What Are the Best Apps for Tracking Your Productivity?
You never want to forget to track your work hours, especially during your peak productivity times. Thankfully, you can always rely on a time tracker to record your billable hours automatically. The tool won’t interrupt your creative flow, and it spares you from the ordeal of remembering the amount of time you’ve worked. What’s more, the best daily productivity tracker will let you generate accurate invoices for your customers.
In this post, we’ll show you some of the best employee monitoring apps you can use right now. We will show you how to track productivity with the right tools.
What Makes a Great Productivity Tracker?
With a time tracker, you can create accurate invoices instead of manually calculating the time it took you to complete a task. By using a monitoring app, you are establishing yourself as a trustworthy professional. What’s more, it helps you make better business decisions. Because you identify productivity leaks, you can analyze how you can eliminate time wasters for optimum efficiency.
In choosing the best productivity time tracker, consider the following features:
- Automatic time recording – Once you start the tracker, it should record billable hours automatically. It should run discreetly in the background without disrupting your work.
- Manual edits – We should not forget about human error. Sometimes, employees can forget to turn on or switch off their time tracker. As such, the app should allow users to manually add time and remove recorded minutes. Of course, this feature can also be useful for roles that require workers to step away from their computers. After all, jobs in sales and similar fields involve traveling and meeting clients. These are productive times that should be included in invoices too.
- Reports – A time tracker is only as good as its reporting features. So, it must have a comprehensive dashboard that provides insights into a user’s productivity and earnings.
- Exportable data – After collating the time spent on work, you should be able to take action on the data. The app should allow you to export data to CSVs, PDFs, or Google Sheets. This way, you can easily share the information with the right people.
What Are the Top Productivity Tracker Apps?
When it comes to boosting your productivity, no other app can help you better than Traqq. This lightweight time tracker is easy to install and use. It will automatically launch as soon as your system boots. Once you activate it, it will run discreetly in the background. Traqq will monitor the apps you use and the websites you visit. At the end of the day, you can take a look at the dashboard and see what activities consume most of your work hours.
Another great thing about Traqq is that it visualizes your productivity. On the dashboard, you will see how active you were during the day. Traqq monitors your activity levels based on your keyboard movements and mouse scrolls and clicks. Periods of high activity will be color-coded as green. Meanwhile, normal activity will be seen as yellow and low activity as red. Consequently, you will also be able to identify your peak productivity times and schedule your tasks accordingly.
The best part about Traqq is that it promotes ethical time tracking. Although it takes screenshots and video recordings, it won’t infringe your privacy. Traqq intentionally blurs the images and videos to an extent that prevents sensitive information (i.e. passwords and private messages) from becoming legible. What’s more, the data is transmitted via servers that use military-grade encryption. So, while you’re making an effort to boost your productivity, you can rest easy knowing that your information is secure. As of this writing, Traqq is downloadable for free.
If you’re looking for a productivity tracker without complicated features, then Hours is one of the first apps you should consider. You can install it as a mobile app, and it allows you to quickly switch between tasks while still recording your work hours. Hours even lets you color-code your projects and tasks. You can easily differentiate them because there will be a specific color assigned to each item. The app also has a timeline feature that lets you make adjustments to your recorded timestamps.
If you forget to start the time tracker, the app will send you a reminder. Unfortunately, since Hours is only available as a mobile app, you may forget to activate it when you’re working on your computer. Also, while the tool efficiently tracks time, it may lack some of the features you’ll need to improve work efficiency.
Timely’s selling point is how it streamlines tracking for all work-related activities. This automatic tracking software can monitor emails, meetings, GPS locations, websites, and documents. So, you can rest easy knowing that everything you do during work hours will be added to your billable time. This way, you can avoid getting interrupted and stay focused at work.
Once you’ve tried Timely, you will quickly learn that it needs very little interaction. Just keep it running, and at the end of the month, you can use it to generate a report on your billable work. Timely also provides you with a visual representation of everything you and your team have accomplished for the day. This app even has an AI feature that learns how you work over time. Eventually, it will draft entries for you, allowing you to save time. Timely’s flexibility makes it perfect for individuals and even for small-to-large enterprises.
Forest is a tool that brings gamification to your productivity tracking. It helps you ignore distractions from your phone, enabling you to focus on your tasks. Within the app, you can set a timer, and while it is running, you cannot check your phone. Moreover, during the period, a tree will grow. If you exit the app to use your phone, the tree will die. Now, if you want to grow an abundant forest, you need to stay focused and keep on working.
What’s great about Forest is it gives you some incentive and a bit of visual stimulation to stay productive. You will hate exiting the app during a session, especially since doing so will kill your little sapling. Every day, you will feel satisfied with the sight of your forest growing. Indeed, it will spare you from distractions like web-browsing, texts, and calls.
BeeBole is a productivity app that lets you track work hours and projects. What you’ll like about it is that you can customize it according to your needs. For instance, you can use it as a timesheet tool for your employees. Now, if you’re a freelancer, BeeBole can track time for your projects, sub-projects, and different clients. You can even use it to manage leaves of absence and vacation days.
By going to the dashboard, you will get a glance of billable hours for the day, week, or month. As a manager, you can check the status of a project, overtime work, and team/employee performance. It also has features that allow bulk reviews and approval of timesheets. BeeBole streamlines business operations by generating reports on budgets, workforce resources, profits, and margins. It’s perfect as a simple time tracker, yet it is packed with features that enable managers to improve team productivity.
Another useful solution for people who want to track their productivity is Now Then. It doesn’t restrict you to a particular template. With Now Then, you can customize your task list and switch between different activities with ease. It’s a great way to keep track of how you use your work hours.
Now Then is perfect for individuals who tend to switch between multiple projects. You’ll love the app’s simplicity. What’s more, you can quickly correct the data during instances where you forget to flip the log to another project. After all, it can be difficult to keep on logging time when you’re moving back and forth between separate tasks. The tool’s simple interface will prove to be effective for you.
When it comes to monitoring your productivity, Momentum is one of the best tools you can use. As a habit tracker, this app records the time you spend on particular tasks. Its main objective is to help you develop great time management habits. If you’re familiar with the ‘don’t break the chain’ principle, you will easily understand how Momentum works. Whenever you complete a habit, you will see the chain on the app growing longer. The tool provides visual stimulation to help you stick to productive behaviors and routines.
Unfortunately, Momentum is only available on macOS and iOS. Moreover, it tends to be confused with the Momentum browser extension, which also functions as a productivity tool. So, it tends to cater to a certain niche. Even so, the app seamlessly integrates with iCloud sync. So, you can check off your habits with ease even when you’re switching from your Mac to your Apple Watch or iPhone.
If you’ve tried many time tracking tools before, you will find the design of HourStack quite refreshing. It is one of the few apps that integrate the concept of time blocking with its interface. With this type of design, there’s an emphasis on planning your time before you begin your work. For instance, you can allocate time blocks on your calendar for projects you can complete later in the week. You must give a task a rough estimate of how long it will take you to complete it. Once you run HourStack, the tool will keep you within the time limit you set.
Like other productivity tracker apps, HourStack lets you create a visual representation of your tasks and projects. You can even color-code and label entries to easily differentiate them. What’s more, the app integrates with various productivity tools like Bitbucket, Asana, GitHub, Google Sheets, and Trello, among many others. Now, if the app isn’t supported natively, you can use Zapier to connect it.
If you’re looking for a productivity app that works on just about every platform, then consider using RescueTime. It works on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and even Brave. After installing this tool, you can let it run in the background to monitor your computer usage. The data will be transmitted via RescueTime’s secure servers, which you can see on the web-based dashboard.
RescueTime will record how long you use apps and visit websites. Based on a set of rules, the tool will classify your activities as “distracting” or “productive”. What’s more, RescueTime can help you ignore distractions. It has a feature called “FocusTime”, which blocks unnecessary websites to let you finish your work. Before you get to work, you can decide what websites to block and even add exceptions.
Are you using Office 365, Outlook, or Google Calendar? If so, then you can create an event and type “#focustime” (no quotes) to schedule FocusTime sessions automatically. By doing so, you allow the feature to block distracting sites automatically during the scheduled time. Aside from that, RescueTime has a Slack integration that sends notifications and updates on your work. This way, your teammates know that you’re deep into work and that you shouldn’t be interrupted.
Exclusively designed for macOS, Qbserve is a productivity tracking app that is especially helpful for people who want to mitigate procrastination. This tool will only start recording time once it detects the keywords you set for documents, apps, and URLs. At any time, you are free to modify the keywords or add new ones. Let’s say you added the keyword ‘time tracking’. Now, if you watch a YouTube video with time tracking as the topic, it won’t be counted as a non-productive activity. The time you spend watching that video will be added to your billable hours. Meanwhile, if you watch videos about carpentry, for instance, Qbserve won’t track the time.
If you often get distracted, then Qbserve may be able to help you focus. We all understand how disruptions can be among the biggest productivity killers. One moment you are researching a topic on the Internet, and the next you’re already sucked into a black hole of celebrity gossip sites. Observe is a simple productivity tracker that will monitor your behavior and identify your common time wasters. However, keep in mind that this app only works when you’re online. So, if you are in a meeting or you’re taking calls, the time won’t be added to the billable hours.
Indeed, every productivity tracker app has its strengths and weaknesses. It’s up to you to decide which one will work best for your needs. However, it’s always advisable to try out a product before making a long-term commitment. Now, if you’re ready to boost your productivity, we recommend that you download and install Traqq today. You can use it for free and access all its features at no cost. So, with this tool, you have nothing to lose!