Toggl Review

Toggl Review

Exceptional choice for Freelancers looking to track time for their projects.

Pros

  • Excellent time tracking capabilities, with a modern user interface
  • Exceptional free plan
  • Customizable tags allow you to organize projects and tasks

Cons

  • No client invoicing or payroll features
  • Does not have screenshot functionality, which is common in other time tracking systems

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

Table of Contents

Toggl Pricing

  • Free plan for up to 5 users
  • Paid version starts at $9/user per month
  • Free 30 day trial for paid versions

Toggl Full Review

Toggl is a popular time tracking tool that helps individuals and businesses understand how they're spending their time on various tasks on projects. Launched in 2006, the software includes a web-based timer and a desktop/mobile app that integrates seamlessly with other popular third-party applications such as Google Drive, WordPress, and Trello.

Toggl offers a generous free version with core time tracking elements including a timer, idle detection, tags, offline mode, and visited website/application recording. Some of the downsides to the free plan is that you won’t be able to add tasks (sub-projects) or utilize project estimates. If you need these features, the Starter plan is reasonably priced at only $10/month per user. Upgrading to the Premium Plan can get expensive at $20/month per user, although this includes Toggl Insights which offers in-depth metrics about your business and projects to ensure you make informed decisions. Since Toggl's free version is so robust, it's an excellent option for individuals and freelancers.

While time tracking is Toggl’s primary purpose, the software also includes some useful project management capabilities, and other features to help improve productivity. For example, you can use a built-in Pomodoro timer and set time estimates with alerts to ensure that projects stay within budget. You can keep track of an unlimited number of projects and clients, even on the free plan. The software also uses tags which help to organize and differentiate when you have multiple projects on the go.

Toggl is one of the best time tracking systems on the market, although isn’t an all-in-one solution. For example, Toggl is missing payroll and invoicing functionality, which means that you may need to purchase additional software for these capabilities. If you’re after a fully-fledged time tracking software with invoicing and payroll, Time Doctor or TimeCamp are excellent alternatives.

Key Features

Below, we'll discuss Toggl's key features, and how they can benefit your business.

Time Tracking

Users can track time through Toggl's web-based client, or by installing a Chrome extension. Alternatively, you can also download a desktop or mobile app. Time tracking works seamlessly across all devices and updates in real-time, which allows you to switch between different apps as needed.

Toggl Review Desktop App

To begin tracking, users simply need to press the play button. You can create projects and task descriptions, and assign the tracked time to them at a later date. However, it's best to assign your tracked time to the proper project or task in advance, to ensure accurate reporting. If you forget to start the timer, you can easily switch to "manual mode" on the website and add in any missed time.

            
Toggl Review Built-in Timer

Unlike other tracking tools, Toggl’s website includes a built-in timer. This means you don’t need to download any additional software. However, installing Toggl's apps provides more flexibility and can improve your overall workflow, as it contains some features that aren’t supported through the web-based client. As an example, the Chrome extension enables tracking directly within Google Docs, WordPress, and Trello. The desktop app also allows you to track time offline, and will automatically sync with your account once you reconnect.

            
Toggl Review Google Docs Integration

If you’re new to time tracking, Toggl provides a reminder feature that prompts you to start the timer on specified days and times of the week. For example, if you work Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Toggl can send a popup to remind you to start tracking your time. The app can also monitor idle time, and notify you through a popup if the app doesn't detect any activity.

            
Toggl Review Idle Time Monitor

Dedicated to improving time management and productivity, Toggl also provides a built-in Pomodoro timer within the Chrome extension. The Pomodoro technique breaks work down into specified intervals, separated by short rest periods. For example, an interval may consist of 20 minutes of work followed by a 3-minute break.

            
Toggl Review Pomodoro Timer

Project Management

Toggl stores all information such as time entries, clients, teams, and projects under "workspaces", which can be used to represent different organizations or departments. You can create tasks associated with each project, and assign them to different team members.

            
Toggl Review Project Dashboard

Managers can include estimated hours for specific tasks or projects with alerts to notify you at particular points of completion. For example, you can allocate 40 hours to complete a project, with alerts after every 10 hours. Billable rates can also be calculated and assigned to your workplace, team members, or individual projects allowing you to view the cost breakdown and see how well you're tracking towards an overall budget.

To help organize your time entries and improve your reporting, Toggl supports the use of tags. Tags offer additional information about each time entry, and help you aggregate information across various tasks and projects with specific tags. For example, you might want to categorize time entries based on a certain stage like "revision", "overtime", or mark entries as “paid” to help keep track of billing. You can then filter for certain tasks that contain these specific tags.

Reporting

Under the “Reports” tab, you will find various information that will help you understand how much time you've spent working on various projects.

            
Toggl Review Summary Report Bar Graph

Reports can be filtered by team members, clients, projects, and tags (such as invoiced, overtime, revisions). A simple bar graph provides a quick summary of the billable/non-billable hours worked each day of the week, while a pie graph offers a visual indication of time spent on different projects, clients, and tasks, as well as hours worked by different users.

            
Toggl Review Summary Report Pie Graph

Toggl also provides the option to generate detailed reports which breaks each project into distinct tasks. All reports can be downloaded (PDF, CSV, XLS), printed, or saved for later. On the Enterprise and Premium plans, you can schedule reports to be emailed to clients on a regular basis. The emails can be customized to include a text-only version for privacy, a downloadable report, and a unique URL to view the full report online. Workspace admins have the authority to schedule emails to the whole team, while regular users can only send reports to themselves. The ability to share detailed reports with a complete breakdown of projects and tasks helps to foster open working relationships, and simplifies the billing process. For example, as a freelancer, you may want to send an automated email of your timesheet to each client on the first day of the week.

As a business manager, Toggl includes various features to monitor the accuracy of time tracking and detect discrepancies. For example, administrators on the Enterprise and Premium plans can lock timesheets to prevent back-dated entries from being entered, or edited at a later date. Administrators can also set the exact date range to be locked using an intuitive calendar.

Toggl Insights

An advanced reporting feature, called "Toggl Insights" was recently made available to members on the Premium and Enterprise plans. Designed to meet the needs of businesses, rather than freelancers, it enables users to see which projects and employees are generating the most revenue for their business. Key insights like "Cost per user" and "Project Profitability" provide important information to help inform your decision making.

Integrations

With an extensive list of 100+ supported integrations, Toggl integrates with a variety of applications that are commonly used by businesses and freelancers, such as Trello, Evernote, Google Drive, WordPress, and Slack. Toggl also integrates with other project management systems, including Asana and Basecamp.

Mobile App

Though Toggl is typically used on a desktop computer, the company also has a mobile app available for both iOS and Android smartphones. The mobile app allows users to track time spent outside of the office, which is especially useful for sales representatives who are frequently on the road. The app supports shortcuts to add projects (@) and tags (#) quickly, in addition to offering time tracking suggestions based on past entries and work habits. While the mobile app has received positive reviews, we've found that the overall usability could use some work. For example, it’s easy to mistakenly delete time recordings by accidentally swiping delete.

Toggl Review Mobile App

Toggl vs. Time Doctor

Time Doctor is ideal for businesses looking for an integrated system to invoice clients and pay team members. While Toggl offers a simple and straightforward way for individuals and teams to track time, users can only calculate billable hours through the range of reports on hand. However, you can combine Toggl with additional software such as QuickBooks to create a more complete solution.

Both Toggl and Time Doctor allow you to track website and application usage, but Time Doctor is better suited for employee monitoring and includes screenshots and slightly more in-depth reporting capabilities. Toggl is preferable for freelancers or businesses that need a simple way to track time, manage projects, and improve their productivity. However, if you're looking for employee monitoring software and the ability to pay clients and team members, then Time Doctor is the more suitable option.

Is Toggl the Right Software For You?

Trusted by over 70,000 users worldwide, Toggl is a smart choice for freelancers and businesses, ranging from small consultancies to multinational enterprises looking for a lightweight time-tracking and reporting tool. The interface is intuitive, and the product integrates with a wide range of commonly used applications.

If you’re looking for ways to increase profitability through improved productivity and time management, Toggl is well worth your consideration. According to a 2015 survey of 1,000 Toggl users, the software has saved businesses on average $12,441 per year.

Since the product is free for up to 5 users, Toggl is an exceptional option for freelancers and small businesses looking for a lightweight time tracking system.

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