Wondering what the essential features of time tracking software are?
A time tracking solution lets you track and analyze employee performance based on the work hours spent on a task, project, or client.
However, with several time tracking software available today, you’ll probably have difficulty choosing a tool that works best for you.
But don’t worry!
In this article, we’ll highlight the most crucial features to look for in a time tracking tool. We’ll also mention the best time tracking solution for 2021 to make your choice easy.
This Article Contains:
(click on the links below to jump to a specific section)
- What is Time Tracking Software?
- What are the Top Features of Time Tracking Software?
- The Best Time Tracking Software For 2021
Let’s get started.
What is Time Tracking Software?
A time tracking software records the work done by an employee, consultant, freelancer, or any other individual associated with a company.
Apart from recording the total time worked, a time tracker app also records:
- Time spent on individual projects.
- How long a team member was idle.
- Total work done in a week/month.
A time tracking software makes it easier to generate analytic reports, create payrolls, and gauge every employee’s productivity accurately.
What are the Top Features of Time Tracking Software?
The key features to consider when choosing a time tracking software solution are:
- Time Tracking
- Analytics and Reports
- Project Management
- Payroll Management
- Mobile App
We’ll take a closer look at each of these features.
A. Time Tracking
Time tracking involves recording the time spent by your employees on various tasks throughout the day.
Apart from tracking the work done, the application must also display this data in easy-to-understand formats, like graphs.
Managers should be able to filter the time management data based on:
- And more.
It must also be possible to access multiple members’ data at once, making it easier to understand every individual’s contributions and performance.
Benefits Of Time Tracking
The benefits of using the time tracking feature in a tool are:
1. Measure and Improve Productivity
Monitoring an employee’s work involves tracking the time spent on different websites and tasks, active/idle times, and clock in and clock out times.
By analyzing this time data, you can get insights into their productivity levels, like which tasks take them the most time to complete and what might be causing distractions during the workday.
2. Increase Profitability
By checking your employees’ total time spent on a particular project, you can quickly identify the most expensive or time-consuming tasks.
This sort of expense tracking allows you to measure every project’s profitability and enables you to re-prioritize tasks that are less profitable.
A timesheet calculates the work done by your employees in terms of billable hours.
Modern-day applications automatically generate the timesheet in some template and send it to your email address in CSV or DOC formats at specific intervals (every day/week/month).
Some time tracking apps also offer automated payrolls for billable hours, allowing you to set up automatic payments to consultants or employees via their preferred payment method.
Benefits Of Timesheets
Here are a few benefits of having the timesheet feature in your time tracking tool:
1. Invoice Processing
You can use a timesheet to simplify and streamline the invoice processing workflow. They provide an overview of the work done by an employee along with their billable hours.
2. Accurate Quotes
Maintaining a database of employee timesheets on completed projects can help you better estimate upcoming project costs.
By going through an employee database of timesheets and previous budget tracking data, you can provide more accurate and reliable quotes to your clients.
C. Analytics and Reports
Time tracking applications usually generate reports based on the work done by every employee.
The reports might include:
- Summary of work done: presents detailed information on active employee hours and idle time over a day/week/month.
- Project/task-specific reports: shows everyone’s contributions to a particular project or task.
- Activity reports: describes the work done by your employees, like the tasks they’ve worked on or the websites they’ve visited.
Benefits Of Analytics And Reports
Some benefits of having a key feature like analytics and reports in your time tracking software are:
1. Measure Performance
Analytics and reports can help you quantify your consultants’ and employees’ performance against the individual goals you set.
In case you find that the performance could be better, based on employee monitoring data, you can convey this to your team.
2. Identify Recruitment Opportunities
Reporting and analytics also help you figure out if you need to hire more employees based on your current workforce’s performance. This ensures that none of your colleagues are overworked.
D. Project Management
Project management helps you complete your projects on time, within the project budget, and at the expected quality.
Usually, a time tracking app is integrated into more comprehensive project management software.
However, these days, a time tracking app tends to include some necessary project management or task management capabilities to support small projects.
Project management features help you:
- Assign a task to employees.
- Set task deadlines.
- Track project progress.
- Manage costs.
Benefits Of Project Management
Some benefits of using project management capabilities in your time tracking tool include:
1. Creates Accountability
By assigning specific employees to a task, project management helps foster a sense of accountability.
This way, employees will take complete ownership of the tasks and commit to completing them.
2. Monitor Project Progress
You can assign work to your colleagues and monitor their progress in daily tasks, weekly achievements, or monthly goals. This enables you to stay on top of your projects and deadlines.
E. Payroll Management
It isn’t practical for you to manually track timesheets and process your employees’ payroll.
And as your company grows, things just get more complicated.
This is where a payroll management feature comes in handy.
It allows you to charge clients by the hour based on billable time and the agreed-upon hourly rates, or so. Also, keeping time tracked and payroll together helps you streamline the whole accounting process.
Benefits Of Payroll Management
Here are the benefits of having payroll management capabilities in your time tracking software:
1. Saves Time
By automatically generating payroll, you can save the time spent on developing invoices manually.
2. Improves Transparency
As you automate payroll, the billing process’ transparency improves, which helps avoid any billing-related disputes.
Third-party integration capabilities have become the norm when choosing a time tracking software.
If you’re using an integrated system, it’s much easier to manage projects effectively and implement long-term and short-term adjustments that maximize performance.
Here are some tools that most time-tracking software integrate with:
Benefits Of Integrations
Integrations in your time tracking tool offer the following benefits:
1. Holistic Business View
When your time tracking software is integrated with multiple touchpoints in your organization, you get a more holistic view of your business performance.
For example, a project manager might be using a project management tool for their work; the accounts team might use payroll software, and so on.
Integrating with each of these different tools used by the various departments allows you to see the bigger picture. It reveals how other parts of your business ultimately affect the achievement of your business objectives.
2. Improved Scope
Once you’ve integrated your time tracking tool with other trusted software like Slack or Paypal, you’re essentially widening the scope of what your tool can do.
For example, if you integrate a collaboration system like Trello with a time tracking tool like Time Doctor, every time you add a new task to your tracking tool, a new Trello card could be created automatically.
G. Mobile App
A mobile app enables you to access the capabilities of a time tracking platform directly from your smartphone.
With businesses running 24/7 and everybody always on the move, you’ll sometimes want real-time updates via your phone on project progress or how your employees perform.
This allows you to stay ahead of your deadlines at all times.
Benefits Of Mobile App
Here are some benefits of having a mobile app for your time tracking tool:
You don’t need to be always at your desktop or the office to know how your project’s going or how your employees are performing.
A mobile app enables you to accomplish all that and more from the comfort of your smartphone.
When you’re attending a seminar, conference, or meeting as part of work, you don’t always have your laptop or desktop on you.
You could easily track time spent using the time tracking tool’s mobile app in scenarios like these. This ensures that the tool is flexible in adjusting to a range of employee work requirements.
The Best Time Tracking Software for 2021: Time Doctor
Time Doctor is an advanced time tracking and productivity management software used by large companies, like Ericsson and Verizon, as well as small businesses, like Thrive Market, to boost performance at all levels.
It helps you analyze employee working habits so you can determine whether your employees spend their time effectively or not.
Time Doctor comes with an all-powerful suite of user-friendly features to help you stay on top of your goals:
The tool enables you to track how much time is spent on a task, project, or client.
The manager can allocate tasks to their employees, or the employees can add their tasks themselves and begin tracking time by clicking on the ‘start’ button. This is the interactive mode.
There’s also the silent mode that runs in the background and tracks user activity whenever the computer is on.
You can choose between interactive tracking, silent tracking, or combinations of both.
In short, time tracking helps monitor your team’s web and application usage while working and enables you to analyze how well they’re performing.
It’s very tedious to manually track time, review your team’s timesheets, and carry out payroll and timesheet approval.
Once employee time tracking begins, Time Doctor organizes this data to create and export timesheet data automatically. Once uploaded, your payroll system can process payments.
You can also set up optional pay periods, currencies, and payrolls with customization for salary and hourly employees.
That’s not all.
With Time Doctor, once payrolls are generated, you can directly pay your employees or consultants through Paypal, TransferWise, and more.
The software offers a wide range of reporting tools or features that you can use to monitor project progress and improve employee productivity.
You can generate reports like :
- Activity Report: describes the share of active seconds, active minutes, unproductive, and mobile time for a user over a selected period.
- Timeline Report: shows how much time an employee spends on tasks during a day or week.
- Hours Tracked Report: displays how many hours your employees have tracked per day, per week, or for any select date range.
- Projects & Tasks Report: know how much time is spent on a project or task.
- Web & App Usage Report: describes how much time is spent on different websites or apps.
The Time Doctor software solution also comes with project management capabilities for maximum functionality.
Owners and admins can create projects inside Time Doctor by grouping different tasks into one project. It gives you deeper insights into how an employee’s efforts translate into critical business requirements.
This also allows you to manage projects and monitor project progress from one place.
Time Doctor integrates with a wide variety of third-party applications. This integration ensures that you can accurately track the time spent on tasks within other software.
For example, you can track how much time it took to create a Gantt chart on the Zoho project management system from Time Doctor.
Time Doctor has integrations and add-ons for:
- Project Management Tools: ClickUp, Google Workspace, Office 365, Trello, Wrike, GitHub, and more.
- Payments & Online Invoicing Software: PayPal, TransferWise, FreshBooks, and more.
- Help Desk Software: Zendesk, Freshdesk, and Phabricator.
- Team Collaboration Software: Asana, and more.
- CRM Software: Pipedrive and Zoho.
6. Mobile App
Time Doctor comes with a powerful mobile app that excels at tracking time from your Android smartphone.
When you open the app, you will find an overview of all tasks and projects on your to-do list. The app also automatically syncs with your Time Doctor web app and desktop app.
It’s incredibly convenient when your job involves offline engagements during the working hour, like conferences and meetings that don’t require a desktop or a Mac.
And that’s not all.
Time Doctor also offers other features to optimize employee productivity like:
- Productivity Ratings: rate different websites based on their relevance to your workplace productivity.
- Idle Time Tracker: track the idle time in percentages of all work minutes and seconds.
- Screencast/Screenshots: takes screenshots or screencasts user activity to help monitor employee productivity.
- Powerful Chrome Extension: carry out automatic time tracking across a range of software by using Time Doctor’s Chrome browser extension.
Time Doctor Pricing
Time Doctor offers three pricing plans:
- Basic: $8/user per month – offers time tracking + task management + unlimited screenshots + activity tracking.
- Standard: $12/user per month – includes “Basic” features + payroll + integrations.
- Premium: $24/user per month – includes “Standard” features + client login access + concierge account setup.
The plans’ simplicity makes it easy for your budgeting teams to include time tracking into your employee productivity strategy.
Time tracking software helps you track and analyze how much time is spent by an employee on a task or project.
When choosing a time tracking software tool, you need to evaluate primarily based on its time tracking and online timesheet capabilities, as well as its analytics and reporting functionality.
Then, consider its project management, payroll management abilities and see how well it integrates with your other applications.
Finally, the time tracking software you choose should work across multiple platforms: desktops, tablets, mobile phones, and so on.
Luckily, Time Doctor empowers you with all these capabilities and more, making it one of the best tools for employee time tracking and productivity management!
So why not sign up for Time Doctor and take your team’s productivity to the next level?
Liam Martin is a co-founder of Time Doctor—a time tracking and productivity monitoring software designed for tracking hours and productivity of remote teams.