5 Tools For Freelancers To Manage Their Time

Time management is important part of a well-balanced life. Managing family and work at a same time is a big problem. But if we manage our time effectively and efficiently then both can have their time in spotlight. We wont get more or less than 24 hours a day. So you should be able to manage you time in such a way that you every stakeholder gets you attention they deserves.

You can have a happy family and successful business just by managing you time. Looking at the importance of time management, today we have collected 5 tools which can make your life easier be managing your time for you. They are not completely free but remember to get something productive you have to pay. Working as a freelancer is a hectic job which required time management first so have a looks on all these tools and select best tool for you.

1. Toggl

Toggl

Toggl provide very easy time tracking and management. You can create tasks in fraction of a minute. This site is different from other sites because you can use it from website, from your computer’s desktop ( supports Windows, Linux and Mac) and even from your iPhone. Just download the application and it is ready to use.

Toggl Supports Windows, Mac, Linux and iPhone

You can sign-up by creating a new account or you can also use you GOOGLE account for sign-up purpose.
After signing up you will be taken to your task bar where you can create your first task by entering date, task description, project, and duration for the specific task.

Add Task

You can view your all active projects, manage them, search projects and add new project in PROJECTS tab. You can also add/delete/modify clients in CLIENTS tab. Toggle also provide stats like performance charts and reports for the whole team, which you can filter by client, project, task and more. You can download all reports as PDF or CSV files.

Toggl offers Free as well as Pro features. Prices are listed below. They provide 30 days free trial for all pro accounts.

Cost


In the end, i may say it is very easy to use time management tool, the task-bar icon makes it easy to see whether you are timing tasks or not. I like the stats feature to see how you have spent you time. Very easy to operate because of its diversified accessibility.

2. Tick

Tick

Tick is one of the time tracking tools which I will be reviewing. It is web-based time tracking tool you can use it from any of your internet browser. Tick is very good site for is you just want to manage you time in simple fashion, because it considers time the most important part of business. It has very simplified user-interface having just 3 tabs which are Timecard, Projects, and Reporting.
To get started have a look at the following sample image for creating client, project and tasks.

New Project

In timecard tab you can create projects, add clients and make new tasks. If you already have created your 1st project, client, and task then you can also add “time to enter” and Notes to the desired client or project. Following screen-shot clears it all.

Timecard

Under “Projects” tab you can find all of the projects you have created including Closed Projects, Open Projects etc. You can choose clients and see the time remaining for the project, you can also close the respective project or edit it.

Projects

Reporting is essential part of any activity, this tells what is our performance and how are we spending our precious time! You can print the report or export as CSV. If you want report of specific client or project then you can also do this by selecting/deselecting desired options and clicking on Update report button.

Reports

Tick offers pro as well as free services following are the tariff and characteristics of available accounts.

Cost


This can be a good choice for the individuals who just want to manage time for their projects. Tick also supports RSS tracking and widgets.  Very fast processing you have to configure it once then it is very easy to use. But this won’t help people who want to export their time sheets into invoices. Collectively we can say tick is a good pick for time tracking purpose !

3. Cashboard

Cashboard

Using Cashboard you can do Time tracking, expenses, invoicing, estimates, and online payments. Cashboard is a complete package for you online business. It can be easily integrated with the Basecamp and number of other invoicing tools, it can keep you receivables and time sheets organized and maintained.
After signing-up and loging-in, cashboard will take you to you dashboard and provide some tips on “ How To Get Started” and provides links to do the primary tasks like add clients and employees, configure the projects, task the time which can be done by dashboard widgets or iPhone clients etc. You will see many tabs and sub-tabs making navigation easy. You can set desired preferences like templates and color customization in setting tab. You can also export data in XML format and setup the integration into Basecamp, You can add clients, team members and subcontractors for the “companies and people” tab

Dashborad

Under Projects tab you can create projects and add tasks. Active and Closed projects are listed. You can click on any pre-created project to assign tasks, time, expenses and issue invoices. You can also create estimate from projects and copy items from another project.

Projects

Cashboard also offer many more functions but since our focus is on time tracking so we have reviewed Time Management Tool, only.

Cashboard offers free as well as dynamic accounts. In dynamic accounts you can configure you account by adding number of employees and clients and then calculate you price. Features of Free and Paid Accounts are shows in image below.

Cost


Finally, we may say the cashboard is a very easy tool to manage you precious time. It has all features that users want to be in the time tracking software like basic functionality and very easily understandable interface.

4. yaTimer

yaTimer

yaTimer is non-web based application. It is download-able software which will run on you desktop. It is very easy to use and specifically designer to track time. You can place a small window in corner of your desktop which will remind you the task to be done.
After you are done with downloading and installing yaTimer, clicking to new task button following window will open, in this window you can fill the details about the task such as Task Name, Add Clients and Project, You can select whether you want Timer or Countdown ( if you chooses countdown option then the Countdown Options became active and you can customize then according to your need). You can add Play Sound which yaTimer software will play when time for the task ends. Then click on Create button to create the task or choose Click& Run Button if you want the task timer to start immediately!

Create New Task

Once the task is created you can pause, start, and reset the timer. You can also delete the task, mark it as completed, edit it or adjust the queuing position of the task.

Pause-Play

There are further options of “Create Running Task”, “Create task from template” (you would have to create a template before using this option), “Arrange task in groups”, pause and reset all tasks, “print reports” and “view help online”.

Features

yaTimer offers 14days free trial, I think 14 days are enough to find the advantages and weaknesses of a software. Then you can upgrade to the pro package. They offer 30Days Money0Back Guarantee and offer installation up to 3 computers. Price of paid yaTimer is listed below.

Cost

Comments:
This tool is very handy for people who want to just manage their time effectively and efficiently. Using this software you don’t need to go online and check any website to manage time. It has very easy to use interface. If you pay for it, it will pay for itself in less that’s for sure!

5. FreshBooks

FreshBooks

FreshBooks establish a strong relation between tracking hours, project management and invoicing or we can say that FreshBook is a management tool. It has every feature required by a freelancer to work efficiently. It supports automated invoicing in any currency, collect online payments. You can also use FreshBooks on you iPhone which is most important thing nowadays!
After signing-up you will get bunch of tabs for navigation through the website, including invoices, time tracking, estimates, team and reports. As you topic is time management so we will review only functions related to time management.

Getting Started

When we navigate on the Time Tracking tab Timesheet opens showing calendar, projects, task etc. If you haven’t created you 1st project then you can make one by clicking on the sub-tab named Projects, same in the case of tasks.

New Project

New Task

Many users also want report feature to judge their performance, FreshBooks have remedy for that, they provide “Reports” feature which can be accessed through navigation tabs. FreshBooks provides variety of reports like finance reports, invoice reports and time-sheet reports.

Reports

Following is the tariff of FreshBooks although it also offers free package but paid one has more functions and features.

Cost

Comments
FreshBooks is a complete management tool which can handle invoicing to time management, but 1 think we don’t like about FreshBooks, is its interface. It has many sub tabs which can only be accessed by visiting main tabs first. They should design the site where user can have access to all the features by a single click. But to me, it is the best choice for people who want to manage their whole business in one place. It has many options which other tools like Tick or Cashboard don’t have like Expense management or send email. Also its free plan project limit is unlimited means they don’t force you to pay to use their services.

There are many other sites and tools for time tracking but we found these 5 comparatively useful!
Which tool do you use for time tracking? Mention in comments.

Taimur Asghar

Professional design writer and SEO expert. Trying to change my life with hard work.

15 Smart Tools To Help You Build Your Freelance Business

Discover the awesome tools we use in making our clients comfortable and happy in learning new things every day.

Download Now

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Excellent post.
    I use Toggl as it is very easy to use but I wish it provided some good reporting like total time I spent on a particular thing.

  2. Megha says

    Hi Taimur, seems like you have done a lot of work in finding these tools. I knew about toggl before, but will go through the others as well.

  3. April says

    Nice list. Have you heard about Freckle time tracking? It’s great! I have been using it for two years now. I started from a solo account to a team account. Nice interface, cool features, awesome design.

  4. Charlie says

    I discovered Chrometa (https://app.chrometa.com) which has the wonderful extra that it automatically tracks every programme, webpage, document you’re in by itself, and you can just file them at the end of the day. No worries remembering to press start and stop on a timer.

  5. Arsene says

    Such an incredible list. I only knew of Freshbooks, but I will surely take a look at other apps as well.

    Time management is a crucial factor in successful freelancing. We often get dragged by minor things on most projects and by the time we know it, procrastination has already creep-ed in, which ultimately costs everyone money.

    Great reviews which deserves a bookmark, RT, like, stumble and a cup of coffee!

    • Taimur Asghar says

      Thanks for your love Arsene. Stay-tune for more informative articles.

  6. Liz Rice says

    Taimur, great to see your thoughts on these different time management tools.

  7. Jennifer says

    Hi Taimur,

    There is a neat little desktop tool called Fanurio http://www.fanuriotimetracking.com . I love it! You can try it for free too. You can just click to start, pause it, etc and you can do nifty reports. I use it to track the time I spend on client projects.

    Even though I only bill hourly for consulting projects, it helps me to see how much time I’m spending to make sure my rates are in line. With Fanurio you can customize invoice templates using your own layouts and export them to HTML or PDF.

  8. says

    Thanks for the great coverage of Cashboard!

    Just want to give everyone a heads up and let you know that we’re currently underway with a full REST API – so there will be a variety of 3rd party widgets, apps, and tools that should be following to make tracking your time and getting paid even easier.

    If you have any questions about our product just email support@getcashboard.com

    I answer all the support inquiries personally.

    – Seth (founder, designer of Cashboard)

  9. says

    I’m sure they’re all great bits of software – I personally use Studiometry which is a desktop based rather than browser based….I find this a much more useful in a working setup where I have multiple apps open with stacks of windows in different applications.

    I’m also starting to get a tad annoyed at these bits of browser based software that have a monthly subscription…I can’t see a reason why I would want to keep paying a monthly fee that in most cases seems to go up when you have more clients….strikes me as being quite greedy on the part of the developers.
    Can we have some more good old fashioned desktop based apps without a monthly subscription please?

    • Taimur Asghar says

      Hey TOM!
      Thanks for your response!
      We have covered the application you are looking, named yaTimer.. This is completely desktop based application with monthly subscription ..

  10. paul says

    cool, just what I was looking for!
    I don’t like the Freshbooks time tracker, sometimes it’s not very responsive and if you click several times on the button, it will add duplicates to the customer’s bill.

  11. Mike Tooley says

    Thanks for the great coverage of FreshBooks. I work for a company called Shoeboxed.com, and we actually integrate with FreshBooks. Shoeboxed scans your receipts and business cards and data enters them into your Shoeboxed account. From there you can export anything and everything to FreshBooks.

  12. says

    I think this is the kind of articles that most reader need. I’m too tired with list of 40+ of something where in the end I have to try all of them to find which one is suit for me.

  13. says

    Using the Pivotal Tracker is pretty cool. I will test the above. Something we have to use, so you’re bound

  14. says

    Awesome article, i will give them once i get some free time to spare.
    Btw whats with that oversized “authors” widget in the footer? o.O

    • Saad Bassi says

      Sorry about that. We are currently working on the redesign. Soon it will be gone. Thanks for coming here.:)