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Consultant's Guide to Tracking Time

By Edited Jan 16, 2014 0 0

Track and Save Time -- Plus Save Money!

For many consultants, filling in timesheets is akin to a special kind of torture. Slowing down to complete the necessary administrative side of work can inspire procrastination, especially for those who are so passionate about their consulting work. Unfortunately, the cost of neglecting your tracking can quickly add up. Forget to bill your clients and you lose money! Try to retrace the hours weeks later and you waste more minutes -- and money -- doing billable hour forensics.

Have you ever done a time audit? That is, have you ever had to do a thorough search through your daytimer, hastily scribbled notes and working documents accumulated over weeks, to attempt to accurately estimate how long you spent on a project? Without a doubt, the time you wasted analyzing piles of paper and accessing your hazy memory cost you.

Think of it this way: if an hour of your time as a consultant is worth $150 to your client, imagine how much money you've lost over the course of a year by not having a user-friendly system in place for tracking. For some, this number could be in the thousands of dollars.

Makes you stop and think about finding a great tracking tool, doesn't it?

Effective time tracking is money in the bank for consultants.
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1381091

For The Perfect Time Tracking Tool Think Simple And Mobile

The simple solution for consultants? Find an easy-to-use tool that you can access whenever, whether you're on the road, in your office, or taking a call in a coffee shop.

The days of logging hours on paper, made illegible by countless corrections are over. It's so much easier and effective to adopt a daily system, accessible online from anywhere, for tracking every billable increment of time you spend working on a project.

A number of affordable time tracking tools are available that can be accessed 24/7 on your computer or mobile phone. A mobile-friendly option leaves you with no excuse for forgetting to bill others. You simply need to adopt the habit of logging your time immediately after every meeting, phone call, or session spent on a project.

Toggl is one such tool that is offered in free and premium versions, allowing users to track both billable and non-billable hours. Data resides in the cloud, avoiding concerns about computer crashes. However it is a stand-alone app that doesn’t integrate with accounting software.

When you think of all the money you'll save by being diligent with your time tracking, forming this new habit will be much easier! Here are ten other free time-tracking apps worth investigating.

Find A Great Tool That Can Grow With Your Business

Clearly, the most important aspect of a time tracking tool for consultants is ease of use. If a new system is tricky to learn to use, glitchy when you use it, and otherwise unreliable or unappealing from a user standpoint, why bother?


When you're investigating time tracking tools, be sure to look into the added features. Does your time tracking system include invoicing capability or tax tools? These bonus features make the time you spend on administrative tasks even more efficient.  Should you decide to hire employees, you'll need to handle payroll and facilitate employee time tracking. Find a tool that can grow with you as your company grows and you'll be well ahead of the game.

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