Anybody know good timekeeping software for freelancers?
Thread poster: Alexander C. Thomson

Alexander C. Thomson  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:39
Dutch to English
+ ...
Apr 5, 2013

I'd be grateful if anyone could give me a tip for a good simple application to keep a record of my hours. One can of course use an Excel spreadsheet but it would be good to have a reliable, standalone, drag-and-drop environment (a bit similar to Outlook Calendar, perhaps, although I donʼt much care for using Outlook) to move deadlines/appointments around and quickly expand or contract the previously-forecast window of time actually spent on a job once done.

An additional reason for wanting something like this is to have an easily backed-up record for the taxman of hours actually spent doing freelance work, which in the Netherlands (and many other countries, I think) has to be kept for seven years.

Iʼm not much taken by the idea of keeping everything on my phone — something to run on my PC would be preferable, as that constitutes the minimum disruption from work at the time that one actually has an appointment/deadline to make or change.

Any advice gratefully received!

Thanks in advance,
Alex.


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Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 01:39
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
RescueTime Apr 5, 2013

I use an application called RescueTime (www.rescuetime.com) - most of the functionality used to be free, but now you do have to pay a small fee (well, small in my opinion! - about $9/month) for using it. It allows you do drill down into lower level activities and categorise everything as you need to. I use it mainly to track productivity, so although I don't use the feature personally, from what I gather, you can download all your data in Excel (or other) formats for whatever uses you might need. It works automatically, and I think you can configure it to send you reports at a time interval of your choice.
It will, however, capture everything you do while on your computer, so if anyone else is using it, you might have to install it only for your profile. Being that you are a translator, I simply assume you have your own machine.

Hope that helps!


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:39
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Time Stamp Apr 5, 2013

I use Time Stamp when I'm paid by the hour. It's very simple and saves me noting down hrs/mins by hand. You can also enter your per hour rate to get a total price for a job.
It may be too basic if you're looking for calendar/deadline features, but you can save each project individually and export it too.

http://www.syntap.com/products_timestamp.htm


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
My beleaguered brain Apr 5, 2013

I just roughly calculate it myself, off the top of my head. I tried checking it once and found my estimations were slightly off, so I was actually charging less than I would if I'd applied a per-word rate. However, I simply consider this a sort of bonus or discount for the clients (I explain to them that their bill would be higher if I charged per word for the service).

However, I live and work in Spain so maybe the work ethic here isn't perhaps as strict as in more northernly climes... In comparison, the Dutch system described sounds scarily efficient and jobsworthy.

PS: Rather than "noting down hrs/mins by hand", I just make a rough estimate, rounded down to half-hourly fractions. No complaints so far.

[Edited at 2013-04-05 08:11 GMT]


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Radian Yazynin  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:39
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
ExactSpent — Time Tracking Software Apr 5, 2013

This should be what you need. The application can stop counting when your PC is in "passive mode" and thus (more or less) reflect the actual time spent. This is from Advanced International Translations (AIT).

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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:39
English
+ ...
Paymo Apr 5, 2013

I've been using the free version to keep track of time spent on projects for several years. There is also an invoicing function, which I don't use because I use ProZ invoicing.

Shows you time sheets (hours spent per project, per week, per month) or you can view per project or per client. I like it.

http://www.paymo.biz/


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Nathan Takase  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:39
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Toggl Apr 5, 2013

I haven't used it much lately, but I have used Toggl in the past. There are pay options, but there is also a free option that worked just fine for me, and you can use it on the web, with the desktop application, or on your Android or iPhone.

https://www.toggl.com/


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Alexander C. Thomson  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:39
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Apr 6, 2013

Many thanks to all for several excellent tips.

Alex


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vinchurchil
Local time: 06:09
Try Replicon Time tracking tool... Apr 9, 2013

I know I was late to reply to this question, but what I have got is an excellent timekeeping software for all freelancers and employees. We use Replicon Inc.'s time tracking tool to keep track of our time, as its very important for every freelancer to track his time and efforts.

As all know these reports, this would help in billing clients. Moreover, this software also bills clients. So hope it helps you...


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MikeHoll
United States
Xpert-Timer Oct 10, 2013

Just in case you haven't found a software yet, check out Xpert-Timer Pro. I thinks that's exactly what you are looking for.
Cheers,
Mike


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