How to Pick the Right Time App

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 02/04/2024

The market for time tracking solutions is huge. Different vendors offer different sets of features. This article will help you navigate the marketplace and pick the right time app for your team’s needs.

If you have started the journey of looking for the time tracking solution your team can benefit from - congratulations! This is a big step. However, you have most likely landed on this article because you are overwhelmed with all the offers on the market and now to differentiate them. We get it. It is very confusing, especially when different vendors will use different terms for the exact same things. But don’t worry, you made it to the right place for we are happy to provide you some guidance. 

In this article, we will be helping you identify which unique time app features your business may need as this can help you reduce the size of potential candidates. Additionally, we will talk about other less demanded modules time tracking software sometimes comes with and whether your company needs them.

What is the Easiest Way to Track Time?

The easiest way to track time is to entrust it to digital solutions. Whether it’s an on-screen timer or a digital version of paper timesheets, the digital approach offers more accessibility, security and convenience. 

Additionally, time logged digitally can be calculated and converted into wages and other metrics within seconds. Even if there are differentiating rates on hand. It will free up a lot of your back office’s time and reduce the chance of human error.

What Does Your Team Need?

Before you even start looking for a solution, you need to remember why are you getting it. Namely, to support your team in their day-to-day operations and to help them drive efficiency. With that said, the key priority when choosing a time app should lie within what your team needs. Take your time to think about it. 

Timesheets On the Go 

When you have teams working on multiple sites or generally outside the office, easily accessible timesheets are a must. No one likes spending extra time after work filling out paperwork. And no one likes wasting time travelling back to the office for that either. The best way to save both time and effort for your employees is to give them an option to take care of these matters when it’s comfortable for them. For example, while commuting.

Most timesheet solutions are built on a SaaS model, meaning the platform is easily accessible via any device that has access to the internet. Some go the extra mile and offer an additional app. Unlike the platform, it doesn’t offer all the features but is rather a condensed version that includes only the modules one needs on the go. At Timesheet Portal, we also simplify them for additional convenience, so your staff can spend as little time on these tasks as possible. Most timesheet-related issues arise from the process being too long. Make it simple.

Easy Calculation of Differentiating Rates

If your company offers different rates based on time of the day, days of the week or other factors, make sure the time app you’re interested in can accommodate these needs. Naturally, you can still choose a solution that does the bare minimum and calculate differentiating rates manually, but that kind of defeats the purpose. Remember, the best solution is the one that takes as much work off your hands as possible. 

First of all, this will save you a lot of time. Sure, the task itself isn’t too bad when you only have a couple of employees, but it stacks up very fast. Not to mention, it is very easy to make mistakes. The software will calculate all these things for you the moment the times are put into a system. All that is needed from your side is a primary one-time setup (with additional iterations down the line if needed) and to run a report. The latter can also be automated to be executed on certain dates. What’s more, it will reduce the risk of human error when sorting out the pay, which is especially damaging to your relationship with employees. 

Additional Features

Naturally, every team is different and so are their needs. There are many additional features available and they will vary depending on the vendor. However, we want to highlight two that we believe are important to many companies. 

Holiday Accrual 

While most companies have a simple holiday policy consisting of a certain number of paid time off available a year, it isn’t always the case. In normal circumstances, annual carryover poses no problems. But if you work with either temp workers, contractors, or even shift workers, things can get a little muddy. Mostly because their time off can be very fragmented and, therefore, difficult to calculate and manage or compensate accordingly. Naturally, it is incredibly time-consuming and error-prone too. 

If this is something you are struggling with, you should shop around for a time app with a holiday module included. But make sure to inquire about holiday accrual specifically - a feature that will calculate those nitty-gritty holiday-related nuisances for you. Not to mention, it will give your team a new platform to book time off easily, and you - to approve it. A centralised view of who is off and when will also let you plan your workflows better, avoid being understaffed at busy periods and distribute your resources in the most efficient way. 

Expense Management

Businesses lose a ridiculous amount of money every year to a culprit they don’t suspect - expenses. What causes the issue often is either an insufficient, unclear or overly complicated process. If your employees often incur expenses such as mileage, additional materials and services it is in your best interest to give them a process that is quick and easy to follow. Or else you might be losing a lot more than what they report spending. 

The easiest way to smoothen and speed up the process is to get an expense management app. Or, in this case, a time app that is inclusive of an expense module. For example, Timesheet Portal offers it as a part of the platform that is easy to use on the go too. This means your employees can upload receipts the moment they get them, or bulk upload them without a hassle after a business trip or similar. In other words, it removes many friction points that cause delays and errors, making expense management as easy as it should be, 

Right Solution is Out There

It may feel hopeless to try and spot the right tool in an ocean of different offers. However, with the supply being higher than the demand, there is certainly a solution ticking every box you have. All that’s left is finding it. 

Don’t Rush Your Decision

We understand that you need the right time app yesterday. And when the market is brimming with solutions, it may feel counter-intuitive to wait. However, the abundance of options is precisely why you should take your time. There is no point in settling down with a solution that only partly covers your requirements when there is certainly one that meets all your needs available. You just need to find it.

View this to how you would hire a new employee. Because, theoretically, this is a hiring process for a software rather than a worker. You want to invest your money into the best candidate who will add efficiency to your processes and, with time, earn the said investment back and more. Start the search with a list of non-negotiable requirements, nice-to-haves and be open to any additional add-ons. And, same as with hiring a person, you shouldn’t just trust the vendor’s word - you should be able to see the tools in action before deciding they fit your company.


The key to picking the right time app for your team is understanding your team’s direct needs. For example, if your employees are on the move all the time, an easily accessible and simple-to-use platform will be more sufficient than a features-packed complicated system. Additionally, pay attention to your back office and how the time app can support their efforts. If you work with differentiating rates, it would be wise to focus on finding a solution that accommodates their automatic calculation. 

Continuing to base your search on your actual needs and team structure, you should also define if there are additional features you should look for. We recommend looking out for holiday accrual if you employ temp or contracted workers. Also, if your employees often incur expenses, a good time-tracking software can help you manage them better. Namely, making the process easier, clearer and less susceptible to human error. 

Ready to kickstart your search? Start with Timesheet Portal.

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