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The Best Tools for Developers to Manage Time Effectively

The Best Tools for Developers to Manage Time Effectively

Have you ever gone through an entire day only to feel like you’ve closed hardly any issues? We’ve all been there. What’s worse is that not only does poor time management lead to nothing getting done, but you also miss out on benefits of well-managed time like:

  • Increase uninterrupted time so you can focus on challenging coding problems
  • Shipping better quality code
  • More awareness of time and effort = more accurate story point estimation

While “time management” is often considered a skill (and it totally is), the tools you use can have a significant impact on whether or not you manage your time effectively.

Whether it's automated tools that reduce manual labor or tools to improve focus, in this article, we’ve got a diverse list of tools that can help developers and their teams manage their time better. Let’s get into it!

Zenhub

For developers, time management starts with knowing what the most impactful task to work on is and when to work on it. Zenhub, a productivity management platform built for developers, facilitates what’s known as agile development, a method of working on only the most important tasks during what is known as a “sprint.” With a native GitHub integration and robust automations, Zenhub makes agile development even more agile.

Best Features

  • Never leave GitHub with Zenhub's GitHub extension
  • Get a unified view of both private and public repositories with multi-repository boards
  • Estimate story points with your team with Planning Poker
  • Leverage Github labels in Zenhub
  • Get real-time updates to your roadmaps using data derived from GitHub
  • Get actionable insights into your team's productivity with agile reports including Velocity Tracking, Burndown Charts, Cumulative Flow, and more
  • Spend less time manually updating project progress with automated workflows and sprint planning

Pricing (USD)

  • Free Plan - Unlimited public repos and access to all Zenhub's features.
  • Growth Plan - $8.33 per month billed annually
  • Enterprise Plan - $12.45 per month billed annually (minimum 30 users required)

2. TimeCamp

You can’t manage time effectively without knowing where your time is being spent. TimeCamp is a time-tracking tool that keeps track of how much time you spend on projects. Ideal for freelance developers and agencies, TimeCamp can also keep track of your billable and non-billable hours.

Best Features

  • Track both team and individual productivity
  • Automatically scans the domain names of apps and groups them into project categories for time tracking
  • Track your usage of apps
  • Measure profitability of projects based on billable hours

Pricing (USD)

  • Starting – Free
  • Basic – $6.3/user/month
  • Pro – $9/user/year
  • Enterprise – Undisclosed

3. Pomofocus

A simple concept with big results, Pomofocus.io is a tool for facilitating the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique is a time-blocking technique that requires you to set a timer and focus for 25 minutes at a time, typically with 5-minute breaks in between. This technique is used both for boosting focus and ensuring you’re spending your time on the right tasks.

Best Features

  • Create a timed task list
  • Weekly focus time report
  • Scoreboard so you can see how you compare to other users
  • Save templates (Paid plan only)
  • Most features are free, but you can pay to remove ads

Pricing (USD)

  • Starting – Free
  • Monthly – $1.99
  • Yearly – $12/year
  • Lifetime – $36/lifetime

4. Freedom

Avoiding time-suckers like social media and other distracting websites is critical to staying focused on shipping quality code. However, sometimes sheer willpower isn’t enough to keep these distractions at bay, that’s why using a website-blocking app like Freedom can be incredibly powerful.

Best Features

  • Block both desktop and mobile apps
  • Block the internet entirely
  • Multi-device syncing
  • Create blocklists
  • Pre-scheduled website blocking
  • “Lock mode” to prevent ending Freedom sessions (if you’re really serious about staying productive)

Pricing (USD)

  • Monthly – $8.99/month
  • Yearly – $3.33/year
  • Lifetime – $79.99/lifetime

5. Clockwise

One of the biggest barriers to productivity developers report is context switching. Clockwise is a time management tool that optimizes your team’s calendars to create more focus time, free of constant stops and starts.

Best Features

  • Automatically reschedules conflicting meetings
  • Automatically frees up blocks of uninterrupted time
  • Automatically adjusts times according to your preferences
  • Set focus time goals
  • Forecast team’s bandwidth

Pricing (USD)

  • Starting – Free
  • Monthly – $6.75/user
  • Yearly – $11.50/user

6. Toby

Speaking of avoiding context switching, one of the biggest culprits of context switching is getting distracted by having too many irrelevant tabs open. Toby is a tab organization tool that allows you to group tabs, so you have everything you need when it's time to work, without getting distracted by irrelevant work.

Best Features

  • Create “collections” of tabs and unique spaces for storing tab collections
  • Add tags to collections
  • Archive tabs
  • Change the view of the tabs for easier navigation

Pricing (USD)

  • Free

Conclusion

Tools that improve time management come in a variety of forms – from managing and automating tasks to reducing distractions to facilitating time-blocking methods. What’s important is examining you and your development team’s current needs, time-suckers, and challenges to decide where the best place to start better managing time is.

For tips on implementing new software and making changes to your tech stack, check out this blog here.

This blog is brought to you by: Spokeo.io. Spokeo is an identity theft protection solution that offers real-time security alerts. Authored by: Yulia Nekrasova

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