Honest Review:

Automated time and project tracking and robust employee and activity monitoring but no mobile applications and unreliable time tracking

Written by Asim Qureshi
By Asim Qureshi, CEO Jibble

As a CEO of a time tracking software company, I need to know what my competitors are up to — thus, this Insightful review. That means I’m often researching about and/or playing around with their products… you know, it’s part of the job. Here, I share my findings from that research, giving credit to those competitors where credit is due and being honest about which products I believe you really need to avoid. And so, there you have it, this Insightful review. And in it, I try to be honest, fair, and insightful.

This review covers:


When we talk about insights, the first thing that comes to mind is direction. In my case, as a CEO of a time tracking company, I have a keen understanding of how insights into time usage have a huge impact on the productivity and growth of any business. That’s why having a reliable time tracking solution is a must for the modern workplace.

Today, I’ll give you the lowdown on Insightful, a cloud-based employee time tracking software that claims to help users analyze and optimize company time on projects down to the second with intuitive features for smarter project organization, proof of work, and budgeting. That’s quite a lot of promises, and in this review, I’ll shed incisive insights into the veracity of these claims.

First off, the good stuff: Insightful has quite an array of features that target time tracking, project management, and productivity enhancement needs. It allows businesses to monitor time and attendance in real time, measures, records, and helps drive productivity with screen and computer activity monitoring features, and gives visibility to where hours go with automatic time mapping. It also helps promote employee wellness by helping management spot and nip burnout in the bud, detect and neutralize threats with IT forensics analysis and real-time alerts, and help manage both in-office and remote teams with ease. 

Those all seem to be great features, but the bad news is that Insightful doesn’t have a mobile app, which severely limits its usability and makes it nearly impossible to use for teams on the go. In addition, its time tracking ability may not be as precise as advertised or completely fails at times, which beats the purpose of having a time tracker in the first place — clock-in times and system time may take up to 24 hours to sync, editing logged hours is a pain, and the interface isn’t the most intuitive. Plus, it doesn’t integrate with payroll apps. And most ironic of all, the reporting isn’t as insightful or flexible as I’d like it to be.

But on the brighter side, Insightful promotes transparency, provides value for money, and has some really awesome features that I’m going to explore with you before we jump to any conclusions. So without further ado, let’s dive into it, shall we?

Full interface showing project budgets, time tracked and productivity elements

What Do Users Like About Insightful?

  • Saves time and increases productivity
  • Provides a clear picture of how time is spent
  • User-friendly web interface and customizations
  • Excellent customer support
  • Remote work management

Find more on what users love about Insightful.

What Don’t Users Like About Insightful?

  • Lack of a mobile app
  • Time tracking fails completely on occasion
  • Clock-in time and system time are different
  • Time reporting accuracy is inconsistent
  • UI is not the most intuitive
  • Reporting is not as insightful as it should be
  • Inability to integrate with payroll apps

What Pricing Plans Does Insightful Offer?

Insightful offers four paid plans that are designed to fit specific business needs. The features are curated in such a way that more features are available as the tiers go up. Seats or users are counted per device, and not per person which is the norm for most similar software. Non-tracking users with admin, manager, and client access won’t be charged. Relatively reasonable in its pricing, Insightful also offers free trials that allow users to explore all features for seven days.

Insightful’s Employee Monitoring Plan is priced at $6.40 per user per month when billed annually, or $8 when billed monthly. At this tier, users can enjoy stealth mode, up to 30 screenshots per hour, real-time monitoring, activities tracking, apps and website usage monitoring, time and attendance, manual time entries, productivity tracking, categorization, reports, timekeeping, manager login, optional employee login, API, two-factor authentication, live support, and alerts. 

The Time Tracking Plan is Insightful’s most popular plan. It is priced at $8 per user per month when billed annually, or $10 when billed monthly. At this tier, users can enjoy all the features of the Employee Monitoring Plan, plus project management and time tracking on projects and tasks.

The Automatic Time Mapping Plan is priced at $8 per user per month when billed annually, or $10 when billed monthly. At this tier, Insightful users can enjoy all the features of the previous tiers, plus automatic time tracking customized for users’ specific industries, second-by-second raw data, and on-demand screenshots.

Insightful’s Enteprise Plan offers an on-premise hosting option and the fullness of its feature arsenal, which includes all of the previously-mentioned features, plus on-premise deployment, role-based access, audit logs, a dedicated Account Manager, 24/7 phone support, and SLA. Pricing for this tier is customized and should be discussed with Insightful representatives.

Read 5 things you MUST know about Insighftul’s pricing.

What are the Standout Features of Insightful?

1. Time Tracking and Attendance Monitoring

Insightful promises to automatically capture every single minute of employee time with a software solution that is significantly less expensive than using traditional hardware, and less time-consuming and error-prone than paper-based systems. It offers three methods of time and attendance tracking: automatic, manual, and project-based. 

Insightful’s automatic attendance tracking works best on company-owned computers and calculates hours based on employee activity data and management-defined settings. It requires no input from the employee, and tracks time unobtrusively in the background as they work throughout the day instead. The project-based attendance tracking follows a similar automatic vein by tracking time only when employees are working on specific projects using the projects and tasks feature, unlike the more general approach of the previous option.

On the other hand, manual attendance tracking requires the users to clock in manually when they begin working for the day and clock out when they finish. Insightful only monitors and records data during the time between those two periods.

List showing time and attendance for multiple employees

2. Employee Monitoring

Insightful’s suite of employee monitoring features functions like a virtual eye in the sky that keeps tabs on what employees are doing during company time and shows where exactly that time goes so businesses can have a better grasp of behavior and how it affects productivity.

Reviewing and approving logs is made easy by activity tracking, which allows managers to see employees’ activity logs, including active and idle time.

The apps and website usage tracker records all the websites and apps that employees use when they’re clocked in. Insightful offers options to see data for individuals, teams, or even the entire company. This way, management can verify that users are only using apps and visiting websites relevant to their work, and spotting undesirable behaviors that negatively affect productivity. 

The screenshot-capturing feature also works on a similar principle, capturing images of users’ screens at random intervals to show visibility into their work. It can also be triggered manually by managers, or activated by suspicious and malicious activities. And speaking of malicious and suspicious activities, Insightful’s stealth mode helps protect users’ data by detecting and preventing those, nipping threats right in the bud.

Other Insightful features that give visibility into how employees spend time while on the clock include real-time monitoring that shows what they are working on at the moment, and productivity labeling that allows management to classify apps and websites as productive or not.

Showing charts of productive and unproductive time for employees

3. User Activity Monitoring

While Insightful’s employee monitoring features are concerned about where they spend company time, user activity monitoring measures and analyzes the impact of their time usage habits to help drive productivity, promising to deliver insights that help increase numbers by 20% or more within days. 

The productivity trends dashboard is the default landing page for admins and managers that displays measurements and comparisons of data over any time period. It shows the totals of work time, active time, idle time, manual time, productive, unproductive, and neutral time, and productivity rates for the whole company, for specific teams, and even for individual employees. Additionally, it also shows lists of the top five most productive and unproductive teams and employees, as well as similar lists of the most visited productive, unproductive, and neutral sites and apps. 

The real-time insights dashboard on the other hand gives visibility on currently clocked-in employees and shows which of them are productive or working actively, which are actively on their computers but are using and accessing unproductive apps and websites, and which ones are idle or on break. It also shows individual employees’ clock-in and clock-out timestamps, the team they belong to, and the tasks they are currently working on. 

These insights are important in ensuring that the activities done during company time make a positive impact on the health of projects and contribute to growth and progress. It identifies bottlenecks and points the path toward overcoming obstacles by shining a light on where teams and individuals can do better. 

Showing timelines of employees' actvities

4. Insightful Reporting

In addition to the analytic tools discussed in the previous section, Insightful also offers other types of reports that drill down into captured data to help management make more sense of time expenditure across the ranks. 

The timelines report or activity dashboard helps managers analyze done in a day by all the employees present for that day in one place in the Insightful app. It displays individual employee names and team designations along with their current active time and activity timeline graph columns. The timeline graph shows daily active time, idle time, break time, and overages, which can be tailored to specific needs by adding any number of filters. This report also has a summarized data row that shows which hours of the day have the most number of active employees.

The activity logs or Workpuls on the other hand grant admins and managers a deeper look at where time is spent with a play-by-play record of all apps and websites used and accessed by teams and individuals. In this report, Insightful shows detailed data records for each action that include the date it was made, the exact time it was done, the duration of the action, the employee who did it and the team to which they belong, their device ID, the app they were using, the title of the tab, the name of the website, and the exact URL visited. Like the timelines report, data on this dashboard can also be filtered for more granular analytics. 

Insightful’s audit logs allow admins to see the in-app activities of all users in their organization, and provide additional accountability and security guardrails by making every change transparent especially where it matters most, such as in tracking settings, billing, productivity labeling and productivity level tracking, and the addition and removal of employees. This report shows details about every action such as its status which shows if it was successful or not, the date and time it was made, the name of the person who made it, their role in the company, and their IP address, the action type or the HTTP actions behind the recorded activity, the name and ID of the object and its type. 

Insightful also offers email reports that can be sent out on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis on things such as productivity, attendance, apps and website usage, time on projects, and time on tasks. These can be for the entire organization, specific teams, or individual employees. 

A screenshot of the Insightful timelines report or activity dashboard

5. Automatic Time Mapping

Insightful’s automatic time mapping is a thoughtful AI-powered feature that is specifically targeted for businesses in industries with unique time tracking needs such as architecture, design, enterprise, and insurance. It promises to optimize time usage across the ranks down to the very second, making employee time tracking more intuitive by facilitating smarter project organization and providing proof of work and budgeting.

I love that the hands-off time allocation unburdens employees by letting Insightful do all the heavy lifting as it tracks time automatically for every task and automatically creates timesheet entries for every action done on a project. Its precise project insights give admins and management visibility on employee activity across the organization, and gain real-time insights on productivity, efficiency, and focus trends. This allows them to see how much time was spent on any point of any project, and the data captured by Insightful can be used to help predict the resource needs of future projects for better costing that translates into bigger profits. 

And speaking of bigger revenue, the hands-free nature of this Insightful feature means that users can forget about starting and stopping timers and switching tasks. This eliminates human error and results in more accurate statistics and more precise billable hours for each project. The automatic time mapping feature allows users to bill clients based on actual time spent instead of estimated hours, leading to increased profitability by reducing costs that come with under and overcharging. 

Insightful’s automatic time mapping feature allows users to generate detailed reports and analyze real-time employee time data. These reports provide valuable insights that allow users to identify areas for improvement and make better decisions based on actual data.

Showing app usage

Selected Positive User Feedback: 

  • “In our industry, every hour counts, and this product helped us to save hours per week and put them to good use. The worth of the time we saved this way is not something one should easily throw away.” – Anonymous (Source Capterra)
  • “This app allowed us to improve our overall operations and provided me with an opportunity to have a clear picture of our time spent and quality of work that our team is providing.” – Anonymous (Source Capterra)
  • Workpuls has revolutionized how we can allow staff to work remotely and still efficiently and how we can manage staff effectively while supervisors are also out of the office.” – Anonymous (Source Capterra)
  • The ability to have a live dashboard and to select screenshots to be taken every hour or the like is great – the ability to choose productivity models to determine team success best is outstanding.” – Anonymous (Source Software Advice)
  • Extremely easy to use, and you get a personal demo from them before you start the trail. This customer service is very prompt and amazingly responsive.” – Anonymous (Source Software Advice)
  • Best feature that I like about it is the real-time view where I can see what all everyone is doing at a particular time. Our company efficiency has increased immensely after this.” –Kashif R. (Source GetApp)
  • I liked the transparency, value for money, and excellent customer support. – Shivangi (Source G2)

Selected Negative User Feedback:

  • Time record reporting accuracy sometimes fails.” – Darwin (Source Capterra)
  • Time tracking failed for employees. The employee’s time hasn’t been tracked, which is a shame.” – Anonymous (Source Capterra)
  • The clock in time is not the same as the system time due to lag that can take up to a day to make them both the same – Anonymous (Source Software Advice)
  • “It lacks a few features, but the price they advertise is the price you pay. Doesn’t integrate with payroll software. “ – Kimberley H. (Source GetApp)
  • Not being able to select whether we want to flag an application as Productive, Unproductive, or Neutral by percentage. Not being able to block applications/websites, not even as admin.” – Juan (Source G2)
  • The tracking of idle is very not good. It often detects me being idle when working with the apps I need like Notepad++, notepad, etc.” – Joe Marie. (Source GetApp)
  • My employee’s time was not tracked, isn’t that the purpose? I wish it could also integrate with payroll software.”– Anonymous (Source GetApp)
  • The user interface should be more intuitive. Lacks mobile app. “ – Margarita (Source GetApp)
  • “The only downside is that you cannot edit any time tracked, even if it is due to forgetting to turn off your timer.” – Delvin N. (Source G2)

      What are Insightful’s Review Ratings on Review Sites?

      (As of December 2023)

      • G2: 4.7/5
      • Capterra: 4.7/5
      • Software Advice: 4.7/5
      • GetApp: 4.7/5
      • Trustradius: 7.6/10

      What’s My Final Verdict on Insightful?

      Insightful is a beautifully conceptualized time tracking solution that stands out from the rest of the market with AI-powered automatic time mapping, various methods of attendance tracking, robust employee and activity monitoring, and customizability. I love that the dedication to increasing productivity advertised by the developers is truly reflected in the way the features are designed. I also highly appreciate the amount of thought given to analytics, especially the Workpuls report that gives highly detailed information about employee activities, and the audit log reports which give companies an extra layer of protection by making users accountable for any changes they make to the software.

      However, Insightful’s lack of a mobile app is truly lamentable, as it severely limits its usability to desk jobs. Industries that have boots-on-the-ground and on-the-go operations are unfortunately not their market. 

      The inability to integrate with payroll apps is also surprising and frustrating — I mean, how have they left that out? It’s a very important aspect of time tracking and productivity management, and its absence in Insightful creates an extra hurdle that admins have to jump through. 

      But what concerns me the most about Insightful is the unreliability of its time tracking. The tendency of the tracker to not track time and completely fail sometimes is very alarming and presents a risk that I consider to be a dealbreaker. The discrepancy between system time and clock-in time and the time that it takes to synchronize — up to 24 hours — is inexcusable. And the resulting inaccuracies in time reporting are just so problematic, especially for industries that require extreme consistency. 

      In addition to that, an ironic flaw is that Insightful’s insights lack a bit of insightfulness, The reports, while highly detailed, can only be presented in a limited array or structures. Any unique needs that fall outside of what the software provides would require manual work, which reporting features aim to eliminate. I wish it offered more options on how to present data to satisfy various analytic requirements so users won’t have to jump through hoops just to get the structure they need.

      The last and definitely least among these concerns is the UI. It could use a bit of work to become more intuitive, as the present one can feel overwhelming and unfriendly at times, at least to me. If the developers could make it less cluttered, that would be great.

      To sum it up, Insightful promises a lot of stuff and delivers on most of it, but has significant issues that might be dealbreakers. If you’re in the market for a time tracking app that captures hours in great detail, this solution might just be for you. But if you need that app for work on the go, you better start looking elsewhere. And listen, if the features make sense to you and your business, give it a whirl with the free trial before committing. But if like me, you value stability and reliability first and foremost, the insights I shared point to the direction of finding other options.