From project planning and development to reporting and testing, task management involves a lot of work.
And that’s why you should track time for each of these processes.
Task management time tracking not only helps monitor various workflows but allows you to identify bottlenecks and opportunities.
In this article, we’ll cover why task management time tracking is important and highlight the six best time tracking tools for your task management activities. We’ll also provide three simple tips to help you choose the right tool and implement it efficiently.
This article contains:
(Click on the links to jump to a specific section)
- Why Do You Need Task Management Time Tracking?
- 6 Best Task Management Time Tracking Tools
- 3 Simple Tips for Effective Task Management Time Tracking
Let’s get started.
Why do you need task management time tracking?
Task management time tracking (or project time tracking) involves tracking the time spent handling a task’s entire lifecycle.
A task management tool will simply tell you how much time you spent on tasks, but a time tracking solution usually offers useful productivity features and reports that help you enhance team productivity.
Before we explore the tools, let’s quickly dive into the benefits of project time tracking:
1. Smarter resource management
The tracked data and reports provide a bird’s eye view of resource allocation.
The task manager can gauge the average time each team member takes to deliver a specific task. They can then decide on how they should assign tasks for maximum productivity.
Moreover, task managers can also reassign project tasks if someone has too much workload. This can help prevent employee burnout.
2. Gain insights into productivity
Most time tracking tools offer built-in reports functionality. They convert the tracked data into intuitive reports that are easy to understand and provide actionable insights into each user’s productivity.
You can use these time reports to review team performance and efficiently manage your projects and team.
For example, a report on your team members can help you see how they spend their time on individual tasks. You can then decide what to change to increase employee productivity.
3. Easy payments
Does calculating overtime pay seem a hassle to you?
Or, does your workforce heavily rely on freelancers?
With time tracking software, you’ll be able to track how long your team spends on each task to determine their billable hours and overtime pay down to the second. This will also help you with client invoicing.
Additionally, some tools even offer integrations with online payment systems for easy payments.
Now that you know why time tracking is essential for your project management activities, how do you go about it?
The first step is finding the right time tracking and management tool.
So, here’s our list of a few handpicked tools to help you get started.
6 best task management time tracking tools
Let’s look at the six best time tracking tools for task management:
1. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is a powerful time tracking and employee productivity management software used by SMBs like Thrive Market and large companies like Ericsson and RE/MAX to boost employee productivity.
This tool allows you to accurately track the time taken for all your tasks and projects in real-time. It’s compatible across all devices that support Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Chrome operating systems.
Here’s a detailed look at Time Doctor’s key features:
A. Simple time tracking
Time Doctor’s time tracking feature helps employees track their work activity with a simple and easy-to-use interface.
Here’s how you can track time manually:
- Open Time Doctor and log in with your credentials.
- Create a new task or choose one from the task list.
- Click on the Play button to track time.
Time Doctor will now track time while running in the background. And if you’ve completed your task or want to take a break, simply click Stop.
This time tracking software also offers automated time tracking in which the Time Doctor app starts recording time when you turn on your computer.
With an automatic time tracker, you won’t have to worry about manually starting or stopping the timer every time you work or take a break.
B. Productivity reports
Time Doctor gives various comprehensive productivity reports based on tracked employee activity.
Here’s a quick look at some of them:
- Hours tracked report: See the total number of hours tracked by employees for any date range.
- Timeline report: Gives an insight into how much time each employee spends working and on breaks.
- Activity summary report: Shows active seconds and minutes, mobile use, unproductive activity, and more.
- Attendance report: See which employee is absent, partially absent, present, or late.
- Project & tasks report: See how long your employees take to complete any given task.
- Custom export: Generate reports with custom data to suit your business needs.
- Web and app usage report: View how much time each remote worker spends on different sites and apps.
C. Idle time tracking
Time Doctor tracks the idle time of employees during their workday. You can use this to easily determine who is actively working on their tasks and who needs improvement.
You can also set how long the timer can run without any keyboard or mouse activity. Once the timer reaches its limit, it automatically stops tracking time and displays an idle time pop-up – gently nudging the employee to focus on their tasks.
Note: Time Doctor doesn’t track any keystrokes or mouse clicks to protect privacy. It only checks if any key was pressed.
D. Productivity ratings
Most time tracking apps classify social media sites like Instagram as unproductive sites.
But what if your marketing team needs it for work?
Fortunately, Time Doctor’s productivity ratings feature allows you to categorize websites and apps based on their relevance with work.
You can rate them as Productive, Unproductive, Unrated, and Neutral. The employee productivity reports are generated based on these ratings, making them highly accurate.
E. Payroll management
Time Doctor offers smart payroll management to let you pay your employees with ease.
You can customize this payroll software feature by setting the:
- Payment method.
- Payment time range.
- Pay rates for each employee and more.
F. Chrome extension and integrations
Other integrations include:
- CRM: Zoho, Pipedrive, etc.
- Communication: Podio, Slack, Zapier, etc.
- Customer support: Zendesk, Freshdesk, etc.
Time Doctor offers a free 14-day trial without any credit card requirement. Paid plans start as low as $7/user per month.
- G2: 4.4/5 (230+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (370+ reviews)
Harvest is a time tracking software designed for freelancers and agencies. It helps you track time, ensuring your team is on track with the projects.
Using their sister app Forecast, you can also determine your team’s capacity and plan your work allocation.
- Simplifies tracking team members’ activity and project progress.
- Invoicing feature to generate invoices as per billable hours and process payments through Paypal or Stripe.
- Can set multiple billing rates, track billable time, and expense to stay aligned with all your clients simultaneously.
- Stay on top of project budget and internal costs with live reports.
- Offers web app, desktop app for Mac, and Android, and iOS mobile apps.
Harvest provides a limited free plan for a single user. The paid plan starts at $12/user per month and supports unlimited users and projects.
It also offers a fully functional 30-day free trial (no credit card required).
- G2: 4.3/5 (720+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (450+ reviews)
Hubstaff is an employee time tracking tool that offers employee scheduling and payroll functionalities. It also provides Android and iOS mobile apps that enable teams to track time on the go.
- Record employee work hours with timesheets.
- Employee monitoring to view team’s work in progress in real-time.
- GPS tracking to automatically track work based on employee location.
- Generate attendance reports and accurate time cards based on your team’s tracked hours.
- Automate and send payments within the app.
Learn more about Hubstaff in our detailed review.
Hubstaff offers a free plan for a single user with limited functionalities. Paid plans start at $7/user per month.
It also offers a customizable enterprise plan for unlimited users and more.
- G2: 4.3/5 (360+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (1180+ reviews)
4. Toggl Track
Toggl Track is an easy-to-use time tracking and reporting tool suitable for freelancers and smaller teams.
- Offers a built-in Pomodoro timer.
- Pin frequently used tasks to the top of the timer page for easy access.
- Can export reports as a PDF, XLS, or CSV file for easy storage.
- Dashboard to forecast project budget, timelines, and track progress as you go.
- Integrates with business tools like Google Calendar, Zapier, and Jira.
Read our in-depth review on Toggl Track.
It offers a free plan that supports unlimited projects, exportable reports, etc. The paid plan starts at $10/user per month.
- G2: 4.6/5 (1450+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (1750+ reviews)
RescueTime is not only a time tracking app but a web-based employee productivity tracking platform that can help you focus with defined focus sessions.
- Tracks the time employees spend on a particular tool or site during work hours.
- Allows you to set productivity goals and sends notifications if you’re spending too much time on a specific task.
- Lets you create a list of non-productive sites and block them.
- Offers detailed reports on time usage to help enhance employee productivity levels.
- Generates a timesheet that shows time spent in focus work, meetings, and other work activities.
Check out this comprehensive review of RescueTime.
Plans start at $6.50/month. It also offers a two-week free trial.
- G2: 4.2/5 (70+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (120+ reviews)
Timely is an automated time tracking software that allows you to centralize project workflows in a project management dashboard.
It tracks time for specific tasks based on files worked, websites accessed, software used, and more.
- Monitor employee working hours, overtime, capacity, and workload in real-time.
- Offers a memory app that captures the time you spend in every web and desktop app.
- Customize reports and easily share them with employees, clients, and other stakeholders.
- Drag-and-drop functionality for allocating tasks and visualizing project plans.
- Offers Android and iOS mobile apps to track time on the go.
Plans start at $10/user per month. It offers a Tasks add-on that allows you to assign tasks, schedule, and track their progress at $5/user.
- G2: 4.8/5 (170+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (200+ reviews)
Now that we have explored some of the best timesheet software available today, let’s check out how you can choose the best tool for your needs and implement it easily.
3 simple tips for effective task management time tracking
Here are three easy tips for easy project management time tracking:
1. Choose the right tool
Before you pick a time tracking app, you should consider a few general things like:
- What devices does your team use?
- Is the software easy to use?
- What is your budget for the software?
Then, you need to make a list of what project time tracking features you require.
Some must-have features to look for:
- Tracks time in real-time or offers the functionality to update manually later.
- Ability to edit the time entries.
- Generates accurate reports.
- Easy integration with your project management software.
Additionally, you can see if the time management app is more suitable for an in-house or remote team or freelancers. This can help you decide if it’s the best option for your current workforce.
2. Bring your entire team aboard
Trying to implement changes suddenly can create chaos and hinder your projects unnecessarily.
So, to promote acceptance, you must show how time and project tracking will help simplify workflows like generating invoices
Moreover, having all your team members aboard can create uniformity in your business process and prevent confusion.
3. Ensure regular time tracking
Irregular time tracking is another common problem that task managers face. It can lead to micromanagement, inaccurate billing, and more.
To avoid this, you need to motivate your team to track time daily in order to maintain accurate time logs.
How can you do that?
You can highlight the benefits of regular tracking for employees like:
- Help understand individual capacity.
- Identify productivity patterns.
- Keep a record of overtime hours.
- Better manage workload to prevent employee burnout.
Additionally, you can offer rewards and incentives for employees who track time diligently.
Efficient time tracking can streamline your task management workflows.
Most time tracking software offers accurate time tracking and provides various productivity management functionalities, helping you deliver the best results.
And while all the tools we covered here are great, Time Doctor stands out with some state-of-the-art features like idle time tracking, productivity ratings, Chrome extension, and several third-party integrations.
So why not sign up for Time Doctor today and enjoy all the benefits of task management time tracking?