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Harvest Time Tracking Guide (Features, Pros, Limitations)

Is the timer running? Or did you pause it before you went to make coffee? 

If these questions sound familiar, you’ve probably used a time tracking software like Harvest. Harvest time tracking can help you understand how your team spends their work hours and generate invoices based on the hours they’ve worked.  

However, there are thousands of time tracking apps available today.  

So is Harvest really the best one out there?

In this article, we’ll discuss what Harvest is, its key features, what it’s good at, and some limitations. We’ll also suggest a top alternative that solves all Harvest drawbacks.

Let’s harvest all the data you need about this time tracking tool.

What Is Harvest?

harvest home page

Harvest is a cloud-based time tracking app that has nothing to do with crops. 😛

Instead, it lets you track employee work hours to see where time slips through the cracks.

The app harvests data on time related to tasks, projects, and people, so you’re free to focus on growing your business rather than being stuck counting minutes.

Harvest lets you track time using different devices, such as a desktop widget, mobile device (iOS and Android), PC (Windows and macOS), etc.

But why do people use Harvest time tracking?

4 Key Features Of Harvest

Our Harvest review focuses on some of Harvest’s key features. 

So here’s a quick look at them:

1. Reporting

The reporting feature makes Harvest time tracking project management simple and insightful. 

Time reports are categorized under four separate tabs for better organization:

  • Clients: shows time data for all projects by any specific client
  • Tasks: represents time per task in color-coded bar graphs
  • Teams: highlights reports on individual people in your team 
  • Projects: lets you compare different projects’ times

And each of these categories contain data that shows:

  • Hours tracked by your company
  • Billable hours
  • Billable amount
  • Uninvoiced amount

There’s only one thing left for you to do: 

Use the reports to improve performance and profitability. 

This way, you get to enjoy the project journey as smooth as perfectly made ice cream. 🍨

2. Timesheet

Your team members can log on to Harvest timesheets and record their time while working. It can be via their phone, desktop, browser, or they can even make manual timesheet entries.

Timesheet in harvest

And you won’t have to stress if you forgot to start the Harvest timer before you began working.  Simply make a manual entry in the timesheet.

As long as you…

Elf elevator scene with remember to do your timesheet text gif

Harvest also has a Google Calendar integration that you can use to refer to calendar events 📅 as you fill in the timesheet.

To automatically add time to your timesheet, you’ll have to track time using the Harvest widget. So you have to be in control of your calendar; not other people.
Pro Tip: Schedule time to work and block off your calendar.

3. Invoicing

The Harvest software also lets you generate invoices from your timesheet and expense tracking reports.

You can generate an invoice or set a recurring one. 

The recurring invoice will be sent automatically or saved as a draft in your Harvest account for review.

Additionally, emailing invoices is easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

With just a few clicks, you can even see when your clients review them. Transparency 101! 😎

Lastly, you can take the invoicing process to a new level. 

Just add a dash of classy to your professional invoices by setting thank-you notes and reminders to streamline communication.

4. Integrations

Working with your favorite tools is easy on Harvest. 

The software supports several integrations with apps for:

  • Project management
  • CRM and communication
  • Issue tracking
  • Finance and payments
  • Contracts and proposals
harvest integrations

And in case you don’t find the app you want, like Facebook Lead Ads, Google Forms, etc., there’s always Zapier to fall back on.

3 Major Advantages Of Harvest Time Tracking

Here are three main advantages of using Harvest for tracking your work hours.

1. Structured data collection

If neatly stacked and easy-to-read data makes you go ‘yay!,’ then this is gonna be a treat for you.

Harvest lets you customize the way data and projects are structured to match project expense estimates and the operations team’s reporting requirements.

You can set budgets at the project level, or down at the task or person level.

To organize things further, you can categorize projects as: 

  • Time and materials: projects that are billed by the hour at an hourly rate
  • Fixed fee: project with a set price
  • Non-billable: projects that are not invoiced

Harvest can also easily collect data via its integration with project management tools. All that data is then neatly organized in the Harvest app.

2. Simple and convenient time tracking

With Harvest, time tracking becomes easy for everyone in your company. 

Want to take convenience up a notch? Say hello to Harvest’s easy-to-use mobile apps.

It has a mobile app for both android and iOS users.

So if you have a phone and a good internet connection… 

woman saying you two could rule the world

3. Permission control

Team permissions in the Harvest app let you decide what different team members can access and do in your account.

You get three different levels of permissions:

  • Regular user
  • Project manager
  • Administrator

But is Harvest time tracking really what you need? Let’s find out!

5 Limitations Of Harvest (With Solutions)

Here are some reasons why you should not settle for Harvest project management:

1. Just a time tracking tool

Harvest is a great tool to track time, generate time reports, invoice clients, etc.

But what more can Harvest do? 

We say this because there’s a lot more to work management than just tracking time. 

You have to assign tasks, create workflows, deal with clients and client projects, etc.

You need a tool that can track time and manage your entire project, unlike Harvest project time tracking. 

And the best example of a tool that can do all this is ClickUp!

ClickUp solution: Complete project management

ClickUp is one of the world’s highest-rated project management tool, loved by highly productive teams in small and giant organizations.

With ClickUp, you can create tasks with subtasks for multiple projects to break them down into smaller action items.

Want to break it down further?

Try our nested subtasks to add another level of detail. You can also add checklists to create simple tasks that are either done or not done.

nested subtask

Assign these tasks in ClickUp to one or more assignees. Even to a Team if you like!

Okay, so you’ve created tasks and assigned them. 

What else does a project need?

A workflow.

So create it! 

ClickUp lets you create workflows using Custom Statuses.

Customize them according to your industry or organization, such as ‘open,’ ‘closed,’ ‘waiting for approval,’ etc.

custom statuses in clickup

And lastly, manage your work the way you like it using any of the multiple views we have to offer.

Some of them include:

2. Sync issues

Several user reviews mention that the sync between the Harvest desktop app and the website platform often lags. 

This can result in misleading data, which leads to poor decision-making. 

a woman saying this is not what I signed up for

There’s only one way to avoid a standoff with bad data. 

ClickUp solution: Global timer 

With ClickUp, it’s bye-bye lag, hello global timer

This native time tracker lets you easily jump between devices and continue to track the same tasks from where you left them. 

And all you need to ensure is that you’re logged in on that device.

global timer in Clickup

Native time tracking also means you don’t need any additional integrations. Everything you require is right here on ClickUp.

But just in case you feel like you need a separate time tracking device to track ClickUp task durations, we make that possible too.

Easily integrate with software like Everhour, Toggl, Clockify, Time Doctor, etc. 

We also offer a Harvest integration (that we hope you won’t need)!

3. Can’t build a time tracking dashboard

Harvest time management and reporting could have been a better hit had they not missed out on an important feature: a time tracking dashboard.

A dashboard would have given you a high-level view of all time-related reports in one place.

ClickUp solution: Time tracking widgets

ClickUp is the ultimate Harvest alternative as you can track time and even build your own time tracking Dashboard using widgets.

The widget options available include:

  • Time tracked: see time tracked for any duration range 
  • Time reporting: see all time entries
  • Billable report: see only billable hours
  • Time estimated: view time as a team resource for effective planning
  • Time sheet: sum total of hours tracked by people in your Workspace
time tracking in ClickUp

But that’s not it. You can build all sorts of Dashboards.

It can be for your entire project, Sprints, assignees, etc. Just choose the widgets you want, and build a Dashboard in a few minutes.

Dashboards in ClickUp

4. No iPad app

Harvest said yes to all except iPads. It has no app for it.

People who carry their work on iPads will have to rely on the browser app.

But that’s only convenient on a computer.

ClickUp solution: Apps for all platforms

ClickUp, on the other hand, is all about inclusivity.

We can be at your service no matter what platform or device you use. 

Whether it’s iPad, iPhone, Alexa, Windows, Linux, Android, Google Home…

The list is quite long; you’re gonna need a breather before you finish it. 😎

5. Expensive pricing plans

Harvest is quite expensive when compared to its alternatives. 

The Pro plan costs $10.80/user per month.

Now imagine working with a large team. 

That’s bye-bye to a lot of hard-earned money!

a woman saying we need our money for essentials

To save such a massive expense, you can try their free plan. 

But guess what? It allows only one user and two projects.

No timer and no penguin statue. 🐧

ClickUp solution: Free Forever Plan

With ClickUp, you get a feature-rich free plan. Enjoy unlimited users and projects without spending a dime. 🎉

And as far as paid plans are concerned, you get two options:

  • Unlimited ($5/user per month):
    • Unlimited integrations
    • Unlimited dashboards
    • Unlimited storage
    • And more
  • Business ($9/user per month):

Clearly, even our Business Plan is cheaper than Harvest’s Pro plan. 

And Harvest is just time tracking software, not a fully-fledged project management tool. 

See the difference? 🤷

But we’re not done with all the awesome things ClickUp can do. 

Here’s a quick look at some of our other features:

Check out these Harvest alternatives!

Time Tracking Vs. Project Management Tool

Harvest is a great time tracking and invoicing tool.

And one of its major advantages is that it integrates perfectly with so many project management apps.

But do you really need the integration?

Because project and task management tools like ClickUp have the same time tracking features as Harvest built-in.

Seems unnecessary to have two separate tools, right?

ClickUp can track time and also manage tasks, resources, and documents at the same time!

Get ClickUp for free today or try other Harvest Alternatives on the market and make every minute count. 

Even when you’re on a coffee break! ☕

we're gonna need more coffee gif

Related Readings:

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