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 for free.
To find the best software that can handle time tracking for freelancers, we evaluated 24 solutions and narrowed it down to our top six recommendations.
- Clockify: Best (overall) time tracking software for freelancers
- TimeCamp: Best for freelancers who need strong reporting tools
- Harvest: Best for freelancers looking for free tools to track time, bill clients, and accept payments
- Toggl Track: Best for freelancers who require robust integration options
- Time Doctor: Best for freelancers who need robust productivity tools
- Hubstaff: Best for those who want a secure way to pay freelancer teams
Best Time Tracking Software for Freelancers Compared
Our Rating (out of 5)
Paid Plans Monthly Pricing
Live Phone Support
$4.99 to $14.99 per user
$7 to $10 per user; custom-priced plan available
✓ (1 user, 2 projects)
$12 per user
✓ (up to 5 users)
$10 to $20 per user; custom-priced plan available
$7 to $20 per user
✓ (1 user)
$14 to $30 per user
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.
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Need help determining which time tracking software is best for your freelancing work? This four-question quiz will help you decide.
Clockify: Best Overall Time Tracking Software for Freelancers
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
- Flexible time tracking: 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.
- Leave management: 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.
- Computer screenshots: 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 five 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.
- Third-party software integrations: 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
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
- Attendance and leave management: 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.
- Productivity tools: 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.
- Invoicing and client payments: 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
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
- Feature-rich free tier: 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.
- Expense reporting and client payments: 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.
- Third-party software integrations: 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
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
- Free-to-use productivity tools: 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.
- Robust integrations: 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.
- Flexible time tracking: 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 Freelancers Who Need Robust Productivity Tools
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 tracking: 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.
- Project management: 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.
- Productivity reports: 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.
- Client access: 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.
- Invoicing: 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 Those Looking for a Secure Way to Pay Freelancer Teams
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
- Multiple time tracking products: 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.
- Productivity tools: 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.
- Employee payments: 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.
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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.