As a freelancer there is a high likelihood that you will come across a project or job opportunity where your client will ask you to work at an hourly rate.
Now, as discussed in our ultimate guide to freelancing, there are many ways to structure getting paid, including fixed rates and recurring rates.
But this article will be about hourly freelancing jobs, and with those jobs, comes the need to track your time.
Time tracking is both loved and hated depending on who you ask. If you are used to working in a corporate environment where long hours go unrewarded with a terrible salary, setting your own wage and stopping work when you want can be a dream.
However, time tracking can also bite you in the you know what if you don’t stay on top of your progress in a reliable way. That’s why one of the best things you can do for yourself is create a simple time tracking system.
The easiest way to get your system implemented is to make use of a good time tracking software, and specifically, a passive one.
What is passive (Automated) time tracking software?
A passive (or automated) time tracking software is a tool that records your activity in the background of your device or browser while you work.
The benefit of this versus another time tracking tool is that you don’t have to manually enter in the hours you put in for your freelance work in batches or at the end of a set period of time.
What features should you look for in a time tracking tool?
Not all time tracking software are created equal.
Some, claim to be in the passive category but actually require you to fill in the name of your task or manually stop and start the timer when switching between tasks or browser windows.
In the grand scheme of things, these seemingly trivial features add up and if you have the tendency not to be very organized , then leaving time tracking up to chance isn’t a good idea.
Here are the core features to look out for in a good passive time tracking software:
- Truly automated. This means that the software tracks your activities as you switch between apps and screens without you having to click a button.
- Integration with project management software. Knowing which tasks you’ve completed or how far you have until you’re done is crucial for an effective workflow. Finding a great PM software to go along with your time tracking is incredibly useful.
- Invoicing. Yup, that’s right. The best part about a good time tracking software is that it will categorize your time spent into billable or non billable time and you can use this to ensure you’re invoicing your clients for the proper amounts every time.
Top 4 passive time tracking tools for freelancers
These tools are the tried and true leaders for all freelancers and solopreneurs. They’ve got all of the must have features listed above, and more. Enjoy.
Best for: Everyone, this is the best overall passive time tracking software for freelancers and solopreneurs.
Best for: Gps enabled time tracking for non computer based billable work
Best for: Leveraging AI to see where you spend your time most throughout the day.
4. Rescue Time
Best for: Time tracking with habit management and motivation built in.
Other semi passive time tracking tool runner ups:
And there you have it, the best passive time tracking software for freelancers and soloprenuers. Happy tracking!