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Is time tracking really necessary for a task management software?

I am browsing to find a task management software for my agency to use. There are some serious task management software which offer a full ray of features, and normally, those software comes with quite a long price tag.

According from my extended research on Capterra and some other sources: here and here, somehow time tracking feature isn't a dealbreaker anymore.

I've stumbled on some very well-known apps, like Trello, Asana, Workflowy and Wrike and they don't have time-tracking feature in their basic plans.

Some of other raising stars in productivity apps like Plan or Quire don't offer time tracking feature yet.

So what's your thought?

Top comments (12)

mvoinescu profile image
Marius-Alexandru Voinescu

Have a look at ClickUp. You might like it. Has time tracking integrated by default and I think it's in their free plan as well. Only downside is that it only works on Chrome as you will need their Extension to do that.

ssimontis profile image
Scott Simontis

I second this. Especially now that I am in the 2.0 beta this app is AWESOME!

It depends on which service you use in regards to the Chrome extension. I don't understand why I had the desktop version of ClickUp and the desktop version of some time tracker service I was evaluating, and I still had to go to Chrome to get them to sync up.

I have found that Harvest behaves in a sane manner. I have it installed on my desktop, and once I enabled the integration and logged into Harvest, it linked the two. I can click on a button from the ClickUp desktop application and it starts the timer. I think Harvest has a free plan too.

A lot of the other time tracking systems wanted all of the data I was entering into ClickUp. I don't need a Project Management system/Time tracker to integrate with my Project Management system, I just need a damn timer!

I like the timer because it lets me compare my estimates to reality and hopefully I get better at estimating over time.

vicky209 profile image

For a small team, time tracking isn't a must. But for enterprise or some industries that bill clients on the time consumed, time tracking is a dealbreaker when it comes to a good task management software.

I'm curious about what you think of Workflowy. I thought this is a personal to do list software?

julia_moskaliuk profile image
Julia Moskaliuk

I assume time tracking is a vital thing in our reality. It's a super convenient to have an ability to use time tracking apps combined with task management. I like TMetric as it has functionality for both.

johannesjo profile image
Johannes Millan • Edited

Lot's of my clients require me to do some sort of time tracking and they tend to have a dedicated system for that, which is, most of the time, not integrated into their task management system (which has been Jira for almost all my clients). So - just considering my experience - I would say no, a task management software for teams must not support time tracking. Another reason for that would be, that there are tasks which almost never shower up in a typical team board like e.g. code reviews, meetings etc. So they don't necessarily integrate well with each other.

Personally I use Super Productivity (sorry for the shameless self promotion) which allows me to list my Jira tasks along with others and to use them for time tracking as I need.

hasnayeen profile image
Nehal Hasnayeen

Hey, what kind of functionality are you looking for time tracking if you don't mind me asking? I'm currently adding a time tracker on my open source task management software so will love to hear what kind of functionality is useful for people, thanks.

jessekphillips profile image
Jesse Phillips


  • idle/active tracking
  • arbitrary notes
  • easy post cleanup (split time among)
  • integration with issue tracker (what to track to, no necessary add time to)


  • keyword matching (ability to group arbitrary messages against a single issue/idea)
  • some form of memory which can degrade (and probably should)
darksmile92 profile image
Robin Kretzschmar

I'd say it's not a deal breaker!
In fact I think it's quite useful to have time tracking and task management separated!

Here is a list of pro's and contra's I see for a combination and after it my point of view on things.

Here my summary of the points for a combination of time recording and task management and against:


  • Fast recording of times due to the link to tasks.
  • Evaluation of tasks (estimation vs. consumption)
  • Statistics from the task


  • Sometimes customers have access to the task management and may even see the recorded times unfiltered. Ideally, the customer will only see this on an invoice or a revised report.
  • Either a rule is introduced that times must always be linked to tasks (takes away the freedom) or there is no rule and the links are missing at places where they would be necessary (no time entry is always 100% accurate).

In my opinion, task management and time recording should be separate. On the one hand you are not dependent on one provider / service for both things, on the other hand the access rights are easier to manage.
If integrations are missing and needed, you can either create them yourself or solve them in another way. In addition, dedicated tools for recording times usually also offer the same functionalities for evaluations and invoicing. That is missing with most task management tools.

julia_moskaliuk profile image
Julia Moskaliuk

Absolutely :) Track both time and tasks is the most efficient way to keep everything under the control. Moreover, you'll be able not check only when tasks opened and closed but how much time you spending on each one.
You can take a look at TMetric (time, task and project management app).

asdrubalsantander profile image
Asdrubal Santander


ssimontis profile image
Scott Simontis

I like Wakatime, but the numbers it returns never seem quite right to me. Code::Stats is by far the most inaccurate IDE-based timer, to the point where I am going to ask for my money back. It stopped crashing upon load every day, but it would fail to connect about 25% of the time.

Wakatime also doesn't give you a picture of anything you do outside of an IDE or text editor. All the time I spent drawing diagrams or doing domain research doesn't get logged.

julia_moskaliuk profile image
Julia Moskaliuk

Take a look at TMetric -
Easily manage tasks and track time spent while working on it.