24 Apr 2019

7 of the Best Apps for When You Need to Keep Time

Written by Kristian Rusten

Timekeeping apps serve a slew of purposes. They’re productivity apps, they’re personal apps, they’re apps for management and freelancing. They can be incredibly useful, and as such it would be a crying shame if we didn’t bring you a selection of the best.

And so, to save you the time it would take to look elsewhere, here are seven of the best timekeeping apps around.

Focus Booster

Multi-device; freemium

Focus Booster is a simple timekeeper aimed at overcoming distractions through use of a timer.

Based on the Pomodoro technique, it takes a really basic approach, and offers some reporting at the end of the day. If you’re looking for entry-level timekeeping, this is where you should start.

Toggl

Multi-device; freemium

Toggl pushes simplicity as the key to good timekeeping. It’s difficult to disagree.

Aimed at teams, Toggl promises to be easy to use while providing a boost to productivity.

It’s easy to get distracted by a list of features when trying to choose a timekeeper. A lot of timekeeping apps will complicate things to make you think you’re getting something more – but really, the point of time-keeping isn’t complicated. Toggl understands this.

Timely

Multi-device; paid

Timely’s selling point is automation. It takes away the hassle of having to set up a timer and press ‘start’ whenever you want to track something. That sounds like a small thing, but anyone who’s used a timer before knows how annoying it is when you forget to press start.

It’s not magic – you’ll have to put some work into “training” it to understand which tasks you’re doing. But after that initial period, it promises to have learned from the changes you’ve made, and, eventually, to be able to manage the entirety of your timekeeping by itself.

Timely is best for teams or individuals who have relatively consistent schedules. Full automation is a huge plus in timekeeping, but if you’re always doing something new, it might not work for you.

TSheets

Multi-device; freemium

TSheets is like a lot of work timekeeping apps. It’s a crowded market, and points of difference are in short supply.

But the free versions of these apps can be quite limited, especially those targeted at professionals.

Tsheets offers a comprehensive, single-user free version. This has helped to make it the go-to for freelancers and those who jumped into timekeeping on their own initiative. If this sounds like you, then you may have found your timekeeping solution.

Everhour

Multi-device; paid

Everhour makes a big deal of its integrations. It connects with a lot of apps, including big hitters like Trello, Slack, and Asana.

Task manager devotees will instantly see the benefit there. And while other timekeepers offer app integration as well, this seems to be Everhour’s thing. They also boast of compatibility with CRM software.

If you rely on a variety of project and time management apps, and are looking for a timekeeper that fits in with what you’ve already got, Everhour could be for you.

Hubstaff

Multi-device; freemium

Hubstaff is timekeeping for managers. It seems to be aimed specifically at people in charge of teams. It’s packed with features that make it an excellent option if you are one of these people. It’s got everything you’d expect it to have, plus a few extras.

But sometimes time tracking apps can get far too invasive. Options that Hubstaff offers such as GPS tracking and employee screenshots definitely fall into this category.

An approach like that can create a dehumanising and alienating environment for workers. Proceed with caution when it comes to the nuclear options.

Rescue time

Multi-device; freemium

Rescue time should really be looked at as a productivity app. It is, after all, about rescuing wasted time.

It runs in the background of your computer or mobile device, tracking which apps or websites you’re on and for how long. The feedback it then offers should give you enough data to know where and when your time is being wasted.

It’s simple but effective, good for people who are concerned about how much of their time is being sucked into the digital world’s many holes.

Life Cycle

iOS; freemium

Life Cycle can track basically anything you’re doing, your steps, your meals, where you’ve been, activities. It’s a time tracker for your everyday life.

It has an interesting link with its cousin app too, Sleep Cycle. When combined with your Life Cycle time tracker, you’ll be able to see any links between what you did during the day and the quality of your night’s rest. It also connects to Apple’s health app to share information on the time you’ve spent doing physical activity.

Life Cycle goes to show that timekeeping may have vast, untapped potential in our personal lives.

What’s your favourite timekeeping app? Let us know on twitter or facebook.

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Kristian Rusten

About Kristian Rusten

After spending two years working with Amnesty International in New Zealand, Kristian Rusten worked as a refugee caseworker in Greece and now lives in Paris, while writing, freelancing and volunteering.

View all posts by Kristian Rusten