If you’re still tracking your time for projects or clients with a spreadsheet, it’s time to transition to a modern tool, program or application such as one of these suggested by PR columnist Lindsay Olson.
- Basecamp. Allows you to manage team projects, assign tasks, share documents and track time. Plans start at $20 a month.
- Toggl. A simple tool that you can use on any device, including iPhones and Android devices. $5 per user per month.
- Tick. You can track time on specific client projects and view how you’re doing on your overall time budget. Manage one project: free; for more it starts at $9 per month.
- OfficeTime. Use on PCs, Macs, iPhones and iPads to track your team’s progress on a project, including who is working too much or too little. The Windows or Mac version costs $47.
- Cash Board. Track time, send invoices and accept payments online. It’s free to manage two projects and bill one client a month and unlimited use is $10 per month plus 25 cents per client invoiced.
- Harvest. Use a PC, Mac, smartphone, desktop widget, Twitter, Gmail and other popular applications to track time. Send invoices and messages to your staff reminding them to turn in their timesheets. A single user is $12 per month after a free-trial period.
- On the Job. A desktop application for Macs that runs inconspicuously in your toolbar. The software costs $39.95.
- Sage HRMS. This software has more sophisticated functionality that ties time-tracking to payroll. Employees log time worked from their computer, and you can easily calculate payroll and time off.
- HoursTracker. An Apple app tracks time spent on projects and generates reports on where they’re spending their time. Cost: $4.99.
- FreshBooks. A cloud-based tool for freelancers and small businesses that has built-in time billing. Allows you to collaborate, bill different projects at different rates and tie hours worked to invoices. Free to manage up to three clients, with larger plans starting at $19.95 a month.
— Adapted from “Tools, Programs, and Apps: Electronic Time-Tracking At Its Best,” Lindsay Olson, U.S. News & World Report.