Top 12 Project Time Tracking for Agencies
Let’s face it – timesheets are an annoying hassle. If your team tracks time and you’re tired of bugging your coworkers to manually log their hours, then it’s time to switch to a time tracking tool.
Creative agencies in particular may benefit from time management software, as recording time yields powerful insights on billable hours, resource management, and employee productivity.
Many digital agencies already use software to manage projects, so it only makes sense to ensure your tech stack includes time tracking. This blog will dive into what agencies and creative teams should look for in a time tracking solution and compare 12 of the top options.
While features and pricing will be an important part of your decision, it’s a good idea to keep the following in mind as you decide which tool will work best for your agency.
First and foremost, time tracking software must be easy to use, or it will likely be too challenging for your agency to implement – and for team members to adopt.
Tools that allow employees to record time by starting a stopwatch every time they begin a task are a great way to reduce implementation barriers. The ability to enter timecards later is also helpful for employees who tend to forget.
Recording time worked is most helpful when you can immediately use that data to bill clients.
Having to manually calculate billable hours from timesheets is both annoying and a waste of time when there are tools to automate this process.
Some options also allow you to customize your invoices and send them to clients straight from the platform, which is a good functionality to consider when selecting a tool.
Tracking time is useful for more than just billing clients. When using software that can provide detailed reports on how your team is spending their time, you can identify valuable insights like which projects are consuming too much time and which team members are available to take on more tasks.
Some software options only offer simple time tracking functions, while others offer a complete suite of project management tools, including time management.
Selecting a time tracking tool that isn’t part of an all-in-one project management software is typically more costly and less seamless because you’ll need to rely on annoying integrations to optimize your workflow.
If you find that getting employee timesheets in order consumes a large amount of your time, you’ll be glad to know that some time-tracking software options offer robust capabilities like budgeting and invoicing to help save you even more time.
Let’s take a look at a dozen options that can make time tracking for agencies easier.
Rodeo is a comprehensive project management tool that offers a robust suite of capabilities in addition to the ability to track time. We believe users shouldn’t have to rely on integrations to manage their workflows, so we offer a robust all-in-one solution.
Here are some of the features that make Rodeo a great tool:
Effortless time tracking
If your team typically has trouble remembering to track their hours, Rodeo makes it easier than ever. Simply start the stopwatch before you begin working on a task or add a timecard later if you forget.
Rodeo’s time tracking feature is unique because all of the hours you track toward an activity will be reflected in your project budget. If you spend more time on something than you expected, your budget will reflect that as well.
Rodeo shows you what percentage of your overall budget you’ve used up in real-time, which helps you avoid overspending.
Customizable client-ready invoices
Projects begin with a budget in Rodeo, and once that budget is approved, you can send invoices to clients straight from the platform. Since you can store rate cards and record time within Rodeo, invoices are generated in one click without the need to enter anything else.
Rodeo’s invoicing feature will save you time, as you can split invoices into phases or set up recurring invoices to automate your process. You can even customize your invoices with your branding, terms and conditions, and notes.
Detailed reports on employee productivity, time registration, and past projects
Rodeo’s reporting feature offers a complete overview of project finances and time registration. At a glance, your time-tracking data will reveal which projects are consuming too much time and which employees can take on new tasks.
Rodeo will even calculate the profit margin of your closed projects so you know to make adjustments before taking on future projects.
No need for costly integrations
Many software options require you to integrate your time tracking tool with a separate project management system, which wastes time.
Instead, we allow you to create budgets, send estimates, track time, plan tasks, invoice clients, and access reports right from the platform, providing you with a fully functional project management experience.
- Budgeting feature to help you kickstart projects with correct estimates
- Client-ready estimates
- Planner feature to manage team capacity
- Free onboarding assistance and live chat support
- QuickBooks (US) and Xero (UK) integrations to help with billing and bookkeeping
Who is this tool for?
Although Rodeo can be used by all teams completing project-based client work, the tool is particularly loved by creative agencies. Many agencies struggle not only to keep projects under budget but to also have a clear understanding of profit margins.
So, having a tool that requires creatives to track time for every task and provides real-time insights on performance is huge.
Agencies such as Digital agency JaxX have been able to increase project profitability by 30% once they started using Rodeo’s time tracking tool.
Our pricing structure is designed for businesses of all sizes. Rodeo’s base price is $29.99 per month, which includes an all-access admin license. You can add additional users according to which features they’ll need:
- Full user license: $14.99 per user/month
- Standard user license: $8.99 per user/month
- Planning and task management can be added for $4.99 per user/month
See for yourself and try Rodeo for free.
Harvest is a time tracking tool with lightweight time tracking and budgeting capabilities. The platform has browser, desktop, and mobile apps that allow you to track time across devices, and you can set up automated time tracking reminders.
However, Harvest doesn’t have many functions other than recording time and creating invoices. You’ll need to integrate with other software to do things like work on tasks, plan projects, and collaborate with team members.
- Cost tracking
- Online payments
- Free plan: 1 seat, 2 projects
- Pro plan ($12 per user/month): Unlimited seats and unlimited projects
Hubstaff offers basic time functions like time tracking, timesheets, reporting, and budgeting.
It’s important to note that Hubstaff is not all in one, as it offers an entire umbrella of products that are all sold separately. Hubstaff’s upgraded product – Hubstaff Desk – offers additional features like online timesheets and automated payroll, for example.
This means you may need to pay for a few separate products to get the capabilities you need, which isn’t ideal. In addition, none of Hubstaff’s offerings include robust financial features to help ensure project profitability.
- Time tracking
- Employee monitoring
- Time free plan: Time tracking, limited reports, limited payments
- Time starter plan (Starts at $14/month for 2 users, $7 per user/month for additional users): 1 integration, 24-hour support, per-user settings, management roles
- Time pro plan (Starts at $20/month for 2 users, $10 per user/month for additional users): Unlimited teams, payments and payroll, budgets, invoices, timesheet approval, expense tracking
- Enterprise plan (pricing available upon request): VIP support, concierge set up, single sign-on
nTask is a project management tool that strives to be an all-in-one solution. As such, the platform offers timesheet reporting and time tracking.
nTask allows for time estimation, timesheet monitoring, and productivity reporting. Its timesheets feature shows users' project progress at a glance.
Users have complained that the report feature is challenging to work with, and the lack of technical support from the nTask team is problematic. If you’re just looking for a simple time-tracking app, the platform’s not-so-intuitive interface might present problems for your team.
- Team management
- Issue tracking
- Task management
- Kanban boards
- Premium plan ($4 per user/month): Unlimited projects, workspaces, and tasks
- Business plan ($12 per user/month): Custom roles, risk tracking, advanced reporting, 10GB of file storage
- Enterprise plan (pricing upon request): Custom onboarding, 100GB of file storage
Source: Toggl Track
One of Toggl Track’s main advantages as a time tracking tool is its user-friendly interface. Users can export timesheets as spreadsheets, and the platform’s reporting feature provides an overview of the productivity and profitability of each project.
Online reviewers tend to rate Toggl Track as reliable, but some find that it’s difficult to modify already logged time, and many wish there was a visual representation of time tracked.
Toggl offers an array of products, so if you’re looking for time tracking apps with project management features, you’ll need to purchase Toggl Plan separately and integrate the two to achieve that.
Also read: The 14 Best Toggl Alternatives in 2022
- Automated time tracking
- Resource planning
- Project progress tracker
- Free plan: Maximum 5 users, unlimited time tracking, exportable reports
- Starter plan ($10 per user/month): Billable rates, tasks, project time estimates
- Premium plan ($20 per user/month): Project forecasts, time tracking reminders, and audits
- Enterprise plan (Custom pricing and unlimited users): Multiple workspaces, training, customizable solutions
Hive’s three main offerings are product management, time tracking, and collaboration.
The platform’s time-tracking abilities get the job done, although they’re nothing revolutionary. Users can submit timesheets to supervisors, automatically or manually track time, and manage team resources.
Reviewers have expressed frustration with Hive’s reporting capabilities, as you’ll want reports and insights on how your team spent their time to adapt before your next project, and Hive isn’t quite able to offer this function.
Related: Top 13 Hive Alternatives in 2023
- Time tracking
- Workflow automation
- Solo plan (free): Unlimited tasks, Gantt and Kanban views, messaging
- Teams plan ($12 per user/month): Time tracking, guest access, in-app calendar
- Enterprise plan (pricing upon request): Enhanced security, onboarding support, custom analytics, and reporting
Clockify is a time tracking tool with an intuitive interface that allows employees to easily track time on their tasks. The platform’s straightforward dashboard shows hours worked, project spending, and a breakdown of tasks.
The downside is that in terms of project management, there isn’t much that Clockify can do aside from time tracking. And the tool doesn’t let users edit existing time entries, which is frustrating.
- Automatic time tracking
- Team capacity planning
- Expense tracking
- Basic administration plan ($4.99 per user/month): Project templates, bulk edit, add time for others
- Standard timesheet & billing plan ($6.99 per user/month): Time off, invoicing, approval
- Pro productivity & profit plan ($9.99 per user/month): Scheduling, expenses, budget and estimates
- Enterprise control & security plan ($14.99 per user/month): Single sign-on, control accounts, audit log
ProofHub is a tool that offers a full suite of project management functions. Users can track billable hours, set time estimates, and automate recurring tasks, which are all beneficial for a project management software option to have.
While you can track time, this time isn’t attached to an hourly rate, which means you are not able to see how your recorded time impacts the amount of your budget you’ve used up. This is one of ProofHub’s biggest cons.
- Project templates
- Time tracking
- Milestones and goals
- Essential plan ($50 monthly): 40 projects, unlimited users, 15GB storage
- Ultimate control plan ($99 monthly): Custom roles, 100GB storage, reports, workflows
Paymo’s strengths are in timesheet management and project accounting. The tool assists teams in managing their entire project lifecycle, with planning, tasks, and invoicing all in-app.
In terms of time, Paymo lets users add time in bulk, and also offers drag and drop functionality that makes it easy to log hours.
Paymo isn’t perfect though, and many online users complain that the platform’s frustrating user interface creates a steep learning curve for users who aren’t as tech-savvy.
- Time tracking
- Management of billable tasks and hours
- Resource management
- Free plan: Maximum 1 user, 50 tasks, 3 clients, 3 invoices
- Starter plan ($5.95 per user/month): Maximum 1 user, 100 tasks, unlimited clients, 25GB storage
- Small office plan ($11.95 per user/month): Unlimited tasks, proofing, 50GB storage
- Business plan ($24.95 per user/month): Free onboarding, employee scheduling, Gantt charts, 500GB storage
Teamwork markets itself as a robust project management tool rather than a tool strictly focused on time tracking. It offers project templates, resource management, and invoicing in addition to an in-app time tracker.
The platform’s main drawbacks stem from its lack of robust budget tracking, reporting, and capacity planning. While you can track time, your recorded hours won’t be tied to your financial reports, which is a big downside.
- Time management
- File sharing
- Free forever plan: Maximum 5 users, task management, milestones, messages
- Deliver plan ($13.99 per user/month): Minimum 5 users, 20 project templates, time tracking and invoicing, unlimited free client users
- Grow plan ($24.99 per user/month): Minimum 5 users, 50 project templates, workload management, project time budgets
- Scale plan (pricing upon request): Profitability report, financial budgets, 500GB storage
ClickUp is a work management platform that aids users in managing workflows and collaboration. The tool has a native time tracking feature and the ability to build customizable time sheets.
Be warned that ClickUp’s robust customizability comes with a learning curve that can be difficult for teams and new employees to overcome. The software also relies heavily on integrations which adds to the platform’s complexity and difficulty.
- Task planning
- File sharing
- Free forever plan: 100MB storage, unlimited tasks, Kanban boards, 24/7 support
- Unlimited plan ($5 per user/month): Unlimited storage, integrations, Gantt charts
- Business plan ($12 per user/month): Workload management, timelines, advanced workflow automation, time estimates
- Business plus plan ($19 per user/month): Subtasks, custom roles, permissions, training
- Enterprise plan (pricing upon request): unlimited custom roles, live onboarding, single sign-on
Source: Time Doctor
Time Doctor is a tool that primarily focuses on tracking time and monitoring proof of work. Managers can use the amount of time spent on each client, project, or task to bill clients and record information for payroll.
Other than some users reporting that it’s difficult to edit existing time entries or pause Time Doctor while on breaks, the software is generally reliable and doesn’t have a steep learning curve that complicates onboarding.
Like most tools that primarily focus on recording time, Time Doctor lacks in-app task planning capabilities.
- Online payroll
- Employee monitoring
- Basic plan ($7 per user/month): Time tracking, unlimited screenshots, activity tracking, 1 month of data storage
- Standard plan ($10 per user/month): App and URL tracking, payroll, email notifications, up to 3 groups, 6 months of data storage
- Premium plan ($20 per user/month): Client login access, video screen captures, internet connectivity report, unlimited groups, and data storage
At the end of the day, the time tracking software that will work best for your agency depends on several factors specific to your current workflows.
Many options offer limited solutions like basic stopwatches and timesheets that must be integrated with other project management software, whereas other options like Rodeo give you all the necessary features to manage project budgets, invoice clients, and track hours in one place.