The 4th industrial revolution laid the foundations of the new world where technology is incorporated in all the fields of life. Workstyle demands have evolved over the decade. To serve the needs in the changing times, various management systems are developed for consumers to assist them in the effective and efficient management of their workforce. The software applications are best for remote, on-field workers as they support work flexibility. They also find applications in various fields and at different levels of organizations.
First, let’s understand what open source timesheet software is?
Open Source Timesheet Software
Open-source time tracking software keeps track of logins, logouts, and at-work productivity of users. The software comes under licensing policies and is preferred by individuals, businesses, and communities who want to modify and reuse the actual source code. It’s more widely shareable, contrary to exclusive software that does not allow the original code to be altered in any way and limits usage to a specific number of users.
Web-based open-source software is a platform that ensures the time employees spend at work is constructive by monitoring their attendance patterns and recording absences. This helps employers investigate and mitigate avoidable absences and systematically plan out their work schedules.
Manual vs. Automated Time Tracking Methods
Just a century ago, physical attendance registers were used to capture the working hours of the employees. With the advent of technology use of excel sheets became common. But the traditional methods fail to provide a high level of accuracy, they are time-consuming, and the data obtained is hardly verifiable. This increases the chances of risks for business especially if you deal with a large number of projects and employees.
How Does an Open Source Timesheet Software Work?
Time tracking functionality is usually pretty flexible and offers customization depending on the needs of your company, types of tasks, aspects of projects, intricacies of the business, and your organization’s work culture. But basically, all of them follow a standard process:
- Creating a project/task– After signing up, you can create a project and select a task within that project, assign them to team members. The software also allows you to add/delete projects.
- Starting the timer– After selection, you start the timer and end the timer when you finish working on the project or need to pause your work to take a break. The team members can enter the details about the project they are working on and suggestions to improve.
- Time Tracking– The system automatically calculates the time based on timesheet clock-in/out records. You can use the records for calculating the wages of the employees and preparing client invoices.
- Reporting– The data collected in the timesheet is used to generate reports showing the team’s activity. The admins can view the detailed report indicating the accomplishments and pending tasks.
4 Major Drawbacks of an Open Source Software
Here are the four disadvantages of using an open-source time tracking software for your team:
1. Potential Security Threats
The source code of any open-source software is accessible to numerous people. So there is a potential threat to security. The personal information and software’s efficiency could be compromised by malicious viruses and bugs.
2. Lack of a User-Friendly Interface
In general, open-source software is built by developers for developers. Hence the target audience is very limited and the ROI on these products is comparatively less. Hence, much effort isn’t made to ensure the intuitiveness of the products.
3. Unavailability of Customer Support
Open-source software typically doesn’t have an instant customer support team and the users have to depend on an online community forum to get assistance and resolve tech-related problems
4. Lack of timely Updates
Most open-source software doesn’t receive timely updates according to the latest trends. Hence, most systems are outdated and unable to cater to the demand of work requirements.
Selecting the Best Automated Timesheet Software
The software captures the in/out time of the users and creates a database in a timesheet. The timesheet also known as the attendance report is then used to calculate billable hours for payroll and client invoices. It also stores the complete database of time spent by each employee on a specific task or project, absence, time-offs, and holidays. The members can view the pending tasks and completed ones on a real-time basis, helping them to estimate the project deadlines.
Wage Calculation / Client Invoicing
The software either includes a payroll module or has an integration feature with other payroll software. This helps you to automate the calculation of billing hours, client invoices, and employee wages.
Insights, Analytics, and Reports
The software allows you to track each member’s work progress. The customizable analytics and statistical visuals give detailed insights. The feature of reporting is highly significant to improvise flaws in the processes and systems.
Categorize and Organize
The software allows you to create different groups of users based on their teams and departments or other categorization. You can enable accessibility based on their designation, authority, and tasks.
User Permission Management
The software either offers integration with project management software or includes basic-level functionality project management tools. The authorized users can view the progress of the tasks on a real-time basis, enter their suggestions, track deadlines, and set the budget for those projects. The software manages the access permission of the users which includes members, team admins, higher management, etc. The system-generated data is accurate.
Platform & Device Friendly
The software is compatible with devices and platforms like web-browser, desktop extensions, mobile (Android, iOS), etc.
Reminders & Notifications
The software includes a feature that sends automated reminders & notifications to the users to alert them about issues like the deadline of the project approaching, an event coming up, or if the user forgets to clock in / clock out, and many other instances.
Remoty is robust attendance management software for your Slack Teams. It is a SaaS-based product designed to automate HR workflows and allow you to spend less time on administrative tasks and concentrate on priorities beneficial for business growth. Moreover, it minimizes time, effort, and resource-consuming paperwork. The software offers a free demo for you to check out its features. It is highly recommendable for small, mid, and large companies, including startups.
Remoty offers a task-based time clock app for slack that takes care of all your HR tasks effectively. Whether users work remotely, in-house, independently, or in teams, Remoty is suitable for people of all working styles and industries. This pro software is simple to use and its user-friendly interface lets you manage your workflow super easily.
The software is an all-in-one solution for time attendance management, task tracking, payroll, invoicing, and employee performance monitoring. It provides a separate employee portal where the team members can apply for leaves and holidays, views their work progress, stays up to date with upcoming events, and have their personal information in one place. It is easy to generate a progress chart and visuals to see all the teams and departments, including the chain of the work distribution process. Most importantly, the software safeguards the organization’s crucial and sensitive data by granting access to authorized users.
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Top 10 Free and Open Source Timesheet Software
Here’s a comparison chart showing some basic information about enlisted Open Source Timesheet Software.
Kimai has a browser-based interface (dashboard) and can run across platforms including desktop and mobile devices. Kimai was launched in 2006. It requires a PHP-run server to run. The main feature of Kimai is to track employees’ attendance with its clock-in and out system. The software accommodates unlimited users and timesheet entries. You can create teams and group them into departments or by task/ projects. The members sync hours as timesheet entries. Moreover, team leaders can manage projects for each customer mentioning with its specific details like the order number, budget, and current status. You can manage tasks for each project and these tasks are then used to record timesheet entries. The interesting thing about Kimai is that its all features can be further extended with plugins.
Some prominent Kimai features are as follows:
Kimai offers you to connect your companies directory server via LDPA. Kimai has SQLite support; meaning no database setup is required. The new version of Kimai has a JSON API for setting up integration with other applications.
Export Data and Generate Invoice
Timesheet data and insight reports can be exported in XLSX (Excel), DOCX, ODS, PDF, CSV, and HTML. The invoicing feature offer customization in different templates with calculators and invoice number generators.
The wages of the users can be calculated automatically based on the hourly/weekly/monthly rates which are set based on project, activity or each timesheet.
User Personal Profile
The user can register with email activation, create their own profile and customize it as per their preferences. Themes with display and color settings.
You can set different rates based on the project, designation, type of work, and even weekdays for your team members. For example, the rates can be higher if the employee works overtime or on weekends.
Time Format and Language Configuration
In Kimai you can configure the time format of your choice i.e. 24-hour format, or 12-hour format. Kimai supports multiple languages using the open translation standard Xliff.
It is a user-friendly web-based time tracker for individuals and companies that prefer features of exportable and downloadable reports, automatic email reminders, and the liberty of working on multiple projects.
Some prominent eHour features are as follows:
With eHour, you can secure the timesheets entries. Different permission settings are allowed for different levels of management i.e employees, managers, administrators, etc. Admins can lock data regarding employees’ holidays, Paid Time Offs, timesheets, and wages.
eHour offers integration with Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Active Directory. You can enable eHour Single Sign-On (SSO) to log in with your 365 accounts and set it up per your company’s security policy. Thus the software ensures compliance tracking with regulatory authorities and labor laws. You can use the API to connect eHour to your other applications and export tracked hours directly into Microsoft PowerBI, Qlikview, or Jortt.
The software runs on-premise or you can install the hosted version and use it on your device. eHour is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Alongside its downloadable version (for basic time tracking and reporting), a new cloud-based version is available for automated time tracking, project task time tracking, and approval workflows. It comes as a ‘service on a subscription solution.
Languages and Currencies Support
As the software is available in multiple languages and supports multiple currencies, organizations can deploy it for their distributed teams globally.
OpenProject a is a project management, budgeting, and timekeeping solution that helps keep track of both time and costs and human resources. In this tool, you can create projects and assign them to users, set up project budgets, keep track of work and achieve desired goals in terms of meeting deadlines and delivering optimum productivity. The tool also has timeline management and Gantt charts modules for more detailed insights into how project work is being performed. OpenProject also offers Repositories like SVN, GIT, and LDAP authentication.
Some prominent OpenProject features are as follows:
OpenProject is a free platform for the checkers to recognize, classify & prioritize the bugs. To deliver high-quality products and services, bug tracking is one of the best features of this app.
Project Planning and Scheduling
Using OpenProject, you can create a project, prioritize objectives, and discuss the pending tasks relevant to its scope with your team. You can analyze the tasks involved in the project, and create a detailed plan on the method of its execution.
Streamline Product Roadmaps
With OpenProject, you can showcase your product plan to your stakeholders, and associates to keep them informed about its status and deadlines. This way you can maintain a transparent and healthy work environment within your team members and clients.
Managing Tasks and Team Collaboration
You to track the tasks of each and every team member easily which makes it easier to communicate about the goals and end-results to complete projects successfully within a limited timeframe.
Project Management Tools
OpenProject enables you to use agile methodologies like Scrum and Kanban. The team can focus on working in the right direction with quick feedback and eliminate the waste of time.
Time Tracking, Cost Control, and Budgeting
You can track the time which is being spent by the team members for each project. You should then analyze if any of your projects are taking more time to complete than expected, get insights about the resources allocated for the projects, plan the budget to control costs effectively. It will lead to better and cost-efficient decision-making in the future.
Centralized Project Information
You can keep a certain project’s relevant information at a centralized location. This will provide access to the concerned/ assigned members involved with that specific project, improve communication and streamline the processes.
Project Hamster is specially designed for those individuals and freelancers who are code-savvy and can handle a little GitHub. This software uses SQLite for data storage and is developed using PyGObject (python package).
Some prominent Project Hamster features are as follows:
The software lets users flexibly group tasks by priorities with categories and tags. It generates activity reminders and is efficient in workspace productivity tracking. It allows to edit activities and calculates time spent on each activity automatically. You can custom view by group (day, week, or month). The software generates exportable and interactive HTML reports and lets you export data in numerous format texts like XML, TSV, iCal, etc. You can manage multiple projects individually for each client and employer. You can also configure idle status detection.
You can add the Hamster extension to your browser and let it run in the background without causing distractions for you. Hamster’s new stable v3.0 version is announced to launch in the upcoming months.
Anuko Time Tracker is an open-source, web-based time tracking software written in PHP (Programming language). It requires a server such as Tomcat, Apache, IIS, etc, to run on, and a database, such as MariaDB or MySQL to keep the data in. You can run the tool on any system where such environment exists — Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, macOS, and more. In Anuko, you can track time in two modes – ‘projects wise’, where each time entry is associated with a specific project, or ‘projects and tasks wise’, where time is tracked against tasks of a certain project. Anuko is a Cloud, SaaS, Web application and can run on different operating systems like Desktop Windows/Mac, etc.
Some prominent Anuko features are as follows:
Project Management and Reporting
Anuko allows you to track the time groups of people working on a particular project. You can organize the group of users in subgroups and track time, time spent on particular projects, and tasks. You can view reports and send them in emails, either manually or on schedule. In time records, you can also have the liberty to use custom fields. Anuko offers multi-language support too.
There are numerous plugins offered by Anuko. Client Invoicing and paid status plugins help you with invoicing clients and tracking payments. Members utilize the timesheets plugin to enter work time details in timesheets and get them approved. Charts plugin is for time allocation by project or by task. The locking plugin help to secure records from any attempts of tampering with the database. The monthly quotas plugin display records about monthly quota allocations and usage. Week view plugin allows for quick time entry and scheduling for the coming work-related events. The attachments plugin lets you attach relevant documents.
Anuko can be downloaded for free and is free for up to 5 users. It is an ideal solution for small and medium-sized companies needing to manage fewer projects and tasks. If you find it compatible with your team., you can upgrade to the paid version.
Baralga is a simple and lightweight time tracking app that allows plain time tracking on projects using a timer, or to log time manually – fast data entry with shortcuts is possible. The software lets you switch projects with a tray icon. You can record your activities, manually and edit them if required.
Some prominent Baralga features are as follows:
Reporting and Exporting
The software provides reports and charts based on the data logged in the timesheets for a desired specific period and allows to export them to Excel, CSV, or iCalendar.
No Installing Requirement
The tool is available as a regular or portable edition for the desktop. – so you can use it from a USB drive instead of installing it on a device.
Charm time tracker is a promising cross-platform open-source task/time tracking app. It allows to create tasks and subtasks and then tracks time to them. Charm time tracker can run on Windows, macOS, Linux.
Some prominent Charm features are as follows:
Charm offers productivity reports that can be exported and printed out in various formats. The software app is built around two major categories: tasks and events. When you do the same events multiple times over, they get accumulated and are stored by software as your database. Later they can be printed in activity reports or weekly timesheets if needed.
Hourglass is an open-source web-based time and expense tracking software. It also has inbuilt project management features. The user-friendly tool is highly scalable having the ability to grow with your business. An hourglass can be used for personal use as well as for organizational use. The intuitive interface ensures a high compliance rate.
Some prominent Hourglass features are as follows:
The tool helps you manage projects, tasks, and deadlines effectively. When you assign tasks to team members and make changes if required. The software monitors project deadlines and budgets to ensure high productivity and profitability.
Reports and Invoicing
The reports generated by Hourglass help you to analyze the real-time situation and take necessary actions when required. The software can create tax profiles for billing clients and calculates client invoices based on a project rate.
Time and Expense Tracking
The timesheet displays the time spent by each team member on a specific project in detail. If enabled, it can send regular email notifications to provide analysis and real-time updates relating to time entries.
The tool displays expense logs including billable and non-billable hours. You can then send invoices to your clients.
Kapow is a punch clock program to help to track time for different tasks; all you have to do is to clock in and out your time by clicking on the Start/Stop buttons. Kapow open-source tracking software is easy to use and very minimalist in design.
Some prominent Kapow features are as follows:
In Kapow, time tracking is based on the time clock method: click on the start/stop button to clock in and out respectively. The tool, if needed, allows to correct time entries captured automatically.
For client billing and invoicing, Kapow provides an ability to log hours since the client was last billed. To do that, you can tag or mark previously recorded hours as “billed” using the special checkbox and keep tracking time for the next dates.
Kapow installation packages are available for Windows desktop, Linux, or macOS. You can simply edit the entries if required. The features of reports, invoices, billing time are all available.
Redmine is a web-based, free and open source issue tracking software. It is a flexible project management tool written using the Ruby on Rails (software) framework. Hence it is a suitable choice for people who need multiple projects support. Moreover, It can work on cross platforms and can integrate with version control systems. Also, it is a cross-database/plugin time tracking software supporting 34 different languages.
Some prominent Redmine features are as follows:
Reporting and Access Control
In Redmine, you can leave comments and run detailed reports on data collected from timesheets. Being highly flexible software, it allows role-based access control; you may configure permissions for different users according to their authority in the organizational hierarchy.
The software includes a Gantt chart and calendar. It can integrate with news, documents, and files management systems. It provides web feeds and e-mail notifications. In addition, it can support multiple LDAP authentication, REST API, and SCM sync (SVN, CVS, Git, Mercurial, and Bazaar). It also offers custom fields for issues, projects, time-entries, and users.
Time is money, therefore to achieve effective results, choose the software that caters to the needs of your team. The decision of selecting the time tracking software may vary according to your type and size of business, and the workflow processes of your organization.
To try out some free software, you can also go through the complete list of time-tracking software with specific features and functionalities. Remoty is an ideal Slack Time Tracking tool for those who like to opt for lightweight systems.