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How Does Time Tracking for Freelancers Work? 6 Apps Freelancers Should Use


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Working as a freelancer has huge benefits like flexible hours and the freedom to work without a boss breathing down your neck. That’s why 57 million people in the US are doing it.

Yet, time truly is money when you work for yourself and it does tend to disappear rapidly at times.

Time tracking for freelancers is an essential part of the daily grind. It helps you to manage your tasks and learn how to stop the hours running away from you.

Here’s how to keep control and stay accountable for every minute of the day.

Working as a freelancer has huge benefits like flexible hours and the freedom to work without a boss breathing down your neck. That's why 57 million people in the US are doing it.

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Time Tracking for Freelancers 101

These time tracking apps don’t work like the payroll reporting programs used by businesses. They simply keep a watchful eye on how you spend your time in front of your computer.

For example, we all know about the time-eating vortex of social media. A time tracker records how much of your day these sites really take up.

These are our top 6 freelance time tracker apps.

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

1. Rescue Time

This is one of the easiest time trackers to use. You simply download it, allocate different websites and apps according to work or play and leave it.

Rescue time sends you a gentle reminder every week about time spent on work or distraction. This helps you to set goals and boundaries for yourself and improve your productivity during work hours.

2. TSheets

Tsheets helps when it comes to billing time. This app tracks and date stamps the activity on each of your client accounts, so you always have proof in the event of a query or audit.

This mobile app also gives your clients the ability to track your whereabouts when you say you’re working.

3. Toggl

Toggl integrates with over 100 web applications so you can log time from different browsers. It lets you know when deadlines are approaching or overdue too.

The app provides visual reports of your time expenditure based on tasks and time vs pricing.

“You have heard it numerous times – planning is crucial for everything, and it should be included in terms of your career. Having a great career action plan is the right move to jumpstart your career or make the necessary changes to achieve your long-term goals. Consider professional plans that are worth considering.” –

4. Due

One of the most basic time trackers around, Due acts a self-activated counter for billing purposes. You simply start the time when you begin work for a specific client and stop it at the end of your session.

Due keeps track of idle time too, in case you forget to hit the pause button for any reason.

5. Sighted

Sighted works in a similar fashion to Due except it takes the manual labor out of billing. As soon as you mark a job as complete, Sighted creates the invoice and sends it off.

This can save a lot of time for math-challenged creatives who spend hours agonizing about invoicing.

Image by U. Leone from Pixabay

6. Harvest

Harvest integrates well with other remote apps like Basecamp and is ideal if you’re splitting your time between projects. This app can monitor how much time you spend on each client without your intervention, even if you’re charging different rates.

Making the Most of Your Time

Now that you’ve learned how to take the pain out of time tracking for freelancers, why not subscribe to our newsletter for regular doses of more useful career advice.

We have many helpful resources for anyone who wants to grow their career, whether you’re working for a boss, looking for a new job, or going it alone.

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