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The best time-tracker app for freelancers and small businesses

10 minutes

If it's true that "time is money," then keeping track of your billable hours is vital to your business.

Whether you're a freelancer or a small business owner, you stand to benefit from time-tracking software to manage projects, bill clients, and coordinate with team members.

Today, we'll take a closer look at the best time-tracking apps available in 2021.

Who needs time-tracking software?

Time-tracking software can serve two broad purposes:


1. Managing projects

Business owners and freelancers both need software that lets them track their billable hours and manage their projects.

A time tracker may be one of several productivity apps used to create projects, measure time spent on each project, and automatically create invoices through a mobile app to ensure rapid turnaround and preserve your cash flow.

Companies can take advantage of these project management tools to create a composite picture of their overall workflow. Generating accurate business reports provides insight into the strength of the organization and can even help with financial forecasting and tax preparation.

2. Managing teams

A time tracker can also be used to track employee hours and manage team members. This may be particularly important for teams that rely on remote work.

Time-tracking software becomes a useful tool for managing employee schedules. This timesheet management solution eliminates the need for paper timesheets or manually submitting time logs.

The best time tracker apps of 2021

With these benefits in mind, let's take a look at the top 10 time-tracking software of 2021:

And.co

And.co is a time tracking app offered by Fiverr.com. It may be particularly attractive to freelancers and others who are already using the services of Fiverr and UpWork.

And.co offers automatic time tracking, as well as advanced invoicing options and other value-add features.

Freelancers can especially appreciate the free time-tracking features of its basic package. And.co is free for individuals who are working with one client. The app grants you access to standard contracts and can connect to up to two bank accounts.

The pro plan costs $18/month, which allows you to work with multiple clients and manage different projects through the centralized mobile app.

Hello Bonsai

Hello Bonsai is a great tool for people who are tired of juggling multiple productivity tools or want to switch to software that provides multiple areas of functionality.

This tool allows you to track time, but it has additional features that allow users to send proposals, manage invoices, and accurately monitor every step of their creative and financial process.

Those working in a team environment can appreciate the way that Hello Bonsai integrates with Slack, providing automatic updates to team members who may need to juggle tasks. This streamlines the completion of projects of any size.

The software can also integrate with Google calendar to help users fit their projects into their broader schedules.

After a 14-day free trial, Hello Bonsai users will pay $19/month for these features, which also include unlimited time tracking for unlimited projects.

Still, this might be a bit cost-prohibitive for some freelancers who lack the need for some of the team-based features and could instead get by with a free time-tracking tool like some of those listed below.

ClickUp

ClickUp is one of the best free time tracking apps, as well as a useful productivity platform. In fact, ClickUp offers one of the most extensive free plans on the market today, providing 100 MB of storage and time tracking for unlimited projects.

ClickUp can be great for organizations that rely on teams, and its free plan accommodates unlimited users.

The user-friendly desktop app has browser extensions that integrate with other time-tracking software applications, including Toggl, Time Doctor, and Clockify, allowing you full control over the time data generated by your employees.

If you're a business owner, you may appreciate the reporting features offered by ClickUp, which provides a snapshot of the time devoted to different projects and tasks.

This data can then be downloaded as a PDF and forwarded to a client, showing the team's time and progress made toward projects.

Due Time

Due Time is perfect for freelancers looking for a basic, free time tracking app. This program is more than just a stopwatch, however. The software can also measure time spent idle and will automatically stop when it detects you're not working.

Due Time will start tracking time again once you resume your activities, which can help freelancers improve their time management skills and optimize their workflows.

Additionally, this free time-tracking app lets users manage their client's details and organize them by name, contact information, hourly rates, and other pertinent details.

This makes Due Time a surprisingly versatile solution for those who are looking for a simple, free time tracker.

Clockify

Clockify is ideal for freelancers, solo entrepreneurs, and small teams of employees. It allows you to track time across multiple devices, letting you use your time effectively.

Clockify's timesheet management tools allow you to generate time logs to streamline your payroll and billing process and generate reports simply and easily.

When working with a team, Clockify provides frictionless communication between members, which can deepen the collaboration that occurs on particular projects and tasks.

Users can start tracking time for free. The basic plan allows for unlimited users, unlimited projects, and some basic integrations that add value to the program.

From there, Clockify offers four scalable packages that include advanced invoicing features, GPS tracking, and other employee monitoring tools that give business owners full control over their teams.

These plans start at $3.99/month and go as high as $11.99/month for the most advanced package. Compared to other tools, Clockify is modestly priced. Many users may be satisfied with the free time tracking features offered by its most basic plan.

Homebase

Homebase offers a time-tracking desktop app and mobile app, making it easy to track hours on multiple devices, including point of sales (POS) systems.

Their free package offers basic communication tools for one location and an unlimited number of employees. Homebase also offers scalable plans that provide advanced features that let management staff optimize the company's overall workflow.

The time-tracking features of Homebase permit managers to optimize their team's schedules to forecast labor costs. You can even share this data with your team.

Homebase also facilitates communication between employees, which can encourage collaboration when team members are working on different tasks.

Homebase offers health and safety screening for your employees when they clock in, too. Before they even start tracking time for the day, employees can report any health symptoms or safety concerns that might impact the rest of the organization, making it one of the few time-tracking solutions that monitors wellbeing in addition to employee time.

Homebase also offers human resources solutions to make it easier to add new hires to the organization. Users can receive live expert HR advice, though these advanced features are part of their "All in One" package, which costs $70/month.

Buddy Punch

BuddyPunch is a digital time clock that lets employees track time easily and efficiently.

Employees can "clock in" and "clock out," while employee availability can be set through the time tracker. The time-tracking app uses color-coding to ensure employees can punch in and out easily and without error.

Buddy Punch also offers advanced employee monitoring solutions, bringing additional layers of accountability to their service in addition to tracking time spent working.

These features can streamline the payroll and scheduling portions of your company, making this a comprehensive time tracking app for small business owners and companies that employ larger teams.

HubStaff

Hubstaff provides comprehensive time-tracking software, letting companies track time for their employees and manage their teams.

The feature-rich dashboard provides tracking across multiple devices, and the tracking app provides productivity monitoring solutions that can monitor time spent using the desktop or web app. It can also track time spent on particular URLs to curtail time theft and employee downtime.

GPS integrations also keep track of the location of your team members, only allowing employees to punch in and punch out. Automated features streamline payroll and invoicing, making this a good time-tracking app for companies that manage multiple staff members.

Invoice2go

Invoice2go offers much more than simple invoicing and estimate solutions. The app includes a useful time-tracking feature that enables you to log your work hours accurately, then add those hours directly to your invoice. Get paid more by logging billable hours more easily.

This feature enables you to have more transparency with customers when you bill by the hour. The fact that it’s integrated with so many other useful small business tools makes it one of the best time-tracker apps out there.

Invoice2go offers a 30 day free trial (no credit card required). After the first 30 days, there are plans starting as low as $5.99 a month or $59.99 per year.

DeskTime

DeskTime provides a comprehensive time tracking platform that allows business owners to monitor their employee's productivity.

Management can track time spent on particular websites or apps during work hours, ensuring high levels of engagement. Additionally, managers can monitor which projects and tasks their employees are working on at any given moment, as well as track time spent on any specific task.

In addition to being a project management tool, this time-tracking software tracks absences, ensuring that your schedules are optimized and your team is working in sync.

But while other time-tracking apps allow unlimited users, DeskTime's pricing structure is based on the number of people using the software. Their most popular plan costs $124/month, which translates to $7.75 per user.

HourStack

HourStack is one of the more unique time tracking apps available today, primarily due to its distinctive user interface.

This time tracker arranges your schedule into blocks of time. Size and shape correspond to how much time is allotted for each task (e.g., a two-hour meeting is twice the size of a one-hour meeting). This allows you to track time more easily, since your tasks and schedule can be displayed visually.

Despite this unique interface, this time-tracking app integrates easily with other apps such as Trello and Google Calendar. You can use this time-tracking app even when working with clients that use a different web app or software platform.

This time tracker starts at $9/month for single users, with pricing starting at $12/month per member.

Productivity done productively

Keeping track of your projects can feel like a full-time job. But it doesn't have to be that way. Invoice2go offers solutions for businesses of any size, allowing you to send invoices and other data to your clients directly from your smartphone.

We can make it easier than ever to manage your tasks and increase your productivity. Give us a try today by signing up for our free, 30-day trial. You'll see how we give our clients a competitive edge and how we can keep you on track for the future!

Frequently asked questions about Time Tracking

For questions about a particular app, you may need to contact an individual developer. But the most general time tracker questions we hear are as follows:

Can a time tracker be used by unlimited users?

Yes. With Invoice2go all unlimited users have access to the time tracking feature. Others, like ClickUp for example, allow you to add this feature for no additional charge.

Other time-tracking apps (such as HourStack) will charge on a per-user basis, which means that your company will have to balance its needs against the cost of the additional features offered by each time tracker.

Can freelancers use the same time tracker as a business?

Freelancers and solo entrepreneurs have different needs than a business might for a time tracker. Freelancers have no employees to monitor, which means that they need a time-tracking app to manage their own billable hours.

But that's not to say that freelancers need a specialized solution. The time-tracking apps listed above provide the option to create projects, manage work hours, and coordinate with clients.

Some freelancers may just want a simple time-tracking app, but could also benefit from the additional productivity features in other time tracker platforms.

Can a Time Tracker Integrate with Other Project Management Apps?

Every time tracker is different. Some software platforms allow users to integrate their time management features into other apps, such as Google Calendar.

Others, such as Hello Bonsai, can replace the multiple services by providing an integrated solution. The best time tracker will allow you to connect and share data with your clients, ensuring a streamlined process for every project. Try out Invoice2go’s time-tracker and other useful small business features for 30 days free (no credit card required).

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