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One thing we all need, whether working for a company, managing a project, or freelancing, is a way to track the time we have spent on a project for billing and budgeting purposes. While a plethora of good programs for tracking time exists for PC users, Mac users have a more difficult time. Add in the fact that small businesses, start ups and freelancers don't have money to spend on expensive programs, and the task of finding good time tracking software becomes difficult. Have no fear, the list below describes, the best, free time tracking software for Macintosh.
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Time Trek is a simple,time tracker. Enter in your project name, and the task name, then press "Punch In." The timer starts . Click on the coffee cup for an animation of steam rising out of the cup when you take a break or are interrupted from your task. Simply click the cup again to begin timing the task again. Once the task has been completed, click "Punch Out." The program will then track the time you have spent on the task. When you click on "Menu," you can select other options, and a report function. The report button will take you to a page where you can print out your report of time spent on tasks and projects.
This program is simple and very easy to use, but it has one drawback. Unless you plan on working in at least thirty minute increments, it is useless. It rounds up to the nearest half hour. This makes billing using this program a sketchy business.
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Vertabase Timer requires the user to download Adobe AIR first. This program is also a simple time tracker. Once the program has been downloaded, click on "start" to start the clock running. Like TIme Trek, you can pause the program. Unlike Time Trek, when you click "Stop" the timer records, accurately, the amount of time you have spent on a project. Once you click "stop," you can enter notes about the specific tasks performed. Vertabase Timer will then record the project name, the notes, and the time spent. If you wish to keep this information, you will need to export it using XML or CSV.
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PayMo is free for a limited number of users (1-3). With this program, you can track time, but you can also do so much more. You can create invoices, track clients, track projects, create reports, and download a time tracking widget. You can be task-specific and you can enter in different rates for different projects. Because of the added features, PayMo is the best free time-tracking software for Macs.
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FreshBooks is also free for a limited number of users, but it does much more than simple time tracking. This program also performs invoicing and billing functions. If you are a freelancer, independent contractor, or small business owner, this program is great. If you don't want the entire program, you can also download a time tracker widget for your Mac - this is free no matter how many users or projects you work on.