Time Tracking Via the iPhone: 5 Apps Reviewed

28 Comments

Videography is my chosen profession and I love it. However, no passion goes unscathed by inconvenience, regardless of how small. As a freelancer, I am constantly burdened with the need to track time for clients. Brian Warren a few days ago wrote a very in-depth article reviewing On The Job 3.0, an amazing program that I have used myself when at my desk. However I needed something that was a bit more portable when I’m out shooting or doing preparations and still need to keep track of my time.

This is when I turned to my iPhone (s aapl) as a solution for such a problem. While browsing for such an App I noticed that there were nearly enough time tracking apps on the iPhone that they can almost garner themselves their own category in the App store. After diligently browsing all of them, I narrowed my selection down to the five I would try out, and I tried each one for a few days before making my decision on which is best to fit my needs.

Bill4Time Mobile

2.5 stars / Free, $19.99 for an account
mzlmzpacaes100x100-75Key Features: SSL encrypted, integration with Quickbooks, and multiple pricing levels for invoicing purposes. Not to mention all of the typical features for an app such as this; and it is also free.

However Bill4Time comes with a few strings attached. This iPhone App is actually a mobile platform for the Bill4Time.com Web and Desktop application, which costs $19.99 per user. This was a solid app for me as far as potential features, however I did not need the Web variant of this application, and the $19.99 price tag didn’t help me decide in Bill4Time’s favor.

PunchClock

3 stars / 99 cents
punchclockKey Features: Ability to set different price points for different tasks, export to HTML.

This is a pretty basic but it does come in as one of the cheaper applications in this comparison, and you do get what you pay for. Among the basic features there was one feature that was not present. The one feature that I desired that I saw that PunchClock lacked was invoicing capabilities. As far as this app’s exporting capabilities go, it could be better. It simply emails an Excel file to whomever you wish, which is handy; but the file itself is extremely unorganized and frustrating to decipher. This is a fairly young app, so hopefully we will see this in later updates. But for now my verdict is that PunchClock is too basic for my needs, and it just wouldn’t meet my needs until it implements a few necessary features.

iTimeSheet

3 stars / $5.99
itimesheet-thumbKey Features: Exporting to Excel, Analytic module with charts, week/month/day navigation, and Searching.

iTimesheet seemed more to me to be a fun muse rather than a professional application for freelancers. It has the potential to meet all the criteria for what I needed in an App such as this, but for some reason I find myself unhappy with it. I would attribute these shortcomings to the lack of ability to set a price for different projects, and as far as the analytical mode, I found it to be quite interesting, albeit not very useful.

A few features I would like to see in future updates to this app would include the ability to see a total amount of time for a particular client, as well as the total amount of time spent on a project. I would also like to see a feature implemented that allowed me to set a price for each particular project; for example set a project at $65/hr, and have it calculate my totals. Then this app might prove to be useful. As of right now iTimeSheet Lite is the way to go simply because it is free, I personally don’t find the $5.99 price tag all that appealing for this particular App.

Easytimesheet

3 stars / $2.99
TimesheetKey Features: Full featured Email client, Password protected, support for different currencies.

This app comes in at $2.99 and in my opinion it honestly isn’t worth that. Sure it is a cheaper price, but after using it for a day or two you will be frustrated and find yourself back at this review trying to figure out a different solution for the time tracking problems.

One notable feature included in this app is its inclusion of a full featured Email client. I thought this to be a huge plus until I used it, it was buggy, at times crashed, and I just found it much easier to use the iPhone’s defualt mail client. Aside from that, this app didn’t have the features I was looking for when I went on this search for the perfect time tracking App.

TimeWerks

3.5 stars / $4.99
original-2Key Features: Ability to track multiple project and clients, different rates for different projects, multiple currencies, and exporting into HTML.

I believe out of all of the apps I looked at, this one impressed me the most. It gives you the ability to sort, track, and invoice multiple projects for multiple clients, and set prices for different types of jobs. Once you are finished with a job it features the ability to email the invoice which is in a very readable format. View a sample here.

This program is easily the most feature heavy of all the apps in this comparison, and that does come with bit of a learning curve. However, anyone with a little iPhone savvy should be able to adapt to this app in a minimal amount of time. In the end I deemed this one worth of its $4.99 price tag, and will be using this in the future to keep try of my projects and clients.

28 Comments

Nikola

Does anyone knows of a biometric and GPS enabled time attendance app for iphone, ipad or android phones/tablets where many people can punch in and out? Thanks.

Mike

Hey Tanner, is TIMEWERKS still your favorite, or have you moved on to something better? Asking before I buy it, as the price is now up to $10.

BN

Are there any iphone time tracking apps that use voice recognition for time entry? Plus I need to be able to export to quickbooks and excel. Thanks!

Adam

Time Master can export to Excel and QB (w/ the optional QB export module), but keep in mind that it currently only exports Time Entries and not Expenses via an IIF file for QB. If you are on a Mac, you would need QB 2010 and our optional TimeBridge app for the Mac to allow you to import the IIF files into QB Mac.

As far as quicker data entry, the voice recognition programs work by sending the audio file to their servers, processing it and sending text back. There is a free app/service out there. I suppose you could copy & paste that info back into a program (multitasking on iOS 4 would be great here). Time Master also works with TextExpander (3rd party app), that allows you to use short “snippets” to expand into long text strings, so that may also be of some use.

Michael Rosenfeld

hey! I’ve been using iTimr for 4 months already and I’m really excited about the features iTimr offers: working-time, project-time, logbooking, GPS position tracking and much more and everything completely mobile without any further synchronisation! If you wanna try it out just check http://www.timr.com

yours mike!

dakira

I know this is kind of old, but I still have stuff to add ;-)

I tried all of the above plus Jobs for a year now and the winner by far is:
iTimesheet.
In contrast to all the others it is still in very active development. The developer is very responsive and it is the most feature-rich. I tired them all for a couple of weeks each. iTimesheet and Jobs are the only apps I’d consider at all. And in my opinion iTimesheet allows for a quicker workflow. All the shortcomings mentioned above have been long gone. You can set default prices for customers, projects and single tasks.

Chris

Check out Time59. iPhone version runs in Mobile Safari and includes nearly full functionality of standard web version. Includes time and expense tracking, invoicing, and full accounts receivable.

Adam

Time Master has the highest average rating of all the time tracking apps. Tanner had reviewed Time Master after these 5 apps, but was unable to link it here. Here is his link http://theappleblog.com/2009/05/12/time-master-above-and-beyond-time-tracking/

Time Master has evolved way beyond the state it was at in May when his review was published. We now have optional modules for creating PDF Invoices and exporting time entries to Windows Quickbooks Pro or better.

Check it out for yourself!

Uday Pandey

I am the developer for a new time tracking application Fossil.

IMHO it is one of the better time tracking applications in the app store at the moment. Please have a look at the screenshots on iTunes page. I believe it will trigger anyone to look more closely at the application.

Dave Gitter

Check out the latest release of iTimeSheet. Many new features including billing. Very responsive developer!

Kawazoe Masahiro

I just tested the Jobs app from Bjango. I have to say that the app is incredibly smooth, the UI is beautiful and it does its job very well. For $1.99, I would buy it three times.

4 stars for the lack of these features: search through clients and jobs.

Eric

Hi, I am curious what you think about the app called “Jobs” that’s been featured in Apple commercials. http://bjango.com/apps/jobs/. (BTW, I don’t work for them or have any relationship with them.)

Andrew Alex

I see there is a time tracker developers meeting point ;-)

I’m hoping you could find some time to check out how my Beezy® time tracker works.

My application may be of use to you for a couple of reasons, firstly, your clients may not understand the time involved in their projects and secondly, if you need to use a time tracker but do not have time to type endless descriptions.

Beezy is a time tracker using a Before & After format, you can attach up to two pictures for every work session record, and this it is not a mandatory feature and can be edited at any time. A ‘mailbox’ style user interface suitable for both organized and not so organized people.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for any time you spend looking at my app.

Marcin Komorek

Did you consider Eternity Time Log?
I think it’s pretty cool, but I, well.., developed it ;)
Check it on iTunes App Store and let me know what you think (free Lite version available).

Steve

Did you consider looking into Jobs from Bjango?
I’ve been exploring that one at the moment.

Carl Hancock

If you use Freshbooks you can use the Freshbooks iPhone app which is specifically designed for time tracking with Freshbooks. It is a great application. Simple to use and synchs with Freshbooks for invoicing. It’s great!

Comments are closed.