For many years, workers clocked into their shifts manually using time cards — but technology has come a long way since then! Businesses now have access to a variety of time tracking apps that can help them keep track of their employees’ hours worked, as well as billable hours and other important data.
But with so many different time tracking apps to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your business? And once you’ve chosen an app, how do you use it most effectively?
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of time tracking apps and provide tips on how to get the most out of your chosen app. Scroll through to learn everything you need to know.
Let’s get started!
What is a time tracking app and how does it work?
A time tracking app is an app that helps you track the amount of time you spend on different tasks throughout the day. It can be helpful for both personal and professional use, as it allows you to see where your time is being spent and identify areas in which you may need to make changes.
Most time recording apps work by having you input the name of the task you are working on and the amount of time you spend on it. The app will then track and log your progress, allowing you to view a breakdown of how much time was spent on each task.
Time tracking apps are especially useful in the professional setting because they can help managers see where employee time is being spent, and therefore, where changes can be made in order to scale up as a business.
To use a time management app, you first need to download and install it on your device. Once it is installed, you will need to create an account and then input the tasks you are working on. The app will then track and log your progress, allowing you to view a breakdown of how much time was spent on each task.
Most time tracking apps also allow you to export your data into a variety of formats, such as PDF, Excel, or Word. This can be helpful for creating reports or sharing your data with others.
Different types of time tracking apps
There are many different time management apps to choose from, each offering different features. Some apps are designed for individuals, while others are built for businesses. Before you decide which app is right for your business, it’s important to understand the different types of time tracking apps and their features:
Individual Time Tracking Apps
These apps are typically geared towards people who want to keep track of how they spend their time. They can be used to track time spent on individual tasks or projects, or to monitor how much time is being wasted on certain activities. Individual time management apps usually offer a simple interface that makes it easy to track your time in real-time.
Business Time Tracking Apps
These apps are designed for businesses of all sizes. They allow managers to track the time their employees spend on specific tasks and projects, and can help identify inefficiencies and areas where time is being wasted.
Business time management apps typically offer more features than individual tracking apps, such as the ability to generate reports and track employee productivity remotely.
Time Tracking Extensions
Time tracking extensions are add-ons that can be used with popular online tools such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Outlook, and Asana. They allow you to track the time you spend on specific tasks within these tools, and provide reports on how much time was spent on each task.
Why you should use a time tracking app
Using a time tracking app for your business comes with a multitude of benefits. From improved accuracy and accountability to better estimating and budgeting, time clock apps make it easy to get a clear picture of where your business is spending its time.
Some of the main benefits of using a time tracking app include:
Improved accuracy and accountability
By tracking the time spent on specific tasks, you can ensure that projects are completed accurately and that employees are held accountable for their time. This also makes it easier to identify areas where time is being wasted and make adjustments accordingly.
Better estimating and budgeting
By understanding how much time is spent on different tasks, you can better estimate the time required for future projects and create more accurate budgets. This will save you both time and money!
Time tracking can help to identify areas where employees are spending too much time on certain tasks or where changes need to be made to improve productivity.
Time tracking can help to create a more transparent workplace by providing employees with an overview of how they are spending their time. This can help to eliminate misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at how you can use your time clock app to its full potential.
Where time tracking apps could be useful
There are many situations where time tracking apps can help you and your firm out. Perhaps your firm has been in these situations already — if not, then it’s more than likely that you’ll find yourself in these situations in the near future.
Let’s look at a few realistic scenarios where time tracking apps could help you out massively:
1. You’ve just won a big project, but you’re not sure how many hours it’s going to take to complete
Imagine you’ve just won over a massive client for your firm or bagged a huge order from a customer. Morale is sky high but how on earth are you going to get the work done quickly and to a high standard? It may seem like an impossible task.
Employees are running around trying to split tasks among each other — but there is a degree of vagueness and confusion as they are not sure how long each task will take or how complicated it will be.
This is where a time tracking app can come in very useful. By being able to see exactly how long each task takes you and your team to complete, you can start to get a feel for how long the project will take as a whole.
This will allow you to manage your time (and that of your team) much more effectively, meaning you can complete the project on time and to a high standard.
2. You’re not sure if certain members of staff are working as efficiently as they could be
If you’ve ever been in a management position, then you’ll know that one of the most difficult aspects is trying to monitor each staff member’s performance. This is even more difficult if you have a lot of employees or if your business is spread out over different locations.
With a time tracking app, you can see exactly how much time each employee is spending on certain tasks and projects. This data can be really useful in spotting any inefficiencies or issues with how staff are working.
For example, if you notice that one employee is taking significantly longer to complete certain tasks than others, then you can investigate why this might be and try to address the issue.
Maybe they need more training on how to use certain software or maybe they are taking on too much work and need some help. Either way, time tracking data can give you valuable insights into your staff’s performance.
3. You’re not sure how to invoice your clients correctly
If you work in the service industry, then you’ll know that invoicing can be a minefield. How do you charge for your time without overcharging or undercharging your clients? If you have a time tracking app, then this task becomes much easier.
You can simply send your client a report of the hours you’ve worked on their project and invoice them accordingly. This will give them complete transparency and peace of mind that they are only being charged for the work that you’ve actually done. No more guessing or estimating — time tracking apps make invoicing quick, easy and accurate.
4. You’re worried about how much time you’re wasting each day
We’ve all been there — those days where we feel like we’ve achieved nothing and the hours have just melted away. If this is a regular occurrence for you, then it’s definitely worth looking into a time tracking app.
By being able to see exactly how you’re spending your time, you can start to identify any areas where you might be wasting time. Maybe you spend too long on social media each day or maybe you’re getting distracted by colleagues too often.
Whatever the issue, time tracking apps can help you to nip it in the bud and start using your time more effectively.
5. You want to improve your productivity
If you’re looking for ways to increase your productivity and get more done each day, then a time tracking app could be a great solution.
By being able to see exactly how long you’re spending on tasks, you can start to identify areas where you could be working more efficiently.
For example, maybe you’re spending too long on email each day or maybe there are certain tasks that always take longer than they should.
Time tracking apps can help you to pinpoint these areas and make changes to your daily routine accordingly. In no time at all, you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you’ve become!
Time tracking app in your personal life
We’ve talked a lot about time tracking in your work life, but what about your personal day to day tasks? Time tracking apps can be extremely useful here.
Do you find yourself scrambling to remember what you did last week? Have you ever felt the need to keep track of your time, but didn’t know how? If so, then implementing a time tracking app into your personal life might be an excellent option.
Here are 5 tips on how to get the most out of your time tracking app in your personal life in particular:
1. Keep track of how you spend your time
The first step to using your time tracking app effectively is to start actually tracking your time. If you’ve never done this before, it might feel a bit daunting, but it’s actually pretty simple once you get started.
Start by picking one day and writing down everything that you do from the moment you wake up until you go to bed. Include both big tasks (like cooking dinner) and small tasks (like checking your email).
Once you have a good understanding of how you spend your time, you can start looking for ways to improve.
2. Set time limits for yourself
One of the benefits of using a time tracking app is that it can help you be more mindful of how you’re spending your time. If you find that you’re spending too much time on certain tasks, then setting time limits for yourself can be a helpful way to cut down.
For example, if you find that you’re spending an hour on social media every day, then setting a 30 minute limit for yourself can help you be more productive with your time.
3. Find ways to automate or outsource tasks
Another benefit of using a time tracking app is that it can help you identify areas where you’re wasting time.
If you find that there are certain tasks that take up a lot of your time but don’t necessarily require your attention, then finding ways to automate or outsource those tasks can be a huge time saver.
For example, if you spend a lot of time cooking dinner, then meal prepping or ordering takeout can be an excellent way to save yourself some time.
4. Schedule time for fun
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to be more productive is forgetting to schedule time for fun. It’s important to have balance in your life, and that means making time for things that you enjoy.
If you find that you’re always working and never have any time for yourself, then using your time tracking app to schedule some fun time can be a great way to improve your work-life balance.
5. Use your time tracking app as a tool, not a crutch
Finally, it’s important to remember that your time tracking app is meant to be a tool, not a crutch. If you find that you’re relying on it too much, then it’s time to take a step back.
Remember that the goal is to improve your productivity, not to become a slave to your app. Use it as a tool to help you make small changes in your habits, and don’t be afraid to take breaks from it when you need to.
How to use your time tracking app effectively
In today’s business world, time tracking apps are an essential tool for any entrepreneur or small business owner, especially for those with a busy schedule. But like all tools, if you don’t know how to use them properly, they can be ineffective and even counterproductive.
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your time tracking app.
1. Make sure to track all of your time
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget to track time when you’re busy or in the middle of a project. One way to make sure you track all of your time is to set a timer for every task you do. This will help you stay focused and avoid distractions.
2. Set goals
When you first start using a time management app, it can be helpful to set some benchmarks and goals according to your company vision. For example, you might want to track how long it takes you to complete a certain task or how many hours you work each week. This can help you identify areas where you need to improve and make changes accordingly.
3. Use the data to improve your workflow
Once you have some benchmarks and goals, start using the data from your time tracking app to improve your workflow and output.
For example, if you notice that it takes you longer to complete a task than you’d like, look for ways to streamline the fulfillment process. Alternatively, if you work more hours than you wanted to this week, try to find ways to work more efficiently so that you can get the same results in fewer hours.
4. Make a habit of tracking your time
The best way to get the most out of your time tracking app is to make it a habit. In other words, use it every time you work so that you can get accurate data. This will help you track your progress and make changes as needed. In the workplace, create a culture where it is normal to track your time every single day.
5. Find a time tracking app that works for you
Not all time tracking apps are created equal, so it’s important to find one that works for you. Some apps are more suited for freelancers or people who work on their own, while others are better for teams or businesses. Do some research and find an app that will make your team more effective.
6. Use it consistently
In order for the time tracking app to be effective, it’s important to use it consistently. This means tracking your time on a daily basis for at least a week. Create a culture where daily time tracking is both accepted and expected, as this will give you the most accurate information about your productivity.
7. Analyze the data
Once you have tracked your time for a period of time, it’s important to analyze the data. Look for patterns in your work habits and see where you may be able to make changes. Use the information to improve your productivity and reward employees who are overperforming.
8. Keep it updated
The final step is to keep your time tracking app up-to-date. This means adding new tasks and deleting old ones as needed. This will ensure that the app is always reflecting your current work habits.
Should you invest in a time tracking app?
You might think that time tracking is just another fancy business term that nobody really pays attention to.
Let’s break down some statistics about time tracking (and how much money it can save your firm) to throw this theory into the bin!
Employee pay is one of a businesses largest expenses — usually the largest.
With this large of an expense, it only makes sense for businesses to want to get the most out of their employees by ensuring they are productive for the time they are paid for. This is where time tracking comes into play.
For each business, employee pay makes up approximately 70% of their overall expenses.
With time tracking, businesses can see exactly where this money is going and make necessary adjustments to ensure they are getting the most bang for their buck, so to speak.
Time tracking also allows businesses to hold employees accountable for the time they are taking on projects.
If an employee knows that their boss is able to see exactly how much time they are spending on a task, they are likely to be more productive and work more efficiently.
If time tracking helps each employee work that little bit more efficiently, and spend 2 hours a week more productively, then for a company of 20 employees you’re saving 40 hours a week. That’s a whole standard working week!
Choosing the best time tracking app for your business
Whether you’re a solopreneur or part of a larger organization, time tracking can help you and your team evaluate your productivity levels. But with so many time tracking apps to choose from, how do you know which is the best one for your business?
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a time tracking app:
What features does the app offer? Depending on your specific needs, you may want an app that tracks time spent on certain tasks, projects, or clients. Some apps also allow you to generate invoices based on the time tracked.
How easy is the app to use? The last thing you want is an app that’s difficult to navigate or takes a lot of time to set up. Look for an app that’s easy to use and has a user-friendly interface that integrates with other platforms.
What kind of support does the app offer? When you’re first starting out with time tracking, you may have questions about how to use the app or how to get the most out of it. Look for an app that offers good customer support so you can get the help you need.
Is the app affordable? While price isn’t always the most important factor, it’s important to find an app that’s affordable for your business. There are a variety of apps to choose from, so there’s likely one that fits your budget.
When it comes to choosing a reliable time tracking app that covers all the bases, Day.io is one of the best options on the market. Not only is it affordable, but Day.io also comes with a range of useful features such as anti-fraud precautions, face ID verification, and GPS tracking.
To make the most of Day.io, follow these simple steps:
1) Install the app and create an account
Once you have installed Day.io, you will need to create an account. This is a quick and easy process, and you can even use your existing Google or Facebook account to save time.
2) Add projects and tasks
Next, add your projects and tasks. This is where Day.io really comes into its own, as it allows you to track time spent on specific items in great detail.
3) Start tracking time
Now you’re ready to start tracking time! Simply click on the project and task that you are working on, and Day.io will start recording the time that you spend on it.
4) Review your data
At the end of each day, week, or month, review your data. This will give you a clear idea of how much time you have spent on each project and task, and can help you to identify any areas where you may need to improve your productivity.
5) Use the reports feature
The reports feature is another great way to get insights into your time tracking data. You can use this feature to generate detailed reports on how much time you have spent on each project, task, and client.
6) Export your data
If you need to share your data with others, or simply want to keep a backup, you can export your data in PDF or CSV format.
By following these simple steps, you can make the most of Day.io and get a better understanding of how you are spending your time.
At the end of the day, time tracking has always been a staple of well-managed businesses; it’s just been made easier through the use of apps!
Overall, time tracking apps can be hugely beneficial for businesses of all sizes. If you’re not already using one, then we highly recommend you look into it — you may be surprised at just how helpful they can be!
Keeping track of projects and monitoring productivity has never been simpler. For a reliable time tracking app that will do everything you need (and more), start your free Day.io trial today.