Childhood road trips were a wild ride; your parents had to rely on a tattered paper map and some questionable directions from strangers at gas stations. Thankfully, technology has come a long way since then, providing us with GPS navigation systems that guide us effortlessly to our destinations.

Just like navigating the open road, managing your business or overseeing projects can be equally challenging without proper guidance. That's where employee time tracking comes in – it's like the trusty GPS guiding you to greater efficiency and profitability. 

Tracking employee time is becoming the norm for companies across all industries. What about your company?

Welcome aboard our friendly exploration of employee time tracking essentials for managers and business owners. By the journey’s end, you’ll be ready to conquer any challenges as an expert navigator of employee time tracking. 

Grab your captain’s hat (or maybe just a comfy seat) and let's set sail together into the exciting realm of employee time tracking.

What is employee time tracking?

So, what's the deal with employee time tracking?

Think of employee time tracking as a trusty sidekick that keeps an eye on how your team spends their work hours. It records the amount of time each member dedicates to specific tasks, projects, or duties within their job.

Why does this matter? Well, it's all about making sure everyone is working efficiently and productively (hint: happy boss!). Plus, it gives you valuable data for smarter decision-making when managing projects or evaluating performances.

But why should businesses really care about time tracking? Here are some reasons:

  • Boosting productivity: When you keep tabs on work hours, you can spot those pesky bottlenecks and identify anything that might be wasting precious time. This helps optimize workflows and makes your team more efficient overall.
  • Fair evaluations: With detailed records of each employee's work hours, managers can conduct more accurate performance evaluations – keeping things fair and motivating employees to stay engaged in their jobs.
  • Smoother project management: Time tracking allows project leaders to easily check the status of ongoing ventures and allocate resources effectively while adjusting plans if needed – helping everyone stay on track!
  • Better cost estimations: Armed with precise data on how much time your team spends working on certain tasks or projects, you'll have all the info needed to make well-informed decisions when estimating costs and budgeting for future endeavors.

In short: Employee time tracking is like having a crystal ball in your hands – giving you insights into where improvements can be made so that everything runs smoothly.

Delving into time tracking methodologies

In the world of employee time tracking, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Different organizations use various methods to keep tabs on their team's hours. Let's have a look at some of the most popular approaches out there:

  • Manual time tracking: A tried-and-true classic, this method has employees jot down their work hours in spreadsheets or paper forms. While it’s pretty simple, it can also be quite time-consuming and prone to those pesky human errors.
  • Automated time tracking software: Say hello to modern marvels like Harvest, Toggl, and TimeCamp. These tools take care of recording employee working hours for you – making everything more efficient, accurate, and transparent.
  • Hybrid solutions: Can't choose? How about combining both manual and automated practices? Hybrid systems cater to businesses that want a hands-on approach with a touch of technological flair.

By getting familiar with these different ways of keeping track of your employees' time, you'll be better equipped to find the perfect match for your organization – ensuring smoother workforce management and productivity levels soaring high.

So whether you're embracing traditional pen-and-paper or opting for sleek digital innovations (or even blending them), remember that finding what works best for your company is key in navigating the busy waters toward success.

Finding your time tracking tool of choice

Embarking on the quest to find that flawless time tracking tool for your business or supply chain can be daunting. Here are some key aspects to consider when weighing your options:

Size of your team: Think about whether the tool is a good fit for both cozy teams and larger squads. It's essential to have scalability as your crew expands over time.

Types of projects and tasks: Ensure the chosen tool can handle various tasks, track them effectively, and accommodate different project management styles.

Preferred method: Decide if manual tracking, automated tracking, or perhaps a blend of both suits your team best based on their preferences and work nature.

Reporting and invoicing needs: Check if the tool boasts solid reporting and invoicing features – this will aid in streamlining time management, billing processes, and resource allocation within your organization.

Essential features that make a time tracking tool shine

To give you an extra helping hand in making an informed decision, here are some standout features worth seeking out in a top-notch time tracking solution:

  • Ease of use. A user-friendly interface with smooth navigation helps ensure quick adoption by team members without disrupting their workflow too much.
  • Integration with other tools. Compatibility with other workplace software makes life easier by streamlining workflows while boosting communication and collaboration among teammates (no more double-work!).
  • Customization & flexibility. Since every organization has unique demands, it's vital that a tool can adapt to meet those specific requirements – allowing you to tweak it just right for maximum efficiency.
  • Mobile access. Offering mobile access means employees can log their hours even when they're on the go – leading to accurate data capture while enhancing overall flexibility.
  • Reporting capabilities that pack a punch! In-depth reporting features empower you to analyze productivity levels meticulously so that you can make informed decisions to streamline operations and optimize resource management.

With these tips in mind, you'll be well-equipped to find the time tracking tool that's a perfect match for your business – helping your team navigate the journey toward success with ease.

Introducing Harvest: an all-in-one time tracking solution

Harvest stands out among competitors with its powerful and comprehensive feature set. Our cloud-based software offers time tracking, invoicing, and seamless integration with other popular tools, making it the go-to solution for all your time tracking needs.

Its diverse capabilities cater to a wide range of businesses and industries, making it a versatile and reliable choice for improving efficiency and keeping projects on track.

Setting up your account

In order to begin utilizing Harvest for your time tracking needs, you'll first need to complete a few initial steps. To establish your account, you should:

  1. Create an account by signing up with your email address and creating a secure password.
  2. Add team members by inviting them via their email addresses, which enables collaboration and accurate time tracking at the team level.
  3. Set up and configure projects, organize them by clients or departments, and assign appropriate team members to each project.
  4. Configure project settings, such as billing methods, hourly rates, and currencies, according to your organization's unique requirements.

Using Harvest for time tracking

Harvest offers a variety of tools and features to optimize your time tracking experience. With Harvest, you have the ability to:

  • Start and stop timers when you begin and end working on tasks, ensuring accurate records of hours worked on each project.
  • Enter time manually if you're unable to use the timer or need to make adjustments, allowing for complete flexibility in time tracking.
  • Add notes, tags, and task descriptions to your time entries for better organization, understanding, and reporting on your work.

Harvest mobile app

For those who work remotely or simply prefer a mobile experience, the Harvest mobile app brings essential time tracking features right to your fingertips. With the Harvest mobile app, users can:

  • Record time on the go - this allows for the ability to maintain accurate data even when you're not at your desk.
  • Access and utilize key features of the web application, such as starting and stopping timers, editing time entries, and adding notes, all from the convenience of your mobile device.
  • Receive notifications and reminders to ensure you don't forget to track your time, helping to develop consistent time tracking habits.

By implementing Harvest into your work process and using its wide array of features effectively, you'll no doubt improve overall time management, productivity, and transparency within your team.

Reporting & invoicing with Harvest

The powerful features of Harvest extend beyond just tracking time and expenses - this versatile application also provides comprehensive reporting and invoicing capabilities to help you better manage your projects and finances. In this section, we'll discuss the options for generating in-depth reports and creating professional invoices using Harvest.

Generating reports

With Harvest's reporting feature, you can conveniently generate a wide variety of reports to help you understand the status and progress of your projects and teams. This valuable information enables you to make informed decisions, improve efficiency, and better allocate resources. Here's what you can do with Harvest reports:

Project reports

Project reports provide you with crucial insights into the performance of a particular project, including data on billable hours, expenses, and overall progress. This allows you to identify bottlenecks and ensure that your projects stay on track.

Team reports

The team reports offer a detailed breakdown of your team's activities, including hours worked, tasks completed, and billable time. By analyzing these reports, you can spot trends, highlight areas for improvement, and better manage your team's productivity.

Individual reports

Individual reports provide a comprehensive overview of each team member's performance, enabling you to better understand their workload, efficiency, and contribution to the project. By monitoring individual performance, you can identify strengths and areas for development, ensuring a balanced and productive team.

Exporting reports

To facilitate data analysis and sharing, Harvest allows you to export reports in various formats, including CSV, Excel, and PDF. This way, you can easily share your findings with your team or clients, providing them with valuable insights into project performance.

Invoicing clients

Harvest simplifies the invoicing process by allowing you to create professional and detailed invoices based on the billable hours and expenses accrued during a project. With Harvest's invoicing features, you can:

Create professional invoices

Generate polished and detailed invoices that reflect the work completed during a project. You can customize the look of your invoice, include your company's branding, and even add personalized messages for a professional touch.

Send invoices to clients

Once your invoice is ready, send it directly to your clients via email or download it as a PDF to share through other means. Harvest also allows you to set up recurring invoices for long-term projects or ongoing services.

Manage payments and track outstanding balances

Harvest makes tracking payments and outstanding balances hassle-free by providing an overview of all your invoices in one place. You can easily see which invoices have been paid, which are overdue, and what amounts are outstanding. This handy feature helps you stay organized and efficiently manage your cash flow.

Popular integrations for seamless workflow

Harvest is designed to work smoothly with several of your favorite project management and communication tools. This seamless integration ensures that tracking time is a breeze, without the need to switch between multiple applications. Some popular integrations with Harvest include:

  • Trello: Boost productivity by tracking time spent on various cards and boards directly from within Trello.
  • Asana: Effortlessly track your work hours right from your Asana account as you work on your tasks or projects.
  • Slack: Get reminders and notifications about time tracking or easily start a timer directly from the Slack interface.
  • Plus many others: Harvest offers integration possibilities with numerous other tools and platforms you use daily, ensuring a hassle-free work environment.

Harvest add-ons and extensions for additional functionality

To further enhance your user experience, Harvest also offers a range of add-ons and extensions to provide added convenience and flexibility. Some notable Harvest add-ons and extensions include:

  • Desktop app: The Harvest desktop app enables you to track your time with ease and convenience, directly from your computer. With just a few clicks, you can start and stop timers, input time manually, and monitor your progress throughout the day.
  • Browser extensions: Harvest offers browser extensions for popular web browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. These extensions allow for quick and easy access to time tracking features without needing to open the Harvest web app.

By incorporating these helpful integrations and add-ons, you can optimize your experience with Harvest and streamline your time tracking duties in your day-to-day work.


Using employee time tracking systems in your company is an absolute game-changer. We're talking about sky-rocketing productivity levels, better performance assessments, improved project management skills, and overall workplace efficiency.

Harvest really shines as the go-to solution for all your organization's time tracking needs. By bringing Harvest on board with your daily grind, you'll change the way you keep tabs on everyone's hours and handle different aspects of your biz – all while arming your team with valuable insights and super-accurate data.

Eager to give Harvest a try or just curious about its nifty features? Learn more here, or dive straight in – and see how amazing life can be when time tracking solutions are working their magic on your organization.