Projects in Kimai are assigned to customers and are linked to activities, which are then used for time-records.

Creating a project

There is a configuration (can be configured at System > Settings - added with 1.28), which allows to copy teams of the current user to newly created projects. This is mostly useful when teamleads manage their own projects and should have immediate access to them after creation.

Managing projects


Each project can be assigned its own color, for easier identification in many places throughout Kimai.

If no color is applied, Kimai will fall back to the customers color and finally to the default color.

Start date / end date

Having a project start and end date is optional, but it can help you to limit the project visibility in the “edit timesheet record” screen.

Setting a date for project start or end will place an implicit restriction for project selection when creating a timesheet record. If the date of the record falls before the project start or after the project end the project will not be listed in the dropdown menu.

This behavior is intended to avoid ghost bookings on not yet started or already finished projects. If the booking of records is necessary, the team lead or admin can remove the date restriction in the project settings.

Start and end-date are inclusive, so both dates will be included when filtering any data.


The Billable configuration of a Project defines whether new timesheet (in Automatic mode) will be billable.

Please read the billable documentation to understand the billable flag.


Budgets help you to watch your progress and to stay within contract boundaries.

If the System > Settings configuration Allow overbooking of stored budgets is not active, Kimai will prevent that records will be created, which would go beyond your configured budgets.

Currently, the visibility of budgets cannot be limited independently. So if you want to show progress to your users, you cannot show only the time budget (this will be changed in the future).

The permissions budget_team_project, budget_teamlead_project and budget_project are used to check if the logged-in user can see the budgets.

Budget type

Kimai knows two budget types. The default budget type is lifetime (which is used if the budget type is empty), the other available budget type is monthly.

  • Lifetime budget - uses all records of all times to calculate progress and budget usage
  • Monthly budget - uses all records of the selected month to calculate progress and budget usage


No matter which budget type is used, it does not influence invoice amounts. There is no automatism that will add a monthly budget to your invoice (you have to create expenses or time records for that).

Monthly budgets are used for every month, no matter how many days are recorded. Kimai does not take range limits into account to calculate partial budgets (e.g. project start/end or the first record created for a customer).

Money budget

Money budgets will be used to calculate reports.

For Kimai there is no difference between money and time budgets. If there are multiple people with a different hourly rate working on the same tasks, then money and time budget will differ in their outcome.

Only billable records will be used to calculate the remaining budget.

Time budget

The time budget should be entered in the format hh:mm or decimal hh.m.

Time budgets will be used to calculate reports.

If you are using money budget and want to show progress to your users, it is a good idea to calculate the hourly rate by using money budget / average hourly rate.

Only billable records will be used to calculate the remaining budget.


You can configure rates on different levels in Kimai. It starts from the user hourly rate and goes from Customers to Projects and Activities. Please read the rates documentation to find out more how rates are calculated.

On the detail page of the selected item (which you find by clicking a row in the listing table or select Show from the dropdown menu) you find the Hourly rate section. By default, you see the message No hourly rates have yet been configured.

Rates section table

You configure new rate rules by clicking the + button in the upper-right of the Hourly rates table.

A user needs the two permissions to be able to see and edit rates:

  • one of: view_project, view_team_project, view_teamlead_project
  • one of: edit_project, edit_team_project, edit_teamlead_project

Edit rate screen

The edit rate screen has four settings:

Edit rates screen
  • User - the user this rate applies to - if no user is chosen it applies to everyone without explicit personal rule
  • Rate - the rate to be charged (per hour)
  • Internal rate - the internal rate (or “costs” if you will) to apply (per hour); if this is not specified, the normal rate is used for calculation.
  • Fixed rate - if this is ticked, each time record gets the configured Rate value applied, regardless of the record duration

Catch-all rate

If no user was chosen, this rule applies to every user, except those who have a explicit User specific rate configured.

User specific rate

Every rule the defines a user is a user specific rate and those always win over Catch-all rate configurations.

Rates example

The following example contains two rate rules:

A sample rates configuration

The first one is a Catch-all rate that applies to everyone who is recording times for this project. So every hour counts with 50 € towards the budget of this project and has internal costs of 25 €. Every recorded hour has a gross margin of 25 € / hour.

The second rule applies to the user Susan Super who (as only user) has a User specific rate for this project. Even though she has a higher internal cost of 45 € / hour, her work earns 85 € / hour, which leads to a gross margin of 40 € / hour.


By toggling the visibility on a project, you:

  • hide the project from all drop-downs
  • hide the project from the default list in the project administration
  • hide the activities for this project from all drop-downs, regardless of their visibility state
  • hide the activities for this project from the default list in the activities administration

Please note:

  • all currently linked objects will still show the project in the dropdown as pre-selected option
    • you can still change the project on timesheet records and activities, which used it before
    • you cannot create new activities for this project
    • you cannot create new timesheet records for this project
  • you can still access the hidden entries by changing the visibility filter on the toolbars

The visibility filter in the toolbar has three state:

  • Visible: Yes (all projects that are “really” visible, meaning: the project and linked customer are visible)
  • Visible: No (all projects that are exclusively invisible by their own visibility state)
  • Visible “empty” (all projects: not filtering on their own or the customers visibility)

The search supports filtering by the fields:

  • customer
  • visibility

Besides these filters, you can query for a free search term, which will be searched in the fields:

  • name
  • comment
  • orderNumber

Additionally, you can filter for custom fields by using a search phrase like location:homeoffice. This would find all entries with the custom field location matching the term homeoffice.

The search terms will be found within the full value, so searching for office would find:

  • I love working in my office
  • Office
  • This office is beautiful
  • Our offices are very noisy

Attention: checkboxes have the values 0 (not checked) and 1 (checked).

You can mix the search term and use multiple meta-field queries:

  • location:homeoffice hello - find all entries matching the search term hello with the custom field location matching the term homeoffice
  • location:homeoffice contract:fulltime - find all entries with the custom field combination: location matching homeoffice and contract matching fulltime
  • expired:0 finds all items whose expired checkbox is off

There are also special operators, which can be used in conjunction with custom fields (since Kimai 1.19.1):

  • The   empty string (e.g. location:) will find all entries whose value in the location field is either empty or not existing
  • The ~ search term (e.g. location:~) will find all entries that are missing the custom field (created before the field was created)
  • The * search term (e.g. location:*) will find all entries that have any value in the location field (basically the opposite of ~)