One week ago, I programmed a simple PHP/MySQL application that logs my daily tasks. After finishing something (writing a blog post, programming a stylesheet, designing a mockup, etc.) I add it to the log, and it tracks the total time, whether it is billable, the related project, the expense for me, and whether or not it requires travel. I now have three weeks of tasks logged in to the work log, and it is a great way to look at how I have been spending my time during these initial few weeks of starting-up, as well as how I’ve been spending and making money.
I know there are tools out there that do this for you, probably have a slick “Web 2.0” interface, and only cost $15.99/month to use. What tools do you find useful for task/time tracking, whether you’re independent or not?
I am a huge fan of Billings (http://www.marketcircle.com/billings/) along with their iphone app that syncs with the software. I also use RescueTime (http://www.rescuetime.com/) to track how much time I spend on individual files. Although these tools are not free I have found that Billings is an essential part of my business, and RescueTime is more for my own curiosity and I tell myself that it could come in handy as a backup should I ever forget to start my billings timer.
I’ll have to check out Billings. I’m a big fan of RescueTime, as well. Anything iPhone usable would be helpful to migrate tracking across multiple computers and settings.