I don’t know about you, but I love it when clients are willing to pay me by the hour. Most of my gigs are paid by the project with quotes based off of rough estimates of my time and effort. But no matter how hard I work to provide an accurate estimate, by the end of the project, I usually end up spending more time on a project than I had initially expected – and most times, it’s not realistic to go back and ask for more money.
So when I snag an hourly gig, I jump for joy, because I know the time I’m spending on a project is going to be properly funded as long as I can accurately account for my time.
But how do you accurately account for your time – down to the minute – for clients who want to know exactly what you were doing and when?
In my early days of freelancing by the hour, I would track my time and progress in a notebook – yes, actual paper and pen. If the client wanted a report, I would transcribe the information into an email and send it off.
But there were times, when I’d start working without jotting down my start time and other times when I’d get interrupted and couldn’t remember what time I stopped working. Obviously, I did my best to keep accurate records, but sometimes I could only give a rough estimate of how much time I’d worked.
When I found there was a better way to track time, I couldn’t resist an opportunity to check it out.
I discovered Clockodo, a time-tracking website for freelancers and small businesses.
Clockodo lets you add your hourly projects, your client’s information and the budget (so you don’t go over!). It also lets you enter time manually or track in real-time as you are working.
Real-time tracking is my favorite feature, because that means I don’t even have to check the clock to see what time it is, I can just start the timer when I’m ready and stop it when I’m finished.
The site is extremely user friendly – I was able to set up an account and take advantage of a free trial within minutes.
Immediately, I was greeted with an easy to follow tutorial of the site and was able to set up my clients and begin tracking my time – I don’t even think it took 10 minutes (perhaps, I should’ve tracked my time spent!).
I was even more excited to discover it has mobile apps that are compatible with both my Android phone and my iPad – now, I have no excuse!
So, what about you? What are your experiences with tracking your time when working on hourly freelancing gigs?