Hourly Timesheets For Freelancers and Small Businesses | Day.io

The Benefits of Hourly Timesheets For Freelancers And Small Businesses

Time management is essential for freelancers and small business owners. With hourly timesheets, you can gain control over how you spend your time and maximize productivity. From identifying areas for improvement to increasing revenue, these powerful tools are invaluable in helping entrepreneurs succeed. 

Today, we’ll explore the many advantages of using hourly timesheets and provide tips on how to make the most of them. Get ready to take your time management skills to new heights!

Throughout this article, we’ll discuss: 

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What Are Hourly Timesheets?

Hourly timesheets are digital tools that allow you to track and monitor the time spent on specific tasks. They record when a task is started and how long it takes to complete. You can use these timesheets to measure productivity and evaluate performance. They are especially useful for freelancers and small business owners who need to stay on top of their time management. 

Also known as hour-by-hour timesheets, they contain

  • The date and time of each task
  • The name or description of the task 
  • How long it took to complete 
  • Any comments or notes about the task 

The beauty of these timesheets is that you can customize them to suit your needs. For example, if you are a freelance writer, you can track how long different writing assignments take. This allows you to identify areas where your productivity could improve and increase efficiency. 

5 Ways Hourly Timesheets Benefit Freelancers

Hourly timesheets can help freelancers gain control over their time and maximize productivity. Here are the top benefits of using hourly timesheets for freelancers:

1. Tracking Billable Hours

One of the most important benefits of using hourly timesheets for freelancers is the ability to track billable hours. By accurately recording the time spent on each task, you can ensure that you are charging your clients properly and not leaving any money on the table. This helps to protect your bottom line and build trust with clients.

Billable hours indicate how much time you spend on a project and how much the client should be charged for your services. This is especially important for freelancers who offer hourly rates.

Hourly timesheets let you separate billable and non-billable hours, such as researching and responding to emails. Knowing how much time you spend on each task helps you create accurate invoices that reflect the true value of your services.

Billable activities

2. Improving Time Management

Employees who work in a traditional office setting often have an organized system for managing their time. But freelancers don’t have that luxury. That’s where an hourly timesheet for work comes in handy. 

By tracking how long it takes to complete each task, you can identify areas for improvement and increase efficiency. This helps to ensure that you’re spending your time wisely and not wasting valuable hours on mundane tasks.

You can also use the data from your timesheets to better estimate project timelines and make sure deadlines are met without compromising the quality of work. 

3. Accurately Invoicing Clients

Accurately invoicing clients is one of the main benefits of using hourly timesheets for freelancers. When you track your time, you can easily create invoices that accurately reflect the amount of time and resources spent on a project. This helps to ensure that you are charging for every minute worked, helping to maximize profits and eliminate any discrepancies in billing.

An hourly timesheet provides a detailed breakdown of the tasks performed, which helps clients understand the value you provided. It also shows them that you are tracking your time and taking responsibility for any discrepancies in billing. This can help to build trust and establish a long-term relationship with clients.

4. Estimating Project Timelines

Timesheets let you track and monitor the time spent on each project. This helps you estimate future projects and accurately set deadlines for clients. You can also use the data to identify any potential issues that may arise during the course of a project.

By monitoring your progress, you can better manage your workload and ensure that all tasks are completed within the agreed timeframe. Using a timesheet for work will also help you avoid taking on too much work or missing important deadlines. 

5. Increasing Revenue

Lastly, using hourly timesheets can help freelancers increase their revenue. Accurately tracking your time allows you to accurately estimate project timelines and set realistic deadlines for yourself. This eliminates the risk of taking on too many projects or working overtime, which can lead to burnout and a decline in the quality of work. 

Having an accurate view of how much time you spend on each task also helps you adjust your pricing structure accordingly. For example, if a certain task takes longer than expected, you can charge more for that effort or use it as leverage when negotiating rates with clients.

Revenue calculation

5 Ways Hourly Timesheets Benefit Small Businesses

Small businesses can also benefit from using hourly timesheets. Here are the key advantages of using these digital tools:

1. Managing Employee Time

Hourly timesheets can help small businesses manage their employees’ time more effectively. You can use these digital tools to track the time spent on specific tasks and identify areas where productivity is lacking. This helps you ensure your employees stay on task and not wasting precious resources. 

You can also use hourly timesheets to monitor employee attendance and leave requests, ensuring all the necessary information is in one place. Additionally, they allow you to measure each department or team member’s productivity, enabling you to make informed decisions about resource allocation.

2. Budgeting And Forecasting

Small businesses need to plan and budget wisely. Hourly employee timesheet can help you with this, providing an accurate overview of the time spent on each task. This allows you to estimate future costs more accurately, giving you a better idea of how much money is needed for different projects and investments. 

You can also use these timesheets to track overtime hours and calculate employee wages, ensuring your payroll records are up-to-date and accurate. Additionally, they enable you to measure the performance of specific teams or departments so that you can reallocate resources accordingly. 

3. Project Management And Tracking

You must stay on top of your projects as a small business owner. By using an hourly employee timesheet, you can track each task’s progress and identify any delays or problems. This allows you to adjust resources accordingly or take corrective action quickly if necessary. 

Hourly timesheets also enable teams to collaborate more effectively by tracking the time spent on tasks and activities in real-time. They are especially useful for remote teams, allowing team members to share their progress easily.

Working on a project

4. Improving Overall Efficiency

Using hourly timesheets can help small businesses improve their overall efficiency. By tracking the time spent on different tasks, you can identify areas where productivity could be improved and adjust accordingly. 

For example, if employees spend too much time on mundane administrative tasks, you may want to consider automating some of these processes or hiring a virtual assistant. This will free up your staff’s time to focus on more critical tasks that require their expertise. 

5. Increased Customer Satisfaction

The last benefit of hourly timesheets is increased customer satisfaction. With these digital tools, you can keep track of the time spent on tasks and ensure employees are completing them efficiently. This helps you deliver projects faster while also ensuring they meet customer expectations. 

Plus, if customers have any questions or issues with a project, you can quickly review your records to identify where things went wrong. This allows you to provide better customer service and build trust with your clients.

Potential Challenges with Hourly Timesheet for Work and How to Overcome Them

Using hourly timesheets can be challenging if you’re not used to tracking your time. It takes discipline and consistency to document the amount of time spent on each task accurately.

An analog clock

Some potential challenges and the ways to overcome them include: 

  • Forgetting to start or stop the timer. You can avoid this by setting up notifications when it’s time to start or end a task. Alternatively, use an app that integrates with your calendar so you don’t have to input data manually every time. 
  • Getting lost in long tasks that take hours or days to complete. Break down large assignments into smaller parts and set a timer for each part. This will help you stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed. 
  • Not being able to estimate the time needed for each task accurately. Practice is key. Track your time regularly and use analytics tools to measure time spent on different tasks over some time. This way, you can learn how long it typically takes for you to complete similar assignments in the future and make more accurate estimates. 

3 Best Hourly Timesheets Software

You need the right software to track your time as a small business owner or freelancer. The best hourly timesheet software will be easy to use and provide several features that help you stay on top of your work. We’ve comprehensively researched the market and put together a list of the top three hourly timesheet software you can use: 

1. Day.io – Overall, the Best Hourly Timesheets App

Day.io being the best hourly timesheets app

Day.io is the perfect choice for small business owners and freelancers seeking comprehensive hourly timesheets tracking. Its intuitive dashboard offers real-time updates, so you can always be sure your invoicing and project tracking is accurate. 

Start times, end times, tasks assigned to yourself or others on the team, reminders – all these things can be recorded with Day.io’s easy-to-use system. You’ll also enjoy its in-depth reporting capabilities that visually analyze your time usage to help you optimize efficiency or pinpoint improvement areas.



  • Project time tracking: $6 per user/month
  • Time & attendance tracking: $4 per user/month

2. Buddy Punch – Hourly Employee Timesheet with Billing Features

Buddy Punch timesheet

Buddy Punch is an excellent choice for small business owners with hourly employees. Its timesheets feature allows employees to clock in and out of work quickly and accurately, while the billing option creates invoices easily for each employee’s work hours. 

The software also provides reports on individual performance and an overall company-wide analysis that you can use to measure productivity levels and make decisions about staffing needs.


  • Integration with accounting apps
  • Real-time timesheets for employee clock-in/out tracking 
  • Flexible team collaboration features
  • Customized reports for employee performance evaluation
  • Change tracking system


  • Standard: $3.49 per user/month, plus $19 base fee per month
  • Pro: $4.49 per user/month, plus $19 base fee per month.

3. Bonsai – Comprehensive Timesheet for Small Businesses and Freelancers

Bonsai timesheet

Bonsai offers a comprehensive timesheet system for both freelancers and small business owners. You can easily manage projects, track time spent on tasks, generate invoices and even use its task-based reporting feature to gain insights into your team’s performance. 

The software also integrates with popular project management platforms. Additionally, its mobile app lets you keep tabs on your work progress while out of the office or away from the computer. 


  • Task-based tracking system 
  • Integration with project management systems such as Asana and Trello 
  • Automatic invoice generation based on time tracked 
  • Project timesheets for real-time updates 
  • Comprehensive task breakdown reports and analytics


  • Starter: $24 per month, up to five users
  • Professional: $39 per month, up to 15 users
  • Business: $79 per month, unlimited users
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Wrap-up: Leverage Hourly Timesheets to Take Control of Your Time and Productivity

Hourly timesheets are an invaluable asset for freelancers and business owners alike. Not only do they provide a convenient way to measure performance, but they also identify areas of improvement. 

These tools can help you become more efficient and maximize your profits. That’s why it pays to research the market for the best hourly timesheet software – one that fits your unique needs perfectly! 

Day.io is just such a platform; its comprehensive features and intuitive user interface make tracking time and productivity effortless. Sign up now to get the most out of your day!