The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers (2023)

Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks

The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers (1)

Toggl Track

Free Time-Tracking

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

Toggl Track is an intuitive and easy-to-use service that gives you exactly the tools you need for tracking time spent on tasks. It's a top pick among time-tracking services for freelancers, thanks especially to its generous free tier.


  • Generous free tier of service
  • Quick and nimble
  • Long list of supported integrations


  • No invoicing, scheduling, or other features not specifically related to time-tracking
  • Expensive paid tiers

Read Our Toggl Track Review

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The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers (2)


Best for Billable Hours and Invoicing

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

Whether you're a freelancer who needs to need to track time and expenses, or you run a small business and need to manage team members and bill clients, Harvest handles it all.


  • Includes invoicing and expensing.
  • Offers team management and scheduling.
  • Excellent integration options.


  • No desktop apps for Windows or Linux.
  • Expensive.
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(Video) Best Time Tracking For Freelancers (Timely Review 2019)

Read Our Harvest Review

The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers (3)


Best for Sole Proprietors and Very Small Businesses

4.5 Outstanding

Bottom Line:

FreshBooks offers well-rounded intuitive double-entry accounting with the tools that a very small business needs. An exceptional user experience and smart blend of features make it the top choice for sole proprietors and freelancers.


  • Delightful user experience
  • Context-sensitive settings
  • Team collaboration and time tracking tools
  • Inventory tracking
  • Automatic mileage tracking on mobile apps


  • Some dashboard deficits
  • Limited invoice customization
  • Minimal onboarding help

Read Our FreshBooks Review

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The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers (4)


Best for Billable Hours

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

OfficeTime is an excellent tool for solo workers who need to track billable hours and expenses, even while offline. Still, it's not ideal for teams or those who want to charge flat rates.


  • Easy to use.
  • Works offline.
  • One-time fee for purchase.
  • Friendly reporting tools and invoice generation.


  • Not good for team time tracking.
  • Weak support for integrations.
  • Doesn't offer project-based billing.

Read Our OfficeTime Review

(Video) BEST Time Tracking Apps In 2023 - Toggl vs Clockify vs Harvest vs Everhour

The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers (5)


4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

Paydirt is one of the better time-tracking apps available for freelancers, offering a complete invoicing suite. You can't use it offline however, nor does it integrate with many other services.


  • Helpful options for forgetful people.
  • Includes suite of tools for invoicing, including online payment options for clients.
  • Collaboration supported.


  • No desktop or mobile apps.
  • No offline use.
  • No free version.
  • Limited support for integrations.
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Read Our Paydirt Review

The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers (6)


3.5 Good

Bottom Line:

Everhour helps you track time spent on task so that you can bill by the hour. It doesn't offer exhaustive integrations or invoicing options, but it's reliable and fairly priced.


  • Tight integration with other productivity apps.
  • Ample features.
  • Easy-to-use reporting tools.
  • Attractive interface.


  • No offline functionality, mobile apps, or free version.
  • Pages sometimes slow to load.
  • Can't start a timer unless project is listed in the system.

Read Our Everhour Review

(Video) Best Time Tracker App For Freelancers (2023)

The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers (7)


3.5 Good

Bottom Line:

If you're in the market for a simple, inexpensive time-tracking app that spits out invoices based on hourly rates, consider Freelancy.


  • Flat price; no subscription fees.
  • Supports multiple currencies.
  • Lets you invite collaborators.


  • No desktop apps.
  • Doesn't work offline.
  • Limited in scope.

Read Our Freelancy Review

The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers (8)


3.0 Average

Bottom Line:

The Hours app lets freelancers and consultants track the time they spend on tasks by client or project, but it doesn't include billable rates or other details needed for invoices.


  • Includes iOS and Apple Watch app.
  • Supports team accounts.
  • Good timeline view option.


  • Lightweight.
  • Invoicing and expense tracking not included.
  • Poor support for integrations.
  • Doesn't store billable rates or project rates.

Read Our Hours Review

(Video) BEST Time Tracking Apps 2023 | Harvest vs Toggl VS Clockify VS Everhour

The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers (9)


3.0 Average

Bottom Line:

TopTracker gives freelancers a way to track their time at no cost. Unique features, like saving periodic screenshots of your work, add to its appeal, but it can't help you at all with invoicing.


  • Timer reminder appears at intervals.
  • Optionally takes screenshots and camera shots.
  • Includes permissions levels for collaborators.
  • Free.


  • No invoicing tools, mobile apps, or supported integrations.
  • Only supports hourly rates.

Read Our TopTracker Review

Buying Guide: The Best Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers

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Why Use a Time-Tracking App?

In the days before computers were ubiquitous, workers who charged by the hour kept track of their time using ledgers (or, perhaps, scraps of paper), writing down by hand what they did for their clients alongside the date and how long it took. At the end of the billing period, someone would have to compile it all into an invoice to charge the client appropriately. Some people still work like this today, but there's a better way. Time-tracking apps have several advantages over doing keeping track on paper, allowing you to spend more time working productively, and less on doing paperwork.

Time-tracking apps can compile invoices automatically. They can detect when your computer goes idle, and ask you whether you want to exclude the idle time. They can show you a running clock right on your screen, remind you to take breaks, and even take periodic, time-stamped screen captures in case you ever need to justify your bill to a client. For the purpose of this article, we refer to this type of software as time-tracking apps for freelancers. That said, many of the apps that are useful for freelancers are also appropriate for small business use—more on that in a moment.

Other Types of Time-Tracking Apps

There are other types of time-tracking software for businesses, beyond those that are suitable for freelancers. For example, many employee monitoring services include time-tracking tools. In those apps, employees typically clock in and out of work using the app in addition to tracking their time on tasks. Another type of software that sometimes includes time-tracking tools is project management software. When project management apps include time trackers, project managers and workers can use the data to develop a better understanding of how long tasks and projects take, which improves their ability to estimate future projects. Or they may use the time data to invoice clients, or both.

All these time-tracking apps let you manually start and stop recording time. Manually running a timer may seem counterintuitive, as there are programs that can automatically track which apps and websites you use and for how long, such as RescueTime and Qbserve. The problem, however, is that in the course of completing a task, a worker may switch apps and websites, make phone calls, or attend a meeting. Apps such as RescueTime are not equipped to figure out which discrete actions should be lumped together as one task. These apps are incredibly useful, however, at helping people with time-management problems. So while there are a variety of time-tracking apps, for the purpose of this list we stick to programs that are designed for freelancers and small teams.

Best Free Time-Tracking App

Some freelancers and contract workers work solo, only have one or two clients, and don't have complicated invoicing needs. These types of workers can stick with a free time-tracking app. Our favorite in this category is Toggl's free version. Using Toggl couldn't be easier. It works well and doesn't quit in the event your internet connection drops. Toggl offers mobile apps, a web app, and a browser extension that includes built-in reminders for those who use the Pomodoro Technique(Opens in a new window) (a method for taking breaks at prescribed intervals) for better productivity.

Toggl doesn't have a complete invoicing system, but you can connect the free version to FreshBooks and generate invoices there, or you can export a report or CSV file of the data that needs to be turned into an invoice and manage it yourself from there in any invoicing tool you like. Another free option is TopTracker, which is made by a company called TopTal, which runs a freelancer marketplace. Because time-tracking apps increase the accuracy of time billed, it's in TopTracker's interest to give away a free tool to make both freelancers and companies who hire them happy.

Best Time-Tracking App for Small Teams

Small businesses and freelancers who work with teams need to track and bill for not only their own time, but also others'. Harvest, which costs $12 per person per month, is our favorite among these options for offering excellent value and supporting a variety of use cases. With Harvest, everyone on a team can track their time and it will all appear in the administrator's account. Harvest lets you assign different hourly rates to different workers. It also has an option to track work that's billed for as a flat rate. For example, if you charge a flat $2,500 to redesign a web page, you might still want to keep an eye on how many hours you spend doing the work.

Best Time-Tracking App for Invoicing

Some time-tracking apps include an entire billing and invoicing system while others let you review charts and export data to a CSV file for creating invoices elsewhere. Having an integrated invoicing system is useful for those who have complex invoicing needs, such as tracking both time and expenses. Three apps stand out for their integrated invoicing: Harvest, FreshBooks, and Paydirt.

I've already mentioned some of Harvest's strengths with invoicing. FreshBooks is in fact more accurately classified as invoicing software that also includes time-tracking tools. Paydirt is another excellent app with options to collect payment directly from a digital invoice via PayPal and Stripe. When clients pay electronically, Paydirt can automatically track which of your invoices have been paid, too.

(Video) Time Tracker for Freelancers

Best Time-Tracking App for Offline Use

Not all time-tracking apps work offline. Quite a few have web apps only that require an internet connection both when starting a timer and as it runs. People who frequently work offline or have unstable internet service will want a time tracker that works offline, too. Toggl and OfficeTime are among the best in this category. Toggl has desktop apps and mobile apps that can track time whenever and will sync their data to your account the next time they are connected. OfficeTime only offers desktop apps and iOS apps, no web app, and it works reliably no matter where you are. Another benefit of OfficeTime: It sells for a one-time fee rather than a recurring subscription.

What's Best for You?

To narrow down which time-tracking app is right for you, considering how complicated your time tracking and invoicing gets, whether you work alone or with a team, and if you need the ability to track time when you're offline. There are plenty of excellent options available at a range of prices. While you're considering your cashflow, you should also read our feature on the best personal finance services.


What apps track time for freelancers? ›

Clockify is the most popular free time tracking app that lets freelancers and contractors track billable hours and hourly rates.

How do freelancers keep track of hours worked? ›

The systems that are best only for freelancers or individuals include Clockify and Bonsai. The ones that are best for both freelancers, as well as teams, include Toggl, RescueTime, Harvest, Tick, Everhour, TimeCamp, and TopTracker. TMetric is one of the best time tracking tools but it is best for teams only.

Which is the best time tracker for freelancers with screenshots? ›

Hubstaff is a simple management tool for freelancers and contractors. With screenshots and activity monitoring, you'll be able to see what your freelancers are working on. Monitoring features can be customized on a per-user basis or turned off altogether.

How do I manage my time as a freelancer? ›

7 tips for managing your time as a freelancer
  1. Set a schedule that works for you (and your life). ...
  2. Create sensible to-do lists. ...
  3. Track your time. ...
  4. Split up your work. ...
  5. Automate and create templates for your business. ...
  6. Utilize a project management tool to stay organized. ...
  7. Take regular breaks and get up and move.

How do I track my hours as an independent contractor? ›

What Is The Best Contractor Time Tracking Software?
  1. TimeCamp – automatic, free time tracker for recording billable hours.
  2. Quickbooks Time – tracking and managing employee time for payroll.
  3. Harvest – keeping track of budget and billable time.
  4. eSub – project management with time tracking for subcontractors.
May 10, 2018

Which is the best time tracking software for freelancers 2022? ›

Top 13 Best Time Trackers For Remote Freelancers in 2022
  • HubStaff Time Tracking.
  • TopTracker.
  • HourStack.
  • Harvest.
  • Toggl.
  • Timenotes.
  • RescueTime.
  • TimeCamp.
Aug 22, 2020

How do I turn on time tracking on freelancer? ›

Freelancers: manually tracking hours
  1. Go to the Time Tracking tab of your hourly project's page.
  2. On the Tracked Time section, click Add Time Manually.
  3. Set the date and time when the hours were rendered. ...
  4. Enter the duration of your work in hours and minutes.
  5. Describe the work you completed.

How do contractors keep track of hours? ›

Many construction workers still use paper timesheets or spreadsheets to track their time—if they're tracking their time at all. Workyard offers a better solution. As a mobile construction timekeeping app, Workyard automatically tracks and reports time via GPS.

How do I track my time on freelancer com? ›

Freelancers: manually tracking hours
  1. Go to the Time Tracking tab of your hourly project's page.
  2. On the Tracked Time section, click Add Time Manually.
  3. Set the date and time when the hours were rendered. ...
  4. Enter the duration of your work in hours and minutes.
  5. Describe the work you completed.

How do freelancers keep track of projects? ›

If you're working as a contractor or other type of freelancer, chances are you need some help tracking your work.
Our overall favorite is TickTick, but we're sure that if that doesn't fit your needs, there's another that will.
  1. TickTick. ...
  2. Todoist. ...
  3. Trello. ...
  4. Notion. ...
  5. Asana. ...
  6. nTask. ...
Dec 1, 2022

How do freelancers keep track of payments? ›

Use Accounting Software to Track Your Finances

Income and expense tracking to help you keep track of your money. Banking and credit card integration to ensure your accounts are always up to date. Invoicing capabilities to make billing clients simpler. Tax calculation tools to take the stress out of paying taxes.

Which is the best time tracking solution? ›

Top 6 time tracking apps of 2023:
  • My Hours: Best for running profitable projects.
  • Timely: Best for virtual task planning.
  • QuickBooks Time: Best with integrating with QuickBooks.
  • Harvest: Best for invoicing time and materials.
  • Replicon: Best for complex setups and enterprises.
  • Toggl Track: Best for simple time tracking.


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