If you’re looking for a time management or productivity tool, you may be considering RescueTime.

While this software solution has many great features, it also comes with a number of drawbacks. Here are some of the disadvantages customers mention:

  •  “I dislike the fact that you can’t really customize things without lots of tedium in the categories and other areas.”
  • “Update frequency seems high and sometimes the update pop-up is intrusive.”
  •  “Re-categorizing activities is somewhat convoluted, I’ve had to bookmark the page honestly so I can get to it quickly.”
  • “Lack of detail in reporting. RescueTime is not a replacement for time tracking for contractors.”

You use your time tracking tool every day. It’s one of your most used software tools, so you should choose one that works for your unique team.

Subscribe to the Hubstaff blog

What are the best RescueTime alternatives?

RescueTime is a great tool for a lot of people. It’s not a perfect fit for everyone, though.

That’s why we made this list of great RescueTime alternatives. Browse through our top recommendations to find the one that has all the right features and functions for you.

1. Hubstaff

Hubstaff dashboard for productivity time tracking

Hubstaff helps you efficiently track employee time and productivity. Use it to automate tasks so that you can spend more time on productive work.

Hubstaff specializes in boosting employee productivity through smart automation. Built-in features like payroll automation, invoicing, employee scheduling, and project budgets take a lot of tedious tasks off your plate.

The time tracking features are productivity-focused, too. You can see time spent on projects and tasks, plus your employee’s productivity level during that time. That data helps you spot issues that are slowing down work.

Optional employee monitoring features like URL tracking and periodic screenshots make it easy for managers to help identify bottlenecks and potential problems.

Monitoring features are easy to customize with individual user controls. For example, you can choose to blur screenshots for your HR team to protect potentially sensitive information, or you can turn them off.

Employees can see everything that gets tracked, too. They can easily delete any accidental personal screenshots by removing that segment of time.

GPS geofencing helps field services companies manage payroll. Instead of using timesheets, the app automatically starts tracking time when an employee arrives, and stops when they leave the job site.

Hubstaff integrates with a variety of popular business solutions, including Asana, Jira, Trello, QuickBooks, Salesforce, and Zendesk.

The free plan supports time and activity level tracking for a single user. Paid plans start at $7/user/month.

Hubstaff works great for remote teams and field services companies. It’s also valuable for in-office teams that need a reliable way to automate their timesheets and track employee productivity.

The best RescueTime alternative

Track your team’s time, measure productivity, and manage payroll with Hubstaff.

Try Hubstaff now

2. Toggl


Toggl offers cloud-based time tracking for both desktop and mobile.

The basic features are straightforward. You can either track your time by starting and stopping the timer, or you can manually enter it later. Generate reports and graphs that export easily to Excel for more detail.

Advanced features like the labor cost vs profit comparison are more valuable for teams. Simplicity is key. You’re not going to spend hours digging through menus to get things set up how you want.

Toggl integrates with a number of popular software solutions, including Asana, Evernote, and Zapier.

It has a free basic plan. Paid plans start at $10/user/month.

Toggl is best suited for companies that need straightforward time tracking across multiple devices. It’s great for lower-tech teams that might push back against new software.

3. Harvest


Harvest is another great RescueTime alternative. In addition to time tracking, it offers team management, invoicing, and payment features.

Managers can use Harvest to handle employee timesheets and expense reports. For users who do client work, you can send invoices with automatic payment reminders.

There are several available integrations so that you can link your time tracking and task management solutions.

The intuitive user interface is self explanatory, so training your team is quick and easy. You don’t need to download anything to get started. Your employees can log in from their browser and let their time tracking run in an open tab.

There’s a free plan which is limited to a single user. Paid plans start at $12/user/month.

Harvest is a great option for freelancers who bill hourly. It also works well for teams who need an easy-to-use timesheet software.

4. Time Doctor

Time Doctor

Time Doctor is a time tracking solution with lots of monitoring options.

Their interface is a little clunky, and some users find initial setup confusing. Even so, it has some useful features.

Time Doctor focuses heavily on employee monitoring. It takes automatic screenshots for employers to review. Distraction alerts pop up whenever the user sits idle or spends too long on a non-work website.

You’ll also get all the time tracking features you expect from a time tracker. Use it to fill out timesheets and handle payroll like most of the solutions listed here.

Integrations include popular software like Asana, Evernote, Freshbooks, Jira, and Monday.

Pricing starts at $7/user/month for the Basic plan.

Because of their strong focus on monitoring, Time Doctor is best suited for organizations that take a very hands-on approach to management. Teams who are uncomfortable with a lot of manager oversight should consider a different option.

Subscribe to the Hubstaff blog for more software advice

5. TSheets


TSheets offers simple employee time tracking and includes built-in recording, time entry, and reporting features.

Its main focus is handling timesheets as effectively as possible. If you’re looking for additional features like invoicing, expense tracking, or employee monitoring, this isn’t the best choice.

TSheets’ pricing starts at $8/user/month plus a $20/month base fee.

It’s best suited for companies that want to automate their timesheets, but don’t need advanced features like invoicing or expense tracking.

6. ZoomShift


ZoomShift specializes in scheduling and time tracking for shift work. It can help you manage time-off requests, availability, overtime, and shift conflicts.

The scheduling features are excellent. You can post your schedule online, email it out, or text it to your employees. Employees can easily request scheduling changes. Instead of trying to juggle scheduling conflicts on your own, you can easily manage everything in one place.

ZoomShift helps address some of the more common payroll issues in shift work.

You can block early clock-ins and prevent employees from logging unapproved overtime so you don’t blow your payroll budget.

If you’re concerned about accountability, you can send employees an automatic reminder that their shift starts soon.

Employees can pick up open shifts, set availability preferences, request time off, and even swap shifts with each other just by logging in. That takes a lot of administrative work off your plate.

ZoomShift works online, and you can also download the Android or iOS app.

Downloading the app is free. Plans start at $2.50/user/month.

ZoomShift is designed for retailers, bars & restaurants, and other businesses with shift-based scheduling. It’s an excellent solution if you need to manage coverage and handle payroll for a team that works a different schedule every week.

7. ManicTime


ManicTime easily tracks work and away time. It’s a simple desktop solution if you just need to manage your time.

AutoTagging is one of ManicTime’s best features. You can specify that certain programs and websites are “Work” tools, and others can be tagged as “Browsing.” For example, you might tag social media sites as “Browsing” so that you can easily remove time spent on those sites from your timesheet calculations.

For teams, you’ll rely heavily on reports to see what your team is doing. Reports are based on usage data and don’t include extras like productivity stats or information about projects and tasks.

While there is a free plan, those looking for more advanced features such as timesheets and scheduled backups will need to pay $67 per year for the Pro version.

ManicTime is best for individual freelancers or contractors that bill by the hour. It’s good for keeping track of multiple clients, but it lacks the oomph to track time and productivity for teams.

Over to you

Have you tried any of the solutions we listed? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!

This post was originally published in January 2016 and was updated on August 11, 2020.

Category: Time Tracking