Tools of the Project Management Trade: Time Tracking

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You might have heard of that saying: “We all have 24 hours in a day.” Using those 24 hours wisely, however, is what separates a highly productive achiever from the rest. Smart time management can elevate your game, but also admitting that you need to enhance your skills on this critical aspect is also a sign that your ceiling is never high enough.

One good way to do so is with the use of time management software. Some have paid licenses, while others let you try them free for a time. Here are three examples:


Clockify is a cross-platform beast; it works on Windows and Mac and can also be used on iPhones and Android devices. The best thing about Clockify is that it has no paywall, which means its functional features are not gated behind the purchase or subscription plans, no matter how big your team or how huge the project gets.

Clockify is one of the few time management tools with both a time tracker and a timesheet. This gives you the freedom to choose whatever “classic” time management method you want to use. On the time tracking department, the UI is smooth and no-nonsense, allowing you to zero in on the function that you want to do. You can create new entries and start or stop timers for a user or a project with one click of a button. Meanwhile, the timesheet function displays the current week divided by days and events.

Like any modern time-tracking software, Clockify also allows you to generate reports and has a full-featured API, which you can integrate into your app. For someone who’s running a hustle on their kitchen with several people in remote locations, Clockify is the app for you.


People planning out schedule on online calendar

MeisterTask uses a project management UI based around the kanban method. Kanban, Japanese for “visual signal,” translates projects into easily identifiable “cards” and columns. This makes assessing the progress of a specific work easy to read at a glance, with users writing on a card to indicate what they’re working on.

MeisterTask makes time management extraordinarily intuitive and flexible. You can use it for task lists, for a freelancer doing collaborative work, or an administrator tracking file server solutions. It can accommodate unlimited users and projects, but it also offers the staples of time management software like time monitoring and storage. Its basic plan has limited integrations, but you can use Zapier to integrate it with other third-party apps like Gmail and Trello.


Calendar planner on laptop

Harvest is a cloud-based time management platform that uses timesheets for daily time tracking, but it can also monitor the team’s real-time activity. It also offers support for billable hours (including creating invoices, viewing income reports, reminders for payments to clients, among others) and powerful project, time, and team management features with built-in scheduling.

Harvest’s timesheets use a one-click time entry, which they can access using widgets. The biggest downside to Harvest is its cost, though. For example, the basic (free) plan only allows one user and only up to two projects. What it does better than its contemporaries, like Toggl, however, is that it has a much better selection of external apps available for integration, such as GitHub, Basecamp, and Trello.

No amount of wealth has ever bought a second of time. Using these apps might be the closest you’ll ever get.

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