Harvest vs Toggl: A Definitive Comparison [January 2024]
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Harvest vs Toggl: A Definitive Comparison [January 2024]

Post Author - The Toggl Team The Toggl Team Last Updated:

At first glance, Harvest and Toggl Track are similar: They both offer time tracking tools with reports, geared towards teams to understand how they’re spending time. However, after a side-by-side comparison, you’ll find each specializes for different needs.

Harvest is an affordable tool with manual time tracking features and also supports basic reporting, billing, and invoicing. That’s why it’s a great choice for freelancers or businesses with straightforward needs (like tracking time for contractors). However, it lacks time analytics features and doesn’t have the tools to streamline the time tracking experience for employees. This alienates larger businesses where roles are more clearly defined and need more ways to look at the tracked time.

Meanwhile, Toggl Track is the best choice for large or mid-sized teams where employees need seamless time tracking, while managers and decision makers need insights to improve productivity and profitability.

Toggl Track’s intuitive design, availability on every platform, and more advanced time tracking tools make logging time a breeze — ensuring team-wide adoption. On the other hand, its extensive analytics tools empower managers and decision makers to find productivity sinks, help employees become more efficient, and ultimately pay for Toggl’s cost many times over.

While testing them, I compared Harvest vs Toggl across the following categories:

  • Simplicity and Ease of Use 
  • Billing and Invoicing
  • Analytics and Reports
  • Integrations
  • Pricing

Let’s get into the comparison.

Comparison Summary: Harvest vs Toggl Track

harvest Harvest
Toggl Track Toggl Track

User Experience

Is intuitive to use but doesn’t offer automatic time tracking or any special features to make employees’ time tracking less of a chore. Available as a web app, mobile app, desktop app, and Chrome extension.

Easy time tracking with a more seamless experience than Harvest. Has an appealing UI and offers tools for automated time tracking and a Pomodoro timer. Available as a web app, mobile app, desktop app, and Chrome extension.

Analytics and Reports

Customizable time reports with a focus on expenses. Allows data filtering and sorting into billable and non-billable expenses. Export reports as CSV, PDF, or Excel.

Reports on business metrics like ROI, projects, profitability, etc. Time audits to spot tracking inconsistencies. Insights to spot data trends and time sinks. Analytics to visualize data with custom dashboards. Export reports as CSV, PDF, or Excel.

Integrations

68 integrations, including Asana, Notion, Trello, Google Calendar, Zendesk, Basecamp, and Zapier. Directly connects with payment processors like PayPal and Stripe.

145 integrations, browser extensions, and automation apps for project management, customer support, email services, accounting, and more. Includes Zapier, Jira, Slack, Toggl Plan, and Freshdesk.

Billing and Invoicing

Great for freelancers to turn timesheets into invoices and get paid with the built-in PayPal or Stripe tools.

Includes a simple invoicing tool. Lets you export billable time into dedicated billing and invoicing software like QuickBooks, Xero, and Zoho Books.

Price

Offers a free plan that allows 1 user, 2 projects, no imports, no integrations. The Pro pricing plan is $12/user/mo for all features and comes with a 30-day trial.

Offers a free plan up to 5 users + allows data imports and integrations. Starter plan is $10/user/mo and adds billable rates, while Premium costs $20/user/mo for fixed project fees, reminders, audits, and analytics. 30-day free trial for both.

Employee Privacy

Doesn’t allow employee monitoring. Doesn’t offer employee surveillance tools.

Prioritizes employee privacy and security. Doesn’t offer employee surveillance tools.

Best for

Freelancers or small businesses looking for a simple time tracking tool with built-in billing, invoicing, and payments.

Managers who need powerful time analytics to increase profitability and get productivity insights, while giving their team a simple time tracking experience.

What is Toggl Track?

“Empower your employees. Improve performance.” 📈

Alari Aho and Krister Haav developed Toggl in 2006 to help them better account for their client time. They soon found their clients needed a time tracking solution too and began expanding the software. Following their acquisition, they re-branded to Toggl Track and two more products were introduced: Toggl Plan and Toggl Hire.

Toggl Track’s colorful design, availability across platforms, and time tracking features make logging time seamless and unobtrusive, ensuring it becomes second nature to everyone. Accurate time entries make it easy to hit deadlines, stay on budget, prevent scope creep, and calculate fair payroll. However, Toggl Track’s standout feature is its robust Analytics features that offer insights into your team’s time, efficiency, and productivity. It sets the stage for constructive feedback and mentorship, without deviating from Toggl’s core value of respect for employee privacy.

Toggl Track is the ideal time tracking tool for companies that want to foster a culture of growth, performance, and trust while empowering decision makers with tools to spot inefficiencies with time reporting.

What is Harvest?

“Time tracking and more.” ⏲️➕

Harvest was started in 2006 when Danny Wen and Shawn Liu “made the tool they couldn’t find: a well-designed, innovative application to track time and invoice.” Thousands of freelancers and teams globally now use it to track and understand their time.

Harvest’s simple user interface reflects its design philosophy of being lightweight, nimble, and designed to power teams. It relies on manual time tracking and includes Invoicing and Billing tools to track time, request payments, and get paid in the same app. Meanwhile, its simple Reports are designed for expense tracking and keeping track of labor expenditures.

This feature set makes Harvest ideal for freelancers and small businesses that want to track time, measure basic metrics, and invoice their clients on a single affordable platform.

Harvest vs Toggl Track: User Experience

In a nutshell, Toggl Track takes time tracking off your mind with automatic tracking, time entry duplication, and a built-in Pomodoro timer, while Harvest only offers manual time tracking.

Toggl Track Toggl Track
Harvest Harvest

Toggl Track offers both automatic and manual time tracking, while Harvest is only manual.

“I’ve used Toggl for personal and professional time tracking, and the absolute ease of use makes this product a staple in my daily workflow… Even the ability to change the start time of an in-progress timer is intuitive and brilliant as a user.”

Profile photo

Emily L. in a G2 review

Associate UX Designer Enterprise (>1000 emp.)

Toggl Track lets you view your entries day-by-day (List View) or as a weekly calendar (Calendar View). You can also choose how you log time — either by Manual Mode or Timer Mode. These features make the tool more convenient for employees.

Toggl Track’s Desktop App is perfect for employees who typically fail at time logging. Its Autotracker automatically starts timers based on specific triggers like the time of day or launching of an app. It also automatically logs time and lets you set reminders for when you forget to start or stop timers.

Harvest also enables you to view your entries by day or by week. However, it primarily relies on manual time tracking, so you must punch in start and stop times yourself.

If you’re starting a new week, Harvest can copy and modify the timesheets from the previous week. This feature helps if you’re doing repetitive work every day of the week but won’t serve freelancers, devs, creatives, or people with variable schedules and projects.

Toggl Track lets you duplicate time entries, while all entries have to be logged individually in Harvest.

Another way Toggl Track simplifies time tracking is by allowing employees to duplicate and bulk edit previous time entries. It also lets you pin frequently used time entries for quick access.

Harvest doesn’t have the same flexibility and simplicity when it comes to updating time entries because it lacks the option to duplicate individual ones. However, it allows bulk editing time entries from the detailed reports page.

Toggl Track has a built-in Pomodoro timer, while Harvest offers it through third-party integrations.

Toggl Track includes a built-in Pomodoro Timer, convenient for employees who practice this popular time management technique. The feature is accessible in the settings menu (1) and allows you to set the timer interval and duration (2) — Toggl does the rest.

Harvest lacks a built-in Pomodoro timer but allows third-party integrations that offer this feature. For example, you can connect FocusCommit to your account through Zapier.

Winner: Toggl Track

Toggl Track has an intuitive and user-friendly interface. But, when you factor in additional features like automatic time tracking, time entry duplication, and a built-in Pomodoro timer, it’s way more than just a beautiful interface. It’s the best option if you’re looking for a seamless time tracking experience.

Harvest vs Toggl Track: Analytics and Reports

In a nutshell, Harvest’s basic reports help track your expenses, while Toggl Track equips you with the best analytics on the market, allowing you to spot data trends, and analyze productivity and profitability.

Toggl Track Toggl Track
Harvest Harvest

Harvest’s reports focus on expenses and allow time reports per project, client, timeframe, and more.

Harvest lets you see expense reports for a specified time period.

It can be ideal for small teams since you can see reports as simple tables with the expense category and cost. While you won’t be able to compare income and expenses side-by-side, you can filter by clients, projects, or categories or sort them into billable and non-billable expenses.

On the other hand, freelancers can benefit from time reports, which show the total time spent on each client and project for a chosen period. The data can be filtered by timeframe, clients, projects, and more.

Toggl Track has three tools for analyzing data: Analytics, Reports, and Insights.

Toggl Track’s Premium and Enterprise plans offer a Reports section with robust time audits.

It allows managers to review time entries. This audit feature helps identify time theft or cases where employees forget to clock in or clock out — cleaning your time data to make it more insightful.

The Report Summary shows a ratio of how much time your team spends on billable and non-billable hours daily at a glance, allowing you to see if your team is profitable or not quickly.

You can also filter by team, clients, and projects (1), group reports in different ways (2), and round off time entries (3).

The amount of time employees spend on a project should align with your payment estimates. With Toggl Track, you can easily spot time-payment disparities and move team members to projects that require more attention or demand more resources.

The Insights tab is where Toggl Track shines.

It allows you to combine time data, income, and expenses into multiple reports to spot data trends, gauge profitability, and spot productivity sinks. As a prerequisite, you first need to assign labor costs to your team members, which helps calculate resource expenses. 

This tab lets you instantly see which employees are profitable and which projects are the most cost-effective. The only downside is, once you get used to it, no other time tracker’s reporting tools will satisfy you again.

Toggl Track also has a new Analytics section to create custom charts and dashboards.

Charts help you visualize your team’s time data in any way you like. You can group and filter the chart data, round time intervals, and adjust the date, time, and currency formats. This flexibility allows you to combine multiple variables and analyze time trends easily.

You can also build and customize dashboards from charts.

Dashboards help to highlight the most important aspects of your data, including total tracked time, amounts, billable work hours, trends, and averages. You can also pin dashboards to the top of the list for quick access — perfect for managers to quickly see what’s happening in the organization and export the data into a report.

Winner: Toggl Track

Toggl Track has a reports section with robust time audits, an insights tab for comparing time data with income and expenses, and an analytics section to visualize your team’s time using tables and charts. It’s the best option on the market if you want to optimize your team’s productivity and profitability.

Harvest vs Toggl Track: Billing and Invoicing

In a nutshell, Harvest supports the entire payment workflow, while Toggl Track has a simple invoice generator and relies on third-party apps.

Toggl Track Toggl Track
Harvest Harvest

Harvest has built-in invoicing and billing tools and integrates with payment processors, while Toggl Track integrates with third-party payroll and accounting services.

Harvest lets you turn your timesheets into invoices, which clients can easily pay through the built-in PayPal and Stripe integrations. There’s even an option to set up recurring invoices for repeat customers. You can also automatically copy invoices and payments to popular accounting tools like QuickBooks Online and Xero.

It also directly connects with payment processors like PayPal and Stripe.

“The analytics, UI and invoicing function has saved our team days every month in reporting and invoicing. The cost per user is far cheaper than other systems I looked at.”

Profile photo

Kristian M. in a G2 review

Operations Manager Mid-Market (51-1000 emp.)

Toggl Track’s design philosophy is two-fold:

  1. Easy time tracking for employees, 
  2. and powerful reports for decision makers and managers.

That’s why it keeps feature bloat to a minimum — to ensure maximum reliability with the features it does focus on. While its philosophy doesn’t include invoicing, Toggl Track does provide a simple invoice generator for freelancers.

Having said that, Toggl Track gives you the option to export billable time into dedicated third-party billing and invoicing software like Xero and Zoho Books.

Winner: Harvest

Harvest offers seamless integration with payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe and synchronizes with popular payroll tools like Xero and QuickBooks. This combined approach is helpful for freelancers.

Harvest vs Toggl Track: Integrations

In a nutshell, Toggl Track connects with more services, including Toggl Plan, and is available on more platforms than Harvest.

Toggl Track Toggl Track
Harvest Harvest

Toggl Track integrates with more third-party tools, but Harvest also connects with payment processors.

Toggl Track integrations include with over 100 popular tools, making it a versatile choice for connecting with various other apps and extending functionality.

This extensive list includes project management tools like Asana and Airtable, Google and Outlook calendars, sales tools like Zendesk and Salesforce, accounting software like Xero, and more.

Toggl Track also integrates with Toggl Plan, a tool for project scheduling, resource planning, and team management. It lets you visually plan and estimate work and is particularly useful for managers because you can easily make time adjustments based on Toggl Track’s data.

On the other hand, Harvest integrations include around 70 tools.

It covers a various applications, including project management, accounting, and collaboration tools.

In this case, the two platforms match evenly — if you’re looking for compatibility with your tech stack, you can’t go wrong with either one.

Toggl Track supports more platforms than Harvest.

Toggl Track offers apps for various platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. This again fits with its design philosophy — ensuring all your employees can access Toggl on their preferred devices and operating systems. That said, automatic time tracking is limited to the web version, while reports are not directly built into the Windows app.

Harvest provides apps for Mac, Windows, iPhone, and Android. However, it does not offer support for the widely known Linux operating system. You can track time across all platforms, however, certain features like project progress overviews and detailed reports are absent on the mobile apps.

Winner: Toggl Track

Toggl Track has extensive integration options, over 100 third-party tools, and broader platform support. Plus, you can easily synchronize it with your Toggl Plan account.

Harvest vs Toggl Track: Pricing

In a nutshell, Harvest offers a single Pro plan, while Toggl Track provides flexible pricing with options ranging from a Starter plan to an Enterprise plan for larger companies.

Toggl Track Toggl Track
Harvest Harvest

Toggl’s free plan offers feature-complete free time tracking software, while Harvest’s free plan is a lot more limited.

Both time tracking software have forever-free plans and grant you free 30-day access to their paid plans.

On Harvest’s free plan, you can’t upload a company logo, attach files to invoices or estimates, integrate with QuickBooks Online or Deel, import Asana projects and people, or import data. You’re also limited to one active user and two active projects per account.

Toggl Track’s free plan allows up to five active users. You also get unlimited time tracking, automated tracking triggers, a Pomodoro timer, reports, integrations with third-party tools, and CSV data imports.

Toggl Track’s free plan is a feature-complete time tracking solution. It’s an excellent choice for freelancers or small teams that want a simple and reliable time tracking app with some added invoicing and reporting features.

Harvest offers a single paid plan, while Toggl offers three – giving you more price flexibility.

Harvest’s Pro plan costs $12 a month per seat and grants access to all features:

Harvest Pro

$12/user/mo

Unlimited seats and projects + Over 50 integrations (including QuickBooks and Deel) + Data importation + Can use a custom logo

It’s a low-cost option for small teams and freelancers with slightly more sophisticated needs to track time, send invoices, and get paid all on one platform. It’s also a good option for businesses where employees work on repetitive tasks because of the copy timesheet feature (like stores or standardized manufacturing).

On the other hand, Toggl Track offers two paid plans and a custom enterprise solution:

Toggl Track Starter

$10/user/mo

Everything in Free + Billable rates + Time rounding + Favorite time entries

Toggl Track Premium

$20/user/mo

Everything in Starter + Fixed fee projects + Team time tracking reminders + Time tracking audits + Single sign-on

Toggl Track Enterprise

Custom pricing

Everything in Premium + Priority support + Customizable solutions + Volume discounts for large teams

Toggl Track’s pricing makes sense for agencies and large businesses with big teams or multiple departments. It makes up for its higher cost by helping managers spot work inefficiencies and maximize profitability. Meanwhile, employees will love Toggl Track’s time tracking simplicity, ensuring team-wide adoption.

Winner: Toggl Track

If you want a free solution, go with Toggl Track’s free plan.

If you’re a freelancer or run a small team, Harvest’s integrated billing, invoicing, and payment system might be a good fit, on the other hand, Toggl Track will be for you if you’re looking for productivity insights.

Choose Toggl Track if you’re managing a medium-sized or large team — its advanced analytics, ease of use, and integrations make it a no-brainer for this category because it will pay for itself.

Harvest vs Toggl Track: Pros and Cons

harvest Harvest
Harvest Pros

Simple and intuitive UI

Integrates with invoice payment tools

Detailed expense tracking

Easy invoice creation

Harvest Cons

Only manual time tracking

No income and profitability insights

Limited functionality on free plan

Lacks time entry duplication

toggl Toggl track
Toggl Track Pros

Intuitive design and easy-to-navigate UI

Advanced reporting features

Automatic time tracking

Tracks income, expenses, and profitability

Built-in Pomodoro timer

Toggl Track Cons

Doesn’t integrate with payment processors natively

Basic billing and invoicing features

Final Verdict: Harvest vs Toggl Track

In a nutshell, Freelancers and small businesses will like Harvest, while agencies and enterprise teams will find Toggl Track more profitable.

Harvest

Best for:

Freelancers or small businesses looking for a simple time tracking tool with built-in billing, invoicing, and payments.

Toggl Track

Best for:

Managers of teams that need powerful analytics tools to increase profitability and want to empower employees with a simple time tracking experience and productivity insights.

So, which one’s the best choice in this Toggl vs. Harvest showdown?

I found that Harvest is a good deal for freelancers and small business teams seeking a simple, cost-effective time tracking app with built-in payment tools. However, the cost becomes hard to justify for larger teams. On the other hand, Toggl Track’s flexible time tracking options and powerful analytics appeal to managers who want their employees to embrace time tracking and need productivity insights to improve efficiency.

Use Harvest if:

  • You’re fine with manual time tracking features for a more seamless experience.
  • You don’t need advanced time analytics features.
  • You want built-in payment tools.

Click here to get started with Harvest!

Use Toggl Track if:

  • You’re managing a large team or multiple departments.
  • You need a seamless time tracking tool to ensure team-wide adoption.
  • You want the most powerful time analytics tools on the market, allowing you to determine the efficiency and profitability of each employee and project.

Click here to get started with Toggl Track!

The Toggl Team

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