It’s quite embarrassing to use paper timesheets nowadays when everything goes digital, and it’s even more absurd not to use any tools for tracking labor hours at all. Employee time tracking software is designed to make time management a breeze for freelancer teams, remote workers, small and big enterprises alike. But while the latter ones can afford custom tools coming with a hefty price tag, startups and SMB want easy-on-the-pocket solutions. To address their needs, we have tested some free (or almost free) employee time tracking software and compiled a list of the best options.
This web application has got on our list thanks to a nice combination of user-friendly time tracking features and vast integration opportunities. Unlike many other time management solutions, it applies a project-based approach rather than relies on a number of users connected to the service.
You create a project and divide it into tasks while setting a timeframe for the job to be completed. You can invite an unlimited number of employees to join you on the Tick platform and assign roles and tasks to your team members depending on the project specifics. When working on the assignments, the users log time towards the project and receive notifications informing them about its start/finish and progress. So, you can track the task and project budgets in real-time, learning whether your team is on schedule and spotting bottlenecks that hinder the progress
In addition to real-time employee time tracking, Tick delivers helpful reports showing hours spent on projects for a specific client or by a particular user, which facilitates billing, helps in forecasting similar projects, and highlights time losses. The software expands its collaborative, project management, and accounting possibilities through integration with 750+ apps, including Basecamp, QuickBooks, Trello, Zapier, and more. Tick offers applications for iOS and Android portables, an extension for Google Chrome, and dedicated solutions for macOS and Apple Watch, making the software accessible from virtually any device along with Windows-based PCs. Team members working on a project can avail of built-in timers to count down the time spent on each task or the whole project. You can also create recurring projects to save even more time otherwise wasted on management.
You can use this employee time tracking software for free upon sign-up and enjoy an unlimited number of users yet only for one project. The free plan includes Basecamp integration, full reporting, and unlimited storage but doesn’t allow reoccurring projects. You will be able to upgrade to Tick’s 10-project plan by paying $19 a month, while their unlimited version will cost you $149 per month.
This piece of time tracking software deserves our cheers for its smart AI implementation, which allows the app to better adjust to users’ workflows. In fact, it combines planning and time tracking features to assist you in managing group projects.
Upon downloading the Memory app that powers Timely, you are free to create a project, link it to a client your working hours are billed to, assign employees to work on the task, set up their hourly rates, and specify tags for activities related to the project. By entering the project page, you will be able to view hours spent towards the progress, add planned time, check users’ activities on the task, and more. Your staffers connected to the project can log their hours manually, use timers or timestamps, or just let the app capture the time spent in various apps automatically. The latter activities are stored as “memories”, and the users can link them to the project to create billable or non-billable timesheets.
Depending on the device, Timely can automatically record GPS locations, apps, websites, email, documents, and other active window titles. However, the records are considered private and can be viewed by an employer only if they are added to a timesheet by an employee. For stronger privacy protection, Memory can be easily disabled in users’ dashboards, and it doesn’t record websites viewed in Google Chrome’s private/incognito mode. Nevertheless, you will be able to track the latest activities on a project, its time and money budget, logged hours, and other details. Timely also generates customizable and sharable reports on projects, clients, users, and activities, showing the hours planned and actually spent. The AI feature learns your work patterns over time to offer helpful prompts and reduce manual management even further.
Although you cannot use this employee time tracking software for free in the long run, you have a chance to start with a 14-day free trial available for each of Timely’s plans. The cheapest paid option costs $8 per user/month if billed yearly and covers 50 projects and three teams. But to enjoy unlimited features and capacities, you need to pay $20 per user/month if billed yearly.
Being the flagship product in Work Examiner’s family of employee monitoring tools, Controlio stands out for its focus on boosting productivity instead of tracking time only. Moreover, it manages to bridge the gap between workplace ethics and employee surveillance.
Available in cloud-based and on-premise versions, the app connects computers to be monitored via invitations sent by the account owner to the users or via downloads. Once an employee’s PC is linked to the system, Controlio starts tracking every activity performed on the device in accordance with policies set by the account owner. The owner can allow admins, managers, and even authorized employees to view the recorded data depending on the access level. Controlio’s dashboards display online sessions, screen live streaming, app and website usage, active/idle/total time spent on the computers, log in/out, and more.
The scope of tracking may include apps, websites, files, printouts, removable storage devices, screenshots, keystrokes, web searches, emails, and instant messages. However, an employer can select what activities to capture based on their workplace policies and adjust the settings for each user or department. There is also a built-in GDPR-compliance feature and the possibility of tracking with icon mode where an employee can turn the monitoring on or off by clicking on the icon in their Windows or macOS taskbars. In addition to privacy protection, Controlio offers app and website blocking to shut off common workplace distractions. You can also configure alerts on suspicious activities to prevent insider threats. The app calculates productivity scores for users/departments, generates time breakdowns, delivers labor misconduct reports, and evaluates apps and websites based on adjustable productivity levels. Controlio relies on its own database consisting of hundreds of websites, so you can set rules for whole blocks of web apps and sites in a matter of minutes. For better convenience, scheduled reports are delivered to specified people in charge, while all the data collected can be easily exported to CSV or PDF files.
You can use Controlio as free employee time tracking software during a 14-day trial to connect three users without any functionality-related limits. To continue enjoying the cloud-based services, you will pay $7.99 per user monthly or $79.90 per user yearly.
If you are looking for a simple employee time tracking solution rather than a feature-packed app, Hours may be exactly what you need due to its unfussy timer-like functionality.
Upon entering the app, you create a timer in a built-in calendar and link it to a project, a task, or a client depending on what you are going to track. You can also select between a personal or team timer, which is great if you want to manage your time too. You are welcome to create multiple timers and organize them as you like with the drag-and-drop feature. As soon as you are ready to start working on one of the tasks or projects, you just click on the clock icon against the corresponding timer, and it starts clocking (or stops when you are finished and press the icon again). Then, you can view the time in the timeline of the project, as well as you can see time entries made by your employees invited to work on it.
The app has a nice color palette to apply specific colors to various tasks and projects for easier navigation between timers and related activities. Users can switch between multiple timers on the fly and adjust time entries in several ways to get more accurate results. In the Reports section, you can view visualizations showing how much time your team spent working on tasks and projects. They are conveniently grouped by date, project, task, or people and can be saved, printed out, or shared via a web link. Creating invoices is also possible, although with few billing details. The Hours web-app runs in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox on both desktops and mobile devices, while downloadable applications are available for iOS.
It can be a bit tricky to sort out free and paid Hours options since the app comes in three versions. Hours Personal, which is actually a free version, is designed for iOS-based portables only and has a limited functionality unfit for use in teams. To use Hours as a piece of employee time tracking software, you need to buy the Teams plan, which costs $6.67 per user/month. Although the developer offers a free trial of the plan, it is, unfortunately, limited in features.
The exact opposite of the previous software in terms of functionality, Harvest is built to track both time and expenses as well as to bill clients with no additional apps involved. As such, it is a feature-rich tool working fine for freelancers and startups.
Like it or not, you will need to spend some time creating a project, assigning a time or money budget to it, linking it to a client, and inviting your staffers to join. But when you are done with that, your employees will be able to add time entries and even attach some notes specifying tasks they are working on. In your turn, you will see how each of the projects progresses with an intuitive visualization of the time spent or left. By setting expenses for a project, you will allow Harvest to deliver a project analysis with all its costs beautifully displayed and to include the expenditures into invoices.
The app boasts plenty of features to customize your projects, from using color-grading to setting hourly rates or fixed fees. To get a granular view of your workflow, you can divide it into tasks and establish fees or hours for each of them. You staffers may be granted different privileges to access data on projects according to your business structure and their roles. The app is full of tick boxes for automatic notifications (for example, about unpaid invoices) and search bars (for instance, to search through projects and tasks). A built-in timer will measure time even if a user switches between apps. You can attach receipts proving expenses you incurred on behalf of a client to make invoicing even more transparent and accurate. To cap it all, Harvest seamlessly integrates with dozens of CRMs, project management tools, analytics solutions, and other business apps.
Despite having a free plan in place, Harvest cannot serve as free employee time tracking software since this plan covers only one user and two active projects. However, you can benefit from a full-featured 30-day trial, which can be upgraded to the unlimited Pro plan. It will cost you $10.80 or $12 per user/mo, depending on whether you prefer paying monthly or yearly.
This time tracking tool is widely praised for its cross-platform support and settings galore, making the app highly customizable to meet different business requirements.
Toggl Track has a bit different structure compared with most of the above solutions, as it works with organizations and workspaces designed to better organize your workflow. However, the processes of creating projects/tasks, linking them to clients, and allocating team members to work on the assignments are quite common and totally intuitive. You invite your employees via emails and specify different access levels for regular users, project managers, and admins. Upon joining the service, regular users get into a designated workspace where they create time entries by launching a timer or entering their hours manually. You can keep an eye on how your team is working in a project overview or get a bigger picture of your workflow through reports.
Toggl Track allows assigning billable rates and labor costs to your staffers to help you with invoicing and project evaluation. Also, you will be able to easily spot the most hard-working team members with the help of the Activity tab. The possibility to attach tags is great for delivering additional information on projects. To keep tasks under complete control, you can set up hourly time estimates and alerts to inform you about reaching a certain percentage of completeness. With 100+ integration opportunities, it’s not a problem to track time and transfer data across multiple business apps. In the desktop apps, users can enjoy the Timeline feature, which tracks apps and websites they use automatically to add this time to entries.
If you are a leader of a small team of up to five people, you will be able to use this employee time tracking software for free, although in a somewhat limited version. With the annual payment of $9 per user/month, you get unlimited users, billable rates, time entries import to external calendar apps, and a couple of other features. The full functionality is available in the Premium plan, which costs twice the previous option.
Business owners and team leaders love TMetric for its versatility since it covers everything from time tracking and project management to performance monitoring and invoicing. With such immense functionality, the app deserves close attention from freelances and SMB.
Predictably, TMetric starts with creating a project, which can be specified as non-billable or come with fixed fees and hourly rates established. You can also assign a budget in total hours, hours per person, or total fees. There are private and public projects, which differ in the access level granted to your team members. All the projects with clients, tasks, and teams attached get in a workspace, from where you invite your employees to join the platform. Invitations are sent via email, and after accepting them, your staffers will be able to log their hours into the system. They can do so manually or using a built-in timer. Real-time tracking is performed through a timeline visualization, with more details added in timesheets and reports.
Since TMetric integrates with 50+ popular business apps, your staff will be able to start a timer either within the TMetric or the programs they are working in. For more accurate time tracking, you can add breaks and even create time-off policies. Tags and notes are also available for better project management. Estimates and deadlines established for tasks allow launching notifications and reminders to make sure each project is delivered on time. A desktop client installed on employees’ PCs has a recording feature to collect data on websites and applications used by your staffers and capture screenshots. Invoices can be created within the app and send to clients or issued via QuickBooks Online after exporting all the required data to the accounting software.
Although TMetric offers a plan to use it as free employee time tracking software, this option doesn’t include invoicing, calendar integration, productivity tracking, and a bunch of other features. The unlimited Business plan costs $7 per user/month with a 10% discount if billed yearly. The Professional version is a bit cheaper ($5), but it also lacks some useful functionality.
It is one more employee time tracking software that can be used for free to tackle multiple tasks. TimeCamp’s functionality goes beyond simple time logging, as the app is designed to automatically record computer activity and create invoices as well.
In TimeCamp, you will enjoy all the familiar features to structure your workflow with projects, tasks, tags, descriptions, time/money budgets, and users allocated to perform the assignments. Employees are invited via emails and grouped into teams and departments with different privileges according to your organizational structure. Your staffers log hours in a timesheet by entering them manually or using a timer available in the app. They can also avail of data about computer usage collected automatically to fill in gaps in their workdays. For viewing the time spent on projects, you choose between textual Day and graphical Week timesheets, with the latter covering also an overview of computer activities captured throughout a workday.
The app provides the opportunity of marking projects with different colors for easier task identification when navigating daily and weekly timesheets. The drag-and-drop tool is convenient for editing time entries, for example, when merging them. TimeCamp’s plugin for Google Chrome connects you with 100+ common applications where you can track time and assign it to corresponding tasks. Moreover, TimeCamp supports Single Sign-On for you to enter multiple apps used for work with a single login. The desktop application records computer usage, including apps, websites, turn on/off, and idle time. Dedicated add-ons can be enabled to set billing rates, specify taxes, and create invoices or quotes from timesheets. The software delivers a wide range of reports on time, budget, and productivity.
When deployed as free employee time tracking software, TimeCamp doesn’t allow you to receive performance and budget reports, assign billing rates, create invoices, and access some other features. The cheapest paid plan, which costs $5.25 per user/month billed annually, is also limited in functionality. To unlock it, you will need to pay $7.50 per user/month billed yearly.
If you are looking for a solution that is more on the employee monitoring than time tracking side, Time Doctor meets the requirement. Although a bit pricy in its unlimited plan, this versatile tool will be appreciated by small and large businesses.
Upon installing the app and creating an account, you add employees by sending invitations, set projects and tasks, and assign them to users or teams. You can also configure payroll for any staffer, using a wide choice of currencies and payment integrations with PayPal, Wise, Gusto, and ADP. Your team members just need to launch a timer within a specific task or even outside it if task tracking is disabled for the company. In their dashboards, both employees and employers can view timelines with start/end time, total hours worked, total time tracked, productive/unproductive hours, and other details.
The app has a lavish selection of settings to specify how time spent on computers under surveillance will be tracked, including customizable pauses and automated launches. It also delivers pop-up prompts and reminders to accurately record work-related time and distinguish between lawful breaks, away time, and hours dedicated to work. The timer comes with a movable activity bar to reflect its current status and to allow managing time entries in a couple of clicks. Flexible privacy settings range from the possibility to exclude certain activities from monitoring to the blur screenshots feature. Time Doctor’s numerous reports provide insights into attendance, web/app usage, and time distribution across tasks/projects and timeframes (day, week, month, etc.). GPS tracking available for Android-powered devices is a small yet pleasant bonus.
You will be able to utilize this employee time tracking software for free only in a 14-day trial version. Their paid plans start from $7 per user/mo, but video screen captures and unlimited groups and data storage are available for $20 per user/mo.
Many business leaders will be glad to take Hubstaff on board for its diverse time tracking, employee monitoring, and project management opportunities. It has everything from scheduling and invoicing to geofencing and reporting for your business to run smoothly.
When setting up an account with Hubstaff, you are offered to specify your organization’s size, select your preferred currency, and even download your logo. The next steps are creating a project and assigning team members to work on the task. Here, you establish roles for your employees and invite them via email or links. Thanks to a decent choice of settings, you can split projects into tasks, create to-do lists, attach budgets, enter pay rates for your staffers, set notifications on the budget progress, and more. Your employees can choose between manual time entries and a timer to log their work-related hours in a timesheet. Meanwhile, Hubstaff also records the users’ interactions with their mouse and keyboard to measure activity and captures screenshots and app/website usage to provide proof of work.
You can import and export data as you need with over 30 platforms integrated, including Asana, PayPal, FreshBooks, and Zendesk. When creating invoices for your clients or employers, it is possible to add tax information, discounts, and lines for other details. Your entire financial stuff is accurately calculated and conveniently stored in one place while you can make payments to your employees manually or aromatically. Adopting time-off policies and establishing shifts for your staff are just some of the ways to customize Hubstaff for your business needs. Installing the app on portables allows using geofencing and GPS tracking for automated attendance tracking, clock in/out, and timesheets generation.
Hubstaff is free employee time tracking software, indeed, since it provides timesheets, activity monitoring, screenshots, reports, and payments at no cost, although with some limitations. To remove them, you will pay $8.33 per user/month with the annual Desk and Field subscription.
Despite some scarcity of free plans, employee time tracking solutions available nowadays give you a nice choice of features to meet your business goals. Make sure to choose wisely based on the best value for money rather than opting for the cheapest option.
Install our solutions all over your network within 5 minutes