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A timely integration: time tracking in Asana with Harvest

Rachel Miller, Andrew Watterson, and Emily Kramer

Time tracking within Asana is one of our most common feature requests. Some teams need to bill hours to a particular client, some want to track actual time spent against estimates, and some folks just want to get a better sense for how they are spending their day. Today, we are making these things possible through an integration with the popular time tracking solution from Harvest.

Harvest is a trusted name among Asana customers, so partnering with them made a lot of sense. Both companies are passionate about productivity and eliminating “work about work”, so we took special care to make time tracking in Asana easy to access and use – building it directly into the Asana task pane.

From Harvest Co-Founder, Danny Wen:

“With so many passionate customers using both Asana and Harvest, we are very excited to bring time tracking into Asana today. The integration makes it downright easy to track time for any task in Asana.”

Account settings

You can enable Harvest integration for just yourself, or for your entire team. To turn on Harvest for yourself, click your name in the lower left corner of Asana and choose Account Settings. Then on the Apps tab, activate Harvest. To turn on Harvest for your entire team, click on the gear icon next to your Team’s name in the left pane, select Edit Team Settings and go to the Advanced tab to activate Harvest. Once activated, a timer icon will appear on the top toolbar in the Asana Task Pane.


Harvest Timer



Before you start working on an Asana task that needs tracking, just click on the timer icon. You will be asked to log into your Harvest account (or sign up for an account at getharvest.com, both premium and free versions are available). Then, select the appropriate Harvest project and task; the timer icon will turn green while timing. To stop the timer, just click the icon again or start timing another task. The time will be saved in your Harvest timesheets. To learn more visit the Asana guide.

With time tracking from Harvest built directly into Asana, we think you’ll be more efficient in tracking your time, reserving more of it for getting actual work done.

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  4. avatarTony

    This may be the most useful add-on that’s been incorporated into Asana since we started using it. We’ve been using 3rd party apps for time tracking and its kind a tedious clicking around to start and stop tasks and having to work between separate programs to put together all the information we need. This will help us out billing clients based on the projects as well as ensure our time estimates are accurate. We’ll also be able to use this to further refine our estimates for clients based on similar tasks completed. Great job and keep up the awesome work. Asana just keeps getting more and more powerful as an integrated project management tool by the day.

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  6. avatarChris

    While this looks great, our team has been looking for more specific calendar scheduling (i.e. due dates with times.) This is a little beyond the functionality we’re looking for and still doesn’t provide what we need. Hoping that native due dates with times is on the road map. Thanks for all the hard work & responsiveness!

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    1. avatarLeith van Diemen

      I second third and forth Toggl integration … I love asana and love toggl together would be just fantastic!

  9. avatarMattias Wihlner

    This is great news as we’re currently in the process of switching back to Harvest from one of their competitors.

    But there’s one thing that I’m wondering about. We rarely – if ever – use the actual stopwatch for tracking our time in Harvest. Instead we just add the time we’ve worked on the task manually. I’m sure the stopwatch is useful in some instances but I’ve left it on by accident (getting called into a meeting, phone calls for other projects etc) a few times so I’ve stopped using it.

    I haven’t had the chance to try the integration yet but I’d like to know if this integration is limited to the stopwatch or if we can just add time manually at the end of the day or when we complete a task.

      1. avatarMattias Wihlner

        Ah yes, I hadn’t used Harvest in about a year so I forgot that the Start Timer button changes to add time if you input time manually. Thanks!

  10. avatarScott Semple

    @Mattias: You can track time using the Start and Stop buttons or by saving a manual duration. When you enter a duration amount into the Duration field, the Start button will change to Save.

    I hope that helps! If you have any more questions, feel free to get in touch at support@harvestapp.com.

    Regards,
    Scott (@Harvest)

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  12. avatarKarkuvel

    Ofcourse a wontderful feature but A Lot of Questions,
    Why Asana has taken this route?
    Will third party apps replace asana innovation ?
    Why couldnt asana build own tracking ?
    Will this continue to be the norm ?
    Wont this interfere with the innovation/philosophy of Asana?
    Wont this encourage others in the team to just integrate apps and discourage new native apps which will ofcourse take more time?
    I feel Asana could use this strategy for the mobile app, as that is the area in which it is FAR BEHIND.

  13. avatarBranden Silva

    Karkuvel,

    You don’t have to activate this app if you don’t want. This is a critical feature for me at keeping me in Asana managing my time versus tabbing back and forth constantly adding things to make sure I properly bill my clients.

    Why Asana has taken this route?
    - Many Asana users use Harvest, like myself.

    Will third party apps replace asana innovation ?
    - Doubtful, 3rd party apps will compliment Asana in specific use cases. Notice its just a small icon for those who need it.

    Will this continue to be the norm ?
    - Well considering that Asana has an API, I’d expect to see a larger 3rd party eco-system for edge cases.

    Wont this interfere with the innovation/philosophy of Asana?
    - Giving people more power and options to work for their specific work flow doesn’t seem like it will hurt Asana in any way. That is why the API exists.

    Wont this encourage others in the team to just integrate apps and discourage new native apps which will ofcourse take more time?
    - Asana can’t be everything to everyone. If they built native features for every ones needs, it’d be bloated as hell. Therefore, adding a simple app hook that allows us to track our time will not be the end of the world. And quite frankly, Asana isn’t going to be replacing my billing invoice web app any time soon as that is not its purpose.

  14. avatarMark Kaufman

    Was just looking at separate time trackers this morning and wondered if Asana had integrated with any of them. So happy Asana just released this!

  15. avatarjwjb

    Thanks Asana for integrating time tracking within Asana using Harvest. But since the getharvest.com free forever plan is limited to just 2 projects, 4 clients, and 1 user as opposed to Asana’s free forever plan with unlimited teams of up to 15 members with unlimited projects and tasks it would be nice if there was integration with other time tracking apps too. For example, integration with TimeCamp.com would be great since TimeCamp is free forever for 1 user with no limitations. I have been an active and extremely satisfied free user of TimeCamp.com for over a year after migrating from a limited free user RescueTime.com account that was limited to displaying just 3 months of time tracking data. During this time, the TimeCamp product and service have been exemplary along with it having great integration with other apps like Trello, Asana, Pivotal Tracker, Jira and Basecamp with more in the works, I believe. Finally, I have had wonderful help from the founder Kamil down through support with Jakub (James) with it being a great experience dealing with their team at every level and I am just a freelancer free user.

  16. avatarBo Andersen

    This is a very nice feature!

    Found a little bug though.
    The links back to Asana from within Harvest has a slash to much after app.asana.com.
    Like this: https://app.asana.com//0/***/***

    As a result of this, Asana won’t find the right task but go to “My tasks” instead…

  17. avatarMichael Montaño

    Very handy. You might want to let users know whether multiple timers can run at once or toggling on a second timer automatically toggles off a timer that is already running.

  18. avatarMark Dodgson

    This is exactly what we’ve been waiting for. I was wondering if there is any opportunity to use the time tracker but export the project time out into an excel spreadsheet of all time tracked on a particular project. We don’t use harvest, but would love to have a spreadsheet of time tracked. Great job as usual Asana. Love the application and it keeps getting better.

  19. avatarNirav Shah

    Hey Asana Team,

    Great integration of time tracking! Love it and huge helpful. Just wondering do you have any plan to integration some kind of invoice or bookkeeping kind of feature. Like I worked for my client about 4 hrs per day, for that I use time tracker, same time if I abel to send him invoice on that via Asana. That’s really cool and handy for us.

    once again great work!
    Cheers!
    Nio

    1. avatarKirk Quesnelle

      +1 – I would sooooooo love a freshbooks time tracking integration. I JUST tried harvest and it falls a little short when it comes to time tracking. I feel like Freshbooks is a no brainer for integration.

  20. avatarAli

    That is for sure a nice feature. However I would suggest another website called WorkSnap.net they might not be as popular as other time tracking, but I found them good for my needs. Plus it is very cheap in monthly pricing. Just 10 bucks for 4 users.

    The good part I found is it detects the activities, offline and online time tracking, invoicing etc. We are already using it for our small team and if in future, asana integrates it too, it would be a nice help for us.

    Thanks

    1. avatarKirk Quesnelle

      I tried switching to harvest just to try it.. from my usual Freshbooks… I couldn’t do it. Freshbooks kicks too much ass

  21. avatarks

    Finally! The lack of time tracking was holding our org back from using Asana. This is definitely long overdue.
    Look forward to getting our org on Asana now.

  22. avatarMatteo

    Great feature and just waiting for it but, isn’t it a bit pricy for small teams?
    we’re 3 to 5 at this day, spending 600$ in a year for a tool doesn’t sound smart to me.

    I swear i’m not criticizing, i’m just saying that for a 5 people team spending 600$/y for tools doesn’t look much affordable.

    1. avatarJordan Shipley

      $588 a year for Harvest is a great deal if your team uses all the features like invoicing, accepting payments from Paypal, Stripe, etc., budget forecasting and expense tracking. If you are looking for just barebones time tracker, than probably not the best deal.

  23. avatarJocelyn

    +1 for Toggl. I signed up for Harvest but it doesn’t work. Added them to my allowed list of 3rd party cookies. Still doesn’t work.

    1. avatarRichard

      It would be great if Asana “Projects” could be transferred automatically to Harvest “Projects”. Having to create the same project twice does not seem very efficient to me.

      1. avatarAlice

        Me three. I assumed when I created a project in Asana, the same project would automatically be available in Harvest. But not really.

    2. avatarRichard

      Didn’t mean to post that as a reply Jocelyn sorry.. however.. I am a big fan of Toggl also and would love to see an integration with Toggl. It’s desktop time tracking app is the best I’ve found out of the available options so far.

  24. avatarDaniel Groch (Founder, Plaudits)

    We are really keen to build an integration for Asana and are searching for companies to join the beta test. Plaudits is a platform for peer-to-peer recognition, feedback and performance goal-tracking at work. We are building integrations for collaboration tools like Asana, since they are obvious starting point for any mentorship discussion about what you’re doing well and what you can improve on.

    Please get in touch if you’d like to join the beta test. We need your feedback to keep our development on track! You can email me directly and dangroch@giveplaudits.com

  25. avatarMark

    When I start, stop, and restart a task from the Harvest timer *inside Asana*,
    I end up getting a duplicate task in Harvest :(

    Any way to restart a task without creating a new one, from Asana?
    Alternatively, any way to merge tasks (and combine times) from Harvest?

  26. avatarJaume

    I’m inside “1month’s free” to evaluate Harvest’s Tracking. One thing that has negatively surprised me is the fact that I must re-define project name and task kind.

    Thanks for the effort !

  27. avatarAri

    I’ve tried Harvest at some point but decided against it because it’s too expensive for us. We only need a good time tracker, none of the other Harvest features interested us (which is one reason why the price feels so high). I’ve started using Asana and so far liked it – and I love the pricing. It gives us enough time to evaluate the product and to see whether we can make it work for me. If it does I’m sure to sign in for the premium plan immediately.

    I would love to see integration to some less expensive time tracking apps but I’ve yet to find one that does what I need. Still, if Asana has an API that’s probably something the time tracking companies should be doing, not Asana. So talk to your time tracking software provider about Asana integration.

    My question (should anyone read this far down): Does this Asana/Harvest integration do anything in the iOS app? I’ve no use for time tracking at my work desk. I’ve got plenty of ways to track it there. What I need is the mobile app to allow me to define the time used at the customer right as I walk out from there both using a stopwatch or just typing it manually. With stop watch you obviously need a way to modify the times because we all know sooner or later you forget the stop watch on for a few days and sorry, I can’t bill that from the customer no matter how much I’d want to. :)

    So, does the Harvest integration work in the iOS app or is it web only?

  28. avatarPaul

    We also prefer Freshbooks. Are there any plans to integrate with Asana? We contacted Freshbooks about it and they told us that they would love to integrate with Asana! (+4 for Freshbooks Integration)

  29. avatarJeff

    First, is Asana under that much budget constraint they can’t add a feature as simple as time tracking that they have to partner?

    At least if you are going to partner, come up with an API that you can pass at least the project name, if not also the team/organization name => client name instead of just a task name. All the management apps are suppose to be helping people work more efficiently. Managing your time tracking in a separate system is not efficient.

  30. avatarAnon

    I’m having trouble using Harvest with Asana.

    I have activated it in my account and it says I should be able to use it, but when I click on the little clock, nothing happens.

    Does anyone have any advice on what might by causing this?

    Thank you.

  31. avatarchris

    Second that. Shouldn´t projects and tasks be created automatically in harvest based on what project task you click the harvest icon in. Don´t see the point if not, sorry.. With harvest app running on OSX I can just click the Harvest icon on the top of the screen anyway to do the same as asana does. Am I missing something?

  32. avatarHans Wuersch

    Chris,
    What you miss is that the asana task description gets written into Harvest. In Harvest you can recognize asana tasks and even ‘drill back’ to asana.
    Hans

  33. avatarRichard Telford

    I totally agree. This is a deal breaker for me. Asana needs to be able to create projects in Harvest if they don’t already exist. It kills the beautiful productivity offered by Asana if you have to go into Harvest and create the projects first.

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