There are a handful of decent time tracking applications for the Mac. While none of them are perfect, our favourite is Klok thanks to its straightforward time tracking and entry, flexibility and easily understood interface.
- Track any project, billable or otherwise
- Drag and drop time entry
- Provides a simple dashboard overview of how you've used your time
- Define multiple projects
- Automatic updates
- Can export time sheets to Microsoft Excel
Additional features in the pro version:
- More information in the dashboard
- Import data from Microsoft Exchange, Google Calendar and more
- Export time sheets to CSV, HTML and Google Docs
- Automated backups
- Additional skins/themes
What's great about Klok is that you can start using it in about a minute. You just define a project in the project section, provide a little information about the project (if you want — you can add it later, too), and start tracking your time. You can add projects as needed and track them as well. Klok will display them all in a nice calendar view. You can then export your time sheets to Microsoft Excel if you want, or just reference the information in Klok to put together an invoice in whatever application you choose.
Klok was written in Adobe Air, so if you prefer an app that feels native to OS X you may struggle a bit with its interface. It can take some getting used to if you fall into that camp, but it's mainly an issue of not using the menu bar. What's most annoying about Klok is how the free version hides little hints to upgrade. Every feature of the pro version is available to click in the interface, but when you do actually click on any of those features you'll be reminded that you need to upgrade to the pro version. You're getting a good time tracking app for free, so it's a reasonable trade-off, but it could be dialed back a bit. Klok's settings also get fairly complicated. The good news is that you can do basic time tracking without ever getting into the details, but Klok can get pretty detailed and it can be a little overwhelming.
Time Edition (free) is the way to go if you're looking for simple and free. Even though it's a tiny little app, it can track your projects with a lot of helpful detail. It's designed to track projects for billing purposes, but like any time tracking app you could use it for other projects as well.
RescueTime (free and paid) will track everything you do on your computer and analyse it so you can reclaim wasted time. It's not meant for billing clients but becoming more productive, and it's really smart. Whitson wrote a guide on using RescueTime so check that out for additional details. It's free to use but you can pay yearly fees for additional features.
Time Track (free or pro) tracks your application usage. The pro version will track documents as well. It's a lot like a simplified version of RescueTime, but runs solely on your Mac's desktop and provides limited statistics. If you just want an overview of how long you use specific applications, it's worth a look.
Freshbooks Time Tracker (free) is a widget you can install for OS X's Dashboard that will simply track the time you spend on a specific project and send it to the Freshbooks invoicing service. Harvest and other invoicing services generally provide time-tracking widgets and apps as well for your time-tracking needs. If you use one of those services already, be sure to check out their add-ons page for handy ways to track your time.
Lifehacker's App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.