Work time tracking in Monitoring and Worklog modes: what's the difference?

After we introduced two modes for TimeTracker – “worklog” and “monitoring” – users keep asking which to choose. So this post is about how to choose the best option for you.

Some may think that two modes create confusion. But actually, we see two group of users with very different goals. If we just let each of these groups to work in a specific manner and remove all unnecessary settings, it will drastically simplify their work.

Worklog: freedom for employees

This work mode is primarily for those employers who need to know how much time their employees spend on projects. For example, an entrepreneur employs freelancers and (or) remote contractors, and (or) pays for the time spent on projects. In this case, the Worklog mode is perfect. It is identical to what is offered by popular time trackers of freelance markets like Upwork.

In this mode, the employee installs the TimeTracker software and loads into it the license created for him or her by his employer via back office. TimeTracker is free for all to download and install, but it won’t work without a license. The employee chooses the project to work on and presses the button “Start work.” As the work is over, he presses “Finish work.”

As the worker works, reports are transmitted to the server containing all the information employers need: screenshots, webcam shots, launched apps, opened browser tabs, etc. (depending on the settings). In their back office, employers can choose what kind of work information will be submitted, and the selection is stored in the license.

Employees can view their reports submitted to the employer as well. To do this, they need to sign up on (though it’s not a requirement per se) under an employee account. It will allow them to view project progress and add manual time (if allowed by the employer).

It’s clear that teleworkers can’t be controlled in the same way as in-house personnel. In the latter case, even computers they use are owned by the company. This is why Worklog is better suited for teleworking. It offers more freedom for workers and less control, but tight control is not necessary in this case – freelancers control their work time on their own as agreed with their clients. This is a perfect mode for those clients who want to know how much time it takes their contractors to complete projects rather than tracking them.

Monitoring: control A to Z

There is a group of users of time-tracking software who have PC fleets and staff to work on them. Company employees usually don’t install any software they like, but system administrators do it according to company policies. This is the way TimeTracker operates under the Monitoring mode, and it’s better suited to corporate software deployment and configuring. By the way, it’s also good at home as a parental control tool to know what kids do at computers.

Monitoring offers close to zero interaction with the user. The employer or system administrator installs the app and license themselves, and the app starts working automatically at system launch. The user can’t change settings and licenses, leave comments, view reports, and even disable the app. In other words, they just work, while the employer controls the process.

Under Monitoring, we can say that workers are not really TimeTracker “users”. It’s more like a service – one of OS services. This allows employers to know everything that happens with the computer from startup to turning off. You can even completely hide TimeTracker by disabling its icon in the system tray.


If you need to monitor your employees and know what they do, and the work is done on premises, you can install the software on your own in the Monitoring mode. Your personnel won’t be able to interfere in the process in any way. If, however, you can’t access their computers and (or) need only feedback and work time calculation, you’ll do well to opt for Worklog.

Still can’t decide? Tell us about how your work, and we’ll do our best to help choose the right option!