Being a freelancer is fun because you have flexible work time. Commonly, a freelancer is paid per project. Clients will pay a freelancer once the project is done, no matter how long it takes. However, there are also clients that prefer to pay freelancers based on time whereby they pay you — the freelancer — based on the time you spent on a project.
The question is, how do your clients know your work duration while you are not in the same room as them? This is how a time tracker app comes into play.
With a time tracker app, you can accurately measure the time you spent on a client’s project. You can then share the reports and timesheets to your client. In addition to a reporting need to the client, you can also use a time tracker app to self-evaluation by checking how did you spend your time with your computer. Whether you really opened apps related to your job or not. A time tracker allows you to check the duration you spent with apps installed on your computer.
The following are 11 of the best time tracker apps you can use if you are a freelancer.
Workpuls is a tool that can be used by freelancers and managers alike. It’s an employee monitoring, time tracking and automatic time mapping software that’s focused on driving productivity and improving efficiency. It’s great if you want to add some accountability to your work and earn the trust of your employer. With Workpuls, you can automatically track your work hours and daily productivity to get insights into how you work best. You can also set up screenshots and customize the intervals they’re taken at. They offer a free trial to get started, but you’ll need to upgrade your plan if you wish to continue using it afterwards. You don’t need to enter credit card info to try it out. Plans start at $4.80 per month.
The first time tracker app you can use for your freelancing life is TimeCamp. This app offers a free plan for solo use, which is perfect for a freelancer. You can upgrade your plan at any time as your business grow and you want to build a team. TimeCamp is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. TimeCamp comes with a visual report to make it easy for you to analyze the time you spent during a certain period. TimeCamp also has an invoicing feature but you need to upgrade your plan to use this feature. If you also use productivity tools like Trello, Todoist, and so on, you can also integrate TimeCamp with those tools.
3. Time Doctor
This is probably not a great option if you are objected to spending a monthly budget on a time tracker app since Time Doctor doesn’t offer a free plan. Time Doctor is a popular enough time tracking tool with over 80,000 users. Time Doctor only has a single plan costing $9.99 per user per month. The reporting feature of this tool allows you to identify your productivity weaknesses and make improvements while the billing feature allows you to manage client billing. If you are interested to use Time Doctor, you can try its free 14-day trial. You can install Time Doctor in Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you use Upwork, you can also use Time Doctor as a white label Upwork.
If you are looking for a free time tracker app, TopTracker is one of the apps you must try. This time tracker app is designed specifically for freelancers. Despite free, the features offered by this app are plenty enough. You will even get features like invoicing which on other time tracking apps are only available on the paid plan. With the invoicing feature, you can request payment for work tracked and recorded in the app. TopTracker itself is partnering with Payoneer to provide a payment method. TopTracker is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
DeskTime is a freemium time tracking app. While you can use it for free, you need to upgrade your plan to premium to unlock more features like reporting, billing, URL tracking and so on. As a freelancer, you can use DeskTime to see how much time you spent on a project and create reports to your client for a billing need. If you want to upgrade your free plan to premium to unlock the premium features, DeskTime allows you to try the premium plan for free for 14 days. You don’t need to enter your credit data to try the premium plan. The desktop app of DeskTime is available for major platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac.
TMetric also offers a free plan to give you a chance to use a time tracker app for free. The features offered by the free plan of TMetric are plenty enough. With the free plan, you will be able to use features like reporting, idle detection, offline mode, and so on. The stats you can see on a report with the free TMetric are hours tracker, money tracked, and costs incurred. You can install the desktop app of TMetric on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Timely offers a plan aimed specifically at freelancers. This plan, which costs $12 per month, allows you to monitor your hours against your set weekly capacity, which is great for managing your workload and minimizing burnout. You are allowed to add up to 25 active projects with this plan. You can also set branded reports by adding your logo and brand colors. Another key thing offered by Timely is that it allows you to add budgets and rates to projects to quantify the cost of your time. Timely itself is a premium app. No free version is offered. Timely also supports integrations with lots of apps. The desktop app of Timely is only available for Windows (Windows 8 and above) and Mac.
Tick is a freemium time tracking app that adopts different pricing model to other apps above. While other apps above restrict users to use features based on the plan they use, this app allows you to use all of the available features even if you use the free version. Tick bills you per project. If you only need to track one project, then you don’t need to spend a dime to use Tick. In Tick, every report is built around actionable data. You can bill clients based on the reports you have. Tick allows you to export your reports to QuickBooks. The desktop app of Tick itself is available for Mac only. If you use Windows or Linux, you can use Tick by installing a Chrome extension.
The pricing model of Harvest is similar to Tick’s whereby features are available for all users, including users who use the free plan. You only need to pay when you want to use Harvest to track more than two projects. Harvest also offers features like the ones offered by the vast majority of the time tracking tools above. Some features offered by this app are reporting, invoicing, timesheet approval, and so on. Harvest supports integrations with other tools like Trello, QuickBooks, GitHub, Asana, PayPal, and so on. The desktop app of Harvest is available for Mac and Windows (via Microsoft Store).
Whether you need a time tracking app to merely record your activities with your computer or for a more serious purpose, Toggl is another worth-trying app you can give a try. For basic time tracking, Toggl can be used for free. You need to upgrade your free plan to use more advanced features like reporting, which is crucial enough for billing needs. With Toggl, you can easily filter your time tracking data, showing you the information you need when you need it. You can export reports into Excel, CSV and PDF. Toggl also allows you to compare project progress to estimated time as well as assign billable rates to your tasks, and make sure you are paid fairly for all your work. You can install the desktop app of Toggl on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Hubstaff is a time tracking app designed for teams, but you can also use it for solo use if you are a freelancer. Features like reporting, online timesheets, and productivity monitoring are available but you might need to upgrade your plan to use all of those features. The basic features offered by Hubstaff are time tracking, activity levels, and screenshots (limited). You can install Hubstaff on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Everhour is a time tracker app designed for teams, but it also offers a plan for freelancers which costs $8 per month. You can easily start and stop your timer to record your activities as you work. Or, you can also log hours manually. Everhour also allows you to easily create an invoice based on the tracked time. Everhour is a feature-rich time tracker app. There is no free plan offered by this tool. You can use Everhour for a testing purpose for free for two weeks if you are interested in this tool.
If built-in invoicing, expense tracking, and accepting and managing payments online are more important to you than a tracker that’s easier to start and manage everywhere, Harvest is the way to go. It offers more robust time tracking than its fiercest direct competitor, FreshBooks, including a desktop app, Web integrations, and a good mobile app. For people who have to create very precise invoices, Harvest’s invoicing system works better than Toggl’s reports and adds the ability to take online invoice payments through Stripe or PayPal. Some freelancers don’t need this level of invoice polish, but those who do will appreciate having one less job to think about.
Another good one is kanbantool.com . I like that it serves more than just that one purpose. It’s also a good project management tool and a collaboration app. You can use it as a to-do list as well. I like it.