3 Best Tools for Time Tracking as a Freelancer

freelance time tracking

One of the biggest appeals of working as a freelancer is the ability to set your own hours. You work exactly as much as you want, so long as you deliver the final product to your client. Yet, freelance time tracking and quantifying work, especially thoughtwork, can be incredibly difficult. How do you best estimate the cost of your labor?

Your time is precious, and you can set the hourly rate that you feel best fits your work. However, it can quickly get messy to track how much time you spend on each client’s project. This is especially true if you’re juggling multiple projects and clients at the same time. Freelance time tracking doesn’t have to be difficult.

There is plenty of time tracking software for freelancers on the market, but not every program is created equal. Still, there are a few shining stars that offer great features for any freelancer, whether you’re just making some extra money on the side or have created a career from it.

Harlow

Unlike other companies on this list, Harlow has the advantage of being more than just a time-tracking tool. Harlow is an all-in-one freelance platform that delivers everything a freelancer needs to run their business. Their time tracking feature allows users to track time by client, project, or task, and associate that time to an invoice. It helps you reduce stress, manage your day-to-day workload, and get a clear picture of your time and how much to charge clients.

Outside of time tracking Harlow offers a full suite of features to help you manage your business. You can manage your clients, tasks, and projects, view related meetings and documents, get paid through flexible and automatic invoicing and you can even use Harlow to lock in new clients with proposals and contracts. Harlow is easy to set up and customize to fit your needs.

Clockify

Clockify is an entirely free-time tracking freelance program. It boasts that its features are not hidden behind a paywall, so this is an excellent choice for a beginner freelancer. It has the ability to integrate into other professional and managerial applications, such as Trello, GitHub, and JIRA.

Not only can you track the hours you spend on a project, but you can create entire schemas of projects, clients, and categories to help organize your time. You can also retroactively record free time or periods where you decided to take a break. Clockify also provides you with weekly reports on your productivity based on the time you logged. If you need to share these reports with others, Clockify will export your data into whatever format works best, including PDFs, CSVs, or Microsoft Excel files.

Bonsai

Like other time-tracking freelance software, Bonsai will allow you to organize your time schedule by project or client, but the features that make Bonsai special lie elsewhere. You can access the time-tracking features from virtually anywhere. Not only does the program work in a web browser, but you can use their mobile app, as well as their MacOS application, or as a Google Chrome extension.

Now, you can track your time, even if you’re not in your usual workplace or even without an Internet connection. Bonsai is also capable of automatically generating invoices for you based on your tracked time. If managing paperwork relating to billing is a pain point for you, then Bonsai might be the solution. When you download the program, you are given a 14-day free trial. After that, prices range from $24 per month to $79 per month.

ClickUp

This company creates many different kinds of software meant for business operations. Their time-tracking freelance app is easy to use and features an attractive user interface. It is also free, promoting unlimited tasks and 100MB of storage. Plus, the app has the ability to integrate with other software, including other time-tracking freelance software like Clockify.

The biggest advantage ClickUp offers is its collaborative features. You can host live chats between users, similar to professional messaging software like Microsoft Teams. If you’re a freelancer that regularly works with others on the final product, this will cut down on the number of apps you need to pay for. If you’re ever experiencing issues with ClickUp, they promote 24-hour support on their website.

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