It’s suddenly the end of the workday, and you have no idea where the time went. You were certainly busy all day, but your to-do list doesn’t seem to reflect that. You feel like a hamster on a wheel.
If this sounds familiar, time management tools could help you get off the wheel and harness optimal productivity. Whether you're a freelancer, a work-from-home employee, or a hybrid worker who spends time in an office, time management tools can help you maximize your time, focus better, track your projects, and collaborate with teammates.
We’ll explain what types of tools are out there and introduce you to 13 apps that might be right for you.
Which Time Management Tools Do I Need?
Time management tools cover a wide range of functions. A time tracking tool is, of course, one way to manage your time, but there are also tools that make you more efficient by helping you manage projects and tasks. Think of the types of projects you work on, what weaknesses are interfering with your productivity, and if the tool is for you to use alone or with other coworkers. This will help you identify the types of tools you may want to consider.
Based on the functions and types of time management you’re looking for, you might need more than one tool. A combination of the right ones can help you to further enhance your time management skills and to be more productive.
When it comes to choosing and comparing tools, you'll want to ask yourself the following:
- What functionalities work best for my setup?
- Do I need to switch between my desktop and a mobile app?
- Which platforms will help me streamline my process or stop procrastinating?
- Will the tool add or remove distractions from my day?
- Will it sync with my other apps?
- What tools provide automation that will take care of things I currently do manually?
13 Time Management Tools for Increased Productivity
Here are 13 tools that can help you manage your time, projects, and tasks so that you can be more efficient and effective through your workday.
Rize is an intelligent time-tracking tool that helps you perform deep work, improve focus, and build better work habits. It’s different from other time trackers that rely on you to log your time, which can be a hassle. Rize runs automatically in the background and captures your activity in real time, so you can go about your workday and let the app do the rest.
Here are some the key features of the Rize app that make it stand out:
- It helps you understand how you’re spending your time, how focused you are, and how to avoid burnout through breaks.
- The app tracks your total work hours, how long it’s been since your last break, and the percentage of time you spent in the following categories: Focus, Meetings, and Breaks.
- You can use the Pinned Calendar feature to compare how you've spent your time vs. what was scheduled on your calendar for the day. This helps you understand your work patterns and optimize your day for more effective time management.
- You'll get a daily log of your productivity metrics through the time tracker, so you can identify potential blockers and bottlenecks. You can also view these through the weekly or monthly dashboard.
Notion brings teams together and helps them work more efficiently and cohesively by allowing them to share information in a clear, logical way. Think of Notion as a note-taking app, spreadsheet, and internal wiki all in one.
Here are some of the features you might like:
- Notion lets you view your content and data in different views, including as a list, a Kanban-style board, a calendar, or a timeline.
- You can use blocks (e.g., text, images, videos, tables, emoji, to-do lists, code, etc.) to design your pages so they look and function the way you want. You can even save templates or use one from Notion’s template gallery so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
- Databases let you organize your projects, documents, and whatever else you dream up, so you can structure and layer related pages in the best way for you.
Tasklog is a time tracker and to-do list app made for freelancers. This time-tracking tool is specifically designed to track billable hours. So it’s possible you may want to use an app like this alongside Rize’s time tracker: one to assist you with invoicing and one to help you optimize and get more done during the day.
Here are some of Tasklog’s features:
- It tracks billable hours and generates timesheets and creates atime tracker for billable work.
- The app includes a customizable timer for implementing the Pomodoro Technique.
- It provides you with insights so you can identify the time you’ve spent on specific projects or per client.
- Tasklog includes functions to manage your to-do list and track your business expenses.
Monday.com is a project management tool that allows you to customize and track workflows across teams and projects from one platform.
Here are some of Monday.com’s features that can help you save and manage time:
- It helps unlock process stopgaps — files and communications are stored in one place, without going back to emails or losing threads.
- The app’s customizable dashboard gives you a high-level overview of your projects and goals..
- It integrates with your existing tools easily, like Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Dropbox, and Slack. Plus, you can download the app on both iOS and Android.
ClickUp is primarily a project management app, but it also includes time tracking software that allows you to start a timer and log how much time you’ve spent on a task.
Here are some of the other features that ClickUp offers:
- In addition to organizing projects and assigning tasks, your team can use ClickUp’s chat, docs, and whiteboard functions for collaborating and getting things done right in the app.
- The app’s 20-plus views allows you to monitor projects from multiple angles. View options include calendars, Gantt charts, mind maps, timelines, and more.
- Its third-party integrations let you connect to the other tools you use, like Slack, GitHub, Loom, and Zoom.
6. Serene App
Distractions can be a killer of productivity and take up your precious time. Serene app helps boost time management skills for all team members.
Here are some of the ways you can use the app for time management:
- The app blocker and website blocker help you stay distraction-free when you need to focus. Use the “Go Serene” function to start work and stop procrastinating.
- You can establish a goal and break it down into time-tracking sessions. You’ll then be notified of the time you have left to complete it when you start a session.
- If you’re looking to further limit distractions, you can use the phone silencer and the Serene Spotify playlist to block out noise and interruptions.
Hitask is a time and task management app that claims to help you complete projects faster.
Here are some of its key features:
- Automatically repeat ongoing tasks weekly, monthly or yearly, so you don’t have to waste time with manual tasks. Color-coded tags help you identify different tasks and deadlines.
- The app includes an integrated chat function, so there’s no need to switch to Slack or Teams.
- Avoid forgetting about action items that live in your inbox. You can easily create a new task by sending an email to your Hitask account.
Trello is one of the original time management tools. It allows you to prioritize your tasks and goals in a flexible, customizable way.
Here are some of Trello’s features:
- It uses Kanban-stylized boards that give you a true project overview. Quickly drag and drop items or tasks into different lists to streamline projects.
- Because of the open board style, you can zoom out to see the big picture or get more granular detail within subtasks and categories.
- You can add assets, files, comments, and tags to each item — helping you keep track of task lists and different projects.
- The app integrates with other tools you use, like Google Docs, Figma, Slack, and Survey Monkey.
Asana improves team productivity and communication by keeping everything in one place — with calendars, to-do lists, comments, alerts, and more.
Here are some of the benefits to using Asana:
- You can assign tasks and subtasks to different people on your team and track the status of projects with multiple stakeholders.
- It lets you save time by automating repetitive tasks and using project templates.
- The app connects with other tools, like Slack, Gmail, and more.
Any.do brings calendars, reminders, and to-do lists together in one space.
Here are some of its useful features:
- The app lets you blend your calendars so you can track different tasks and reminders in one place — whether it’s a personal errand or a work project due date.
- You can share your lists with others.
- The Premium feature gives you access to advanced recurring schedules, so you can automate your to-dos ahead of time.
- You can access the app from your laptop, desktop, tablet, and even your smartwatch, so you never miss a notification.
Todoist is a to-do list app that lets you coordinate tasks and clear your headspace. It’s designed to reflect the iOS calendar app’s intuitive design.
Here are some of its key features:
- The app lets you organize your workflows and to-do lists in three easy spaces: Inbox, Today, and Upcoming.
- Access the right tasks at the right time with priority levels, so you see the most important information first.
- You can personalize your view by using labels or choosing between a Kanban board or a traditional to-do list format.
Evernote is a note-taking app that helps you organize your thoughts and tackle your to-do list.
Here are some of the ways Evernote can help you with time management:
- You can create checklists of your to-dos and assign due dates to help you stay on top of important tasks.
- With the note-taking function, you can organize your notes with tags, add attachments, and use the search function to quickly find your notes that contain your search term.
- Evernote offers a template library and will connect with your calendar app.
Built for Apple users, Things is a to-do list app that’s available on Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.
Here are some of its helpful features:
- You can categorize your to-do lists by time of day — Morning, Afternoon, and Evening — and schedule them with a simple drag-and-drop function.
- It integrates with your Apple calendar and lets you customize which calendar (such as your work or personal calendars) you want to see within the app.
- You’re able to set notifications with location-based reminders, so you can be reminded to pick up a loaf of bread when you’re near the grocery store or drop off client appreciation packages when you’re close to the post office.
Time Management Made Easy
When it comes to time management tools, there are lots of apps for you to choose from. Whether you want a simple digital to-do list, to collaborate on team projects, or to keep all your notes and documentation organized in one place, there are tools available to help and to increase your efficiency.
If you want to learn how to focus and maximize your productivity, try the Rize app. The app will show you how you’re actually spending your workday and will allow you to make intentional shifts in your habits, so you can get more done in less time. Sign up for a free 14-day trial (no credit card required).