How you spend your time is important, and it can be easy to waste little bits of time throughout the day without realizing it. If you’re looking for a boost to your productivity and want to see how much you’re really working, one of the best ways to do that is through time tracking.
Time tracking means a lot of things to different people, from solely timing their work hours to keeping track of how much time they spend on social media. Regardless of where on that spectrum you land, there have been some fantastic tools developed to help you.
What to Look for in a Time-Tracking App
While everyone’s needs and tastes are different, there are still a few things to think about when choosing an app.
- Focus: Different apps will be better for different types of time tracking. An individual needs different features, as compared to a team of 10 people. Some apps excel for tracking hours spent working but could be annoying to use for tracking shorter periods. It’s about finding what syncs up with your life and specific needs.
- Time Reports: Being able to see how you spent your time over a day, month, or even year can be invaluable for improving your productivity. Different apps do this in different ways, but it must be there.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility: While we’re focusing on apps for Android, it can be useful to access your timers and data on other devices. We note at the end of each section what devices the app is available for.
Now that you know what to look for, here are the best time tracking apps on the Play Store.
Best Overall: Toggl
Toggl covers every base when it comes to time tracking, regardless of whether you’re a solo freelancer or the manager of a large team. You can start simple one-tap timers—all your timers will sync across any platform (meaning you could start a timer on your phone and end it on your desktop). In addition, you can easily break down your projects and clients in Toggl’s detailed time reports, so you know exactly where your time is going and what is earning you the most money per hour.
Once you start to get deep into time tracking, Toggl also has some powerful user-focused features. You can use shortcuts and tags to quickly set and organize projects, integrate Toggl with over 100+ apps for automatic tracking (there’s a full list of apps here), and even get email reminders when projects go over their allotted time.
For teams and businesses, Toggl enables you to keep track of all your employee’s work, and makes it easier to choose what clients and projects are worth taking on with their detailed profit-versus-labor costs reports.
Toggl’s free plan gives you enough features to get started. But when you want more, the Starter plan gives you some deeper features at $10 a month ($108 a year), and the Premium plan grants the full-feature list (in comparison to the Starter plan, largely team-focused features) for $20 a month ($216 a year). Toggl provides a full breakdown of pricing and features here.
Best for Simple Tracking: Boosted
If you just want a simple time tracker, Boosted is your best pick. It has a simple layout built around multiple one-tap timers at once, and can be even be organized into a to-do list. You get great line-graphs that detail your tracked time, and the app can even keep track of what days you’re the most productive. Also, any tracked item can be easily added to a calendar view.
Boosted is only available on Android devices unfortunately, but your data can be backed up onto Google Drive so you won’t lose it when switching devices.
Boosted is also entirely free, so there is no reason not to try it out.
Best Passive Tracker: RescueTime
If you don’t like the idea of constantly opening an app to start and stop timers, then RescueTime should help you out. RescueTime monitors what apps and websites you use and for how long (which you can limit in the privacy settings), and that time can then be categorized as unproductive or productive, depending on your preferences. No need to repeatedly start and stop timers, simply open up RescueTime when you need to get the data. You can set specific goals and get weekly alerts about your progress through email, as well.
RescueTime’s free plan gives you automatic tracking, goal setting, and unlimited devices. The Premium plan gives you offline tracking, unlimited archival data, and the option to disable distracting notifications for certain amounts of time for $6 a month. There is also a team-focused plan, which has some useful features, such as team-wide progress tracking. You can see more about RescueTime’s pricing here.
RescueTime is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, IOS, and the web.
Best for Simple Target Setting: Time Tracker
If self-improvement is your aim, Time Tracker is the simplest way to set goals for your time tracking. You can set targets for each day, week, or month, and always keep what you’re aiming for right in front of you. Besides that, it has a lot of the standard time-tracking features, such as one-tap time tracking, project and activity organization, and detailed time reports.
Time Tracker is only available for Android and is free, but it comes with ads and you can only add a limited number of projects. You can upgrade to the Pro version for a one-time payment of $4.99, which gives you home screen widgets, gets rid of the ads, and grants unlimited projects.
Best for Teams: Hubstaff
If you want to keep track of your team’s work and find ways to make better use of their time, Hubstaff can help with both. You get online timesheets that can be used for payroll, extremely detailed reports about each individual or the team as a whole, and the option to create location-based job sites so that your employees are automatically clocked in and out upon entering and leaving the office. You also get access to a team-wide calendar, making it easy to tell when people will be working. All of this is just how Hubstaff ensures that you know exactly how long your employees are working and how efficient they are.
Hubstaff does offer a free version, but you only have access to basic time tracking and team management. If you want the more in-depth team features, you’re need to purchase the Basic or Premium plans, which are $7 and $10 a month per user, respectively. They do also have an Enterprise plan for larger teams, which is $20 a month per user. You can see a full breakdown of the prices here.
You can download Hubstaff on any Windows, macOS, Linux, IOS, or Android device, and there is a web version.