Independent workers like Virtual Assistants, web designer, graphic designers, or people who bill their clients for their time use time tracking software so that they can keep track of how much time is spent on each client's work. This allows them to bill appropriately.
I've used a variety of time tracking tools over the years, and when I got a new laptop a month or so ago, I decided to re-investigate my time tracking options.
My initial idea was to use a service that was totally online. I liked the idea of not having to download software on my computer and that no matter what computer I was on, I could see and track my work time.
So, the first service I tried was http://myhours.com/. Myhours.com is currently a free service, but their website says that they intend to make it a paid service at some time in the future.
I have heard a lot of great things about this tool, and it's free after all, so I tried it. Things went well for a week or two. It was easy to use and convenient that it was online. The reporting function was sufficient as well.
I was happy with it until one day I sat down to work and found that MyHours.com was offline. I tried a few times during the day, but it was offline all day. That was kind of scary--what if that happened on a day when I send out my retainer updates?
I was pretty sure that the site would come back up eventually (it did the next day), but that event showed me that having an online time keeper does have its limitations. If the site goes down, you can't see your time or track it.
So, I decided to go with the type of time keeper that you can download on your computer.
Office Time has an impressive website--good reviews from major tech magazines and a lot of information about the product. It also offers a free 21 day trial and a120 day guarantee.
I downloaded the trial, and I've been happy with it so far. I think this is the software I'll be purchasing.
It's intuitive to use, and they also have videos and tutorials to show you how to do things. You can set up multiple clients, and then projects under each client. The reporting is easy to do, and it even has colored graphs of the data.
This product comes across as being professional and well thought out.
There are other time keeping sofware programs available, and I've used a few of them before. The main reason why I went with OfficeTime was the reliability and it looks professional. Out of all the time keeping tools I investigated, this one was the highest priced, but it was still reasonable, and it's a one time purchase after all.
If you're interested in doing research for yourself, here are a few others to look into:
Time slice: I have actually used Time Slice for many years, and it works just fine. I've never had any problems with it. When I had the chance to try a new time keeping software, I just wondered if there might be something better out there.
It costs a little bit less than Office Time, and it's a basic time keeping system, so you might want to try it.
Time Trax (not to be confused with Trax Time): I have never used this product, but I've heard it recommended by others. This is a software that you buy.
Trax Time by spudcity: I've also used this program before, for a few years. It worked fine for me. This is software that you pay for.
Time Stamp: This is another one I've heard about but haven't actually used myself. It's free.
Task Capture: I've also heard peopel vouch for Task Capture. I've never used it before though.
If you know of a great timetracking software, please share. What time tracking software do you use?