Hubstaff vs Toggl: A Definitive Comparison [March 2024]
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Hubstaff vs Toggl: A Definitive Comparison [March 2024]

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

Hubstaff and Toggl are top contenders in the time tracking and productivity software space. Our team used them side-by-side for two weeks to see how they differ in core features, user experience, and approach to privacy. Here’s what we found: 

Hubstaff is great for contractors or companies with employees working remotely or on physical job sites. It focuses more on productivity management than time tracking and works well for freelancers and small teams thanks to its pay-as-you-use pricing model. 

However, its primary audience is companies that want an over-the-shoulder view of employees’ work because it offers GPS-based location tracking, screenshots, app and URL usage tracking, and mouse and keyboard tracking.

These features make it controversial for employee privacy and put it firmly in the category of surveillance tools, which may foster distrust and negatively impact team culture in the long run.

In the opposite corner is Toggl Track, a productivity platform focused on privacy, trust, growth, and performance.

It doesn’t have any employee monitoring features because its philosophy is to equip teams with tools to increase trust and transparency and build a culture of time tracking for growth. The idea is to help everybody seamlessly track time and equip decision-makers with the most advanced time analysis tools — allowing them to make informed decisions and increase productivity, work-life balance, and profitability.

Toggl Track is a great free option for freelancers and small teams, an affordable option for small businesses, and it shines the most when used by large companies with big teams, where the analytics insights can have the biggest impact.

We compared Hubstaff vs Toggl Track in the following areas:

  • Pricing
  • Time Tracking
  • Analytics and Insights
  • Team Management
  • Employee Surveillance & Privacy

We’ll review each in depth in the article, but first, here’s a summary of our findings!

Hubstaff vs Toggl: Comparison Summary

hubstaff Hubstaff
ycbm Toggl

Price

Free for one user. Paid plans start at $7/user/mo for time tracking and limited reports, payroll, and monitoring. Some features are locked behind paid add-ons.

Free for up to five users with unlimited tracking and projects. Starts at $10/user/mo for Project Tasks, Billable Rates, and Project Templates. Also offers a 30-day trial for both paid plans.

Time Tracking

Easy-to-use time tracker, but the widget may obstruct other UI elements. Manual time tracking is stiff, requiring approval to edit the time sheet.

Intuitive and powerful time tracking tools in an intuitive interface. The beautiful UI has vibrant colors, tooltips, and keyboard shortcuts that make it quick to learn.

Team Management

Powerful built-in workforce management tools, including automated and manual payroll, dedicated stand-up tools, employee task scheduling, and sprints.

Team management tools are in the Toggl Plan suite. No built-in payroll. Less stand-up features that require more setup. But has a powerful task-scheduling dashboard.

Analytics & Insights

Offers weekly and summary reports on time tracking data. Multiple report types with email scheduling. Insights on employee device activity. Has an employee productivity leaderboard.

Reports on projects, employee profitability, ROI, and other vital business metrics. Multiple types of insights. Advanced analytics with Custom Dashboards and Charts. Filters for sorting Reports, Charts, and Insights.

Employee Privacy

Offers GPS tracking, screenshotting, mouse and keyboard tracking, app & URL usage monitoring, and other employee monitoring tools.

Prioritizes employee privacy and location security. Does not offer activity monitoring tools like GPS tracking or remote screenshotting.

Integrations

30+ native integrations + Zapier and Hubstaff API

100+ native integrations + Zapier, Integrately, and the Toggl API

Used By

Instacart, Groupon, ClearDesk, Ahrefs, Ring

Amazon, Uber, Ogilvy, LinkedIn, Booking.com

Best For

Contractors who need geofencing for on-site workers and managers who want an over-the-shoulder perspective of employees’ activities.

Managers of large teams who want to increase profitability with powerful analytics and employees who value privacy without micromanagement.

Try Toggl Track No credit card required

What is Hubstaff?

“All-in-one team productivity tracker” 🏃‍♂️🎯

Hubstaff was created in 2012 by Dave Nevogt and Jared Brown after they hired freelancers and needed a better way to track time and manage them. They wanted a platform that helps entrepreneurs and freelancers focus on business strategies rather than operational tasks. 

Hubstaff is an all-in-one time tracking, project management, payroll, and employee monitoring software that helps users track time spent on tasks and projects in real time. It provides several types of reports, helping users make data-driven decisions and improve efficiency, while the productivity insights help foster healthy competition among employees with the leaderboard and achievement badges. Hubstaff supports employee monitoring, offering a GPS location tracker, screenshotting, mouse and keyboard activity tracking, and app & URL usage data. 

It’s best for companies that require industrial efficiency from their employees, especially those working on physical job sites. However, its employee monitoring tools are a turn-off for teams that value privacy and trust-based work culture.

What is Toggl Track?

“Analytics-driven growth and productivity” 📊

Alari Aho and Krister Haav created Toggl Track in 2006 after having difficulty figuring out how much time they spent on each client. Realizing its potential, and with positive feedback from their clients, they added Toggl Plan and Toggl Hire to the portfolio. They made the software available to teams of all sizes, from independent consultants to large development teams.

Toggl has a philosophy of time tracking for self-reflection and career growth. That’s why it uses automation, reminders, and robust integrations to make time tracking more accessible to everyone. This way, employees view time tracking as less of a chore and more of a vital business operation. However, Toggl is more than a time tracker. Its true power lies in the Analytics feature, which helps managers discover productivity issues and develop a healthy environment for constructive conversations, mentorship, and support.

Toggl Track is perfect for companies that agree with Toggl’s core values — respect for employee privacy and ownership of work. Moreover, no other platform on the market provides decision-makers with tools to spot inefficiency and improve it as much as Toggl Track.

Hubstaff vs Toggl: Time Tracking

In a nutshell, Toggl Track is easier to use and offers better automated time tracking and project management than Hubstaff.

hubstaff Hubstaff
Toggl Track Toggl

User Experience: Toggl’s time tracking interface is more modern and intuitive than Hubstaff’s.

Hubstaff doesn’t provide a dedicated timer menu. Instead, it uses a floating timer widget that can appear in any menu and obstruct other UI elements.

While using the app, we experienced random crashes, poor performance, and problems with some buttons. Furthermore, navigating the UI was unintuitive compared to Toggl. There is a dashboard for quick access to some features, but we found it easier to navigate using the side panel.

In contrast, Toggl’s UI looks more inviting, with vibrant colors, modern fonts, and tooltips that make navigation a breeze. Unlike Hubstaff, it provides tags, allowing you to group otherwise unrelated projects, clients, and time entries.

Toggl Track lets you choose your preferred timer view:

  • List View: a day-by-day view that shows logged time and allows bulk edits of entries.
  • Timeline View: shows entries for the whole week or a single day; drag-and-drop editing.

Another useful feature in Toggl Track is the Keyboard Shortcuts, which streamline navigation and simplify workflow. Hubstaff doesn’t provide keyboard shortcuts on the web app. Moreover, its desktop app only provides shortcuts for starting and stopping the timer. 

Toggl’s Keyboard Shortcut

Automated Time Tracking: Hubstaff offers location-based time tracking, while Toggl’s desktop app has a dedicated Autotracker.

Hubstaff uses geofencing to automate time tracking if you have the Locations add-on.

It automatically clocks your employees in and out using real-time GPS location. This way, they don’t have to worry about starting or stopping the timer. It also tracks their physical location, which is vital for companies with on-site operators but raises concerns about privacy and micromanagement.

Meanwhile, Toggl Track’s Desktop App lets you set up an Autotracker.

It automatically records your website and app usage and only stores this data locally. You can copy this data to create time entries when you want to log time. This ensures only the data you choose to log is visible to your teammates.

This feature exists purely to make time tracking more seamless, that’s why the user has full control over it.

They can choose between two settings:

  • automatically start and stop timers based on the time of day (1),
  • automatically start and stop timers when an active window is in focus (2). 

And you can create as many auto-tracking rules as you want and set reminders for when you forget to start or stop timers.

In addition, the desktop app has a fully-featured Pomodoro Timer with a built-in countdown timer. The Pomodoro can automatically start the timer for focus sessions and breaks, and it lets you choose from six focus sounds. Hubstaff does not offer this feature. 

Project Management: Toggl Track provides better project customization and workflow than Hubstaff.

Hubstaff makes you select a project before starting or stopping the timer and saving the entry. Unlike Toggl, you can’t create a project from the timer menu.

Instead, you must navigate to the Project Management tab to set up a project. This means you can’t use it as a stopwatch for simple tasks, forcing you to litter your workspace with throwaway projects.

Meanwhile, Toggl Track isn’t tied to a project for saving time entries. 

This feature makes it a great time tracker for tasks unrelated to a specific project. Furthermore, if you need to associate an entry to a project later on, it allows you to do so even after saving the entries.

It also allows you to control the timer for individual tasks directly from the Projects menu.

Toggl Track lets you set projects as templates and use the same settings when creating a new project. It also allows you to set the project budget as an hourly billing rate or a fixed fee. Plus, you can set a time estimate and a recurring period for the project. Hubstaff does not offer such project settings.

Winner: Toggl Track

Toggl has a warm, vibrant UI with shortcuts and tooltips to streamline navigation. Plus, it automates time tracking and provides a built-in Pomodoro Timer. Hubstaff’s UI feels outdated compared to the web app has performance issues.

Hubstaff vs Toggl: Analytics & Insights

In a nutshell, Both platforms offer Reports and Insights, but Toggl includes powerful Analytics with customizable Dashboards and Charts.

hubstaff Hubstaff
Toggl Track Toggl

Toggl Track provides customizable dashboards and reports, while Hubstaff does not.

Toggl Track’s new Analytics tool is a flexible and customizable method of visualizing time tracking data and other insights. Not only does it help managers with billing clients and processing payroll, it’s also designed to:

  • improve team efficiency,
  • manage resource demand better,
  • and improve project profitability and efficiency.

It lets you create custom Dashboards and customize the charts displayed on them. This way, you can analyze the data you need and visualize it using charts that you can easily understand. 

Dashboards comprise one or more charts and an optional Totals Widget that shows a summary of all tracked data. You can add different types of charts, such as:

  • tables,
  • bar charts,
  • pivot tables,
  • line graphs,
  • and donut charts.

Toggl Track also lets you create custom charts to visualize time tracking data. Using custom filters, you can set the date range and group the time tracking data.

Hubstaff doesn’t offer such an advanced analytics tool. Instead, it uses non-interactive reports, pre-made for the user. It provides report filters that offer some flexibility but are nowhere as robust as Toggl Track’s custom reports.

Both platforms provide periodic Reports, but Hubstaff offers more report types.

Hubstaff and Toggl Track provide weekly, and summary reports about projects, tasks, and time entries, which can be filtered by:

  • task,
  • team,
  • client,
  • and project.

Hubstaff’s Time and activities report

Toggl Track’s Reports feature provides more filters, such as billable hours, tags, and descriptions. The Detailed Report shows in detail each team member’s time entries, tasks, and projects. Unlike Hubstaff, it allows you to round off time entries and edit them in place. 

Toggl Track’s Detailed Report

Both platforms let you schedule sending reports to your mail as PDF and CSV. This way, you and your stakeholders can stay updated on your projects without constantly logging into the platform.

Toggl Track’s reports only show the time each team member spends on projects and the amount owed, while Hubstaff provides several other report types, such as:

  • Work Sessions — shows start and stop times for team members.
  • Apps & URLS — see all apps and URLs team members visit while working.
  • Payments — amount given to team members over a set period.
  • Client Budgets — the amount of client budgets spent.
  • Shift Attendance —  completed, late, and missed shifts for all team members.

Hubstaff’s report types

It’s worth noting that some of these reports are only available on higher plans, so you may need to upgrade your account to access them.

Toggl Track provides insights on profitability, while Hubstaff provides insights on employee activities.

Hubstaff monitors and collects data on employee activities, such as apps and URLs visited, idle hours, daily focus, and work time targets. This way, employers can detect fake activity like auto clickers and keyboard mimics.

It also includes a leaderboard that shows the best-performing employees based on productivity. It shows each team member’s tracked time, activity, productivity, and earned achievements. 

Unlike Hubstaff, which doesn’t trust employees and measures productivity by tracking their activities, Toggl Track is trust-based and prefers to measure productivity by employee and project profitability.

To that end, Toggl’s Insights feature provides four types of insights based on time tracking data and billable hours:

  • data trends,
  • project profitability, 
  • employee profitability,
  • and comparative analysis.

The Data Trends insight shows the total and daily average of working hours spent on each project, allowing managers to compare time allocation between multiple projects.

Toggl Track plots a timeline of your earnings and labor costs based on your team’s billable hours and displays the results on the Project Profitability dashboard. It also shows your workspace’s profit/loss margins for each project and client.

The Employee Profitability graph is quite similar, but it shows the loss/earnings margin for employees in your organization.

Lastly, the Comparative insights menu lets you compare the time tracked between any two weeks. It shows the hours logged for each day of the week in a head-to-head line graph, helping managers assess productivity over a set period.

Winner: Toggl Track

Toggl’s Analytics are the best of any time tracking tool. It provides customizable charts and dashboards with profitability insights that help you maximize productivity. In contrast, Hubstaff’s insights are based on employee monitoring data, rewarding team members who seem to perform the most work.

Hubstaff vs Toggl: Team Management

In a nutshell, Hubstaff offers built-in Payroll and Workforce Management tools, while Toggl relies on the Toggl Plan suite and third-party platforms.

hubstaff Hubstaff
Toggl Track Toggl

Employee Scheduling: Both platforms offer employee scheduling, but Hubstaff has built-in support for task sprints.

Hubstaff’s Schedules feature allows you to create shifts, manage time off, and holidays. When making a schedule for a team member, you can assign tasks, set the duration, and choose the minimum working hours. It also lets you set a recurring duration for shifts and time zones for remote workers.

The Calendar menu shows all employee schedules, with filters for holidays, time off, shifts, and members. Selecting a specific member highlights all their events and schedules on the timeline.

Toggl Plan also offers employee schedules with a drag-and-drop interface for project timelines, allowing you to visualize work times, availability, and workload.

It uses a seamless two-way integration with Toggl Track, allowing you to start the timer from Plan and watch the tracked time sync up on the project timeline. 

Payroll Tracker: Hubstaff provides a built-in payroll tracker, while Toggl relies on third-party integrations for payroll.

The Hubstaff Pay add-on lets you add your credit card information and choose which team members you wish to include in automatic payments. You can also use other payment processors like Wise, PayPal, and Payoneer.

When setting up automatic payments, you can configure exactly how you want to pay each employee, such as:

  • Member — the team member you want to add to your payroll.
  • Pay Period — Weekly, Twice weekly, Bi-weekly, Monthly, or None (for manual payments).
  • Require timesheet approval — timesheet must be approved before running automatic payments.
  • Pay Type — hourly or fixed payments.
  • Pay Rate — the rate for the team member.
  • Bill Rate — the rate you can bill your client.
  • Email — team member’s payment email.

Toggl doesn’t provide built-in payment processing but lets you set billable rates flexibly.

You can set billable rates for:

  • Workspace (most general)
  • Workspace member
  • Project
  • Project member
  • Task (most granular)

More granular rates always override general ones, allowing for precise billing control.

Once the billable rates and labor costs are set, Toggl Track generates invoices and calculates the amount owed to each employee based on the total tracked time. You can also export invoices as PDF and payroll data with just a few clicks. 

Moreover, it has over 100 integrations, including Xero and Margn. This way, you can easily import payroll payment processing functionalities into the platform, creating a seamless workflow.

Daily Standups: Hubstaff provides a dedicated Stand-ups tool, while Toggl uses recurring tasks for stand-ups.

The Hubstaff Tasks project management software provides a stand-up feature to create daily or weekly stand-up meetings. You can set follow-up questions that team members can use to give updates on their work.

When submitting a status update for a stand-up meeting, Hubstaff can automatically answer the follow-up questions based on your tracked time, completed tasks, and to-dos.

Toggl Plan uses Tasks and Reminders to achieve similar functionality. It doesn’t provide a dedicated stand-up feature but lets you set up recurring tasks and send reminders to all relevant team members. And you’d have to handle follow-up questions outside the platform. 

Winner: Hubstaff

Hubstaff provides a powerful built-in payroll tracker that can replace any dedicated payroll software. It is highly configurable, with support for several payment processors. On the other hand, Toggl is better for users who want to handle payments in-house or with a third-party tool.

Hubstaff vs Toggl: Employee Surveillance & Privacy

In a nutshell, Hubstaff offers employee monitoring tools like GPS tracking and screenshots, while Toggl has a no-surveillance policy.

hubstaff Hubstaff
Toggl Track Toggl

Hubstaff can track employees’ device activities.

The Hubstaff desktop app can take up to three random screenshots of employees’ screens every 10 minutes. And, with the More Screenshots add-on, it can capture up to 10 screenshots every 10 minutes.

While it doesn’t record keyboard data, Hubstaff can track mouse and keyboard activity. It listens for mouse and keyboard movement every second and generates an activity level for each employee.

It also tracks all apps and URLs visited during work hours, measuring the total time spent on each of them and the number of times used.

Hubstaff offers GPS-based location tracking.

Hubstaff’s mobile app uses GPS data to track your current employees’ locations and their previous routes. It also displays time stamps showing where they were at specific times on the route.

Unlike the desktop app, which only records device activity when the user is tracking time, the mobile app constantly tracks location, even when the timer isn’t running. This occurs when the phone is set as a primary device, and the manager sets location tracking to “Always”.

Hubstaff lets you set up job sites, which are designated physical locations where your employees can track time. Also known as geofencing, this feature automatically starts recording time when users enter the job site and stop recording when they leave.

Toggl is intentionally anti-surveillance and doesn’t offer location tracking or screen recording.

Toggl Track values trust and a sense of ownership over work. That’s why it doesn’t believe in employee surveillance. It started as an in-house time tracker, where micromanagement and employee monitoring have never been part of its work culture. As such, it doesn’t track location, mouse activity, keystrokes, screen, or webcams.

Furthermore, employee surveillance generates a lot of noise, which dilutes the usefulness of the tracking data. That’s because people will find ways around anything they don’t like doing. Toggl Track instead focuses on providing insights into improving workspace productivity and profitability.

Winner: Toggl Track

Toggl Track is for teams that value employee privacy and prefer self-motivation over micro-management. Meanwhile, Hubstaff is better for companies that need an automatic clock-in/out for employees working on job sites.

Hubstaff vs Toggl: Pricing

In a nutshell, Hubstaff has a simple model with key features locked behind paid add-ons, while Toggl has a straightforward pricing plan with no hidden costs.

hubstaff Hubstaff
Toggl Track Toggl

Hubstaff is free for one user, while Toggl is free for up to five users.

Hubstaff offers a free lifetime plan with a time tracker, timesheet, activity levels, and project clients. It also offers limited versions of reports, screenshots, and payment.

Toggl Track’s free plan offers unlimited time tracking, projects, and clients, making it an excellent option for freelancers and small teams of up to five users.

Hubstaff offers four subscription plans with paid add-ons.

In addition to the free plan, Hubstaff offers four subscription plans that unlock more features and include some add-ons by default.

Starter

$7/user/month

Time tracking + Limited reports + Limited payments + Limited screenshots + Clients & invoices

Grow

$9/user/month

Starter features + Free Tasks add-on + Reports + Expenses + Work breaks + Project budgets

Team

$12/user/month

Grow features + Free Insights add-on + Teams + Overtime + Payments & payroll + Timesheet approvals + Unlimited screenshots

Enterprise

$25/user/month

Team features + Free Locations, Corporate app add-ons + Single sign-on + Pay by bank debit + Account provisioning + Enterprise deployment

It uses a pay-as-you-use model to access advanced tools without upgrading your plan. For example, the Starter plan can use the Insights and Locations add-ons, which cost $2/user/month and $4/user/month, respectively.

Toggl Track’s plans are more expensive, requiring a Toggl Plan subscription to provide the same value.

Starter

$10/user/month ($9/month annually)

Free features + Billable ratesTasks (Sub-projects) + Time rounding for reports + Pre-populated project templates + Project time estimates and alerts

Premium

$20/user/month ($18/month annually)

Starter features + Fixed fee projects + Timesheet approvals + Schedule report emails + Team time tracking reminders + Project forecasts and analysis

Enterprise

Custom pricing

Unlimited users + Premium features + Priority support + Multiple workspaces + Customizable solutions + Expert training and assistance

Toggl designed each plan to cater to a specific audience. This way, you know what exactly to go for based on your team size and business requirements:

  • Starter — for individuals and small teams needing analytics and task management tools.
  • Premium — for managers who must keep their large teams agile and synchronized.
  • Enterprise — same features as Premium with tailored solutions for complex organizations.

Toggl Track alone does not offer the same range of features as Hubstaff, and it is missing vital tools like payroll and workforce management. To get these features, you must purchase a Toggl Plan subscription, which costs $9/user/month for the Team plan and $15/user/month for the Business plan.

Winner: Hubstaff

Hubstaff’s base plans are cheaper than Toggl Track’s, but it charges separately for add-ons. However, upgrading to a higher plan unlocks some add-ons for free. Toggl Track’s base plans are more expensive, but it doesn’t have paid add-ons. To get a similar feature set with Hubstaff, you add a Toggl Plan subscription to your package.

Hubstaff vs Toggl: Pros and Cons

In a nutshell, Hubstaff is better for contractors who need employee monitoring and geofencing, while Toggl Track is best for large teams who want to increase profitability.

hubstaff Hubstaff
Hubstaff Pros

Robust workforce management tools

Lots of insights and report types

GPS-based automated time tracking

Hubstaff Cons

Employee monitoring tools

No custom charts and dashboards

Some features are locked behind paid add-ons

Only supports reports, no analytics

Toggl Track Toggl Track
Toggl Track Pros

Detailed and powerful Analytics

Intuitive user interface

Opt-in management tools

Lots of integrations

Toggl Track Cons

Can be expensive for small businesses

Doesn’t integrate with payment processors

Doesn’t include Billing and Invoicing

Final Verdict: Hubstaff vs Toggl Track

In a nutshell, Toggl Track is best for large knowledge-based service teams, while Hubstaff is best for on-site contractors or companies that want employee monitoring tools.

hubstaff Hubstaff
Toggl Track Toggl Track
Best for: Contractors who need geofencing for on-site workers and managers who want an over-the-shoulder perspective of employees’ activities.
Best for: Managers of large teams who want to increase profitability with powerful analytics and employees who value privacy without micromanagement.

If you’ve paid close attention to the comparison, you’d notice that Toggl takes the lead in most categories. That’s because its tools are more powerful, easy to use, and user-centric. Moreover, it focuses more on measuring productivity by work output rather than work input. 

But that’s not to say that Hubstaff isn’t a great tool. It simply appeals to a different audience — teams that expect utmost diligence and maximum efficiency from their members.

Use Hubstaff if:

  • You want to monitor employee location and device activities.
  • You’re a contractor with employees who work at physical job sites.
  • You want an all-in-one time tracking and workforce management platform.

Click here to get started with Hubstaff!

Use Toggl Track if:

  • You need powerful Analytics to help you improve productivity.
  • You value privacy and a trust-based work culture.
  • You need a hassle-free automatic time tracker.

Click here to get started with Toggl Track!

The Toggl Team

Work tools to elevate your productivity – apps for incredibly simple time tracking and effective project planning.

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