5 Best Methods of Time Tracking

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 15/04/2024

There are many ways to track time. Some are more efficient than others. How do you choose what’s best for you? In this article, we will be suggesting our top 5 methods of time tracking, explaining their benefits, comparing them to one another and helping you determine the best option for you.

Some believe time tracking is a waste of money and resources. We, on the other hand, are convinced it’s a crucial part of every project. Not only does it allow you to bill your clients and compensate your workers correctly, but it can elevate the quality of your work. From better forecasting to improved delivery, time tracking is highly beneficial when it comes to projects. It can highlight opportunities you never knew you had. 

However, there there are many ways to track time. And some are either outdated practices or simply not suitable for your business. How do you avoid accidentally adding these to your company and potentially curbing your progress? Don’t worry, we put together a list of the best time tracking methods - feel free to use it!

Is It Worth Tracking Time?

Yes. Time tracking is hugely beneficial to both, stand-alone projects and your entire business. It gives you a centralised view of your team’s time expenditure, potential gaps in your strategy and where the process could be sped up or improved. 

While good time tracking methods are likely to require some investments, they will bring a massive return in more than one area. What’s more, when you track time to better your procedures, there is no limit to how much you can optimise. It is an ongoing process based on observation of the results changes bring, analysis, and implementation of new approaches. In other words, by investing in time tracking once, you gain infinite opportunities to polish your business.

Top 5 Methods to Track Time

While we are basing this list solely on our expertise and knowledge of the industry, we are very confident about it. We believe these solutions are currently the most beneficial for businesses, regardless of the industry they operate in. Additionally, they are all available at different price brackets, meaning every company has a chance to adopt the tool they need.

  1. Digital Timesheets

One of the oldest methods to track time is via timesheets. However, as we’ve moved into a digital age, paper timesheets have become abundant and inconvenient. Many companies moved to spreadsheets since, but even that method is not suitable for today’s pace and data volumes anymore. It’s time to revive the same old but in a new day.

Digital timesheets work the same way as their paper counterparts. Your workers simply put in the time they started and finished work. Unlike their predecessor, though, digital timesheets can be customised by applying rules that cap the amount of hours. Additionally, they spare you the hassle of calculating pay based on hours - very convenient with differentiating rates.!

  1. Desktop Time Trackers

If your company is providing digital services, a good solution for you could be a desk tip time tracker. It is especially easy for the employees to use as all they need to do is select the task they are working on and then set the timer. Once they are done or move to a different task, they can either stop the timer with a click or with designated hotkeys. The setup is a little more complicated, as you will need to work out the structure you will stick with long term and which will make sense in reports.

The key problem with these types of trackers is that, sometimes, employees may forget to turn it off and leave it running for longer than intended. Or, they may accidentally track time for a different task that is charged differently. Before you commit to desktop time trackers, you will need to do some preparation work: for the setup and to train your staff. 

  1. Timesheet Software with Integrations

There are many options for timesheet software on the market. Even free-to-use tools. But those will only cover the bare basics and have limited usability. You will also have to accept them being disjointed from the rest of your digital solutions. Depending on your goals, this may not be an inconvenience. Yet we believe if you want to reap the most out of time tracking, you will need to pay for a solution that integrates with your existing stack.

The reason behind this is simple. An integrated time tracker won’t only track the time you spend on tasks, but also the time you spend using your other tools, as well as pull data from them into other equations. In some instances, this may mean employees don’t need to key any data any; their time is logged based on their interactions with the integrated platforms. Not to mention, when you link tools with one another, you gain access to the data that would otherwise be unavailable. 

  1. Document Sharing Platform

It may sound odd, but an online document-sharing outlet is also a great tool for tracking time. Such platforms usually give visibility of when the documents were created, uploaded or edited. In addition to that, you can track changes implemented, who they were made by and at what exact time. 

There are many reasons why you should utilise a document-sharing platform in the first place, but from a time tracking perspective, it is truly a goldmine of data. It is especially helpful when determining timeframes for processes like handovers, proofing or client response times. All in all, think outside the box and you may find a lot of useful information!

  1. Project-Based Time Tracking

If your company manages multiple projects and has the same workers spreading across them it would make sense to count time based on a project. This way you would be making sure you bill each client correctly and significantly reduce potential human error. Not to mention, it’s easier to analyse your data when it's segmented in accordance with projects. 

When the tool is developed specifically for project handling, it offers more than time tracking. It can help you calculate differentiating rates for both temporary and full-time workers, allocate your resources more easily and manage more projects simultaneously without sacrificing the quality of delivery. 


Time tracking is a great tool to enhance your project delivery, with no cap on how much you can optimise the process. However, the market is overflowing with different solutions and some of them are outdated at this point. Although having something in place is better than nothing, you will stunt your growth by settling for a lesser option. We have explored the five best methods of time tracking currently available, and while they are all different, they have one thing in common: they are digital. 

Ultimately, as long as the process is digitalised, it’s already bound to be useful to you. Digital tools collect data as you use them, and this can help you tailor future projects to be more efficient. The format, additional modules and the general look of the platform, however, should be chosen in accordance to your goals and team structure. No matter how unique your needs are, rest assured - there is certainly an option for you!

Timesheet Portal might be it. Give it a try.

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