70 thoughts on “How do you time track?”

  1. There are a lot of great solutions out there.

    Tick (www.tickspot.com)
    SlimTimer (www.slimtimer.com)
    Harvest (www.getharvest.com)
    88 Miles (www.88miles.net)

    Of course there are many others as well… I personally prefer Tick – but I’m completely biased 😉

    Best advice I can give you is to take a few minutes and try them all out. I’m sure there is one that will fit your needs.

  2. If you want to host a basecamp like web service on your server, check out ActiveCollab. It is an open source “clone” of Basecamp. We are using it in our company and it is pretty good for a pre 1.0 version.

  3. Brandon,

    If you’re looking for something quick and simple that actually lives on your desktop, doesn’t use Ajax or require a browser and lets you just get on with working then try out Corda from my web site. No sign up required. Totally free. Unless you happen to be feeling generous and all loved up, in which case there’s a PayPal donate button.



  4. Thanks of all of the quick comments. I’m signing up for a few of those trials now and am hoping to find one that suits my needs. I hop back and forth between projects a lot, so I’m hoping to find one that effectively allows me to have several “projects” open at once and divy up each hour into several projects.

  5. actually don’t use time tracking. I tend to work for a few weeks on a project, and I don’t bill my clients by the hour usually, so I don’t track my time either. I know how much I work (2 days, 4 days, ..), and I agree a fee per project before it starts. I might be unusual in that, it probably depends on how you work.

  6. I wrote a simple script that pops up every hour during 9am – 6pm and just has a simple dialog box. I enter the Activity, Client, Hours, and Tags, all comma seperated. It then appends that entry to a .csv file I have with a date stamp.

    Then, I don’t have to remember to turn on or off some tracking software. It just pops up and asks me what I did for the past hour. I enter it and move on. Then at the end of the month, I can just open the file in Excel or whatever and get my billable hours for the month. Works great for me because I need to be reminded.

    I was inspired by this post so I uploaded the script to my site, where you can download it if you want (mac only)




  7. I’ve used TraxTime for ages and find its simplicity perfect for my time tracking needs.


    Just punch in and out on the different projects and it handles time tracking for you. Also easy to adjust if you forget to punch in/out.

    Then run a report to summarise the totals on different projects, and plug that into whatever billing system you use.

  8. I’ve been using 14dayz.com for freelance for the last 4 months quite successfully. The reports leave a bit to be desired (definitely good enough to add to invoices though) and the time tracking interface is beautiful in its simplicity and functionality.

  9. I use a combination of basecamp and SlimTimer.

    For each project in basecamp create a task in SlimTimer. When you switch projects hit start in SlimTimer.

  10. Time tracking can be a very broad term. If your a single entity, e.g. a freelancer then slimtimer looks and works great but if your a small company I think 1time is much more suitable. The automatic reminders makes it really easy to track employee and project time. Just my 2 cents.

  11. SlimTimer.com is really great… FREE, opens up in Sidebar on FF and IE (by far the best feature), lots of customization, but does not break down anything into Client/Case/Matter like some do. And the developer is really engaged with the community, so he responds to emails and bug requests within HOURS. Really great product, hopefully they wont be charging anytime soon (or will keep the price reasonable)

  12. I use Linux, so I found a great open source app called Gnotime. I’ve also tried the open source project management tool that comes with Fedora Planner. If you’re like me and concerned with Windows issues, you may find these helpful.

  13. Well Tom saved me from having to do my elevator pitch for SlimTimer, thank you very much. Also, thanks for the compliment, I do try to stay on in close touch with the user community. And no I don’t plan to charge for the existing feature set.


  14. I find it far easier to spend some inital weeks working out how long it takes to do a particular task and then devise a set of standard times, then when you do a task you can decide it’s “task A” and put it down as X hours. Several advantages to doing this,

    1. no complex software to fill in
    2. no software to remember to fill in
    3. as you get better (and therefore faster) at doing a task you don’t penalize yourself on billings due to doing it faster, as you’re billing based on it being a task, not hours spent



  15. I’m really enjoying Basecamp, but someone showed me unfuddle.com the the other day, which strikes me as basecamp with CVS support. Might be worth a look…

  16. Jan i tried Paymo yesterday. I tested a lot of web based services, but i love the windows widget in this one. Reports look great too. Thanks for the tip, cheers m8

  17. We are looking for a open source web based time tracker that we can integrate with our backend. Can anyone recommend a system that is easy to modify?


  18. We developed LiveTimer.com to be a very flexible yet easy to use online time tracking service. LiveTimer allows you to customize the classifications used for tracking your time. For instance, you could track your time against clients, projects and tasks, or opt to just use projects (these classifications can be renamed, too). There are multiple ways to track your time as well: use a timer to track time as you work, or enter your hours after the fact by the day or week. LiveTimer also includes advanced reports, user permissions, account backups and restores, and SSL security for all accounts.

    Please take a look at LiveTimer.com. There’s a free 30 day trial, after which it’s just $5 a month per user.

  19. First of all I hate owners of website advertising their own product in a way that they pretend to be users and all those of give the affiliate links to make extra money. I have been going through one link after another for the last 2 hours and let me tell you some thing. none of them is good, the best one is myhours.com , it is free right now I hope it will be free , use the free one what ever you like and wait for microsoft they come up with some thing in near future.

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