Every project manager, startup founder, supervisor, entrepreneur, and creator understands the importance of managing time and to-do lists. Without the ability to coordinate and stay on-top of timelines and to-dos throughout each phase of a project, it’s hard to achieve everything you want in an efficient manner. If you don’t have these tools, PMs tend to waste time and potential, minimizing overall growth.

That’s where digital time tracking tools come in.

With sleek designs, user-friendly interfaces, and thorough integration with other collaborative apps, these digital options have made vast improvements to the way that PMs everywhere track time spent on their projects. The utility of these tools means that there are a lot of them—anyone whose job depends on tracking tasks will have a favorite program of their own, but the numerous options provide flexibility for all budgets and goals.

Below are a few of the most effective time tracking apps which stand out from the crowd and help teams increase the quality of their time management and work ethic.

Hive

When it comes to productivity, Hive combines the best aspects of tons of different tools in one platform.

It’s clean interface is ideal for scheduling, planning, communicating with a team, time tracking, time estimations, managing to-do lists, gathering information and feedback via forms, approving project updates, emailing, and more. If there’s something a PM or a team member needs to complete a project, Hive has a feature that can help!

Plus, Hive’s usage of templates allows for impressive flexibility, meaning that users across multiple industries can utilize everything that Hive has to offer. These templates have been designed for business development, software development, HR, marketing, product management, and more. Some templates are ideal for planning, while others emphasize communication with team members via performance reviews and social media calendars.

Hive has more integration possibilities than many other time tracker programs, too. With over 1,000 integrations, users can customize Hive to fit seamlessly with tools they already utilize within their teams. Ease of use is further enhanced by the availability of syncing desktop and mobile apps to make working on the go an effortless experience.

In addition to this myriad of productivity features, Hive has even more useful utilities on the way, a couple of which include the addition of time-sheets and resource planning tools which will allow PMs to plan ahead and make the beginning of any project a breeze.

In short, Hive is one of the best time tracking tools and to-do list managing apps available, particularly for PMs who require heavy customization or who handle a variety of projects at one time.

TimeCamp

TimeCamp allows both individuals and managers alike to streamline the way that they track time. Automatic time tracking paired with features like invoicing functionality and the ability to sort time reports by billable and non-billable hours make TimeCamp a great resource for freelancers or managers who want to ensure their projects are remaining profitable.

Managers can also make use of TimeCamp’s attendance tracking and its ability to integrate with other popular organization platforms like Hive, Trello, Basecamp, and Evernote. Plus, the mobile application is easy to navigate and adds another dimension of flexibility and convenience for all users, regardless of team or project size. 

Paymo

Like TimeCamp, Paymo is designed to be used by both independent freelancers and those who are managing or working with other team members. This tool is best for resource planning, time tracking and allocation.

Task management capabilities are another aspect of Paymo — the program features a number of tools to help individuals and managers keep track of their to-dos while creating realistic schedules. The built-in Gantt chart creator, for example, allows users to create timelines for their own tasks and for their team’s responsibilities.

Plus, communication features allow real-time discussion between team members to save time, reduce frustration, and improve the quality of your projects. Finally, as its name suggests, Paymo has all the invoicing tools necessary for success, too. You can also integrate PayMo with Hive, for extra project management oomph.

Harvest

Harvest transforms timesheet data into visual reports that are quick and easy to understand, making it simple for any team leader or PM to track time spent amongst their colleagues. Invoicing tools are included, too, for a seamless transition between tracking time and paying for that time.

Some PMs will be particularly fond of Harvest’s sister app Forecast, a predictive tool which encourages project leads to think ahead about the way that their employees are using their time and working toward a particular goal. Porting Forecast’s data directly into Harvest allows PMs to decide whether or not their timeframes are doable, saving them from a potentially failed project down the line. You can also integrate Hive and Harvest with ease.

Toggl

Toggl’s simplicity and straightforward interface make it a popular choice amongst no-nonsense PMs searching for a clean but effective program to track time. Toggl is especially useful for those who prefer to avoid real-time tracking and prefer to track time manually.

Thanks to web, desktop, and mobile applications which all sync in real time, Toggl takes the hassle out of time management. Their calendar integration improves the scheduling aspect of managing a team, and starting a timer takes only a single click. Toggl also offers the option to enable notifications which remind users to start tracking (or to stop tracking when the program senses idle time).

Time Doctor

Time Doctor makes it easy to accurately track time with the click of a button. You simply start the timer to automatically start tracking your work time.

For Managers, Time Doctor will let you know when and what your team is working on. The visual reports dashboard shows tables and charts view of hours worked on a daily, weekly, monthly basis and over a custom date range. The reports also show time usage stats based on time spent on various projects and tasks, daily timeline report, poor time usage, GPS tracking and more.

Time Doctor also integrates with many project management solutions and has a really cool feature that gives you a friendly nudge when it detects that you might be distracted by a less productive task. With Time Doctor, you have deep insights to optimize your productivity.

Getting Started

Most of these time, tracking apps offer free trials, demos, or non-paid versions of their products for new users, making it easy for businesses to test out a few different tools and see which one best fits their needs. Some of these tools, like Hive, even allow a user to invite unlimited team members and collaborators to use the tool during the free trial period.

So, what are you waiting for? Your time management skills are about to reach a whole new level thanks to these extensive apps that will help you manage projects and track time spent on specific actions. With these professional solutions, even independent users or new startup owners can track time and tackle productivity milestones like the pros.