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Time Tracking Tools For Your Biz

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One of the many beautiful things about being an entrepreneur is that your paycheck is not limited by an employer.

You have the capacity to bring in as much (or as little) business as you want in any given month.

But how much are you making per hour of time that you invest in your business? Do you actually know what activities are bringing you the highest return on your investment of time?

Knowing how many dollars come in every month is only half of the equation. Knowing how many minutes you spend earning those dollars is the other half.

If you want to know what you’re “paying” yourself as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to track your time. It doesn’t have to be difficult! Here are a few tools that make tracking your time a snap.

1. Toggl

Toggl is a popular and versatile timer. You can start the timer from your browser or a desktop app, assign projects and add notes about what you worked on. The free version of Toggl is great as long as you don’t need to integrate with another service. If you need that, you’ll have to get a premium subscription.

2. Freshbooks

If you are service-based, you may invoice for the hours you spend working on various projects. Freshbooks not only allows you to do that, but it also has a quick and easy time tracking function built in. So time that you track in Freshbooks for a client can automatically go on their invoice.

3. RescueTime

Maybe you just need an idea of how many hours you’ve spent on a particular social media website (ahem). Or how much time you’ve spent in a particular application. RescueTime is a set it and forget it application that you install and it automatically breaks down the amount of time you spend on various sites and applications. You can even make it ‘smart’ by categorizing your activities on websites – but unfortunately, it always categorizes Facebook as social time. To which I say, “come on, this is business!”

4. Timely

What’s great about Timely is that it turns your calendar into a time-tracking powerhouse. So if you are already meticulous about putting things into your calendar, this won’t be a lot of extra work to get tracking on. Or, if you are a coach and you frequently have appointments showing up on your calendar anyway – those would be captured automatically.

5. Harvest

If you have a team, Harvest is a great bet. Harvest has similar features to the other apps, but if you’re managing multiple teams and projects, you will love it for the ability to open up the projects dashboard and clearly see status updates. You can have Harvest automatically remind your team members to submit timesheets, too!

Whether you’re billing for time or not, it’s good practice to measure the amount of time you’re spending on your business.

What’s your favorite method for tracking time – or do you track at all?

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2 Responses so far.

  1. This is a great list Julie! I’m going to try a few of these out as well as recommend to clients. Thank you.

  2. Rene Leaver says:

    Hi Julie, great list. I looked as several of these before starting a few weeks ago with Rescue Time and it’s very cool. I’m not the best at logging non-computer time, but getting there. It does allow you to change defaults for your activities so you can make Facebook business!

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