The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers

The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers

Our pick

Toggl

Toggl

The flexible, usable time tracker

Toggl ticked every box we were looking for, providing good prompts to track time, useful integrations, easy editing, and extensive free plans and trial time.

Buying Options

Buy from Toggl

Toggl was the most helpful yet most unobtrusive time-tracking software we used and should fit the best into most people’s workflows, whatever apps, computers, or devices are used. It was the simplest, with the fewest clicks and screens between remembering to log something and starting a timer (or revising an entry). It has apps for pretty much every platform and more integrations into other services than the competition. It is easy to turn off the parts you don’t need, and for many freelancers its reports will suffice for creating and sending invoices, even in the free version of the app.

Platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS
Browser extensions: Firefox, Chrome
Free-trial details: 30 days, all features

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Upgrade pick

Harvest

Harvest

Best time-tracking app for invoicing, expenses, and billing

If you need detailed invoices, need to track expenses, or want clients to pay you online, Harvest adds those features while still being a good time tracker.

Buying Options

Buy from Harvest
(or $12/month)

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $130.

Harvest has flexible invoicing tools that make it easy to bill clients and accept payments. While you can create invoices with Toggl’s report data, that’s not as easy to do with Harvest. But its invoicing tools are adjustable, look professional, and can incorporate expenses, which is something Toggl can’t do. If you want to offer clients a button to pay you through PayPal or Stripe, Harvest can handle that. Even though Harvest’s time-tracking functions aren’t quite as robust as Toggl’s, Harvest is still better than many time trackers we tested and offers desktop apps, reminders, and lots of customizable settings.

Platforms: Mac, Windows, Android, iOS
Browser extensions: Safari, Chrome
Free-trial details: 30 days, all features

Also great

Timeular

Timeular

A hard-to-ignore physical time tracker

We thought it’d be a gimmick, but ultimately we liked that an eight-sided dicelike object on your desk could help you track and commit to the things you’re supposed to be doing.

Buying Options

$100 from Timeular

I tested Timeular as something of a lark. It seems like a gimmick, being an eight-sided Bluetooth device you turn over to track tasks or breaks. But in testing, I liked it a lot more than I could have imagined. I felt more committed to the thing I had set down (literally) to do and put more thought into where my time was going. A desktop doodad isn’t for those who wander around a lot for work, and the one-time price is intimidating if you have a habit of abandoning good intentions. Still, Timeular is a novel way of tracking time and creating motivation for the right kind of brain.

Platforms: Mac, Windows, Android, iOS
Browser extensions: None
Free-trial details: 30 days, all features

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Toggl

Toggl

The flexible, usable time tracker

Toggl ticked every box we were looking for, providing good prompts to track time, useful integrations, easy editing, and extensive free plans and trial time.

Buying Options

Buy from Toggl

Upgrade pick

Harvest

Harvest

Best time-tracking app for invoicing, expenses, and billing

If you need detailed invoices, need to track expenses, or want clients to pay you online, Harvest adds those features while still being a good time tracker.

Buying Options

Buy from Harvest
(or $12/month)

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $130.

Also great

Timeular

Timeular

A hard-to-ignore physical time tracker

We thought it’d be a gimmick, but ultimately we liked that an eight-sided dicelike object on your desk could help you track and commit to the things you’re supposed to be doing.

Buying Options

$100 from Timeular

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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