2023 Best Time Tracking Software for Freelancers
As a freelance worker, tracking how you spend your work hours helps you bill clients accurately. However, the best time tracking software for freelancers also lets you visualize time spent, so you can make better bids or see if you’re spending too much effort on unimportant tasks. In addition to timers that you can start and stop easily, the better tools include invoicing, online payments, reports, and integrations. Most will do it all for a reasonable price—or even free.
To find the best software that can handle time tracking for freelancers, we evaluated 24 solutions and narrowed them down to our top six recommendations.
- Clockify: Best (overall) time tracking software for freelancers
- TimeCamp: Best for those who need strong reporting tools
- Harvest: Best for those looking for free tools to track time, bill clients, and accept payments
- Toggl Track: Best for those who require robust integration options
- Time Doctor: Best for managing a team of freelancers
- Hubstaff: Best for those who want a secure way to pay freelancer teams
Why Should Freelancers Use Time Trackers?
In a survey conducted among global freelancers, 25% said their top challenges included billing, invoicing, and managing payments. Whether you’re managing a team or working solo, this is where time tracking software can help. With a time tracker, users can:
- Automatically monitor time: Start and stop tracking time with a click of a button.
- Create invoices and bill clients accurately: From the hours worked on each project or client, you can create professional invoices with ease.
- Monitor time usage and productivity: You can create reports to help you gain insights on how you or your team manage your time.
- Manage projects and/or clients: Some time tracking software allows users to break down projects into tasks, providing more meaningful analytics and helping freelancers work smarter.
Best Time Tracking Software for Freelancers Compared
Paid Plans Monthly Pricing
$4.99 to $14.99 per user
Via QuickBooks integration only
$7 to $10 per user; custom-priced plan available
Basic and custom
✓ (1 user, 2 projects)
$12 per user
Via PayPal and Stripe
✓ (up to 5 users)
$10 to $20 per user; custom-priced plan available
$7 to $20 per user
Via PayPal, Wise, and Gusto
✓ (1 user)
$14 to $20; includes 2 users
Via PayPal, Payoneer, Wise, Bitwage, or Gusto
*Get discounts when you opt for annual billing.
If you’re looking for budget-friendly solutions, our guide on the best free time tracking software has several great options.
Do you need help determining which time tracking software is best for your freelancing work? This four-question quiz will help you decide.
Answer a few questions about your business, and we'll give you a personalized product match.
Clockify: Best Overall Time Tracking Software for Freelancers
- Simple and intuitive interface
- Free tier comes with web, desktop, and mobile time tracking apps; supports unlimited users and projects
- Built-in invoicing tools to bill clients
- Invoicing, timesheet approvals, and labor cost vs budget comparisons cost extra
- Limited report customizability; users can’t create and add new fields
- Doesn’t support online payments from clients
Clockify Monthly Pricing*
- Free option: Includes online timers and time sheets for tracking billable/nonbillable hours, project and task tracking, reporting tools, and a calendar to view tasks and add/edit time blocks. It also supports unlimited projects and users.
- Basic ($4.99 per user monthly): Administration, including time audits, add times for others, bulk edit, project templates, and import time sheets
- Standard ($6.99 per user monthly): Basic plus Time sheets and Billing, including time and paid time off (PTO) processing, manager roles, targets and reminders, invoicing, and QuickBooks integration
- Pro ($9.99 per user monthly): Standard plus Productivity and Profit, including scheduling, expenses, labor costing, budgets, alerts, and GPS tracking
- Enterprise ($14.99 per user monthly): Pro plus single sign-on, (SSO) custom domain, custom accounts, and audit log
*Get a 20% discount when you pay yearly.
Clockify is one of two providers (TimeCamp is the other) in this guide that lets you track time for unlimited projects for an unlimited number of users at no cost. It ranked higher than TimeCamp because it monitors billable and nonbillable hours for free (a paid option for TimeCamp), has live phone support in addition to email and chat (TimeCamp offers only email and chat), and is more popular among users.
Overall, Clockify scored 4.49 out of 5 in our evaluation with perfect marks in pricing and time tracking and high ratings in nearly all of our evaluation criteria except for reporting. While it has prebuilt reports that you can generate and export into comma-separated values (CSV), PDF, and Excel files, its customization options are limited—you can’t create and add your own data fields. However, users said they find its reports helpful, adding that it’s very efficient yet simple to use.
You can check our best time tracking software guide to see how Clockify compares with other competitors.
Clockify Standout Features
With Clockify, you’re not limited to tracking time on specific devices. You can access its online timer on iOS and Android mobile devices and web browsers—Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge. It even has desktop apps that work on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. The other providers in this list offer mostly desktop and mobile apps like Harvest and TimeCamp—not all three options.
If you upgrade to at least its Standard plan, you are granted access to a leave management module where you can track accruals and balances and manage PTO requests and approvals. Other providers (except for TimeCamp and Hubstaff) don’t have this feature, although they can also track leave hours by creating specific “leave tasks” to record vacation, sick, and holiday hours.
Aside from idle time detection, website and apps tracking, and a Pomodoro timer, Clockify has a screenshot recording tool that takes snapshots of your computer screen every 5 minutes while your timer is running, although you have to upgrade to either its Pro or Enterprise to get this feature. However, if your clients don’t require detailed proof of work or if you find it invasive, then consider Harvest since it doesn’t have this tool and provides more features in its free plan.
Clockify integrates with more than 50 web apps, allowing you to track time easily from inside other solutions like Asana, Trello, Salesforce, Basecamp, and Zendesk. However, it doesn’t connect with scheduling software, payment gateways, and accounting solutions (except QuickBooks). If you require robust integration options, Toggl Track is a good option since it connects with more than 100 apps.
TimeCamp: Best for Freelancers Looking for Excellent Reporting Tools
- Free plan includes unlimited users and projects
- Has robust employee productivity tools
- Offers leave management
- You have to upgrade to its paid plans if you want billable/nonbillable hours tagging and email/chat support
- Client invoicing and online payments available only in higher tiers
- Lacks phone support
TimeCamp Monthly Pricing*
- Free plan: You can use TimeCamp’s desktop and mobile apps to track time for unlimited projects for an unlimited number of users. This plan also comes with project templates, bulk edits, PDF exports, and integration with one software.
- Basic tier: For $7 per user monthly, you get all of Free’s features plus custom reports, management roles, billable time, and XLS file exports. You are also granted access to unlimited integrations, email and chat support, and tools to help you track your team’s productivity.
- Pro option: Priced at $10 per user monthly, this plan’s additional features include billing rates, invoicing, client payments, time sheet approvals, and custom user roles.
- Enterprise package: If you want personalized training, private cloud implementation, and a self-hosted service, then consider this custom-priced package that also has all of Pro’s features.
*Get a 10% discount on annual billing.
TimeCamp is another time tracking software for freelancers that, like Clockify, offers a free tier with unlimited projects and user seats. It’s best for freelancers looking to gain insights into their business. Users can create reports related to tracked time, team members, or budget. Apart from generating standard reports from TimeCamp’s dashboard, one can also create custom reports and add their own fields. This is the only provider that scored perfectly for reporting.
Scoring 4.46 out of 5, TimeCamp also earned perfect marks in pricing and time tracking. It didn’t top our list since it lacks phone support—Clockify provides phone, email, and chat assistance—and because you have to get a paid plan if you want to tag hours as billable or nonbillable, which is free with Clockify. It also has a lower number of average user reviews on G2 and Capterra as of this writing—Clockify has 800 online user reviews, whereas TimeCamp only has 350.
TimeCamp Standout Features
Not only does its time tracker help you log hours for projects, but it can also be used to monitor clock-ins/outs and overtime. Similar to Clockify and Hubstaff, it has leave management capabilities to help you track vacation, sick, and holiday leaves.
TimeCamp has a wide range of online tools to help monitor work productivity, similar to Hubstaff and Time Doctor. It tracks idle time and monitors the hours spent on websites, apps, and documents. With its productivity assistant feature, you can set goals and measure your productive and idle hours. You also have the option to activate its computer screenshots function in case you want full transparency and proof of work for clients. Similar to Harvest and Hubstaff, it doesn’t have a Pomodoro timer, which is basically 25 minutes on (work time), five minutes off (break time), but TimeCamp has a private time mode that you can turn on if you want to take breaks or do personal computer activities.
TimeCamp has smart invoices that you can generate and send to clients easily via email or as a private link or PDF file. Clients can even pay you directly from the invoice through PayPal. However, you have to upgrade to at least its Pro plan to get these features. For a more budget-friendly option, consider Harvest since it offers its invoicing and online payment tools for free—provided you need only one user seat and two active projects.
Harvest: Best for Freelancers Looking for Free Tools to Track Time, Bill Clients & Accept Payments
- Free option lets you track time for projects, send invoices, accept client payments, and submit expense reports
- Handles online payments through Stripe and PayPal integrations
- Offers a 30-day free trial for its paid Pro plan
- Free tier has only one user seat and two projects
- Time tracking for unlimited projects is included only in its paid Pro plan; this option can get costly, especially if you have a big team
- Mobile apps can be glitchy at times; features aren’t as robust as the desktop version
Harvest Monthly Pricing*
- Free option: Harvest’s time tracking apps, client invoicing, online payments, and expense reporting tools are free to use, but it only includes one user seat and time tracking for up to two projects.
- Pro plan: Priced at $12 per user monthly, this plan has unlimited user seats and projects.
*Save 10% on yearly billing.
Harvest is a great time tracking software for freelancers who work on only a handful of projects but want all of the essential tools like invoicing, expensing, and online payments. While it offers all these features for free, you only get one user seat and two active projects. If you require unlimited projects and user seats, you have to upgrade to its paid tier. If you want unlimited time tracking, projects, and users for free, then consider either Clockify or TimeCamp.
Scoring 4.33 out of 5 in our evaluation, Harvest received high marks in almost all of our evaluation criteria—with a perfect score in billable hours and job labor costing features. However, it earned a low rating in reporting capabilities primarily because of its limited customization options.
Harvest Standout Features
Despite having only one user seat and two active projects, Harvest’s feature-rich free plan has time tracking, expensing, invoicing, and online payment tools. While some of the providers in this list have invoicing, payments, and expensing capabilities, you have to upgrade to a paid plan to get these features.
With Harvest, you can mark expenses that you incurred while working on client projects as billable. You can even include it in invoices for client billing. Sending its web invoices even provides your customers with an option to pay you online either through PayPal or Stripe.
Harvest integrates with more than 50 solutions, and the systems that it partners with are more robust than Clockify, which offers mostly productivity and project management tools. Harvest, meanwhile, also integrates with communication, customer relationship management (CRM), analytics, and issue-tracking software. However, if you want a time tracking solution that connects to more than 100 apps, then consider Toggl Track.
Toggl Track: Best for Freelancers Who Need Robust Integration Options
- Free plan includes unlimited time tracking and projects; also comes with idle time detection and a Pomodoro timer
- Integrates with more than 100 apps
- User-friendly interface
- Free option comes with only five user seats
- Doesn’t have invoicing capabilities
- Paid options are expensive
- Free option: Includes five user seats, unlimited projects, exportable reports, automated time tracking triggers, idle time detection, Pomodoro timer, and access to 100-plus integration options.
- Starter tier: For $10 per user monthly, you get everything in Free plus additional features like billable rates, project estimates and alerts, and prepopulated project templates.
- Premium option: Priced at $20 per user monthly, this tier’s additional tools include project forecasts and analysis, team time tracking reminders, and time audits.
- Enterprise package: This custom-priced plan comes with unlimited users and has all of Premium’s tools plus priority support, expert assistance, and customizable solutions.
*Save 10% when you opt for yearly billing.
Toggl Track, one of Toggl’s online solutions, is an easy-to-use time tracking tool that can integrate with more than 100 apps, enabling you to log time from a wide range of software. It also has a free plan that can track unlimited projects like Clockify does, but it has a slightly higher user seat allocation than Harvest (five vs one). Unlike Hubstaff, you can use many of its productivity tools like idle time detection and URL/apps tracking at no cost.
Overall, Toggl Track earned 4.03 out of 5 in our evaluation with perfect marks in pricing and time tracking. It posted low scores (2.5 out of 5) in reporting and managing billable hours because of its limited reporting customizability, plus it doesn’t have the online payment capabilities that Harvest does or the invoicing tools that other providers in this list offer. However, users still consider Toggl Track a good time tracking solution, especially for freelancers and solopreneurs. They also appreciate its free version that makes managing time, projects, and clients easy.
Toggl Track Standout Features
Unlike with Hubstaff, you don’t have to pay to access Toggl Track’s idle time detection and URL/apps tracking tools. It even has a Pomodoro timer that reminds you automatically to take breaks after every 25 minutes of work or any length of time you choose.
Toggl Track makes tracking employee and freelancer hours seamless given its wide selection of integration options. You can log time from inside 100-plus solutions, such as Asana, Basecamp, Jira, Evernote, Trello, Wrike, Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack, and Zoho. However, it doesn’t integrate with QuickBooks and payment gateways like most of the providers in this list do.
You can log hours through Toggl Track’s apps for web browsers, computers, and mobile iOS and Android devices. While its desktop app works on Windows and Mac computers, it doesn’t support Linux computers like Clockify does.
Time Doctor: Best for Managing a Team of Freelancers
- Strong productivity monitoring tools
- Can create invoices within the app
- Integrates with other project management software
- Strong reporting tools
- Supports SSO
- Outdated interface
- Lowest tier lacks employee monitoring tools, third-party integration, and payroll
- No free plan
Time Doctor Monthly Pricing*
- Basic ($7 per user): Time tracking; tasks and projects; unlimited screenshots; activity tracking; three-day support, and one group per department
- Standard ($10 per user): All in Basic plus app and URL tracking, payroll, 60-plus integrations, 24-hour support, and up to three groups per department
- Premium ($20 per user): Additional features include client login access, VIP support, concierge account setup, video screen captures, 24-hour support, and unlimited groups
*Get two months free when you pay yearly.
Time Doctor is geared toward employee management, making it an excellent option for freelancers to track their productivity and analyze how they spend their time. Freelancers can also organize work by tracking billable hours per client as they create projects. You can then monitor the total time spent on these projects, time spent for each task, and productivity levels.
Although Hubstaff also offers productivity tracking, it focuses more on detecting activity levels based on keyboard and mouse movements, which isn’t always indicative of an employee’s productivity. Time Doctor, however, lets managers set time limits on how long employees can go without keyboard or mouse movements before automatically placing the timer on “break.”
In our evaluation, Time Doctor earned an overall score of 3.88 out of 5. It has a perfect score for time tracking functions and good marks for other criteria. It didn’t score higher because it doesn’t offer a free plan (the only one on our list without one), custom reports, or live phone support. It also only has a few user reviews.
Time Doctor Features
Time Doctor uses a separate desktop app to track time. You can also download its Chrome extension to track time from other management software including Trello, Asana, Zoho Projects, and Jira. You can start and stop time tracking by pressing the timer button. If you forget to pause time tracking while you’re on break, it detects this idle time automatically and deducts it from the tracked hours. Time Doctor can even track time offline and sync data automatically as soon as connectivity is restored.
You can create projects and assign tasks to other freelancers if you need extra hands. Projects are accessible by specific users depending on your settings. Time is then tracked per task and project, so it’s easy to analyze how much time is spent for each client.
Time Doctor provides daily and weekly reports that include hours, projects, and tasks as well as website and app usage per team or user. These reports can be downloaded as XSL or CSV files. You can analyze productivity levels per task, project, and even per team member, if necessary. The app records users’ website activities and detects unproductive websites automatically while working. Hubstaff and TimeCamp also offer this functionality.
To help provide proof of work, you can show your work progress to clients by providing them login access if you have a Premium Time Doctor subscription. You can determine what your clients can view, including reports, screenshots, and tracked hours.
You can convert tracked hours into invoices to send to clients. You can assign hourly rates per client and determine the date range. You can customize invoices depending on the currency and pay rate. Time Doctor supports all currencies and common payment methods, such as PayPal and Payoneer.
Hubstaff: Best for Paying Freelancers
- User-friendly interface
- Offers a free plan with basic time and activity tracking
- Integrates with several payment gateways for online employee payments
- Free version is limited to one user only
- Invoicing, employee payments, expense tracking, and advanced productivity tools cost extra
- Occasional app glitches
- Hubstaff Time (Free for one user; $14 to $20 per two users): Best for simple time tracking and reporting; includes basic time tracking, time sheets, reports, management roles, invoicing, expensing, project, and payroll tools
- Hubstaff Desk (Free for one user; $14 to $20 per two users): Provides proof of work, time tracking, and team management; includes time tracking, screenshots, payments, time off, scheduling, idle time, invoices, expensing, project, and payroll tools
- Hubstaff Field ($24 to $30 per two users): Comes with GPS tracking and team management; includes mobile GPS tracking, fleet tracking, scheduling, attendance, payments, payroll, screenshots, app and URL tracking, and idle time tracking
*Get two months free when you opt for yearly billing.
Hubstaff is great for freelancers who manage teams because, aside from offering time and productivity tracking tools, it integrates with several payment gateways where you can easily send payments. While the other providers in this list―except for Toggl Track and Clockify―also partner with online payment solutions, this is mainly to accept client payments and not process worker pay.
Scoring 3.82 out of 5 in our evaluation of the best time tracking software for freelancers, Hubstaff earned 4 and higher scores in pricing, billable hours, and user popularity. The only criteria that it posted low scores (2.5 out of 5) on is reporting because users can’t add their own data fields to reports.
Hubstaff Standout Features
With Hubstaff, you can choose from any of its three time tracking products in which each cater to the slightly different needs of users. Hubstaff Time is great for those who want simple time tracking and reporting, Hubstaff Desk is best for users who also need solid productivity tools, and Hubstaff Field is optimal for those who require geolocation tracking in addition to time monitoring.
Idle time detection, computer screenshots, and URL/apps tracking are just some of the tools that Hubstaff offers. With its productivity rates, you can spot dips and improvements based on keyboard and mouse usage. If you set hours or productivity goals for your freelancer team, you can celebrate wins and recognize employees by giving them virtual high-fives through Hubstaff. None of the providers in our list has this feature.
While Harvest and TimeCamp integrate with payment gateways to accept client payments, Hubstaff connects with PayPal, Wise (formerly TransferWise), Payoneer, and Bitwage so that you can pay your team members online. You can also export your tracked time data to payroll providers like FreshBooks, QuickBooks, and Gusto.
If you’re interested in learning more about time tracking solutions, then check out our guide to the top time and attendance software.
How We Evaluated the Best Time Tracking Software for Freelancers
We started our search with two dozen time tracking solutions, comparing each software’s pricing, ease of use, and online user reviews. We also looked for features that are essential to freelancers, such as versatile time trackers that work across devices, online timers with easy start/stop buttons, reporting tools, and the capability to allocate hours to jobs. Software that can track idle time, generate invoices, accept client payments, and integrate with accounting, scheduling, and project management solutions were also given extra points.
Based on our evaluation, Clockify is the best time tracking software for freelancers. It topped our list because of its ease of use and free to use time tracking tools that come with unlimited projects and user seats. While you have to pay extra for invoicing and productivity solutions, such as idle time detection and a Pomodoro timer, its monthly fees are reasonable, which starts at $4.99 per user.
Click through the tabs below to see our full evaluation criteria.
25% of Overall Score
We checked to see if the provider has a free plan and transparent pricing for its paid tiers. Those priced at $10 or less per employee monthly were also given extra points. All of the providers we reviewed offer free plans, but if you want a feature-rich option that also lets you send invoices and accept client payments, then Harvest is the right tool for you. However, its free tier comes with only one user seat and two active projects.
25% of Overall Score
We looked for time trackers with easy start/stop buttons, as well as apps that work on web browsers and mobile devices. Software that comes with idle time tracking and scheduling tools to help users plan out their day were rated favorably. While all of the software in this guide have efficient time tracking tools, we recommend TimeCamp, Toggl Track, Clockify, and Harvest since you can access many of its work productivity tools for free.
20% of Overall Score
Having time tracking software that is intuitive and easy to learn is a necessity. We also looked at whether the provider offers live phone support, training, integration options with accounting and scheduling systems, and an offline mode for its time trackers. Clockify and Harvest earned high marks here, with Toggl Track at the bottom of the list since it lacks phone support, and its integration options don’t include scheduling solutions.
15% of Overall Score
Time tracking solutions that allow users to allocate hours by job code, compare budget vs actual hours, generate invoices, and accept online payments from clients were rated highly. Additional points were also given to those that can export time data to software that can calculate profit and loss by jobs for easy project management. All of the software in this list did well here except for Toggl Track because it lacks invoicing and client payment tools.
10% of Overall Score
We considered online user reviews, including those of our competitors, wherein any option with an average of 4-plus stars is ideal. Also, software with 1,000 or more reviews on third-party sites is preferred. Harvest and TimeCamp ranked lowest here (scoring 3 out of 5) because as of this writing, their average number of reviews online is fewer than 500.
5% of Overall Score
Aside from having access to standard and prebuilt reports, users should be able to customize reports. TimeCamp received perfect scores here while the others didn’t because of limited report customizability.
The best time tracking software for freelancers depends on their needs. Some track and record time while others offer expense recording and billing. Nearly all will handle teams and integrate with other programs, especially project management tools. Before choosing, think about what you need, look at popular options―some are even free-to-use―and whether you are willing to pay extra for advanced features.
For most freelancers needing time tracking tools for work projects, we found Clockify to be the best. It offers PTO management, invoicing, and a wide range of productivity tools. Pricing is also reasonable—you get a free version with unlimited projects and user seats and paid tiers with monthly fees that start at $4.99 per user. Sign up for a free plan today.