May 22, 2017

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business


20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business

For small business owners, handling the ever growing number of online and off-line activities, including emails, social media notifications, text messages, phone calls and others chews up precious time. The following 20 time management apps have been designed to help you manage your time, plan well, become more productive, and more importantly stay focused on your core business operations.

Time Management Apps

Asana

Asana is used by everyone from NASA to Intel, Samsung, Tesla, Uber, and many other global brands. However, it is affordable for the smallest of businesses. The platform has a flexible interface with a dashboard that lets you chart your projects and progress visually.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - Asana

You can collaborate with teams, assign due dates, attach files and select notification types for any task or project. It also integrates with a wide range of other apps and services, including MailChimp, Slack, Evernote, Google Drive, Box, WordPress and ZenDesk. The features and options are too numerous to list.

Asana starts as a generous free version that lets you bring in up to 15 team members with unlimited tasks, projects and conversations. The premium version is $8.33 per user per month with added features that are essential for full time collaboration. There is also an enterprise version with even more features, but you will have to contact the company for pricing.

Any.Do

This app has a to-do list, calendar and assistant in a well-designed user interface that brings the things you need to track together seamlessly.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - Any.Do

Any.do syncs all of your task, reminders and lists as well as your plan for the day, week, month and life across all your devices with Google Calendar, Exchange, iCloud and others. And with your permission, the assistant uses AI to automatically review your tasks, and mark the ones it can do for you by using a combination of actual human beings and smart bots.

The app is free, but you can get the premium version with additional features for $2.09 per month for a single device, and $2.24 per month for unlimited devices with annual billing for both.

Timr

Timr is continually adding more things you can track, making it a potential tool for small businesses. You can track how much time you or your employees spend on a project from anywhere, including when you don’t work.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - Timr

The paid tiers have detailed reports for tracking projects, drive logs, GPS position, hourly rates, budgets and workforce and teams with advanced permission. The app starts with a 30 day trial followed by a free version. The pay versions all cost $8.44 per user per month for the Regular, Plus and Enterprise. However, there is a base price of $30 and $80 for the Plus and Enterprise tiers, which also include more features.

[email protected]

This is an app that takes a different approach to time management. By combining neuroscience and music, it lets you improve the level of your productivity.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - Focus@Will

If you need help focusing and getting to the task at hand, then you should try [email protected]. After all, daydreaming or getting easily distracted means you are mismanaging your time.  According to the company, the app can improve your focus and optimize your productivity by up to four times.

There is a two week free trial, which can be followed up with a monthly plan for $9.95. And for a onetime fee of $299.95, you can get lifetime access and support.

Atracker

If you want a personal customizable app to track your time with clear reporting and also give you guidance on how to be more productive, Atracker is an option.

The minimalist UI lets you easily start and stop events, keep notes for each activity entry, set alarms, make simultaneous task entries and export with email. There is a free edition, and the full version will cost you $4.99.

Timely

Timely combines calendar, time tracking, scheduling, billing, budgets and more in a surprisingly easy to use app. You can use tags and sub-tags to understand how time is spent, and optimize while tracking activities and different phases in your projects.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - Timely

Connect your calendar and all your calendar events are automatically imported as planned time from Outlook, Office365 and Google Calendar. If you want a comprehensive tool, this is it. The only drawback is you can only get it for iOS and Mac, but the company says it may have an Android version in the future.

The starter version is available for free for individuals but allows only five active projects. The professional version is $12.6 per user per month when billed annually with unlimited projects and other features.

Timeneye

Timeneye tracks your time and more on the go, wherever you are. Project managers, freelancers and collaborators can use this app to boost personal and group productivity.

It records the time you spend on different projects employing timers with easy to use editing tools and enables integration with popular apps. You can use the web app to generate reports for yourself and your entire team on each project and on individual tasks within the project.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - Timeneye

You can give the app a whirl for free with a 14-day trial and continue free as an individual user with unlimited projects and clients. But the app costs $15 per month for two users, $24 for five users and so on.

ProofHub

Whether you are a one-man operation or you have a large team, ProofHub is a cloud-based project management tool with everything you will probably need.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - ProofHub

With ProofHub, you will get task management, time tracking, virtual meetings, Gantt charts, discussions, reports, file sharing, notes, proving, integration, chat and white labeling.

You can try it for free for 30 days without any credit cards, and if you decide to purchase a plan they are available as Individual, Startup, Business and Enterprise at $18, $45, $63, and $135 per month respectively with annual billing. There is a free Personal version, but it is very limited and it doesn’t include time tracking, Gantt chart, notes, group chat, custom roles or reports.

Nirvana

Nirvana is another cloud-based task manager that is comprehensive. Using advanced filters, constant syncing, flexible tagging and a powerful search along with other features, Nirvana will let you know what is important when it is important.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - Nirvana

You can also integrate your email and turn it into action by just forwarding it to Nirvana. Some of the other features include due dates, schedule tasks, check list, reference lists and more. Nirvana is free to use for as long as you like, but you can get the Pro version for $5 per month or $39 for the whole year.

OmniFocus

OmniFocus is an application that brings your Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch seamlessly together to keep track of virtually everything you do in your life.

You can create everything from detailed tasks for a project to shopping lists. Projects can be set up with goals and you can keep work and play separated with contexts, perspectives and focus. If you are an Apple person, this is a very thorough application.

OmniFocus is not a subscription model, so by purchasing the Standard version for $39.99 and the Pro for $59.98, you will own it outright.

Harvest

For more than a decade, Harvest has been evolving into one of the best time tracking apps in the marketplace. All the features you find in any premium app are in here, including individual time tracking for teams and groups.

The UI has been simplified to bring everyone together through mobile, web and the desktop. It also includes fast invoicing and payments, expense tracking, integration with more than 100 apps, and support with real people.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - Harvest

The pricing highlights the simplicity the company is trying to achieve across the board. There is a free version for individuals limited to one person and two projects. You can try a fully functional version for 30 days without any credit card. And when you are ready to pay, there is only one price of $12 per month for everything the company offers. This is per person, and if you pay yearly you get a 10 percent discount.

1-3-5 List

With 1-3-5 List you can prioritize your day with a simple yet effective system that lets you choose one big thing, three medium things, and five small things to accomplish. You can also create your own list and prioritize it to suit your needs.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - 1-3-5 List

You don’t need to download any app, and you can use the system on any device or platform. The lists you create can be shared for collaboration and can be archived and viewed later when they are completed. The basic tier is available for free, and the premium goes for $2.50 per month or $25 for the whole year.

Focus Booster

Based on the Pomodoro technique, Focus Booster allows users to effectively handle distraction by helping them stay focused. Focus Booster tracks your time and records all sessions on a timesheet with a breakdown of how you’ve been spending your time.

The time sheets are recorded automatically and Focus Booster analyzes how you spend your time with a guide to help you modify negative behaviors responsible for not using your time efficiently. The app starts with a free 30 day trial of the Professional tier and if you choose to continue, the Starter version is free, an Individual version is $3 per month and the Professional version is $5 per month.

Toggl

You can use the Toggl timer to track tasks in real-time for your team and receive reports based on the time usage. The events or projects can be categorized with tags and user privileges, allowing reports to be emailed with a billable option.

The time logs are synced across devices and platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, Linux desktop and mobile versions. The mobile app is available for free, while the desktop versions with added functionalities start at $10 for the Pro, $20 for the Pro Plus and $59 for the Business per user per month.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is one of the best free tools for managing your time. You can set the expected time for each task, then add details and assign time-blocks to each.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - Google Calendar

You can use the tool to bring your team and clients together, manage everyone’s time and make sure they are on the same page. This is a free app you can access on the web and across all devices, but if you want more features, Google Calendar for Business is available for $5 per user per month.

Rescue Time

Rescue Time lets you spot inefficiencies throughout your day so you can gain better perspective on managing your time by setting goals and taking actions. The app then automatically tracks how much time you spend on websites and applications and sends you weekly reports so you can have a clear picture of how you’re using your time throughout the day.

It also makes recommendation on ways to make you more productive. RescueTime Lite is free forever and a premium is $9 per month or $72 for the whole year. The app is available for PC, Mac, Linux and Android.

Remember The Milk

Remember The Milk breaks down your to-do list into sub-tasks and into manageable pieces with color tags and unlimited sharing. It syncs between the web, desktop and mobile apps with Gmail, Google Calendar and Evernote integration.

You can add and give tasks to others with email, Alexa, Siri and Twitter and get reminded on your mobile device so you never forget. Remember the Milk is available for PCs, tablets, smartphones, watches and the web on Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows, Mac and Linux as well as the major browsers. There is a free and a pro version, with the latter costing $39.99 per year.

Time Doctor

The Time Doctor app gives you insight into what is going on with your personal productivity and in your business by tracking where you spend your time.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - Time Doctor

You and your team can set reminders, track time, use reporting tools and monitor activities no matter where anyone member is working, at the office, home or on location. This includes features such as time tracking with screenshot monitoring, allowing you to see time spent working, in meetings and on breaks. A client login lets you view work done for you — and more.

Time Doctor starts with a free tier and a Solo plan for $5 per month, followed by the Standard, Pro and Business plans at $10, $20, and $49 per month respectively.

Todoist

Todoist lets you do more to customize and optimize the tasks you need to get done. Whether you want to visualize your productivity, set multiple priorities or share and collaborate on your projects with your team, Todoist gives you these and other options.

20 Best Time Management Apps for Small Business - Todoist

The real-time data synchronization brings all of your devices and platforms together, even in your inboxes. The plans start with the free Basic tier, Premium for individuals at $28.99 per year, and Business for teams with the same price as Premium per user.

My Minutes

My Minutes lets you plan your day by essentially budgeting your time. You set the minimum and maximum amount of time you want to spend on any given task.

It can be a meeting, checking emails, exercising or anything else for that matter. The tasks can be repeated to encourage good habits, and if you meet your goal the app creates green streaks to help you stay motivated. It costs $2.99 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Conclusion

Keeping track of time and managing it properly has a multitude of benefits, and not doing so can be very costly. According to a report from Harvard Business Review, not filling out time sheets properly costs the U.S. economy $7.4 billion a day in productivity. By using these apps and automating many of your daily tasks, you can make your small business more efficient and your customers much happier.

Time Management Photo via Shutterstock

8 Comments ▼

Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

8 Reactions

  1. Hi Michael,

    If it’s relevant to your readers, I’ve got a deal with RescueTime to get 50% off their premium plan for 1 year.

  2. Thanks for the summary, Michael. I think it’s important to isolate the products that are automatic time tracking tools versus manual time entry tools. For example, one modern tool that automatically captures activity and generates timesheets in real-time is TimeTracker from Openhour (www.openhour.com). TimeTracker has no Start/Stop buttons…it’s automatic…and that makes all the difference. Automatic time capture allows employees to focus on what they were hired to do, not timesheet admin…and that increases billable hours. Who doesn’t want that?

    Another consideration for automatic time capture is what platforms are supported? Windows? Mac? Calendar/meetings? Adobe Creative Cloud? etc. A time capture tool needs to be comprehensive and should have an API to integrate with other platforms, most notably financial systems.

    I commend you for assembling this collection, though I’d encourage you to add other ways of evaluating the tools. Thanks.

    • Michael Guta

      Hi Mark,
      Thank you for the suggestions.

      I agree automating the process is a great option. After all, the goal is to save time and theless time you spend setting your task, the more time you will have to get what needs to get done.

  3. Martin Lindeskog

    Michael: How about Trello? I am using Teux Deux, 1-3-5-To-Do, and Doo for my time management tasks.

  4. Michael Guta

    Hi Martin,
    Last I checked, Trello didn’t have time tracking.
    I like the name ‘Teux Deux’ though.

  5. Great list Michael. You might think about adding Buddy Punch to the list. One of the big differences between Buddy Punch and most of the vendors in the list is price. It’s a good way for start-ups or small businesses to start tracking time without investing a lot.

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