A significant chunk of the workforce has been moving on towards remote working, whether as full-time employees or freelancers/ contract employees. The COVID 19 scenario further pushed significant firms across the globe to move their workforces towards remote working. The full-time employees worked on multiple internal systems of the organization. However, the contractual and freelance parts of the forces are working remotely, and it becomes challenging for employers/ clients to manage the time tracking for these workforces.
Time tracking for freelancers is quite challenging because a freelancer has to manage multiple roles like finding clients, client management, raising invoices, and billing management. Editing their work/ rework on the Project as per client requirements, and last but not least, is working on multiple projects can all be overwhelming. Freelancers face numerous challenges when they have to bill their clients on an hourly basis. The tools in the market enable time tracking for freelancer a breeze. These tools/ software enables time tracking for a freelancer with a few simple clicks. They are helpful for both freelancers and businesses managing a remote workforce.
The software tools allow freelancers and organizations to track time. Work is tracked through a timer, improves productivity challenges, eases invoicing, completes projects promptly, and works best for companies to manage the payroll of full-time workforce / billable work schedules of their remote workers. The time tracking software is available with features that enable tracking on both web apps and desktop. Reports for different projects, time is taken to complete tasks, management of teams, and much more is all made possible without manually tracking the workforce performance.
Some of the best time tracking apps provide integration with other platforms. Great rates/ pricing plans enables freelancers to provide screenshots, export reports, create a task, manage their calendar, and helps them to get paid every month without any hassle of manual tracking. A few of them offer mobile apps while the others are available on the browser only.
These software apps enable time tracking for freelancers and also helps businesses to manage payroll effortlessly. Automatic time tracking helps full-time, part-time, contract, and freelance employees manage tasks, track projects, raise invoices, and do much more with a click. The software tool providers offer paid plans and trial offers suitable for both business and individual freelancers. The software tools provide support for users to utilize the features as per their needs. Managing integrations, setting reminders, plan their project schedules, maintaining a tracker, generating a report, and tracking the time required to work on a task can all be managed by businesses effortlessly. Time tracking apps enable hassle-free Payroll management for a variety of workforces.
Time tracking apps are useful for freelancers to calculate their billable rates without spending much time. While the apps are helpful for various other reasons, it works best to enable time tracking for freelancers. Clients of freelancers often ask for billable hours of a project instead of per-project billable rates, making it troublesome freelancers to calculate the time spent completing a project. It can be very challenging to do the calculation on a per month basis.
Freelancers face quite a few challenges due to the billable hour’s estimate per month. Some of the questions that arise are – How to track working hours, track the exact time spent of each application, track the amount of time spent on various activities, etc. We shall discuss the challenges that a freelancer faces with time tracking their projects/ tasks.
How to track working hours?
The fast-moving world of business does not guarantee that work can be managed through a nine to five job and leads to employees working for extended hours and sometimes getting off work much earlier. More and more companies began introducing an automatic time tracking/ attendance management system that helped them track their employees’ work hours. However, various employment terms like full time, part-time, contract, and freelance lead to a challenging situation since a large workforce seemed to be moving towards remote working.
Remote working led to various time tracking tools/ apps that performed multiple tasks like tracking projects, time tracking, reporting in real-time, managing time entries, and many others. Zoom Shift is one such app that helps companies manage timesheet for their workforce paid on an hourly basis. Hubstaff is another such time tracking app/software that offers online timesheets. Providers like TSheets, Homebase, Click Time, and many others offer a free trial of their product so that companies can use it to check its feasibility for their requirements and then proceed to buy a paid version.
How to track work hours?
Employees previously prepared a to-do list, set goals daily, and prioritized their work to ensure that they tracked their work hours and optimized their performance. However, with growing challenges in the business, it added more stress and confusion for both the employers and employees to track work hours. The time tracking apps seem to come to the rescue. Time camp, Toggl, Work Log, Clockify, and a few other time tracking app seemed to enable both freelancers and companies to manage attendance, track time, automatic time tracking with timesheets, and much more.
How to track your time?
Writing down activities was initially managed by employees with listing out activities, setting the timer, and jotting down the time spent on various activities daily. However, tracking time can be quite challenging when you are multi-tasking and communicating with peers and attending meetings/ calls related to a few tasks. Toggl, Harvest, Everhour, FreshBooks, and many other apps enable time tracking, expense tracking, team management, calendar view, and much more effortlessly.
How to track the time spent on apps?
Employees worked on MS and Google Suite previously. The growing technology has resulted in numerous apps being used daily for various business-related and personal reasons. Tracking time on the hours spent at work can be challenging enough, but monitoring the time spent on each application can get even more difficult and time-consuming. Tracking time spent on various applications is available on mobile. The setting menu enables users to see the number of hours that they spend on each app. Tons of applications in the market would allow users to track time spent on each application, making it easy for them to bill their clients with supporting data.
Apps to track how you spend your time
Freelancers often end up with piles of work and tons of deadlines and struggle with a lack of concentration. If only they had an application/ software that enabled them to track how much time they spend on a particular app. Raising invoices, monitoring tasks, completing project work on time, generating timesheets, and much more is made possible with the tracking apps. There are tons of time tracking apps available, and each of them has tons of exciting features with different pricing plans.
Let us discuss the features, pricing, integrations, benefits, uses, and mobile apps availability of some of the best time tracking software in the market.
Tick is a time tracking app that helps users select projects/tasks, start the time tracker, and generate the time tracking report without any hassle.
- Billable and nonbillable hours
- Mobile time tracking
- Project budgeting/ tracking
- Report exporting
- Running Timers
- Instant Budget feedback
- Time enter from both browser and web apps.
- Enables to manage projects and its completion on time
- Improves billing accuracy
- Task automation
- Project import
- Improves time management
- Running timers
- Remote time entering
- Enables project budgeting
- Improves project planning
- iOS & Android
- Chrome Extension
- A Free Trial of thirty days is available.
- One Project is free and covers unlimited people and basecamp integration.
- Ten projects cost $19 per month and also covers unlimited people and basecamp integration.
- Thirty projects cost $49 per month and cover recurring tasks/projects, and the other ten projects plan features.
- Sixty projects cost $79 per month and cover all the features in the thirty projects plan.
- Unlimited projects cost $149 per month and cover all the features in the sixty projects plan.
Plutio is a great time tracking app for freelancers and small-sized businesses. Plutio enables users to improve communication, collaboration, productivity, and manage projects through a single platform.
- Time Tracking
- Tasks Management
- Proposal management
- Project management
CRM, Reporting, Time & expense tracking, and order management are a few uses of Plutio.
- Effortless time tracking
- Easy to use
- Google – forms, mail, calendar, sheets
- Free Trial is available
- The solo subscription costs $15 per month and covers all the Plutio features.
- The Studio subscription costs $20 per month and covers the client portal and all other solo plan features.
- The Team subscription costs $30 per month and covers five contributors and all the other studio plan features.
Hubstaff is another app that enables time tracking for freelancers. Invoicing, reporting, time tracking, productivity check, URL tracking, and many other features help freelancers and contractors.
- Hourly employee tracking
- Payroll management
- Time tracking
- Activity level tracking
- Improves productivity level by identifying challenges
- Improves activity tracking
- Helps companies to manage payroll
- Helpful for remote teams to track employee work hours.
- Enables companies to make accurate payments against Invoices.
- Advanced Reporting enables data-based decision making.
- It helps to track the most used applications by employees.
- A free trial is available
- The Solo Lite plan is free and covers activity levels, one user, time tracking, and limited screenshot storage.
- The basic subscription costs $5 per month per user and covers up to fifty users, screenshots, per-user settings, 24/7 support, time tracking, keyboard, and mouse activity.
- The Premium plan costs $9 per month and covers all the basic subscription features plus idle time control, attendance scheduling, integrations, and weekly budgeting.
Tyme is one of the simplest and easy to use time tracking software application. Tyme is best suited for individual freelancers and small teams. Data visualization, Calendar time recording, reminders, and workload overview are beneficial for users to plan their work schedule and raise invoices/ bill work hours accurately.
- CSV data importing
- Expense tracking
- Parallel timers
- Keyboard control
- Enables time tracking for both freelancers and teams
- Reminder setting
- Location-based clocking in and clocking out
- Accurate billing
- Project management
- Improves productivity
- Work rate calculation
- Invisible task tracking
- iPhone & iPad
- Free trial for fourteen days available.
- The Individual subscription costs $3.99 per month and $35.99 when paid annually. The individual plan includes Data sync with iCloud data available, Discounts for old/ existing customers, and Easy cancellation.
- The team subscription costs $3.99 per month and $35.99 when paid annually per user. Data sync with team server, upgrade/ downgrade anytime, and anytime cancellation are a few features available in the team subscription.
Clockify is one of the best software that enables time tracking for freelancers. With a million users, it is also the most famous time tracking software. Clockify, with its unlimited users and forever free plans, are best suitable for small teams and freelancers.
- Project Management
- Improve project profitability
- Accurate schedule of the workweek
- Team management
- Productivity reports to clients
Individual freelancers, managers with remote teams, small businesses, and clients find Clockify to be very beneficial since it enables them to provide billable hours, task management of their remote teams, and improve productivity and manage payroll.
- The free plan works best for small teams/ businesses ad covers unlimited – reports, projects, users, and tracking. API, integrations, email, and chat support are some of the other features that are a part of the free subscription.
- The Plus subscription costs $9.99 per month and covers time sheet locking, Hide time, time audit, reporting, targets, and reminders.
- The premium subscription costs $29.99 per month and covers all the features in the plus plan. Project templates, alerts, bulk edit, hide pages, and automatic clock are also a part of these premium subscription plans.
- The enterprise plan costs $9.99 per month and covers all the features in the premium plan. Phone support, Single Sign-on, controlled accounts, customized subdomain, customized fields, and time approval are also a part of the enterprise plan.
Toggl is a simple tool that enables time tracking for freelancer then Toggl is a great choice. Time tracking, timesheet app, teamwork hours tracking, and much more can all be done with a few clicks by unlimited users and is available to use for free. Toggl helps companies and freelancers to keep track of the projects, attendance, billable hours, reporting, and much more effortlessly.
- Time tracking features like one-click timers, background tracking, calendar integration, and auto tracker are essential elements of Toggl.
- Reporting, Project & revenue tracking, and Team scheduling & management are a few other advanced features in Toggl.
- Payroll management
- online/offline time tracking
- Automatic time capture
- Employee database
- Mobile time tracking helps to track on the go
- Timesheet management
- Vacation/ leave tracking
- The free plan offers five users. Toggl is an excellent reporting and time tracking tool best suitable for freelancers. The free plan covers time tracking, auto tracker, Pomodoro timer, idle detection, and more than a hundred integrations.
- The starter team is best suitable for small businesses and costs $9 per user per month. The starter subscription covers features like tasks, project templates, calendar integration, saved reports, billable rates, and time estimation. All the features in the free plan are also available with the starter subscription.
- The premium subscription works well for large organizations with multiple teams and costs $18 per month per user. All the Starter plan features are available in this plan, along with a few other features like time audits, admin dashboard, insights, project dashboard, time entry locks, and time tracking reminders.
- The enterprise plan works well for complex organization setups. Covers unlimited users, and the pricing is customizable based on the user requirements—all the features in the premium plan and customizable solutions, priority support, and expert training.
Time Camp is an excellent app that not only helps time tracking for a freelancer; it is also a fantastic tool that works well as project management and task automation tool. Time camp is suitable for both small and big teams. Accurate time tracking helps improve the profitability of projects. The real-time tracking and integrations with tons of other apps are all features that play a vital role in enhancing tracking working hours, billing accurately, and generating reports for payroll management and much more.
- Automatic time tracking with keywords
- Time entry notes
- Away time detection
- Filtering, reporting, exporting, and sharing
- Roles & permissions
- Billing rates per task, employee, and Project
- To-do list
- Project hours based on invoicing.
- Customer support
- Task, people, and Invoicing synchronization
- Improves project budgeting
- Automatic time tracking for employees
- Time tracking for billing and invoicing effortlessly
- Task automation
- Team management
- Project Budgeting and Management
- Mac OS
- A free trial is available.
- The Solo subscription is free and covers one user and time tracking feature.
- The Basic subscription costs $7 per user per month. It offers unlimited users with billable time, budgeting, exporting, add-ons, and integrations along with the other features available in the solo subscription.
- The Pro subscription costs $10 per user per month and covers timesheet approvals, screenshots, invoicing, billing rates, and project costs along with the other features available in the basic subscription.
An overview of the project management tools discussed in this post:
A majority of the workforce worldwide is moving away from regular full-time employment towards contractual/ freelance roles. A full-time job offers tons of perks and benefits. Employees have been moving towards freelance work types for various reasons, ranging from helping them stay creative at their job to – an unwillingness to succumb to a bad boss/ office politics. The nine to five job is not appealing anymore. The freelancing/ contractual kind of work schedule offers a multitude of pros and cons. If you are capable of finding creative projects, then the possibilities are many.
One can quickly build a very lucrative freelance business with the right software tools, networking, and thought process. While freelancing does pay well, it brings a lot of disadvantages too. It depends on an individual’s capacity to steer clear of the challenges they may face in attaining success. Finding clients may be challenging in the initial days of freelancing. The email campaigning tools help a great deal to connect with the right people. Further, once the freelancers move to a busy schedule, they wear multiple hats like finding clients, client management, raising invoices, managing accounts, reporting, and editing their work/ reworking as per client needs.
Discussions with prospective clients, collecting payment, paying taxes, and a few other tasks get piled up along with the actual work. Multiple tasks lead to confusion and result in mistakes. As a freelancer losing a client / getting a lousy remark leads to losing hard-earned clients. Automation of these tasks would be a great idea. The market offers tons of software tools to help a freelancer concentrate on the critical part of their work and let them perform the remaining mundane tasks. The recent pandemic has been instrumental in moving companies to convert their regular full-time employees to work remotely. The remote work schedule has let numerous employees keep their job and stay safe.
However, it further leads to time tracking the employee’s work schedule and keeping the productivity levels the same as before. Managers with multiple remote teams have begun to find it difficult managing projects. Simple software that enables time tracking for freelancers and small teams makes a whole lot of difference. Time tracking software helps track the time required to perform a task and allows users to create time entries online and offline. The time entries help employers to keep track of the productivity of their workforce.
The market offers some of the best time tracking apps with tons of exciting features. Time management in real-time, attendance management, time entries, billable hours calculation, free time/ idle time, reporting, raising invoices accurately, project management, productivity, and payroll, can be managed effortlessly through the time tracking app. We have made a detailed discussion in this article about some of the best time tracking apps available in the market with their usage, features, advantages, pricing plans, mobile apps, and integrations.
While a few apps are best suited for individual freelancers and small teams, the others are best suitable for medium and large businesses with multiple teams, both working onsite and remote. Managers with remote teams find time tracking apps extremely helpful. It helps them track the idle time, time spent on various apps, automate tasks, set reminders, manage vacation/ leave of their teams, and much more on a single platform. These time tracking apps enable freelancers and businesses to save time, cost, optimize their work schedule, stay updated on project management, and raise invoices/ pay bills accurately. Choosing the right time tracking app with the most helpful features depending upon each requirement would be a great idea!
Questions asked while looking for time tracking apps for freelancers:
What is a time tracking for a freelancer?
Freelancers mostly raise invoices to their clients based on the number of hours spent on the Project. It presents a few concerns like the validation of accurate time spent on a project. The time tracking apps enable freelancers to raise invoices with correct data.
Can I use the time tracking app for a large organization?
Time tracking apps are useful for freelancers, small teams, medium businesses, and large enterprises with multiple remote teams. Timesheet analysis, payroll management, idle time tracking, tracking time spent on various applications, and many other features are an excellent fit for both individual freelancers/ companies.
Can I use a time tracking app for free?
Many software providers offer the basic version of their tool for free. The free version usually has basic features. Some of the software tool providers offer free trials for a limited period.
What are some of the benefits of time tracking apps?
Time tracking apps enables freelancers to raise accurate bills/invoices to their clients. It helps companies manage their remote workforce; small businesses depend on the time tracking apps for payroll inputs and leave management, time entries, timesheet analysis, and many other features beneficial for both freelancers and companies.
Can I cancel my subscription?
Most of the providers allow their users/ clients to cancel their subscription. Many of them offer a free trial that helps users try out the basic features and then opt for a paid subscription/ plan.
Can the time tracking app help manage productivity?
Managers with remote teams often find it challenging to calculate the time taken by their teams to perform multiple tasks on various applications. The time tracking apps offer idle time tracking features, tracking time spent on different apps, and online/ offline tracking, which helps them manage their remote teams’ productivity.
Which is the best time tracking app?
There are tons of time tracking apps available in the market. However, each one of them offers a variety of features with suitable pricing plans. It would be best to choose the time tracking software based on individual requirements.