Blog>Business Management

Trello's Time Tracking Capabilities

Evgeniya Ioffe - February 9th 2024 - 6 minutes read

In the bustling world of project management, mastering the art of time tracking within Trello can be the game-changer that propels your team's efficiency and productivity to new heights. While Trello's visually engaging boards superbly organize tasks, its lack of built-in time tracking capabilities might seem like a missed opportunity. Yet, this opens the door to a universe of potent third-party integrations, each promising to seamlessly blend with your workflow. From dissecting the landscape of time tracking essentials and navigating through a comparative analysis of leading tools to offering a practical guide on embedding these solutions into your Trello experience, our journey will unveil how to leverage time tracking data to sharpen project insights, ensuring you're equipped to make informed decisions that drive project success. Prepare to transform your Trello boards into powerful time-managed ecosystems, where every tick of the clock is a step towards achieving your project goals.

Exploring the Landscape of Time Tracking in Trello

Trello, renowned for its visually intuitive project boards that enable seamless management of tasks and collaborations, offers a multitude of features aimed at enhancing productivity and organization. However, its array of functionalities misses one critical component— native time tracking. This absence is noteworthy as time management plays a pivotal role in the success of projects, especially in the era of lean management where every second counts. The lacuna of integrated time tracking prompts users to look beyond Trello's built-in features for solutions that can fill this gap, underscoring the necessity to integrate with third-party time tracking tools.

Time tracking is essential not just for budgeting purposes but also for a comprehensive productivity analysis and effective deadline management. Without a direct means to measure how long tasks take, teams using Trello for project management might find it challenging to optimize their workflows or accurately bill clients for the time spent. This creates a pressing need for external time tracking integrations that can offer detailed insights into how team members are allocating their time across different tasks and projects. Such integrations help in pinpointing areas where processes can be streamlined and productivity can be boosted, making up for Trello’s innate deficiency in this arena.

The integration of third-party time tracking tools with Trello’s project boards brings the dual benefits of Trello’s organizational capabilities and precise time measurement. This hybrid approach not only enables teams to manage their projects efficiently but also allows for an in-depth analysis of time expenditure on each task, thus pushing the boundaries of productivity and efficiency to new heights. Consequently, despite Trello's shortfall in providing native time tracking capabilities, the platform still stands as a formidable tool in project management when complemented with the right time tracking integrations, cementing its place in environments that value meticulous time management and lean operational practices.

Third-party Time Tracking Tools: A Comparative Analysis

Third-party time tracking tools like Clockify, Toggl, Harvest, and Everhour have become indispensable for enhancing the project management capabilities of Trello. Clockify and Toggl stand out for their user-friendly interfaces and basic time tracking features, which are ideal for individuals and teams looking for straightforward solutions. Both offer free versions, making them cost-effective options. However, their integration with Trello, particularly in Toggl’s case, tends to be somewhat basic, providing just a start/stop timer on Trello cards, which might not suffice for teams requiring detailed time management functionalities.

Harvest and Everhour, on the other hand, delve deeper into advanced project management features. Harvest integrates seamlessly with Trello, allowing for time entries on Trello cards and generating detailed reports and invoices outside Trello. While it demands switching between applications, its comprehensive invoicing and reporting capabilities can justify the slight inconvenience. Everhour emerges as a particularly powerful tool for teams and SMBs due to its extensive set of features that include detailed time tracking, budgeting, and seamless integration directly within Trello’s interface, making it an almost native experience for users. Although this does come at a higher subscription cost, the value it adds to project management might be worth the investment.

The choice between these tools ultimately depends on the specific needs of the project and team. Clockify and Toggl offer simplicity and cost-effectiveness for users requiring basic time tracking functionalities. On the flip side, for businesses prioritizing in-depth project management features, including budgeting, invoicing, and advanced time reporting, Harvest and Everhour provide more robust solutions albeit at a higher cost. Considering the balance between ease of use, integration complexity, cost-effectiveness, and additional features is crucial in selecting the right tool to complement Trello for enhanced project management efficiency.

Step-by-Step Guide to Integrating Time Tracking into Your Trello Workflow

After carefully choosing a time tracking tool that aligns with your project management needs and Trello’s capabilities, the first step in integrating time tracking into your Trello workflow is to install or sign up for your chosen time tracking service. Most time tracking tools such as offer straightforward browser extensions or apps that can be easily linked with your Trello account. It is crucial to ensure that the time tracking tool is compatible with Trello and meets your specific requirements, such as real-time tracking, detailed reporting, or invoice generation.

Once the time tracking tool is set up and linked to your Trello account, the next phase involves familiarizing yourself and your team with the tool’s interface and features. This often includes setting up projects or task lists within the time tracking tool that correspond to your Trello boards and cards. For a seamless workflow, it’s important to map out how tasks on Trello translate into time entries in your tracking tool. Pay special attention to any features that allow automatic time tracking triggers when a Trello card is moved to a different list or when a certain action is performed, optimizing the process for efficiency and accuracy.

The final step is to actively use the time tracking tool within your daily Trello workflow. Encourage team members to start and stop the timer as they begin working on tasks or automatically track time based on task status within Trello. Regularly review time reports to identify any bottlenecks or areas for improvement. These insights can be invaluable for adjusting project timelines, reallocating resources, or providing accurate invoicing for clients based on the precise time spent on different tasks and projects. By embedding time tracking into your Trello workflow, you enhance not only project management and productivity but also foster a culture of transparency and accountability within your team.

Leveraging Time Tracking Data for Enhanced Project Insights

Upon successfully integrating time tracking into your Trello workflow, the next critical step is to leverage the accumulated data for enhanced project insights. By meticulously analyzing time reports, you achieve a comprehensive assessment of productivity, enabling the identification of patterns, bottlenecks, and inefficiencies within your team's operation. This analysis not only shines a light on areas requiring improvement but also serves as a foundation for setting more realistic deadlines. Furthermore, it facilitates precise budgeting and invoicing, as the data provides a clear breakdown of time spent on each project component, ensuring that estimates are closely aligned with actual efforts.

The information gleaned from time tracking data also plays a pivotal role in improving overall team performance. Regular review and communication of findings with the team encourage a culture of transparency and accountability. By pinpointing specific tasks or processes that consistently lead to delays or require more time than allocated, managers can initiate targeted interventions. This might include redistributing workload to alleviate pressure on overburdened team members, revising workflows for better efficiency, or even investing in additional training and resources where necessary. Such strategic adjustments are instrumental in enhancing productivity and ensuring project milestones are met within established timelines.

Moreover, the integration of detailed time tracking data with Trello’s reporting capabilities offers the opportunity to set new benchmarks for project management excellence. It enables managers to move beyond mere intuition, making informed decisions based on solid evidence. As a result, projects are not only completed on time and within budget but are also of higher quality. By embracing a data-driven approach to utilization and analysis of time tracking in Trello, teams can significantly amplify their project outcomes, illustrating the transformative potential of well-curated and meticulously analyzed time tracking data in the realm of project management.


In this article, we explore the importance of time tracking in Trello, a popular project management tool, despite its lack of native time tracking capabilities. We discuss the landscape of third-party time tracking tools that can be integrated with Trello, such as Clockify, Toggl, Harvest, and Everhour. We provide a comparative analysis of these tools and offer a step-by-step guide to integrating time tracking into your Trello workflow. We also highlight the benefits of leveraging time tracking data for enhanced project insights, including improved productivity, more accurate deadlines, and informed decision-making. Overall, by incorporating time tracking into Trello, teams can optimize their workflows and drive project success.