Time Tracking Tools

andreathegiant's picture

Does anybody have any recommendations for time tracking tools? Or even just all around PM tools (time tracking, internal/client communication, file sharing, issue tracking, analytics)?

The dilemma I'm currently facing is that we have one massive tool that we use now (LiquidPlanner). While it's awesome in many respects (one tool for everything minus invoicing), it is clunky and not good for ticket tracking and the comment ability is kind of lame (you can't search through messages! Srsly?!).

I have really liked Asana for issue tracking, prioritizing and internal communication. I haven played with it much when it comes to client communication (as there are obviously things they don't need to know, that could cause a whole smorgasbord of other issues and confusion-- see code jargon). It doesn't come with time tracking, which is a big loss for us, since issue tracking and time tracking seem like two peas in the same pod.

We used to use Harvest for time tracking way back when, but haven't revisited this for a while.

Basecamp nails the messaging capabilities, but the List functionality leaves much to be desired.

All I can tell about Trello is that you drag stuff-- which can be helpful, but, in its own right, wouldn't be sufficient. This seems to have started its own thread a while back.

Other things that have been tossed around are OpenAtrium, Red Mine, Jira, workETC, and Drupal's own Storm.

tl;dr: Essentially, what is the easiest project management system(s) to use that provides the most value via data for budget assessments?



svettes's picture

The tool you seem to be looking for is ActiveCollab http://www.activecollab.com/

It's very easy to use and does issue tracking, time tracking, client tracking, invoicing, note and doc sharing amongst other things.

Of course it has drawbacks -- search in ticket description and notes blows frankly. That said we always managed to muddle through with some alter alternatives like good use of categorization, and clear titles.

They have a new version coming out last I remember -- perhaps the search woes will be fixed ?

Maybe someone has a better suggestion?

What about the search sucks

andreathegiant's picture

What about the search sucks so much? Does it just not search the contents of messages? Because, we currently don't have any message searching capability, so if it's enough of a jump up in other senses, that wouldn't be something we'd notice missing or anything.

What about the search sucks

andreathegiant's picture

What about the search sucks so much? Does it just not search the contents of messages? Because, we currently don't have any message searching capability, so if it's enough of a jump up in other senses, that wouldn't be something we'd notice missing or anything.

We are actually developing a

andrisek's picture

We are actually developing a tool called ERPAL: http://www.erpal.info/en .. we started working with storm, but we added so many new features, that we decided to build our own tool

This tool will have a lot of feature for a small and medium sized companies. Here is a list of the features: http://www.erpal.info/en/what-is-erpal

It's based on Drupal (http://drupal.org/project/erpal) and I think the first Alpha will be available at the end of the year.

There is also a survey which would help us to develop a real good tool to manage your company and your projects: http://www.erpal.info/en/your-opinion

Timetracking is a big feature, that we are developing right now.. there will be also an app for that.

Time tracking tools

Ed Tallents's picture

We use a tool called Work Flow Max - http://www.workflowmax.com.

I'm writing a more detailed overview of it as part of the way we work. But here's a quick summary of how we use it and what it does:

  1. So from the off, we get a new lead. We either select an existing client or add a new one. (We create leads so show what our potential pipeline is).
  2. We can then create quotes for that lead. We have a whole bunch of pre-defined template items to choose from or we can just add new items. Quote gets generated as an email and goes to client.
  3. If we win the work the quote gets converted into a job, all the tasks on the quote become tasks in the job.
  4. We allocate time to designers / developers on the tasks. And schedule in the dates.
  5. The work gets done and time is logged against each task.
  6. Depending on the type of the job we either invoice based on actual time spent on tasks or fixed price.
  7. The invoices integrate with our accounts system Xero (who now own WFM).
  8. All elements of the above can be used in reporting tools.

There are elements for clients which we don't use, instead use Basecamp or other such tools depending on the job but for us it's a fantastic tool.

We use

sirkitree's picture

We use Freckle.

All it does is track time. Since we tend to end up having projects in various systems (we encourage our clients to choose or even own the system of choice) we track our hours in Freckle and this helps to have one system to bill from, dig through historical data for general project analytics, and track time for things which we don't necessary have an official "project".


carsonpierce's picture

We're using the new version of ActiveCollab and liking it a lot. It handles everything that something like Basecamp does, plus tickets, time tracking, invoicing, etc. And if it doesn't work quite like you want it to, it's open enough that hacking it is pretty simple.

We've also used Harvest for a long time and it's a really solid tool for time tracking, estimates, invoicing and reporting.

has anyone checked out

sirkitree's picture

has anyone checked out http://www.tsheets.com/ ?

we're looking for something that give us ability to track PTO as well as time for projects and it seems like it has a lot of great features and is competitively priced.

Wow! I'm looking into all of

andreathegiant's picture

Wow! I'm looking into all of these suggestions. You guys rock! I may come back with questions for some of you!

At Origin Eight we use

sethviebrock's picture

At Origin Eight we use Basecamp for PM, DoneDone for ticketing (which integrates w/ Basecamp), and Tick for time tracking (it's amazing -- it keeps you on budget) which also integrates w/ Basecamp!

Another very interesting/cool tool, which does all of the above with lots of client interaction and budgeting capabilities is http://planscope.io, but I find it a bit too email-heavy and the time tracking a bit too cumbersome.

Asana is cool, and I like it for projects with an associated code sprints -- might use it in place of DoneDone for certain projects (for a really, really large project I might use FogBugz, but would never go so far as JIRA, unless I wanted to integrate well with ZenDesk for a support-related project).

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but the new version of Basecamp is just...fun, and they keep releasing new goodies all the time. Call me a kid, but I just have more fun when using Basecamp than any other such tool...and I think our clients enjoy it, too, and find it easy to use. If my team enjoys it (which they seem to so far), then that's more of an incentive to get people to use a space that is related to keeping things organized, which is good.

Also, we're exploring http://www.ppmroadmap.com for scheduling resources -- it's a tie between that and http://www.floatschedule.com/

As you can tell, I love talking about such things. Enjoy the search!


Hi, Shouldn't drupal itself

Summit's picture

Shouldn't drupal itself be made the best tool for all of this?
The toolbox is here, the skills are there, but somehow it is not coming together.
Using drupal would have 2 benefits; drupal improves and the usage improves.
greetings, Martijn

True. However we must

afox's picture

True. However we must aknowledge the limitation current Drupal solutions offer. The great thing about Drupal is the power of extendability in terms of backend/data and all the 3rd party integrations it provides. However I think we're still majorly lagging behind in good UX. PM tools need quick, unobtrusive UX which make tracking and managing a breeze. Most if not all the best solutions have that in common. I'd love if someone has the resources and/or business goals to develop such a product.

(Disclaimer: I haven't used Open atrium, Storm or other Drupal-based solutions in a while so I don't know how they function today. I'm commenting from a general point of view.)

Hey there, Yes-- yes it

andreathegiant's picture

Hey there,

Yes-- yes it would! Unfortunately, current available solutions offered leave much to be desired. OpenAtrium is nice for internal tracking, but in terms of a professional easy-to-use client interface, with reporting charts and time tracking, it has a lot of holes. I haven't checked back in on Storm in a while-- it may be worth taking a second look.

Andrisek's crew is developing a Drupal based system (http://groups.drupal.org/node/254363#comment-818098). I'm pumped to see how it develops. You should totally give your two cents as they build this project by taking the survey on their site.

IMO, Harvest use to be

asifnoor's picture

IMO, Harvest use to be simpler and cool tool for time tracking.

I suggest you try using

greyu08's picture

I suggest you try using Worksnaps.

By the series of “worksnaps”, a user can prove his work on the tasks he has worked on, therefore facilitate more accurate time tracking. On the other hand, a manager can review the “worksnaps” submitted by the user and verify the user’s time and work.It's also nicely integrated with the leading project management and invoicing services such as Basecamp, Huddle, Freshbooks, Harvest and etc.

A nonprofit view

tkerchkof's picture

Glad I found this thread when I did! I'm currently looking for a better team management tool. I work for a non-profit, and our team provides support for the organizations web needs, so we don't need time tracking for billing purposes, we just need an easier way to keep track of what everyone on our team is working on, and their availability for new projects (we have about 7 team members, 1 in NYC, 1 in SF, one in Sacramento and the rest in DC). And, we'd like a general big project team calendar so we can schedule our bigger projects and make sure they don't conflict with other big projects. I've found most resource management tools are focused on billing to external clients, which we could adapt for the projects we do for our programs, but it doesn't help us get a handle on our internal projects (like analytics work and upgrades).

Time tracking isn't really what we are looking for, because we don't need to charge for our hours. We use basecamp right now for PM, and the calendar in the new basecamp helps a little, but it doesn't have task duration. The people pages lists tasks by person, but its not in a calendar view, so it's hard to tell what the schedule implications are for outstanding to do's (i.e. there may be a lot of them, but they could be in the future, so that person might have time right now to take on a quick project). I've tried Workstack, but it doesn't allow you to schedule tasks in the future. I'm also going to look at Planner and BusyFlow, but this thread has given me some new ideas!

This group also might be interested in this post from Lullabot about using GitHub for PM: http://www.lullabot.com/articles/managing-projects-with-github

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