Is there really a definitive answer to this question? While one tool might be the best for you, it doesn’t mean it will be the best for me, and so on. It really isn’t easy responding to such a question, because the answer comes down to what you need and how you’re using your time tracking software.
Still, we can talk about the features which make the best time tracking tools, and try to give you a picture of how the best tool should look like.
Which Features Should the Best Time Tracker Have?
We can distinguish 5 basic features every time tracking software should have. Let’s list them, then we’ll go through them in more detail:
- Tracking time in apps and websites
- Categorization of said apps and websites
- Productivity analytics
- Attendance reports
- Billable vs non-billable hours
Tracking Time in Apps and Websites
You probably won’t find a software that doesn’t have this option. While your employees are tracking time on tasks and projects, you should know if they’re really doing the work or browsing through news sites.
This features collects data on the time your employees spend on each app/website, and sends you a neat report about their activity.
Categorization of Apps and Websites
Looking at apps and websites your employees are using without being able to distinguish if they’re productive or not isn’t very useful.
So make sure you find an app in which you can categorize apps and websites, at least to productive, unproductive, and neutral. It will be easier for you to see how active and productive your employees are.
This feature is closely related to the previous one. Tools with productivity dashboards, email reports, and visual overview of your team’s productivity timelines are extremely valuable.
They can help you determine everyone’s productivity peaks, as well as downs. This way, you can use the time tracking software to optimize working hours and workload, to get the most out of your team.
Attendance Tracking and Reports
Quite a handy feature, especially for those teams with flexible working hours, and those with hourly salaries. Usually, employees can clock in/out by simply turning on/off their computer, or by clicking a button.
This is useful for you and for them as well. They’ll never be underpaid again, and your accounts department will have less headaches when calculating everyone’s payroll.
Billable vs Non-Billable Hours
What’s good about these tools is that they can serve as billable time tracking software as well. The best ones will have the option of marking billable and non billable activities and hours.
It’s the easiest way to bill your clients accurately, show them proof of work, and keep them satisfied with the project estimates and outcomes.
How to Choose Between the Best Time Tracking Applications?
Now that you know how the best time tracking software looks like you must decide between different options, and select the one that is most suitable for your organization.
We recommend that you create a spreadsheet where you’ll enter all features and tools which interest you, and then compare them. However, besides features, you must pay attention to a few more details.
One of the main factors in deciding which software to purchase is certainly the price. Luckily, these tools can come for very cheap. Also, most manufacturers will give you discounts if you have a lot of employees, or if you get a yearly subscription straight away. Besides, Cyber Monday and Black Friday are just around the corner, so we can expect more discounts on this front.
As you can see, there are different options and features to choose from, so the choice can be quite overwhelming. Luckily, there are plenty of resources online where you can investigate and compare all options until you find the best one.