Tracking developer time can increase your productivity and help you and your team achieve better results in no time. You just need the right tool that will make it easy to code, fix bugs, and implement changes.
Why keep track of time, what to look for and what are the best apps? Let’s dig.
Why use time tracking software as a software developer?
Dianna Cowern of Physics Girl’s YouTube channel humorously notes that programmers “don’t sit in the basement, they don’t fix computers, they don’t have to talk to clients, they don’t have to. work alone to work in the basement. ”better, you don’t have to be Mensa geniuses and you don’t have to be adults.
And Diana is certainly right. Programmers are often seen as “geeks” and people don’t realize how important their work is in our daily lives.
Software developers, web developers, front-end and back-end developers, freelancers, consultants and the entire development team are the driving force behind all great modern products.
So why should you use a time tracker app if you are a freelance software developer? There are several practical reasons:
- Automation and optimization of work: good time tracking automates repetitive activities and eliminates tedious administrative formalities (especially paper timesheets)
- Improved productivity – you can work on your time management skills and overcome procrastination
- Prioritize responsibilities – you can better organize your workflow and focus on the most important activities
- Find Your Productivity Zone – You can identify the perfect time to achieve peak productivity and work during those specific times
- Better plan your work – When you understand how you work, it is easier to plan your workload
- Evaluate Project Profitability – Tracking billable hours allows you to determine if the projects you are working on are profitable
- Improve Your Skills – When you track your progress, you can easily discover your weaknesses, improve yourself, and work on your career development.
- Rich data about your work – Reports and timesheets give you deep insight into your performance and have proof of work for clients, managers and others involved in projects
What is the best time tracking app for developers?
The time tracker will not always be suitable for developers. You should look for specific features that will automate work and optimize processes:
- Reports with Personalization – to keep track of your time coding and customize the view
- Integrations – so you can connect with your favorite tools
- Billable time tracking: to bill each customer accurately
- Breakdown into tasks, subtasks and tags – for a better overview of your projects, clients and other important work data
- Productive activity tracking: to understand how you work and what takes you the most time
- Mobile applications: to follow your work wherever you are
If you don’t know what to choose, don’t worry! We’ve put together a list of the best time tracking programs for programmers.
1. Time Doctor
Best Overall Time Tracking Software
Time Doctor is our number one choice. From basic time tracking features to advanced features like employee monitoring and customer dashboards, this software has it all.
More than 83,000 companies trust Time Doctor to increase productivity in the workplace. It is used by brands like Verizon, Allstate, SurveyMonkey, and Home Depot.
Time Doctor integrates with other business tools you already have, including payment and billing tools.
You also get detailed reports on how people spend their time.
Time Doctor sends you alerts when you leave the task. There is also a Time Doctor mobile app for smartphones and tablets. The software tells you which websites and apps are used the most on each device. This solution is also ideal for project management and budgeting.
Time Doctor software starts at $ 12 per month for a single user, the price changes depending on the size of your team.
Business pricing starts at $ 24 per month. This package includes advanced features such as customer login access, video screenshots, VIP support, and other group features.
Ideal for easy time tracking
Toggl is perfect for anyone looking for the basics.
They offer time tracking features without too many advanced distractions.
Whether you continue with a previous task or start a new time entry, tracking starts with a single click.
Toggl detects downtime and sends you reminders if you forget to start or stop tracking a task. In addition, it integrates with more than 100 other applications.
Synchronize your data across all devices. So you can start tracking time on your browser and stop it on your phone. It’s too easy.
Toggl helps you manage projects, provides detailed reports, and allows you to assign billable rates to specific tasks.
While Toggl is definitely the best for simplicity, it does have some advanced features. You can use data visualization to determine benefits versus labor costs and access the team dashboard to see the productivity levels of your staff.
That said, Toggl’s functionality is still somewhat limited. It doesn’t offer as deep employee tracking or reporting as some of the other options on our list.
Pricing for Toggl starts at $ 9 per month per user, billed annually. For advanced features like project management, profitability charts, and team tools, pricing starts at $ 18 per month per user.
You can try Toggl free for 30 days with access to all its features. This is the best way to determine which plan is best for you.
Best For Small Business
Large businesses, small businesses, and the self-employed looking for time tracking software can use Harvest. Launched in 2006, its goal is to do things in vintage style. It involves being honest, giving back, innovating, and listening to customer needs, among other things.
Harvest is a simple time tracking tool that brings timing and invoices together under one roof. It links the two functions together so that you can receive payments based on recorded time entries without exporting data to another system.
It is ideal for freelancers, small, medium and large teams looking to integrate project and time tracking software with their favorite tools.
You can choose from 2 plans after the free trial expires, each adding more features:
- Free: It’s for 1 person, 2 projects and you get unlimited bills and customers. You can’t upload a company logo, attach files to invoices, integrate with QuickBooks Online, or import data. When you sign up, you’ll receive the full 30-day free trial for the first time. Once it expires, you will be able to use the free plan unless you upgrade.
- Pro: $ 12 / person / month or $ 10.8 / person / month (10% reduction for annual payments): 2+ people, unlimited projects, unlimited clients, unlimited invoicing, timesheet approval system that also allows managers to have an overview of their activity team.
- You will need to pay separately for the planning feature, Harvest Forecast. ($ 5 / month, unlimited users and projects)
All plans include time and expense tracking, powerful reports, unlimited invoices and estimates, project budget alerts, timesheet approval, integrations with over 100 apps, iOS apps, Android and Mac, banking security, phone and email support.
Availability: Web, iOS, Android, Mac, and as an add-on for Chrome and Safari.
This is one of those time tracking solutions that most users have a good opinion about Harvest, as the tool was rated 4.5 out of 5 (Capterra) and 4.3 out of 5 ( G2).
If we had to pick the best time tracking tools, Harvest would be our top three. Because? Because it’s a great example of a tool that combines labor time tracking with accounting features to make project delivery and invoicing easier. Plus, its integrations with Xero and QuickBooks make it more convenient for users who already use these tools for accounting or bookkeeping.
We look forward to the possible introduction of a recurring billing module to facilitate the entire payment and billing process with regular customers. The time tracking software only displays your times after every minute. Beginners motivated by watching their seconds go by quickly will appreciate a more precise timer that tracks every second of their work.
You can try this simple time tracking tool yourself with a 30-day free trial and try it with its 100+ integrations, or use your own API to configure your own.
Best For Tracking Employee Hours
If you’re looking for time-tracking software, TSheets started in 2006 and served a need at one of the founder’s previous companies: keeping track of timesheets for employees who were always on the go. The team then went from just two members wanting to solve productivity and reporting issues to more than 100 employees. Intuit acquired the tool in 2017.
It is best for freelancers, small businesses, medium and large teams that need a timing system and team planning tool.
TSheets has a quick onboarding process. You will receive a welcome email and a message to verify your email address. Once you have validated this email, you will have access to the TSheets guide, a product tour, and live training for account managers.
There is only one plan that you can opt for TSheets and it costs $ 8 / user / month + $ 20 base charge / month or $ 6.40 / user / month if billed annually with a base rate of $ 16 / month, which saves you 20% with annual payments.
Accounts include: mobile apps for out-of-office employees, GPS timestamps, flexible time entry, team time tracking, PTO accrual, overtime alerts to avoid overwork, timesheet approvals , who is working and in real time. Plus, you’ll get payroll reports, project reports, and labor costs. In addition, you will have access to the Audit Trail, 99.99% server uptime to answer questions anytime, Safe Harbor Certified for privacy, QuickBooks integration, and TLS encrypted data.
With over 2,500 user reviews, TSheets scores 4.5 / 5 on Capterra and slightly better with 4.6 / 5 on G2. This commitment to creating accessible team time tracking software has earned them several awards in the past: 2015 & 2016 Top Company Cultures by Entrepreneur, Deloitte Fast 500 Technology – 2016 North America, 2015 & 2016 Best Places to Work – Idaho, 2014 Innovation Award – Company of the Year, and also 2014, 2015 and 2016 Awesome App from the Sleeter Group.
Available for iOS and Android (mobile app) as well as iPad (Kiosk app), we’re putting TSheets on our personal top for portability. You won’t find its facial recognition feature in any other tool. This can be helpful for managers to verify the identity of the person in charge of a task, especially if they haven’t completed it before. But it is not for everyone. While this helps managers verify identities, be aware that some employees may find this option quite intrusive. TSheets also lacks a billing module, but you can use its main app, QuickBooks, to fill the gap.
Best For Employee Productivity Monitoring
If you’re looking for software to track billable hours, Hubstaff started in 2012 as a tool to help you manage small remote computers. Today, they are the choice of more than 8,000 agencies, freelancers and virtual teams who use it to help them in their daily tasks. Hubstaff is led by a growing team spread across the globe whose primary goal is to focus on customer satisfaction. In addition, they offer a free marketplace (Hubstaff talent) to connect freelancers and employers.
Great for small, medium, and large teams who want to see exactly what the team is working on with screenshots.
Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email as well as a welcome email after confirming the account and an app tutorial to get you started. What else will you get? Best practices for onboarding teams, a guide for users and owners, and a link to the video tutorial. In fact, you’ll have access to live chat, support, and even team profile photos to meet the creators (I thought that was awesome).
There are 4 subscription plans to choose from, each adding more features:
- Free: The plan is free for 1 user and you’ll get working time tracking, limited screenshot storage, limited payouts, and activity levels to see your progress.
- Basic: $ 5 / month allows 1 person (billed monthly) to use Hubstaff. You can get the following features: time tracking, screenshots, keyboard and mouse activity monitoring to keep time tracking as accurate as possible, employee payments, 1 integration with any app of your choice , 24/7 support for more help whenever you need it, and per-user settings to personalize each person’s account.
- Premium: Priced at $ 10 / month for 1 user (billed monthly), you can get basic plan features and URL and app tracking, auto pay, weekly limits, and multiple integrations to suit everyone your needs. Plus, this plan will provide you with attendance planning, billing, location tracking for better employee control, and project budgets to track your spending.
- Business: At $ 20 / month for 1 user (billed monthly) you can get Premium features and VIP support, unlimited job boards, setup of a concierge account, and higher limits on the API public.
- All plans change their prices according to the number of users chosen in the scale bar. Packages can reach up to 200 users.
Annual payments give you two months free. The best part is you can get your money back within the first 60 days.
Ideal for agencies
TimeCamp is perfect for companies that need to track projects based on billable hours. That is why this software is the first choice for agencies and even freelancers.
The software will automatically record the time and assign it to specific projects. You and your team won’t need to click a single click.
You can use TimeCamp from any device, with the desktop app, the web app, and the mobile app.
In addition to project task management, TimeCamp has team management and attendance monitoring tools. It’s easy to integrate with the applications you already use to manage projects and tasks.
You can also use TimeCamp to create invoices. These invoices will be completed automatically according to the configuration that applies by task, hourly rate or user.
For so many advanced features, TimeCamp is surprisingly affordable.
Even the Basic Plan has everything you need to manage projects and keep track of your agency’s time. However, the entry-level plan doesn’t come with billing tools or timesheet approvals. You will need to upgrade to the Pro plan for these features.
The best inexpensive time tracking software
Timesheets.com is simple and inexpensive time tracking software.
The department tracks employee hours to calculate payroll and billable time. It also has a time off management system for time off and PTO, which allows for employee requests, supervisor approvals, and accrual calculations.
You and your staff can track mileage, expenses, and download receipts right from your phone.
Timesheets.com has the most affordable pricing options on our list. It is free for individual and freelance users. For businesses, this time the tracking software costs just $ 4.50 per month per user. If you sign up for annual billing, you will get one month free. Associations benefit from a 20% discount.
That’s it. There are no setup fees, hidden fees, or long-term contractual requirements.
It is the cheapest time tracking software on our list. But it still has all the basic features you need for time tracking.
However, Timesheets.com is limited. It does not offer advanced reporting or project management features. As the name suggests, it focuses more on employee timesheets and hours rather than keeping track of individual tasks.
Timely is a tool that allows you to manage team time and project time with automatic time tracking. Keep track of time spent on tasks in hours and costs incurred.
You can even monitor your team’s performance by checking the tasks employees spend time on, instantly checking real-time employee activity and KPIs.
By importing important dates from a calendar or even email, you can easily set project schedules. With AI, this best time-tracking tool identifies your overall workflow and gets you back on track to help you speed up your work with suggestions based on your previous work and edits.
Ideal for all types of teams and individuals who want to automate their timesheet creation process.
You will receive a welcome email asking you to add projects and team members. In addition, you will receive links to download the applications and shortcuts to specific functions that may be useful.
As soon as you log in, you will run a survey to gather information about your team and your goals for using Timely. Then it is recommended to install your memory tracking application. You can skip this part if you don’t want to get it yet. There is also a page for help guides and another for product updates for the latest features.
To use Timely, you will need to choose between 5 different plans. Each subscription level is made for different types of companies and individuals:
- Moonlight: $ 7 / month ($ 6 / month if paid annually): 5 active projects: For 1 unique user, you will be able to monitor your IT activity (only for the current day) and keep track of the time spent in meetings or in your favorite applications.
- Freelance: $ 14 / month ($ 13 / month if paid annually): 25 active projects: understand plan functionality Moonlight + tracks IT activity every day, AI categorizes your work and blocks timesheet entries to avoid changes.
- Professional – $ 23 / month ($ 20 / month if paid annually) – Unlimited active projects – Includes Freelancer plan features + in-app support, notifications about potential registration errors, project and team scheduling, and tagging for sheet entries of time.
- Growth: $ 99 / month ($ 89 / month if paid annually): 50 active projects and 5 seats included – Includes Freelancer plan features + location tracking activities.
- Business: $ 299 / month ($ 269 / month if paid annually) – Unlimited active projects and 15 seats included – Includes growth plan functions + in-app support, notifications about possible registration errors, team organization, registration of time for other functions, projects and team planning and tagging for timesheet entries.
- Custom packages apply for more than 25 people.
Availability: Web, Mac and Windows (desktop app, Memory Tracker), iOS (location tracking) and Android (mobile app), iPad and Apple Watch.
From tracking billable hours and tasks to tracking employee productivity, payroll, and timesheets, there are many options to choose from.
Time Doctor is our best overall recommendation. He has basic and advanced time tracking features at an affordable price.
But if you need something simple without too many complex features, we recommend Toggl. For comparable basic functionality at the lowest possible price, Timesheets.com is an alternative solution.
Small businesses can get the most out of Harvest. QuickBooks Time is the best software for keeping track of employee hours. Hubstaff is our best option for monitoring employee productivity. If you have an agency and need to track billable hours for client tasks and invoices, give TimeCamp a try.
Regardless of what type of time tracking you need, there is an option for you on our list.
How can tracking your time help you?
Teams that bill clients by the hour or have remote, distributed, or field teams need a way to capture work hours easily and accurately. Before time tracking software, these teams would keep written records of work, which required manual effort that was often error-prone. Time tracking software automates time tracking so you can be confident that timesheets are spot-on and easy to export so you can pay teams, invoice clients, and keep detailed work records.
How do you choose a time tracker app?
Look for the following when comparing time tracking apps: Ease of use, readily available customer support, the specific features you need, and integrations with the apps you’re already using.
How much do time tracking apps cost?
Time tracking apps range from free to around $20/user per month for a full set of productivity features. The more useful and powerful you want your time tracker to be, the more you’ll pay each month.
Though it’s important to note that more advanced time trackers can deliver time and cost savings by automating certain processes, such as emailing your team for them to turn in timesheets and running payroll manually.