Timely Alternatives: 5 Top Time Tracking Tools

Author: Madalina Roman

While Timely has captured attention as it was the first AI time-tracking tool on the market, it’s not the most precise and has left many users lamenting the bugs and task slip-ups that fall through the cracks. 

The AI for suggested logs is decent but needs a lot of room for improvement before it will be a feature I use regularly.

G2 review

Timely indeed has all the baseline features of a time-tracking app, but its AI still lacks precision, the tool is missing a solid invoicing feature, and the price wall is a pain point.

Yes, Timely is expensive, and that’s also why you might be here today because you need to find a valid Timely alternative to track your time.

Looking for an AI-powered alternative to Timely?

Timeular is an effortless, secure, and smart time-tracking solution designed for teams aiming to track billable hours, maximize productivity, and generate precise client reports.

Key takeaways on Timely alternatives:

The top alternative to Timely is Timeular as it provides overall more value at a lower price, and it includes:

  • Multiple tracking methods, including a physical tracking gadget;
  • Next level data privacy, as users’ data is stored only locally, not in the Cloud as Timely;
  • AI time entry suggestions based on calendar events and past entries;
  • All features in one app, whereas Timely requires you to download the Memory tracker (its AI brain) separately, which causes friction;
  • An AI-generated productivity insights dashboard that Timely doesn’t include;

Other Timely alternatives mentioned:

  • Harvest excels with invoicing and payments, which are lacking in Timely, but relies heavily on manual input;
  • Clockify facilitates project management and time off tracking, surpassing Timely’s features, but its employee privacy feature has raised concerns;
  • Toggl Track offers a user-friendly interface, includes a free version, and is a cost-effective alternative to Timely. However, its free version has limited functionalities;
  • RescueTime targets personal productivity with smart coaching, a niche Timely doesn’t focus on. It might not be suited for teams or project tracking.

5 Alternatives to Timely

In the following section, you’ll be introduced to five Timely alternatives: Timeular, Harvest, Clockify, Toggl Track, and RescueTime. Each offers unique features and pricing structure, helping with effective time management. Let’s dive in!

1. Timeular

timely alternative

Timeular is the most effortless, smart, and secure automatic time-tracking app designed for teams. As of today, more than 100,000 users are leveraging Timeular, like Google, Audi, Toyota, McKinsey, and Bang & Olufsen.

Timeular offers many features overlapping with Timely, as, at the core, their time-tracking system is powered by AI. While similar, Timeular is cheaper, prioritizes users’ privacy by storing their data solely on their computers, not in the cloud, and is more user-friendly.

Like Timely, in Timeular, you can track billable and non-billable hours, forget about manually inputting time entries, and leave Timeular to track your time automatically for you.

How an IT Team saves 10 hours a week thanks to Timeular

Learn how Bang & Olufsen retrieved 10 hours of work and changed the IT structure to work more efficiently by tracking time with Timeular

Time tracking is more effortless in Timeular

Timeular makes time tracking effortless with its incredibly intuitive interface and multiple tracking methods. While in Timely, the only way to track time is in the calendar interface, in Timeular, you can track time in many ways, based on what one suits you best:

  • Flipping the physical time-tracking gadget, which once turned to another side, starts tracking an activity for you. The tracker can record up to 1,000 activities.

Note: while it is recommended, as it fosters a time-tracking habit, the gadget is not mandatory.

  • Enable automatic time-tracking – do your task, and Timeular will record your work in the background and automatically add AI time entry suggestions to your calendar – so you never forget the time spent on tasks.
Timeular - best AI tools
  • Calendar interface automatic time-tracking – create timesheets automatically based on saved app usage, visited websites, and calendar events. Click on the suggestions in the user-friendly interface, and your timesheet is done. Your data will be prefiltered to prevent information overflow.
timely alternatives
  • QuickTrack – using keyboard shortcuts to start an activity with a click.

Track time more accurately with Timeular than Timely

In Timeular, tracking time is more accurate because:

  • It brings many tracking methods together;
  • Sends custom reminders to build a time-tracking habit;
  • Allows to write notes, add tags and mentions to the time entries, which increases the level of detail of each task;
  • Allows a flexible setup with folders, activities, and tags to track time across your clients and projects the way you need it;
  • You can automate the start and stop of time tracking to reduce manual work and human error;
  • Contrary to Timely, Timeular has all its features in one app, whereas Timely requires you to download the Memory tracker separately.
How a software house tracks time against estimations to improve accuracy

“The CodeFlügel team is now in the habit of tracking all of their time. Thanks to Timeular it’s much easier, much more fun and much more convenient.” – Claus Degendorfer, CEO of CodeFlügel

Track billable hours and budgets

Timeular is the best billable hours tracker and has gone further than other time-tracking tools. You can track billable and non-billable hours, but the very same task can be set as billable or not whenever you think it is necessary. 

With Timeular, you can also closely monitor project budgets, ensuring efficient oversight of their progress and profitability. Swiftly identify projects at risk of exceeding budgets, and quickly reallocate your team’s time to prioritize where it’s most needed.

Timeular allows easy and intuitive reporting

timeular alternative

Timeular streamlines the process of billable hours tracking and generates transparent, detailed reports for your clients. With its meticulous activity breakdown, every small task is recorded and integrated into your invoice.

Moreover, you can export these reports in PDF, XLSX, or CSV formats for convenient use.

Timeular’s features that Timely is missing

  • The physical gadget loved by all its users

The Timeular Tracker is a physical device that resembles a multi-sided dice, with each side representing a different activity or task category. It’s a tangible way to track your time effortlessly. You simply flip the device to the corresponding side that matches your working activity.

For example, if you’re working on a project, you flip the Timeular Tracker to the project side. If you switch to answering emails, you flip it to the email side, and so on.

This way, you can accurately log how much time you spend on each task throughout your day. You can track up to 1,000 activities with the tracker.

time tracker
Track your time with a physical Tracker

“I find that using the Tracker speeds things up and makes it really easy to track my time.” Noah Ruseng Bested, Bang & Olufsen

  • Quicktrack – a feature that allows you to track time with keyboard shortcuts. It allows you to log activities directly from your computer without opening the app.
  • Antisurveillance – managers are allowed to check the tracked data of an employee only with a 12-hour delay on the same day. Your team will track honestly only if they don’t feel spied on and their tracked work is not weaponized.
  • Data privacy – your data is stored solely on your local computer, not in the cloud as in Timely.
  • Leave tracking– easily manage the leaves and absences of your team! Track your employee time off and view leave statistics for streamlined administration and improved resource allocation.
  • Overtime tracking – so you can keep your team in check and maintain their work-life balance.
  • The productivity insights dashboard generated by AI is used to identify app usage, procrastination patterns, and times when you are productive or unproductive.

Timeular - best AI tools
  • Notes and Tags – Timeular enables you to add notes and tags to your time entries. Notes allow you to provide additional context or details about a specific time entry or activity.

For instance, if you were working on a particular project, you might add a note describing the progress or tasks completed during that session. Conversely, tags are useful for categorizing and filtering your time entries based on keywords or labels. You might use tags like “meeting,” “research,” or “client work” to organize your time data efficiently.

  • Rounding – rounding is a feature that lets you adjust the time entries to a specific granularity in your reports. For example, you might set the rounding to 15 minutes.

If you worked on an activity for 7 minutes, it would be automatically rounded to 15 minutes in your report. Rounding can be beneficial for simplifying time records, billing clients, or getting a broader picture of how you allocate your time throughout the day.

Timeular: the best (and cheapest) AI-powered alternative to Timely

Timeular comes at a lower price than Timely and offers a 30-day free trial against Timely’s 14-day.

Timeular yearly planTimely yearly plan
Personal – $7.50 p/m Starter – $9  per user per month
Personal Pro – $11.50 p/mPremium – $16 per user per month
Team – $15.80 p/mUnlimited – $22 per user per month

Bye bye Timely. Welcome Timeular!

Claim your 30-day free trial with Timeular. Start your time tracking today.

2. Harvest

Harvest is a popular time-tracking tool that constitutes a valid Timely alternative. It’s better suited for small businesses as it stands out for streamlining invoicing and payment processes. Nevertheless, Harvest still relies heavily on manual input, making time-tracking tools an effort and the process itself time-consuming.

Read also: The Best Harvest Alternatives in 2023

Harvest’s Features that Timely is missing

time tracking software harvest

Project and task tracking

Users can create and organize projects with specific tasks in Harvest. This feature enables better organization and categorization of work, making it easier to allocate time and resources effectively.

Expense tracking

Harvest includes expense tracking capabilities, allowing users to record and categorize project-related expenses. This feature aids in comprehensive project cost tracking and ensures that expenses are accurately billed to clients or accounted for in project budgets.

Client and team management

With Harvest, users can manage client information and team members. This feature facilitates seamless collaboration, client-specific billing, and team-based reporting and insights.

Invoicing and payments

The software enables easy and customizable invoicing based on tracked time and expenses. Users can generate professional invoices and receive payments directly through Harvest, streamlining the billing process.

Timesheet approvals

For team-based projects, Harvest provides timesheet approval functionality. Project managers or supervisors can review and approve timesheets before billing or calculating payroll hours and processing, ensuring accuracy and accountability.

Harvest’s vs. Timely pricing options

Harvest yearly planTimely yearly plan
Free planStarter – $9  per user per month
Pro – $10.80 per user per monthPremium – $16 per user per month
Unlimited – $22 per user per month

Pros of Harvest

  • Cheaper than Timely
  • Generate invoices
  • Streamlines payments
  • Offer time off scheduling

Cons of Harvest

  • Manual time tracking
  • The free plan is heavily limited
  • There’s no automatic time-tracking
  • The learning curve is pretty steep

3. Clockify

clockify - time tracking software for contractors

Clockify is a team management tool for time tracking, billing, and scheduling. Like Timely, Clockify allows automatic time tracking.

Despite the tools giving it best when used in teams, Clockify has faced criticism for its disregard of employee privacy rights. The software’s handling of user data has raised concerns among users and privacy advocates, making it a subject of controversy.

Read also: Toggl Track vs Clockify

Clockify’s features that Timely misses

Project and task management:

Organize and categorize work into projects and tasks for better tracking and reporting.

Time off tracking

Manage employee time off, vacations, and leaves to ensure efficient workforce planning.

Chrome extension

Start and stop timers directly from your browser using the Chrome extension.

GPS tracking

When employees are using the app, their location is displayed on a map view

Employee monitoring features

Capture screenshots of employees’ computers regularly, offering insights into their on-the-job activities.

Pricing options

Clockify yearly planTimely yearly plan
Basic – $3.99 per user per monthStarter – $9 per user per month
Standard – $5.49 per user per monthPremium – $16 per user per month
Pro – $ 7.99 per user per monthUnlimited – $22 per user per month
Enterprise – $11.99 per user per month

Pros of Clockify

  • It is cheaper than Timely
  • Allows time off tracking
  • Has automatic tracking
  • Timesheets approval

Cons of Clockify

  • Intrude employees privacy
  • Has limited integrations
  • Clunky mobile app
  • Limited reporting functionalities

TIP: Read Clockify vs Timeular and find why Timeular is the best

4. Toggl

toggl time tracking

Toggl is a popular timesheet tool offering a wide range of features; time tracking can be done either automatically or manually. Toggl is a reasonable alternative to Timely for the ones looking for a free tool with a streamlined timesheet experience, offline tracking, and project estimates. Unfortunately, like Timely, it has a pay-per-seat subscription but still remains cheaper.

Read also: Timeular vs. Toggl

Toggl’s features that Timely misses

Chrome extension

It enhances the user experience by allowing quick and convenient access to time tracking without the need to switch between different applications.

More integrations

Toggl seamlessly integrates with various project management and collaboration tools like Asana, Trello, Slack, and more. This integration ensures smooth data synchronization and enhances workflow efficiency.

Pomodoro timer

Toggl incorporates a Pomodoro timer, a technique that encourages productivity by breaking work into intervals with short breaks in between. Users can stay focused and maintain a work-life balance using this feature.

Offline mode

Toggl supports offline mode, allowing users to track time even when not connected to the internet. Once the connection is restored, the data is automatically synced.

Toggl vs. Timely pricing options

Toggl yearly planTimely yearly plan
Free – up to 5 usersStarter – $9 per user per month
Starter – $9 per user per monthPremium – $16 per user per month
Premium – $18 per user per monthUnlimited – $22 per user per month
Enterprise-tailored solution

Pros of Toggl

  • It’s a cheaper option
  • It offers a freemium version
  • Detail reporting
  • Automated time tracking

Cons of Toggl

  • The free version has minimal functionalities
  • There’s a steep learning curve
  • Has no AI integrated

5. RescueTime

RescueTime tracking app

A reliable alternative to DeskTime, RescueTime is a fully developed automated time tracking solution and competes well with Timely. Nevertheless, RescueTime is primarily focused on personal productivity and not project tracking.

RescueTime’s features that Timely misses

Smart coaching

Sends custom messages based on past activities. The messages are focused on advising for productivity and help users to stay focused and on track.

Activity categorization

The tool categorizes tracked activities into productive, neutral, or distracting categories, providing users with insights into how their time is being utilized.

Goal setting

Users can set productivity goals based on time spent in specific categories or on particular tasks, encouraging them to achieve their targets and work efficiently.

Offline time tracking

RescueTime tracks time spent on offline activities, like meetings, calls, or breaks, ensuring a comprehensive view of users’ time allocation.

Productivity scores

The tool assigns productivity scores to websites and activity categories, indicating their impact on users’ productivity.


RescueTime’s FocusTime feature allows users to block distracting websites and applications during dedicated work or study sessions, promoting better focus and productivity.

Pricing options

RescueTime yearly planTimely yearly plan
Free Starter – $9 per user per month
$12 per monthPremium – $16 per user per month
Unlimited – $22 per user per month

Pros of RescueTime

  • Helps users improve focus and productivity
  • Has smart coaching alerts
  • Automated tracking
  • Offline tracking

Cons of RescueTime

  • It’s not suited for teams or projects
  • It does not support billable hours tracking
  • Buggy app

Read also: The best alternatives to RescueTime

What is the best alternative to Timely?

The article thoroughly compares five-time tracking tools that serve as alternatives to Timely. While Timely boasts AI-powered features, users often feel dissatisfied with bugs and limitations. Additionally, the high cost and lack of a free version further contribute to the search for more suitable options.

Among the five alternatives introduced—Timeular, Harvest, Clockify, Toggl, and RescueTime—Timeular emerges as the standout choice. It not only offers automated time tracking but also excels in providing the most effortless and accurate methods for tracking time.

Moreover, its cost-effectiveness in comparison to Timely makes it even more appealing. The user-friendly interface, diverse tracking options, and robust capabilities for monitoring billable hours and budgets make Timeular the highly recommended alternative for time tracking needs.

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