We’ve been using time clocks and timers for centuries, but more of us are increasingly turning to time tracking apps – either on desktop, web or mobile devices – to do the job. Why? We asked Timely users that very question to find out the main benefits of time tracking apps. Here are their top 10:
1. Bill accurately
“It helps me keep track of what I’m doing, for who, and when without me having to stress that I will forget my hours or bill incorrectly.” – Ford, design agency CEO
Automatic time tracking apps capture everything you do while you work. By removing the need to remember tasks or set timers, they create an accurate record of all your billable time so every detail makes it to your timesheet.
2. Manage projects
“By understanding the hours put into each phase/project, I can write better proposals and predictions for future projects.” – Pui, design director
Time tracking apps can digest all your project information to help you improve estimations and manage costs in real-time. They’re becoming essential tools for improving project management
3. Improve productivity
“It helps me track trends, target weaknesses, and increase efficiency.” – Cory, University Professor
Time tracking apps reveal exactly how you get distracted and what’s slowing you down, to help you address personal and operational inefficiencies. Knowing everything’s being captured can also do wonders to lock productive focus.
4. Communicate progress
“Great for reporting on weekly progress or work completed on a project.” – Wayne, web designer
Apart from just collecting all your time data, time tracking apps also present it in helpful reports. It’s ideal for sharing status updates with managers or providing clients with an itemized breakdown of exactly where their money went.
5. Understand capacity
“It helps me to plan my week, see how my work aligned with my plan (or didn't) and to get a sense of how much I am working week-to-week.” – Casey, PhD student
You can’t maintain a healthy workload or gauge the sustainability of your business without knowing your capacity. Time tracking apps can show you this in seconds, which is especially helpful for managers who need to coordinate and balance team effort.
6. Improve profitability
“I want insights on where my time actually goes so my business can become more profitable” – Tim, design studio CEO
By showing how you spend your time, time tracking apps quickly reveal where you waste time and money. Quickly check your billable to non-billable ratio, see where project budgets are spent and ensure you’re working to your priorities.
7. Assess client value
“I can see what jobs are profitable and where I should have charged more” – Will, brand strategist
Time tracking apps let you quickly review profitability across all your clients and individual projects, so you can work out which actually brings home the bacon. It’s ideal for understanding all the additional extras that bust budgets.
8. Track invisible tasks
“It captures client call times and shows when I responded to emails” – Michael, software contractor
Time tracking apps capture tasks that often go unreported, like travel, client calls, project communication, task management and meetings. Just make sure they integrate with all the digital tools you use on a daily basis.
9. Calculate work rates
“By understanding project task length, I can bill fixed project prices instead of hourly prices.” – Ella, freelance copywriter
By aggregating your time and costs across similar tasks, time tracking apps help you establish fair and profitable rates. It’s especially useful when setting rates for long-term projects and discounts for repeat business.
10. Focus on productive work
“I can track my hours without ever thinking about it” – Robin, Designer and filmmaker
Time tracking apps automate this essential admin so employees can put all their energy into productive work. It’s a refreshing contrast to time clocks and timers, which interrupt workflows and force employees to mentally engage with time tracking.