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Timekeeping & Billing App

I'm just starting to do my own consulting on the side, and wanted to know what everyone uses to keep track of their hours on each particular part of a job.  I know there was a thread where someone created an app specifically for their handheld that generates an invoice and such... does anyone use/know of/recommend cheap or free apps that are easy to use and functional in this regard?

I will primarily be using a laptop to keep track of this stuff - no handhelds for me.  Win2k/WinXP preferred - no *nix.

Thanks a lot.

nathan
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I use a piece of paper, actually, where I write things down in a table based on who's working on what.

Excel would automate this, but I don't need it to be automated.  I pay by the week, and I only track hours on a weekly basis, so all my numbers are "pre-computed," so to speak.

Brent P. Newhall
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I like the Allnetic Working Time Tracker for keeping tack of my tasks

http://www.allnetic.com/working-time-tracker/index.html

it's amazing how many 5 minute jobs are really 15 minutes, and v.v.

What you do with it once you have it in the program is a different question... At the end of the very week I had it give me the time I had on each different task and manually entered it into either Excel or our time tracking software.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

mark - i just downloaded and tried the Allnetic app... i love it!  thanks for pointing me in that direction.

nathan
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

np - I love it too.

Now if only it would print reports or export to CSV.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I've been contracting/self employed for 17 years, over the years my timekeeping/invoicing/expenses application that I originally developed in Clipper in 1987 has 'morphed' into an VB.NET (Access Backend) extension of my psyche.

I've thought about selling this thing but it's probably not worth it as there are so many other 'bigger' products around that do all the things that I need plus a million more.

My system Prints Invoices, keeps expenses (by category), reconciles to a single bank account, does timekeeping and calculates my quarterly tax bill. I've checked out MYOB and Quickbooks and a few others and find my own software vastly supperior due to its simpleness (4 tasks). In the end if you're a one man show like me most software on the shelf does too much.

Realist
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I use Track-IT Light  http://www.dovico.com/time_and_attendance.html

it cost about $30 bucks but it's worth it.

However, that Allnetic is freeware, so how can you go wrong. I would try that first.

Steve
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Mark - the version of Allnetic I tried not only exported to CSV, but it exported to XML, HTML, and tons of other formats.  It also prints reports, and can do the reports in HTML and some others.  Apparently you can even create your own template and create Invoices, reports, etc. 

Very slick stuff.

nathan
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Realist,

I'm pretty much in the same camp as you, although I have a lot less contracting experience (I keep falling for the "If you work permanently here, we'll...." lines that I get thrown towards the end of my contracts).

How do you handle agencies who insist on handwritten timesheets - preprinted, 3 carbon copies - and insist they get posted?

(I don't mean 'handle the agencies', I mean solve the problem)

Justin
Thursday, May 29, 2003

nathan - sounds like I have to upgrade! Thanks for the tip.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, May 29, 2003

nathan - were you trying the expiring beta version?

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, May 29, 2003

mark - yes, i was under the impression the app itself wouldn't expire, just the ability to download.  if this isn't the case, that seems kind of silly, since the app is free anyway.

nathan
Thursday, May 29, 2003

nathan - Yeah, I think they plan on charging for the 2.0 version, which is why it expires. It seems like it may be worth it though if it does everything you say.

www.MarkTAW.com
Friday, May 30, 2003

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