Time Is MoneyHave you ever had the experience where you were discussing a project with a client, quote them a total price based on the number of hours that you thought it would take to complete, and then discover that it actually took you much, much longer? We’re bound to be a little inaccurate with our personal guesstimates and that’s why we need to work smarter by leveraging technology in our favor.

Thankfully, you can get a better grasp on your projects and on your productivity by using an array of free time tracking software available on the Internet. This way, you can have a better grasp on how long you’re really working on that TPS report and how long it really takes you to design a fresh new website. Just because you are sitting in front of your computer for eight hours a day does not mean that you’re actually accomplishing eight hours worth of work either. These tools can supplement the various tips for tracking your time use that we’ve previously discussed, as well as those valuable time management techniques that you may already be using.

All of the software listed below is available for free, but many of them offer premium accounts for added features and functionality.

Timecamp

Timecamp Time Tracking Software

Timecamp Time Tracking Software

Timecamp provides you with a graphical timesheet that’s “like having a calendar filled out with your project’s time.” You can have your time logged automatically or, if you prefer, manual timesheets are also available. There’s a manual timer in there that’s activated with a single click. The free version only works for a single user, though, so you’ll need to pay $6 per month per user if you need more than that.

Tick Time Tracker

Tick Time Tracker

Tick Time Tracker

When you sell physical stock, you have to keep track of your inventory. When you’re in the service industry, your hours are your inventory. The great thing about Tick is that you are able to set a time “budget” for each project, so you’ll know exactly how much time you have left to finish the job. The Timecard screen from Tick is easy to use, letting you select a client, project, and task to submit new entries. The free version gives you unlimited users, but limits you to one open project. Paid versions, all of which have a 30-day free trial, offer Basecamp integration and more projects. They start at $9 per month.

Harvest

Track Time with Harvest

Track Time with Harvest

Entering your time on Harvest is easy, because all you need is a single clijck to start and stop those timers throughout the day. With the added flexibility of mobile support and a desktop widget, no time will go untracked. You get powerful income reports with real-time overviews of billable hours and budgets, too. The free time tracking software limits you to one user, two projects, and four clients. Paid plans start at $12 per month.

Cashboard Time Tracking Software

Cashboard with Agile Support

Cashboard with Agile Support

Cashboard starts with simple project management, giving you the ability to use agile methods or simple to-do lists “to get more things done.” Tracking time and expenses is easy too, because the times run in the cloud. The 1-click invoicing is an added bonus. The free license gives you one employee, two active projects, and unlimited invoices to one client per month. The premium license is $15 per month and offers unlimited employees, clients, projects and invoices.

Paymo Time Tracking & Billing

Paymo Free Time Tracking Software

Paymo Free Time Tracking Software

Much like the other free time tracking software packages in this list, Paymo is also designed to be multi-faceted. You use it for your project management, your time tracking, and online invoicing. The time tracking is quite flexible too, working online, on your desktop, or via the mobile app (iOS or Android), helping you increase billable hours. The cloud-based solution is fully backed up too, so you’ll never lose your data. The free plan offers 1 user, unlimited clients and projects, 1 invoice per month, and 50MB of storage. Paid plans start at $9.95 per month.

1DayLater

1DayLater for Simple Time Tracking

1DayLater for Simple Time Tracking

Keeping track of your time shouldn’t be a chore. It should be something that helps you be more productive and earn more money. That’s why the “super simple interface” of 1DayLater is so appealing. It’s all online, giving you the ability to log not only your time, but also your money and your mileage” in easy shorthand, giving you an accurate history of projects and clients.” You get real-time visuals and expense management too. The “free forever” plan is perfect for freelancers, giving you unlimited projects, clients, and tags. The premium plan is 5GBP/month or 40GBP/year, giving you invoice generation, exportable spreadsheets, and mileage claim calculations.

Image credit: Wilson Hui / Flickr

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