As a CEO of a time tracking software company, I need to know what my competitors are up to. 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 review. And in it, I try to be honest, fair, and insightful.
This Review Covers:
- What Do Users Like About Time Doctor?
- What Don’t Users Don’t Like About Time Doctor?
- What Pricing Plans does Time Doctor Offer?
- What are the Standout Features of Time Doctor?
- Selected Positive User Feedback
- Selected Negative User Feedback
- What are Time Doctor’s Review Ratings from Review Sites?
- What’s My Final Verdict on Time Doctor?
Time Doctor is a cloud-based time tracking and productivity management software that touts employee empowerment as one of its cornerstones. It combines the functionalities of a time tracker and several other administrative tools to drive employee productivity and increase the profitability of projects, with exponential growth and healthier work environments as its goal.
Aside from time tracking, Time Doctor’s heavy arsenal of features takes on productivity analytics, workforce management, and employee monitoring as well. The data gathered from its time tracking function isn’t just composed of logged hours, but also about how those hours are spent through a robust computer activity monitoring feature that takes note of every app, URL, document, and program opened or used during working hours. This visibility allows for more accurate timesheets, helps address and change inefficient or downright harmful behaviors, is supposed to promote transparency and build trust among teams and the management, and is designed to ensure that everyone among the ranks are working at optimum levels without the need for managers to hover over their shoulders.
Time Doctor also allows its users to create custom work schedules that are easily monitored and enforced, and ensure that employees are paid their due on time with nifty payroll integrations. And consistent with its mission to empower employees, its scheduling feature promotes a healthy work-life balance that ensures employees are getting enough downtime for proper rest and recharging with law-compliant breaks and time off.
While all of these things about Time Doctor are indeed truly impressive, I promised you an honest and fair review, so I must also tell you where it fails.
One of the most concerning things about Time Doctor is the risk of losing tracked time (and therefore unjustly less pay) when syncing between devices or computers, which may lead to friction and messy labor-related legalities down the road. The productivity tracker is also highly reliant on mouse and keyboard activity, which makes the timer automatically stop when not in use for certain periods of time. This is a mistaken view of work that only counts on-keyboard and on-screen activities as work, and disregards that work also happens away from the computer — such as when reading for research, attending meetings, formulating plans, waiting for videos to export, sketching off-screen, and so much more.
There are also some concerns about Time Doctor’s computer usage monitoring functions, particularly the screenshotting, URL tracking, and webcam recording features. These can feel threatening to the privacy of employees, especially those who work from home, where the line between work and personal time is very significantly blurred. I find this oversight quite ironic for software that is marketed as empowering for employees.
In addition, bugs and glitches present a less-than-ideal user experience, and the constant reloading doesn’t help much in that regard either. The mobile app also needs a fair amount of work and can be a deal-breaker for users who value being able to work on the go. And to cap it all off, Time Doctor doesn’t have a free version, unlike most other time tracking and attendance software in the market.
But before we draw any conclusions, let’s take a look at Time Doctor’s details, shall we?
What Do Users Like About Time Doctor?
- Great for monitoring and boosting productivity
- Real-time visibility of employees
- Effective for tracking billable hours
- Excellent for remote setups
- Streamlines billing with built-in invoicing feature
Find more on what users love about Time Doctor.
What Don’t Users Like About Time Doctor?
- URL tracking, screenshots, and webcam monitoring can compromise privacy
- Inconsistencies in time tracking
- Malfunctions in the mobile app
- The timer stops tracking if the mouse and keyboard are not being used
- Lack of free version
Find more on what users hate about Time Doctor.
What Pricing Plans Does Time Doctor Offer?
Time Doctor has four paid plans that cater to various business needs.
The Time Doctor Basic Plan can be used by an unlimited number of managers and users with multiple access levels for unlimited custom projects, tasks, groups, and teams. It has team and individual user dashboards, online and offline tracking, silent tracking, custom silent tracking times, unlimited screenshots, and a user-controlled desktop app. It also has work schedules, work-life balance metrics, custom data exports, tracked time editing, approvals for tracked time edits, activity summary report, attendance report, hours tracked report, projects & tasks report, timeline report, and daily hours tracked email report. Users can also have a single sign-on (SSO) add-on, access API freely, and review up to three months of tracked data history. Customer service comes with access to a knowledge base and 24-hour SLA, all for the very reasonable price of $5.9 per user per month billed annually, or $7 when billed monthly.
One tier up is the Time Doctor Standard Plan which has all of the Basic Plan features, plus productivity ratings, break tracking, inactivity alerts, custom web and app tracking, web and app usage report, 60+ integrations via Chrome and Firefox extensions, payroll, real-time email notifications, and daily email notifications. It also comes with the ability to see up to six months of tracked data history, chat support, and 12-hour SLA for $8.4 per user per month billed annually, or $10 when billed monthly — getting on the higher side, but still quite reasonable, considering that this is Time Doctor’s most popular plan.
The Time Doctor Premium Plan has all of the features of the previous tiers, plus client login access, executive dashboard, video screen recording, internet connectivity report, automatic user provisioning, the ability to see up to twelve months of tracked data history, 6-hour SLA, onboarding planning and support, and a dedicated account manager all for the whopping price of $16.7 per user per month billed annually, or $20 when billed monthly, which is quite a hefty fee.
For large organizations that require enterprise-grade security, scalability on a private cloud, and unique needs that require a fully customizable a-la-carte plan, Time Doctor offers an Enterprise Plan that comes with a dedicated success manager and VIP support. Prices for this tier are directly communicated between Time Doctor and the client.
What are the Standout Features of Time Doctor?
1. Simplified and Customizable Time Tracking
Time Doctor’s star feature is its simplified and customizable time tracking. It is the backbone on which most of its other features rely. It doesn’t just capture work hours, but also time utilization details such as the amount spent on particular projects and tasks. It also purports to be accurate down to the second, so clients are billed appropriately and employees are paid fairly. Admins can create tasks from which employees can begin tracking their time with just a single click, and as they progress, they can switch between tasks with ease by just clicking the timer off on the task they’ve finished and clicking it on on the next one.
The information gathered by the software from the manual clock-ins, clock-outs, and automatic monitoring are presented in a productivity dashboard visible to both administrators and employees so everyone can see how much time they spend on work, and where they spend it specifically. This tracked data is also used to fill in detailed timesheets for payroll and invoicing, productivity reports, project health and profitability, behavior analysis to identify problem areas in time expenditure, and more.
While clocked in, Time Doctor also helps users stay focused by notifying them about idle time. It prompts them by asking if they are still working when the software detects that they have been away for a certain period. It stops tracking altogether and goes into idle time when they fail to respond to the prompt. Time Doctor’s gentle nudging is especially useful for employees who struggle with keeping their attention on work or get distracted easily by forces and factors outside of work.
Time Doctor allows employers to verify if time was truly spent on real work with a variety of verification methods such as screenshots, video recording, app and URL tracking, and mouse and keyboard activity. Administrators can customize the combinations of verification methods that they wish to use for their businesses according to their unique circumstances, preferences, and needs. These measures are extremely helpful in ensuring that employers are only paying for time tracked and spent on actual work, not on anything else unrelated to the job. With Time Doctor’s smart time tracking, businesses can save money that would otherwise be lost to non-work activities stealthily creeping into clocked-in hours, and promote accountability among the ranks.
However, despite sounding good in theory, these features need a little more work and careful consideration in practice. The previously discussed glitches and bugs — some that even result in the loss of valuable work hours — reduce confidence in the reliability of the system. The considerations regarding breaches of privacy brought about by screenshotting, URL and app tracking, and webcam recording should also be weighed carefully against its usefulness to ensure that using Time Doctor will really make employees feel empowered and not micromanaged and mistrusted.
But returning to the bright side, Time Doctor can track time offline. It will sync data with the servers as soon as a stable internet connection is available. Also, in case employees forget to clock in for work, they could always manually add time to their logs, pending the approval of a manager.
2. Timesheets and Payroll
Through the data captured by the time tracker, Time Doctor is supposed to create accurate timesheets that reflect the time employees spend at work. Worked hours are logged in well-organized tables that clearly detail which projects, clients, and tasks they were spent on. These are essential not only for client billing and payroll processing, but also play an important role in ensuring healthy operations by providing important information for project management and accounting purposes, and in accurately estimating future projects for optimum profitability.
Unlike traditional timesheets that require a lot of time and effort to fill out manually, Time Doctor’s timesheets are filled out automatically by the information gathered by the time tracker, thus eliminating a huge chunk of time and resources usually allocated for the task. Aside from its labor-saving effect, automated timesheets also ensure precision in calculating hours for payroll, as human error is virtually removed from the equation. This is especially helpful for growing businesses or complex operations with many employees — having automated timesheets not only saves time but also a significant amount of resources that can be used for more important matters instead.
On the employee end, Time Doctor’s automated timesheets are not only essential for ensuring fair compensation but are also helpful in addressing time utilization and productivity improvement. Faced with the cold, hard numbers of their worked hours, how they are spent, and where they are spent, employees can identify which practices and activities help them best translate their time into money, when they are most productive, and what hinders them from maximizing their time.
On the management end, Time Doctor addresses a lot of pain points not only related to the creation of accurate timesheets but also in streamlining the payroll process. It allows admins to define pay periods and currencies, set up payroll for both salary and hourly employees, upload timesheets for bulk billing and batch payments, and have options for hassle-free automatic approval or more meticulous manual approval. To further improve efficiency, Time Doctor can export timesheets with over 60 integrations with third-party payroll and accounting tools for faster and easier processing.
However, I must reiterate that the accuracy of the timesheets is highly dependent on the accuracy of the time tracker as previously discussed, so that’s something to think about when reviewing the timesheets generated by Time Doctor.
But on to better things; what I really like most about Time Doctor’s timesheets and payroll features is its ability to integrate with Paypal Payouts, Gusto, and Transferwise. With these integrations, employers can ensure that payments are processed on time, and all from one place — no more frantic jumping between different platforms just to get the job done!
Best of all, all of these can be done on a variety of devices, which means that work can be done wherever, whenever… and as long as the mobile apps don’t glitch or crash.
3. Powerful Project Management
In any endeavor, success is closely tied to efficiency and exemplary management, and this is where Time Doctor shines. Its project management feature makes it easy to ensure that teams are working at optimum levels to ensure that projects move as they should, and positive progress is being made at every turn, all in one place.
Time Doctor’s computer usage monitoring and accountability features ensure that company time is spent where it should be — making progress on projects. Coupled with its shift scheduling feature and the ability to track attendance, compare time against budget, and see which tasks take up the most time, the software presents a robust solution for managing projects and maximizing employee time for increased productivity, better accountability, and improved resource utilization.
I love that Time Doctor allows users to have comprehensive visuals of real-time progress and timeline forecasts that empower business owners to deliver realistic time estimates and maintain a close eye on how projects are going. This is especially helpful for projects with sensitive timeframes.
The workflow timing analysis is also an important diagnostic tool to determine where admins should step in and provide more coaching and training so that things can be done better and faster. Aside from that, Time Doctor also delivers other performance metrics that are essential in improving company time management and ensuring the quality of output.
But what I really admire the most about Time Doctor is that it delivers a double whammy with project budgeting and scoping — tracking workday activities to show how past projects were done and at what cost, and analyzing project timelines to identify what practices need to be automated or cut to make room for more projects, which translates to more revenue.
4. Actionable and In-depth Reporting
Reports are the backbone of brilliant decisions, and Time Doctor understands that to a T. Its reporting feature generates a variety of actionable and in-depth reports on various aspects of company time usage to ensure that almost all analytic needs are met with reports that sufficiently address them.
The Activity Summary Report shows how time was used by employees in a certain time range, down to the second. In this report, Time Doctor details how many minutes and seconds were recorded as active or idle, productive or unproductive, and which were spent in manual or mobile mode. It also shows projects and tasks worked on and websites used, and screencasts periods of low activity. This report can be generated for individuals or teams, so administrators can compare time usage between employees in similar roles to identify discrepancies and problems right where they begin.
The Attendance Report allows administrators to monitor employee attendance by showing who is present, absent, partially absent, and late for their shifts for a certain period. Time Doctor allows this data to be filtered in a couple of ways to show only those who have shifts or only those who are absent or late.
Time Doctor’s Hours Tracked Report displays the number of hours an employee has logged within a certain date range, such as a day or a week, and the Projects and Tasks Report breaks down tracked time according to which particular projects and tasks they were spent on.
The Timeline Report shows how individual users spent their workdays. The Day view displays their starting and ending times, their breaks, and which tasks they worked on and when. In this report, Time Doctor also shows who’s online, who’s on break, and when a user last tracked time. And like the Hours Tracked report, it also shows visited websites, apps used, and screencasts. Of low-activity periods. On the other hand, the Week view shows how much time was tracked in a week, including the total hours tracked on every day of any chosen week.
The Web and App Usage report shows how employees utilize time on various websites and apps. According to previously-configured web and app privacy settings, these reports can be quite detailed and comprehensive. Administrators can choose any date range that they want to examine in detail, and Time Doctor shows a log of websites and apps visited and used within that period, complete with time spent and productivity rating in a trend chart that visualizes the data for easy comparison.
But the report that really caught my attention is the Internet Connectivity report, which shows a percentage breakdown of which activities were performed with an Internet connection or offline. This is especially helpful for the visibility of remote teams affected by connectivity issues and helps managers address these issues to improve productivity. That’s a very thoughtful touch that addresses an important but often neglected issue for companies working with remote employees.
Now, it’s great that these reports promise plenty of actionable insights for the administration to chew on, and I’m all for that — however, these reports are also reliant on the accuracy of the time tracker to produce relevant data and numbers that truly reflect the reality of company time usage. With the previously discussed reliability issue of the time tracker, it would be best to check if things are really as they are reported to be from time to time, just to be on the safe side.
Selected Positive User Feedback:
- “It is slacker-proof and would cut off the time if it detects that the person has not moved anything on the computer, repeating patterns that the person does to fool the app.” – John Michael Evard M. (Source G2)
- “Another advantage is the fact that TD has added the Client View feature. That means you can invite your client/s to log in to a panel and view all the screenshots and work you’ve billed them.” – Monnel (Source Software Advice)
- “Distractions such as YouTube and Facebook are tracked accurately and are reported as a poor use of time.” – Sidharth Kavalu (Source TrustRadius)
- “Most remote workers and Virtual Assistants are paid by the hour and with Time Doctor, the management can track their employee’s real work status and productivity time.” – Maria Lenin L. (Source Capterra)
- “All staff members have an opportunity to see where their time can be better utilized that has increased productive work to 90% as opposed to 40% before Time Doctor.” – Sandra Knigge (Source TrustRadius)
- “It makes Payroll a breeze, and I love how in-depth the reporting is which makes working with clients so much easier being able to show them time reports and logs.” – Daniel L. (Source Capterra)
- “The software has a variety of options that are quite detailed for monitoring and auditing, it allows me to observe the performance of all the employees in the company.” – Gilberto V. (Source G2)
Selected Negative User Feedback:
- “The screenshots can be a breach of privacy, and the software takes them randomly, so it can compromise the personal information you display on your screen.” – Eduardo C. (Source G2)
- “I noticed some malfunctioning in the app when my Time Doctor didn’t stop for the whole night and showed non-stop 13 hours of work. I had to reinstall the application to fix the trouble.” – Irfan K. (Source Capterra)
- “I want TD to improve on their mobile app. It lags from time to time. It seems invading in privacy by screenshots.” – Monnel (Source Software Advice)
- “If I’m a video editor and I’m rendering a video for 5 hours, the function needs to be intuitive or at least palpable. The software is obviously dependent on keyboard and mouse activities. The app lags and requires some-time to work.” – Roldan A. (Source Capterra)
- “No free version. Webcam photo capability is an invasion of privacy; I don’t think it should be an option.” – Verified User (Source TrustRadius)
- “When you’re busy in a thought process and staring at your screen but you have not moved your mouse or touched the keyboard, Time Doctor will assume that you’re gone for a break.” – Ryan H. (Source Capterra)
- “Sometimes the syncing of time can be incorrect when switching between multiple computers, which can cause loss of working time.” – Phat (Source Software Advice)
What are Time Doctor’s Review Ratings from Review Sites?
(As of 13/09/2023)
- Capterra: 4.6/5
- G2: 4.4/5
- Software Advice: 4.5/5
- TrustRadius: 8.4/10
- App Store: 2.8/5
- Google Play: 2.4/5
- Trustpilot: 3.3/5
What’s My Final Verdict on Time Doctor?
Time Doctor is a beautifully conceptualized product that is more than just a time tracker. It’s a promising solution to a lot of HR and administration headaches, including monitoring, payroll, scheduling, reporting, and so much more. Its automations are designed to significantly reduce the time spent on many of these processes and the stress that comes with it. If you’d go through the Time Doctor website, you’ll find that they’ve really thought long and hard about these features and present them in the best light.
However, based on my experience and the reviews of many other users, things aren’t really as simple. While the timesheets, employee productivity metrics, and reporting features are great by themselves, they get their numbers from the time tracking feature which can be occasionally unreliable. If the time tracker records time incorrectly, the rest of the features that rely on it will also have skewed numbers that don’t truthfully represent how company time is used, be it individually or across the ranks. The developers should address this Achilles’ heel because it’s such a shame to see a bright and promising idea such as Time Doctor brought down to its knees by one small but very crucial vulnerability.
The mobile app also leaves much to be desired and needs quite a bit of work, as do the lags and glitches on the desktop and web versions that I’ve experienced while testing Time Doctor.
Another potential firestarter is its computer usage monitoring functions, particularly the screenshotting and webcam recording features. Employees, especially those working from home where professional and private lives often overlap, are justified in feeling concerned about their privacy. I for one wouldn’t want to have my browsing preferences broadcast to colleagues, and heaven forbid that I should be caught in a random webcam shot in a… less-than-presentable state of being… when the software thinks I’m slacking off at work. That last bit may be funny, but it certainly runs counter to Time Doctor’s claims to have employee empowerment as a cornerstone.
And speaking of slacking off, I love the multiple verification features that are designed to ensure that employers are only paying for time actually spent on work. But I think that the mistaken view that work only happens with mouse and keyboard activity and only with certain sites, apps, and programs deemed productive is a joke, and discounts the effort exerted in thinking, pondering best courses of action, finding solutions offline, and even bouncing ideas among team members in meetings, calls, and messages.
Having said all that, I’m all praises for the thought that went into designing and making Time Doctor, but they’d have to ensure that the time tracking function accurately captures worked hours with no risks of time loss and reconsider the way they define productivity before it gets my recommendation. I’m rooting for them, and wish that they’d be able to surpass these issues before it’s too late.
Time Doctor is a well-rounded time tracking app. It doesn’t really have a specific feature that is exceptionally good, but it nails the essentials.
The timesheets are very organized, the reports offer in-depth information, it’s very useful especially for remote setups, and allows employers to monitor their employees with a host of accountability features. It’s also pretty easy to use and it offers a seamless integration experience.
It hits a lot of pain points, and I think that’s cool!
It’s the unreliability of the time tracker that really bugs me. Almost all of Time Doctor’s features that involve numbers hinge on the time tracking feature, so when it messes up, all the other features that rely on it get skewed as well.
Another thing worth mentioning is the privacy threat posed by some of the accountability tools, particularly the screenshotting and webcam capture features. nobody wants their private business shared with managers, or to be caught in a less than presentable state by a random webcam shot!