Creating a work hours log: the ultimate guide to logging work hours effectively

Keeping a work hours log is important for both individuals and companies to monitor productivity, bill clients accurately, and ensure compliance with labor regulations.

But logging your work hours through manual worksheets can take up a lot of time and focus for you or your employees. Plus, manual time tracking methods are extremely prone to human error and inaccuracies. So, what’s the best way to conveniently streamline this process? Easy—work hours log apps. 

In this guide, we’ll explore why work hours logging matters and the benefits of it, as well as discuss how to choose the right method with real-life examples, and a comparison of the best work hours log apps available. 

Let’s get into it!

Why is it important to create a work hours log?

A work hours log provides a detailed record of the time spent on tasks or projects. It’s important for professionals in various positions—managers, freelancers, consultants, or remote workers—to accurately track billable hours for client invoicing. While traditional methods like work hours log templates, sheets, or books may suffice, work hours log apps offer automation, extra features, and increased efficiency. 

Using one of these apps, you can significantly boost productivity in your organization because you’ll be able to automate work hours logs, organize data more efficiently, and use additional features like reporting. 

Choosing the right method for logging work hours

Exchanging your old Excel templates for a work hours log app will give you a lot of advantages. These apps streamline the time tracking process, allowing users to focus more on their work rather than administrative tasks. Plus, by providing insights into time usage patterns, work hours log apps can help employees manage their workload better and achieve a healthier work-life balance. 

Meanwhile, efficient work hours management can contribute to increased productivity and profitability for businesses, allowing them to thrive in competitive markets.

Benefits of logging work hours

Overall, tracking work hours will make your organization more focused and help you allocate your resources better. Here are a few ways how keeping a work log can improve your daily productivity: 

  • Accurate invoicing
  • Improved transparency in the workplace
  • Better project management
  • Compliance with labor laws
  • Insights into work habits and productivity

Work hours log apps vs. work hours log templates or sheets

Work hours log apps and work hours log templates or sheets offer different approaches to tracking work hours. Here’s a comparison of pros and cons for each:

Work hours log apps


Automation: Apps automate time tracking, reducing manual effort and ensuring accuracy.

Additional features: They often come with features like reporting, reminders, and integration with other tools.

Accessibility: Apps can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, including mobile devices.

Customization: Users can often customize settings to fit their specific needs and preferences.

Real-time tracking: Apps provide real-time insights into work hours, allowing for immediate adjustments.


Cost: Some apps require a subscription fee, which may not be feasible for all users.

Learning curve: Users need to learn how to use the app effectively, which can take time.

Work hours log templates/sheets


Simplicity: Templates/sheets are straightforward and easy to use, requiring minimal setup.

No dependency on technology: They don’t rely on technology, so there’s no risk of technical issues disrupting tracking.


Manual input: Tracking work hours requires manual input, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors.

Limited accessibility: Access to templates/sheets may be restricted to specific devices or locations.

Difficulty in analysis: Analyzing data from templates/sheets may require additional effort compared to apps with built-in reporting features.

Comparison of work hours log apps

Choosing the right work hours log app can significantly impact your productivity and workflow efficiency. When comparing these apps, it’s essential to consider key factors such as price, automation, extra features, customization options, and Capterra ratings. Evaluating these aspects will help you make an informed decision and select the app that best suits your specific needs and preferences.

AppPriceAutomationFeaturesCustomizationCapterra Rating
DeskTimefrom $7/user per month✔️Automatic time tracking, productivity analysis, project tracking✔️4.6
Harvestfrom $10/user per month✔️Automatic time tracking, invoicing, project management✔️4.6
TimeCampfrom $2.99/user per month✔️Automatic time tracking, project management, reporting and analytics✔️4.7
Buddy Punchfrom $29/month for up to 10 employees✔️Automatic time tracking, employee scheduling, reporting and analytics✔️4.8
Hubstafffrom $7/user per month✔️Automatic time tracking, employee monitoring, project management✔️4.5

Best work hours log apps


DeskTime is a highly customizable time tracking and productivity tool designed to help individuals and teams optimize their work hours effectively. With automatic time tracking features, DeskTime captures work hours accurately, allowing users to monitor productivity levels and analyze time usage patterns. 

Its intuitive interface and customizable settings make it easy to track billable hours, manage projects, and generate insightful reports. DeskTime also offers advanced features such as productivity analysis, project tracking, and integrations with other popular project management tools, like Jira, Basecamp, and more, empowering users to improve their time management and achieve better work-life balance. 

Overall, DeskTime is a valuable tool for professionals seeking to boost productivity and streamline their work hours management.

Price: from $7/user per month

Capterra Rating: 4.6


Harvest is a versatile time tracking and invoicing tool tailored for freelancers, small businesses, and remote teams. With its user-friendly interface and robust features, Harvest simplifies the process of tracking billable hours, managing projects, and invoicing clients. Users can easily track time across different tasks and projects, generate professional invoices, and monitor project budgets in real time. 

Harvest also offers integrations with popular accounting software and project management tools, enhancing workflow efficiency. Whether you’re a freelancer looking to streamline invoicing or a small business aiming to improve project management, Harvest provides the tools needed to streamline time tracking and billing processes.

Price: from $10/user per month

Capterra Rating: 4.6


TimeCamp is a time tracking and project management solution designed to help individuals and small teams optimize their productivity. With its automatic time tracking feature, TimeCamp accurately records time spent on tasks and projects in real-time, eliminating the need for manual input. Users can easily track billable hours, monitor project progress, and analyze time usage patterns through insightful reports and visual dashboards. 

TimeCamp also offers some project management tools, including task tracking, resource allocation, and budget monitoring. Whether you’re a freelancer, remote team, or small business, TimeCamp provides the tools needed to streamline time tracking and project management workflows. 

Price: from $2.99/user per month

Capterra Rating: 4.7

Buddy Punch

Buddy Punch is a time tracking and employee scheduling software designed to streamline workforce management for businesses of all sizes. With its intuitive interface, Buddy Punch simplifies the process of tracking work hours, managing schedules, and enforcing attendance policies. Users can clock in and out easily using various methods, including biometric verification and mobile app integration. 

Buddy Punch also offers reporting capabilities, allowing managers to generate reports on employee attendance, work hours, and overtime. 

Price: from $29/month for up to 10 employees

Capterra Rating: 4.8


Hubstaff is a time tracking and productivity management software designed for remote teams and freelancers. With its advanced features and user-friendly interface, Hubstaff allows users to accurately track time spent on tasks and projects, monitor productivity levels, and manage remote teams effectively. 

The software offers automatic time tracking, activity monitoring, and detailed reports to help businesses optimize productivity and streamline workflow processes. Additionally, Hubstaff integrates with various project management and payment processing tools, making it a versatile solution for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re managing a remote team or working as a freelancer, Hubstaff provides the tools needed to boost efficiency and accountability.

Price: from $7/user per month

Capterra Rating: 4.5

Tips for maintaining an accurate work hours log

Ensuring the accuracy of your work hours log is crucial for effective time management and productivity. To maintain an accurate record, consider the following tips:

  • Set clear expectations and guidelines for time tracking to ensure consistency and accountability.
  • Regularly review and reconcile time entries to identify any discrepancies or inaccuracies.
  • Utilize reminders and alerts to ensure compliance with scheduled work hours and breaks.
  • Encourage open communication and feedback from team members to address any issues or concerns related to time tracking practices.

An effective work hours log is crucial for professionals and businesses to track productivity, bill clients accurately, and ensure compliance with labor regulations. Work hours log apps offer a convenient solution with automation, extra features, and enhanced efficiency. By choosing the right app and following best practices, individuals and companies can optimize their time tracking process and improve overall productivity.

Ready to start tracking?

Keeping a work log will make life easier for you. Make sure you choose the right app for you and follow the best practices. If you’re not sure how to implement a work log app in your organization, take a look at how Skrivanek, a global language agency with a team of over 300 people and offices all across the world, did it. If you want to try out a work log app for free, take a look at our demo account—here, you’ll be able to see how DeskTime features work. Or, you can always sign up for a free trial.

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