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Freelancers, how do you keep track of time spent

(9 Posts)
messybessie Thu 16-Jun-11 13:11:07

I've been freelancing for a while now but, so far, have worked on a retainer basis and been paid per day of work. So I have either been into an office for one day a week, or done a set task in a day and charged a daily rate.

My latest contract is on a project and they have effectively bought a chunk of my time (50 days) and are paying me an hourly rate.

How do I keep track of how much time I'm spending on a project? And do I bill them for everything. For example, I've just sent 2 emails about it. Do I jot down the 20 minutes it's taken me to write them?

Or would I be better trying to devote a set period of time to them every week (I work from home).

Arrrgghhh, confused.

messybessie Thu 16-Jun-11 13:11:32

no idea why that posted twice!

AllTheYoungDoods Thu 16-Jun-11 13:13:53

I downloaded a free piece of software called Timesheet - it's very basic, but it allows me to just click a 'go/stop' button every time I begin work, and to have different timesheets for different jobs simultaneously.

There are a few around, so have a google.

messybessie Thu 16-Jun-11 13:15:38

Ooh, I'll check.

Now I'm great at procrastinating. Do I have to click stop if I get distracted by Mumsnet grin

Watersign76 Sat 18-Jun-11 08:47:14

I use a spreadsheet & paperdiary (yes I know very old fashioned) but I like to have an easy to access record of what I have done.

One thing I have found, and this might not be applicable to you, but the more detail you give the client, the more there is to question re time spent. So do whatever you need for you but maybe present a very overiew version to them, knowing you have more detail if they question it. Just my experience.

Well done on securing the contract, sounds like a good one.


grrd Sun 19-Jun-11 15:25:59

I personally like

joshandjamie Mon 20-Jun-11 19:50:21

I use - it is brilliant. And cheap.

hatwoman Tue 21-Jun-11 11:52:05

I use paymo too - it's fab (and free no? - I certainly have nver paid - but maybe I only use the basic package)

joshandjamie Tue 21-Jun-11 16:06:12

hatwoman I think it's free until you need to add more than the allowed number of users, then you have to pay a fee (small)

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