Harvest Review: Is It the Right Time Tracking Software for You?
Harvest is a web-based time tracking software with invoicing and online payment capabilities. It has robust time tracking features and is available through mobile apps, desktop programs, and browser extensions. Harvest has a free plan and a paid option that costs $12 per user monthly.
What We Like
- Its free option lets you track time for projects, send invoices, and submit expense reports
- Can handle online payments through Stripe and PayPal integrations
- Robust third-party software integrations
- The free tier has only one user seat and two projects
- Time tracking for unlimited projects is included only in its paid Pro plan; this option can be costly, especially if you have a big team
- GPS tracking and facial recognition scans are unavailable
- Offers discounts for nonprofit and educational organizations, as well as those that pay annually for more than 50 users
- Robust functionality for free plan, but only for one user and two projects
- Unlimited projects and invoices for paid plans
- Offline time tracking in mobile app versions
- No GPS tracking feature
What We Recommend Harvest For
Harvest makes it possible for freelancers, solopreneurs, and small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to track time on projects while managing tasks, teams, and client invoices. Earning a spot in our best time tracking software guide, it was given high marks in ease of use, pricing, and tracking billable hours and job labor costs.
In short, Harvest is best for:
- Freelancers and solopreneurs looking for free time tracking, invoicing, and expensing tools: Its free plan is a great option for those handling up to two projects at a time and needing just one seat. Apart from an online time tracker, Harvest’s free tier comes with invoicing, payments, reports, and customer support.
- SMBs that handle projects for clients: Harvest’s Pro plan caters to unlimited users and projects, so this option will enable you to collaborate with team members and track time, income, and expenses for multiple projects.
- Freelancers in rural areas with a weak internet connection: If you’re using Harvest’s mobile apps (for iOS and Android devices), you can continue to track time and log expenses even if you lose your internet connection. Harvest will sync all saved data to your account once the connection has been restored.
When Harvest Would Not Be a Good Fit
Harvest lost points because it lacks GPS tracking and doesn’t support clock-ins/out through PIN code and biometric scans. Harvest also doesn’t integrate with payroll systems—which would have made employee pay processing based on actual hours worked easier for business owners.
- If you need to capture the actual hours worked of hourly staff, then Harvest isn’t a good fit because it is essentially an online stopwatch. We recommend Homebase for this need since its online time clock is designed to monitor the attendance of hourly staff. Plus, it has a free plan that includes scheduling, time and attendance tracking, and basic hiring tools for businesses with one physical location.
- If you’re looking for low-cost time tracking of unlimited projects, Clockify is a good alternative. It has a free option that comes with online time sheets, detailed reports, unlimited users and projects, and time tracker apps that work on computers and mobile devices. If you want additional features like invoicing and time audits, Clockify offers reasonably priced upgrade plans with monthly fees that start at $4.99 per user.
- If you require both billable hours monitoring and hourly staff time tracking, then consider QuickBooks Time. You can use its time tracker apps to record billable hours on projects. If you employ hourly staff working in the same location, its clock kiosk solution can help you capture time in/out transactions. The kiosk even supports PIN codes and facial recognition scans to prevent buddy punching.
Looking for something different?
Read our guide to the best time and attendance software for small businesses to find a solution that’s right for your business.
Harvest Top Alternatives At a Glance
Restaurants and retail shops with one location wanting free time tracking and scheduling software
QuickBooks users wanting to track billable hours and employee attendance of hourly staff
Freelancers on a budget
Monthly fees from
$24.95 per location but has free plan
$20 plus $8 per employee
$4.99 to $14.99 per user and has a free plan
Harvest’s pricing guide shows one free plan and a paid Pro tier that costs $12 per user, per month ($10.80 per user, per month if billed annually). The main difference is that the paid tier includes access to unlimited projects, data imports, integration with QuickBooks Online, and the capability to add files to invoices.
Numbers of Users and Projects
One user seat and two active projects
$12 per user
(or $10.80 per user if billed annually)
Unlimited users and projects
Want to know if the paid Harvest plan will fit your budget? Use our online calculator to compute the estimated monthly and annual fees.
Both plans come with unlimited invoices, online payments, expense tracking, reporting tools, and integration options. In addition to phone and email support, you are granted access to time tracker apps that work on web browsers, desktop computers, and mobile devices.
Harvest also offers discounts to the following clients:
- Those needing 50+ user seats: 15% if users pay for the year in advance
- Nonprofits and educational institutions: 15% for those opting for monthly billing and 25% for annual subscribers
If you’re unsure whether to commit to either a free or Pro plan, you can try Harvest Pro for free for up to 30 days. Best of all, you don’t have to provide your credit card details when signing up for its free trial.
Harvest provides an easy way to track time while letting you estimate project costs, manage teams, invoice clients, and receive payments online. Let’s look at some of its essential features to help you decide whether or not it fits your needs.
Time Tracking Apps
Note, however, that its desktop and web browser versions require a strong internet connection. If you work in an area where the connection is weak, we recommend you use Harvest’s mobile apps. It saves all tracked time if you’re offline and then syncs it to your account once the internet connection has been restored.
Online Time Sheet
Employee management using Harvest is simple with its time sheets function. You can choose to have your employees submit their online time sheets to supervisors or managers for approval. You can even set up weekly email notifications reminding your staff to review and send time sheets.
Harvest also offers two different ways that you can view the time sheet: the Day view and the Week view. Each option comes with different functionalities for tracking time on projects.
Day view: With the Day view, you can start and stop the online timer as you work on client projects. In addition to creating a new time entry, you can add notes about the task or project. It even allows you to manually enter either the start and end times or the total number of hours per task.
Week view: Aside from providing an overview of what you worked on during a week, it lets you manually input the hours spent on projects for several days at once. However, the “Track time via duration” setting should be enabled by your system administrator to allow manual edits when the timesheet is in Week view.
Before you and your employees can track time on Harvest, you need to create and add the client profiles, projects, and tasks to your administrator account. While you can import customer data to Harvest via a CSV file upload, you have to input all the tasks and project names into the software manually.
With Harvest’s expense tracking, you can easily submit expenses that you incurred on behalf of the company and/or while working on client tasks and projects. Marking expenses as billable also lets you add it to customer invoices for billing.
If you’re using Harvest’s mobile apps, you can use your device’s camera to take a snapshot of your receipt, attach the image to your expense claim, and then submit it electronically. For web app users, you’ll need to separately scan the receipt, upload the scanned document (either in PNG, GIF, PDF, JPG, or JPEG file formats), and add it to the expense claim.
For those who choose to activate Harvest’s weekly time sheet approval setting, note that the submission deadlines are the same for both time sheets and expense claims. As of this writing, Harvest doesn’t have an option that allows you to submit these separately.
Harvest has a module that lets you create cost and timeline estimates for projects and send these to clients. If you’re a Pro subscriber, you can attach files—like product photos, examples of previous work, and the job’s terms and conditions—to your estimates.
Invoicing & Client Payments
This automatically turns your billable work and expenses into invoices. You can then email these to your clients and even see if they’ve viewed them. Harvest will also remind your customers about unpaid invoices and allow them to pay right away with its PayPal and Stripe integrations.
Pro subscribers are granted access to a Team dashboard that shows an overview of who’s doing what, who’s working too much or too little, and who’s covering billable tasks. You’ll also be able to track any lapses in time entries, as well as review and approve your team’s time sheets weekly. It even lets you set up your team’s work capacity, which is the total number of hours that each member is available to work in a week.
Harvest uses your time sheet to create intuitive visual reports that display how many hours you’ve tracked, how close you are to your budget, and a breakdown of your data by team member and/or task. This allows you to keep track of project progress, budgets, and internal costs.
Third-party Software Integrations
With more than 50 integrations, Harvest lets you sync time data and track employee hours from tools that you probably already utilize, including reporting, project management, communication, and accounting software. Here are some of its partner systems:
- Analytics and reporting solutions: Klipfolio, eazyBI, Plecto, Databox, Parakeeto, heroBI, Projectt, and Stitch
- Communication and customer relationship management (CRM) systems: Akita, Slack, Google Workspace, Zendesk, and Zendesk Sell
- Contract and proposal tools: Bidsketch and Formstack
- Finance and payment software: PayPal, QuickBooks Online, Stripe, Xero, and InvoicePayout
- Development and productivity apps: Zapier, Alfred, Fuss, Teamwork Projects, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook
- Project management systems: Apollo, Asana, Breeze, Basecamp, Trello, and Rindle
You can also connect software that isn’t included in Harvest’s integration options. This can be done through its application programming interface (API) that lets you create a robust integration with other apps.
Harvest Ease of Use
- Easy to set up and use
- Intuitive interface
- Efficient time tracker apps
- Extensive online help center
- Webinar and video tutorials
- Email and phone support
Harvest has a straightforward interface with tools that are simple to learn and use. Setting it up is very easy, and it doesn’t have complicated installation requirements. In addition to its user-friendly tools, it provides multiple options for tracking time—from mobile apps and browser-based timers to desktop programs and online time sheets that support manual data inputs.
If you require assistance, Harvest offers phone and email support. You can also check out the wide selection of how-to guides and FAQ articles that are tucked inside its online help center. Some guides even contain video tutorials that show the basics of using its features. You can also sign up for a product webinar—Harvest offers 30-minute sessions on Thursdays, either at 11 a.m. or 4 p.m. Eastern time.
If you’re not sure Harvest is right for you, see how it compares with our top time tracking software.
What Users Think About Harvest
Users Don’t Like
Simple yet functional time tracking and invoicing tools
Time formats are confusing; you can use an “HH:MM” format for time sheets but other sections in Harvest (like reports) follow decimal time formats (i.e., 2.25 means 2 hours and 15 minutes)
Easy to learn and use
Task and project management capabilities are limited
Solid reporting and integration options
Can get expensive if you need to add more user seats
Most of Harvest’s reviews on third-party sites like G2 and Capterra are positive. Users raved about its user-friendly tools that make time tracking and client invoicing easier. However, some reviewers disliked its occasional app glitches, and the confusing decimal time formats it uses in certain areas (ex. Showing “2.25 hours” instead of “2 hours and 15 minutes”). A few users also commented that while its paid plan costs a reasonable $12 per user monthly, adding more user seats will be costly for small business owners and freelancers.
At the time of publication, Harvest earned the following scores on user review sites:
- Capterra: 4.6 out of 5 based on 490+ reviews
- G2: 4.3 out of 5 based on 740+ reviews
Harvest is a great choice for freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners who need a budget-friendly way to track time. It has a free option that includes unlimited invoices, multiple time trackers, two active projects, and one user seat. However, if you’re starting to handle a lot of projects and need more user seats, its paid option comes with unlimited projects and users. It’s also reasonably priced—costing $12 per user monthly—and you even get additional features like data imports, QuickBooks Online and Asana integrations, and more.
You can get started with its permanent free plan, or explore all of Harvest’s tools for free for up to 30 days. Sign up for a free trial today—no credit card required.