Top 5 Best Time Tracking Software & Tools in 2020

Time tracking applications are used to record and analyze contractor, employee and consultant time spent on tasks and jobs. It is a productivity tool that enables users and companies to save time and money. With the availability of applications via the Internet, people have more options to manage and structure their time more efficiently. These products are stored and accessed online or in the cloud, and sometimes referred to as cloud-based, web-based, or browser-based software.

The Top 5

Most time tracking software providers offer a free trial of their product. Based on the strength of core time tracking features, ease of use, competitive pricing, customer support reviews, and other extra features such as integration, the following is our recommended list of the best online time tracking software for 2020.

Importance, Benefits and Use Cases

Time tracking software, in general, provides its user’s insight into how they spend their actual hours in their daily activities. Freelancers, teams, or enterprises greatly benefit in using online time tracking applications. Any of these solutions provide more accurate project costing, improved scheduling, and increased productivity. For example, time tracking software:

  • Helps identify non-essential tasks – Users can avoid wasting time on unimportant tasks, and instead replace them with the productive ones. Time tracking software with task management are the best apps for these.
  • Helps improve time estimates – Users can review previously tracked time entries to make better estimates of future projects. They can set more accurate deadlines and monitor employees to check their time and pace for consistency. Time tracking apps with resource management can perform these functions very well.
  • Helps users get paid fairly – Time tracking apps help freelancers, professional services providers, consultants and agencies get the amount of money they deserve. It eliminates guesstimates and is useful with problematic and uncooperative clients. It provides securely stored online evidence that details minute-by-minute time logs for billing settlement. Time tracking solutions with billing and invoicing features can satisfy these requirements.

Common Features and Capabilities

Available online time tracking software varies in purpose, function, complexity, and other factors. Some are simple straightforward applications that are only meant to record time, but some are integrated into other business process solutions. At its core functionality, time tracking applications capture/record in real-time. They usually have time clocks that allow users to manually or automatically record the start and end times of activity, task, or event. These recorded times are usually kept in a timesheet, a database of multiple time entries of a given period, for multiple users and bearing additional details for each time entry.

Most products are flexible enough for manual addition and editing, and some follow an approval process. The different time entries can be categorized and classified into groups, such as for specific rates, currencies, projects, clients, billing type, and others. Most of this software offers reporting features, and many have invoicing capabilities as well. Depending on the integration of the application, many time tracking applications also combine with other business processes. Time entries can be linked to scheduling/calendaring functionality, to GPS tracking, to leave/time-off management, task and project management, resource management, financial management, and more. Many products also offer additional features such as notifications or reminders, as well as having native mobile apps.


Online time tracking software, such as those mentioned in the above list, offers great value to users who need remote access. It is automatically updated by vendors, resulting in less user maintenance. On-premise installations may be preferred by organizations with more IT resources and in need of greater data control. All in all, however, time tracking software is essential for time management, which is more than just planning how to spend time in a day to accomplish goals. It also involves controlling how to spend those actual hours. For it is just as important to monitor where the time goes as it is to establish goals and priorities. Because we can only improve what we can measure.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

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