The Top 5 Tools and Apps for Monitoring Billable Time

by Marcia Layton Turner

Whether you're an accountant, attorney, plumber, or freelance writer, the way to increase your revenue is to increase the amount of your day that you're billing for the work you do. And how much time is that, exactly? Unless you're carefully tracking your billable time, you're almost certainly losing money.

Here are four of the most popular tools and apps for tracking every minute you’re spending on client work.

1. Timewerks. This timetracking program is free for a single user or has add-on modules if you want to pay $2.99 or $4.99, for the pro version. For Apple devices and web users, Timewerks allows you to set up multiple projects and clients as part of the basic app and sync it with a desktop or laptop. You can track your time whether you're at a client site or sitting in your office. Additional features, which come with the upgrades, include invoicing, accepting credit card payments and expense tracking.

2. TimeTagIt. If you’re a Google Calendar user, you should definitely check out TimeTagIt, which works alongside Google Calendar. This free app (for individuals) allows you to tag activities on your calendar and then track how much time you’re spending on them. Less typing, just as much data. And you can’t beat free.

3Toggl. Basic time tracking is always free with Toggl. Create a task you need to work on, click Start to begin and Stop to stop the clock. You can set up projects or clients, add team members and even manually enter data later if you forget. You can also run reports on how your time is being spent. More features are available for $5/month.

4. Freckle. The feature that makes Freckle just a tad different and useful is its automatic increment rounding. So if you’ve worked nine minutes it gets rounded up to 15 minutes, which is standard in many industries. Or you can set it to round up to whatever increment you prefer. Like other software programs, it provides time tracking and mobile access, as well as the less common expense recording and invoicing. You can try it free for 30 days and after that it’s $19/month for a single entrepreneur, on up to $249/month for large teams.

No matter which tool you use to track your time, knowing how much of your day you spend on administrative tasks and how much is devoted to actually making money can be an eye-opener.

About This Author

Marcia Layton Turner writes regularly about small business. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Entrepreneur, Bloomberg Businessweek and Black Enterprise, as well as at CNNMoney, Amex OPEN Forum, and Entrepreneur.com.


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