Best Free Time Tracking Software for Freelancers in 2021

  • January 29, 2021
  • by Kate Kurzawska
  • 7 comments

Time tracking apps for freelancers are one of the most demanded tools in the world of productivity. That’s because the life and work of a freelance worker are extremely demanding. In this post, we’ve prepared the best freelance time tracking apps to help you stay on top of work.

Why Use Time Tracking Software as a Freelancer?

Being a freelancer is such an appealing vision of a job. We live in times where technological progress and vast urbanization allow people to work from any place in the world at any time.

According to the sixth annual Freelancing in America study by Upwork and Freelancers Union, “freelancing income totals almost $1 trillion — or nearly 5% of GDP — more than major industries like construction.” There is no surprise that so many people decide to leave office life behind and jump into that convenient lifestyle.

However, working as a freelancer can be demanding. It requires self-discipline, proper time management, and constant communication with clients.

Numerous companies, stakeholders, or investors decide to work with freelancers. Yet, establishing such cooperation is not that simple. It is an ongoing process in which you exchange information of different types – how many hours you spent working on a project, what is the expected budget needed for future projects’ completion, metrics and numbers.

Without proper management of your freelance business, you may easily get lost and lose your clients. And that’s where good time tracking software can help you out.

What Is The Best Free Time Tracking App for Freelancers?

Time tracking apps for freelancers are somewhat of a personal assistant. Not only do they track time, which is especially helpful when you are paid based on an hourly rate, but also help in managing projects, accounting aspects of freelancing, or keeping all the data in one place.

In a good freelance time tracker, all components should mingle freely so you can flexibly use the app. It’s also good if you can automatically track time, edit and add time entries, track billable time, and integrate the app with other software for more effective work.

And don’t forget to look for a free trial to test all functionalities before you decide to invest in the tool.

To help you find the right tool, we’ve compiled a list of time tracking software that are best for freelancers.

best time tracking software for freelancers

The best free time tracking apps for freelancers:

  1. TimeCamp
  2. Hubstaff
  3. FreshBooks
  4. TMetric
  5. Toggl
  6. TopTracker
  7. Harvest
  8. Timeular
  9. Checkiant
  10. Kimai
  11. DOL-Timesheet
  12. Traqq

1. TimeCamp

Best for: Tracking billable rates, project progress, and improving productivity 

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TimeCamp is a 100% free time tracker for unlimited users. It combines features of a time tracker and a lightweight project management app. The tool allows you to manage all your projects in one place and collect all information about your work including the client’s data.

Automatic time tracking: Timecamp has an automatic time tracker built in the desktop app that works in the background and syncs with the web so you can access all information in real-time. It also detects idle time and tracks time offline as well as activities you spend time on. You can also use automatic mobile and web trackers. If you travel on a regular basis, you can also use the GPS tracker.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can freely and flexibly add time manually and edit time entries to customize reports, add, or remove activities, time away, offline work, and more.

Tracking billable time: You can track billable and non-billable rates. You can set billable rates for different projects, and track all your expenses. Budgeting helps to stay on top of finances and monitor its state.

Reports: Extensive reports provide an in-depth analysis of your activities. They also show your productive and unproductive activities, attendance, time off, overtime, underperformance, work by client, project, and more. You can import or export reports to later use them with your favorite tools or share them with clients.

Integrations & different platforms: You can integrate Timecamp with other apps either directly or via Zapier. Timecamp is available on all platforms (Windows, MacOS, Linux), on the web, as a Chrome extension, and as a mobile app (iOS, Android)

Free trial: TimeCamp offers a 14-day free trial. Then, you can either use the Free plan which is now entirely free for unlimited users, or upgrade to one of the paid plans—Basic (pricing starts from $5.25 user/month billed annually), Pro ($7.5 per user/month billed annually), or Enterprise (custom pricing).

Start tracking time today with TimeCamp

Register for free!

2. Hubstaff

Best for: Monitoring freelancers’ performance for remote teams

Hubstaff dashboard

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.

Automatic time tracking: You can use a one-click timer to track your work either in the desktop app or on the web. There’s also GPS tracking with geofencing that allow you to use the mobile app as a time clock.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can add or edit your time entries to customize timesheets and reports.

Tracking billable time: Simple budgeting and billable hours tracking are available in the free version.

Reports: In Hubstaff, work hours are pulled into customizable reports. You can view reports by week, team member, project, client, as a timesheet, manual time edits, attendance, and location reports.

Integrations & different platforms: Hubstaff integrates with some of the most popular apps. It’s available on the web, mobile (iOS and Android), and desktop apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome.

Free trial: At Hubstaff, you can start with a 14-day trial, then either upgrade to Basic ($7 per month), Premium ($10 per month), Enterprise ($20 per month) or stick with the free version with limited features.

👉 See the comparison between Hubstaff & Timecamp

3. FreshBooks

Best for: Invoice and accounting software with time tracking

FreshBooks dashboard view

FreshBooks is invoice and accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses as well as freelancers. It has a time tracking module that helps to monitor time and money spent on projects, clients, which makes it a great addition to the rich accounting functionalities.

Automatic time tracking: FreshBooks has a built-in automatic tracker that keeps track of time while you can focus on work.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can add and edit time entries in timesheets.

Tracking billable time: FreshBooks has the option of tracking billable hours as well as rich accounting and invoicing functionalities.

Reports: Simple reports with the breakdown for particular projects or clients. Other than that, you get detailed financial reports on the state of your business.

Integrations & different platforms: FreshBooks can be easily integrated with hundreds of the most popular tools and apps so you can track time directly from the apps you already use. It’s also available as a web app and for mobile (iOS, Android).

Free trial: available for 30 days with all the features. Then, you need to choose from one of the paid plans—Lite ($15 per month) Plus ($25 per month), Premium ($50 per month), or custom pricing for more than 500 billable clients.

4. TMetric

Best for: Monitoring your projects and profitability

TMetric time tracking

TMetric is a straightforward, free time tracking app that combines simple project management with basic time tracking. It allows you to monitor the progress of work, measure budget and time spent on tasks.

Automatic time tracking: TMetric tracks time with a one-click timer on every platform you use the tool. It also tracks the usage of apps and websites.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can add time entries manually or edit them.

Tracking billable time: TMetric allows you to track billable time for projects and work types. You can also monitor your budgets for projects, and set recurring budgets for projects that reset each day, week, or month.

Reports: You can see all your projects with hours tracked, earned money, and incurred costs. Reports also show the usage of apps and sites. All reports can be exported and shared with clients or stakeholders.

Integrations & different platforms: TMetric integrates with several of the most popular project management apps, and with many other tools via Zapier. The app is available for web, desktop (Windows, macOS, Linux), mobile (iOS, Android), and as a browser extension (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge).

Free trial: There are three plans — Business ($7 per month), Professional ($5 per month), and Free with limited features. Every plan includes a free 30-day trial.

👉 See the comparison between TMetric & Timecamp

5. Toggl

Best for: Simple time management

Toggl free time tracking app

Toggl is a lightweight time tracking app for freelancers who like simplicity and want to easily track work hours spent on particular projects and tasks.

Automatic time tracking: You can use the automatic tracker in Toggl on all platforms and with add-ons. The desktop timer also includes the Pomodoro timer.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can add time entries manually, edit them, and adjust to customize the reports.

Tracking billable time: Tracking billable time is available only in the paid plans.

Reports: Toggl offers simple, colorful reports in different formats—summary, weekly detailed, and filter them by task, project, client, tag, or description. No timesheet reports are available. You can also turn on the option of tracking computer usage in the desktop app and view the reports in the timeline view.

Integrations & different platforms: Toggl can be easily integrated with over 100 apps for productivity and managing projects, and other time trackers for a better experience. The app is available for web, desktop (Windows, Linux, macOS), mobile (Android, iOS), and as web extensions for Chrome and Firefox

👉 Try out our integration with Toggl! or see the comparison between Toggl & Timecamp

Free trial: There’s a 30-day free trial, then, you can either keep using Toggl for free with limited features, or subscribe—Starter ($10 per user/month), Premium best for teams ($20 per user/month), or Enterprise (custom pricing).

6. TopTracker

Best for: Free time tracking, invoicing, and payments app

TopTracker dashboard

TopTracker is one of the few free time tracking apps for freelancers which offers a variety of features in its free version. It is an application that can be used anywhere. It’s a combination of a time tracking tool and an app for payment processing dedicated specifically to freelancers.

Automatic time tracking: TopTracker has a traditional timer that runs on the web. With the desktop app, you can track activities with descriptions, take screenshots, or webcam shots. Additionally, it has the hotkeys which allow you to quickly track time with start and stop – a feature particularly useful when you travel.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can freely edit and add entries manually.

Tracking billable time: TopTracker allows you to track billable time and watch your budget.

Reports: TopTracker tracks your work in real-time and puts all that data into reports.

Integrations & different platforms: TopTracker is available only as a web or desktop app. It integrates with Payoneer for payments but no other integrations are available. Thus, it’s best as a stand-alone solution independent from other apps.

Free trial: TopTracker has a free plan that you can use without the time limit.

7. Harvest

Best for: Tracking project budget and expenses

Harvest report view

Harvest is an online time tracking software and expense tracking app. It helps in measuring the profitability of projects.

Automatic time tracking: In Harvest, you can track time based on your to-do lists, tasks, or single hours. You can track your work with the one-click start/stop button on the web or mobile app.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can add or edit time entries but the app doesn’t give you much flexibility in customizing your reports.

Tracking billable time: You can track billable time and other expenses related to projects so you have real-time insight into the budget of your business.

Reports: Harvest turns timesheet data into simple visual reports with graphs, your data broken down by person or task, and information on tracked hours, budgets, billable amounts, costs, and uninvoiced totals.

Integrations & different platforms: Harvest integrates with many other apps. The tool is available as a web tracker, mobile app for iOS and Android, and a desktop app.

Free trial: Harvest has two plans—Free for 1 user with 2 projects, and Pro ($12 per user/month) with unlimited projects and users. A free 30-day trial is available.

👉 See the comparison between TimeCamp & Harvest

8. Timeular

Best for: Tracking time with time blocking, intervals with the use of a physical tracker

Timeular time tracking for freelancers

Timeular is not only a time tracking app but also an interesting gadget that helps to manage your time and improve productivity. It comes with 8-sided tracking dice and a dedicated app. You assign an activity to each side of the tracker and flip to start tracking your time, and desktop and mobile apps tell you where every minute of your day is spent.

Automatic time tracking: Timeular is fully automatic. All you have to do is to flip Timeular and it automatically tracks time spent on tasks. It also records time offline.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can easily edit and delete time entries.

Tracking billable time: You can track billable and non-billable time.

Reports: Timeular generates detailed, colorful, and transparent reports.

Integrations & different platforms: Apps for MacOS, Windows, Android and iOS.

Free trial: No free trial available, however, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in case the tool doesn’t meet your expectations.

9. Checkiant

Best for: simple online time tracking with basic reporting

Checkiant - free time tracking app for freelancers

Checkiant is a lightweight, free time tracking app for freelancers who want to monitor their work hours and budget in a minimalistic way. The tool is simple but has all the necessary features you need to track your time.

Automatic time tracking: Checkiant offers a simple start/stop online time tracker.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can freely add/remove/change time entries.

Tracking billable time: Tracking billable hours is available.

Reports: You receive simple reports with projects, clients, and tracked time.

Integrations & different platforms: Because Checkiant doesn’t have integrations, it’s best to use it as a standalone solution. However, you can use their API to build custom features.

Free trial: 30-day free trial is available. During this period you can try all features. After the trial, you can either stick to the freemium plan or subscribe to Premium ($5 per user/month), or Enterprise ($10 per user/month).

10. Kimai

Best for: reporting and real-time insight into time tracking statistics

Kimai - free time tracking software for freelancers

Kimai is a free, open-source time tracking perfect for freelancers. It’s a customizable app that allows you to control your budget, work hours, and manage projects with activities. You can use it solo or with your team.

Automatic time tracking: Kimai has a web-based time tracker. It’s a simple timer that works as a start/stop button. It’ll run as long as you don’t turn it off, and you can do it in any browser. It doesn’t stop automatically. There are also time clock and duration modes if you prefer to track time in another way.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can edit your time entries and edit them if you want to track time manually.

Tracking billable time: set billing rates for weekend, fixed or hourly rate, and track expenses based on customer, project, and activity.

Reports: Kimai supports an unlimited amount of users and timesheet entries. There are weekly and monthly reports. The reports show true logged time while rounded duration is used in invoices and exports. Additionally, you can export reports in Excel, PDF, or HTML.

Integrations & different platforms: You can add plugins manually (you’ll need to have some coding knowledge to do that) to extend the features. The layout is responsive so you can also use Kimai on mobile devices.

Free trial: You can either try Kimai or use it for free instantly.

11. DOL-Timesheet

Best for: mobile timekeeping with timesheets

DOL-Timesheet app for time tracking

U.S. Department of Labor’s Mobile Timesheet app is an official governmental time tracker. It’s a time tracker for employees and employers to record work time and calculate pay.

This DOL-Timesheet does not currently handle items such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials, or pay for regular days of rest.

However, new functions are in development and are being continually added.

Automatic time tracking: There’s a simple time tracker that works as a time clock.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can add or edit time entries manually.

Tracking billable time:  The app calculates overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times (1.5) the regular rate of pay for all hours you work over 40 in a workweek.

Reports: Reports are simple timesheets with basic information—start and end time of work, breaks, total time, and date.

Integrations & different platforms: Tha app is available only on iPad and iPhone and doesn’t integrate with other tools.

Free trial: The app is free of charge and you don’t pay for using it.

12. Traqq

Best for: time tracking with activity monitoring to boost productivity

traqq - free time tracking software for freelancers

Traqq is a free time tracking software for freelancers who want to find out how much time they spend on different activities up to the second. It monitors all your work and generates detailed reports.

Automatic time tracking: The app automatically tracks your activities, keystrokes and mouse movement, and monitors website and app usage. There is also an option to take video recordings of screen activity but you can disable this feature.

Editing time entries & manual time tracking: You can add or edit time manually in your timesheets.

Tracking billable time: not available.

Reports: Traqq offers rich activity reports and timesheets.

Integrations & different platforms: This system of time tracking for freelancers is available as a desktop app for Windows and Mac. All your data is easily accessible in the online dashboard. No integrations with other tools are available.

Free trial: Traqq is a free freelance time tracker as it’s in the beta stage of development. All features are available for free.

What Is Your Favorite Freelance Time Tracking App?

Free time tracking apps for freelancers are a must-have solution for effective time management. All you have to do is choose from all the productivity apps according to your needs and business field.

Remember that all apps are different despite similarities. And if you’re not sure which one to choose, try all of them! That’s what free trials are for.

Do you have your favorite time tracking software for freelancers? Let us know in the comments!

Kate Kurzawska

Kate is a freelance translator, copywriter, and a content writer specializing in time tracking software, time management, and productivity. When not researching new software, she's reading books, or spending time outdoors.

7 Comments

    Reply
  1. swanson19
    November 6, 2019 at 15:30
    (Edit)

    Since I’m new to all of this I’m searching for some great apps which would help to utilize my time and help with my work, I’m pretty sure I’m going to try out Timecamp, but I also found other app suggestions which would help you with your work. I’m currently using Workshop, Proposify, SurfsharkVPN, Keeper, Pocket, and Buffer. We’ll see how my list will increase later on.

  2. Vins
    July 6, 2020 at 11:34
    (Edit)

    Great list of time tracking apps for freelancers. I’ve been looking for alternatives as the one that I’m currently using seems to lack the features that I need.

  3. Thomas Filler
    December 24, 2020 at 08:30
    (Edit)

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    December 28, 2020 at 09:32
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    January 4, 2021 at 09:33
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    January 4, 2021 at 10:22
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  7. monika
    February 22, 2021 at 12:58
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