While looking for options for a current customer project, I came to the article I am copying and pasting below in this post.
This excellent article was published May 8th, 2017 by Rachel Burger in Project Management. Rachel tackles the topic in a very objective manner, using her actual business problems as example to talk about why an independent consultant or freelancing professional would need a time tracking tool and further.
An important rationale for our benefit is the critical factor of the invoicing and billing process. While I already superficially mentioned accounting tools (Quickbooks On Line or GoDaddy for example), being able to also track your most important money making engine (your hours) and through this tracking to accurately invoice your customer comes to be the maker or breaker for your operation. Please note Rachel's remarks on this, she makes a great point when exemplifying the chaos of our daily routines and the challenge that is to reflect the time we actually worked on a project and not necessarily only the time we showed up in front of the customer.
8 of the Best Free Time Tracking SoftwareAt my first job, I worked as a research underling for a small HR consulting company. As tends to be the case with consulting, we billed clients on an hourly basis.
Of course, this was my first job, and I had no idea how to accurately track my time. I was used to campus hourly work, where you got compensated based on whether you showed up, not based on the amount of time you spent working on a specific project.
Getting used to time tracking was tough for me. In my creative process, I tend to have tabs upon tabs open.
As someone who is chronically struggling with the battle between ADD, creativity, and getting things done on time; as someone who flips between Facebook, Hangouts, work email, and expense reports; and as someone whose attention span fluctuates (often forgetting to stop or start the time tracking button), calculating my hours was an optimistic dream at best.
Then again, we were relying on tools that didn’t facilitate the time tracking process well. We used Trello to track our projects and wrote in our hours worked on the kanban cards. That meant that we used another free online application with simple “start” and “stop” buttons and that we had to record each time we worked on a project. For me, that meant hunting through tabs and remembering to comply with time tracking altogether.
It was, in short, a disaster.
Since entering the project management software world a few years ago, I realized that my old job was suffering from a lack of quality business tools. Yes, what they were using was free, but there is also free time tracking software that’s better than the system we had.
So I went on a hunt. I looked through the time tracking apps that:
After filtering through 500 or so time tracking applications in Capterra’s directory, these eight stood out in the areas that I was examining. Not every business will fit every solution offered here, though. Take the time to compare features and pricing, and let me know in the comments if I missed any big winners!
These time tracking apps are sorted alphabetically, as their features vary enough that there isn’t a clear “best” or “worst.”
** please note that in her article, Rachel provides a full thorough review of each of the tools she mentions, listed in the above list