With the fast and rapid growth of remote working trends, the organizations and individuals look forward to time tracking and employee monitoring systems. There are thousands of online tracking software.
So, it is hard to find the best-suited app for your own. To ease your search, I represent some of the most renowned tracking apps with each app's ins and outs.
This article is about the relative comparison among three popular online time-tracking and monitoring software Hubstaff, Time Doctor, and Desktime. All these apps have their positions in the marketplace for tracking the employees, remote workers, and freelancers.
All of the apps have some similarities and dissimilarities or uniqueness in features and functionalities. Avoiding the distinctive features, I would talk about the similar features of these three for better comparison.
The basic parameters are-
- Software setup
- Time tracking
- Employee monitoring
Hubstaff is a robust tracking and monitoring software that has in-depth capabilities to provide hassle-free workflow management. The productivity tracker helps to rate daily activities, tracks the apps and URLs, takes screenshots, automates scheduling and invoices, and so on. Let's check in detail.
If you choose to add Hubstaff for your organization or try it free for 14 days, you have to make an account with the necessary information. Or your employer may send an invitation link through email, create your account. Pretty straightforward, isn't it?
Download the app for your device. Log in to the app. It would suggest you some built-in projects. You can add your one.
The dashboard of Hubstaff is well organized. It has a sidebar navigation system. It covers almost all the essential summary of your personal and organizational data and information like weekly activity, timesheet, recent activity, to-dos, project work, and others.
All the necessary features are in the sidebar. For me, I prefer this type of UI most. You can also customize your dashboard page by managing widgets. You can add or remove the widgets as per your preference.
This is the most vital parameters of all the tracking software. If you feel complexity to run the timer, the app is got blacklisted for you. Hubstaff has tried very well to make the timer very handy and comfortable for the user. I think they have provided the best outcome. I love the dedicated desktop timer of the Hubstaff.
The timer has a simple start and stop button. Choose your project and start the timer. It will track time for that specific project. You can switch the project. You will see the timer would begin to run from the beginning.
Also, there is a summary of your total working hours for all projects on that day. The organization groups the projects. So, you don't need to be worried about which projects and organization you are working for. You can add a note if you need it.
If you don't want to run the desktop app, there is a built-in timer in the web app of Hubstaff, but it would not capture the screenshots.
You can get an overview of the time worked on a daily and weekly basis. They also show the timesheet in the calendar view. You can add time manually and export the timesheet into PDF or CSV format.
Apart from your time zone, the format of the time entries can be changed according to the members' time zone, or the organizational time zone.
Daily timesheet: It is divided into projects, activity, idle, manual, duration, and time. You can customize the columns and range of the dates of the timesheet.
It shows the detailed time records of your work, how much time you are active or idle, manual time entry, and the starting and ending time.
Weekly timesheet: The weekly timesheet shows the project-based time entries for each day throughout the week.
Calendar view: It is more like the weekly timesheet that can be represented on the calendar. It also shows the project-wise records.
The selection of the date for a weekly review is a little bit troublesome for me. I want to change the range just a day before/after the due date and want to set the week accordingly. But it takes me to the successive weeks.
For example, I want to change my weekly review from the date 4/5/20-10/5/20 to 3/5/20-9/5/20. But it takes me to 27/4/20-3/5/20. It is a little bit problematic.
If I start my workday in the middle of the week right after my vacation, these reports can create dissatisfaction with my clients, and I have to put an extra note for that.
Employee monitoring is based on some basic parameters. Hubstaff uses these parameters below for adequate control. They are-
- Activity level monitoring
- Web and app monitoring
- Project monitoring
- Location monitoring
It is a very crucial parameter for monitoring employees. You probably can't check what your employees do during working hours. Here comes the solution. Take random screenshots of the screen of your employee. Please, make sure that every employee knows about the screenshot monitoring. Hubstaff takes random screenshots of 1-3 at every 10-minute interval.
You can turn on the screenshots or disable the Hubstaff screenshots.
Hubstaff calculates the percentage of activity based on the keyboard and mouse movement at every 10 minutes. The data is shown along with the screenshots. If you are randomly busy with your keyboard and mouse, your activity level will rise. But when you need to read documents or to watch videos, your activity level may decrease. Don't get worried. You can check the screenshots to observe the status of employees.
Web and app monitoring
Hubstaff tracks the website you visit and monitors the applications you use. You can see each of the employee's reports for all projects or a specific one. Also, you can see which site he is being idle, resumed, or enter time manually.
This report summarizes the employee name; the project worked, the app/URL name, and the total time spent on each site.
You can see the project status or completion percentage by each employee. The report shows the working time and activity level on each project by each member throughout the week.
It tracks the location of the employees via a GPS location tracker. This system is available for the mobile app (Android and iOS). If your employees have to perform specific outdoor works for official purposes, you can check their locations, and corresponding times to make sure that your employee belongs to the right place at the right time.
The reports of Hubstaff is quite comprehensive and categorizes into several sections. They are-
- General- time and activities, weekly, apps and URLs, manual time edits, etc,
- Payment- amounts owned, payments,
- Budget and limit- weekly limit, project budget, client budget,
- Time off- time off balance, time off transection,
- Invoice- team invoice, client invoice,
- Schedule- attendance
- Job sites
The reports are made with precise data and information. You can see daily, weekly, monthly reports, or customize the time range.
The reports can be shared through email and exported to PDF or CSV formats.
Coming up to the Hubstaff pricing, it has a versatile range to fit all types of businesses and agencies.
It is free forever for one user with minimal features comprising time tracking, activity levels, limited screenshots, and limited payments.
Basic: It costs $7 per user per month with the basic features of time tracking and monitoring.
Premium: This is their popular plan, which is $10 per user per month. It offers basic and advanced features of time tracking and employee monitoring.
Enterprise: This is the most advanced plan of Hubstaff, costing $20 per user per month. The features for this plan are extraordinary and get VIP priority.
I would recommend this app for time tracking and employee monitoring purpose. It has a complete set of features perfect for monitoring. The price is a little bit higher for the startups and small-sized teams. This is the end of the Hubstaff review.
Let's move to Time Doctor.
Time Doctor is the employee productivity tracking software. It provides time tracking, screenshots, payroll, web usage, and reporting. It helps to observe the in-depth overview of how employees pass their day and the company's growth and development.
Let's dive deep into this app.
The account creation is comparatively easy for Time Doctor. All you need to add the necessary information. There you will get your account without extra procedure like email confirmation. It provides 14 days free trial with a hassle-free system.
It has two apps; the silent app and the interactive app. The silent app doesn't have any dedicated user interface and runs whenever the computer is on. It is perfect for the offices where the devices are used only for official purposes.
On the other hand, the interactive app has a dedicated UI. The user can control the app.
You will access your dashboard. Download the dedicated app for your device. There you go. Enjoy the rest of your work with Time Doctor.
The dashboard of Time Doctor is pretty straightforward. It shows some valuable information on one platform. They are total hours tracked, productivity, percentage of productivity and unproductivity, breakdown, and others.
The menu bar is located top of the web app. Almost all of the feature widgets are on the dashboard. You can check further in detail by clicking on them.
The owner/administrative dashboard provides precise information about each employee's working status, project completion rate, productivity rate, and more other data to analyze employees.
The time tracking app of Time Doctor is straightforward. It is available for the interactive app. The app is very user-friendly.
The project and tasks are well organized that you can select the required project and task and start the timer. It also tracks the task-based time and shows the total hours of work.
There is a little complication I have faced at the beginning of using the app. You have to enable the 'Project and task' feature during the registration period. If you don't, you cannot add any project and task. The app has the option to run thoroughly. The desktop interface has only the start/stop button.
You can enable the feature only to change the 'Company Setting.' Thus you can create multiple projects and tasks, assign to your subordinates, and track the project-based time.
Time Doctor offers 'Timeline' and 'Timeline-detailed' as your time records. Both reports can be exported to CSV or XLS format.
Timeline: The daily timeline summarizes working time, how much time is worked or idly passed, total hours of work with the starting and ending time. It also shows the logged hours from the computer, mobile, or manual entry in the same frame.
The weekly timeline shows the weekly hours spent on each day.
Timeline-detailed: You can get a complete review of each day with all the comprehensive information in this option. It will show the project and task you have occupied for the working and idle time with the starting and ending time.
Time Doctor tracks the employees' activity and monitors employees' productivity. The parameters are-
- Keyboard and mouse activity
- Video recording
- Website and application used
Keyboard and mouse activity
Time Doctor tracks the mouse movement and keyboard stroke in general. It will notify the users if they sit idle without work. The managers can set the time for the employees how much time they can take before the notification.
This feature is optional for the Time Doctor users. You have to enable screencasts from the setting. You can choose the interval between the successive screencast.
There is an option to blur the screen if the user wants to hide the screen. This option is for users who have privacy concerns. You can see the keyboard and mouse used ratings along with the screencasts.
This is also an optional feature for the user. So, make sure to enable it before using this feature. Time Doctor records a video of your screen for three minutes. It will help to see a thorough review of what is going on in the employees' working device.
Website and application used.
Time Doctor records the application and website used during the working time. It shows the web and app used reports on a single page. You can set the productivity ratings for the individual.
This report is pretty amazing. You can see the web and app have been used productively, neutral, or unproductive. There is also the time record for every data. I like this representation very much.
Time Doctor generates useful reports. The reports can be exported into CSV or XLS format. This includes-
- Activity Summary Report- for marking the productive and unproductive time.
- Hours Tracked- the range of working hours per day, week, or any interval you choose.
- Productivity- the percentage of productivity in a day, week, or customizable time range.
- Projects & Tasks- project progress report as a whole or individual project, or member.
- Timeline- the daily, or weekly time report as a summary.
- Timeline – Detailed- the regular or weekly time reports in detail.
- Web & App Usage- description for website and application used.
Basic: This costs $7 per month for one user with the basic features.
Standard: This plan costs $10 per month for one user. This is their popular plan. It has all the basic and advanced support and features.
Premium: It costs $20 per month for one user with all the VIP support.
Time Doctor can be used for time tracking and productivity tracking. After experiencing the app, I would like to say that they have mostly taken the productivity into account. Also, they have versatile options to make time tracking user-friendly.
This is the end of Time Doctor. Let's move for the Desktime.
Desktime is an automatic time tracking software. You can track project-based time with the estimated costs for the project and hours for completion. Additional services of Desktime are project tracking, document title tracking, screenshots, cost calculation, apps, and URLs tracking.
The software setup is very easy for Desktime. Just go for the free trial for 14 days. Register with the necessary information, and you will get into your Desktime Dashboard.
Download the app for your device. There is no dedicated timer for this app in general. It is a fully automated system. It will track the information right after being installed in your machine.
But you can enable project and task-based tracking. This allows you a start/stop options to track the project time and switch the projects and tasks.
The Dashboard of Desktime provides information about the entire company status. The Dashboard is divided into many categories. You can view all the company growth, productive and unproductive employee lists, and other essential factors in the Dashboard.
It is well organized and gives you real-time information.
DeskTime offers a fully automated time tracking system. It has no specific start/stop button to control. You can see the tracked information in its Dashboard.
It also allows project and task-based tracking. For that, you have to enable the project and task feature and add project and task. To track the project and corresponding task, it has a tiny app with a start/stop button, project, and task list.
You can use this to switch between the task and the project. Otherwise, it will automatically track the existing project and task.
Desktime time report is fascinating. It shows daily, weekly and monthly records. The dates are customizable. It shows two reports side-by-side.
You can modify the date for each report. It is just for self-comparison. It will help you to boost up your working capability gradually. When you see the two reports at a time, you will know where you are lacking and how to overcome it.
It is significant for the newbie employee who has joined your team, and you don't know about his work and productivity. When you see these reports, you may have an idea of him.
The Desktime time describes the working hours while the time at work shows the total time, including Desktime time, offline time, and private time.
The parameters for employee monitoring are-
- URL and app tracking
- Productivity bar
Desktime screenshot system needs to be enabled; otherwise, you can not use it. The user has the flexibility to set the screenshot. You can use the blur option, set the screenshots' interval, and screen capture quality as per your preference.
The screenshots would tell you if the employees are productive, unproductive, or suspicious at work. Unproductive screenshots would be marked in the orange frame, while suspicious ones would have a small exclamation mark.
There are an activity percentage and the relative site name with each of the screenshots. You can download the screenshots.
URL and app tracking
Desktime tracks the URLs and applications used during the working time. It divides the apps into productive, unproductive, and neutral apps.
The app and URLs are in the same frame with the total spent hours on each site.
You can see and analyze employee's performance in the productivity bar. This analytic is very helpful in understanding how your employees utilize their hours.
Look at the analytic. It has hours vs. activity percentage. The green mark indicates the productive time and percentage, while the orange one indicates the unproductive time. The grey color is used to mark the neutral time. The gaps are the indication of breaks.
I like this analytic and representation. Get a full overview of the working status of employees in a single frame.
A detailed and comprehensive reporting system is available in the Desktime. You can observe daily, weekly and monthly reports, or you can customize the date range. The reports can be exported into CSV or XLS format.
The reports are in the form of-
- Time comparison
- Extra hours
- Projects overview
Lite: This is free for one user with very limited features.
Pro: It costs $7 per user per month with a moderate set of features.
Premium: This is their most popular plan, which costs $9 per user per month.
Enterprise: This is the advanced plan. It costs $14 per user per month.
This app is very good at automatic time tracking. Project costing is moderate. It has lots of customization facilities. But I feel it complex to use rather than the two above. Overall, it is suitable for productivity monitoring.
Apploye is very intuitive in the field of time tracking, monitoring, and productivity analysis. The software is easy to install and has an excellent UI/UX. You can easily understand the features and services.
The dashboard is well organized and accessible for both the employer and employees. Along with team productivity, you can analyze the personal productivity as well.
It provides comprehensive and customizable timesheet, versatile reports, payroll management, and so on.
Employee monitoring is straightforward and robust with Apploye. It allows screenshots, apps, and URLs tracking activity measurement, mouse and keyboard tracking, and location monitoring.
The price of the Apploye is very reasonable compared to the three. All in all, this app can be the right choice if you feel to replace your tracker. Or, experience it free for 7 days and the others to understand how much hassle-free it is to use Apploye.
The three apps are compelling for time tracking, monitoring, and productivity purpose. All these have some drawbacks as well as the most impressive part.
Hubstaff can blow your mind with monitoring, while Time Doctor and DeskTime are useful for productivity analysis.
You can check Apploye as one of the best alternatives to these three. Feel free to comment on your thoughts and experience if you use any of these apps.