Time tracking plays an integral role in managing employee productivity and accountability. Likewise, it can help you pay workers' billable time more accurately. In this article, learn more about the importance of time tracking, various types of tracking methods, and the best apps to help you track employee time.

The Importance of Employee Time Tracking

Time tracking data can enhance the way you manage workflows. Many large, midsize, and small businesses rely on timekeeping apps to reduce payroll errors. Failure to track time entries correctly can cost your businesses a significant amount of money over time. In fact, overpaying your workforce can eat into your company's bottom line. On the other hand, payroll accuracy bolsters employee satisfaction levels by eliminating frustration caused by errors.

Easier planning is another key benefit of a simple time tracking solution. Your team members can plan future workloads based on up-to-date productivity and workflow data. Timekeeping solutions also help you uncover unproductive tasks, allowing you to optimize various work processes.

How to Track Employee Time Worked

To ensure effective tracking, you need to choose the ideal method. The most effective time trackers reduce errors and capture the number of hours worked in real time. However, each tracking solution comes with pros and cons that require careful consideration. Key advantages of the ideal solution include:

  • Track labor costs
  • Help boost employee productivity
  • Enhance project management capabilities
  • Ensure time off and overtime compliance
  • Improve payroll accuracy
  • Bolster transparency
  • Identify staff shortages
  • Make well-informed staffing and scheduling decisions

Examples of tracking methods include traditional pen and paper and time-tracking apps. These solutions come with strengths and weaknesses, which can make a significant difference in how you track time.

Time Tracking on Paper

Tracking the amount of time your employees work using paper is an old-school option that some companies still use. This method can be appealing if your team members work in locations with poor internet connectivity. To track time, ask workers to write down the start and stop times on a piece of paper for payroll processing purposes.

Many small businesses still take advantage of pen and paper's simplicity. You can record work hours without a fuss or a need to buy premium time trackers. However, this option has its downsides. For instance, you'll still need to input the billable time into a software program.

  • Simplicity
  • Minimal employee training required
  • No initial investment necessary
  • Increased likelihood of payroll errors
  • Prone to false entries
  • It makes payroll processing more cumbersome

Time Tracking With Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets have helped transform how businesses organize, analyze, and store critical information. You can use spreadsheets to track time and store data in tabular form. It's no surprise that some companies use enterprise spreadsheet tools to manage a wide selection of business processes.

Some time-tracking spreadsheets come with advanced features, enabling you to leverage intelligence and analytics functions. Likewise, these tools make it easier to automate a wide selection of payroll tasks, such as adding overtime, invoicing, and calculating billable time based on the hourly rate.

You can create basic timesheet templates and take advantage of integrated formulas to calculate hours worked. The formulas also ensure transparency by providing universal access to standard hourly rates and payroll details.

Another significant advantage of spreadsheets is that many people are familiar with the functionality and use them regularly. On the downside, heavy spreadsheet users may feel overwhelmed when you add time tracking to their day-to-day tasks.

  • Versatility
  • Transparency
  • Provides a printable time-tracker solution
  • Manual time entry
  • Doesn't generate detailed work time reports

Time Tracking With Apps

Time-tracking mobile apps for Android and iOS provide a more convenient way to track time logs. They are also useful for task management when dealing with contract or salaried employees. This option provides access to a timer or a time clock using a mobile device.

Your workers can configure the app to track hours every workday. In turn, the app provides automatic time prompts to ensure that employees clock in and out. Mobile apps can also set aside free time to take a break and come back refreshed.

Examples of time trackers you can deploy include Hubstaff, TrackingTime, TimeCamp, Toggl Track, Timely, and DeskTime. These solutions are suitable for managing remote work. You can check productivity levels for your internal teams or freelancers by the end of the day.

Best Employee Time-Tracking Apps

The most prominent time-tracking apps come with key features, such as idle time tracking, absence calendar, and app integrations. You can take advantage of these features to streamline task management, time tracking, and other functions.


This app provides access to a feature-rich dashboard to help you streamline team management. By deploying Hubstaff, you can manage remote and field teams more effectively. It has more than 40 integrations for added convenience.

Key features include:

  • Project budgeting
  • Task management
  • Web time tracking
  • Time off tracking
  • Generate tracking, invoicing, and budget reports
  • Business app integrations

Toggl Track

With Toggl Track, you can take advantage of several features to enhance tracking. This tool features one-click timers across multiple channels, including desktop apps, the Chrome browser extension, web tools, and mobile applications. It syncs your team's work time entries in real time.

Toggle Track also comes with automatic background tracking, which tracks websites and apps used and converts the data into time entries.

Additional features include:

  • Converts calendar events into work time entries
  • Autotracker suggests time entries, depending on the software your employees are using
  • Over 100 business app integrations
  • Time tracking reports
  • Automatic time rounding when tracking time incrementally (rounds five-minute intervals to 30 minutes or an hour)


Timely enables you to create weekly timesheets and log work time. This app automatically logs time your employees spend working on emails, documents, browsers, and applications. It ensures accurate tracking and securely stores all billable hours.

The tool's key features include:

  • Real-time project dashboards
  • Project and team planning
  • Integrates with Asana, GitHub, Trello, Outlook, Gmail, and Google Calendar
  • AI-assisted time logging for more efficient functionality
  • Time tracking reports
  • Track projects
  • Track teams


This app comes with advanced team monitoring and time-tracking features that make it easier to monitor work time. DeskTime tracks overtime, sick leave, and your employees' vacations. You gain access to your entire team's workflow.

DeskTime's features include:

  • URL and app tracking to help you monitor website and app usage
  • Idle time tracking
  • Document title tracking in Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Excel
  • Tracks time spent on specific projects
  • Automatic screenshots to help you monitor employees' workstation screens
  • Allows team members to request specific shifts using the shift scheduling feature
  • Absence calendar ensures transparency


TimeCamp is a work management tool that integrates with collaboration platforms like Asana and Trello. You can link TimeCamp with these tools via the Chrome extension.

With this app, you can expect the following features:

  • Productivity tracking reports
  • Insightful time-tracking reports
  • Automated timesheet approvals
  • Attendance tracking eliminates the need for punchouts

Keep Track of Your Business Finances With Skynova

As you enhance project monitoring and time tracking, Skynova can help you streamline key business processes. Our accounting software comes with key features you need to manage your company's income and expenses more efficiently. By streamlining accounting processes, you ensure accurate record keeping.

Our software also handles invoice generation and storage, and you can send the document directly to clients or customers and track their status, as well. See how Skynova's software solutions can streamline your business processes today.

Notice to the Reader

The content contained in this article is for general information purposes only. To obtain the most up-to-date advice, consider enlisting the help of an expert.