Getting started as a freelancer or a startup company with only a few employees selling design or development services requires efficiency, organization and ability to keep costs at a minimum and that hours delivered are all turned into cash. Getting started opens a world of business opportunities, interesting challenges and pit falls. Being able to decide for yourself on what assignments to take and having the freedom to manage your own working time is absolutely great but also requires a great deal of discipline. As the business gets startes managing finances, tracking down payments, kkeping track of contacts, customers etc. will become just as important as selling and delivering the interesting assignments on time. Being alone or just a few colleges means that you have to develop multiple talents and play different roles every day besides taking care of customer deliveries. This is probably the hardest part and having good tooling support is a must and definitely will make it easier to keep up with the administrative tasks. This post lists most of the decent and worth investigating tools available for managing time tracking and hopefully will help you choose the right tools for your freelance career or startup company. More posts will follow dedicated to tools supporting other important aspects of working as a freelancer
Other Freelancer tool collections you may find useful: Business Tools for Improving Freelancer Efficiency, collecting money and project management and collaboration
MyClientSpot.com – Is a all in one product with great features for keeping track of your billable hours, staying organized, tracking leads, sharing files and calendars etc.
Tickspot.com – Allows you to keep track of your time spent on a project and to keep track on how close you are to using up your client’s allotted budget. There is a free iPhone application as well to track hours on the move.
KeepTempo.com – Track budgeted hours, projects, and people. Generate invoices to Blinksale and Quickbooks. Report on projects, people, dates and tags with detailed charts to visualize time and uncover trends. On the web and in your pocket! Bookmarklet, Widget, Twitter, iPhone, SMS, Email & Mobile browser. Pricing starts at $5 / month! Limited free plans available.
Time59.com – Quick and easy entry of time and expenses. Instantly review your activity sorted and grouped the way you need to see it. Time and expenses flow through to appear on invoices without re-typing. Just enter your activity, Time59 will keep it perfectly organized. Automatic invoice creation based on the time and expenses you’ve already entered. Generate invoices as PDF documents and email them to your clients directly from Time59. Time59 makes it easy to record and track payments from clients. Time59 has true accounts receivable allowing you to easily track client balances.
TimeIQ.com – Keep track of your billable hours. Allows for exporting of data, generating reports at your own specified intervals, and several more features.
GetHarvest.com – Harvest lets you and your staff track time, log expenses, and create invoices in one simple, integrated workflow. Set yourself or your team up on Harvest in just a few minutes, and instantly start tracking time and expenses. Harvest offers an array of platform integrations such as iPhone, Basecamp, Beanstalk , a WordPress plugin and more.
14dayz.com – Simple web based time tracking tool for groups of loosely connected individuals that collaborate on a professional basis. 14Dayz is great for teams that are geographically distributed and still need a central place for logging their hours. Offers a limited free version.
PunchyTime – A simple time tracking tool on the surface but yet powerful if needed. Designed to help you track hours as you work.
TimePost – Desktop time tracker with simple interface and features like idle detection. This tools post time to activeCollab, Basecamp, Blinksale, Cashboard, Fogbugz, FreeAgent, Freshbooks, Harvest, or Tick.
FunctionFox –Simple time and project tracking for small creative companies. With over 20,000 users in 94 countries, TimeFox is the proven time and project tracking system for creative professionals. There is a TimeFox iPhone App.
LiveTimer.com – LiveTimer is a flexible and easy to use online time tracking service. It can be used by anyone on the Internet to track time for billing purposes or to improve accountability and productivity. Timer that tracks start & end times, Ledger for daily time entry & review, Multiple report styles, intelligent report filters, iPhone / iPod Touch optimized etc.
Toggl.com – Toogl allows you to manually keep track of your time or use their timer. They also offer both an online version or a Windows-based download that you can use on your desktop. Toggl suits both individuals and teams. Integrates with tools like BaseCamp. It is used by anyone selling hours: freelancers, design agencies, law offices, developers. There are both free and paid plans.
1timetracking.com – 1time is a web-based time and expense tracking application that allows you to easily keep track of the real cost of a project for cost analysis on fix cost or billing after. Automated e-mail reminders to employees who have not entered their timesheets. Users can now update and view their timesheets while out of the office via their mobile phone or cell phone. The 1time mobile version will work on almost all mobile phones including Blackberry, Nokia, iPhone and many more. Give your client access to this view so they can see how much time you have put into the project in real time or send it at the end of the project with an invoice. Etc.
SimplyBill.com – Easily create attractive invoices. Send invoices to clients by email. Save your invoices as PDFs, create quotes for work that you can later convert to invoices, get alerted when an invoice is overdue and numerous other features.
“Simplybill brings simple invoice management to all. Instead of wrestling with overly complex accounting software or trying to mash-up a spreadsheet into some sort of design, begin sending attractive invoices in minutes.”