Best Time Tracking Apps For Independent Contractors A Tried-and-True List

Independent contractor time tracking - Check the top time tracking apps for the individual contractor, aka freelancer, that you need a time tracker to fit your personal needs.

If you are on a hunt for time-tracking apps, then you are in for a treat. As you have seen by now, every tracking app accomplishes the same result. Then how do you choose the best time tracking app for android, IOS, macOS, Windows, Linux?

The answer is simple. Usually, time tracking apps are built for remote teams. Their features fit with teams comprising a large number of people. Furthermore, their pricing plans also reflect the glaring truth.

However, if you are an individual contractor, aka freelancer, you need a time tracking app that fits your personal needs.

Let’s get started by answering a question that you might have in your mind!

Why do independent contractors need time tracking app?

Managing time for every project or task you work on is the most important thing. Otherwise, there is a chance of going out of the track. A time tracking app can help you manage everything you need to accomplish a task smoothly.

Let's look at the reasons for using a time tracking app as an independent contractor.

  1. Keeping track of work hours

  2. Project budgeting and tracking progress

  3. Calculating timesheets

  4. Calculating Payments and billable hours

  5. Issuing invoices for clients

  6. Generate report

  7. Measuring Personal performance

To learn more about these reasons and how to get these done using time tracking software, check the Bonus part available at the end of the list.

We are here with a tried-and-true list of the 9 best time tracking apps tailored to individual contractors' needs.

The best time tracking apps for independent contractors:

  1. Apploye

  2. Toggl

  3. Clockify

  4. Everhour

  5. Harvest

  6. TopTracker

  7. Timecamp

  8. Time Doctor

  9. Desktime

1. Apploye

Apploye is considered one of the best time tracking apps for independent contractors with a small in-house or remote team of freelancers under their wings. It offers all the essential time tracking features and more. Apploye is also one of the best time tracking tool for consultants and accountants.

Time tracking app Apploye

Source: Apploye

Let’s see how Apploye helps you to manage your time as an independent contractor more efficiently.

Activities of Independent Contractors to Monitor and Manage Availability in Apploye
Timesheet calculation with start and end time
Billable and non-billable hours calculation
Productivity Tracking
Time managements of Projects and Tasks
Task time allocation and monitor
Calculating payment as hourly, daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, yearly and custom time.
Invoice generation with payment details
Location tracking
Task wise schedule and notification
Remote activity monitoring
Generating detailed work report and time log
Measuring overall performance and productivity
Manual time input and timesheet edit
Mobile app

You can get all the features shown in the above table and more in Apploye with the most cost-effective pricing plans.

Let's have a quick look at the pricing plans of Apploye

  • Solo: $4 per user per month (Ideal for freelancers & contractors)

  • Standard: $5 per user per month (Ideal for the general team & In-house teams)

  • Premium: $6 per user per month (Ideal for the mobile teams)

  • Elite: $7 per user per month (Ideal for remote teams)

Note: You can get a straight 50% discount by choosing the yearly plan

Key Features of Apploye Time Tracking App

  • Essential time tracking features like an ideal time tracking app.

  • Online timesheet to track the details of how time is allocated and spent.

  • Standard project and task management features.

  • Employee scheduling and monitoring.

  • Invoice generation and payroll management.

  • Budget management features.

  • 24/7 customer support by the Apploye service team.

  • Integrations.

Pros of Apploye

  • Advanced features for task and project & project budgeting

  • Customizable report generation

  • Pomodoro break reminder system. Independent contractors can set break times with definite intervals like 50-minute work with 10 minutes breaks.

  • World-class support system.

Cons of Apploye

There hasn't been any significant downside of Apploye yet noted. However, some people might perceive its employee monitoring system as too intrusive because of the screenshot tool. However, this is a no-brainer. You can simply turn off the feature.

User Reviews

This is the highest user rating for a time tracking software that we have discovered as of now.

Start Managing Your Independent Contractor with Apploye

2. Toggl

Toggl has a motto that is crucial to discuss the best time tracking app.

Simple Time Tracking Powerful Reporting

This two-liner sums up everything one expects in a tracking app. Since this blog is designed to meet freelancers' queries, we will be listing down features for Toggl free plan.

Time tracking app Toggl

Features of Toggl Free Version

  • Essential time tracking features include tracker, manual customization, timeline, reminders, idle time detection, etc.

  • Exporting features such as CSV format import, detailed and summarized versions of weekly reports, etc.

  • Basic project management features. You can add unlimited projects by unlimited clients, even in the free version.

  • Primary team management features (might come in handy if you work in a two or three-person team)

  • Over 100+ third-party integrations in the paid plan. However, you still get the basic integrations in the free version as well.

  • It comes in all formats and devices, i.e., mobile (iOS & Android), desktop (Windows/Mac/Linux), and Chrome extension too.

Pros of Toggl

  • As said, Toggl has a robust free version dedicated to individual contractors & freelancers.

  • As the motto suggests, the software does have powerful reporting features.

  • The software uses the Pomodoro reminder system. Hence, the user can set a timer to break down the work into several stages, along with necessary breaks.

Cons of Toggl

There have not been many user complaints against Toggl. However, the free version does lack some essential features as per past user reviews. Moreover, the Mac version of the app is also referred to as ‘broken’ by some users. Nonetheless, most of the issues have been reviewed and fixed last time we checked.

User Reviews

To learn more about Toggl, you can see our complete review of the Toggl article.

3. Clockify

Clockify is the ultimate time tracking app made solely for independent contractors, and freelancers. The app is well-suited for people who work on an hourly basis. It is one of the top time tracking software for accountants and consultants.

Time tracking app Clockify

Key Features of Clockify

  • Time tracking from anywhere on any device, i.e., desktop, browser extension, or mobile app.

  • Wide range of third-party integrations such as Google Calendar, ClickUp, etc.

  • ROI tracking and live updates of project progression.

  • Assessment of the user’s productivity level.

  • Setting hourly rates and calculating the billable amount.

On top of everything, you can export your worktime data to your client after the project completion.

Pros of Clockify

  • It’s completely FREE.

  • The app is flexible to use and adaptable on any device.

  • Unlimited time tracking (yes, it’s free).

  • Easy and seamless integration.

Cons of Clockify

Most of the cons that other users and we have noticed revolve around its Windows app. Apparently, users have a hard time adapting to the Windows platform. Although the software does provide a detailed report, it does not offer a concise summary that most users seek.

Moreover, a basic feature, in our opinion, the best time tracking app should have an automatic invoice generation system. Clockify clearly lacks in this aspect.

User Reviews

For more details check our list of the best clockify alternatives.

4. Everhour

Everhour ought to come up in any discussion involving the best time tracking app on the web. The platform positions itself as more than a time tracking software. Instead, it poses as a time management software due to the rich array of features it offers.

Time tracking app Everhour

Features of Everhour

  • Advanced time tracking features such as billable/non-billable time, leave tracking, timesheets, etc.

  • Wide range of third-party integration (not available in the free version).

  • Customizable reporting features.

  • Essential team management features.

  • Project management, including resource planning.

  • Budget management and expense tracking.

  • Customizable customer invoice generation.

Pros of Everhour

  • Everhour boasts of its integration system, as it offers deep integration and seamless setup.

  • Apart from time tracking, the software also rates well on the project management and resource planning spectrum.

  • It ranks well on user experience and customer support.

Cons of Everhour

Despite such rich features, what Everhour truly lacks is a mobile app. It does have an iOS app. However, the user experience has been reported to be poor.

Furthermore, the free version does not allow third-party integration. It is a well-established reason for freelancers to avoid this platform in the first place.

User Reviews

See our list of the best Everhour alternatives.

5. Harvest

Harvest is the ideal time tracking app for freelancers who seek robust billing support. The platform even has a dedicated plan for one user only. So, whether you are an individual contractor or consultant, feel free to check out the Harvest free version.

Time tracking app Harvest

Key Features of Harvest

  • Powerful time tracking features even in the free version.

  • Equally powerful reporting options.

  • Unlimited invoice generation.

  • Third-party integrations with more than a hundred apps.

  • Harvest has applications, regardless of device, operating system, and platform.

  • Customer Support.

Pros of Harvest

  • The strongest USP of Harvest is its easy-to-use billing features that make the platform ideal for freelancers.

  • The security system on the platform is also regarded as relatively strong.

  • As we have seen, the user interface is uniquely interactive.

  • Its Project Budget Alert system makes Harvest ideal for budget management.

Cons of Harvest

As with us, most users have complaints about its timer protocol. Moreover, the free version is limited to 2 projects only. Hence, if you are an individual contractor just starting out, Harvest might be an ideal choice for you.

User Reviews

See our list of the best Harvest alternatives.

6. TopTracker

Designed exclusively for independent contractors and freelancers, TopTracker is a 100% free platform for time tracking with screenshots and invoice generation.

Time tracking app TopTracker

Key Features of TopTracker

  • Free invoice generation & payment processing with Payoneer.

  • Time tracking is made easy with shortcut keys.

  • Timed Screenshots

  • Detailed productivity and activity report.

  • Privacy settings are conducive to freelancing.

Pros of TopTracker

  • As we said, this platform was created for freelancers. Hence, it works regardless of the platform you choose.

  • The platform provides a bird’s eye view of all your projects.

  • It’s completely free.

  • Cheery on top: there are no caps on the number of projects.

TopTracker sounds too good to be true. As of now, very few free platforms as robust as TopTracker exist.

Cons of TopTracker

The platform is still a newbie in the time tracking software industry. Hence, no mobile app still exists for TopTracker. Furthermore, we could not find a good number of user reviews to come to a decision. Nonetheless, it’s free of cost. What’s stopping you from trying it?

7. TimeCamp

If you are low on budget and looking for a free-forever package designed for your freelancing needs, TimeCamp ticks every criterion.

Time tracking app Timecamp

Key Features of TimeCamp

  • Essential time tracking features.

  • Unlimited project & task time tracking, even in the free version.

  • Productivity tracker and reporting system.

  • It has an app for both mobile and desktop.

Pros of TimeCamp

The overall software is an extremely robust time tracking and invoicing app. However, the free version is nothing extraordinary. It just does what you expect it to do: track time without you spending a penny.

Cons of TimeCamp

Unlike other apps described the free version of Timecamp lacks third-party integrations.

Furthermore, the free version also lacks several essential features that you would typically expect in your chosen best time tracking app. For instance, exporting reports, budgeting and invoicing, etc.

User Reviews

Also see our comprehensive list of the best Timecamp alternatives.

8. Time Doctor

If you have got a bit higher budget, you can consider checking out Time Doctor as they have some advanced features. It is quite suitable to manage tasks as independent contractors.

Time tracking app Timedoctor

Key Features of Time Doctor

  • Time tracking

  • Powerful report

  • Attendance tracking

  • Client feature

  • Payment management

  • Offtrack reminders

  • Breaks tracking

  • Time use alert

  • Productivity measurement

Pros of Time Doctor

The overall software is an extremely robust time tracking and invoicing feature. They have got some differentiated features like time use alert and offtrack reminder.

Cons of Time Doctor

Though they have multiple features, they have limited much with the pricing plans. It has one month data storage system for the basic plan, which is very little. However, their pricing is comparatively higher than the competitors.

User Reviews

The best Timedoctor Alternative list you can check.

9. DeskTime

DeskTime is a popular automatic time tracking software for teams and freelancers. It has got both mobile and desktop app for effective time tracking, attendance, and workflow management. It'll eliminate the need for using employee productivity tracker template in excel to calclulate productivity.

Time tracking app DeskTime

Key Features of Time Doctor

  • Project time tracking

  • Custom Report Generation

  • Invoicing

  • Cost calculation and project billing

  • Offline time tracking

  • Third-party app integration

  • Mobile app

Pros of Desktime

Desktime has some powerful features that are in line with the workflow management of independent contractors.

Cons of Desktime

They have got a very limited features for the free plan. You need to upgrade to a paid version to enjoy all the benefits as an independent contractor, and the pricing is a bit higher in the case of Desktime.

User Reviews

10. Upwork Time Tracker

Time tracking app DeskTime

The renowned freelance platform Upwork provides its own time tracker for the freelancers who work on it. It is a convenient time tracker with essential features that help the user provide a time log, edit task descriptions, and bill the client accordingly.

Key Features of Upwork Time Tracker

  • Basic time tracking features

  • Memo and Activity Label Editing

  • Contract switching when necessary

  • Tracked time in three different formats

  • Modifying information before the billing starts

Pros of Upwork Time Tracker

Upwork Time Tracker is a valuable time tracker that can be deployed in Windows, Mac, and Linux. It records Screen captures, memos, camera snapshots, and activity rates. You can review the billed time in the Current session, Today, and This week's views.

Cons of Upwork Time Tracker

The Time zone syncing issue is an old problem in Upwork Time Tracker. Sometimes it provides the users with faulty billable hours calculation that hampers smooth client billing.

Many users complained about the privacy option as they have limited control over screenshots, deleting that particular working tenure. Again, the Payment Protection for Manual Time Logging feature is also missing in Upwork Time Tracker.

User Review:

  • Capterra: N/A

  • G2: N/A

Bonus: Reasons to use time tracking Ssoftware to manage independent contractors efficiently.

Keeping Track of Works

As an independent contractor or freelancer, it's essential to keep track of your works. It becomes challenging to keep track once you work on multiple projects or tasks. There remains the chance to miss the deadlines.

No worries, time tracking will help you keep track of your works and progress. You can track your tasks both individually or in a project.

Calculating Timesheets

Timesheets can help you remain updated about your everyday task. Using a timesheet app, you can easily calculate the amount of time you have worked in a day and the time you have spent on different tasks.

Calculating Payments and Billable Hours

Besides using timesheet templates to calculate timesheet, it's also essential to calculate the payments using a timecard calculator. Remember, you are not working for free, and every effort counts.

If you work hourly with your client, you need to calculate the payment and billable hours. You can get this data automatically by adding your hourly pay rate and tracking with a time tracking app.

Create Invoice

Once your task is finished and done with the payment calculation, it's time to send the invoice to your client. A time tracking app allows you to generate invoices automatically with other features mentioned before.

Generating Reports and Measuring Performance

Reports are important to measure own performance and the measures to be taken for further improvement. A time tracking software can help you generate daily, weekly, monthly, custom reports based on the timesheets, projects, and tasks. You can send the report to your client as well.

Conclusion

The definition of the best independent contractor time tracking app varies. Some prioritize budget while opting for a platform. Others prefer the richness of features. The rest might choose ease-of-use or customer support over anything. Whatever your preference, we hope that you have found your desired time tracking app.

If you are still confused, make a run for the free 10-days trial at Apploye because we believe that time is too precious to be wasted.

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