It takes time to find a great productivity app that can track your time. There are so many choices – just try doing a Google search on “time tracking apps” and you will get pages and pages of selections. But how do you know which ones are the best? Much depends on how detailed you want to be in your time tracking endeavors.
This is my personal favorite because once I set it up it just keeps track of everything I do and then sends me an email once a week to tell me about my productivity for the week. I aim each week for 75% in my categories plus it tells me exactly how many hours I spend on each program – booking appointments to writing documents.
If you need to get really detailed and track not only hours worked for clients but also your personal productivity, then try RescueTime.com. As with most of these types of apps, the free version is limited but even the paid version is reasonable if you want all the bells and whistles, plus it is mobile and can even work offline. Maybe you are studying for your master’s degree online and you need something to keep you focused by tracking your study habits. This app will block out distracting websites, create notifications alerting you if you are spending too little or too much time on something, and allow you to set goals for the day.
Perhaps you are a graphic design artist working from your home office computer and you need to keep track of the time you spend on various client projects. An app like Paymo.biz has a free version that works nicely for tracking as many different clients and projects that you need. It can even create invoices and reports based on your hours worked and dollar rates that you charge. It works just like a time-clock when you download the widget to your computer (it’s also mobile so you can use it on iPhone or Android). You “punch-in” (click) when you start working on a task that you have identified, and you “clock-out” (click) when you are done. The best thing about this app is that if you get up from your computer or stop working, the app recognizes that you have been idle and when you come back, it asks you if you want to count the time or not. Perfect for those of us who have a habit of forgetting to shut off the timer!
The key here is to first examine your needs and then carefully review the features of the app. Give their free version a try first and then decide if you love it and use it or not.
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