Grindstone is a free time management tool by Epiforge Software that allows you to track time and measure employee productivity. The software can be integrated with other Microsoft Office tools like Office Timeline, Microsoft Project, and Microsoft Access for easy collaboration.
So, why look for a grindstone time tracking alternative?
Well, the application has its own share of drawbacks. For starters, Grindstone has limited features and may not be able to boost the overall productivity of your employees.
But don’t worry. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive and user-friendly solution, we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll check out the top 10 Grindstone time tracking alternatives along with their key features, pricing, and ratings. We’ll also explore the features to look for when choosing a Grindstone alternative.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Grindstone Time Tracking Alternative Tools
- 5 Essential Features To Look For In A Grindstone Alternative
Let’s get started!
Top 10 Grindstone Time Tracking Alternative Tools
Grindstone is a simple time tracking and task management software that allows you to efficiently boost your team’s productivity by:
- Tracking time with the help of a widget-like stopwatch.
- Syncing time tracking data for multiple employees with a paid feature named Task Force.
- Gathering information on when employees are away from their system.
However, the app’s features limit you to just basic time tracking with a timer. Additionally, the tool doesn’t facilitate in-depth analysis or productivity assessment. Such features are essential to gain actionable insights into your organization.
Are there better time tracking solutions with advanced features?
Here’s a list of some of the best Grindstone time tracking alternatives for your team.
1. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is a powerful employee time tracking and productivity management tool. It’s used by big companies like Verizon and Ericsson, as well as small businesses like Firehouse Subs, to boost employee productivity.
The software has advanced performance management and payroll features, making it a top time tracking software for your business needs. The tool is available as a desktop app and a mobile app (Android).
Here are some of Time Doctor’s key features that make it a perfect Grindstone alternative:
A. Time Tracking
Time Doctor offers manual and automatic time tracking modes.
To use the manual time tracking mode, you need to:
- Add or create a new task under the relevant project.
- Press ‘Start’ when you want to start tracking time.
- Press ‘Stop’ to stop tracking time or if you want to take a break.
The automatic time tracking mode runs silently in the background when employees start their systems. It helps your team members concentrate better on their tasks without worrying about tracking time every time they start their system.
B. Idle Time Tracking
Time Doctor helps you track when an employee is idle for a particular amount of time.
With this functionality, Time Doctor sends a reminder to your employees to re-focus on their task after a certain period (specified by the admin) of inactivity. The timer automatically turns off if the user doesn’t respond.
Note: Time Doctor isn’t a keystroke logger. It’ll only check if a user pressed any keys or moved the mouse to determine idle time.
C. Screencasts (Optional)
Time Doctor’s screencasts feature lets you see what your team members are working on. The app takes screenshots of a user’s screen periodically.
The most important benefit of this feature is that it deters employees from engaging in non-work activities during work hours since they’re aware that the tool is monitoring their screen activities.
Note: Screenshots are only taken when an employee indicates that they’re working. This feature is optional and can be enabled or disabled for a particular user. The admin can blur or delete the screenshots with confidential information to maintain privacy.
D. Productivity Ratings
Time Doctor lets you set productivity ratings for different apps and websites, depending on an employee’s tasks and projects.
The productivity ratings are classified as:
For example, if your team member uses LinkedIn to run social media campaigns, you can classify the website as productive.
E. Extensive Productivity Reports
Time Doctor generates multiple comprehensive reports that you can view in real-time.
Here are some of the reports available:
- Hours Tracked Report: Shows how many hours or minutes your employees have worked per week, workday, or the date range you select.
- Timeline Report: Shows the time when your employees start or stop working daily.
- Web and App Usage Report: Displays how many hours your team spends on different websites and applications.
- Activity Summary Report: Reflects your employee’s active seconds, active minutes, unproductive, or mobile time.
F. Payroll Management
Time Doctor also provides powerful payroll management features along with time tracking.
You can customize payroll details like:
- Payment method.
- Payment currency.
- Pay period.
Thus, you can manage your company’s payroll with minimal fuss and increase productivity and profits.
G. Robust Chrome Extension
You can integrate Time Doctor’s powerful Chrome extension with other apps your team may already be using. For example, CRM (Customer Relationship Manager Software) and business management tools like Asana, Zoho Projects, etc.
With these integrations, your employees can use Time Doctor to log time on these other apps with just a single click.
Time Doctor provides a 14-day free trial (no credit card required). Its paid plan starts at $7/user per month.
- G2: 4.4/5 (270+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (400+ reviews)
Paymo is a time tracking software with project planning capabilities, suitable for small and medium-sized businesses as well as freelancers.
- Simplifies task management by letting you track time for each task separately.
- Allows you to add manual time entries for several tasks and projects at once.
- Generates invoices which you can send directly to your clients.
- Lets you pay your employees with your preferred payment gateway – PayPal, Stripe, or Square.
The app provides a 15-day free trial for one user. Its paid plans start at $5.95/user per month.
- G2: 4.6/5 (565+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (415+ reviews)
DeskTime is a fully automatic time tracking tool that can be used to improve employee productivity.
- Tracks time based on tasks and projects and automatically calculates the costs incurred.
- Lets you manage employee vacations, shifts, and time-off requests.
- Generates custom reports for your in-house team.
- Integrates with popular workplace software like Google Calendar and Jira to ensure uninterrupted workflow.
DeskTime offers a free plan with limited benefits. Its paid plans start at $7/user per month.
- G2: 4.5/5 (140+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (230+ reviews)
4. Toggl Track
Toggl Track is a time tracking and project management software with an easy-to-use UI (User Interface). You can start tracking time with a few clicks.
- Lets you track time for multiple clients and projects.
- Allows you to assign tasks and projects using your web browser, mobile phone, or desktop apps.
- Automate reminders to keep your employees on track.
- Integrates with other workplace apps like Jira, Asana, or Github.
Toggl Track has a free time tracking plan for up to five users with limited features. Paid plans start at $10/user per month.
- G2: 4.6/5 (1490+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (1770+ reviews)
Clockify is a robust time sheet and billing software. It also has features like project scheduling and productivity tracking reports.
- Starts tracking time manually or automatically using a stopwatch.
- Creates multiple tasks and projects and categorizes them by clients.
- Tracks and approves time-off requests within the app.
- Generates detailed billing reports that can be exported as CSV, Excel, or PDF.
The app offers a free plan for unlimited users and unlimited projects. Its paid plan starts at $4.99/user per month.
- G2: 4.5/5 (100+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (4095+ reviews)
RescueTime is a time tracking tool that offers an automatic time logging system. It can help you gain more control over your employees’ time and boost their productivity.
- Tracks work hours with its advanced time-tracking features.
- Generates time reports that can help you identify which tasks are time-consuming.
- Helps you avoid distractions like social media with Focus Session features.
- Improves employee time management with productivity reports.
RescueTime offers a 30-day free trial for new users. Paid pricing is available on request.
- G2: 4.2/5 (70+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (120+ reviews)
Harvest is a time tracking software for time management, budgeting, invoicing, and more.
- Tracks employee time consistently from desktop, mobile, or browser.
- Records how much time your team spends on each project with visual reports.
- Tracks expenses and converts them into invoices.
- Helps you optimize your workflow by integrating with other workplace apps like Jira and Zendesk.
Harvest offers a forever free limited plan for a single user. The app’s paid plan starts at $12/user per month.
- G2: 4.3/5 (745+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (485+ reviews)
8. QuickBooks Time
QuickBooks Time (previously known as TSheets) is a robust time tracking and accounting software suitable for IT, finance, and other service-based teams.
- Tracks billable hours and automatically adds them to invoices using the QuickBooks Online app.
- Creates sales receipts as well as custom and professional invoices for your business accounting needs.
- Offers income and expense tracking for 30 or 90-day periods.
- Integrates with payment gateways like Gusto, ADP, Square Payroll, etc. to take care of your billing needs.
QuickBooks Time offers a 30-day free trial. Its paid plans start at $10/user per month.
- G2: 4.5/5 (1390+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (5545+ reviews)
Hubstaff is a simple yet effective timesheet software suitable for teams of all sizes. Along with mobile phones, the app is also available as computer software on platforms like Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
- Tracks your team member’s work time for each task and project using the manual time tracker.
- Allows your team to track time as soon as they enter a designated job site with the help of Geofencing features.
- Lets you export your timesheet and reports to CSV format.
- Generates 17 different types of productivity reports for detailed analytics.
Hubstaff provides a free plan for a single user. Paid plan starts from $7/user per month (minimum of two users).
- G2: 4.3/5 (390+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (1240+ reviews)
Timely is a time management software with simple functionality to help you keep track of your team’s productivity.
- Tracks your billable working hours across several devices. The app supports web, desktop, and mobile time tracking.
- Helps you view your team’s activity on a single dashboard.
- Records time spent on video calls, client meetings, and all digital communication.
- Offers a scheduler functionality to help with budget allocation.
Timely offers a 14-day free trial for new users. Its paid plans start at $10/user per month.
- G2: 4.8/5 (200+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (635+ reviews)
The tools mentioned above are loaded with many features, but which of these are the most important?
Let’s look at some key features to look for before investing in a Grindstone time tracking alternative.
5 Essential Features To Look For In A Grindstone Alternative
You need to ensure that your time tracking software meets your business’ needs.
Although time tracking is the most important feature in any time tracking solution, it’s not enough. You should also have other features to improve employee efficiency.
Here are some of the key features required in a modern time tracking solution.
1. Simplified UI (User-Interface)
A simple and user-friendly interface should have the following two things:
- Easy installation and set-up.
- Track time with a single button.
- Simple dashboard for quick highlights.
2. Productivity Reports and Analytics
To accurately measure the performance of your team members, your time tracking tool should also have productivity reports. Reports like attendance, hours worked, etc., can give you actionable insights into your team productivity.
3. Distraction Management
A productive time tracking tool helps you eliminate distractions during work hours. The tool should have built-in features like blocking or restricting access to social media websites like Facebook and Instagram.
A good time tracking software should also have strong privacy policies and features to remove employee fears about misuse of their personal data. The tool should have features like:
- Allowing employees to view their recorded data.
- A manual time tracker so that employees are aware of their work hours being tracked only during work hours.
- Providing legal information and terms to their users.
Lastly, to take advantage of the various workplace tools you use, your time tracking tool should offer support and integrations with other platforms. This helps sync your data across the apps you use. It also helps streamline your workflow for increased efficiency.
Grindstone is a straightforward time tracking system to help you track employee work hours, but it’s not the best in the business today.
While we have covered some great tools in the article, Time Doctor is the perfect option for your time tracking needs. With a host of powerful time tracking and productivity features, Time Doctor makes employee performance management a piece of cake.