It might seem like a burden, but tracking time correctly builds trust between you and the client. It results in overall less admin so you can focus on doing your best work.
How often should I track time?
At least once a day on the days you work.
If I’m not done with a task, should I still track time?
Absolutely! Turtle freelancers are compensated for time, not completed tasks or deliverables. If you’re partially done with a task but finished for the day, you should still track the time spent.
Why should I track time every day?
The Turtle accounting system allows a customer to see their budget in realtime as time gets tracked. If you track time daily, they will get an accurate understanding of how much budget they have left to work with.
Also because you are not in the same office as your client, time tracking communicates to the customer "hey don't worry progress is being made" without the need for a meeting.
What’s the easiest way to track time?
One of our very own developers worked with Toggl to integrate the tracking tool into Turtle. This is currently our recommendation, and you can find a how-to guide here:
What’s the right way to create a time entry?
Time entries should reflect the work session actually worked, tracked within the corresponding Turtle task, and be as precise as possible. For example, if you start working at 10:23 AM, work on 3 small tasks, and finish at 11:47 AM, there would be 3 entries that add up to 1h 24m.
In general, we’ve found reasonable entries are usually 4 hours or less. We flag 4+ hour time entries as that’s a sign that multiple tasks have been consolidated, which makes it more difficult for clients to see where their developer’s time really went. Note, for a genuinely long complex task (e.g. an algorithm to speed up loading for a chart with a huge data set) that takes more than a day’s work, it’s ok to enter 1 big time entry every day.
As far as the description, 5-15 words specific to what you did is usually a good range.
Do I really need to track time to the minute?
Believe it or not, tracking time precisely genuinely helps us build trust with our clients. If a client sees entries to the nearest hour, or even 15/30 minutes, it’s easy to start thinking about how time is being rounded, and if a customer is really getting the work they paid for. It’s a quick way to build extra trust with clients!