8 Attendance Tracker Apps For Busy Managers

Tracking attendance takes a lot of time, and sometimes, you might wonder if it’s worth the effort.

After all, if an employee is late or doesn’t show up now and then, isn’t it easier to just make do with the staff on hand? Is it worth fighting the battle of constant tardiness?

If that’s your line of thinking, consider that employee absenteeism costs about $1600 for each employee, which means that dealing with it is an overlapping function of workforce management and your bottom line. 

Absenteeism leads to turnover, and constantly hiring new help is expensive, too. You’re either paying people who are training (and not really working), or funding overtime when others are forced to pick up the slack. Employee absenteeism is expensive not just in dollars, but in how it stresses your workforce. 

What do you do about it?

Yes, it’s a good idea to have an employee attendance policy, one that’s in writing that everyone has read and agreed to. But you need the tools to back it up. You need tools that generate data that you can use for planning, payroll, and employee shift scheduling. You need to be able to easily see who is, and isn’t, showing up to work.

There are different ways to track attendance, with apps that all take a different approach. We’re going to give you a list of attendance tracker apps that have qualities that set them apart from each other so you can decide what is best for you.

#1: When I Work


You caught us. Yes, we put When I Work down as #1, but we really do believe our software offers the best attendance tracking in the biz. It includes:

  • Time clock and payroll integration, as well as our own time clock kiosk.
  • Dashboard for easy management and at-a-glance data for planning, and reporting.
  • GPS geofencing to prevent buddy punching.
  • Seamless integration with employee scheduling.
  • At-a-glance attendance calendar so you can see who’s clocked in and when.
  • Availability tracking for time-off requests, vacation, and absences.
  • Tools to help you prevent overtime.
  • Built-in employee and team communication to help with self scheduling or flexible shifts.
  • Employee records and information storage for easy access when needed.
  • Internal communication and documents accessibility for your employees.

If you’re managing several employees and shifts, we make it easy to do away with paper time cards and time clock equipment. We’ve put it all into an integrated mobile system that’s user-friendly for employees but powerful for managers. From start to finish, all employee scheduling, planning, tracking, and communication happens inside one integrated system.

We believe attendance tracking isn’t a separate task; it’s a part of overall workforce management. That’s why across-the-board integration is something we consider necessary. We make it easy to get started, even if you only want a few features at first, making it simple to add what you need down the road.

#2: Timenotes

Timenotes is a time and attendance app that creates a timesheet that’s similar to a traditional spreadsheet. Using a virtual attendance sheet, you can keep track of who is present and who isn’t.

Timenotes is simple to use, and it’s online, so that means you can access it in the cloud wherever you are. It’s almost a one-to-one replacement for a paper time tracking approach. However, it doesn’t offer the integration with things like time clocks and payroll, so there will be some manual data entry when it comes to using the Timenotes data elsewhere in employee management.

If the spreadsheet format is how you prefer to view data on employee time and attendance, and you aren’t looking for anything beyond a basic attendance tracking approach, Timenotes might be right for you.

#3: Harvest

Harvest is a time tracking app that works best for teams and dedicated projects. 

With both online and mobile access, and an easy-to-use app, you can track employee time spent working on specific client projects and easily invoice based on that data. Employees can also track client and project expenses, whether remote or in the office, knowing the information is synced.

Harvest is great for project-based or remote teams serving specific clients. It will provide you with accurate invoicing and data for future estimates of similar projects. It is not well-suited for shift or hourly employee settings.

#4: Toggle

Toggl is similar to Harvest, and intended for project or client-based work including both remote teams or freelancers. 

Toggle has a clean interface and is easy to use, just like Harvest. Through integrations with other apps, and calendar integration, you can build a system that has more features than what comes out of the box.

But again, this is not a replacement for a time clock or paper time card. It’s more focused on teams and projects, geared towards tracking time that will be billed to clients.

#5: DeskTime

DeskTime helps you track your employees’ attendance as well as plan the shifts or the work you’d like them to do. You can use the app or browser version either offline (which will later sync), or work with it real time. You can also track absences and requested time off.

DeskTime also comes with things like a Pomodoro timer, something that’s useful for project-based teams, encouraging them to structure their time in a healthy way. It can track time from the moment an employee turns on the computer to the moment they turn it off.

DeskTime’s features are powerful, but they are more geared toward employees working on client projects where invoicing is one of the end results of time tracking.

#6: Hubstaff

Hubstaff is an employee attendance tracking app that uses GPS as part of how they manage employees, making it ideal for a business that has a lot of employees out in the field (e.g. service vehicles).

You can easily track who’s on the clock, who’s absent, and monitor requested time off or shifts. It also offers team scheduling and simplifies payroll. It’s a powerful tool geared towards businesses with multiple locations where managers would want to see which employees have clocked in at specific locations.

#7: Timesheets

Timesheets helps track and manage employee time for scheduling, payroll, and invoicing clients. 

Using a mobile app or their computer, employees can clock in, even if there is no cell or wifi signal; the app will sync the next time it goes online. For team or project-based work, employees can easily switch between job codes so you can track the time they do for clients or to help you gather data on how time is being used.

There is also a time clock kiosk, and several integrations that allow it to talk to your accounting or payroll software, as well as reports to help you in planning. While you can schedule employees, Timesheets doesn’t offer in-app communication with teams and employees.

#8: factoTime

factoTime is a free (up to five employees) basic employee attendance tracker app.

It’s a mobile and web platform that lets employees punch in on their phone using a selfie and location, or with a QR code. Basic employee and employer notes can be kept in the app, and employers can easily see that basic data on an employee’s work history and absences.

factoTime also offers several reports from a daily and monthly perspective. Salary and hourly payment calculations are possible, and there’s integration with various payroll software.

factoTime relies heavily on GPS to track the work and location of the employee, and while that helps with automation, some employees may not care for that level of tracking or want to use a selfie when checking in. While it has a calendar and some scheduling functions, there is no internal team communication.

Employers think that using an attendance tracker app will hurt morale, or make them come off like “big brother.” 

The truth is that you’ll actually reduce employee stress with the idea of fair pay for fair work, where everyone is doing the job they agreed to do. And, when you use an attendance tracker app, there’s no need to micromanage, constantly popping in and checking to see who’s where. With the right tool, you can easily see who has shown up and deal directly with those who haven’t instead of addressing the whole team.

When done right, time tracking software can help grow your business. Whatever method you choose to track employee attendance, be proactive. An absentee policy and crossed fingers won’t work. Your team and your budget are on the line.