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4 Free Desktop Time Tracking Apps for Maximizing Productivity

Whether you’re an employee looking to boost your productivity or a small business owner tracking hours for billing, picking the correct tool can be critical. Knowledge is power, and knowing how efficiently you’re spending your time is especially important.


Here are a selection of free time tracking tools to explore.



Toggl offers a range of plans and their free plan offers the best range of functionality. This, combined with their incredibly friendly user interface puts them at the top of the list. When it comes down to it, it’s the little things that put Toggl over the edge. Their desktop app collapses to a small size, it syncs up with the web interface immediately and is available across all OS platforms.



While not the top of the list of user friendly desktop interfaces, Grindstone offers a wide range of functionality including light billing, reporting, reminders, multidimensional grouping and gap detectors at the fantastic cost of $0. While it looks and feels like your Grandpa’s time tracker, it does have the widest range of functionality for a desktop time tracking app, completely independent of a web interface. Grindstone is limited to the Windows platform.



Unlike other tracking tools, TopTracker has only one plan and is completely free. It’s offers reporting, screenshot uploads and a web and desktop interface. You’ll definitely rely on both interfaces with this app. Not all the functionality is available to you in the desktop version so expect to jump into the web interface if you want to view reports. If you’re looking for a simple, straightforward solution, this may be your tool. TopTracker is available across all OS platforms.



Timecamp is by far the smallest and most unobtrusive desktop app of the group. Unfortunately, it  dips a bit too far in that direction and becomes rather unfriendly to use very quickly. It’s free package supports a one seat license. It offers a really wide range of reporting options.


For employers:



While not a free service, Hubstaff runs on your desktop or as a mobile app, and integrates with many project management solutions so you, and an employer, can see exactly what your team is working on and how much time they spend on each task.  You can set limits and budgets, monitor internet use, and has advance reporting.



After doing some research, and briefly testing out all four, I ended with Toggl as my time tracking tool of choice. For me, it really does come down to how user friendly the interface is, and Toggl offers a nice range of functionality without over-complicating the interface or overwhelming my desktop.


What do you use for time tracking? Do you have a favorite app?  Tell us in the comment section below!


Illustration by Anna Fleissner


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