Time-tracking software are an important part of a freelancer’s workflow. Not only do they increase productivity, they also save freelancers from the hassles of billing and invoicing. Though most of the applications in this genre are web-based, there are a few choices for users who prefer having a dedicated desktop software. For Linux users though, the choices are even more limited. So, if you’re a freelancer or simply a productivity freak, read on as we list some of the best time-tracking applications for Linux.
Hamster: Hamster is perhaps the most popular time-tracking application for Linux out there. Packed with many interesting features, this open source application lets you track billable and non-billable projects easily. The interface is probably the simplest you’ll see in any time-tracking application. There are no complicated options; just enter the activity name along with a suitable tag and you’re good to go. Another interesting thing about Hamster is that it lets users add new activities with RTM-esque keyword support. For example, you can use the ‘@’ symbol to add a category; also, you can use the comma symbol to separate the title and description.
Once you’re done tracking, you can view detailed reports of your activities and export them to a print-friendly HTML format. Though Hamster works great on Ubuntu, it does not come with built-in support for the indicator menu. Thankfully though, you can easily fix that by following this simple guide published by Webupd8. The smart-add feature and the no-fuss interface make Hamster stand out from the crowd thus making it one of the best time-tracking applications for Linux.
Ubuntu Command :
sudo apt-get install hamster-applet
Toggl: Toggl is an online time-tracking application that works on desktop, mobile and web. With their one-click tracking system, the service allows users to track time quickly and easily. Tracking can be done either from desktop, mobile or from the web version itself. The desktop version, which automatically syncs with the web version, allows users to add billable or non-billable time entries. There is also an Autopilot option, which memorizes your workflow and reminds you to focus on your work if you open another window or get distracted.
Toggl works for single users as well as teams (up to 200 users). When working with teams, team leaders can assign different rates for each member, that too in any currency they want. Moreover, there’s also an option to pre-define tasks for team members and then monitor them in real-time. Reports of team members, or individuals, can then be accessed in the form of neat pie charts. If you want, you can also export those reports as PDF or XLS files.
The Toggl desktop app, which is available as a DEB file for Linux users, runs perfectly on Ubuntu. Once installed, it shows up as a gray button on the indicator menu, which, once you start tracking, turns red. Even though the UI is not perfect, the application blends nicely with the Ubuntu interface, making it a great tool for freelancers.
Pricing : 5$ per user/month. There’s also a free plan with limited features for a team of 5 persons.
Availability: DEB file for Ubuntu.
Fanurio: Fanurio is a Java-based time-tracking application for freelancers that works across Windows, Mac and Linux. The application, which is available as a DEB file, can be downloaded as a trial version from the website. Even though the iTunes-esque interface leaves a lot to be desired, Fanurio does work pretty well on Ubuntu.
On the features front, Fanurio proves to be quite impressive as it does much more than just time-tracking. From the desktop application itself, users can track their time, manage billing and invoices, view performance reports and manage teams as well. Being cross-platform, Fanurio runs across all major operating systems allowing users to easily switch between them. Though not a free app, Fanurio is a good choice for freelancers who are looking for a good feature-packed cross-platform time-tracking service.
GnoTime: GnoTime is a GNOME-based open source time-tracking application for Linux. Licensed under GPLv3, GnoTime lets users track projects (billable and non-billable), organize ideas, and view HTML reports. Furthermore, you can add To-Do lists, keep a journal/diary, and then export your data in XML format. Even though GnoTime is mainly for freelancers, coders too can use it regularly for tracking bugs. Power users on the other hand, can take advantage of the shell commands feature in this application. This feature allows users to set a shell command which is executed every time the timer is started or stopped. One great thing about GnoTime is that it can act as a complete productivity suite instead of simple time-tracking application.
To start tracking, you simply enter the project title along with its description and the task gets added to your todo list. Double-clicking on it starts the timer which can be stopped any time by double-clicking again. Compared to Hamster’s UI, GnoTime feels a bit cluttered and overwhelming at first; however, once you get the hang of it, you realize that it’s a much more powerful tool.
sudo apt-get install gnotime
RescueTime: RescueTime is a popular time-tracking application that automatically tracks all your activities. Perfect for those who like to review their workflow, RescueTime serves as a great overall productivity tool. For tracking, RescueTime relies on a data collector which can be installed either on desktop or mobile. Even though the desktop version works on Linux, it’s not developed or maintained by the team. Nonetheless, you can download it as a tarball from the project’s Launchpad page.
Image Credits: Dalo_Pix2 from Flickr via CC