Are you a freelancer or do you work with your team remotely? Keeping track of time on various projects is a serious affair for freelancers. It does not only help them create bills for their clients but also helps in generating useful statistics about the time and money spent on each activity. In this post, we’ve tried to aggregate some really useful time tracking software for Windows PC. Some of them are cloud-based tools that can be connected to various payment options as well. And the others are a simple standalone applications that can track your activity wherever and whenever you want.
Free Time Tracking tools for PC
Toggl is a tool that is used and trusted by thousands of freelancers out there. It offers a simple and clean time tracking tool for Windows. Other than that, it comes linked with a full equipped cloud-based dashboard which provides an extended view of your activities and time spent on them.
To get started, you can simply type in the task that you are doing and start the timer. The timer will continue to run until you manually come back to stop it. You can create as many activities and then start them accordingly. The built-in idle detection will automatically pause the timer when you are away from your desk. Moreover, you can record the entire timeline and enable shortcut keys to access Toggl.
Toggl offers you a cloud-based dashboard to track your progress in forms of reports. This feature is included in the free plan with slightly limited functionality. You can view the summary, detailed and weekly reports. You can also filter the data and export it as PDF or a CSV file. Click here to download Toggl.
Hubstaff is a cloud-based similar tool with setup somewhat similar to Toggl. But Hubstaff seems to have a slightly better Windows counterpart. It offers plenty of features in the free plan, but you can only use the free plan for yourself. If you work in a team and want to share the dashboard, you might have to purchase a paid plan.
Hubstaff easily lets you create projects and add assigned tasks to it. You can start working on any task and mark it complete once it is done. The program automatically syncs data with the cloud-based dashboard.
Another great feature offered by Hubstaff is automatic screenshots. The application will automatically capture screenshots in the background to maintain a record of where you spent your time. These screenshots are again accessible from your dashboard. All other features such as detailed reporting, schedules, and timesheets are offered by Hubstaff and that too in the free plan. It is the best tool if you work alone and you want a tool to manage your time and provide good insights for your clients. Click here to download Hubstaff.
If you are looking for a tool without all these bells and whistles, go for ManicTime. ManicTime is a standalone time tracking application for Windows which can easily run offline. It offers a free standard version for individual users which is easy to get along with.
ManicTime maintains the entire timeline of your usage where it tracks for how much time you used your computer and for how much time it was idle. Moreover, it also tracks the amount of time spent on each application and document.
Under the statistics tab, you can view all the data collected by the tool in the format of reports. ManicTime is a great tool if you are looking for something simple and standalone. They also offer a premium version with more features and option to connect with teams.
Grindstone is a completely free tool that helps its users track their activity to bill their client accordingly. It is more of a manual tool. It lets you create Work Items which contain all the information about the tasks assigned to you. Once you are done adding your work items, you can start working on them and initiate a timer.
Grindstone is a very powerful productivity tool. It lets you assign priorities, due dates, estimated time required and other properties to your work items. All these properties help you in deciding what task you should take up first and gives you a glimpse of your day ahead. It offers great customizability in terms of interface, timings, backups, and database. The tool store your data entirely on your computer’s hard drive. So, there is no possibility of getting your data stolen by bad minds. The tool also offers features such as database encryption and ability to entirely change or backup database.
For reporting, Grindstone offers a great built-in graph plotter. It lets you plot various kinds of graphs against the data it has collected over time. The tool also creates a smart mini timer that always stays on top of other windows. Grindstone is a tool if you are looking for something free and which comes with all the necessary features. Although it is a little difficult to get adjusted to this tool, you will find that this tool is even better than its cloud-based alternatives. Click here to download Grindstone.
5] RescueTime Lite
The tool is simple to use and simple to set up. Once downloaded, you need to sign in using your RescueTime account. Once logged in, the tool will quietly sit in the system tray and track your time spent on different applications. There is no GUI or any interface as such. You can access the tool only from the system tray. It gives you the option to pause it for some duration stop it altogether. You can read more here about RescueTime Lite.
These were some of the best time tracking tools that are available for freelancers on Windows. If you are a more of a cloud guy or you wish to expand your work to a team soon, then go for any cloud-based tool. My personal preference is Hubstaff because of its features, but most of the people I know use Toggl. If you want a tool that is limited to your computer and does the job, go for no other than Grindstone. ManiacTime is somewhat between a cloud-based and a totally offline standalone tool.
There are many more time tracking tools out there that we did not cover in this post. Do show support for your favorite free tool in the comments section below.