In previous decades, a single paper diary meant a world to the people who found it tremendously useful in organising their work. Right from planning how to carry out tasks to making to-do lists and recording down important dates and events, a diary or a notepad was all they required. This habit of maintaining journals or diaries increased their productivity and was a promising one too for maintaining a perfect work-life balance.

The modern generation, however, is rather more impatient and is always on the race to meet goals and achieve success in the fastest possible way. In such an era which is being dominated by the digital world so much, demands more productivity and efficiency in work procedures to hit the target. In a world where everybody is rushing towards the finishing line, productivity is the key to achieve all your goals. One not only needs to keep up with the competition, but also strive to stand out in the crowd.

The traditional paper diaries of the previous generation have been taken over by the new digital media with various types of gadgets coming to the foreground. With smartphones and other smaller gadgets coming into play, working has grown interesting and fun. The methods of working have been changed drastically and people can completely rely on digital media even for carrying out heavy assignments. It is now convenient for everybody to increase their work efficiency with the help of various applications and tools. Work organisation and event or affairs planning have been made simpler and faster since the introduction of smart and intelligent time management apps, which continues to evolve with each new day.

What is Productivity Tracking?

Productivity tracking is simply the act of tracking or monitoring the productivity of someone in their work procedures. Whether an individual is following the guidelines and protocols of an organisation and whether each of his or her activities is aimed at bringing the maximum success and prosperity of the business, is being observed and controlled. Tracking the productivity and work efficiency of someone, say your team members, can also help you to measure out the procedures and methods in which a particular task or project can be carried out. The idea is to ensure that you get the maximum work done in minimum time.

Productivity tracking also includes fault monitoring and error-correcting. It is important to check whether quality work is being done because in trying to haste while attempting to meet deadlines, one might also ruin the value or authenticity of the work. There’s no point in messing things up and leaving the team to overdo or revise it again, which might gobble up even more of your precious time. So it is important to track the productivity of the work done to make sure that the end result is genuine and reliable and the essence of the work is not hampered with.

Why is it Necessary to Track Your Productivity?

There are often times when people keep losing track and diverting from their point of focus. People also might keep forgetting about important events or tasks or even the deadlines that need to be met. They also fail to set priorities to their bulk of tasks and projects and end up messing everything. This results in slowing down their work, thus affecting workflow. To solve this issue, it has become necessary to track employee productivity and to monitor his or her progress to keep things on the right track. Getting distracted by unnecessary tasks or not being able to prioritise them is going to cost you both your time, money and energy, as well as your brand image. In short, you need to analyse whether you are following the proper methods and guidelines for carrying out a task and not diverting at any point from your target.

So the question that arises next is, ‘How to track productivity of an employee?’. Of course, with productivity software applications which have a smart and simple user interface and that would help you in time management as well as monitor work progresses.

What is a Productivity Tracker App?

A productivity tracking software is a tool to track and analyse whether an individual or employee is productive both at the workplace and while working from their home. Administrators or team leaders can take the help of these tools to monitor the work procedures of the employees and coworkers even if they are working at a remote location.

With productivity apps, all the tradition and conventional household items have been digitised – including calendar, clock, diary, to-do lists, notepads, pen and even cash. One can get easy access to all of these within seconds and carry them all into a single device. Because it is so convenient to use programmes and digital tools which automatically gets half of your job done, leaving you practically with little or no manual work to do. This has enhanced time management as well as the speed of the workflow. Productivity tracker apps would ideally remind you of significant affairs, important meetings, attending group discussions or conference calls, approaching deadlines and more. With their abilities to carry out diverse tasks on-the-go, productivity tools have changed lives.

Why Do We Need Productivity Trackers?

Among a great number of employees, it is often not possible for team leaders to track and monitor the performance of each and every one of them. Standing in a position like this, productivity trackers become remarkably helpful for them in ways more than one. With these software, you can monitor the progress of your team members and the status of each of your active projects. These can also help you to monitor whether the work procedures and plans and methods followed by you and your team members are feasible and are going at par your business policies. With productivity tools, you can analyse whether all of your coworkers are aiming at reaching the goals and targeting towards bringing about the success of the organisation. determine whether you require to make any changes in any work plan or methodologies to ensure better outcomes.

An ideal productivity tracker can get most of your work done within minimal time. With it, you would be able to –

  • Plan and organise your work
  • Carry out time management effectively
  • Enable better team collaboration
  • Help you track the tasks which take up more time
  • Boost your productivity
  • Achieve more goals and targets
  • Meet deadlines by submitting your work well ahead of time
  • Create wages and generate bills accurately
  • You would have more time for yourself to take a break and come back with fresher ideas
  • You would be successful in all spheres of your life
  • Make life less stressful

Things to Look for Before Acquiring Productivity Trackers

To ensure a seamless workflow and an efficient team collaboration for better work output, one must take the help of productivity applications, especially in an era in which everybody is striving to reach the zenith. To achieve that, one needs to have good productivity tools that get half of your job done. So here are some popular factor one must look for before opting for a productivity tracker –

  1. Beneficial for you: Go for an app which meets your needs and the business or personal goals. Make sure that the app is able to provide you with the basic features you are looking for.
  2. Helps you in time management: A productivity tracking platform won’t be of any use to you if it is not able to help you in time management and time tracking, thus allowing you to get some extra time out from your packed schedules. You can choose this time to work on some vital work or spend it on some personal work.
  3. Manage several projects together: Are you able to manage loads of projects and tasks simultaneously? Are you even able to monitor and track the productivity of several employees together? You must ensure all these factors first before subscribing to any software.
  4. Enhance team collaboration: Your productivity tracking tool must be able to ensure that you are able to work in a team and maintain seamless coordination within the team. Go for an ideal team productivity tracker which ensures a smoother workflow.
  5. Secure and protected: Security is the most important aspect that a productivity tracking software must assure you of. If you aren’t sure whether your valuable and confidential data and information are safe with a particular dealer, don’t go for it. Beware of a data breach which can ruin your brand image.
  6. User-friendly: Last, but not the least, you must ensure that your tracker is allowing you seamless and smooth user experience. Research well about the details of the software’s UI and whether you would be comfortable with its configurations.

Comparative Study of the Top Productivity Trackers



Key features


Compatible OS


Basic – Free


Starter – $9 per user, per month (if billed annually)


Premium – $18 per user, per month (if billed annually)


30-days free trial period

  • Generate powerful reports and export them into XLS, PDF or CSV

  • Syncs between various devices and integrates with 100+ apps

  • Project dashboard view helps you to monitor projects

  • Freelancers

  • Small businesses

  • Start-ups

macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Web, Linux


Basic features – Free


Paid annually – $80 per user


Paid monthly – $8 per month


14-days free trial period

  • Switch between timers quickly

  • Categorise your tasks using colour-codes

  • Clean and bigger timeline view

  • Team leaders & team members

  • Employees

  • Businesses or organisations

iOS, Web


Free for 1 user


Pro version – $7 per month


14-days free trial period

  • Effective tracking based on URLs

  • Auto screenshots

  • Offline time tracking

  • Team leaders & team members

  • Businesses or organisations

macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Web, Linux

Time Doctor

$9.99 per user, per month


14-days free trial period

  • Comes with several payment methods for paying employees easily

  • Auto screenshots

  • Chat monitoring

  • Small and large companies

  • CEOs of start-up companies

  • Small business owners

macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Web, Linux


Lite – Free


Premium – $9 per user, per month


14-days free trial period

  • Pre-grouped categories available with inbuilt productivity scores 

  • Set daily task or project goals

  • Get weekly email summaries

  • Freelancers

  • Employees

  • Individuals using it for personal time management purposes

macOS, Windows, Android, Web, Linux



  • This habit tracker helps you to track time spent on tasks

  • Intuitive and motivating

  • Lets you set unlimited tasks, projects and goals

  • Small, medium and large businesses

  • Individuals using it for personal reasons

  • Freelancers

  • Employees

macOS, iOS, Web, Chrome


Free version allows 1 person & 2 projects


Premium version – $12 per user, per month


30-days free trial period

  • Creates invoices automatically to be sent to the clients

  • Generates visual reports

  • Lets you add notes, comments or instructions to the tasks for your team members

  • Freelancers

  • Start-ups

  • Team leaders and team members

  • Business owners

macOS, iOS, Android, Web


Free for 1 user


Basic – $5 per user, per month


14-days free trial period

  • GPS tracking lets you track employees activities from anywhere

  • Auto screenshots

  • Comes with various timesheet templates

  • Freelancers

  • People working from home or other remote areas

  • Team leaders

macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Web, Linux, Chromebook



  • Set timers for easy time tracking and task management

  • Encourages you to stay focussed and motivated

  • Prevents you from getting distracted or procrastinating

  • For those who need an extra push for getting things done

  • Employees

  • Freelancers

  • Individuals using it for personal reasons

iOS (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch), Windows, Android, Chrome

Now Then

Basic – Free


Pro version – $2.99

  • Switch between multiple tasks and projects flexibly

  • Simple and fast user interface

  • Colourful and lucid charts help you to identify misused time

  • Employees

  • Freelancers

  • Individuals using it for personal time tracking reasons

iOS (iPhone, iPad)

Here is a detailed study of the top five of them.

1. Toggl

Topping the list of the best productivity tracker apps, Toggl is abounding in a host of useful and interesting tools and features that are designed to ease your workload. Its enhanced time management features would let you manage your projects better. This cloud-based time tracker is known for keeping businesses on the right track. If you are into efficient time management and budget planning, Toggl would be the best for you.


  • Set new tasks on-the-go and allot timings to each with Toggl’s one-click timers
  • You are able to track all active tasks at one place
  • If you forget to set a timer, the app would remind you of that
  • Detects idle time which you can use your own convenient way
  • Integrates seamlessly with over 100 apps
  • Hassle-free and easy-to-use interface
  • Lets you filter your time tracking data
  • Generates detailed and accurate reports which can be exported into formats like XLS, PDF or CSV
  • Project dashboard view enables you to monitor the progress of projects and time taken by each
  • Generate billable amounts for your tasks and make sure you are paid well
  • Syncs easily between devices, allowing you to access your projects and monitor them from anywhere
  • Advanced features enable you to calculate profit and labour costs
  • Set email tracking reminders in the advanced version

2. Hours

With this time tracker, you can monitor your progress and manage your time better. You can track which projects took up the maximum time and analyse how to plan more practically. Its real-time reports can help you to get a rough estimate of the maximum time by which you can complete a task or project. With Hours, be more productive and keep up with the workflow. It is suitable for people who are not willing to pay for heavy advanced features and want to use it for basic time tracking and report sending purposes.


  • Colour-code your projects and tasks for better classification
  • Lets you switch between tasks quickly from the running list of timers
  • Make quick adjustments to your timers with the timeline view
  • Get reminders for setting timers
  • Lets you take down important notes
  • Generates thoughtfully designed reports with great visual insights
  • Access your timers and projects from any device
  • Syncs with Apple watch

3. DeskTime

If you are looking for a tool for productivity tracking that provides features like employee monitoring, productivity analysis and project management, you would get all of them in DeskTime. Often employees take the help of unproductive ways to achieve a certain task. In order to prevent this from happening and to track their activities and have a check on all unfruitful work procedures. Apart from simply tracking time, this software does a lot more.


  • Lets you sort out web pages and apps of employees into ‘Productive’ and ‘Unproductive’. For example, you can set Facebook as a productive software for your marketing team and as unproductive fro all others.
  • Monitors and calculates daily productivity and efficiency based on URL categorisations
  • Allows you to create employee groups for easy project and time management
  • Automated screenshots available
  • With Pomodoro timer, you can track time flexibly
  • Track daily productivity with a timeline view
  • Generates detailed downloadable reports
  • Integrates smoothly with other project management apps
  • Shift scheduling feature available
  • You can track time in the offline mode
  • Cost calculation feature available
  • Lets you monitor the amount of computer use per employee

4. Time Doctor

Explore the world of possibilities with Time Doctor app with its project management, time tracking and employee monitoring facilities. Get a detailed analysis of your employees activities and work nethodologfies and check for any errors or gaps. Maintain transparency with your clients and customers each time and provide them with a full documented proof for a better client-business relationship.


  • Lets you record and track the web pages and applications used or followed by the employees
  • You can create payrolls to pay your employees through the software itself
  • Chat monitoring feature available
  • You can make your clients access your Time Doctor accounts
  • Auto desktop screenshots to track your employees’ activities
  • Generate full documented reports
  • Real-time activity tracking and project monitoring
  • Pay your employees directly from payment gateways and apps like PayPal, TransferWise, Payoneer and others
  • Integrates and works with apps like Trello and Asana

5. RescueTime


With this genuine productivity tracking tool, one can understand and track how productive or efficient one is in his or her workflow. It is beneficial for employees and freelancers who can measure the amount of time to be spent on each task or project. Its goal setting feature enhances one to finish up tasks within the assigned time and submit them within the deadlines.


  • Comes with goal setting and daily scheduling features
  • You can block unwanted or distracting webpages
  • Tracks the time you spent on each URL, app or programme
  • Get weekly email reports and work summaries
  • Get analytical reports of daily productivity and efficiency
  • Measures your productivity levels automatically
  • Comes with built-in productivity scores
  • Its pre-grouped categories can be customised manually
  • You can track your progress on each task via the timeline view


Maintaining productivity and efficiency in work has become necessary in an anxious and restless generation like ours. Therefore, opting for productivity trackers have become a useful part of our lives. The faster you do it, the better it would be for your business as well as your career. If you are a large organisation with a good number of strong and powerful departments, then you can choose one from Toggl, Hours or DeskTime according to your needs and business goals. However, if you are a start up or simply want to use a project and time tracker for smaller goals or personal purposes, then RescueTime or some other from the list should be fine.

Try several of them (if there are any trial periods available) and decide for yourself which would be suitable for you. Because it’s high time that you must get one to take your business to the next level!

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