Work timers provide motivation, accountability, documentation, balance – and vital management data. Whether you manage yourself, work with a team, or lead a group, you can get the most from your efforts by keeping track of your most precious resource – productive time.
Better yet, managers (and self-managers) can find that elusive sweet spot – a perfect balance between underwork and overwork.
By studying your time-tracking data, you can:
- Identify your most productive times-of-day for different task types
- Determine which team members work best solo, in small groups, and in large groups
- Reward hard work by noticing the “unsung” heroes in your ranks.
- Find a healthy work/play balance as a freelancer/solo employee
Now—without further ado—here’s our Top 5 Free Work Timer List:
#5 – Toggl’s Free Full-Screen Work Timer
Nothing beats this no-nonsense online timer for simplicity and visual appeal. Bookmark this page in your browser to create a one-click timer tab.
Solo workers and freelancers use stopwatch timers to stay honest with themselves about the different types of work they undertake. For example, if you stop working on a graphic design project to answer an email from another client, is this really on-task work?
Let’s be real here – you probably switch from task to task without even noticing. I’ll own this one: as a freelance writer, I flit between client relations, social interactions, research, and actual writing work many times throughout my work time in the café.
You probably do the same – don’t you?
Carve out more productive work time by simple acknowledging the amount of time you spend on non-essential work tasks (and social interludes).
People who manage themselves (whether in the office, the café, or the home office) can use simple stopwatch apps to track the time they spend on various tasks. This technique also works well for students who need to balance their study time between more- and less-enjoyable classes/subjects.
This simple and free online timer is only the tip of the Toggl iceberg. For example, click the links at the bottom of the page to integrate a Toggl timer with Trello. Toggl offers over 85 integrations with popular platforms like Drupal, Google Calendar, GitHub, Beeminder, and many more!
#4 – Timer Tab Multifunctionality
Pick Timer Tab if you:
- Juggle various types of tasks.
- Use timers, alarms, and stopwatches on a regular basis.
- Want multifunctionality without a lot of visual noise.
- Perform both fixed and open-ended tasks.
This online countdown timer lets you set a timer for routine tasks and track open-ended projects with a stopwatch. With this easy click-and-type interface, you can quickly set timers and alarms – even down to the second!
#3 – Online-Stopwatch Simple Countdown Timer
If you only want countdown functionality, pick this big, colorful online stopwatch. Online time-tracking is just a few clicks away with this mouse-click (no keyboard) interface.
By using countdown timers, you avoid wasting mental energy on non-essential tasks. For example, while you’re answering emails, you don’t need to be planning out your next board meeting in the back of your mind.
Countdown timers (and appropriate scheduling) help you stay on-task and avoid costly multi-tasking. Giving yourself only a set amount of time to complete a project isn’t about pressuring yourself to work an unhealthy pace and make a lot of mistakes.
By setting proper amounts of time for each task, you’re setting yourself free.
If you know you have 25 minutes to answer emails, for example, you’ll naturally prioritize the most important ones. You’ll give yourself the time you need to interact with each person in a meaningful way – and provide a quality experience. If you’ve given yourself the right amount of time for this task, you’ll float happily and easily through this task with a smile on your face.
The value of scheduling and time-tracking lies in segmentation. When you’re working on a task, do your very best by mentally setting aside all other concerns. You’ll be amazed by the results!
#2 – Tomato Timer – Breaks Down Your Workday
Tomato Timer is best for you if:
- Your work involves many routine tasks
- You want to eliminate procrastinate
- You want to increase your productivity
Tomato Timer was designed to work in concert with the Pomodoro technique. This popular time-management method involves breaking up your workday into 25-minute chunks of productive time. After completing each 25-minute chunk, take a short break and restart the cycle.
that requires you to break up the workday into 25-minute chunks of productive time. After the 25-minutes is up, you get a short break and then the cycle starts again. This online timer will alert you when the 25-minutes or the break time is up.
You’ll love this simple and elegant online Pomodoro timer. 25 minutes doesn’t feel like a long time – before you know it, this page will be telling you it’s time for a break.
Tomato Timer allows you to select short 5-minute or long 10-minute Pomodoro technique break times (which countdown, just like your work sessions). This interface even features keyboard shortcuts so you’ll spend more time working and less time playing with the app.
#1 – Toggl Time Tracking Suite: Dead-Simple Tracking and Comprehensive Reports
Choose Toggl if:
- You deserve a full range of time-tracking options.
- You manage a team and want an easy solution for tracking billable hours.
- You want to save your time-tracking data for later reference.
- You want to analyze your overall efficiency (or that of an entire organization) over the long term.
Toggl stands above the competition by saving all your tracked time in your cloud-based account. With Toggl, you can log in and view your charts and timesheets – anytime, anywhere. Better yet, you can quickly analyze your data with Toggl’s robust and easy-to-use reporting suite.
Toggl makes it simple to track your team’s billable hours, mileage, break times, and much more. This clear and comprehensive interface allows you to organize your data by client, team member, project, workspace – and more. With the easy-to-use Toggl dashboard, you can effortlessly switch between “Me” and “Team” views. You can check out your workflow over time at a glance – and compare this data to previous periods.
You’ll be astounded at how easily you can analyze data on Toggl – and save your reports for instant reference.