Products I Couldn’t Live Without: HoursTracker
HoursTracker is one of the most used apps on my phone. It allows me to keep track of numerous clients and jobs, keeping track of my time and how much each client owes me.
When I downloaded this app a couple years ago, I started with the free version. After using it for only a couple projects, I soon upgraded to the full version. For what this app allows me to do, it is worth absolutely every penny I spent on it and, as far as apps go, it’s very reasonably priced anyway.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
As I’ve grown my freelance business, one of the things that has surprised me the most has been the amount of work that isn’t “work-related.” This includes things like project management, expense tracking and bookkeeping, invoicing clients, promoting my business, engaging on social media (which I always manage to neglect), etc. So, I’ve found ways to work smarter and not harder on these various things. HoursTracker takes the hard work out of keeping track of time and what I need to get paid.
Using the app is really easy. In essence, I clock in on a project, I clock out on a project. And at the end of the billing cycle, I look at how much the client owes me and I make an invoice. It’s literally that easy.
Yet the app has so many useful features that make keeping track of everything so much easier. The app allows me to:
- input my hourly rate for each project
- set parameters for time clocking (rounding to the nearest 5 minutes for example)
- create project tags for better organization
- set up pay periods for each project
- back up to the cloud
For me personally, the pay periods aspect is amazing! When I work with clients on small projects, I will just send one bill at the end of the project to keep thing simple. However, some clients with larger ongoing projects pay me monthly while others prefer to pay bi-weekly. It can be a headache to keep track of, but HoursTracker simplifies it. For each clock-in, I have the ability to add notes so I can keep track of what I did specifically during that time.
With HoursTracker, not only do I keep track of my client projects, I also log the time I spend on professional development, personal branding, self promotion and passion projects. At the end of the day, I know where I’m spending my time and where I can improve.
The only gripe I have with HoursTracker is that there isn’t a desktop version. If I forget my phone for instance (which happens more often than it should), or if a client calls and wants to discuss their project, I’m not able to quickly hit the clock-in button from my computer, which would be fantastic. If there’s anything I could recommend to the app developers, it would be this feature.
Additionally, (though this isn’t a feature I personally need) for anyone with a business larger than just yourself, this app does not have a method for keeping track of time spent by multiple employees on a project. If you need to manage timing in and out for multiple people on various projects, Get Harvest is a software I’ve used previously at other jobs that seems to work really well!
If you’re a freelancer who needs an easy way to keep on top of the time you spend on your projects, I don’t think there could possibly be a better app than HoursTracker. I’ve highly recommended it to multiple freelance friends and now I’m recommending it to you!