Time Tracking Software
Published October 24th, 2016 by

Time Tracking Tool: Biggest Weapon of Choice for Future Freelancers

Time Tracking Tool: Biggest Weapon of Choice for Future Freelancers

Freelancers refer to the people who are considered as self-employed or who offer independent services and charge by the hour. They are not committed to any company and they handle their own time. They can basically work for different employers, so long as they can manage their time perfectly.

Some freelancers are employed but still able to freelance during their free time. They can be  lawyers, accountants, writers, or any professionals who can work with several clients.

In the world of freelancing, time management is the key. Freelancers must have the ability to make every second counts and productive. Thus, it is a big factor for them to have a tool that is available at hand to aid them in keeping track of time and making sure all their agreed projects will be met before the deadline. One of the most essential tools of a freelancer is a time tracking tool.

Things a Time Tracking Tool Can Do for Freelancers

There are several things that a time tracking tool can do, from the most basic reminder or alarm for schedules and tasks to the most advanced and elaborate one. The following are the different ways to use time tracking tool. Every time tracking tool varies in usage depending on what the users need.

  1. A time tracking tool can be used as a calendar, the most basic of all designs. You can store and be updated about upcoming events and projects. Stay on track with your everyday tasks and set your schedule or appointments. You can even set up an alarm to remind you of your day’s events or minutes before your task starts. This is the most common usage for a time tracking tool. Almost everybody, who has a high a value for time, use this for it is the most available tool at hand. Mostly available in every cellphone, tablets, laptops and computers.
  2. Time tracking tool can serve as a timesheet. Freelancers mostly use this to keep track of their activities by manually inputting the time they spent on a certain task. Freelance writers commonly use this function to keep track of their time spent on writing. Freelance project managers also find this essential in tracking the tasks delegated to their subordinates, making sure each of them has tasked assignments.
  3. Time tracking tools can be used as an integrated software for accounting systems. This makes the work of freelance accountants much easier. All the accounted job orders, contracts and projects by other freelancers can be easily tracked. Accounting systems have the functions to pay bills, generate invoices and release salary. Time tracking tools with integrated accounting system is mostly used by freelancing project managers and accountants, so every hour worked by their staff or workforce is properly compensated and accounted for.

The Pros and Cons of a Time Tracking Tool

Technology is a quest of unlimited possibilities and continuously working on making everything easy and convenient. Like most of its priced innovation and discoveries, each is equipped with major ups and drawbacks. Not exempted is the time tracking software or application.

Advantages to Freelancers:

  1. Time tracking tools can provide efficient documentation of a freelancer’s time and schedules.
  2. It allows you to monitor the progress of a task assigned to you or your workforce. It allows freelancers to check on their contracts with different clients to balance them and make sure every client’s deadlines are met. It also provides proof that they were able to do the task assigned to them by their clients.
  3. Time tracking tool is an asset to a successful business. Not only are the attendance of those under your payroll is documented, you can also check their productivity in a given task. Plus you can now say goodbye to those classic Bundy clocks and tableful of attendance sheet. You can minimize the space of your table by having everything documented in your time tracking software. For some tips on how to properly select a vendor of a software for tracking time and attendance, check out this article: Top tips on selecting a time and attendance system.
  4. Everything is instantaneous. By a simple click of a button, you can track everything. From scheduling a task, tracking the task’s duration, to measuring a day’s productivity.
  5. Easy and convenient. Some time tracking software even allows you to manage outside your computer and through your cellphones or tablets. Perfect option for the on-the-go freelancers.

Disadvantages to Freelancers

  1. Every second counted can be proving deadly for every move you make is well-documented. Even the unexpected error you incur can post serious future threats to your freelancing career.
  2. Sometimes over tracking your time can result more to not having enough work done. If you’re a freelance project manager, who manages by scheduling people to work in a given time, there is a tendency that people finish their work earlier than projected; making some of them to spend more time doing nothing.
  3. Sometimes, people are not that keen on being spied on. According to the report from harper’s magazine with the title “The Spy Who Fired Me”, every effort to squeeze every last drop of productivity from workers pushes them to their mental, emotional, and physical limits. This claim to control their working and nonworking hours while giving as little compensation as possible is at risk of violating labor laws.

With the above-mentioned, time tracking tool is still found to be the most efficient tool in cutting down the cost for extra work and making sure everything you worked for is properly credited. It still really proved to be freelancers’ biggest weapon. So if you’re planning to start freelancing, the very first thing you should invest on is a time tracking tool. But the question is, how to choose among the different selections of time tracking tool in the market?

Know that time tracking tools vary in designs and usage. Some time tracking software can be proving efficient to a freelance accountant but not useful to a project manager. Below are some tips on what to look for when choosing the perfect time tracking tool for you based on its usage and software inclusion:

TIP #1: Check reviews and articles about the time tracking tool you need with functions necessary to your freelancing career. It would be better if the review system is a comparison between different types of time tracking tools for an elaborate presentation of each software. You might also want to check reviews for top time tracking tools for your profession.

TIP #2: If you are not sure on which time tracking tool is the best for you, check out on some time tracking software that offers free trials. Free trials usually vary from a 30-day to a 3-month period. Then after availing of the free trial and evaluating the software, choose the best time tracking tool that caters to your needs as a freelancer and, at the same time, is easy to navigate and use. Opt for a simple and easy to understand one rather than a complicated software.

TIP #3: If you are an on-the-go freelancer, choose a time tracking software that can be associated with your mobile phone, or has a mobile copy of the computer version. In this case, you won’t have a hard time managing your time and contracts. If you are a team leader, choosing a time tracker that allows you to track the time of your subordinate over your mobile phone is the best way to go.

TIP #4: For a freelance accountant, when choosing a time tracking tool, make sure that the time tracking tool you will choose has an integrated software for accounting systems, meaning it has billing or payroll capability. Most time tracking software has the basic function, but there are also time tracking tools that are built primarily for accountants in charge of employees’ salary and bill payments.

TIP #5: If you only need time tracking tools to do some basic stuff for you such as scheduling tasks, setting up alarms, or checking day’s productivity, you might want to check some time tracking applications or software that is free. Yes! You heard it right, Free! Some even offers Lite edition where the software only allows you to use the most basic functions of the time tracking tool.

So future freelancers, head out and equip yourself with a powerful weapon, a time tracking tool.

You might want to check for an amazing selections and reviews of time tracking tools, complete with comparison between hundreds of tools coming from different vendors. There is also a link to each vendor’s website so you can directly ask the vendor about the time tracker they are selling.

Jeev Trika

Jeev is an executive leader with successful experience building research portals which recommend the best products and services in various highly competitive verticals.

Our rankings are completely independent, transparent, and community driven; they are based on user reviews and client sentiment. These time tracking software companies had to earn their way up and didn't just pay their way up.

View Rankings of Best Time Tracking Software Companies