Best Software for Tracking Time for Editorial Projects?
March 19, 2015 12:00 PM   Subscribe

I work in communications for a large nonprofit, and I've been tasked with coming up with a way to track the time people spend working on various projects. Previous attempts to do this without software have proven unwieldy. Help me.

I need something that will allow us to keep track of time, and hopefully make it easy to aggregate the collected data. I'm not looking for something as comprehensive as Basecamp, and the low-cost or free would be great. Thanks for your suggestions.
posted by dortmunder to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I think you should look at Hours Tracking. It's very low cost ($1/user/month), particularly easy to setup and use (one click to start a project), and provides a "reasonable" amount of exported data for hours usage.

Two low-cost suggestions that you might want to look at, but I don't think are ultimately appropriate for you, are Chime (free!) and Hubstaff. Both of these are focused on billing and employee productivity (especially Hubstaff), which may not be considered appropriate for a non-profit culture.
posted by saeculorum at 12:29 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My lawyer-friend uses Toggl, which is free and dead simple. She uses it for tracking time spent on client activities, so it could work similarly for you. She also uses it to create billing reports, but since I haven't used Toggl I don't know if that's a built-in feature. There's an iOS app as well as a browser extension.
posted by homesickness at 1:35 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: One of my freelancers uses Toggl. She just has to remember to turn it on to the right project and that's it – very, very simple and has a nice look. I'm not sure whether it allows people to snoop on what employees are doing, or gives you reports, or any degree of ability to find out how honest the reporting is. But if you're looking for something people won't hate using, Toggl might be the one.
posted by omnigut at 2:33 PM on March 19, 2015

Best answer: I used Toggl as a freelancer and now use it for the staff of my team of consultants - been using it for about 7 years. It's extremely simple and offers a nice balance of functionality and simplicity.

Basic reports can be run instantly, giving aggregate data per user, client, and activity and exported to Excel. There are also smartphone apps and integrations with many online services.
posted by camcgee at 9:39 PM on March 19, 2015

Another free option to investigate is Klok.
posted by bkpiano at 6:19 PM on March 21, 2015

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