8 Great Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers
If you’re trying to pick a time-tracking app to help you stay organized, focused, and on task, you’ve probably noticed the multitude of options out there. A new option pops up every day, and they all seem to do the same thing.
But not all time-tracking apps are created equal. Some are created with remote teams in mind, while others prioritize individual freelancers. Some adopt the mindset of the freelance worker, while others focus on making life easier for managers. Many are even downright creepy and seem to offer little to no privacy for those who install them.
Those who try to find the best time-tracking app are often left with a lot of questions. That’s why we’re breaking through all of these questions and barriers to create a list of the top 8 tracking apps, specifically for freelancers.
Here are the best time tracking apps for freelancers to help boost your productivity and track your work:
Price: Free for Life
Due is an extremely unobtrusive app that allows you to track time with automatic idle time detection. Simply start the timer, and a new session will start immediately. As you proceed with a project, you can use Due time tracking to generate invoices based on the hourly rates you set. This time tracking app also makes it easy to organize clients’ information by name, address, hourly rates, or even different currencies.
Price: Free / $10 per month for automated meeting transcriptions and calendar analytics
Calendar is the next generation of the calendar app. With easy to use time tracking, schedule management, and meeting scheduling, Calendar offers desktop and mobile (iOS and Android) platforms that allows you to sync and share multiple digital calendars as well as leverage machine-learning algorithms that serve as a virtual assistant. You'll be able to track and manage how you spend your time and become more efficient at scheduling meetings and events with easy to use calendar analytics.
Price: $12/month for Solo; $49/month for Basic; $99/month for Business
Harvest is another great time-tracking option for freelancers, since you can use it to track a number of different projects at the same time, even if they contain different tasks and charge different rates. If you’re working with a team, you can even assign various tasks within a project to specific team members. Additionally, it’s extremely easy to integrate if you’re working with other apps that help with remote work, like Basecamp.
Besides the hefty pricing, Harvest’s only other major downside is that the app doesn’t include desktop monitoring options like active application or URL tracking.
TopTracker earns the number one spot on this list, since it was built by a top freelancing network specifically with freelancers in mind, and isn’t tied to any job platform. Unlike other time-tracking apps, TopTracker is completely free (without any version limitations) and gives freelancers complete control over what gets tracked and how often.
TopTracker makes use of all the normal time-tracking tools like timers, screenshots, and webcam shots, but freelancers are able to take total control by deciding how often things get tracked and adding options like tracking written task descriptions only or picture blurs. The free, standalone app is available across all devices and works on OS X and Windows, with Linux coming soon.
If you’re confused by the wide price range, Tick’s price depends on the number projects you have open at any given time. So if you’re a one-project-at-a-time freelancer, you can probably get away with using it free. But let’s be honest: If you were working on one project at a time, would you really need a time-tracking app? (And would you really make a livable salary?) Tick is simple, straightforward, and can be used across devices, but be wary of pricing if you’re the kind of freelancer who keeps a large number of projects open at once.
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Price: Free for RescueTime Lite; $9/month for Premium
RescueTime is great for individual freelancers who want to know how they’re spending their time but don’t necessarily need to report back to any manager. Like other time-tracking apps on this list, RescueTime will give you detailed reports and an accurate picture of how you spend your days, but only to quench your own personal curiosity. The app does not send information to managers or clients.
Price: Free for Basic; $5/month for Pro; $49/month for Business
The makers of Toggl created this time-tracking tool with speed and usability in mind, so even the busiest freelancer can make use of it. Reports generated with Toggl are easy on the eyes, and it tracks your work in real time, as long as you remember to turn it on. For the forgetful freelancers out there, Toggl also allows you to input work time after the fact. The app was built with team productivity in mind, so individual freelancers might run into some extraneous features.
Unless you want to use Klok to do a lot of team-based work, freelancers can get great results from its (cheaper) desktop application compared with its team console. This time-tracking app uses the data collected from past projects to help you estimate the amount of time you’ll need for projects in the future. The app also helps you divide your work into categories, so you can see how much time you spend in meetings versus on the phone versus self-marketing.