How to Set Fees as a Freelancer Using Time Tracking Software

A freelancer becomes their own boss — no one tells them what to do or when to do it. As a result, sometimes they might miss tasks and delay important projects, which can cause them to work at a loss. Therefore, using time tracking software becomes essential to accurately bill projects and set fees according to their work hours.

If you are a new freelancer, you will soon realize that using timekeeping software is a must. It helps you clarify the scope of your clients who want to know how much time you are investing in their task. Additionally, knowing how long it will take you to complete a project will help you determine how much you should bill and how to set your fees. This will guarantee that you receive proper compensation for your work.

Why Should Freelancers Track Their Time to Set Fees

As a freelancer, you’ve probably already faced productivity, budget, and fee issues.Time tracking will help you identify issues, foster quality, and solve all concerns about managing billable hours. 

Many freelancers underquote their work. It is often difficult to accurately estimate the time it will take to complete a project. Making the right estimates requires knowledge and experience, and failing to do so can cost your business money. By using a time tracking tool, you will be able to include every single stage of your project in your proposals. Therefore, you will improve your estimates. Here are a few tips for setting your fees properly using timekeeping.

How to Use Time Tracking Software

Time tracking can help you organize your work in so many ways. There are as many ways to simplify how you work as there are solutions. In this context, time tracking is not only supposed to be a useful tool for freelancers, but also for businesses that want to monitor their costs and time spent on various work aspects. As an alternative, automatic time trackers monitor what you do whenever you are using your computer without you having to click on the play button every time. Step-by-step, here’s how to start using it: 

1. Manage Your Clients and Projects

  • Start by adding a new project and categorize it by client, if needed.
  • Create tasks for the project. Set hourly rates, due dates, and time budgets for each.

2. Track Time Everywhere

  • Start the Timer and choose the task you will be working on. When you’re done, stop it, and your timesheet will be updated with the new time entry.
  • Add and edit your time entries manually in your calendar in Hours.
  • Get the desktop assistant to keep track of your time right from your PC, and the mobile app to track time from anywhere.

3. Get Timesheets and Record Your Accomplishments

  • View your activity and work progress on the dashboard and reports.
  • See your time breakdown in timesheets to analyze your productivity and send accurate billing reports to your clients. Run audits and export the results.

4. Share Reports and Invoices Online with Your Clients

  • Share the time you worked with your clients and colleagues
  • Invoice your clients and store all your bills in your account.

Plan Better and Bill Accurately with Time Tracking

Freelancers never know how many projects they will receive at any given time. If you decide to only take on new projects when you have the time, that’s fine. But what if you know that a particular project would be a great addition to your portfolio? Even if you’re incredibly busy, is it worth pursuing? Keeping track of your time will help you determine how much time you spend on your current projects and whether you can adjust your schedule to accommodate a new one. 

When you have multiple clients and tight deadlines, it’s easy to forget how much time you spend on each project. And billing your clients often requires you to make educated guesses. This approach isn’t ideal, since you may end up underbilling or overbilling your clients. You won’t be rewarded fairly for the long hours and hard work you put in if you underbill. On the other hand, overcharging makes clients feel like they got a bad deal, which could harm future business relationships.

Tracking your time allows you to keep a record of how many hours you’ve worked and ensure that you’re paid correctly. Additionally, it ensures that your clients are billed fairly. And if a client ever disputes, your time record will serve as a backup if something goes wrong with your hourly billing.

Time Tracking and Project Management Software for Freelancers

Often, fully-developed project management platforms also provide project time tracking. As it can be tedious to collect and sync data from different apps and services, this is quite useful. 

Your own ship is your own control tower. Therefore, you can review the hours that you’ve worked so far against the initial budget, as well as the remaining time. This can help you set clear deadlines for your projects to help you deliver them more efficiently. 

In this case, TrackingTime makes it easy to identify non-essential activities and replace them with more productive ones. Many times, it makes more sense to focus energy on tasks that will make a difference rather than tasks that won’t. As a result, product development or project management will be more efficient. 

The truth is that deadlines still have a significant role to play in creating deliverables. Due to this, TrackingTime gives you the edge you need to conquer every project. Plan and assign work, keep an eye on progress, communicate with clients and colleagues, and report results like a pro. 

Tips to Set Your Fee As a Freelancer with Time Tracking

Establishing what you are going to charge for your time is an early challenge for freelancers. While salary examples for different industries can be found online, there isn’t a set charge. When calculating your fees, you will need to factor in a few variables that will have an impact on your fee. In this case, time tracking is crucial. 

Keeping track of time is about more than counting working hours. Efficiency and productivity can also be measured by how long you work and how often you take breaks between them. When a project takes too long, it’s a sign of many things, from not being well versed on an issue to not having the necessary resources to complete a task to being either overbooked or not having the right skills. Check out how to set your fee with time tracking in few simple steps.

Set Reminders

Remember to turn your alarms on and off by setting reminders on your phone or computer. In the midst of your working blocks, you might want to set an alarm that will ring every 30 minutes or at a different interval that works for you. You can take a short break when your alarm goes off to ensure that you stay on task as necessary.

Whenever you get off track, this tip will help you get back on track by reminding you to refocus and check your timers. It’s a good idea to set your alarm to notify you when it’s time for lunch, so you can record your billable and non-billable tasks

Track Your Billable and Non-Billable Tasks

You might wonder why you should even count non-billable hours if you get paid only for your billable hours.

You can better manage time within your projects by tracking all of your time. By not knowing where your time goes, you miss out on critical information that could help you improve and change your processes. Keeping track of your breaks, lunchtimes, and vacations can help you organize your time and recognize the number of projects you can add or dismiss. 

Make Sure Your Invoices Are Accurate

Once you have a record of your billable hours, the next step is to create invoices. Tracking invoices and balancing the accounts is crucial when dealing with multiple clients.

As you create invoices and begin charging your clients, be careful with your records. Unpaid invoices will be easier to chase since you will know when the first invoice was sent, how much you invoiced, and how much they have already paid. Keeping track of invoices is also helpful for tax season when it comes to reporting your income.

Timesheets Are Your Allies

Timesheets can come in handy when you want to keep track of time spent on each project and organize the entire workflow. If you use online timesheets, you can get actionable insights to improve your productivity and create any report you need for your clients. Remember: using tools that store your data in the cloud will lower your risk of losing it.

Implementing this method the first time you communicate with the client will ensure you are always following the right time tracking practices.

Set Your Fees with TrackingTime in 5 Simple Steps

1. Install the “Rates & Costs” and “Invoicing” Add-Ons If You Want to Invoice

Add and manage professional invoices with customized templates and share them online with your customers. In addition, Rates & Costs allows you to add hourly rates and fixed-rate to your projects and tasks and hourly rates and hourly costs to users. 

2. Add Hourly Rate and Fixed Rate to Your Projects

With this billing parameter, you can charge your client by the hour or by a fixed rate for the project. Avoid overcharging your clients by always including the latest rate in your quotes.

3. Track Your Time

As simple as pressing play! By clicking on the start button, you can immediately track your work time. A new time entry will be created automatically and run immediately when you click Start.

4. Visualize Totals Using Timesheets

Separate billable and non-billable hours, view hourly values and totals by client, task, etc. Mark hours as billed so they are not repeated. Share with a link, a customized report with your brand, or via Excel/PDF.

5. Add Client Info Using the Client Database

Add custom fields with relevant data about your clients such as contact information, billing details, financial data, and more. And keep your database always handy.

Why Is TrackingTime Useful for Freelancers?

TrackTime helps you identify time-wasters while working so you can eliminate them. As a result, you will be more productive and efficient, and you can move less important tasks to more appropriate times. Organize your work hours, and manage your tasks, projects and budgets, all in one place. Distribute your workload to reduce overworked exhaustion. Try it for free! 

Set Your Fees with TrackingTime in 5 Simple Steps

  1. Use available add-ons

    Install the “Rates & Costs” and “Invoicing” add-ons for invoicing.

  2. Bill accuratelly

    Add hourly rate and fixed rate to your projects and avoid overcharging.

  3. Track your time

    Start tracking your work time by pressing the start button to automatically create time entries.

  4. Make the most out of timesheets

    Separate billable and non-billable hours, view hourly values and totals by client, task, etc. Mark hours as billed so they are not repeated. Share with a link, a customized report with your brand, or via Excel/PDF.

  5. Create and manage your own client database

    Add custom fields with relevant data about your clients such as contact information, billing details, financial data, and more. And keep your database always handy.

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