Time management is hard - especially when you’re juggling multiple projects, dozens of tasks, fluctuating deadlines, not to mention that personal life you’ve been meaning to invest some hours into. Who has time to adopt a new process amid the chaos?
The Development Academy found that 82% of people do not have a time management system, but just use a list, their email inbox, or nothing at all. And, only 17% of people track their time according to TechJury, which is one of the most critical components to a successful time management strategy - how can you plan your time if you don’t know how you’re spending it?
Fortunately, there are easy-to-use time management apps that can help you plan when and where to invest your time, and how to spend it most efficiently to maximize your productivity. The problem is there are hundreds of time management tools to choose from! And while there isn’t one that will suit all of your needs, there are clear leaders to help you step up your time management game.
In this article, you’ll find the top 7 time management tools for busy folks such as yourself to help you manage everything from calendars to your notes.
1. Reclaim.ai - best calendar app
Reclaim.ai is a calendar management app that optimizes your busy schedule through smart time blocking. Supported on Google Calendar, Reclaim automatically helps you find the best time for your meetings, to-do list, and regular routines while still keeping your schedule flexible for new meeting requests and priority changes. It allows your schedule to stay adaptable while you have availability, and defends your smart time blocks around your most important priorities as your calendar fills up.
- Auto-schedule time for your Tasks and Habits (recurring routines) on your calendar.
- Sync multiple calendars and merge your actual availability so you’re never overbooked across clients or personal events again.
- Analyze calendar productivity stats on where your time goes every week.
- Auto-schedule breaks between meetings with Buffer Time.
- Reprioritize your entire calendar in one click with advanced priority controls.
- Sync your Slack status with your calendar and Zoom meetings to minimize interruptions during focus time and calls.
The reason why Reclaim is the number one tool is that it actually forces you to make realistic time management and planning decisions. By integrating your task list (and personal time commitments) with your work schedule, your calendar becomes a true reflection and plan for where your time goes. Instead of setting blind goals based on what you want to do, Reclaim allows you to visualize exactly what’s in your capacity by blocking the time you need for each task, and allowing you to prioritize which ones to tackle first.
Pricing: Free forever, paid plans start at $9/month (free through 2021)
2. Toggl track - best time tracking app
Toggl Track is a time tracking software that allows you to track and measure the time you spend on tasks and projects, in apps, and offline activity so you can see exactly how you’re managing your time. The app integrates with dozens of project management systems so you can automatically measure your productivity across your favorite platforms and stay focused on your important work.
- Start and stop time tracking across the web, mobile, desktop app or browser extension with one-click timers.
- Auto-track time spent across every app or website for more than 10 seconds with Background Tracking
- Get reminders when you’ve opened up a new app, but forgot to start your timer with Autotracker.
- Create reports by time ranges, clients, and projects to analyze your productivity, progress, and profitability across your team.
- Track your team’s schedule and capacity to optimize their time.
- Keep everyone on track with email reminders and required fields to ensure accurate reporting.
Toggl Track is the best time tracking app for managing your time because it’s simple set up, navigation, and functionalities makes time tracking easy and approachable. You can see where your time goes every day, and get a clear understanding of how you can better optimize your time to become more efficient. The app can be used by single freelancers or small teams, up to large corporate teams who need to track and estimate time and tasks across many moving parts.
Pricing: Starts at $9/month
3. Linear - best issue tracking app
Linear is an issue tracking tool that allows you to streamline software projects, sprints, tasks, and bug tracking progress and development across product team workflows. It’s intuitive navigation and keyboard-first design lets you move fast and effortlessly through your issues, and quickly manage and optimize your time around key priorities. Linear integrates with your favorite development and design tools, has hundreds of additional Zapier connections, and supports custom workflows through it’s API so everyone is aligned and able to collaborate across roles through this one tool.
- Synchronizes data in real-time so you can move fast without waiting for pages to load.
- Keep your team focused on high-level milestones and goals with Roadmap.
- Create and manage all of your issues by project and cycle with due dates, time and complexity estimates, statuses, and priority levels.
- Collaborate with your team across projects, issues and sub-issues, and set enablers and blockers to see what’s preventing a project from moving forward.
- Create cycles that run on an automated schedule so you can focus on your work and not on creating tasks.
Linear’s issue tracking app was designed for high-performance software teams, but also functions as a great project management tool for any agile team. It’s true value is saving you time by simplifying complex challenges into simple issues that are optimized around priorities and resolution, without the heavy over-complications many traditional issue trackers force on you. Linear works great for remote teams of any size, and scales efficiently without adding unnecessary layers of processes that slow your team down as you grow. With so many organizations transforming into software companies, Linear is a great fit to help you streamline your development efforts across engineers, designers and peers.
Pricing: Free forever, paid plans start at $12/month
4. Asana - best project app
Asana is a project management tool that simplifies team-based work management and organizes everything from small projects to big-picture ideas. This project management tool doubles as a time management tool by streamlining team collaboration through priority planning, task management, deadlines and timeline tracking. Asana condenses the number of tools needed to manage people and projects into one sleek user-friendly platform, with over 200 integrations to tie in all aspects of your work.
- Organize and assign tasks across your team with priorities and deadlines.
- Manage and view your projects in timeline, kanban, calendar, and lists formats.
- Analyze reports to set goals and track progress on where your time is going and progress across your team.
- Create custom workflows to automate management across teams from start to finish, with custom rules, check-in forms and approvals.
- Over 50 project templates available to jumpstart your projects and fine tune for your project needs.
When it comes to time management for your team projects, Asana is your best bet. Asana is one of the most comprehensive project management platforms on the market, yet super easy to use, which allows you to truly align your time with your workload to reach your team goals. You can see exactly where you’re at in any stage of a project, see where you’re going next, and automate common processes to optimize any repeatable efforts across your team.
Pricing: Free forever, paid plans start at $11/month
5. RescueTime - best time audit app
RescueTime is a time auditing tool that helps you eliminate distractions and focus on improving your productivity. The app integrates seamlessly into the task bar of your PC or Mac so it can analyze exactly where you’re allocating your time throughout the day across all websites and applications. RescueTime also offers a mobile app to analyze your time spent on your phone in addition to desktop for a full picture of your time online.
- Set and personalize daily Focus Work goals that support your work style and meeting schedule, and get alerted when you reach your goal.
- Automated smart coaching shares insights throughout the day, nudges you to stay on track, and provides daily summaries of your work.
- Block the websites that negatively impact your work time during Focus Sessions.
- Analyze reports on your time spent across each app and number of sessions to understand how that time either supported or pulled from your productivity.
- Compare your Focus Work sessions to your average time to see how different approaches improve your productivity.
RescueTime is one of the most popular time management tools on the market due to it’s in-depth analytics on how you’re actually allocating your time. The app automatically categorizes your time across apps by their function so you can see where you’re sinking your time and if you spend enough time in the tools that actually support your priorities. Outside of just analyzing, RescueTime is truly a motivator and can serve as a hard reality check to the time you allow yourself to waste across unproductive sites and apps.
Pricing: Starts at $9/month
6. 1Password - best password app
1Password is a password manager that provides a safe place for you to store passwords, software licenses, credit card information, and more across both work and life. Instead of having to create dozens of complex, hard to remember passwords, 1Password just needs a single password to access them all and keep your accounts safe. This encrypted database takes the guesswork out of your day and saves you time by having everything in one place, not to mention, seriously steps up your password security!
- Automatically generate suggested passwords that are highly complex and difficult for hackers to guess.
- Record and store all of your usernames and passwords when you sign into an app or website so you never waste time searching or guessing a password again.
- Improves your password hygiene by checking for password breaches and other security problems so you don’t have to monitor yourself.
- Automatically fill in forms, sign-ins, credit card information and more with a single click, look or touch.
- Share vaults with your secure passwords across your work team or family, and manage all passwords from a single account.
- Access your passwords from any device, at any time, to make signing in and paying for things easier and more secure.
Remembering passwords for all of your accounts isn’t just difficult, it’s a major time sink. Instead of wasting time resetting another forgotten password every week, or spending 20 minutes hunting down that stray post-it note for that password you need, you can use 1Password to get into any account in seconds. This tool is safe, easy to use, and can work across both personal and work accounts alike. You can manage, update and share all of your passwords through their simple interface, and control access for your team when responsibilities change.
Pricing: Starts at $3/month
7. Notion - best notes app
Notion is an all-in-one workspace that allows you to write, plan and organize everything you need for your whole team. Designed for any role, function and team, Notion allows you to create notes, tasks, wikis and databases so you can visualize everything from a product roadmap, to your sales CRM, over to a company wiki for all HR and onboarding processes. Notion streamlines content and sharing across any busy team with an easy-to-use interface and highly customizable workspace, with over 500 integrations to embed your favorite tools.
- Develop team wikis to centralize all of your collective knowledge and make it easy to find answers.
- Create, manage and organize all of your notes and documents, and share or tag a team member to collaborate in real time and asynchronously.
- Access hundreds of Notion templates to kick off your workspace, and find thousands more through their active and collaborative community.
- Create and manage projects and tasks through kanban boards, tables, lists and more.
- Organize your documents through tags so you can easily filter and sort your notes however you choose.
- Use Notions API to build custom workflows tieing in your favorite tools.
Notion is exploding in popularity across both professional and personal use alike, as it allows you to keep track of anything important in your life. The app gives you and your team the tools you need to plan, organize and update all of your projects, and limits the number of apps you have to have open, saving you a ton of time throughout your day. Notion has so many in-depth features to explore, and an extremely active global community and social fan base, that you can find a template or inspiration to help you quickly and efficiently create a solution to any problem.
Pricing: Free forever, paid plans start at $8/month
Time management can be tricky for everyone, especially busy people with more plans than time, but it sure has its benefits when you find the right tool. If you happen to come across any awesome apps that have seriously improved your time management, shoot us a tweet at @reclaimai and we would love to share it!