13 Essential Tools for Freelancers to Track Time

February 15, 2010 · 52 comments

by Lars

freelancer-tools
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


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Time Tracking

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.

freelancer-tools

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.

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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.

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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.

freelancer-tools

TimeIQ.com – Keep track of your billable hours. Allows for exporting of data, generating reports at your own specified intervals, and several more features.

freelancer-tools

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.

freelancer-tools

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.

freelancer-tools

PunchyTime – A simple time tracking tool on the surface but yet powerful if needed. Designed to help you track hours as you work.

freelancer-tools

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.

freelancer-tools

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.

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LiveTimer.comLiveTimer 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.

freelancer-tools

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.

freelancer-tools

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.

freelancer-tools

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.”

freelancer-tools

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  • 85+ Tools & Resources for Freelancers and Web Workers

    March 3rd, 2009 | by Sean P. Aune77 Comments and 602 Reactions

    web-workerDeciding to become a freelance worker can be a scary proposition. Sure there is an allure to picking what projects you work on, but it can also be stressful not knowing where your next paycheck will come from. Luckily there are numerous resources out there that not only help you find more work, but also loads of tools to help you do your job more efficiently with a professional edge.

    We’ve gathered over 85 tools and job sites for a variety of freelancers and web workers. While a lot of these items are focused on web design elements such as photography, programming and writing, we made sure to include something for everyone.

    Have more resources to recommend? Tell us about them in the comments.


    Work Tools


    It’s important for freelance workers to be as organized as possible. After all, it’s up to you to track your time, individual projects, create your own invoices, and more. There are tons of great tools to simplify this for you. For example, GetHarvest.com can help you keep track of your time spent on projects in differing locations, and Zoho Invoices can help you create professional looking invoices to send to clients.


    Adobe AIR Apps


    klokAgileTracker – Allows you to keep track of time spent on projects by client, and if you are using AgileAgenda, you can sync them with each other.

    Google Calendar Invoice Creator – Allows you to use Google Calendar as a way to keep track of your hours and then import that data into this app to automatically generate invoices.

    Klok (Klok) – Klok allows you to easily keep track of your time spent on multiple projects. You can easily start and stop tracking by just clicking a button for each project. You’re able to generate multiple reports based off of this information.

    Ora Time and Expense – Ora allows you to track expenses, keep a list of your tasks, run a timer on your tasks and more.

    Sundial – Keeps track of time spent on multiple projects & clients and allows you to generate reports based on any time period.

    Timeloc – Offers multiple features such as running several clients with different billing rates per account, setting different timing intervals, audible alerts and much more.

    Vertabase Timer – You can track time on projects for various clients and then export that data to other systems so you can generate reports and invoices.


    Invoicing


    zoho invoiceBillMyClients.com – Has import & export capabilities, allows you to save invoices locally at any time, HTML customization for better branding, recurring invoicing, PayPal integration and other features.

    Blinksale.com – Create invoices from their templates, or you can use your own CSS to custom design one of your own.  Also allows you to import clients from Basecamp (Basecamp), create tags for better organization, set up recurring invoices and more.

    CannyBill.com – CannyBill can help you accept credit cards, export data to QuickBooks, automate invoicing and late payment notices and a host of other tools.

    CitrusBill.com – You can automate late payment notices as well as customize the look and feel of your invoices while managing all of your payments.

    CurdBee.com – A simple and straightforward invoicing solution that also integrates with PayPal and Google Checkout.

    Endeve.com – Endeve allows you to customize invoices, import clients from Outlook, track which clients owe you money and a whole lot more.

    Fluttervoice.co.uk – A UK-based invoicing service that allows you to generate new invoices and keep track of your payments.  Your clients can also login to see all of their invoices with you at a glance.

    FreeAgentCentral.com – Helps you to invoice your clients, keep track of billing, prepare your taxes, and more.  Focused on freelancers in the UK.

    FreshBooks.com – FreshBooks allows you to automate late payment reminders, track your time and expenses, customize the look of your tools for a full branded experience and more.

    GoToBilling.com – Get paid from an emailed invoice, keep track of your clients, use marketing tools to gain new ones and more.

    InLattice.net – Give your clients web access to their invoices and receive confirmation that your customer has viewed an invoice. InLattice integrates with major online payment systems and other tools.

    InvoiceJournal.com – InvoiceJournal allows you to send invoices for free via email or print them out to be sent by snail mail.  Also allows you to use multiple currencies.

    InvoiceMachine.com – Customize your invoices with logos and colors, use their built-in timer to track your billable hours, create PDFs of your invoices and more.

    InvoicePlace.com – InvoicePlace lets you send invoices, track all payments, generate reports, export to Word & Excel and more.

    Invoicera.com – Invoicera offers you several time saving features such as automatic repeating invoices for frequent clients, integration with multiple payment gateways, printing, management and more.

    invoicesmadeeasyInvoicesMadeEasy.com – This service allows you to email or physically mail invoices yourself, or you can pay as little as a $1.00 each to have them mail invoices for you.  Offers all of the usual features to boot.

    Invotrak.com – Allows you to track your time sheets, generate invoices, see who has paid you, generate various reports to see how you are performing and more.

    LiteAccounting.com – Create invoices you can send via email, save them as PDFs, set up recurring invoices, and more features.

    SimplyBill.com – 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.

    SimplyInvoices.com – SimplyInvoices integrates with the Basecamp API to give you full integration with your account and allow for easy invoicing based on your Basecamp activities.

    Winkbill.com – Set up recurring billing, export invoices as PDFs, accept payments via PayPal, multiple templates to choose from and more features.

    Zoho Invoices – The popular Zoho (zoho) online office suite has an invoicing feature that can be used for free for a few invoices a month, but you’ll have to pay if you have numerous payment requests to make.  Allows you to import and export data, set up templates, set up recurring billing and more.

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