Earning a living as a freelancer comes with a lot of perks. You make your own schedule, you’re pretty much free to work whenever and wherever you want, you take vacations when you want, and you choose who you will and won’t work with…Basically, it's a glorious and magical experience.
Well, that’s sort of true.
Being a freelancer also means you don’t have paid time off, so you often work while on vacation, you work crazy hours because nobody else can cover for you, your office doubles as your kitchen, and so you struggle to manage your schedule, stay on task, keep up with individual projects, show the hours you’ve worked, and consistently hit deadlines.
With all the potential chaos that comes with freelancing, freelancers could sure use a little help from a time tracking app. We’re here to help with a guide to finding the best time tracking app for freelancers.
Why is time tracking important for a freelancer?
Time tracking applications and software are essential for any freelancer. Keeping accurate records of time can help save businesses time when billing, invoicing, and reporting. It also helps ensure worker productivity by providing a sense of accountability, giving freelancers an incentive to focus on their tasks with specific allotments of time, and helping to avoid falling behind schedule.
Time tracking software is also beneficial for managing projects and determining budget requirements, giving business owners a better understanding of how their people are spending their time. It isn't just about getting paid as a freelancer. It's also about ensuring the greater overall efficiency of your business in the long run.
Inaccurate paperwork takes unnecessary amounts of time away from other more important matters. By implementing efficient systems that provide accurate data, freelancers benefit from consistent operations and accurate bookkeeping.
What are the benefits of time tracking for freelancers?
Time tracking software has emerged as an essential tool for freelancers, allowing them to keep tabs on the time they spend working on a project. With these services, freelancers are able to have greater visibility of their hours worked and consequently take greater control of their finances.
It also allows companies freelancers work with to make sure that their investment in the project is accounted for. The time tracking app keeps the proof of work easy to access.
The benefits of using time tracking software for freelancers are numerous—from automated tracking processes for accurate calculations, to streamlined workflow integrations that allow invoices to be presented quickly and efficiently—this type of software allows freelancers and their clients alike to benefit from its features.
Time reporting further allows you to monitor how your projects are progressing in terms of the hours dedicated by each employee or freelancer, while payroll processing can be swiftly conducted with ease. This is why time tracking software is becoming increasingly popular amongst freelancers because it offers a platform for total transparency and ensures no one is missing out on their fair share.
What to look for in a time tracking app
Whether you're managing a team of freelancers or just tracking your own hours, having the right time-tracking software can make all the difference. With so many options out there, it's essential to have a clear idea of what features to look for in the best freelance time-tracking software.
You'll want an intuitive and easy-to-navigate user interface in order to quickly start tracking time and accurately log tasks. Look for apps that have powerful organizational features, like project tags and task priority levels, to keep every hour accounted for and streamline workflow between multiple users.
Additionally, cloud integration allows you to access information from mobile devices and speeds up collaborative efforts if your team works across multiple platforms. Automated billing ensures that clients are promptly sent accurate invoices so there are no unnecessary delays in getting paid. Lastly, make sure the app stores data securely with customizable security settings you can adjust as needed.
A comprehensive time tracking software can be a great tool to expand your business while effortlessly keeping track of freelancer or client work hours––but only if it has all the right features. Keep these key points in mind when shopping around for a reliable application to get the most out of each hour spent on the job.
Time tracking accuracy
Accurate time tracking is essential in today’s work environment. Freelancers need to monitor the progression of their projects and ensure that projects are properly allocated and on track, as well as manage overtime hours worked. Having a reliable time tracking tool that records an employee’s activities accurately is vital for these purposes.
Time tracking should measure not only total active time in a given day but also track areas such as web app usage, breaks, lags, and idle times. This helps identify problems with productivity or lack of efficiency so you can take steps to improve your performance.
Timesheets provide essential management tools for freelancers. They are used to generate time reports and help track work hours, as well as specific project times. Timesheets should also be available in formats that facilitate their use, such as PDF, CSV, and Excel.
For freelancers, effective timesheet tracking gives you the ability to accurately assess and validate your billable hours and discuss any discrepancies with your employers. Keeping these records can help freelancers manage cash flow effectively, minimizing the opportunity for debt to build up.
Integration with your existing apps
Integrating third-party tools into time tracking apps can be incredibly beneficial for freelancers when they want to streamline their work process. It offers features like importing data reports of your billable hours from time tracking apps to accounting programs such as Quickbooks payroll. This can save time and stress in managing finances, making it easier to keep track of profit and loss throughout the year.
Through integration with third-party tools, freelancers have been given access to several helpful integrations including project management tools, payroll processing tools, Google Calendar, developer tools, and content creation tools—all within the same app. These integrations provide enhanced efficiency and accuracy so that tasks such as syncing data across all your essential apps or automating tedious tasks can run smoothly without any errors.
The majority of hosting providers are already integrating with many third-party services, so you don't need to worry about manually going through settings or exploring complex manuals to set up integrations—everything is conveniently available at your fingertips within the same application. With them being readily available, maintaining projects while keeping track of expenses and profits just became much simpler with fully automated systems enabled by convenient integrations.
Best options for freelancer tracking apps
Harvest: freelancer help with billable hours and expenses
Harvest is an excellent tool for freelancers who are looking to keep track of their billable hours and expenses. Their flexible pricing starts at $12.00 per user/month, making it an affordable solution for any budget. Furthermore, Harvest offers a free version with limited features for those that may not need all the bells and whistles provided by the full suite.
Freelancers especially will enjoy how easy it makes to track billable time across multiple projects simultaneously, even if they bill one project at a higher rate than another. Easy-to-use tools make it straightforward to organize payment information and quickly create accurate invoices all in one convenient place. (We’ll happily talk to you about all of the amazingness that is Harvest.)
Timeley by Memory: freelancer recording and reporting
Timely is a comprehensive time tracking software that offers a unique solution to record and report on your daily activities. With its calendar user interface, Timely makes it easier than ever to see where you’re spending your time at a glance.
The app also includes Memory, an extension that automatically records the time you spend across all apps, like web browsers and project management tools. This all-inclusive look into your day helps you keep an accurate log of how you’re using your hours.
Intelligent organization and reporting features further streamline the process of tracking your activity. AI organizes what it learns about how you use your time into categories like emails sent and meetings attended, making reports easier to process and analyze. The visual calendar gives you an overview of how many hours have been spent over all time periods, allowing for greater accuracy in budgeting or planning purposes.
Freshbooks: freelancers who run their business
FreshBooks is a good choice for freelancers looking to operate their businesses effectively. The software offers a free version with limited features and functionality, as well as a free trial version of their full packages that starts at $15.00 per month.
The platform enables users to access real-time insights into their businesses such as time spent on projects, review outstanding invoices owed by clients, and view profit margins to ensure you are making more money than spending in your business. Moreover, FreshBooks caters to information regarding filing taxes, offering tools to accurately estimate quarterly tax payments based on your income and expenses tied with control over visibility options feature that allows you to restrict colleagues or contractors from viewing or accessing sensitive financial information.
Timeneye: freelancer project management
Timeneye is another time tracking and project management solution for freelancers. This tool makes it easy to keep track of the progress of your projects, and the consolidated system provides a central location for all project information. The intuitive user interface makes it simple to set up projects, assign tasks, create reports, and more.
The pricing structure is designed to fit any budget and needs—users can opt for the free version that has limited reporting capabilities, or pay $7.00 per user/month and unlock additional features like advanced reporting and task notification reminders.
RescueTime: freelancers who need help with individual productivity
RescueTime is a helpful productivity tool for freelancers seeking to optimize their workflow and manage their time effectively. It offers a limited free version as well as a full version, which starts at $9.00 per month.
Designed with busy individuals in mind, RescueTime helps you stay focused on the task at hand and minimizes distractions that can eat up valuable time. It tracks all activity throughout the day, so you have insight into how exactly you’re spending your time and can make any necessary changes to maximize efficiency.
Everhour: freelancers managing a team
Everhour is a great tool for managing teams. It's easy to use, versatile, and helps with project tracking and budgeting. The app provides all the tools and features needed to accurately track time and resources, providing team members with ample visibility into how their projects are progressing.
Users appreciate having the ability to set alerts and collaborate with detailed comments on specific tasks in order to keep everything organized and efficient. In addition, those working with budgets appreciate the comprehensive budget summaries and real-time tracking afforded by the app.
In the end …
You have many choices when it comes to time tracking apps. Each of them seems to be known for certain things. But what if you would really like one that just does it all? A. one-stop-shop would be great for a freelancer who is hoofing it every day to succeed.
Harvest would love the opportunity to show you how we can meet each of your objectives when it comes to tracking time for a freelancer’s career. So, please reach out and we will chat with you about our product and answer your questions.
Then, you can give us a whirl for free to see just how well Harvest works for you.