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Hey guys, what’s up? It’s Sam here from Reviews Boss back with another review and it’s going to be another short one today. The product I’m talking about doesn’t need too much of an in-depth review but it is worth mentioning so that’s why I’m bringing it up. So the product I’m looking at is called Toggl. So that is toggl.com and you can click the link here to go straight to Toggl.
So what is Toggl? Toggl is a time tracker software. A time tracker for anyone who needs to sort of have a list of tasks or projects and then track the time they’ve spent working against those projects. So if you’re a consultant or a freelancer and you work by the hour, you might be a developer or something like that, or a graphic designer or a SEO business or anything where you track by the hour, well Toggl’s pretty much made for you. It’s designed to help make tracking hours, tracking time spent on projects and tasks easier.
And of course you know you can use it in internal teams as well. You might run a business that’s got ten staff and you want to see what they’re up to in the day, well you can tell them to track their time on Toggl so you can look for efficiencies and things like that. Of course that opens up another whole kettle of fish as to whether getting staff, internal staff to track their time if they’re not doing billable hours for clients is a good thing, I don’t think it is. I’ve found jobs where you have to do that are pretty miserable and often the staff are pretty unmotivated.
Generally, my take is that basically you should only be tracking time if there are actual billable hours involved. Obviously you can’t say to the client I spent ten hours on this project when you only spent five, that’s why you need good time tracking but you know if your team are just doing things that are in-house projects well focus on the output not the time.
But anyway let’s continue on with the review of Toggl. So like I said, it’s going to be a short one. I’ll focus on the things that I like about Toggl and the things I don’t. To start off with the things I like about Toggl, well the first one is the free version, the free sort of pricing level I guess you’d call it, is very very good. It really is different, decent sorry. It’s all I use … basically, yeah I mean I use the free version of Toggl every single day to track work I do for clients, for consulting I do.
It’s important to know the way I work I don’t actually charge by the hour anymore, I charge fixed price for projects or retainers or things like that rather than giving an hourly price, but what I want to do is have insights into how long on average a project is taking me and whether any clients or projects that are taking up more time than they really should be. So you know you might have to, if you’ve done any freelancing or consulting or anything like that, worked in an agency, you’ll know that some clients often the ones who are doing smaller jobs, the lower value jobs, they take up loads of your time and then it’s the higher value clients who are actually much more efficient to work with. So yeah, for just basic use for yourself, the free version of Toggl is very good.
However, if you have a team or you do a lot of hourly based billing and you’re not just tracking time to get a sense of how you’re using that time internally to sort of work out an average hourly rate you do make on paper, pay by the project work, or anything like that, well then look at the more premium plans because there are a lot of additional features. I won’t go into them all but there’s some really cool stuff as you move up through the feature list and obviously through the free to starter, to premium to enterprise plan. I mean the enterprise plan literally could do it all, probably if you’re doing lots of hourly billing for clients. Starter is where you want to be, free would be a little bit too limited. I’m going to upgrade to starter soon. Premium looks really good as well.
So anyway, first thing yeah that I like is just how many different options there are in terms of packages depending on your requirements from the very usable free one right up to enterprise, so that’s great to see. The second thing I like about Toggl is that it’s very easy to use, it’s just so straightforward to work out what you need to do and it’s straightforward but also not restrictive in terms of the way you’re able to work with it. So I basically have my account set up with different clients and then under those different clients, different projects. So you know one client it might be that the project is developing a digital strategy. So I would sit that as one project, I would track time against that. As I clock on and clock off on that project against that client, I can add commentary about what I’ve been doing so I can say okay, yesterday I spent an hour and a half researching competitors of their brand or something like that. Yeah, really easy to work with.
There’s great training provided as well, which is another big plus with Toggl. You have no worries at all about finding it difficult to use. It’s so efficient, if I think back on some time tracking software I’ve used in the past, things like Clocking It for example, were a lot less elegant and efficient to use. They just felt a bit clunky although this going back quite a few years. I remember using one in a company I worked for. I think it was called Copper or something like that or it might have been a slightly modified version of Copper or whatever the base software was called, we just called it Copper. But oh my goodness, that was horrible to work with. It was just absolutely terrible, you could only add time in increments of quarter of an hour, you had no easy sort of hour counter you just had to click start and then when you click stop you could see how long you’d worked. You couldn’t see the time adding up like you can with Toggl.
So look, it’s such an easy platform to work with. Really I don’t need to go into too much more detail about the benefits of it I think. Basically it’s very affordable, you know free is obviously extremely affordable and then the actual paid plans are very reasonably priced with what you get as well. You know the starter package is only nine dollars per user per month. Well if you’re an independent contractor, it’s nine a dollar a month for a really powerful platform, only 18 dollars a month per user for premium. It does jump up to 49 dollars per month for enterprise but to be honest, unless you’re running a large team, especially a team that’s doing billable hours, and you need to be able to do things like lock their time entries so you know they’re being honest about the time they’ve spent on their billable hour tasks or you’re probably going to stick to free, starter or premium and you would do very nicely with those indeed for a good price. So look from the positive side of things, Toggl is great value for money, it’s very easy to use. It’s just so nice to use as well, it just feels right. It doesn’t feel like a sort of program that’s trying to interrogate you and shake you down every second of the day, it’s just trying to help you get your work done in a more efficient manner and that’s great.
So moving on to the negatives, things I don’t like about Toggl. Well to be honest, there aren’t that many really. When I first started using it I must admit, I didn’t really read the instructions properly and I used it incorrectly and this sort of resulted in time reports that were fairly meaningless. But if you do take the time to actually look at the training you’ll see how easy it is to use. I mean nothing’s perfect but with this particular software I am finding it really hard to put my finger specific things I don’t like. I think the interface is very clean. I have noticed some times that it will be a bit laggy with like picking different client projects, or clients and picking different projects. I wish that there was a faster way, or maybe there is and I haven’t discovered it yet, of copying projects from one client to another. So if you provide a SEO service to ten different clients and you just create the different client names and you copy the same projects that would sit under it like link building or Google Analytics research or outreach, and you can copy them all under the same client.
On the free plan there are a few things missing that you’ll probably notice fairly quickly if you do really need to be doing time tracking in your business. Just things like downloadable reports make it a bit harder to work with on the free platform.
As I said I just use it for internal reference purposes basically saying okay how many hours did I spend on this project versus what I billed. What was my average internal hourly rate? I’ve got a rate I try to work to even though I don’t quote on that directly. But look, overall I think Toggl is absolutely fantastic. I mean you might find some gripes with it but in terms of what I do and how I like to work I really do find it very good. I mean I’ve never been a huge fan of time tracking. I think it’s only really useful to do it very, I guess, fastidiously if you’re doing genuine billable hours in which case yeah you really do need to be on the ball because firstly, you don’t want to wind up ripping your client off. That’s you know not the right thing to do to say oh yeah I did ten hours work when you only did eight.
Secondly, you also need to be aware and if you’ve got a team working for you they also need to be aware that, it eats into your profitability if you’re not tracking your time effectively when you’re supposed to be doing billable hours and you think that client A is paying you for 20 hours a month but actually there’s 25, 30, 40 hours worth of work going into that client. Well you’ve just taken a 50% pay cut overnight or whatever the percentage may be. [inaudible 00:10:58] worked in quite a few agencies and doing my own work as a consultant now, and I’m all too aware of the fact that it’s very easy for time to blow out when working on clients. You’ve either then got to go to them and have that awkward conversation of oh I’ve just blown out on a task and I’m going to have to send you a bigger invoice than you expected, or you’ve got to wear those costs and that’s not good for your business either.
So yeah look Toggl is a very good platform for time tracking. It’s fast, it’s efficient, it’s easy to use, it’s well priced, the features are there, the support seems very good. I’ve even received, they’re obviously automated emails but they’re pretty nicely personalized, promoting training for the product and can we help you get more out of it. But when I compare it to some of the other time trackers I’ve used, it really is very good. I just can’t see any reason not to recommend it to be honest. It’s one of those apps that comes along every so often that you think okay this really works, it’s very effective. Speaking of apps, you can get it for Android, iPhone, you can get it for your desktop, you can get it for Chrome browser or you can just access through a web interface.
So yeah Toggl, if you need to track time it’s well worth checking out. I really like it. I think it’s well priced, I think it’s easy to use, I think it’s effective and I can’t really say too much bad about it. Really anything bad is probably going to be more around the interface or if you have very specific requirements about how you need to track time. But overall yeah go give toggl.com a look, see what you think, give it a try and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Value For Money
Ease Of Use
Toggl is an excellent option for tracking your time. Whether you need to keep an eye on time usage for internal purposes, or you need to be sharp when it comes to keeping count of your billable hours, Toggl just works. The free version is very usable, and there are well-priced premium tiers for different businesses and requirements.