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The Best Time Tracking Apps You Need To Know About in 2021—And How To Choose The Right One

The 7 Best Time Tracking Apps of 2021The 7 Best Time Tracking Apps of 2021
min read
August 21, 2023

The more information you know about your small business, the better. But if all you’re doing to track your employees’ time is collecting timesheets from your team members at the end of the pay period, you’re not really getting the information you need to run your business effectively.

Traditional time cards will tell you the days an employee worked, their time entries (including their clock in and clock out times), and their total billable hours for the week. But that bare-bones information can bring up so many questions for business owners.

For example, did they work at multiple job sites throughout the week? How long were they at each site—and how do you need to adjust your employee scheduling for the following week to cover labor costs for each project?

Or, if your employees spend most of their day on the computer, how were they spending their time online? Were they maximizing their employee productivity and working on projects all day—or did they spend hours scrolling through social media?

How do you, as a business owner, find the answer to those questions?

The Solution? An Employee Time Tracking App

An employee time tracking app can help you get the answers to those questions—and, in the process, get the insights you need to better manage your team and more efficiently run your business.

But not every time tracking app is created equal—and if you want your time tracking software to improve your business, you need to choose the right software.

But how, exactly, do you do that? Let’s take a look at deep dive into employee time tracking apps—what they are, how to choose one for your business, and some of the best time tracking solutions on the market in 2021:

What is a time tracking app?

First things first. Before we jump into the best employee time tracking apps for 2021 (and how to choose the right one for your business), let’s quickly cover what, exactly, a time tracking app is.

Employee time tracking software acts as a tracking system for your team; the app can track time (including total work hours, specific employee hours, and daily work time), which allows you to get a better idea of how your team is spending their time, where there are opportunities for better time management, and how to maximize the way your employees are spending their time to best support your business.

Time tracking apps can also help protect your business against inaccurate reporting. Because time tracker apps give you deeper insights into how your employees are spending their work hours (for example, in some apps, you can use GPS tracking to confirm your employee is at a job site), you can confirm that a) they are where they’re supposed to be at any given time, b) they’re working on the projects they’re supposed to be working on, and c) they’re not excluding breaks or other types of time off on their timesheet.

That’s a pretty big upgrade from your standard time clock.

What are the different types of time tracking apps?

There are a number of different apps you can use for tracking time—and each category has different uses and functionality.

Some of the different types of employee time tracking software you may want to consider include:

How to choose the right time tracking app for your business

Clearly, there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a time tracking app.

So, how do you evaluate the options and make sure you’re choosing the right time tracking solution for your business?

When you’re deciding on a time tracking app for your business, there are a few key questions you want to ask yourself, including:

The best employee time tracking apps for 2021

If you’re desperate to know the answer to the question “what is the best employee time tracking app in 2021?” let’s take a look at some of the best time tracking software you’ll definitely want to check out:

Time-tracking software features a comparison table.

If you want an all-in-one time tracking, payroll, productivity, and workers' comp solution, try…


If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that not only tracks your employees’ time, but also allows you to process payroll, manage workers' comp, and delivers the insights you need to for more effective budgeting and team management, you’re definitely going to want to try Hourly.

Hourly is more than a time tracking app; it’s a people management platform that offers a host of time tracking, productivity, and team management features, including mobile time tracking, payroll processing, workers' comp management, team management, and robust labor reporting—all easily accessible with a few swipes on your smartphone.

A web page for the Hourly Inc. time-tracking app.

If you want to track your employees’ computer time, check out…


If you’re looking for a simple, straightforward time tracking system, you may want to give Toggl a try. Toggl is one of the most user-friendly tools on the market (making it an accessible option for less tech savvy team members). All users have to do is create a task, start the timer, and start working. When they’re done, they just hit “stop,” then create a new task and start the whole process over.

Toggl also offers other features that adds value for business owners (like assigning tasks and creating project timelines)—without making things too complicated.

A web page for the Toggle time-tracking app.

Time Doctor

If you want concrete proof that your employees are spending their time appropriately, you may want to try TimeDoctor. Not only does TimeDoctor track your employees’ time, but it also takes random screenshots throughout the day—so you can see exactly what they were doing on their computer (and make sure they were working on their assigned projects and not catching up on their Instagram feed).

TimeDoctor Desktop App download page for MacOS and Windows.

If you want a time tracking app that doubles as a productivity app try…


In addition to more basic time tracking functionality, DeskTime allows you to categorize certain programs, apps, and websites as “productive” or “unproductive.” It then monitors your employees’ time and automatically calculates their daily productivity based on your predetermined parameters. DeskTime is also fully customizable, which allows you to define productivity differently for individual teams, roles, or employees—so you can rest easy knowing you’re maximizing productivity across the board.

A web page for DestkTime time tracking app.


Similar to DeskTime, RescueTime tracks employee time and creates daily productivity reports based on a set of productivity parameters. RescueTime also allows users to set daily goals and track their progress, which can help keep your employees on track.

RescueTime tools and training to take your from overwhelmed to under control.

If you want a hybrid project management/time tracking app, try...


Harvest is a time tracking tool that allows users to easily assign their work time to different projects. Harvest then compiles that time data into detailed project reports—which allows you, as a business owner, to get a bird’s-eye view of which projects are taking up your employee’s time, and which can give you key insights into how to better schedule your team and maximize project budgets.

A webpage for Harvest Web time tracking software.


If you’re looking for a time tracking tool that integrates with your current project management system, you may want to check out Timecamp. Timecamp offers a variety of features to help you better manage your team’s time (including automatic time tracking and productivity monitoring)—plus, it integrates with a number of popular project management tools (including Asana, Basecamp, and Trello), so if you already have a project management software you’ve implemented with your team, you can use Timecamp to add time tracking capabilities into the mix.

TimeCamp sign up web page.

(Time) track your way to a more efficient team

You can’t get a better handle on your employees’ time if you don’t know where it’s going. But now that you know the best employee time tracking apps of 2021 (and how to choose the right app for your business), you have everything you need to start time tracking your way to a more efficient team.

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