Venturing online is a very time-dependent journey. One might need to track their time to strategize how long different projects take or to make sure that a flat-rate task doesn’t cost more time to complete than the money it brings in. There is also the need to seriously manage time to maximize the productivity in either doing online jobs or setting up the business. Those hours that you’re not working are money left on the table and this includes those extended lunches and bathroom breaks. Another good reason to track time is to create a flexible schedule that allows you to participate in other social activities.
Regardless of any reason why you opt to record your time, having a time tracking app while having your projects are in progress is one of the most crucial elements when venturing online.
After much consideration, we found these four as the best time trackers for an online business or freelancers and the best thing is they are free. Here is a summary, of each one of the free business apps.
Timeneye can be described as the best time tracker app with light-project management tools. It is perfect for small teams working on project schedules and timelines, who are more concerned with time tracking but not necessarily invoicing or billing for it.
This app uses a calendar layout and features light project management functionalities. It has more options than most other time tracking tools for organizing and categorizing your work. You can create projects, clients, and tasks, in addition to project phases, like an initial consultation, project ideation, development, and execution, as well as delivery. However, the app doesn’t offer expense summary or invoicing.
Reports in Timeneye allow you to see the time spent working on different tasks, in different phases, or the number of hours each team-member logged. More interestingly, a freelancer can also view a report of recorded billable hours, which can then be exported to a PDF, to generate an invoice.
Timeneye also has a feature known as Suggestions, that can be optionally turned off. This feature reviews your history and other data in connected apps and suggests to you tasks that you might opt to record. You can connect it to productivity apps like Asana, Basecamp, Outlook calendar, some G Suite apps, Todoist, Trello, Pivotal Tracker, and others. It is highly transparent, explicitly informing you what to expect from the connectivity.
It is absolutely free for solo members.
Harvest is one of the best free time tracking tools available online and is used by a number of small, medium, and large-scale businesses. This intuitive time tracking app is a Freelancer’s dream come true for several reasons. For beginners, Harvest has been there for more than a decade and still going strong. This should give you the assurance that it won’t just disappear overnight.
For teams that want invoicing and expense tracking, Harvest ranks among the best options available. Harvest is built to manage a collaborative workload in a clear and easy to understand. Compared to other free business tools, it’s easy to use and the most attractive part for freelancers is that it can be downloaded from their official website free-of-cost for one user to use in a lifetime.
Additionally, Harvest can integrate with a long list of business tools such as Asana, Basecamp, Slack, just to mention a few.
Since this time tracking app works offline, it allows you and members of your team to record time on-project no matter where you’re. The records are presented in both detail and summary. You can install and have as many instances of the app as you like, including the mobile app, desktop app, and browser extension.
What’s more, if you like, you can set Harvest to automatically remind teammates to submit their timesheets and the freelancer has the option to review, edit, and approve team timesheets. You can also use the tool to track several tasks within a project, even if they go at different rates. However, if you’re planning to juggle a varied workload at all times, this app might not be ideal for you unless you pay a little.
Toggl is probably one of the best apps for tracking time because of its ease of use. It comes packed with superb features and offers a generous free-tier of service. This free time tracking tool makes monitoring employees’ time easier and more convenient. Freelancers can also utilize this business tool if they want to manage their work.
You can also log your time offline and sync your data after it has been recorded. Toggl’s little red button feature serves as a continual reminder to keep track of your time while working. It also features loads of integrations, as well as companion apps for both mobile and desktop use, and so you can really get all you want in this single app.
Another awesome feature is that Toggl doesn’t ask much of you whenever you begin timing a task. Many time tracking apps will want you to have a project, client, and task entered into the account before the tool allows you to track time. Its crowning feature is that the desktop-software almost makes time tracking automatic.
Toggl is free of cost for up to 5 users, making it a very cost-effective solution especially for freelancers. However, free account users are not able to collaborate with other teammates and they have minimal reporting tools.
Hubstaff is amazing time tracking solution available for both desktop and mobile devices. The app features lots of amazing options designed for both the freelancer working online and company employers.
Users praise Hubstaff time tracking app’s time clock system, random screen-shotting feature (which clients and managers can use to ensure that the workload is being done when the team says it’s) and reporting features. In addition, you can also get to calculate the-salaries using this app.
The free business tool is best for single users who want to present transparency for multiple stakeholders; One great feature is that small teams get to also easily use the full functionality of this app for free as Hubstaff doesn’t otherwise limit its functionality. The app also opens users up to 30+ free integrations. Notable free integrations include Asana, Atlassian Jira, Freshdesk, Paypal, Podio, Basecamp, QuickBooks, Trello, Wrike, Salesforce, Zendesk, and Zoho.
Time tracking apps are designed to do very detailed monitoring for the time you spend on each task so you can know where your productivity suffers. Some of the best business tools for time tracking that are available for solo entrepreneurs are fitted for everybody, although there are a few features and functionalities exclusive for teams.
However, you may not need to spend lots of money to purchase a good time tracking app. There are a number of other excellent apps to choose from and get started. Some of the best free time tracking tools for freelancers and small businesses have extra features like handling multiple currencies, some have inbuilt billing and invoicing tools, while others may offer expense-tracking, allowing you to easily note miles you drive, supplies you buy, and other reimbursable expenses. But have this in mind, not everyone needs all these features. And having too many features on a time-tracking app would also waste your time, ironically. This is why it’s important that you consider what each business tool has to offer and get the right fit for your need.