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Time tracking software for architects: a comprehensive guide

minute read
Updated on:
April 12, 2023
April 12, 2023
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With the advancement of technology, time tracking software has become an essential tool for architects. They streamline their workflow and optimize their productivity. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore all you need to know about time tracking software for architects.

We will be providing you with valuable insights on how to choose and effectively utilize time tracking software for your projects. So, let's dive in and uncover the secrets to efficient time management for architects!

Why use time tracking software for architects?

Time tracking software is a tool that allows architects and a host of other small business owners to accurately record and measure the time spent on various tasks and projects. It can be either desktop or cloud-based and typically includes timer functionality, project tracking, reporting, and analytics.

For architects, time tracking software is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it helps architects monitor their time on projects, tasks, or clients. It also helps architects identify areas where time is wasted. This allows for better time allocation and resource management.

Finally, it gives architects a clear overview of their work hours, making it easier to track billable hours and ensure accurate invoicing. It also provides insights into project progress. Additionally, time tracking software can help architects improve their productivity. Finally, it can assist in estimating project timelines and budgets more accurately.

Key features of time tracking software for architects

Time tracking software designed for architects typically has various key features tailored to their needs. Some of the key features of time tracking software include:

Time and expense tracking

Time-tracking software allows architects to accurately track the time spent on various tasks and projects. This ensures that billable hours are accurately recorded. It may also include tracking project expenses, such as materials, travel, and other costs.

Project management and scheduling

Time tracking software often includes project management features. They allow architects to create and manage projects and assign tasks to team members. They also help in setting deadlines and monitoring progress. This helps architects to keep projects on track and ensure timely completion.

Integration with billing and invoicing

Time tracking software can integrate with billing and invoicing systems. This makes it easy for architects to generate invoices based on the tracked time and expenses. This ensures accurate and efficient invoicing and simplifies financial management. Overall, it helps architects get paid for their services promptly.

Integration allows you to bill the client at any phase of the project from Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing or MEP down to final walkthrough phase, and automate the invoice creation process.

Reporting and analysis

Time tracking software typically provides reporting and analysis features that allow architects to generate detailed reports on various aspects. These include time spent on different tasks or projects, project budgets, and team performance. These reports provide valuable insights for improving project management and optimizing workflows.

Bonsai advanced time tracking reports allow you to reconcile hours on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis to ensure you're maximizing your business profits while still maintaining transparency with clients. This helps you avoid costly time audits.

Mobile accessibility

Only a few time tracking software solutions offer mobile apps. They allow architects to track time and manage projects. This enables flexibility and convenience, especially for architects who work remotely or are frequently on-site. With Bonsai you can track your time in the office or out on the field with freedom to capture the time you work and create invoices no matter where you are.

Customizable features

Time tracking software may offer customizable features such as project categorization, task tagging, and custom fields. These can allow architects to tailor the software to their specific workflow and requirements.

Popular time tracking software for architects

When it comes to time tracking software, there are several popular options available in the market. Let's take a closer look at some of the popular time tracking software:


Bonsai is a comprehensive time tracking software designed for freelancers, small businesses, and architects. It offers time tracking, project management, invoicing, contract management, and more features. You can make the most of the 7-day free trial to test out all the features. It's an amazing deal and well worth your time.

Bonsai provides a user-friendly interface, customizable reports, and integration with popular accounting software. This makes it a go-to choice for architects looking for a holistic solution to manage their time and business. Their innovative and industry-focused approach makes them the most influential in the business. They're a great choice for industry leaders and beginners.

Toggl Track

Toggl Track is a popular time tracking software known for its simplicity and ease of use. It offers time-tracking features, project management, reporting, and integrations with popular project management tools.

Toggl Track also provides a visually appealing dashboard that offers insights into time spent on different projects and tasks, helping architects optimize their time management.


Harvest is a well-known time tracking software offering robust time tracking, project management, expense tracking, and invoicing features. It also provides integrations with popular accounting software, making it easy for architects to manage their time and finances in one place.

Harvest offers detailed reporting and analytics. This helps architects gain valuable insights into their projects and team performance.


Clockify is a free time tracking software that offers time tracking features, project management, reporting, and team collaboration tools. It also provides integrations with popular project management and accounting software.

Clockify offers a simple and user-friendly interface. This makes it suitable for architects who prefer a minimalist approach to time tracking.


RescueTime is a unique time tracking software that offers automatic time tracking. It helps architects understand how they spend their time on different activities, websites, and applications.

It provides detailed reports and analytics. These are essential in helping architects identify time-wasting activities and optimize their productivity. RescueTime also offers goal-setting features, helping architects set targets for their time usage and stay focused.


Hubstaff is a time tracking software that offers features such as time tracking, project management, invoicing, and team monitoring. It also provides GPS tracking, making it suitable for architects who have field teams.

Hubstaff offers detailed reporting and analytics. These assist architects in monitoring their team's performance and project progress.

How to choose the right time tracking software for your architecture firm?

Choosing the right time tracking software for your architecture firm is an important decision. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Consider your specific needs

Every architecture firm has unique requirements when it comes to time tracking software. Consider the size of your firm, the number of team members, the type of projects, and the specific features needed. Look for software that aligns with your firm's workflow and requirements.

Evaluate pricing and affordability

Time tracking software includes pricing models, such as monthly subscriptions or one-time purchases. Be sure to also look out for hidden costs, such as additional charges for integrations or upgrades. Remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best. It may lack essential features or have limitations that may impact your firm's productivity.

Review customer support and training

Good customer support and training are crucial when choosing time tracking software. Look for reviews or testimonials from existing users to gauge the level of customer support and training.

Test the software before committing

It's essential to thoroughly test the time tracking software before committing to a long-term contract. Take advantage of these trials or demos to get hands-on experience with the software and assess if it meets your firm's needs. Test its ease of use, compatibility with your existing tools, and overall user experience to ensure it fits your architecture firm well.

Consider scalability and flexibility

As your architecture firm grows, your time tracking needs may change. Consider the scalability and flexibility of the software and whether it can accommodate your firm's future needs. Look for software that allows easy customization, and integrations with other tools. Keep an eye out for scalability to handle increased project volume or team size.

Best practices for implementing time tracking software in your architecture firm

Implementing time tracking software in your architecture firm can greatly improve productivity and streamline workflow. Here are some best practices to ensure a successful implementation:

Set expectations and guidelines

Setting clear expectations and guidelines for your team when implementing time tracking software is important. Clearly communicate the purpose and benefits of using the software and the expected level of compliance and accuracy. Establish guidelines for tracking time to reduce confusion.

Train your contractors and others you may work with

Provide comprehensive training to your team on using the software effectively. This may include training sessions, user manuals, video tutorials, or other resources provided. Encourage your team to ask questions and provide ongoing support as needed.

Regularly review data and adjust

Time tracking software provides valuable data on time spent on various tasks or projects. Regularly review the data and analyze it to identify patterns, trends, and areas of improvement. Use this data to make informed and identify areas where time can be optimized.

Integrate with other software tools

Many time-tracking software offers integrations with other tools, such as project management, accounting, or calendar applications. Take advantage of these integrations to streamline your workflow and avoid duplication of efforts.

Encourage and incentivize the adoption

Change can sometimes be met with resistance. As such, it's important to encourage and incentivize adopting time tracking software in your architecture firm. Recognize and reward team members who consistently comply with time tracking guidelines and demonstrate the effective use of the software.

Overcoming common challenges with time tracking software

Implementing time tracking software in an architecture firm may face some challenges. Still, with proper planning and strategies, these challenges can be overcome. Here are some common challenges and ways to overcome them:

Resistance from clients

Some clients want you to use their software. To overcome this challenge, it's important to communicate the benefits of time tracking software clearly and transparently. Show how it can streamline workflow, improve productivity, and benefit both your business and clients. Provide proper training and support to address any questions or concerns.

Accurate tracking of billable hours

To overcome this challenge, provide thorough training on tracking time accurately, including best practices and tips. Offer regular reminders and reinforce the importance of accurate time tracking. Consider using features like timers or mobile apps that make it easier for team members to track their time in real time.

Integration with existing processes

To overcome this challenge, carefully plan the integration process and communicate the changes to team members. Provide training on using the software in conjunction with existing processes and tools. Work with the software provider to set up integrations and customize the software to align with your firm's unique needs and requirements.

Ensuring data privacy and security

Choose a reputable time tracking software provider that prioritizes data privacy and security. It should also comply with relevant data protection regulations. Implement proper access controls, user permissions, and password protocols within the software. Regularly monitor and review data access logs to detect and address any potential security breaches.

Case studies: How architecture firms have benefited from time tracking software

To better understand how time tracking software for architects can be beneficial, consider these case studies.

Architecture Firm A

Firm A is a medium-sized architecture firm based in New York City. It implemented time tracking software to gain better visibility into its projects and improve profitability. Using the software, they could track time spent on various tasks and projects and accurately allocate resources based on real-time data.

This helped them identify areas where resources were being over-allocated or under-utilized. This allowed them to optimize their resource allocation and improve project profitability. The software also provided insights into which projects were more profitable. This was crucial in enabling them to make data-driven decisions on future projects and pricing strategies.

Architecture Firm B

Firm B is a small architecture firm in Los Angeles with just the founder. It implemented time tracking software to improve project management and communication processes. With the software, they could track time spent on different project phases, monitor project progress, and identify bottlenecks or delays in real-time.

This helped them streamline their processes, improve communication, and make informed decisions. Bonsai time tracking software also provides comprehensive reports that allowed them to analyze project performance and make data-driven decisions for better project outcomes.

Architecture Firm C

Firm C is a large architecture firm with multiple offices across Europe. It implemented time tracking software to streamline its billing and invoicing processes. With the software, they could accurately track billable hours and expenses for each project and automatically generate detailed invoices for their clients.

This eliminated manual errors and reduced the time and effort required for billing and invoicing tasks. The software also provided reports that helped them analyze project profitability, identify billing discrepancies, and ensure accurate and timely invoicing. Lastly, they saved time across the board.

The future of time tracking software for architects

The future of time tracking software is poised to be exciting and promising. There have been many advancements in technology in this regard. Here are some key areas that are likely to shape the future of time tracking software:

Advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning

Time tracking software is expected to leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These can automate mundane tasks, provide intelligent insights, and improve accuracy.

Integration with virtual and augmented reality

As the architecture industry continues adopting new technology, time tracking software will likely integrate with VI and AR. This could enable architects to track time spent on virtual design and collaboration activities. These will provide a comprehensive view of time utilization.

Increasing emphasis on data privacy and security

With the growing concerns around data privacy and security, the future of time tracking software for architects is expected to emphasize protecting sensitive data. This may include robust encryption methods, access controls, and compliance with data protection regulations.


In conclusion, time tracking software has emerged as a valuable tool for architects. They offer numerous benefits that enhance their workflow, productivity, and profitability. Time tracking software provides architects with robust features to streamline their time management processes and optimize resource allocation.

By implementing time tracking software, architects can gain valuable insights into their time utilization and identify areas for improvement. It can also help architects overcome challenges that hinder productivity. Using software provided by firms such as Bonsai can be a huge advantage for architectural firms.

Looking towards the future, advancements in technology are expected to enhance further the capabilities of time tracking software for architects. These can be essential in providing more sophisticated and efficient solutions for time management.


Q: Is time tracking software only useful for large architecture firms?

A: No, time tracking software can benefit large and small architecture firms. It can help streamline time management processes, improve project profitability, and enhance overall workflow efficiency, regardless of the firm's size.

Q: Can time tracking software be integrated with other software tools?

A: Yes, many time tracking software options offer integrations with other software tools such as project management software, accounting software, and invoicing tools. This allows for seamless data transfer and improved workflow efficiency.

Q: Is it possible to customize time tracking software to fit the specific needs of my architecture firm?

A: It depends on the specific time tracking software you choose. Some software may offer customization options, while others may have pre-set features. It's important to thoroughly review the features and capabilities of the software to ensure it meets your firm's specific needs.

Q: What is the average cost of time tracking software for architects?

A: The cost of time tracking software for architects can vary widely depending on the features, capabilities, and providers. Some software may offer free or low-cost plans, while others may have higher subscription fees. It's important to consider your architecture firm's specific needs and budget when evaluating pricing options.

Q: How can I convince my team members to use time tracking software?

A: Proper communication and training can help convince team members to use time tracking software. Emphasize the benefits of accurate time tracking, such as improved project management, resource allocation, and profitability. Provide thorough training on using the software and address any concerns or questions they may have.

Q: Can time tracking software improve client relationships?

A: Yes, time tracking software can improve client relationships. This is done by providing accurate and transparent data on project progress, time spent on tasks, and billing. This helps ensure clear communication and trust, leading to better client relationships.

Q: How can I ensure the security of my firm's data when using time tracking software?

A: Choosing time tracking software prioritizes data privacy and security is important. Look for software that uses encryption, offers secure data storage, and has robust access controls. Additionally, follow best practices for data security within your architecture firm, such as using strong passwords and regularly backing up data.

Q: What is the future of time tracking software for architects?

A: The future of time tracking software for architects is expected to see advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, and integration with virtual and augmented reality. There is also an increased focus on data privacy and security. These advancements may lead to more sophisticated and efficient time tracking solutions for architects in the future.

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