Project time cost is the largest variable and project expense I have seen over the years in various industries. My background is rather eclectic ranging from project management & freelance web development to consulting for real estate development. We all should take a lesson from the legal profession, one industry that has brilliantly figured out how to track time and make it profitable.
Your time is of extreme value (see time management), probably more than you even realize. It is more important than any product or service you offer. Every minute you spend working that goes unaccounted is like giving your product away for free but also taking you away from other profitable work. The double jeopardy of not effectively tracking your time is diluting your hourly worth as well as giving up a profitable opportunity elsewhere. We all have to track our time effectively to stay profitably.Do you think Warren Buffet allocates his time to grabbing mail at the post office for his various businesses?
If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.
Lee Iacocca br>
There is a deluge of time tracking software and applications available. For web-based time tracking I particularly liked tick, a simple time tracking service that allows you to try it for free and without a timed-trial or credit card. Most of the other services like freckle and getharvest require entry level payment plans. Tick is likely to be a hit for web freelancers.
If your looking for a windows based product to track the value of project time then Manictime may be the way to go. Manictime sits in the background and records your activities, lets you focus on your work. When you are finished you can use collected data to accurately keep track of your time. This is ideal for a crazy startupaddict like myself that wears 6 different hats in a given day. Having the tools to effectively see what what tasks are making money and which tasks are not is invaluable.