For quite some time now I have been using ProWorkFlow for my time tracking and project management, which I found to be the most fully featured of all the project management solutions I tried and really is very good. However the amount of development work I do these days is very small, so I couldn't really warrant paying for something that gets used so rarely, so I decided it was time to look for an alternative and preferably FREE solution.
I also use cvssdude for my source control, which is also a great service, but also hardly worth the cost just for the small amount of work I do, however it does include FREE time tracker and project management by way of TRAC, so I did consider using this instead of PWF, but after giving it a try I really hated it. Trac is devoid of any decent UI, is not user friendly, lacks some really basic features and I found it just horrid to use. I'm sure others love it being as it is a popular open source choice for many, but I couldn't find anything likable about it myself, so I decided to also look for an alternate source control solution.
My requirements for a time tracker are actually quite simple, all I wanted to be able to do is have clients, projects and tasks, and to be able to log time against a task with a comment and to be able to run monthly reports to show how much time spent on each task/job/client.
Seems straight forward enough right, but surprisingly even the most well known solutions I tried like Basecamp don't even do this. The primary thing missing from all the other products was the ability to log a comment with each time entry, which I find really important as it explains what you did and why, which is paramount when you have any kind of disagreement with a client about time/cost.
Enter Paymo time tracker, a very simple but effective service, it tracks time, generates invoices and provides custom reporting and timesheets. Paymo has the exact featureset I required, allowing me to create clients, projects and tasks and to log time with comments. It allows me to bang off reports for any date period showing the time worked on any project/client, optionally with the task/time/comments being displayed. It even has a desktop widget for starting and stopping the timer and recording your time against your tasks. While Paymo is no where near as slick or with as many features as PWF, it does the exact job I need it to do and certainly doesn't look too bad too boot. Best of all it is FREE for the first 3 users, and is then only $3.99 per user thereafter fully inclusive with no restrictions, no extra charges for extra features like many other products including PWF, which charge separately for invoicing for example. If you are looking for a good or FREE time tracking tool, then you ought to give Paymo a try.
Time Tracking & Invoicing Features
Easy to use Time Tracker
- time entries are saved with start and end times
- use it via a web browser, Windows tray app or Mac widget
- works offline if you install Google Gears
- quickly add/edit time manually or use the stopwatch to track your time
- add tasks directly from the time tracker
- shortcuts to any day of the week
Custom Reporting & Timesheets
- reports can be customized using various conditions
- include or exclude non billable tasks
- generate detailed reports for internal use or send them to your clients along with an invoice
- weekly graphical overview of employee timesheets
- detailed daily timesheets
- see invoices while you create them
- print directly from the browser
- download invoices in PDF format
- multi currency support
- create invoices based on time tracking data
Localization and Integration
- multi-language support at user level, perfect for globally distributed teams in need of time tracking
- multi currency support
- custom week start day
- SSL login
- daily backups
- custom access levels for employees
Awesome Customer Support
- email support available for free and commercial accounts
- we answer each email
- try us today!
The second part of my search for FREE source control brought me to ProjectLocker. ProjectLocker offers a managed Subversion hosting and Git hosting platform, allowing you to spend your time managing your project instead of your tools. Best of all, ProjectLocker is free for up to 5 users with 500MB space, so there's no risk to get started. Prices after that are also quite acceptable starting at only $25 per year for 2.5GB web space. It also includes Trac and integrates with other 3rd party apps like Basecamp, FogBugz, Jabber, Lighthouse and more. So far it has been as easy to use and as reliable as CVSDUDE, so it is more than adequate for my requirements.
Secure, encrypted access via SSH for Git or HTTPS for Subversion
Works from your existing IDE
No Pre-Set Data Limit
Web and WebDAV access to your repository
RSS feeds and e-mail notifications of project activity (Subversion)
Nightly automatic backups of all your data
24/7 Server Monitoring and Support
Privacy Commitment - Your Code is Yours Alone
For issue tracking I am currently using the Kayako eSupport ticketing system that we already have implemented for hosting support. This does the job quite well, allowing client to submit an issue, have ticket based discussion, and for tracking I simply log the ticketID with my SVN commits and use it when creating the Task in Paymo. the only thing it lacks is automatic integration, but again it does the job for me just fine. If you find you need better issue tracking you still have Trac which is included with ProjectLocker.