Explaining FreelanceStation’s Approach to Time Tracking and Its Workflow
In the world of time tracking software there is a huge assortment of options, both in the web side and in the desktop side. These applications can be further categorized as either manual or automated tracking, with invoicing support or not. The manual time trackers require the user to manually start and stop the timer, while the automated trackers do that for you by detecting when you start working on some configured file or application or depending on the rules you have previously set for your workflow. There are pros and cons to both approaches and it is usually up to the user to select the software that best adapts to their workflow.
FreelanceStation is a manual time tracking application that uses a task based approach to help you track your time, your projects, your clients and finally be able to generate estimates and invoices. In contrast to most manual trackers, instead of just starting a timer at first run and then leaving you alone with just the sum of all minutes you have tracked, FreelanceStation requires from you that you first create a project and assign tasks to that project. The tasks you assign will have a set duration that will be used to generate an estimate to send to your client and to follow the progress of your work as you start and stop the timer.
The process of creating a client, a project and its tasks before you actually start tracking any time may seem at first a hindrance, but it is actually there to help you better organize your projects and make it easier to track your work time. In stark contrast with most time tracking apps, which focus only on the productivity part, FreelanceStation focus on the money part. It is all about invoicing the proper amounts to your clients and then analysing the results. It doesn’t really matter if you spent a second, a minute more or less in a task, or whether you were two hours watching cat videos in YouTube instead of working. We are all grown ups and know how much time we need to devote to work. Thus tracking non-work time is totally useless, unless you are into that game.