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Time Tracking in Jira – Best Practices

Time tracking in Jira - best practices

Time tracking is an essential part of project management and resource planning. It helps organizations to gain more insight into the time spent by employees on various tasks, projects, and clients, and provides valuable information for reporting, billing, and other purposes.

It’s a crucial piece of any project management strategy and time tracking software helps streamline the process. However, even with great Jira time tracking software, you have to learn how to use it properly to get the most out of it. That’s where this post comes in.

What is a Time Tracking?

Time tracking is the process of monitoring and recording how you spend your time on different tasks and projects. It allows you to identify where you spend your time, and how you can use it more effectively to achieve your goals. It’s also a good way to identify steps that take the most time and optimize your workflow accordingly, so you can put more energy into the most important tasks.

Time tracking is very important in the work-life of an employee. It helps you understand what all your employees are doing with their work timings. Managers can also check if employees are doing their work on time. Time Tracking is necessary when you’re dealing with multiple teams, freelancers, in-office, and remote teams.

Usually, Project Managers have several ongoing projects and multiple teams, so they pay special attention to the time tracking issues, as it allows to keep everything in stride, distribute work more efficiently, prevents employee work over-, or underload, and helps to create long-term plans based on the previous experience.

What does Time Tracking in Jira Mean?

Jira is one of the most popular software development tools in the world. It helps teams and organizations develop, manage, and track projects. The tool also allows for effective collaboration and communication with outside parties. With Jira, you can plan, prioritize, assign, and track every project. It suits teams of different types (both technical, and business teams), and sizes.

Plan and Track work from Jira

Can You Do Time Tracking in Jira?

Of course, you can. Jira Time Tracking is the process of recording time spent on different tasks during a period, it is usually mandatory for any business which bills clients for services rendered or work completed. It helps not only keep clients informed about how their money is being spent but also helps to optimize efficiency.

Jira users can create estimates, log hours, and review their time against their tasks. This is extremely powerful for teams that need to track time against multiple projects and clients with shared resources.

Time tracking in Jira helps you track your time and stay organized by working on multiple tasks at once. The benefits of using Jira Time Tracking are numerous, especially for those who work in a team environment. You will always have good visibility of the time spent on every task and can make better decisions based on that. Let’s have a look at what time tracking in Jira means and how it can be useful for your team.

How to Use Time Tracking in Jira?

For any project manager, the most important part is to manage projects, people, and tasks efficiently. In order to achieve that, you need to first collect all the data of tasks, their status, and the team which is working on them, then you can go ahead and plan your next steps.

Being a modern-day Project Manager is more than just managing the project. They are responsible for coming up with accurate estimates so deadlines are met, expenses are reduced, and employees are happier. Proper estimation prevents missing deadlines and saves time and money as well as the employees’ efforts. You can also automate this process and save your employees time to focus on their own work.

Jira provides basic time tracking features for its users. First of all, you need to set up time tracking settings, and after the small configuration magic, you can use Jira time tracking fields, log time, and track users’ time spent on tasks & projects.

Users have the possibility to log time in Jira, then they can open filters and add time tracking function (fields) so that they can clearly see the progress on their tasks.

Track Time in Jira

Despite the possibility of logging time and understanding spent time on this or that issue, Jira doesn’t provide a dedicated timesheet module. It’s difficult to understand whether tasks are over-, or underestimated. Jira reflects timing data only per issue, it’s impossible to get such information per the specific user. For those, who need a little bit more, we offer a few more options provided by an add-on for Jira – ActivityTimeline.

How to Log Time in Jira?

Jira can help you track time spent on tasks and projects, convey accurate data for timesheets, and give you a clear understanding of project progress, estimates, and deadlines. It offers basic time tracking capabilities with the help of Jira time tracking fields:

Jira Time Tracking Fields

Users can open filters and add Jira time tracking fields. After that, they can observe the progress of the tasks:

Jira Time Tracking

Jira provides an opportunity to log time and observe the task progress, but it doesn’t provide a dedicated timesheet section with customizable reports. For users who need more advanced time tracking functionality, there is a great variety of 3rd party add-ons that can be integrated with Jira to make time tracking plugins provide even more deep insights.

Time Tracking in Jira with ActivityTimeline

ActivityTimeline is a resource planning and Jira time tracking plugin. It is a type of software application that allows you to track all kinds of information about project work, utilization rates, and employees’ time. etc. Jira time tracking system is designed to help you manage your work hours, billable and non-billable time.

The app provides a more accurate view of your team’s time spent on projects. It provides precise metrics and reporting, as well as a visual breakdown of where time has been spent on a project. It’s a useful feature that you can use to make effective decisions to help improve productivity.

Jira time tracking fields are fully synced with ActivityTimeline. When a user logs time to a Jira issue, it shows up on the timeline of the app and vice versa. The app’s planning Dashboard provides a deep visualization of the overall project/task/user progress on different levels – team and individual:

ActivityTimeline Planning Dashboard

You can assign already existing tasks or create new ones directly from the dashboard. With timelines, users can see what’s happening now, what’s coming up soon, and what’s on the horizon. They’re also a great way to keep track of current tasks and avoid bottlenecks. It’s easy to set and update estimates on the timelines:

Set and update estimates on the timelines

ActivityTimeline is a great way to log hours with just a few clicks. It helps you to keep track of all your tasks in one place, so you can see the workflow at a glance. All you need to do is to open a log work dialog and fulfill the data with no need for additional information. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to click submit. And that’s it! The logged hours will be saved, synchronized with Jira, and can be used while creating advanced timesheets.

Personal Time Tracking with ActivityTimeline

The app provides an individual workspace for each employee. It’s a special section, where the user can see only his/her current projects, ongoing or future tasks, and logged hours.

The app’s Work Module provides an opportunity to track time personally. Each user has his/her own cabinet with personal tasks and projects. Observe your capacity, actual workload, and logged hours, and track billable/ non-billable tasks. The in-built time tracker helps to calculate and log worked time in a few clicks:

Personal Time Tracking with ActivityTimeline for Jira

Usually fulfilling all of the tables and fields, especially in Excel Timesheets takes too much precious time and effort that could be spent on work. Employees don’t like to spend time on that, so ActivityTimeline offers a great opportunity to spend only a few minutes logging activities.

To log time, go to the task panel on the left and choose the task that you want to log. You can also log your work from the button “log work” or from the “workload/worklog” columns in the upper right corner:

Jira users often ask about the Jira time tracker, so ActivityTimeline developers created the built-in Time Tracker. It’s available in the personal workspace and helps to calculate worked time accurately:Personal Cabinet in ActivityTimeline for Jira

When a user starts the working day, he/she can click on Timer which will start to calculate working time. When the user clicks on ‘Stop’, it automatically opens the ‘Log Work’ dialogue with data, about the time this user has spent on work. This helps to control your working hours and makes real time reporting and logging easier.

ActivityTimeline also allows choosing Different categories for spent time. Users can create their own categories for their convenience in addition to the default Billable/Non-billable categories. This feature helps to group tasks and work logs by different values in order to evaluate payment for each task properly:


The timer is a great way to track your work without having to keep up with the clock. Start the timer as soon as you start working and then click on it again when you finish. In the new window that pops up, the app automatically fills in the time spent:

ActivityTimeline is an excellent tool for those looking for a quick and easy way to track their work, its interface is customizable to suit your needs. With features such as approval workflows, tracking of non-Jira tasks, and different categories of work logs, ActivityTimeline has everything you need for a successful Jira time tracking experience. As an added bonus, ActivityTimeline also provides a way to track meeting time.

Jira Time Tracking Reports

Track Time with ActivityTimeline Timesheets

Jira time tracking app cannot be imagined without advanced timesheets. The next stage for your advanced time tracking is Timesheets Creation. With the help of the timesheet module, users can create various Jira time tracking reports for efficient resource project management. There are three different types of reports: Timeline, Progress, and Detailed. All these time tracking report templates work like constructors.

So how to create a Jira time tracking report in ActivityTimeline? Go to Report mode and select report that covers your need. Choose the needed team, projects, timeframes, worklog categories, and generate timesheets. Just fill in the values and click create, in a few moments you’ll get a comprehensive understanding of where your employees spend time.

Discover the exact time logged by the specific user:

Timeline Team Timesheets Reports

Curious about how much time employees spend on the specific project/issue? No problem, the timesheet will show exactly what you want:

Group timesheet by issues, projects, users

Get a detailed view of the users’ timesheets with their own tasks, projects, and logged hours:

Detailed Team Timesheets

ActivityTimeline timesheets are very flexible, so users can just choose between various values and generate reports to suit their needs.

Track Time Spent in Time Tracking Report

ActivityTimeline provides many other Jira time tracking report for any needs.

Let’s take a look at the Actual vs Planned Report which helps to compare planned work with the actual execution, as it shows whether tasks are under-, over-, or just perfectly estimated.

Issue Planned vs Actual Report

Time Tracking in Jira can be effortless and effective if you use the right Jira time tracking plugins to monitor worked hours and users’ activity. And Time Tracking report can show the latest actual data for your analysis. Discover more useful information about ActivityTimeline features, Schedule a Demo, or Start a Free Trial on the Atlassian Marketplace!

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