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Mobile and apps

5 best time tracking apps for freelancers

We’ve all heard the adage “time is money.” It’s never more true than when you’re a freelancer paid hourly. Not only does the number of hours you work directly correspond with how much you’re paid, you’re also the only one tracking those hours. You don’t have a boss to tally up your timesheets or a payroll department to calculate your paychecks. It’s up to you to carefully manage your time and make sure you get paid for every second worked.

To do this, you could use the old pen-and-paper method, but that method leaves room for human error. Even a small mistake can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the course of time. Knowing this, many freelancers choose to automate their time tracking using time tracking apps designed to track better, faster, and more accurately. Here are a few of our favorites.

Best time tracking apps for personal productivity

1. Productivity Challenge Timer

If you struggle with procrastination, focus, or remembering to record your hours, this app can help. Available on Android and iOS, the Productivity Challenge Timer uses the Pomodoro technique to segment your work into short intervals.

The free version of the app allows you to create up to four separate projects. As you work through each project, you’re reminded to take a 5-minute break every 20 minutes. The app forcefully reminds you to get back to work if you’re still procrastinating after the break is up. Total time spent on each project is tracked automatically. However, you can’t break it down by day, week, or month.

For those who work from home and face distractions from the internet lurking one unopened tab away, an app like Productivity Challenge Timer can keep you on track.

2. Hours

This time tracking app features a design as simple as its name. Hours offers easy-to-use time tracking without any unnecessary features getting in your way.

With both an iOS app and a web app, Hours allows you to create a visual timeline from your phone or desktop to easily identify down time in your schedule, create reminders for upcoming tasks, and set rules about time rounding. You can easily switch timers and projects, and access total values for each job.

Here’s the downside: Android lovers are out of luck. To date, the app is only available on iOS and desktop.

3. Timesheet

In the interest of equal-opportunity time tracking, here’s one just for the ‘droids. Timesheet offers users a connected web and Android app to effectively track time between various projects. Users can easily see a breakdown of total time into daily, weekly, and monthly totals for each project or client.

Timesheet also allows you to assign rates to each client or project, so you can see just how much money your time is worth.

Best employee time tracking apps

4. QuickBooks Time

QuickBooks already helps you run payroll, track expenses, and manage your money. Why not use QuickBooks to track your time too? After all, QuickBooks has one of the most robust time tracking apps on the market.

The QuickBooks time tracking feature allows you to easily track not only your time, but your employees’ and contractors’ time too. Track and submit hours through QuickBooks Online from any computer or mobile device.

Easily generate real-time reports, including:

  • Recent/Edited time activities
  • Time activities by customer
  • Time activities by employee
  • Unbilled time

QuickBooks Time can track time all over the world

When you’re ready, QuickBooks makes it easy to create and send accurate invoices, get paid, and run employee payroll.


CORE (previously BillQuick) plays nicely with QuickBooks and other popular accounting software. Users love it for its robust project management, time tracking, and HR features. CORE is a cloud-based system which allows for remote time tracking, with added bonuses like on-the-go expense reporting, receipt recording, and reports.

CORE starts at $8/month per user. The price increases depending on which functions you need to use. However, you only pay for the features you need.

Time’s up!

No matter which app, program, or system you choose to track time, keep your end goal in mind: save time, make money. Automated time tracking can increase billable hours, eliminate costly timesheet errors, and free up more time for you to do what you do best. Avoid apps with hard-to-use interfaces, complicated time-entry processes, or challenging reports. There’s no use wasting more time on an app designed to track it.

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