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Jira Time Tracking Apps

Jira time tracking apps: how they work, why you need one, and how to choose the best one for your team.
min. read
Dec 15, 2023

An array of Jira time tracking apps are available in the Atlassian Marketplace. Making the right choice could be the difference between merely producing a timesheet and capturing data that allows you to better prioritize tasks, streamline your billing process, identify time sinks and improve your bottom line.

So how do you make that choice? Let’s start with an understanding of how native Jira time tracking works.

Jira Time Tracking Apps vs Native Jira Time Tracking

The basic unit of time tracking in Jira is the Jira worklog which includes, at a minimum, the user who is logging the work, the Jira issue and issue the amount of time spent. Jira also allows you to enter the estimated amount of time that will be needed to complete the issue, and uses this entry to calculate the estimated time remaining. Users also have the option of including a description of the work completed when they log time on an issue.

Jira Time Tracking Apps allow you to greatly expand the information collected on your worklogs. You can track things like billable hours for easy invoicing, or see exactly how much time (and therefore money) went into to developing a new feature.

Why Use Jira Time Tracking Apps

Collecting comprehensive time tracking data can provide your teams with insights that allow them to:

And since your teams are already working in Jira, it makes sense to use a Jira app to capture the data. Notably, even Atlassian recommends using Jira time tracking apps.

How Jira Time Tracking Apps Work

Since worklogs are the foundation of time tracking in Jira, many apps in the Marketplace focus on allowing you to customize your worklogs, and then extract the data collect to create reports. This is valuable functionality, given the limitations of Jira’s worklogs and reporting options.

However, some Jira time tracking apps go beyond that, allowing you to use automatic timers that log work for the assigned user whenever the issue is in an active status (thereby putting time tracking on autopilot), or to integrate with your Google calendar so you can instantly create worklogs for scheduled events.

A flexible time tracking app that offers multiple ways of tracking time will be easier for teams to use and will therefore collect more accurate data.

How to Choose Between Jira Time Tracking Apps

There are a plethora of Jira time tracking apps in the Atlassian Marketplace. So how do you choose the app that’s right for you?

Begin with the end in mind. Think about what you want your time tracking app to do for you, and how you want it to evolve with you as your organization grows. If you’re a small tech start up, your developers may already be in the habit of logging their time on Jira issues every day. But as your team expands, features like automatic time tracking and timesheet reminders will become more important.

Take a Goldilocks approach. Compare Jira time tracking apps and look for a feature rich app, that fits your company’s size and budget. Smaller organizations might want to consider some of the free Jira time tracking apps available in the Marketplace.

And, as always, vet any potential app to ensure that it is secure, well-supported, getting regular updates, etc.

Getting the Most Out of Jira Time Tracking Apps

Once you’ve decided on a Jira time tracking app, scheduling a demo will help you get up to speed on all of the features. Then make an implementation plan.  Be sure to include multiple stakeholders – managers, project leads, scrum masters. You can leverage Jira time tracking data to help all of those people.

Jennifer Choban

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