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When running a business, one of the main worries that many business owners have is their employees. Since you’re more than likely going to be paying them by the hour, you don’t want to find out that they only work half the day. Thankfully for the Internet and the many tools floating around there, keeping track of your employees hasn’t been easier! For business owners that are on a budget, you may want to consider these four awesome online tools:

#1 Rachota
Rachota is a free application that helps business owners keep track of projects. Being able to run anywhere with an Internet connection, Rachota can help create customized reports, invoices and even measure data for a particular user. When you start up the program, you can create a plan, and from there, employees will be able to log their time and tell you exactly what they did at a given time. Once the plan has been accomplished, you can go back, look at reports and see exactly what they did with their time.

#2 SlimTimer
Like Rachota, SlimTimer allows you to create tasks and share them with the coworkers and employees that you report to. When a task starts, an employee will simply hit the timer to start up the task. Once finished, you will hit stop and close down the browser. After the tasks have been completed, you as the owner will be able to run reports, note the time and even export to programs such as Excel. The great thing about this application is that even enables you to send emails through the program. Easy to use, SlimTimer is 100 percent free.

#3 Grindstone
This free application has many multiple features that will enable you to watch your employees effectively. When each task is created, Grindstone enables you to run a stopwatch in the corner of the user’s computer screen. With this stopwatch, you will be able to track their progress and see exactly how long it’s taking them to complete a project. Aside from the stopwatch feature, Grindstone features billing invoice creation, useful report downloads and a streamlined interface that doesn’t interrupt your work flow. With many five-star reviews from famous publications such as Download and PCWorld, Grindstone doesn’t cost a penny.

#4 TrackSmart
More than just an attendance calendar, the TrackSmart software will help keep track of the work weeks, when employees have time off and how many hours that particular employee had worked in a certain day. With their reports, you will be able to see how many days off the employee took, sick days claimed and how many vacation days were taken in a given year. The nice thing about TrackSmart compared to the other four mentioned above is that each employee can have their own detailed report. This is a great way to track individual performance to really show you who’s doing their job around the workplace.

If you’re not keeping track of your employees and you’re paying them by the hour, it’s time to start monitoring them with some sort of software. As you can see, even if you don’t have the money to spend, there are many free options available. By monitoring your employees, your business can become more productive and most important of all, it will save you a lot of money.


Helen Moser is a HR manager and guest author at, a site with guides to top-rated human resources MBA degree programs online.