Ask DN: How do you track your time?

almost 10 years ago from , Nostalgia Maker

What software/app do you use to track your hours to charge your freelance clients?


  • Account deleted almost 10 years ago (edited almost 10 years ago )

    I'm old-school. I use notebooks. I will have a page for a client, write the day, and then write start and end times along with super brief notes about the work I did. In the end I will tally it all up, invoice, boom.

    For me, this process works better than timer/tracking software. I would always forget to start or stop it... and I like being able to jot down thoughts, tasks, etc alongside it all on paper.

    2 points
    • James StiffJames Stiff, almost 10 years ago

      Likewise. I tried various apps but nothing came close to notebooks in terms of simplicity and reliability. At the end of each week, I input everything into timesheets in FreeAgent (which I also use for invoicing).

      0 points
  • Antonio PratasAntonio Pratas, almost 10 years ago

    I don't believe in tracking time. It's like a religion thing.

    Of course, there has to be a way of charging projects, but I don't think that time is the most effective one. I try to work more on a per project basis or on a daily basis.

    1 point
    • Jose PadillaJose Padilla, almost 10 years ago

      Totally agree, and that's the way I've worked in the past years. Per project basis works for almost all projects, even probably consulting, and I've found that it's always benefited me and the client.

      0 points
      • Mason LawlorMason Lawlor, almost 10 years ago (edited almost 10 years ago )

        Per project basis is nice for the client- but sometimes bad for you. I used to only do per project but there's too many projects where I was getting burned. You don't have to track hours to invoice the client. I track hours just so that my agency is internally accurate at predicting total hours for a project. Each proposal we do is more accurate than the last.

        Btw: We've been using Timely

        1 point
  • Benjamin FritzBenjamin Fritz, almost 10 years ago

    I currently don't track as I'm no freelancer but I would probably use http://joaomoreno.github.io/thyme/ or the whole suite of http://www.getharvest.com/

    1 point
  • Ivo MynttinenIvo Mynttinen, almost 10 years ago

    I'm using the OSX app On the Job (http://stuntsoftware.com/onthejob/) since about 3 years. I think it's not really in development anymore (last update was retina support a few months ago) and it looks a bit outdated already but it still does everything I need and I'm not really feeling like paying 10-20 bucks per month for a SaaS time-tracking tool.

    0 points
  • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, almost 10 years ago


    0 points
  • Rob AlanRob Alan, almost 10 years ago

    I have always used Harvest. I don't have much experience with any others, but the trifecta of web, desktop, and mobile apps keeps me on top of it. I also enjoy the "idle" alert: if you've been away for a bit, it tells you so when you come back and asks if you want to remove the idle time.

    Although I track to each project, I may not invoice hourly. If I estimate a flat fee, it's nice to see how I'm tracking against it. Most of the time, it is simply for internal and estimation purposes like Mason L.

    http://try.hrv.st/2-12311 — that's a referral link; gets you $10 off your first month.

    0 points
  • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, almost 10 years ago

    When I am freelancing I'll use something like Ballpark for all invoicing and time tracking. It has a pretty small, simple widget.

    The only downside with any time tracking app is that you, for the most part, need to be cognizant that it is running and need to manually turn it off.

    0 points
  • Bernd HackerBernd Hacker, almost 10 years ago

    I use Timings for over a year now: http://www.cheatsheetapp.com/Timings/

    0 points
  • Sebastian De DeyneSebastian De Deyne, almost 10 years ago (edited almost 10 years ago )

    Very happy with Toggl at the moment. Not using it for real clients a lot but for personal evaluation. Perfect fit for me since it does exactly what I want without too much extra, and free!

    0 points