To keep track of hours, I have used a rudimentary process for a long time now. I would write my start time on a sticky pad, and then, after I finished the project, I wrote the end time. Then, I would add the total time to QuickBooks so I could invoice the client. Easy right? Wrong. There were issues with this system. I would sometimes forget to write the start time. Not good at all. To rectifies this situation, I would go to the previous client I emailed with the summary of my completed tasks and checked the email’s sent date. This would help me find out the time I ended the project so I could figure out the start time. It worked fine, but I felt like I was underestimating my time and, as a result, not charging as much as I should to my clients. So, as my company grows, I wanted to correct this process but didn’t want to spend a lot for it to buy a tracking software for my computer or keep QuickBooks Open all the time to use their time sheet option.
I came across four free hours tracking apps for iPhone that I decided to download and check out to see which one I would like to use for my business, here are the ones I found.
I liked this one more for tracking my time when doing tasks like working out, housework, etc… This would be great for teens and parents who want to see how much time they are doing with their “besides homework” tasks. Though for small business clients, it’s a little too simple for me.
This app is more geared to small business owners with clients. It has a pay period section and an invoicing section which I don’t use but you may. You can also put in the hourly rate to find out how much you made in the several hours you worked. The free version only allows you to add 2-3 clients till you need to buy the Pro version.
This app is set up so you can enter your different projects. To start the project, you click on the project and then press “Clock In Now” to start the time. And, if you forget to use the “Clock In Now” button, you can manually enter the start and end time and date and can even tag the tasks. This is great for when you are on the go and want to be able to put all the information manually. There is also a break section under each project so you can set the time in that you were doing something else. You can also email your projects. This also has a pay period section which I don’t use as well.
This app is the one I choose to use. It’s simple. There is a timer, plus a task section where you group your project by type and then within each project, you can assign tasks. Since I work in different business areas, I liked this format better. It also has a search feature if I want to find a project. I can type in the project or client name. It works pretty well.
I used this one the other day, and it worked well. I also realized that I didn’t underestimate how much time it took me to do my client’s projects as well. So, I was happy with that.
What these apps have in common?
- They all track time with start and stop buttons.
- They have a graph to see your day, week or month or customize the date.
- They all have options to Backup the data.
I hope this information helps you track your time while on the go or in your office. If you are looking for a checklist to help you find where your time goes when you work, I created this post “How To Improve Your Project Time” which includes a checklist. Feel free to check it out.