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5 Simple Time Tracking and Invoicing Tips for Freelancers

5 Simple Time Tracking and Invoicing Tips for Freelancers

Time is money and wasted time is nothing but loss of money. Similarly, managing time is one of the most difficult tasks for freelancers. So when you are working on something you love, time will fly by before you realize and your working hours are over. But the client’s budget does not goes hand in hand with all the time you have spent, putting you in a sticky situation.

Following is a list of proficient time-tracking tools you can use to keep track of time constraints, projects and billable hours. These tools help one to manage their time in a better way and let you know how much time you have spent on different projects. By keeping track of time, you will not only maximize profit but also save time for other activities.

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Invoiceberry

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    InvoiceBerry is an online service which helps you to send, create and manage invoices online without the need to download any software. Once signed up, the user will receive a company specific login page where they can create an invoice within seconds. InvoiceBerry allows you to email, post or download invoices directly from your account. You need not print and post invoices any more. Architects, Freelancers, web designers, journalists, musicians, and small to medium sized business owners and producers use invoiceberry. It offers a 100% free plan for businesses which have up to 3 clients. If you have more clients then a monthly fee is charged. As financial information and invoices needs to be handled with care all company logins and accounts have 256-bit AES SSL encryption.

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    Cashboard

    Cashboard is an invoicing software app that handles employee estimates, timesheets, and online payments. It’s mainly catered to small businesses and freelancers. Cashboard is software that runs in the cloud and is always synchronized. Cashboard runs in all web browsers and on your iPad, iPhone or Android device. Data is always synchronized between clients that access the application. Cashboard ties up all business entities together, which helps you to stay on top of everything from identifying clients which have accepted proposals, to those who have not paid yet.

    InerTrak

    InerTrak is a time tracking tool for contract workers, designers, lawyers etc who work a number of projects on an hourly basis. It lets you keeps track of the time you’re spending on different projects throughout the day automatically; all you have to do is click the start and stop timers. One can create a list of clients that you are working for, along with an optional hourly rate. Each project is tagged to a particular client, which also has hourly rates that are used to calculate the value for time spent. The detailed view of each project shows the daily totals of money and time. Dates are added automatically when one starts the timer. You can mail InerTrak data to yourself in CSV format and view data locally by copying and pasting the data into Excel or any other program that understands CSV format.

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    Daylite

    Daylite is a centralized, contact management and comprehensive business application that is designed to help keep track of your employees and prep for new business, current business, and make sure you don’t miss anything related to clients – from birthdays to project management. Daylite is designed to be used on devices like iOS and Mac OS. The application is a combination of contact, task manager and calendar that integrates well with Apple Mail and many other applications. It’s more like a CRM.

    Dovico

    Dovico Timesheet is used to monitor invoices, timesheets and expenses for teams, departments, and employees based on costs, time, tasks and projects. It has two main functions: expense and time entry views used by employees, and administrative functions used by managers for creating project assignment to employees, reporting and monitoring. The software reminds employees to enter timesheets regularly. The software also provides productivity feedback on a continual basis to increase efficiency.

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    After all, we are here to earn money rather than writing just for fun. It’s better to make use of above mentioned tools to make sure you are having some benefit out.

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    Abhay Jeet Mishra

    Writer at Lifehack & Enterested.com

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    Trending in Productivity

    1 How To Break the Procrastination Cycle 2 Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing) 3 5 Tips for Overcoming Procrastination and Feeling Overwhelmed 4 Why You Procrastinate: 7 Possible Reasons You Can’t Get Anything Done 5 Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

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    Last Updated on March 31, 2020

    How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

    How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

    How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

    There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

    The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

    For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

    1. Feeling Eager and Energized

    This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

    2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

    The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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    3. Still No Action

    More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

    4. Flicker of Hope Left

    You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

    5. Fading Quickly

    Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

    6. Vow to Yourself

    Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

    Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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    How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

    Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

    To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

    1. Feeling Eager and Energized

    This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

    2. Plan

    Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

    3. Resistance

    Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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    What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

    4. Confront Those Feelings

    Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

    Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

    5. Put Results Before Comfort

    You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

    6. Repeat

    Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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    Final Thoughts

    Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

    If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

    Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

    Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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