Simple but effective time tracking and invoicing for freelancers and small teams

Table of contents
  1. Verdict: 7.9/10
  2. Harvest Pricing
  3. Harvest Usability and Interface
  4. Harvest Core Functionalities
  5. Harvest Security Features
  6. Harvest Customer Support
  7. Is Harvest Right For Your Business?
  8. FAQs

Verdict: 7.9/10

Harvest is a straightforward time tracking and invoicing tool. One of the standout aspects for me is its intuitive and clean interface. The app’s design is minimalistic yet effective, making it easy to navigate and ensuring a minimal learning curve for new users.

With just a click, you can start and stop timers, categorize time entries by project or client, and add detailed notes or descriptions. Plus, the app’s invoicing capabilities let you easily generate professional-looking invoices. Additionally, with Harvest’s reporting features, you can generate various reports.
Harvest nails the basics, making it an excellent choice for solo professionals or freelancers, consultants, and small teams prioritizing simplicity in time tracking and invoicing.

However, it lacks sophisticated time tracking features and additional functions—like advanced project management or team scheduling and collaboration features. Moreover, the lack of integration with payroll software might be a significant drawback for some users. Larger businesses with more complex needs may quickly outgrow what Harvest can offer, especially if they require extensive customization or desire an all-in-one tool.

Key Features:

  • Time tracking: Start and stop timers with a click to log hours against projects or clients.
  • Invoicing: Generate professional invoices automatically populated with logged time entries and customizable billing rates.
  • Expense tracking: Record expenses with attached receipts or billable costs to include on invoices.
  • Reporting: Access reports breaking down billable hours, productivity metrics, and project profitability.
  • Integrations: Connect with over 50 tools like Slack, Trello, and Asana.
Pros
– Clean interface and easy navigation
– Option to generate invoices and share them with clients through email
– Comprehensive integrations (50+)
Cons
– Per-user pricing can be costly for larger teams
– Customization and reporting capabilities are limited
– Software seems too basic for larger enterprises or those with complex project management needs

Harvest Pricing

PlanHarvest Harvest Pro
Suitable forFreelancers and solopreneurs– Startups and growing businesses
– Freelancers working with multiple (2+) clients
– Contractors and businesses that use billable hours
Price per user per month$0 free forever$12/month OR $10.80/month (billed annually)
Limitation1 seat (user)2 projectsUnlimited
FeaturesAccess to all features:
– Time tracking
– Reminders
– Budget monitoring
– Invoicing
– Online payments
– Reporting & insights
– Cost & expense tracking
– 50+ integrations
Access to all features:
– Time tracking
– Reminders
– Budget monitoring
– Invoicing
– Online payments
– Reporting & insights
– Cost & expense tracking
– 50+ integrations

I found Harvest’s pricing structure to be straightforward and reasonable, especially considering the various features it offers. The Free plan is an excellent entry point for solo freelancers or very small teams, providing essential time tracking and basic reporting capabilities at no cost.

For those needing more comprehensive functionality, the Pro plan at $12/user/month is quite competitive, offering unlimited projects, advanced reporting, and invoicing features.

Harvest offers a 30-day free trial for its Pro plan, which includes access to all features. This trial doesn’t require a credit card, allowing you to test the service without any financial commitment. Plus, users who choose to pay annually receive a discount, bringing the price down to $10.80/user/month.

When comparing Harvest to similar tools, I noticed its pricing model is quite balanced for the value it provides. However, I do recognize that for larger teams, the per-user cost can add up quickly. It might not be cost-effective compared to tools with tiered pricing models or more advanced features.

Harvest offers substantial value—especially for small to medium-sized teams. However, those requiring advanced time tracking capabilities like GPS or more extensive project management and team collaboration features might find other options—like Clockify or Toggl Track—to be better suited to their needs.

Team sizeHarvest
(Pro)
Clockify
(Pro)
Toggl Track
(Premium)
Connecteam
(Basic)
10 Users$108$79.90$180Free for life — All features and dashboards
20 Users$216$159.80$360$29
30 Users$324$239.70$540$29
50 Users$540$399.50$900$39

*All prices mentioned are per month, billed annually.

Verdict: 8.5/10

Harvest Usability and Interface

Harvest
The Harvest timesheet dashboard shows daily tracked hours, with options to track time, view by day or week, and submit timesheets for approval.

While using Harvest, I appreciated the clean and minimalist interface. The dashboard is organized into several key tabs: Time, Expenses, Projects, Team, Reports, Invoices, Estimates, and Manage. Each tab is straightforward and self-explanatory, making navigation simple. Each day, the dashboard features a new motivational quote related to time or life from a famous person, which is a nice touch.

However, the interface, while clean, might appear a bit dated and bland for some users who appreciate dynamic interfaces like those offered by Toggl Track. Plus, it takes some time to set up your profile, projects, teams, clients, billable and non-billable hours, and company branding info for invoices. This setup process can be time-consuming, but once everything is set, the system runs smoothly.

Harvest
Harvest user profile settings pages show all the basic information, assigned projects, permissions, notifications, and security options.

Harvest focuses heavily on presenting an uncluttered view, offering only daily and weekly views. I’d appreciate a monthly calendar view like other time-tracking and scheduling apps offer—especially for viewing time-tracking data. Additionally, the interface lacks color coding—which I find useful for distinguishing between different clients, projects, tasks, and sub-tasks.

The
The Harvest Manage Clients view on the desktop version shows options to add new clients and their contacts or import/export.

Further, Harvest offers just 1 workspace to manage multiple clients and projects, which can get confusing. Toggl Track and Clockify provide multiple workspaces for better management with more granular role assignments. Plus, Harvest lacks alerts/reminders for employees to track time.

In addition, Harvest’s current filtering options are limited. While you can view all tracked time, it lacks the ability to filter tasks or groups within those views (weekly or overall). This makes it difficult to pinpoint and understand the time spent on specific categories.

Moreover, there’s no centralized place for notifications on the desktop. While you can set email notifications, it would be nice to have a dedicated notification center to see all updates—like timesheet submissions or invoice reminders—in one place.

The
The Harvest Notifications settings on the desktop version shows timesheets reminders, weekly report, approval, and other settings.

Harvest has attempted to ensure its platform is accessible. However, while the interface is clear and uses high-contrast colors that can be helpful for users with visual impairments, it lacks dedicated accessibility features, such as screen reader support, keyboard navigation, and customizable text sizes. These additions would make Harvest more accessible to a broader range of users, including those with disabilities.

Verdict: 6.5/10

Harvest mobile app

Screenshot
Harvest’s iOS app offers a nice dashboard view, profile settings, and even a Siri shortcut.

Harvest offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS—plus a Chrome extension. I used the Harvest iOS app and found that it mirrors the web version to a significant extent, maintaining core functionalities like time tracking, expense logging, and invoice generation. This ensures users can manage their projects and tasks seamlessly across devices.

The mobile app is intuitive, enabling users to start and stop timers, log expenses, and view reports. Plus, you can add a Siri shortcut to start or stop the timer. However, the layout can feel cramped, and navigating between features requires more taps than the web version, which might slow down productivity for some users.

While the app tracks time both online and offline, other features require an active internet connection to sync data. This can be inconvenient for users needing full functionality in areas with poor connectivity.

Despite these strengths, there’s a noticeable disconnect between the desktop and mobile versions. The functionality and user experience don’t align perfectly, which can be frustrating when switching between devices and leads to a less cohesive user experience.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Menu ItemAdminEmployee
WebsiteMobile AppWebsiteMobile App
Core features
Time Tracking
Expenses
InvoicesView only
Estimates
Analysis features
Dashboard
ReportsLimitedLimited
Activity
Management features
Kiosks
Approvals
Projects
TeamView hours
ClientsView name only
InvoicesView only
SettingsLimitedLimitedLimited

This table shows different permission levels: Member, Manager, and Administrator.

 MemberManagerAdministrator
Time and expenses
Track time and expenses 
Report on own time and expenses
Report on others’ time and expensesOnly for projects they manage
Approve time and expensesOnly for projects they manage
Edit others’ time and expensesOnly for projects they manage
Clients, projects, and tasks
Create and edit clients and tasksOnly with additional permission
Create projectsOnly with additional permission
Edit projectsOnly with additional permission and only projects they manage
Assign people to projectsOnly for projects they manage
View project reportsOnly assigned projects shown to everybodyOnly projects they manage or assigned projects shown to everybody
See billable rates and amountsOnly for projects they manage
See cost rates and amounts
Invoices and estimates
Create invoicesOnly with additional permission and for projects they manage
Manage invoicesOnly with additional permission and for projects they manage
Send invoicesOnly with additional permission and for projects they manage
Create, send, and manage estimatesOnly with additional permission
Account management
Add people
Edit peopleOnly some details for their assigned people
Manage account settings
Upgrade and update billing information
Close the accountOnly the Account Owner

Harvest Core Functionalities

Time tracking

Harvest offers several methods for tracking time, including a manual entry system, a timer, and the capability to allocate time to specific projects. Its user-friendly interface minimizes errors, with time tracked to the nearest minute.

The user interface for starting and stopping the timer is intuitive, with minimal clicks needed to begin recording time. However, I noticed that the timer continued tracking even when I turned off my computer, which could lead to inaccuracies.

A
The timer is easy to use but didn’t always turn off when I shut down my computer.

For manual entries, the process is straightforward—just fill in the project details and the time spent. This flexibility allows you to track time accurately, even if you forget to start a timer. 

Harvest also offers a timesheet view where you can see the entire week at a glance. However, a monthly view filtered by clients, roles, tasks, and projects would be useful, as sifting through different projects to find the required information can sometimes be frustrating.

Another thing I disliked is that, as a manager, you can only approve a timesheet or email the relevant employee if any timesheet requires modification. It’d be better if managers were allowed to make changes to avoid back-and-forth revisions.

Harvest’s
Harvest’s time tracking on the mobile iOS app shows the timer and hours tracked with different filtering options.

Though Harvest lets you set capacity limits, it doesn’t automatically notify you when you’re going above your allotted time. Plus, it doesn’t automatically calculate overtime, which can be a drawback for organizations that must comply with labor laws and regulations regarding extra pay for overtime hours.

A
The team hours report on the desktop version shows total hours, billable hours, and capacity limits of all employees.

Unlike some other time-tracking tools like Connecteam, Harvest doesn’t offer GPS tracking. For businesses that must verify the location of their field workers, this could be a significant limitation. Moreover, there are no real-time alerts or notifications for when you’re approaching the budget limit on a project, which could lead to overspending before it’s noticed.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Invoicing, payments, and estimates

The ability to generate invoices automatically based on recorded timesheets and associated expenses is one of the features I’ve found particularly beneficial in maintaining a smooth workflow.

The platform provides customizable invoice templates that include detailed item descriptions, tax calculations, and branded elements to keep the invoices professional and consistent with company branding. Types of invoices include:

  • Recurring invoices: Automatically generate and send invoices at regular intervals.
  • Retainer invoices: Bill clients in advance for ongoing services, deducting time and expenses from the retainer amount.

Additionally, Harvest offers the ability to create and send estimates to clients, who can then approve or decline them, making it easy to get project agreements in place before work begins.

You can also track payments directly within Harvest, with support for partial payments and the ability to see which invoices are overdue. This makes the follow-up process straightforward.

The
The Harvest invoice configurator offers a number of customization options.

Invoice and estimate configuration options include:

  • Address: Customize the sender and recipient address fields.
  • Company logo: Include your company logo on invoices and estimates.
  • Messages: Customize invoice, reminder, and thank you messages with templates and more.
  • Payment integration: Accept payments via PayPal and Stripe.
The
The Harvest invoice view on the mobile iOS app, showing an invoice on the left and invoice summary on the right.

While Harvest integrates with payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe, the functionalities are fairly basic. For instance, there’s no option to automatically charge clients’ cards or accounts, which means each payment must be manually initiated by the client. 

Harvest supports multiple currencies, which is great for international businesses, but the lack of language options can be a barrier when dealing with clients who prefer invoices in their native language.

Verdict: 9/10

Reporting and analytics

Harvest offers solid reporting tools for managing day-to-day operations and ensuring projects are tracked against budgets and timelines. 

Here are the various reports available in Harvest:

  • Time Report: Provides a summary of the total hours worked, broken down by client, project, or team member, which is helpful for a quick overview of time allocation.
  • Detailed Time Report: Lets you view all time entries, filtered by parameters such as date range, project, client, or team member. It’s useful for reviewing specific work periods or activities.
  • Detailed Expense Report: Lists all recorded expenses, which can be filtered by date range, project, or team member, providing a clear view of project costs.
  • Invoice Detailed Report: Breaks down each invoice by line item, providing detailed information about billed time and expenses.
  • Uninvoiced Report: Displays all uninvoiced time and expenses for projects and clients, ensuring no billable work is missed and helping identify potential revenue gaps.
  • Payments Received Report: Lists all payments received from clients, showing the details of each payment and helping track revenue and outstanding balances.
  • Contractor Report: Summarizes the hours contractors have worked, providing insights into contractor contributions and aiding in managing contractor-related costs.

The interface for generating reports is intuitive, with visual aids like graphs and charts that help break down data in an easily digestible format. This makes it straightforward to track your projects’ health, ensuring that they remain profitable and on schedule.

A
A Harvest time report on the desktop version, showing hours, billable hours, and billable amount for different tasks

Once generated, these reports can be exported in various formats, such as PDF or CSV. Or, you can print them directly to share insights with stakeholders or integrate data with other tools.

However, Harvest’s reporting does have limitations. Not all users can access full reports. Generally, only administrators have the comprehensive access needed to generate detailed reports.

Moreover, I found that changing an employee’s cost (e.g., when an employee gets a promotion) in Harvest updates all past data, which messes up historical cost reports. This lack of flexibility creates a lot of manual work and frustration. Harvest needs to update its software to handle these changes more efficiently.

Furthermore, the reports, although detailed, aren’t generated in real time. This delay can sometimes hinder making immediate adjustments in fast-paced project environments. Also, Harvest lacks AI-powered time tracking and reporting capabilities found in some competitors like Jibble, Timely, and Clockwise.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Expense tracking

The
The Harvest Expense tab on the desktop version, featuring expense details and attaching receipt option

Expense tracking within Harvest is an integral feature for maintaining a clear view of project costs and ensuring accurate client billing. The platform lets you log expenses directly, attach receipts, and categorize these expenses under specific projects or tasks.

This functionality integrates directly with the time tracking and invoicing features, which simplifies the process of charging clients for out-of-pocket expenses incurred during a project.

While Harvest allows you to categorize expenses, the options and depth of analysis are somewhat basic. For businesses that require detailed cost accounting or more sophisticated expense management, the features might feel limited. For in-depth cost analysis, Harvest could benefit from features like custom expense field and project cost breakdowns.

There’s also no built-in workflow for expense approvals within Harvest. This means that all expenses are generally considered approved upon entry, which might not suit organizations that require a multi-step approval process for expense management.

Although Harvest integrates well with many project management and accounting software, it lacks direct integration with dedicated expense management systems, which might be a drawback for companies that use specialized tools for this purpose.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Integrations

One of Harvest’s strongest points is its ability to integrate seamlessly with a wide range of other tools businesses commonly use, including: 

  • Project management tools like Asana, Trello, and Basecamp.
  • Accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero.
  • Communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
  • File storage integrations include Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems like Salesforce and HubSpot.
  • Developer tools like GitHub and Bitbucket (for tracking time spent on issues and pull requests).
  • Automation platforms such as Zapier and IFTTT.
The
Surprisingly, Harvest doesn’t have any payroll integrations.

Though I didn’t encounter any issues, some users reported problems with QuickBooks and Asana integrations. 

Moreover, it came as a shock to me that Harvest doesn’t offer payroll integration, which could be a significant drawback for businesses that need to streamline payroll processes. (You can take advantage of its integrations with PayPal and Stripe to pay contractors and freelancers, but these won’t work for paying employees.)

Plus, I’d appreciate it if they had a built-in communication capability to make real-time collaboration with the team easier.

Verdict: 7/10

Harvest Security Features

Harvest implements several technical measures to protect user data.

  • SSL encryption ensures all data transmitted between the user and server is secure. This encryption helps safeguard sensitive information from unauthorized access.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide 2 forms of identification before accessing their accounts. 
  • User roles and permissions are well-defined within Harvest, allowing administrators to control who has access to specific data and functionalities. 
  • GDPR compliance ensures that user data is handled in accordance with stringent privacy laws.
The
Harvest offers strong security features that help keep your company secure

Although these security measures suggest a strong commitment to data protection, explicit HIPAA compliance would be a valuable addition for certain businesses.

Verdict: 9/10

Harvest Customer Support

During my interaction with Harvest’s support team, I received a response within 7 minutes of submitting my query through their live chat system.

Although they don’t offer a chatbot, you can type in a message and your email, and an agent replies directly to your inbox. The quick response I received from a human agent was impressive and ensured my issue was addressed promptly.

Harvest’s help center is quite comprehensive, allowing users to search for answers to almost any question they might have. The articles are detailed and cover a wide range of topics—from basic functionality to advanced features.

The lack of phone support might be a drawback for users who prefer direct, verbal communication for resolving issues. Also, the support hours aren’t specified, which could mean limited availability outside of regular business hours or time zones different from the user’s.

Verdict: 8/10

Is Harvest Right For Your Business?

Harvest is ideally suited for freelancers, consultants, and small to medium-sized businesses that need an efficient tool for time tracking, project management, and invoicing. Its user-friendly interface and comprehensive integrations make it an excellent choice for teams looking to streamline their operations and maintain accurate billing.

Harvest’s per-user pricing model is very manageable for small to medium teams. For larger teams, the cost quickly adds up, making it costlier than some alternatives like Clockify.

Also, Harvest is primarily a time tracking tool and doesn’t offer extensive employee management capabilities like scheduling or built-in communication tools. Plus, it lacks advanced time tracking features such as GPS tracking, overtime tracking, and task management capabilities found in more cost-efficient tools like Connecteam.

FAQs

Does Harvest take screenshots or video recordings of my computer?

No, Harvest doesn’t take screenshots or video recordings of your computer. Harvest also doesn’t track activity or cursor movements.

Is Harvest’s time tracker free?

When you first sign up for a Harvest account, you get a free 30-day trial with all features, including the time tracker. There’s also a free plan that provides access to the time tracker—with limitations—that you can use indefinitely.

Does harvest track idle time?

Yes, Harvest for Mac and Windows automatically detects idle time and allows you to choose whether to keep or remove the tracked time since your computer became idle.

Does Harvest offer payroll services?

No, Harvest doesn’t offer payroll services or integrations with payroll tools. However, you can export time and expense data to Excel or CSV for import into your payroll tool. Additionally, you can use Harvest’s API to build an integration with your preferred payroll tool.

Which browsers does Harvest support?

Harvest supports the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

An illustration showing Connecteam’s time clock interface

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