If you are looking for ways to track time spent on projects in Excel, then this article will be helpful for you. In our daily working life, we need to perform different projects. These projects need to be tracked based on time because the amount of spending time is a vital factor in every project. We can track times on projects very effectively. In this article, we’ll try to discuss different methods about how to track time spent on projects in Excel.

**Table of Contents**hide

## How to Track Time Spent on Projects in Excel: 5 Useful Methods

Excel offers us multiple solutions to track time spent on projects. It has various functions and formulas to work with time tracking. Firstly, we have made a dataset named *Dataset of Projects Finished in a Day.* It has column headers as *Project Name, Starting Time,* and *Ending Time*. We’ll first consider that these projects end within a day. The dataset is like this.

Eventually, we’ll use this dataset in most of the cases in this article and so, let’s see 5 different methods to track time spent on projects.

Additionally, we have used *the Microsoft 365* version here, you can use any other version according to your convenience.

### 1. Subtracting Two Times to Track Time Spent on Projects in Excel

We can easily track time spent on projects by using simple subtraction methods. Suppose we need to find out the *Time Spent* in cell **E5** using cells **C5** and **D5** which are *Starting Time* and the *Ending Time* of the Apple project respectively. To track time, firstly, we’ll write the following Subtraction formula in cell **E5**.

`=D5-C5`

Here, **D5** is the *Ending Time* and** C5** is the *Starting Time* of project Apple.

Secondly, press **ENTER** to find the output at **6:20:00**.

Thirdly, use the **Fill Handle** tool by dragging down the cursor of the mouse by holding the right bottom corner of the reference cell **E5** like this.

Finally, we’ll get all the outputs from cell **E6** to **E14** like this.

### 2. Using TEXT Function

We can use **the ****TEXT function** when we have a specific *Starting Time* and *Ending Time***,** and both of these are within a day or on different days. Here we want to get *Time Spent* in hours in cell **E5**. We’ll use the times of the two cells of** C5** and **D5** which are *Starting Time* and *Ending Time* of project Apple respectively. We can get the output in a day or hour by using **dd** or **hh** text inside the formula. Firstly, in the** E5** cell, we can write the formula like this.

`=TEXT(D5-C5,”hh”)`

Secondly, press **ENTER** to get the output as **06** hours.

Thirdly, use the **Fill Handle** to get other outputs.

### 3. Applying NOW Function to Calculate Elapsed Time Spent on Projects

Suppose we know the *Starting Time* of the project with a specific time. Then we can use **the NOW function** to calculate elapsed time spent. To use the function, firstly, we need to write a formula like this in the** D5** cell.

`=NOW()-C5`

Here, the **NOW()** function finds out the current time and then the time in the **C5** cell is subtracted from this and the output in days in decimal form is found.

Secondly, after pressing **ENTER**, the output is **645.21**. This means the counted time in days is **645** and some extra hours which are shown in decimal form as **0.21** by converting this hour into the day.

Subsequently, using **Fill Handle** we’ll get all the outputs like this.

### 4. Using TIME Function to Calculate Elapsed Time Spent

Suppose a project has started today and we want to track the time based on running time. Then **the ****TIME function** is the best option to track it. We have *Starting Time* in column** C**. We don’t have any *Ending time*. The *Ending Time *here is the *Running Time*. Subsequently, to find the time spent in the **D5** cell using the *Starting Time* only we can write the function like this.

`=TIME(HOUR(NOW()), MINUTE(NOW()), SECOND(NOW())) - C5`

Here, the** NOW** function will give the current time, then the **HOUR**, **MINUTE**, and **SECOND** functions will extract the hour, minute, and second portion of this time. Finally, the** TIME** function will return the result as a time. Eventually, the result will be subtracted from the value of **C5**.

Similarly, press **ENTER** and use **Fill Handle** to get all the outputs.

### 5. Applying Combinations of Functions to Show Time Difference

When we need to track time in days, hours, minutes, and seconds based on the current time we then need to apply the combination of **INT**, **HOUR**, **MINUTE**, and **SECOND** functions. Eventually, here, we want to track project time in days, hours, minutes, and seconds in cell **E5**. We’ll use cells** C5** and** D5** which are the *Start Date* and *End Date* of the project Apple respectively. To do this, firstly, we can write the formula in the **E5** cell like this.

`=INT(D5-C5) & " days, " & HOUR(D5-C5) & " hours, " & MINUTE(D5-C5) & " minutes and " & SECOND(D5-C5) & " seconds"`

**Formula Breakdown**

**D5-C5 →**returns the difference between the times in the cells**D5**and**C5**.**Output**→**0414**

**INT(D5-C5) →**becomes**INT(503.0414)**→The**INT**function returns the integer value**Output**→**503**

**INT(D5-C5) & ” days, ” →**becomes**503 & ” days, ” →**The**Ampersand**operator joins**503**with days.**Output**→**503 days,**

**HOUR(D5-C5) →**becomes**HOUR(0.0414)**→The**HOUR**function returns the value in hours**Output**→**0**

**HOUR(D5-C5) & ” hours, ” →**becomes**0 & ” hours, ” →**The**Ampersand**operator joins**0**with**hours**.**Output**→**0 hours,**

**MINUTE(D5-C5) →**becomes**MINUTE(0.0414)**→The**MINUTE**function returns the value in minutes**Output**→**59**

**MINUTE(D5-C5) & ” minutes and ” →**becomes**59 & ” minutes and ” →**The**Ampersand**operator joins**0**with**minutes****Output**→**59 minutes**and

**SECOND(D5-C5) →**becomes**SECOND(0.667) →The SECOND function**returns the value in seconds**Output**→**40**

**SECOND(D5-C5) & ” seconds ” →**becomes**40 & ” seconds” →**The**Ampersand**operator joins**0**with**seconds****Output**→**40 seconds**

**INT(D5-C5) & ” days, ” & HOUR(D5-C5) & ” hours, ” & MINUTE(D5-C5) & ” minutes and ” & SECOND(D5-C5) & ” seconds” →**becomes**503 days, & 0 hours, & 59 minutes and & 40 seconds →**The**Ampersand**operator joins the texts.**Output → 503 days, 0 hours, 59 minutes and 40 seconds**

Secondly, press **ENTER.**Eventually, use

**Fill Handle**to find all the outputs.

## Things to Remember

- Additionally, we can change the time format to
**h, h: mm, h:mm: ss**by selecting**Home**> right lower icon in the**Number**region >**Custom**and then selecting options according to our requirements. - Eventually, we can use the
**TEXT**function when we need to track time within a day. And in this case both Starting Time and Ending Time are known. - When we don’t know the ending time and we want to track project time based on current time both
**NOW**and**TIME**functions can be used. - Importantly, the most appropriate formula to track project time is the usage of a combination of
**INT, HOUR**,**MINUTE,**and**SECOND**functions because by using this formula specific time tracking can be possible for longer-lasting projects.

**Download Practice Workbook**

## Conclusion

In this article, we tried to cover the ways to track time spent on any kind of project in Excel. Please feel free ask any queries in the comment box below.