create projects, tasks, assign these to members and start tracking how much time went into each task. There is also a nice way to get an overview of project costs based on the salaries of each individual.
actiTIME has a resourceful blog with suggestions of different project and product management tools, time optimization advice, and how to stay productive while working from home.
After some deep work on a project you might take a break and go get coffee, talk to a colleague of yours only to find later that you forgot to turn off time tracking. Some native apps might ping you when they detect your computer is idle, but timeBuzzer took a different approach: a hardware button. It seamlessly integrates with your computer and becomes a very convenient tool in tracking your time. In addition to hardware, there are also apps for web, Windows and Mac, Android and iOS.
RemoteOne is a great time tracker for freelancers that includes tracking reminders (did you remember to click the start button?), simple currency conversion when you need to invoice an international client, support for timezones, built-in invoicing, and public dashboards. This tool is built by digital nomads for digital nomads and freelances.
A time tracker built by the Toptal. If you’re a developer most likely you’ve stumbled upon their blog with lots of technical content. A well-built app that works in web, Windows, Mac, and Linux, and is absolutely free. It is targeted at freelancers and includes projects, invoices, and productivity reports.
Hubstaff offers several features that help save time on tasks like keeping track of what you worked on, calculating how much you earned, and preparing invoices for your clients. It has a customizable dashboard that shows you metrics like how long you worked on different tasks, the apps and URLs you spent time on, and when your most active hours were. Hubstaff runs on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Hubstaff has a blog with topics about efficient business management, best practices in productivity and time management, remote culture, and project management.
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