How to Find the Best Timesheet Apps for Your Project

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 24/04/2023

The market for timesheet apps is huge. However, we understand that project managers who landed on this article needed a solution yesterday. They have no time to navigate through thousands of tools and sit through every demo. This is why we are sharing advice on how to speed the process up.

Digital timesheets make project management smoother and generally easier. Therefore there’s little wonder they are raising in popularity. And, of course, demand generates supply, leading us to today’s problem - the market is now saturated. There are thousands of hundreds of time tracking tools aimed at project management specifically, ranging from big enterprise-level names to smaller, hidden gem types of solutions. Naturally, this brings already busy project managers yet another headache - how to find the right tool quickly? 

In this article, we will cover three key phases of finding the right solution in the quickest time and with the least effort. First would be the preparation work before you even start the research. The second stage is starting to look for solutions based on your criteria. Third and the final would be wrapping the search up and making the decision. But before you can start this process, it’s worth making a note of what are your research grounds.

Where to Look for a Timesheet App?

Given the vast number of solutions available, Google is not the best place for finding a timesheet app. To make your search shorter and more condensed, consider these channels instead:

  1. Your current tools’ integration partners;

  2. Software comparison sites;

  3. Software review sites;

  4. Industry-specific events and tradeshows. 

While the options there will be lesser in numbers, they are likely to be more relevant to you overall. Additionally, all four suggested places make it easy to deduce whether the solution fits your basic needs without even visiting the vendor’s site. Plus, the results won’t be influenced by marketing efforts and paid ads. 

Preparation for the Search

It’s not a good idea to start your hunt for timesheet apps without a plan. Even if you use more condensed search methods than Google, the market is still huge and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. To find the truly best solution to meet your needs and help you scale moving forward, you will need to get pretty granular. But don’t worry, we are here to guide you.

Outline Your Needs

And by that, we don’t just mean coming up with a list of features you need. Signing up for a tool subscription is a commitment and often a relationship as more software companies are now focused on customer success. Therefore you must be a match in more aspects than functional requirements. Take into consideration factors such as customer support - what level do you think you’ll really need? And certainly budget - will you be able to upgrade moving forward?

It’s also a good idea to go with a company that shares your business values. The market is extremely competitive for software vendors. This means that their relationship with the user cannot remain strictly transactional for them to stand a chance against the competition. That is the reason behind a boom in customer success personnel, allocated account managers and such. Basically, providers of digital tools are now focusing on personal bonds with their clients to understand their individual challenges and therefore service them better. It makes it easier for you both to join in efforts if you are aligned in your values. 

Get Your Team Involved

You won’t be the only person using the software. On some occasions, you won’t be the person using the new solution at all. And, most often, the stakeholders won’t be either. It is therefore not very intuitive to decide on what’s best for the team without having the team’s input. Simply put, you may be having a different understanding of what features are a necessity and which ones are abundant from the actual end users of the tool. You, therefore, want to get people who will use the software to attend demos with you if possible. 

Also, it’s a good idea to keep the team in a loop for a very simple reason: people often don’t like the change. Unless they understand and agree with your reasoning, some workers may be opposing the new approach and get downright resentful over having it forced onto them. Although it’s impossible to please everyone and inevitably some will be unhappy with the change, having the reasoning explained can make the transition smoother. Be transparent and open with your colleagues, explaining why the decision is being made and what would the consequences be if you didn’t take it. This should warm them up to the idea.

Exploring the Options

Now that you are certain of what you’re looking for, it’s time to start analysing what is out there and how will it fit your criteria. The good thing about virtually endless options is that there’s a guaranteed solution for every business - no matter how unique the needs are. It might seem difficult to weed the wrong ones out, but there are some easy methods for that. 

Use Your Existing Setup

Your best way to judge whether a potential solution suits your business is your existing tech stack. The very reason you are looking for a new tool is, most likely, because there’s a gap. Thing is, filling the said gap is easy - almost any solution with the basic functionality you need can do it. The challenge is to fill it with a solution that also enables you to grow its efficiency through cooperating with other tools you own. 

Of course, we are talking about integrations. You don’t want to invest in a solution you won’t be able to use to build smooth workflows. And you most certainly don’t want to replace the entirety of your stack just because one tool isn’t fitting in. With that said, you need to seek out a tool that supports integrability with what you already have and this is easily among the key requirements. But don’t be discouraged if an otherwise perfect fit doesn’t link to your other tools. Instead, get in touch with the vendor and see if they would be willing to cooperate. Many software companies are willing to expand their product’s capacity and might, therefore, be open to creating a custom API.

Be Ruthless and Selfish

Don’t mistake this as an invitation to be rude. What we mean is that in any scenario you will be choosing just one tool, inevitably rejecting all the others. In our experience, we noticed that this understanding seems to trigger a sort of FOMO. What if the other solution is actually better for your business than the one you are going with? The best way of relieving these worries is to either book a demo with the specialist or experience the tool yourself via trial. But, of course, you don’t have the time to do it with every solution you’re interested in.

That’s when it’s time to be ruthless. Unapologetically toss solutions you have the smallest doubts over out of your shortlist. You should end up with a maximum of 2-4 tools you deduced to be most accommodating to your needs. During the demo, don’t be shy - ask questions, raise concerns and gather as much information as you can. Most of all, don’t feel obliged to go with one of the vendors from your shortlist. If neither of them met your expectations, you can always revisit the long list again and single out other potential candidates. It’s okay to be selfish as, in the end, you will be paying money for the service. You want to make it worth it. 

Making the Decision

The final step, once you’ve gone through the shortlisted candidates, is making a decision. However, no matter how close you are to your goal of adopting a new tool, don’t rush just yet. This is still part of the process, and this phase also requires some effort and due diligence. In other words, you are not quite done just yet. 

Implementation and Support

Once your mind is made up, however, don’t rush into signing contracts and making money transfers. As we have discussed previously, it’s important for you to have transparency with the vendor and part of that is understanding what the next steps are. Namely, you need to know what’s happening after you purchase the solution. While it’s becoming increasingly rare for the developer to leave the user to figure things out on their own, it is still happening. This may not be an issue to some, but if you have never used a similar solution it can be very daunting to try and set the tool up yourself. Hence why it’s important to discuss implementation-related matters before committing. Essentially, you need to find out if the company will be involved in setting the tool up, how will it be handled and if there’s an additional cost.  

Similarly, especially if your team never worked with a similar tool or if it’s very complex, it’s worth asking the same questions in regard to training. Finally, learn about the level of support you will be receiving, when and how can it be requested and what are the guaranteed turnaround times. At Timesheet Portal, we normally have an allocated specialist setting your tool for you in real time, ensuring all your needs are met through the correct configurations. During that time we also show you how to access and use the features you’ve requested. The duration of implementation ranges from client to client, but you can always reach out to the specialist between the sessions with additional questions. And, once you start using the platform, our customer support is easily accessible through either email or an in-built ticket system.


While the market for timesheet apps can look horrifying for project managers with little to no time, there are ways to navigate it easily. First of all, forget about looking for potential candidates via Google and instead stick to smaller channels. There will be fewer options but they will be more relevant.

Secondly, don’t skip the prep work. Get very granular in outlining your needs, going past features and tech specs. Also, don’t try to do it alone - your team will have valuable insights on what will meet their needs best. When starting to explore your options, use your existing software as a guide. Also, remember that you don’t owe any vendor to choose their tools specifically. If there’s the slightest doubt that cannot be dismissed - move on to the next solution. Finally, don’t make a rash decision just because you found what seems like a great fit. Not before you understand what the next steps are. And there you have it. With this framework, you’ll find the tool you need quicker than you expect. 

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Timesheet Portal online software provided by Anfold Software Ltd, a registered company in the UK.