The project management world is growing increasingly crowded as new methods, frameworks, and philosophies are introduced, all designed to help your business be as efficient as possible. As you might expect, these management styles have their strengths and weaknesses, designed to serve primarily in specific industries. However, across all of these industries, one feature remains consistently useful: time tracking. Some developers opt not to include their own timesheet functions, relying instead on integrations with the likes of TSheets (read our review) or Time Doctor (read our review). Others, though, go for a more all-in-one approach and integrate time tracking features natively within their own software.
But which of these project management apps does the job best? What other tools do they bring to the table? And are they all worth the cost of admission? Let’s dive in and find the answers we seek!
Wrike (read our review) is one of the industry standards for project management. It is a classic all-rounder and remains a popular choice across the internet. Prices for Wrike range from free (though you can only have 5 users maximum with this version, and only a very limited feature set) through $34.60/user/month. To access the time tracking features, though, you will need to subscribe to the Busines level or higher, which starts at $24.80/user/month. That is on the pricier side of the project management spectrum, but may well be worth it to your team if they mesh well with the sensibilities of this app.
Wrike handles time tracking in what is my favorite manner possible. You can start a live timer by clicking a button, which tracks time associated with whatever task or project you choose. Or, you can enter time manually after the fact. This sort of flexibility makes Wrike useful in all situations, which is great!
Mavenlink (read our review) takes an expansive approach to project management, including resource management, business intelligence, and more. The widespread nature of Mavenlink does mean that you pay a considerably higher premium to access its capabilities. Plans with time tracking start at $39/user/month and only go uphill from there.
However, the product you get for that price is pretty impressive. Time tracking and accounting, in particular, are some of Mavenlink’s many strengths and go far beyond simple timesheets. With this app you are given the functionality to estimate the time expenditure for tasks, then analyze the time actually spent on that task. This might seem like an obvious feature, but Mavenlink executes it flawlessly, providing the data you need to make better, more efficient decisions in the future.
Clickup (read our review) was one of the standout project management apps I reviewed last year. With a remarkably thorough feature set that still manages to be unintimidating and a UI that communicates everything you need to know without being overwhelming and busy, it has earned a spot as one of the top 5 project management apps I recommend most frequently, especially with a starting cost ofÂ zero dollars per month.
Clickup has its own timesheets that allow for automatic time tracking and for employees to add time after the fact — as such, it is one of the best simple project management software options with time tracking built-in. Tasks here can be set to recurring, which is handy if you have repeat customers or need to be doing the same set of tasks or duties day after day. In terms of communication, Clickup is a little weak, but it does feature threaded comment chains. While I would like to see a dedicated chat, the comment threads are likely serviceable, and if you want more, there is an excellent Slack integration.
After a massive redesign in 2015, Streamtime (read our review) is leading the way in terms of creative approaches to project management. Their goal? Make project management approachable, easy, and maybe a little fun! With automatic scheduling and impressive quoting and reporting features, this app may well be the fix you need to make your business more efficient.
In terms of the service industry, Streamtime’s task list/scheduling features stand out to me. When you create a task and assign a due date and team member, it is automatically added to their weekly schedule. When they finish that task, they can mark it as done. That part might not seem so revolutionary, but when you realize this also serves as Streamtime’s time tracking feature, it becomes clear just how smart this app is. The downside of Streamtime is the lack of native communication features in the app. Depending on your situation, this may not matter as much to your business, but if communication tools are needed, you may be able to use a third party app such as Slack!
Redbooth (read our review), one of our favorite project management apps here at Merchant Maverick, brings a clean aesthetic to project management, married to incredible ease of use and excellent features. For me, the best thing about this app is how intuitive it is to use. Honestly, I think that you could have just about any employee sit down with Redbooth and have them confidently using it in about half an hour. It is that easy to use.
Redbooth’s time tracking is pretty lackluster, but it gets the job done. There is no option to track time live, but you can enter how much time you spent on each task after the fact. It might seem strange to include an app like Redbooth on this list, whose time tracking features compare so poorly. However, Redbooth is excellent in so many other respects you may find it worth the sacrifice in order to gain access to this app’s legendary ease of use, as well as its fantastically flexible approach to project management.
In the end, the best choice of these five apps comes down to how you plan to use them. If you can afford a higher price tag and are looking for a thorough project management app that hasÂ all the features, Wrike or Mavenlink might be the right answer for you. If affordability and usability are higher in priority for you, Redbooth or Clickup may be better. If you want to think outside the established time tracking box, Streamtime offers a great way to do that.
So what is your next move? Take a closer look at the apps that appeal to you most. Sign up for a free trial, and give one or two of them a try. Then commit and take your team to new heights of project efficiency!
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