Time tracking is a huge part of a Virtual Assistant, Online Business Manager or any Freelancer’s business. Want to know how many hours you spent last week on the website for your new client? What about marketing your client’ new listing. Need to track your team’s hours by function? Want to figure out your hourly wage by project? Or maybe you would like to start charging per project and need to analyze how long it takes on average to complete a project? Then what you need is a time-tracking software program. You have a bevy of paid and free options to track your time. Let’s take a look:
This is my time tracking software of choice, and I’ve happily used it for well over a year now. It keeps track of my clients, their projects, and even the time my team members spend on tasks. I use TimeDroid to track when I’m on the go, and they also have a version for the iphone, and it can even sync with your Basecamp account. The first 3 clients you add are free, and then plans range from $19.95 per month to $39.95 per month.
This desktop application allows you to create a visual representation of your time, track by client or project, and export your time totals to your time sheets for clients. Available as individual licenses for $15.99.
This system provides free time tracking and three invoices for individuals. You may also use overview and reporting systems for businesses, for $3.99 per user per month. You can sort and track by user, client, project, and task, and track by iPhone or desktop.
One-click tracking on your computer or iPhone with Toggl. Free for up to five users; plans scale up from there. You can also embed Toggl into your favorite Internet application, like iGoogle or Gmail.
RescueTime doesn’t just let you track your time; it helps you focus by blocking distracting sites (Facebook, anyone?). It also creates time tracking reports and graphs. RescueTime’s Solo Lite is available for free but is limited on features; Solo Pro is available for $6-$9 per month, and the Team Edition is available for $15/month or less.
Clock My Time is a desktop widget for Yahoo or Vista. You simply download the widget to your desktop and use it to track your time. You can monitor your or your team’s time from any Internet-enabled computer. $10 per user per year.
If you are on an iPhone, you have a number of low-cost apps for your own tracking time, including ClockedIn, Timely, and Easy TimeSheet. Be careful when shopping for an iPhone app, though, as some require a membership subscription to a more powerful desktop application.
When evaluating your time tracking options, consider:
- How many users you’ll need
- What reports and charts you’ll want to create
- How many tasks you’ll be tracking
- If you need access from other computers
- What kind of storage you’ll need
- If you want to generate invoices from your time sheets, and if so, how many per month you’ll be creating
Once you select a time tracking program, the key is to USE it. Just like a budget, it won’t do you any good just sitting on your desktop. Put it to use to increase your productivity and start saving time… and money!