Toggl App Review: Helps UX Freelancers Spend Less Time Getting Mo’ Money

Toggl Logo

One of the great things about working at WhatUsersDo is that we get all kinds of cool software companies using our platform.

One such company is Toggl—a time-tracking web app, designed for money and time-conscious freelancers or teams. It helps you plan how much time you spend on particular tasks, become more efficient, and give clients or teammates visibility on your workload.

Toggl also has the best and most irreverent Team page I’ve ever read. It’s kinda like a David Lynch film—the further in you get, the weirder things become.

Toggl About Page

Channeling Don Corleone, the Toggl team made me an offer I couldn’t refuse—they’d review their use of the WhatUsersDo platform and share it with their audience. I offered to review their platform and share it with our audience too.

I got several members of the WhatUsersDo team to try out the free version of Toggl for a week and report back.

Our findings will change the world… forever.

Toggl free trial ease of use

One of the first things I noticed is how few steps it takes to do everything on Toggl—including signing up. This literally involved entering my email address and pressing enter. You can even sign in with your Google account.

Toggl Signup Page

Once you’re signed in, you’re greeted with an interface that follows most conventions—giving you an unexpectedly comforting feeling of déjà vu.

Toggl’s power, in terms of design, is that it’s rooted in a concept we all understand and value—time. The app doesn’t over-complicate this simplicity, in an attempt at self-aggrandisement.

I also love that once you start the timer, it won’t stop going even if you move between tabs or close the browser.

Some of the premium features—like creating billable-time entries—are still visible within the free trial interface.

It can be a bit disappointing when you click these features only to find you can’t use them. However, I understand this as an up-selling tactic. Users may not know how much more value is waiting in the paid version, if they never see its features.

Toggl free trial features

Toggl Interface

The above issue notwithstanding, you get an impressive amount of features with the Toggl free trial—especially considering there’s no usage time limit.

Features include:

  1. Creating different tasks within the same project (e.g. measuring how long sketching, wireframing and UX testing each take, all as part of the “ACME app project”)
  2. Team feature lets you see tasks completed by different people, as part of the same or individual projects
  3. Colour-coded activity bar at the top of the interface makes it easy to see how you’re doing, at a glance
  4. Tags make it easy to see trends within particular types of tasks (e.g. “Does whiteboarding tend to be the most time-consuming stage of my workflow, no matter the project?”)

There are several other features in the app but these are the ones I found most useful.

One feature was particularly handy—alerts to let you know when you’ve left the timer running.

Toggl Email

At the end of one long afternoon, I forgot to stop my Toggl timer before closing my laptop and leaving work. Toggl emailed me almost immediately, letting me know I’d left my timer running.

The best part is I could simply check the time of the email the next morning and subtract the number of extra hours from my project time.

Toggl free trial usefulness

I’ve talked about how easy it was to sign up and use Toggl, as well as some of its great features. But did I find using the platform useful?

The answer is yes, I absolutely did. Otherwise, to be honest, I simply wouldn’t have written any review at all. You know… avoid any awkwardness.

For one, Toggl helped me structure my working process. In a sense, it gamified things because when you have a timer running, you start craving the achievement of being efficient.

I became self-conscious about jumping from task to task—instead, I focussed on moving methodically through the list of things I needed to do, one thing after the other.

Toggl Email 2

Secondly, Toggl challenged some of my perceptions about myself. I’d never really considered myself a “fast” writer (I’m shit-hot, and clearly not humble, but never really put speed as my number 1). Using Toggl helped me realise that I am pretty fast though.

For example, I read a 19-page report and wrote a 700-word article based on it, in about 4 hours. Had I not timed myself, I certainly would have over-estimated the amount of time I spent on that task.

For a UX freelancer (especially), this would be invaluable for showing clients just how much you pack into every minute.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably underselling yourself without realising it.

Thirdly, if you’re in a team, Toggl helps everyone see whether labour is divided sensibly and efficiently.

For example, if a UX designer is spending most of their time doing UI tweaks and artworking, Toggl will reveal that in dramatic and unequivocal fashion. I use this example because it’s an issue about which I’ve heard multiple UX freelancers express unhappiness.

With Toggl, there’s no vague conversation about estimates—there’s hard data that your time is not being optimally spent.

And there you have it, my review—sign up to Toggl and give it a spin for yourself!

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Timi is a London-based copywriter and full-time marketing sceptic – there are now more unvalidated opinions out there than ever.

He became a UX testing enthusiast after seeing its power while working at TUI – the world’s largest travel, leisure and tourism company. He then joined WhatUsersDo to sharpen his UX knowledge and work side-by-side with the field’s best and brightest.

2 Responses to “Toggl App Review: Helps UX Freelancers Spend Less Time Getting Mo’ Money

  • Nick Tipping
    2 years ago

    Abandoning time tracking has been the number one thing we have done that has increased employee engagement, happiness, loyalty and productivity. Before then we were losing our good staff.

    So, don’t get too attached to those shiny graphs. Go round and talk to your employees and you’ll have a better idea of what they are working on.

    Employ good people, don’t treat them like dicks…

  • Nick Tipping
    2 years ago

    When we abandoned time tracking it increased employee engagement, happiness, loyalty and productivity. Before then we were losing our best staff.

    Don’t get too attached to those shiny graphs. Go and and talk to your employees and you’ll have a better idea of what they are working on.

    Employee good people, treat them like adults…

Leave a Reply to Nick Tipping Cancel reply