Get in Touch

  • Email Us
  • INTL 001.562.252.3789
    USA 800.430.4095
Shireen Qudosi

Do More in Less Time: Top Time Tracking Programs

Jun 02 2011, 04:32 PM by

When I first started my own small business, one of the biggest challenges was getting things done within a certain timeframe, followed by tracking how much time I was spending on each project. Since I had just started out, I had to also keep track of how much time was going into marketing, responding to emails, prepping and sending out proposals, following leads and doing other administrative duties. If I hoped to grow as a small business owner and attract new clients, it was pretty clear that I first had to get a grip on what was before me.

Whether you’re a small business owner with a pool of employees or a freelancer running a small home-based business, the fact remains you have a lot on your plate and a lot of different plates to manage. As small business professionals, our time is one of our most valuable assets. Creating a to-do list or looking at the clock in hopes of “getting it all done” within a reasonable time period or by a deadline just doesn’t cut it. We need something a lot more sophisticated.

A colleague of mine, also a fellow small business owner, recommended checking out some time management software. I couldn’t have received any better advice, and I just wished I’d received it sooner. Getting on schedule with a time tracking software that works for you is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a rising entrepreneur. Check out some of the following time management programs to see which one best meets your needs.

ClockingIt – A free application, ClockingIt makes it easy to project manage, collaborate and keep track of your time. The time management software also includes a project schedule feature that lets you know if you’re falling behind on any one task…and why. It’s essentially a smart virtual secretary that features time tracking and reporting, as well as multiple communication modes, interactive charts and schedules. The smart software also offers file storage, private forums, group chats, transcripts, instant messaging and email alerts. It’s the ideal hybrid between time management software, note taking software and forum software that caters to a business environment

Achieve Planner – Created by Effexis software, Achieve Planner allows you to centralize and prioritize your projects while distinguishing them from simple tasks. It also has a Google calendar inspired scheduling feature that exceeds Google since you can finally color coordinate your meetings and events. Unique in this service capability, users can also import existing data from Outlook 2003/2007/2010 and sync their data with Achieve Planner. The Windows compatible software is available online for purchase but users have the option of a 30-day free trial.

For tech shy business owners, Achieve Planner offers the design and layout familiarity of a standard date book, with organized tables for projects, tasks and schedules. This may seem like a small detail, but it’s an extremely relevant one since a lot of busy professionals don’t have the time to figure out a new system; the more complicated the system, the less likely you are to stick with it let alone use it.

RescueTime – Both PC and Mac friendly, RescueTime boasts the ability to recover an average of 3 hours and 54 minutes' worth of productive time per week per person. Used by both individual business owners and Fortune 500 companies, RescueTime goes beyond managing your own time to also helping you manage and track the time of your work force. The time management software helps you identify gaps in employee productivity as well as source relevant training and development related data to help you target problem areas.

Far from a Big Brother scenario, software transparency makes productivity and efficiency public knowledge so employees and team members can see where they are compared to their peers – which many top executives and successful small business owners readily realize will increase internal competition. For the individual user, RescueTime helps you track your time without any data entry and offers you time tracking reports/graphs. Interestingly, it also gives you the option of voluntarily blocking distracting sites that otherwise easily eat up valuable business hours.

If word of mouth is anything to go by, RescueTime speaks for itself through a client portfolio including Twitter, Dropbox, StumbleUpon, eBay and SEOMoz. The time tracking software also received PR buzz in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, BBC, Harvard Business Review and NPR.

Other lesser known applications that might pique your interest include MyLifeOrganized, ManicTime and TrueTimeTracker. The best pick is the one that meets your individual daily business needs and appeals to your own personal style of doing business.

Posted in Online Tools and Applications, Growing Your Business

Related Blogs



Oct 17 2011, 02:08 AM

It is an interesting post Shireen. I am also using a time tracking programs and it really helpful in managing time efficiently. It is designed for improving employee productivity. But in order to successfully improve employee productivity, companies should need the right time tracking and resources to help business growth and effectively manage it. This article can also help in choosing the right time tracking to be used in a company. http://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2010/07/25/how-is-time-doctor-different-than-rescue-time


Oct 28 2011, 09:16 AM

I have used TABB, an online to do list and time management software. At the beginning, I am not sure if it is worthy to spend my time to sign up for a 30 days free trial, but I decided to do finally. I find it is helpful to manage my team as a small business owner. If you have employees worldwide, it is a good tool to manage their jod. You can upload the files, monitor the work schedule and chat online.

braden shaw

Jan 24 2012, 10:16 AM

I had been using Replicon’s time tracking (http://bit.ly/8GuV8O) software which is quick to install and easy to use web application. It has an open API, which could easily be configured to port time-tracking data. Simply hassle free, can be accessed from anywhere.


Jun 25 2012, 11:19 AM

Great comparison of different apps. I absolutely agree, that as a small business owner you need to know where you spend your time. You clients should also know exactly what you did for them. And an Excel table just doesn't cut it anymore when you have a few different clients...