We're constantly bombarded with online and offline distractions that make it almost impossible to be productive.
Fortunately, this is where time management tools can help.
Effective time management software has the following qualities:
A distraction-free calendar
Time and habit tracking
A note-taking feature with templates
An easy to use interface
Free or affordable monthly plans
These qualities make meeting deadlines and managing your time effortless.
In this post, we'll cover the best time management tools for different use cases like meetings, personal use, and teams. We'll also look at some handy features that’ll empower work processes.
Best for meetings: Airgram
Best for work: Toggl Track
Best for personal life: TimeTree
Best for teams: Trello
Best for invoicing: Harvest
Best for mobile devices: Remember the Milk
If you find yourself in meetings that drag out forever, Airgram is a must.
This free meeting productivity and time management tool offers unique benefits like:
Create a team meeting agenda within seconds
Transcribe your Zoom and Google Meetings in real-time
Grab important clips to create a highlights video
With Airgram's quick meeting agenda builder, create agendas within seconds.
But what sets Airgram apart from the competition is you can set timers for each subtopic. So let's say you want to cover weekly sales figures. Set a timer for 25 minutes, and everyone gets a notification when the time is up. This prevents meetings from going off-topic and wasting precious minutes.
I find this especially helpful when leading discussions with several people. It's easy to lose control over a meeting, and team members get sidetracked talking about unimportant tasks. But when everyone knows there’s a time limit, staying on track is seamless.
Another Airgram feature that caught my eye is real-time transcription. Usually, you'll have to pay someone to transcribe hours of meeting audio for you. This takes days, and most of the time, it isn't accurate.
Luckily, Airgram's artificial intelligence transcribes words immediately. So you’ll have an accurate transcription waiting for you after your meeting.
So if any team members aren't fluent in English, forward this transcription to them via email, and they'll catch up. Airgram integrates with Slack, Google Docs, Word, and Notion, making communication straightforward.
Use the video progress bar connected to the team agenda to grab essential clips and create a highlights video. Send this short video to anyone who missed the meeting, and they won't have to sit through an hour-long conversation.
If someone needs to refresh their memory, they can simply head over to their Meeting Notes dashboard and rewatch the meeting or highlights video.
With all these time-saving benefits, Airgram allows me to accomplish more with my team in a shorter time frame.
Final Verdict: If you find yourself stuck in pointless meetings that negatively affect productivity, Airgram is a must-have. The time-saving features shorten meetings so you can focus on tasks that matter.
Toggl track is an app available on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS devices. It’s a practical option for busy individuals since the time tracker lets you know where you’re spending every minute of your day. This makes staying disciplined and hitting your marks simple.
Here are some Toggl Track features to look out for:
A distraction-free dashboard
Invite up to five additional members
Calendar functionality and automatic invoicing
The standout Toggl Track feature is its powerful dashboard. You'll notice it's clean and doesn't offer unnecessary features that'll distract you. So first thing in the morning, head over to your dashboard and plan out your day distraction-free.
Run a stopwatch so you can see how long it takes to complete specific tasks. Alternatively, opt for the timer if you’d like to take a break every hour or two.
In the background, use the Run Reports feature to get insight into what you're spending most of your time on.
Although Toggl Tracker is best for personal use, I like that they allow you to invite five members. It isn't much, but it’ll enable collaboration with colleagues.
So if you want to compare your work processes with a coworker, invite them to Toggl Track, and you'll be able to help each other manage time better.
Let's say you're struggling to meet deadlines. With the calendar functionality, plan out days, weeks, and months. This insight into the future lets you know when you're fully booked and can't take on more projects.
Toggl Track also helps automate invoicing processes at the end of each month. By tracking how many hours you spent on specific projects, Toggl Track knows how much to invoice clients, streamlining the invoicing process.
Final Verdict: Toggl Track is best for work because the distraction-free dashboard allows you to manage time effortlessly. The Run Reports feature also offers helpful insight, allowing for better project time management.
Timetree is the perfect option for managing your personal life because it lets you share calendars and memos within seconds. This way, your family or friend group keep updated on current plans and schedules.
It's also free and works across devices. These are some handy TimeTree features that bettered my personal life:
Reminders ensure you don't forget upcoming events
The event feed tracks special occasions
Create several calendars for different purposes
On your dashboard, you'll find a basic calendar that shows all upcoming events. TimeTree notifies you before every event.
So let's say you have a get-together with friends on Saturday. Log into your TimeTree calendar, create a new event, and on Friday, the app will remind you. A few hours before the gathering takes place, TimeTree sends another notification.
This ensures you don't miss events.
In the bottom right-hand corner of your app, you'll find a feed icon. This feature allows you to keep track of all future activities engagingly. It's like you're scrolling through your social media pages and you'll even find options below each event to share, message, and like.
When starting a calendar in TimeTree, I noticed that the experience is more personalized compared to most tools. Choose between different calendar types like:
Once you've created a calendar, send it to friends or family within the app so events automatically pop up on their calendar. This is helpful for blended families since you can easily manage time and see what others are doing.
Final Verdict: TimeTree is the perfect time management tool if you’re struggling to keep track of events. The engaging feed makes staying up to date easy and the notifications ensure you’ll never miss upcoming occasions.
Best for Team Management: Trello
When working with a large team, it's challenging to collaborate and manage deadlines without feeling overwhelmed.
This is where Trello can help. Trello is a time management platform that uses a Kanban approach to help members visually organize and prioritize projects. It stands out from other tools due to a few special features like:
Card aging and labeling
Butler is a workflow automation feature that lets you automate commands like card and board buttons, scheduled commands, and due dates.
Depending on how you configure commands, use Butler to automatically mark cards finished on a specific date, remove members, or check items off a checklist. -
Trello's archiving feature declutters your board without having to permanently delete old cards. You can always access information if you need to look back and refresh your memory.
If you and your team decide to revisit a previous project, simply move these archived cards back to the main dashboard. Butler even lets you automatically archive cards after a specific date or time.
Trello’s card aging feature helps you stay updated on projects. It's a visual cue that prompts you to check up on cards you didn't visit in a long time. This prevents urgent tasks from getting lost on your dashboard.
The longer a card goes unopened, the more it fades. As soon as you open it, it returns to its normal state.
But if a card isn't opened within four weeks, it enters Pirate Mode. Here, it turns yellow and looks cracked, similar to an old pirate map. This way, it's easy to spot neglected cards every time you log in.
Final Verdict: Trello is an effective time management tool for teams because the Kanban workflow makes managing members and staying up to date on projects effortless.
With its advanced analytics tracking, you can easily find where you're spending more of your time. This insight allows you to restructure your time to prioritize what's important to you.
Here are some Harvest features that grabbed my attention:
The entire invoicing process is automated
Integration with over 50 apps
Analytics give you insight into time management
Harvest is time management and invoicing software in one. It tracks how much time you spend working for specific clients, and at the end of each month, Harvest automatically invoices these clients based on your hourly rate.
This time management software also integrates with QuickBooks and Xero, so you can accept invoices online within minutes.
Another feature that stood out to me is the amount of tools Harvest integrates with.
The Harvest invoicing and time tracking features are trusted by brands like Dell, Volkswagen, and Deloitte.
The best feature is the analytics because it shows where you're spending most of your time. This could be in meetings, talking to clients, or completing unimportant activities. With this insight, focus on optimizing productivity by reducing your time on trivial tasks.
Final Verdict: Harvest is a practical option for those looking to integrate the invoicing process into their time management. This way, you find out where you’re spending most of your time and in the background, Harvest tracks your hours for seamless monthly invoicing.
Remember the Milk is one of the most trusted tools amongst busy professionals because it's been around for almost 20 years. It's a good choice if you're looking for a time management tool that offers extra features like:
Integration with several apps
If you have countless tasks and finding a specific one is a hassle, Remember the Milk's advanced search is a lifesaver.
Head over to the taskbar on top and click "Search Tasks." Select the "Choose" icon, and you'll be able to sort tasks by:
This makes finding specific projects easy.
Remember the Milk allows you to take audio notes and reminders by integrating with:
If you're busy and don't have time to log into your dashboard and write a reminder, use Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. This convenience sets Remember the Milk apart from other time management tools.
But I also like that it connects with Gmail, so you can add tasks to your calendar and track time without leaving your inbox.
When creating new projects, add your email address so Remember the Milk notifies you as you're approaching the due date.
Final Verdict: If you mainly take audio notes on your mobile device, Remember the Milk is best because it integrates with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. This way, you can take in-depth notes without typing.
Todoist is a time management and to-do list app in one. Todoist makes getting tasks out of your head and onto a to-do list easy. It doesn't matter where you are or how much of a hurry you're in because the entire process only takes seconds.
Look out for these valuable features when signing up for a free Todoist trial:
Recurring due dates
Delegate and share tasks
With Todoist, you won't have to create a new task leading up to every meeting. Let's say you have a call with your sales team on Mondays. Head over to your dashboard, create a task for your meeting, and type "Every Monday." Todoist automatically sets this recurring date, and you'll receive notifications leading up to the meeting.
The priority levels feature in Todoist. We're often swamped with endless to-do lists and tasks. But with this feature, flag each event based on importance. Choose between red, orange, blue, and white flags. This visual cue makes organizing priorities simple.
When creating new tasks, select the share button, and you'll be able to collaborate with team members, co-workers, and friends. Share notes and links to help each other meet deadlines.
Todoist isn't just a time management app. It's note-taking, to-do list, and collaboration software in one.
Final Verdict: I like Todoist because it encourages prioritization. This helps you stay afloat when work is hectic because you know what you must do immediately and what can wait.
Time management is essential because it allows you to optimize productivity and eliminate distractions.
So if you find yourself struggling to meet deadlines, consider introducing time management tools into your work processes. You can track every minute so you know where to improve and this detailed insight takes your productivity to the next level.
Michael started his career as a product manager and then developed a passion for writing. He has been writing on technology, remote working, productivity, etc., hoping to share his thoughts with more people.