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Time tracking software: comparison of the top 6 tools

Time tracking software: comparison of the top 6 tools
October 2023

"Time tracking, yeah!"... the favorite topic of many agencies, consultancies and tech companies... or not. 🧐

Unfortunately, traditional time tracking often has a pale aftertaste. Employees feel controlled and are annoyed by the constant tracking of hours.

But when used correctly, project time tracking is a great basis for efficient and happier work, both for the company and for every team member. With smart project time tracking, you can keep track of your capacities.

Meetings, daily business - all time blockers that keep you from working on the big projects. Wouldn't it be helpful to make these hours visible? 🤩

Why project time tracking really makes sense

  • If you know how much time each team member really has available for project work, you can plan milestones, coordination and deadlines much more realistically. This will help you stay on schedule in the long term and unnecessary overtime will be a thing of the past.
  • A wave of illness in the team or a spontaneous request from a super-important customer? Thanks to the transparent overview of capacities, you can quickly reschedule and the available hours are prioritized for new tasks.
  • You can also create invoices, both for projects and on an hourly basis, in just a few clicks thanks to the times already recorded. Finally, no more estimating hours - yay!

The benefits of using a project time tracking system

It is helpful to get the entire team on board when it comes to introducing project time tracking. Because if everyone knows the reasons for using time tracking, motivation will be much higher to track their hours - depending on the tool, even with pleasure.

The most important benefits of project time tracking at a glance:

👉 Improved internal planning and quoting

👉 Increased productivity and self-management

👉 Efficient work without time wasters - overtime becomes visible

👉 Independent work in the home office

👉 Timely completion of tasks

👉 Simple creation of invoices

Tobias Hagenau, co-founder of awork, also tracks his working hours. This gives him a detailed insight into which areas of the company he spends his time on. Not only can he estimate the actual effort much better, but he also knows the costs of the individual activities and can reflect on his priorities at any time. This makes time recording an irreplaceable tool for continuously improving productivity.

Functions that a good project time tracking software should have

  1. Automatic time tracking: the software should track working time accurately and without much effort.
  2. Project and task management: you should be able to create projects and tasks and assign times to them.
  3. Reporting: Clear reports for controlling and invoicing are important.
  4. Mobile compatibility: An app or mobile version enables time tracking on the move.
  5. Integration: The software should be able to be integrated into other systems such as accounting or project management.
  6. User-friendliness: intuitive operation saves time and promotes user acceptance.

Overview of the 6 best time recording tools

The best solution for efficient time tracking is time tracking software, which will make you and your team work more lucrative. That's why in this article, we'll help you find the right time tracking tool. We'll show you the top 6 project-time-tracking softwares and take a close look at their respective pros and cons. 

💜 awork: Integrated project management

Time tracking view in awork: Hour clock, track hours on projects and tasks
Easy & fun time tracking with awork 💜

awork is the all-in-one solution for productive teams of any size that not only want to record their times but are also looking for a tool for smart project management.

👍 Pro: 

  • awork is a practical PM tool for team organization
  • Cloud-based software with servers in Germany
  • Smart project management with smart time tracking
  • Integrates time tracking easily into your workflow
  • Record times via stopwatch or drag & drop to projects and tasks  
  • Use calendar integration to turn meetings directly into times
  • Export the time tracking for users, projects, customers - just set the filters as you like - and export to PDF or Excel
  • Practical integrations with invoicing and HR tools

👎 Con: 

  • awork isn't a free tool

[.b-button-primary] awork Video: time tracking & reports [.b-button-primary]

Not surprisingly, we believe that our own product awork is among the best project time tracking software for teams on the market. Can't anyone say that? True - but take a look at our customer reviews, and they'll tell it to you too. If you want to see for yourself, simply start the free 14-day trial.

[.b-testimonial]The combination of time tracking and the mobile app is very convenient and a real time saver.[.b-testimonial]

Rene Sulski, CEO at Sales Automation Labs
Rene Sulski, CEO at Sales Automation Labs

[.b-button-primary] Curious? Try awork for free! [.b-button-primary]

Monday: Simple and easy recording of working times

The American leader in time tracking software and suitable for teams that don't care about GDPR compliance.

👍 Pro: 

  • Time tracking of the American market leader can be used directly without setup
  • Time tracking on projects and tasks within the project management app: click timer when starting and stopping work

👎 Con: 

  • Monday's servers are located in the USA

[.b-related-article] awork as an alternative to monday.com [.b-related-article]

TimO24: Versatile time management software

With this option for time tracking, especially small to medium teams are well-advised.

👍 Pro: 

  • GDPR-compliant time tracking software
  • Offers users an individual account to manage working hours, absences, and vacation requests
  • Enables various evaluations of time data
  • Allows integration to DATEV, Lexware & Co.
  • Can be used via web browser, app, or also via terminal

👎 Con: 

  • TimO24 is specialized for small to medium-sized teams and offers no free solution

Timetac: User-friendly, flexible time recording

Timetac is ideal for teams that want to work flexibly and specializes in cross-device time tracking.

👍 Pro: 

  • Supports fast and flexible time management
  • It can be used across devices
  • Synchronizes between all devices
  • Book your working time with a few clicks depending on your work situation - whether meeting, travel time, or break time

👎 Con: 

  • Timetac isn't a free solution

ZEP time recording: Project-oriented work with time recording software

Customizable time recording for all industries and team sizes 

👍 Pro: 

  • Web-based tool for online time recording
  • Suitable for creating timesheets and offers an integrated travel expense report
  • Suitable for all industries and team sizes
  • Individual additional functions such as reminders for invoicing, calendar server for business appointments, etc., can be booked additionally

👎 Con: 

  • Zep is not a free software

Kimai: The open source solution

Free time tracking tool, which is perfectly suitable for beginners due to its simplicity and the reduction to the only most important functions.

👍 Pro: 

  • Track and manage your working hours and export them to Excel, HTML, and PDF 
  • Free time tracking software
  • You can even close your browser while the time tracking is running for pure comfort 
  • Various evaluations of your working time are visible via the dashboard
  • Print invoices to customers directly from Kimai with destination formats like DOCX or HTML

👎 Con: 

  • Kimai only has basic functions, so it is less suitable for more complex tasks

Why pay for a software when there are free ones?

  • Most free apps only cover the basic functions of time tracking, whereas Smart Work Management, like awork, offers various time tracking and reporting options.
  • With awork, you have multiple filtering and grouping options to create meaningful and valuable time evaluations.
  • In addition to practical time tracking, awork is a fully-fledged tool for project management and team organization.
  • Instead of multiple tools, you only need one tool to track your team's work progress.

[.b-testimonial]We switched from Asana to awork. The flexibility of awork, from time tracking to task creation, is what I particularly love about it.[.b-testimonial]

Michael Schmitt, CEO @ Storyliner

For which industries is project time tracking software useful?

Project time tracking software is useful for many industries, especially those where project work is central. These include IT and software development, engineering, architecture, consulting firms, marketing and advertising agencies, and construction companies. It helps to keep track of working hours, resource planning and budget compliance. Freelancers and agencies also benefit from accurate time tracking for transparent invoicing to their clients

Looking for more information about time tracking software? Feel free to check out the awork time tracking features.

[.b-button-primary] awork time tracking [.b-button-primary]

How project time tracking can help increase efficiency

Project time tracking helps you to get a precise overview of how much time individual work processes take. This allows you to identify which projects or tasks are particularly time-consuming and optimize processes. This leads to more effective resource planning and can increase team productivity as bottlenecks are identified and workflows are better coordinated. Accurate time tracking of projects also gives you the opportunity to calculate costs more transparently and make your project planning even more precise in future.

Project time tracking software meets New Work

Recording working hours can help you to promote self-management among your colleagues. Especially in times of New Work, this aspect is no longer unimportant. Instead of a rigid, guideline-based daily routine, you can give your team in the home office the opportunity to organize their time freely. If all working hours are now recorded on a task-related basis instead of just attendance, time wasters can be better exposed. This helps you to make better use of your own working hours and thus manage your own capacities

[.b-related-article] Time tracking in the home office – big boss is watching you, or isn't he? [.b-related-article]

Easy launch of new project time tracking software

When you introduce time tracking software, communicate the decision transparently with your team in advance!

The most important aspect when choosing software is simple: you need to know whether your team can work with it in a meaningful way - a highly complex tool is useless if no one in your team voluntarily records their working hours. 🤓

When choosing software, we recommend that you pay attention to the variety of options for recording and evaluating time, depending on the team size and requirements.

First work with the new time tracking tool yourself to evaluate it and ask your team for feedback after the introduction. Everyone involved should be able to use it properly so that no additional work is created.

It may also be useful to offer a workshop on the introduction of a time recording system. By clearly communicating the benefits of time tracking for employees and the company, you can encourage acceptance within your team and create transparency.


In the jungle of time tracking tools, we at awork have the right overview and show you the advantages and disadvantages of the top 6 time-tracking software. Have you already found your favorite? 

If you want to test awork without entering a credit card and without an obligation, you have the opportunity now!

[.b-button-primary] Curious? Try awork for free! [.b-button-primary]

About the author
Talent Acquisition Lead
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