One of the drudgeries of business is tracking time. As important as it is to track your time and that of your employees, in addition to allocating accounting to various projects, it seems like a monotonous task that diverts attention from doing actual work.
Here are three apps designed not only to make time tracking less painful, but actually fun.
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The visual orientation and intuitive interface of the Timelime app (for Mac only) makes timekeeping a little more exciting than a typical spreadsheet entry. It's also fairly easy to make updates on the fly. There's an animated timer activated by a hotkey to track tasks as you actually perform them and eliminate guesswork.
Additional features include:
- Customizable menu bar and unobtrusive interface to display status information
- Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly hourly tallies
- Customizable charts
- Time zone consistency
- Ability to export and import data in most file formats
- Undo/redo capability
- Task grouping
- Backup archiving One possible drawback is a lack of integration with Google or Apple calendars
Price: $14.95, available in the App Store
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An iPhone app that displays scrollable timeslots sorted in colors with the ability add notes or edit, Hours lets you start, stop or switch timing a project with a single tap. As with any iPhone app, functions are executed through tapping and swiping. There's also a version for team use.
Additional features include:
- User customizable smart notifications to start or stop a timer.
- Report summaries both within the app and exportable to PDF or CSV format
- User-defined rounding rules for time reporting
- Ability to track multiple projects
- Calendar display to navigate to a particular day or glance at days of the month for tracked time
- Easy ability to add notes to time entries
Sounds and colorful transitions indicate stuff is happening.
Price: $4.99, available in the App Store
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The name alone lets you know that Freckle is a bright, friendly and fun time tracker that displays time slots in colorful graphics representing 15-minute chunks. Hover over a chunk and you get an equally colorful display of specific activities performed within the time period. It is also specifically designed for team use, with a version for solo consultants and freelancers.
Key features include:
- Mobile-web interface
- Expense tracking
- Easy export of timing data to create invoices
- Reminders if you've forgotten to turn tracking on
- Exports to PDF
- Email and chat support
- Single user: $19 per month
- Small Team (up to 5 users): $39 a month
- Medium Team (up to 15 users): $79 a month
- Large Team (up to 30 users): $159 a month
Though the tracking of your time might feel like a hassle, it's vital to the one thing that keeps your business going: money. Investing a small amount of money in an app that can more effectively track the time you'll bill for later will pay off in the longrun.