The freelance industry is blooming. This surge in popularity is happening because freelancing celebrates some of the most marked qualities of the modern-day worker - independence, self-initiative and varied skill set.
But in order to succeed in doing it, you need to have a lot of discipline, determination and an extremely high level of organization.
A part of this will depend on your personality and the effort you put in, but a part can also be obtained with the help of a freelance time management app. Specifically, the part about organization.
Online time tracking system can help you measure your time on tasks and analyze your performance on different projects.
But the question is - how do you find the best time tracker app? And once you do find it, how do you use it for maximum benefit? Hopefully, this article will give you some answers.
Choosing the Best Time Tracking App for Freelancers
There are so many freelance time tracking options out there that picking the right one can be a head-spinning experience. But there are a couple of checkboxes that the best time tracker app needs to tick in order to be useful to freelancers. So let’s go over them.
As a freelancer, you probably don’t have an enormous corporate infrastructure that can support self-hosted data storage and complicated installation process. The best time tracker app for you, therefore, is a lightweight cloud solution.
Starting with freelancer time tracker download, which should be easy and straightforward, and going all the way to data storage, which should be cloud-hosted, all the steps need to be convenient for you without requiring specialized IT knowledge or powerful machines.
Easy to Use
The best time tracker app is also easy to use. If you have to read guidelines and watch tutorials in order to effectively use your time tracking software for freelancers, that’s already a waste or your time.
So look for something that you can use right away. The best time tracking software for freelancers has a clean dashboard, straightforward functionalities and reports that are easy to understand.
And let’s not forget about the actual process of tracking time, which should also be as intuitive as possible. Best case scenario - it’s automatic. Worst case scenario - it’s as simple as clicking the start/stop button. Anything more complicated than that just isn’t worth it.
During your search for the best time tracker app, you’re bound to come across a variety of features that different time and task tracking solutions offer. These range from basic functionalities to advanced corporate monitoring features.
The least that any time tracking app for freelancers should have, apart from time tracking of course, are some level of task and project organization, automatic reports on the number of hours worked, as well as app and website detection so that you can analyze your performance.
Anything more than this, like screenshots, keystroke monitoring, customizable working hours and other corporate features, are very likely paid extra and very unlikely to be of much use to you as a freelancer.
Finally, the best time tracker for freelancers doesn’t have to be the most expensive one. You don’t have corporate-level resources, so you have to be sensible when it comes to allocating money to a personal time tracker.
Now, even though you can certainly find a free time tracker for freelancers, this might not be the best choice because it might not have all the features you need or offer the same support. On the bright side, the paid solutions are generally charged per user per month, which means that you can get a company-quality system for less than $10.
So look for the features you need, compare the prices carefully and make the best of project time tracking software free trial to discover whether it’s easy to use and suitable to your needs.
How to Use Time Management Application
Now that you’ve chosen the best time tracker for freelancers, it’s time to put it to good use so that you can organize your tasks better and improve you client management and your overall efficiency.
Organize Your Work into Projects and Tasks
One of the best aspects of having a time keeping app is that you can clearly organize your daily work into different projects, assign specific tasks to those projects and then measure how much time you spend on those activities.
Daily time tracker not only gives you an insight into how long it takes you to do certain assignments (which you can use for setting expectations and estimates for future clients), but it also provides a clear overview of the work you did each day.
Count Billable Hours
This point is especially important for freelancers. You’re likely paid by the hour in a lot of cases, so the only really objective way to report on the time you dedicated to the project is to measure it with a time clock tracker.
Some systems allow you to specify your hourly rate for each project and then the final project cost is calculated automatically. This is an extremely fair way to get paid according to the effort and time you’ve put in. And your clients are going to appreciate the accuracy, too.
Look for Improvement Opportunities
As a freelancer, you only get paid for what you can do, so being able to do more in the same amount of time is a huge advantage. Your app to keep track of work hours can help you a lot in getting there.
As your time on tasks in measured along with your use of different productive and unproductive apps, you can get productivity reports that you can use to see what can be done better and how you can organize your time in the best possible way.
As a freelancer, you need to be able to take your work into your hands. This includes making sure you track projects and billable hours accurately, and taking the initiative to improve your own performance. And doing this can start with a simple step of choosing the best time tracker app and knowing how to use it.