If you are looking to outsource and grow your business or build an agency, it is natural to consider time tracking for those who work with you.
Even more, you may be interested in how you spend your own time as well as your contractors to better pitch proposals to your clients.
Knowing how you spend your time, the hours you spend on a typical project will help you create better estimates and proposals. More efficient proposals mean you don’t lose money when the project starts because you underestimated time.
There are multiple ways to keep track of time. I remember almost 15 years ago working for a friend doing various types of admin work and managing the website I built.
I recorded my time in a spreadsheet. That was about as simple as you can get.
In fact, clocks are everywhere these days. You have one on your computer or laptop, your phone, your microwave, and any other device that contains a computer.
Time tracking can be as simple as watching a clock and recording a spreadsheet. When I worked for an agency nearby, we had a project management tool where we entered our time when we completed or worked on a task.
However, when you are needing time to be tracked for others such freelancers you are using, you may need something more uniform.
Enter time tracking applications.
Today we are going to discuss freelancer time tracking and a few apps that may help you run your business more efficiently as you use outsourcing to scale your business.
I think Toggl is one of the most popular choices. I once had some friends that integrated Toggl with their Trello boards to track time for their startup.
No doubt it is easy to get started. The Basic plan is always free and is excellent for individual freelancers responsible for their own time. You can use one of their plans if you have a team.
The app is feature-rich and includes tons of integration options including Chrome and Firefox. The app consists of a 30 day free trial for any plan.
Chances are Toggl already integrates with your favorite project management tool.
Clockify looks promising. The company bills itself as the only free time tracker for teams. The company makes the core features a part of their free forever plan, but you can extend the product with one of its paid plans.
As with Toggl, Clockify has a plethora of integrations that will help you manage projects with your favorite management tool.
Clockify has an impressive list of customers as well as testimonies. Clockify launched in August 2017.
Software developer COING Inc built the time tracker. You can read more about why and how they developed the time tracker in this blog post.
Bonsai is a suite of productivity tools that help creative freelancers execute things like time tracking, contracts, invoices, reporting and more.
The product has a free trial though I wasn’t able to determine how long the trial is for. There are two price points.
You get all of their tools in each plan. The pricing can add up after some time, but Bonsai has a good reputation.
The time tracker is part of the suite of tools and will not be an option if you don’t need any of the other tools.
The website features several helpful freelancer tools like the Freelance Rate Explorer as well as several guides.
The difference between Paydirt and Bonsai is that Paydirt’s tools are all centered around time tracking. For example, features include invoicing, accepting credit cards, business reports, online quoting, and team management to go along with its Time Tracking tool.
Pricing starts at $8 per month, and that includes 3 active clients.
It definitely looks like an option if you have a gap in your business that the suite of tools can fill. I never could figure out what the name Paydirt has to do with business.
WP Project Manager
I can’t end an article on a WordPress tool website without taking note of a WordPress based tool, can I? I didn’t think so.
The WP Project Manager is a plugin from weDevs. If you intend to keep all your info on your server and in a WordPress dashboard, this might be something to consider.
Wrapping it up
As I said above, time tracking can be as simple as a clock and a spreadsheet or can be as advanced as a project management tool.
The key is to be efficiency. When you have scaled and have a team, you will want to choose how you measure your effectiveness.
In a freelancing culture, the responsibility on time tracking ultimately lies with the freelancer. If you are choosing to pay by the hour, they will need to keep up with that time. However, if you have a team, then you will probably want to track time as well.
Do you keep track of time for you or your team? If so, how do you track the time? Let us know in the comments below.