Best Time Tracking Software for Consultants and Project Mangers (17 Tools That Will Help You Fine Tune Your Billable Hours and your Throughput.)
Whether you’re identify as a fractional chief executive, an independent consultant, or a freelancer, you’re likely going to be in a position that requires you to track your time. Sometimes the client will demand it, but the real benefits are paid to you, your bottom line, your sense of ownership over projects, an increased ability to bit properly, and perhaps most important of all insight into when you can turn off the computer at the end of the day and just enjoy the evening.
I’ve been tracking time down to the minute for decades now, and it has paid off in spades for all the reasons above. So let’s take a look at some of the top vendors in the time tracking space to see how they compare. First up: Harvest
Time tracking, invoicing, reports, wide workflow integrations, project management
Harvest has two plans; FREE and $12 a month
Integrations include apps in:
finance, productivity, analytics and reporting, contracts and proposals, issue tracking and support, etc.
Solo consultants, freelancers, designers, small businesses with small teams.
Used by 70,000 companies around the world and some big brands you know, like: Columbia University, McDonald’s, Volkswagen, and Amnesty International, and on the time tracking and invoicing SaaS scene since 2006, Harvest is without a doubt one of the most popular time tracking tools on the market.
With a easy-on-the-eyes visual dashboard that’ll help you track expenses, get insight into team capacity and stress points, and provide operational insight into company new and ongoing projects, is about as close to one-stop-shopping as they come with it comes to the ability to track billable hours and project throughput.
Harvest integrates with a multitude of other project management and finance apps, allowing for superb flexibility as your firm grows. Popular integrations include: Asana, Basecamp, Google Suite, Jira, Stripe, Slack, Quickbooks, Plecto, Microsoft Dynamics Time Connect, Zendesk, Bidsketch, Zapier, etc.
Harvest’s free plan is perfect for new consultants, web design pros, and freelancers, and with upgrade options at only $12 a month, unbundling the entire software package is an easy step up. SMEs will also find Harvest’s simple pricing structure more than palatable when just getting started with basic time tracking features.
2. Toggl Track
Time tracking, invoicing, reporting, project and revenue tracking, team scheduling and management
Toggl has three main pricing plans: Free, $9 a month, and $18 a month. There is also custom pricing for enterprise plans.
Integrations with apps in:
Sales and customer support, Calendering, task management, communication and HR, accounting and project managment.
The smallest one person shops to the biggest enterprise firm.
If you were impressed by the 70,000 companies that use Harvest for personal productivity at the office, prepared to be bowled over by Toggl’s insanely large 6 million person user base. LinkedIn, Uber, Amazon, AirBnB, Wise… huge shops, and huge users. And, one of the reasons for this is that Toggl goes beyond time tracking and also helps companies with their hiring and HR management needs.
Since time tracking tools are generally designed to be used by everything from solopreneurs to medium and (as you can see) even enterprise firms, affordability is the name of the game. Toggl has four plans, including a free plan. Their most expensive plan is still only $20 per user per month. Enterprise plans are custom priced.
Integrations include: Asana, Google Suite, Salesforce.com (SFDC), Jira, Notion, Slack, Todoist, Zapier, Photoshop, Axosoft, Basecamp, Clickup, Codeable, Intercom, Kanbanery, and many more.
3. Noko Time (formerly, Freckle)
Integrates with apps in:
If you’ve ever heard of Freckle, they’re the new Noko Time. Rebranded in 2019, this SaaS cloud software tool is based in San Francisco and has been around since 2008. Noko Time is a freemium time tracking software for freelancers, teams, and businesses. It offers integrations with other third party products such as Harvest App, Basecamp Classic, Freshbooks Invoicing Software and more. The freeware version of the software lets you track up to five users
Noko is a time tracking software program that integrates with a variety of other platforms to help you manage your time and productivity as a consultant. Noko is also available as both a desktop and mobile app. With Noko, you can use the platform to track time spent on client projects (and bill them accordingly), manage recurring invoices, set up budgets for your clients’ projects, and more.
Noko integrates with Asana so that you can easily import your tasks from there into Noko and start tracking your time. Noko also integrates with Harvest, QuickBooks, and FreshBooks so that you can easily track your time and invoices across all of your projects. Finally, Noko has an API that allows integrations with other platforms such as Slack, Trello, Google Calendar, and more.
4. Time Analytics
Free, $4.99, $6.99, and $12.99
Very small businesses, solopreneurs, people running small side hustles
Timesheets. Time Analytics entire focus is on enhancing the viewability and traceability of employee hours. It’s time tracking software tools focus on client tracking time and cost tracking for project management.
Time Analytics has also prioritized its UX with the aim of providing friendly dashboards, easy-to-use invoicing and productivity management tools, and a variety of templates, and calculators helpful to its users in diverse fields such as accounting, law, architecture, marketing, consulting, HR, etc.
Pricing plans are, as you would expect, affordable. There is a free plan, a starter plan at $4.99 a month, an optimum plan that comes in at $6.99 a month, and a premium plan for $12.99 a month.
Due to Time Analytics focus on simplicity and billable time tracking solutions, this means its integration with other apps suffer. It’s primarily designed to be used by desktop app users and business clients who use Excel. And, that’s it. If you’re looking for a no frill way to track your projects, without any need to integrate into any other apps, then this might be okay for you, but fairly soon, I would imagine as your business grows, you’ll likely outgrow this tool.
If, on the other hand, you’re running a very small side hustle, or you have very few clients and are not looking to expand whatsoever in the next few years, you might be okay with Time Analytics.
Time tracking, some reporting
Free, $9 a month, and $78 a year
If This Then That, and Zapier
writers, designers, programmers, solopreneurs, students
To me, Rescue Time is the original time tracking app for freelancers and those interested in personal productivity, and rescuing oneself from the distractions of the internet. As a writer, I used it often. Tim Ferriss was an early promoter—perhaps, an investor. People still use it, of course, and it does a fine job still with personal productivity tasks, but it’s not nearly as robust as Toggl, or Harvest.
Essentially, it helps you track time spent on websites and apps you use in your browser, mobile phone or desktop computer. It also allows you to set goals for productivity and block distracting sites and apps automatically during certain times of day. It’ll even help lock you out of Facebook and other similiar sites when it’s time to work on a project.
Rescue time also sends weekly productivity reports so you can see how much time you spent on productive things, like emailing or writing, and how much time you wasted on unproductive tasks, like watching YouTube videos.
Rescue Time’s time tracking app is free to use, but you will only be able to track time on one device. To access all of the features, including cross-device time tracking and insights into your productivity data, you can upgrade for $9/month or $78/year.
Rescue Time runs in the background of your computer and tracks how you spend your time online. It then sends you a report of how much time you spent on productive activities, neutral activities, and unproductive activities. You can use this information to adjust your habits and be more productive.
Howdy, all, I'm Doc. I live in the beautiful port city of Kobe, JAPAN with my wife Reiko. Together we co-founded the Japanese literature translation firm, Maplopo. Nihon Hustle grew out of my desire to help others interested in working with, or starting, a business Japan—or anywhere else in the world!
We all wear different hats and my job is to help you find the one that fits you best. Thanks for reading, and go get 'em!