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How do you clock in your freelance hours?

6 years ago from , Freelance Designer

I'm wondering what everyone uses to clock in their hours when they work on a project .. besides Freshbooks?

32 comments

  • Gjermund GustavsenGjermund Gustavsen, 6 years ago

    We're a team of two – designer & developer – that have made our own time tracking tool called Ding. It's a dead simple approach, focusing only on the time you put in and the money you make. Give it a try and let me know what you think: http://ding.io

    4 points
  • Stefan HoardStefan Hoard, 6 years ago

    I use https://www.toggl.com to track freelance hours, then freshbooks to invoice it. Toggle is pretty simple to use, there's even a couple apps for mobile devices.

    1 point
  • Roy BarberRoy Barber, 6 years ago

    I too charge on a project basis, but price based on previous experience with how long things take. I would'nt know that unless i tracked my total time with Toggle (https://www.toggl.com)

    But recently the most valuable tool i use is Rescue Time, It tells me how long im spending on tasks / on websites, on the phone, in meetings etc etc, Automatically and catagorises them in order of productivity, then gives you a score out of 100. I aim for 80 and set a couple of targets for the day, like skype/phone/emails less than a hour a day. Link: https://www.rescuetime.com/ref/656852

    0 points
  • Kevin PeterKevin Peter, over 4 years ago

    We currently in 2015, still do it through paper and pen :( Need to come up with a tracker ASAP. Any guidanc would be appreciated.

    0 points
  • Nathan PowellNathan Powell, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    I work on a project basis and sometimes even a weekly basis, but I still always clock my hours. You can't have any sense of where you are financially if you don't know how long a task takes you.

    I've used toggl for a couple of years. It's pretty minimal, it allows you to track your time, add a monetary value to that time and even see reports on how long a project has taken you.

    Give it a try.

    0 points
  • Vasil EnchevVasil Enchev, 6 years ago

    I use teamworkPM but I found a developer and we are making an iPhone app which should be ready in 1-2 months. The goal is to make it as simple as possible just track time and send invoices nothing else ... http://freelyapp.com/

    0 points
  • Account deleted 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    I'm old-school. I have dedicated notebooks (Field Notes) that I simply jot down the date, the start time and end times along with a brief description of the task(s). For whatever reason it's just easier for me to jot down on paper next to my keyboard than switch to a different app.

    I like how I can also then sketch out ideas or notes related to that project right there if needed too.

    0 points
  • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, 6 years ago

    I've been using Klok - desktop application, easy to set up different projects/clients, sync to google calendar, export to google doc, and a cheap one-time purchase instead of monthly subscription like a bunch of them seem to be. Not the prettiest, but works great.

    0 points
  • Tiago DuarteTiago Duarte, 6 years ago

    I've been using Harvest but I'm thinking about making the switch to Ballpark. The interface seems to be better than Harvest's (which can be confusing some times), it has Estimates which you can send to your clients and they can comment/approve/decline right while viewing it and the invoices look beautiful :)

    0 points
  • Grady Kelly, 6 years ago

    It has become all to easy to think "there's an app for that" when it comes to time tracking. The problem with these apps is that there is just too much set up and nothing that will fit your exact workflow for tracking your time or invoicing. I have tried a lot of them. None of them are simple and none of them do exactly what I need.

    I charge by the hour, and bill every two weeks. For a while I would use google calendar to note the amount of time worked on a project, using different calendars for each project and using this tool, http://gtimereport.com/ , to turn it into a spreadsheet. This seemed really cool at first, but again, just took too much time to manage.

    I eventually turned to google drive and use a simple spreadsheet. I use tabs for different projects, and created a layout where I can enter time, notes, and even have it tally up my rate/time to see how much I am earning for each billing period. This also allows me to have historical data on everything I am doing.

    As for invoices, I remember this article from smashing magazine: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/11/05/invoice-like-a-pro/ - After seeing some of the invoice designs there, I decided to create my own. I manually add the few specific details for each, items such as invoice number and date to the spreadsheet, along with marking which dates I am invoicing for. I then save those invoices as PDFs and email them to the client. ( I know this seems like some of the extra work I was trying to avoid. ) However, having my brand on a professional looking invoice, customized for the client, felt like I was legitimizing my one man design studio to those who used my services.

    0 points
  • Cihad TurhanCihad Turhan, 6 years ago

    I used to work with eternity time log app.

    http://www.komorian.com/eternity.html

    0 points
  • Jake Hall, almost 4 years ago

    Personally I am using Tmetric — a time tracking software https://tmetric.com/ It is insanely easy, has detailed and clean reports and totally free of charge. As for a freelancer it is a best choice.

    0 points
  • Vince SchwidderVince Schwidder, 6 years ago

    We've been using the Team plan at www.timely.com now. Works great.

    0 points
  • Alex PopescuAlex Popescu, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    I use Paymo - the free plan is enough for freelance work - you get a simple straightforward time tracker widget - but I made myself a bookmarklet for a browser pop-up window. You can track hours for projects and tasks within projects then generate custom reports and even invoices.

    There's also the shinier new version but I haven't switched to it yet.

    0 points
  • Matt MilosavljevicMatt Milosavljevic, 6 years ago

    I use Paydirt (https://paydirtapp.com/) which does time tracking and invoicing, and has a nice little browser extension that reminds me to track time when it notices I’m working on a client project.

    0 points
  • Ola RybackaOla Rybacka, 2 years ago

    We've made our own tool to track work hours. It's called TimeCamp https://www.timecamp.com and it integrated with lots of other tools from accounting through project management to social media management software. It supports billing, invoicing, projects, reporting and tracks time automatically. If you decide to give it a try, feel free to let me know what do you think!

    0 points
  • Javin LadishJavin Ladish, 6 years ago

    I keep track of all my hours per month in a Google spreadsheet for each of my clients.

    I charge in quarter hour increment minimums, so I usually try to start working at 00, 15, 30, or 45 minutes after every hour.

    I simply write down what time I start, and what time I finish. It's that simple. No need for apps.

    0 points
  • Giulio MichelonGiulio Michelon, 6 years ago

    What about a Gdoc with an Excel sheet?

    0 points
  • Cory GibbonsCory Gibbons, 6 years ago

    I've been using and enjoying Pancake.

    0 points
  • Paul TorresPaul Torres, 6 years ago

    At my old job I used Harvest; Highly recommend. http://www.getharvest.com

    And for my freelance stuff I've had an old copy of iBiz for the longest that still does the trick: http://www.iggsoftware.com/ibiz/index.php (looks like it's no longer supported however.)

    0 points
    • Will Hitchcock, 6 years ago

      My partner and I also use Harvest to track our time. Like some of the others in this thread, we mostly bill by the day rather than by the hour, but we still like to track our time for our own personal reference.

      Harvest has a pretty good time tracking app for Mac. If your Internet connection is spotty it can be a little bit inconsistent on time which is frustrating. We also find the invoicing and expense reporting to be pretty helpful.

      1 point
    • Dmitri Litvinov, 6 years ago

      Harvest seems cool. Just seems like such a hassle with all the sign up and all the free trial blah blah.

      Wish there was just something dead simple without the hassle.

      0 points
  • Jayson LaneJayson Lane, 11 months ago

    Also check out giddyapp, recently added time tracking – it's designed for freelancers and creatives. https://giddyapp.io

    0 points
  • Burak Mehmet GurbuzBurak Mehmet Gurbuz, 6 years ago

    I completely agree with Daniel, and I can add a little more to those he said: If your work is based on hour, high speed coders like me will be charged less, to counterweight this situation, I would have to charge more per hour. That scares people, they think I'm expansive. No, I'm damn fast, my value is the same for the subject.

    And the second thing is that clocking for a project can give you a hard time when you spend extra time with some kind of problem. It will make them feel like a taxi driver is taking the longer route to take them to their destination with higher price.

    0 points
  • George KukaGeorge Kuka, 6 years ago

    Haven't used it yet, did sign up and it looks pretty nice. www.nutcache.com

    0 points