Time tracking tools

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fd80836a208>

The OFN community pays for a Toggl account and most paid contributors use it to track their time. The data is used for invoicing but also gives us a rough overview of how much time we spent on certain projects.

We started using Toggl in 2017 following Can you recommend an open source time tracking tool that the OFN community could use for tracking project time?. Even though it’s expensive, we couldn’t find any better alternative.

Now, in 2020, we have a growing number of contributors and the Toggl costs are increasing a lot. The current cost is $7.20 USD per user per month (including not-for-profit discount). And we have more then ten users who would like to use it.

A couple of alternatives were suggested on Slack:

  • Kimai: FLOSS which runs on our web hosting. Cloud hosting is free for up to 5 users, then €2.37 per user & month.
  • Clockify: Closed software but free to use hosted service without user limit.

Here are some notes on experiences so far.

Kimai

We installed Kimai on our web hosting through Cpanel. It’s very easy, took 15 minutes and upgrades are automatically installed (minimal maintenance).

The user interface seems clear and contains all needed features. The UX is a bit more clunky than Toggl though:

  • Creating a new time entry takes a lot more clicks and more data entry.
  • Continuing a time entry takes at least two clicks (one in Toggl).
  • Reports (exports) are inconsistent in their data display.
  • Starting and stopping a time entry only works when connected to the internet.

Upsides:

  • The green symbol in the browser is much more calming than the red Toggl. :wink:
  • The PDF report contains a summary that makes creating time sheets easier for the Australian team.
  • The interface is leaner and faster to load.

Clockify

@filipefurtado Can you share your experience?

No doubt that Kimai is a lot clunkier than toggl - i’m finding myself jotting down on paper and going back to do it later. I think that might be acceptable, and will get easier as i have more ‘repeatable’ entries - but just noting

Hi @maikel,

I used a free account in Clockify for personal time tracking, at some point. I didn’t use it in the context of team management.

I found it to be remarkably similar to Toggl, both in feature list and user interface. This is a plus point, as it allows a smooth transition between the two. There are a few differences and “nice to have” features on Toggl; Clockify seems to be implementation these soon as well (ex.: idle detector, Pomodoro timer).

So, for personal use I found Clockify quite alright. But I’m wondering whether the admin features work well and fit our needs. There are extra admin-features but they come with a price tag and self-hosting starts at 1000 USD, as you already pointed out.

I have started using Clockify for my personal time-tracking because Kimai is just to painful and I have stopped tracking time, which I’m usually pretty happy doing. Will work with it a bit more and have invited a couple of aus peole to check it out with me so i can look at the admin functions within the free version

Evcen if we moved to paid it’s more like $29.99 per month which is heaps cheaper than toggl

If anyone would like an invite to create a few entries so we can check admin interfaces ping me

I am finding Clockify extremely user friendly and workable and am going to be annoying everyone greatly by moving the Aus team over to it shortly.

Unfortunately we paid our annual subscription to toggl (up to 10 users) in April so we’re basically paid up for a year. So I’m thinking we probably keep the devs there, but perhaps start using clockify for product, design, instance support project etc. Then if we’re all happy with it, we just migrate dev when we’re ready.

Thoughts?

Sounds like a good plan. Doing time sheets and paying wages tomorrow will show how well those processes go. Maybe we should avoid moving too many people at once though. Just in case we discover a blocker.