Blog

Time tracking for contractors

Written 21 February, 2019, 6 minutes to read

Whether you work independently or as part of an agency, profitable contracting depends on effective time management. But achieving that shouldn’t come at the cost of your productivity. It’s precisely why we developed Timely – the first time tracking tool to automatically capture all the time you spend across projects and clients while you work.

The time tracking tool for contractors

Timely captures all the time you spend across different contract jobs without interrupting you. It tracks the time you spend in every tool you use for work – from meetings, phone calls, documents, websites and emails – to map out your entire working day. AI-powered timesheets, real-time project dashboards and custom reporting then allow you to explore your time data without compromising your own productivity.

Timely for Apple Available on every device you work with

📕 A complete account of all contract time

Timely captures all the time you spend on a project automatically while you work. You don’t need to interrupt your work to start timers, write anything down, or try and piece together what you did after the fact – as an automatic time tracker, it ensures all your business time is represented accurately and honestly. You can see the time you spend down to the app used, to ensure all project work is accounted for. It’s essential for billing clients honestly for your work, as well as managing your own performance.

💰 Only take on profitable contracts

Accurate time tracking can reveal which contracts are actually worth your time. In Timely, you can visualize exactly how you spread your time across jobs, and break down all the individual activities that you work on for each. From there, you can set your minimum requirements for a profitable return, understanding which jobs yield the best returns, and setting profitable fixed rates which cover all your costs. By seeing exactly how project profitability is drawn out, squandered and eaten up, you can quickly determine project ROI and know which contracts to prioritize in future.

📈 Make client reporting effortless

Status updates, activity breakdowns for billing, or performance overviews – however you want to represent your contracted time, Timely’s got your back. A suite of ready-made report templates takes the pain out of granular reporting, and Timely’s simple chart builder lets you build beautiful custom reports in a matter of minutes. Share key information with clients quickly via simple URL generation, or export reports as PDF, XLS or CSV files.

🕹 Control non-billable work

As a contractor, managing non-billable time is just as important as billable time. There’s a ton of work that goes into growing and sustaining your business, and staying relevant in a constantly changing marketplace. By capturing everything you get up to, Timely lets you keep an eye on the time you spend on essential “unbillables” like pitches, proposal writing, internal communications, bookkeeping, invoicing, networking and training. It’s essential for quantifying the true cost of all non-billable work and any hidden expenses.

⚙️ Improve productivity and efficiency

You can’t increase your productive efforts without knowing how you spend them in the first place. By tracking every detail of your day, Timely offers a ton of behavioral and operational insight. By identifying inefficient workflows, interruptions, broken processes and personal disruption, you can actually introduce effective change to improve your productivity. Just knowing Timely won’t skip a detail can be motivation enough to make you more accountable for how you spend every second.

📱 Capture mobile work

Timely was built for the active contractor lifestyle. Client meetings, workshops, off-site work, mobile calls and travel – all the work that happens away from your desk can all be captured. And Timely itself is accessible on web, desktop, tablet, smartphone and smartwatch, so you can manage your time on-the-go. Expect a fully native app, whether you prefer Android to iOS or Mac to Windows.

Why contractors love Timely

Whether agency-based or independent, contractors of all backgrounds choose Timely to simplify and improve the quality of time management. But don’t just take our word for it; here’s what a handful of them had to say about the tool:

“I started a contract job that requires me to lead multiple design projects in different cities, and needed a time tracking app to manage several projects at once. Timely lets me assign different cost values for each, so I know exactly how much I'm billing (and making). The UI is easy to use, and I also like that it tracks how I spend my time in general so I can see how long I've been on or off task.”Kara, UX specialist

“I tried over a dozen different apps before Timely, and now describe it as "best of breed" to all my contracting friends.”Prue, bussiness and investment management

“I was using Toggl to track my time, but wanted a bit more control and automation. I work both on long-term development project and in tiny sprints, but managing them in Toggl made me want to pull my hair out. With Timely, I can complete 3 weeks’ worth of billing in less than one-third of the time. I’ve only run across a few apps that are jaw dropping “I need this now” in my lifetime. Timely has made that extremely short list of favorites. I’m able to spend less time running my business and more time doing what I was hired to do.”Erik, designer

“I was looking for a visual weekly planner to help me "timeblock" my week in advance, and also wanted to integrate my Google calendars (3 for different contract roles). The ability to plan and track my time in a single tool is great.”Josh, marketer

“I needed a way to keep track of time based on applications I use and documents I work on. Timely does exactly that, automatically!”David, software engineer

“I have a single main client, but work on multiple projects for them. Timely allows me to track how much time I spend on each of those individually. My client is really impressed by how I can submit an invoice along with a Timely report that confirms what I did for them down to the minute. I also love how scalable the platform is – I can work the way I want to now knowing it has more features in case my workload changes.”Travis, ecommerce analyst

“As a contractor, I have to register my timesheets (sometimes a client requires it, but it’s also useful to keep my accounts in order for invoicing). Timely is a well thought-out app with very neat features!”Łukasz, enterprise architect

“I was losing money every month simply by not paying any attention to my hours. Timely can keep track of everything for me – it just simplifies life.”Angelina, metalsmith

“I began work as a contractor about two years ago, and I was immediately working on two separate projects. I needed something that was online, accessible, easy-to-use and available on all my devices, which could provide me with a detailed time breakdown. Timely was it, and still is. It makes it extremely easy to track and bill multiple projects.”Waqar, business management

“I hate managing timers. I tried trials for at least six other products and they all required them, or didn't produce invoices. Timely is easily the cleanest and simplest time tracking application for consultants and contractors.”Ariane, communications specialist

“I looked at a bunch of other apps, but the calendar aspect of timely fits best with how I think and plan.”Karen, web developer

"I suck at admin and tracking hours for my customers and projects. But now it’s all automatically done for me, this problem is now solved :) Stop worrying about your time and project admin and just use Timely!”Gerard, software engineer

Try Timely for yourself

We’d love to know how Timely works for your contract work. Trial the full app for 14 days and let us know what you think. If there’s a specific functionality that could really supercharge your reporting or productivity, send a feature request to [email protected] – we’ll try and prioritize it for you!

icon_paperplane

Get ideas, tips & updates