If you are a freelance designer, and if you have reached a stage where you can design several websites very quickly, then you must maintain a time log. You must now think that designing is fun, and very easy at the same time. This feeling is very common when you gain a lot of experience and expertise.
But you are definitely not doing this job for free, and you want to earn some money by designing websites. If you want to earn some decent money, then you must treat this job as a business. Pricing is very important in any business.
You should decide a rate for yourself, which you will charge your clients. Well the charge may vary according to skills, but you should also consider the amount of time, which is required to complete a single project. Pricing is very important, but the time taken for completion of the project is more important.
As a freelancer, it’s important to take a note of the time, which you are spending while working on any project. Some freelancers don’t like to note down the time, and they simply guess. Well, that’s not enough, you will have to note down every single minute, which you are spending. Just record the time when you are starting, and record it when you are taking a break. Well, this may sound very simple and straight forward, but this is only simple for a single project. As a freelancer, designers take more than one task, so that they can earn more money.
You will see that sometimes, you get involved with one project, and after some time you switch to another project, which demands some more attention. This is very common with freelancers who work on multiple projects at the same time. Well, multiple projects will definitely earn you more money than single projects, but they also bring complications with them.
Apart from that, freelancers also spend some time while emailing details to client, and they also spend some time on the phone. These things are fine, but when you want to note down the time spent on each project, then you will find some problems, because you are too busy with many things at the same time.
Maintaining a time log is very important, because it allows you to know the effort, which you put behind any project. Sometimes, you can get urgent projects, and you forget to maintain the time log.
Many freelancers think that maintaining a time log is just a waste of time, because it has got nothing to do with projects and the money involved. Well, that is just a misconception. You will have to note down time, because you want to calculate money at the end of the day. For example, if you are working on a project which costs $500, then you might think that it is a good deal, but if that same project takes 5 hours to complete, then the per hour cost will be $100, but if you complete the same project within 10 hours, then per hour cost will become $50, and for 20 hours it will be $5.
You will have to judge each project on the basis of hours required, because you will have to spend some hour in meetings, scheduled with the client. Sometimes, clients will call you to explain some details or they can even call you to make some changes. This may take few hours. Therefore, the whole project may take more than 70 to 80 hours to get finished. Well, now the same project, which looked lucrative, might not give you any profit.
This is the reason, why many freelancers like to calculate the time required per project. Maintaining a time log will help you in calculating the per hour charge, and later you can charge your client according to your per hour rate.
Many freelancers miss these small details, and they eventually miss out the opportunity to earn more from these projects. Therefore, if you want to earn some decent money, then you must maintain a time log.
Below we are going to discuss some of the best tools, which will definitely help you in maintaining a good time log.
1. Toggl – this free software allows you to note down the time of your projects. You can use it on your computer or on your laptop. You can also use this tool on your mobile phone. It is loaded with some power packed features, which helps you in getting the perfect result. All you have to do is sign up and start using.
2. Harvest – this is very much similar to toggl, and they are also having the same features. You can easily track your time invested in each project. But their free versions are having some restrictions, which can only be removed after buying the premium version.
3. Colorhat – similar to above given tools, all the features are having the same properties. You can even create and maintain invoices, which will help you in tracking the amount of money associated with each project, which you handle.
You can also maintain a time log just by using a pen and paper, but these tools are best for those freelancers who take very big projects.
Always remember to note down the effective time, don’t note down those times where you take breaks or attend any phone calls.
Freelancing world is increasing day by day. Nowadays, everybody wants to try freelancing because they think that freelancing is an easy way to earn money, but the truth is something different. Starters find it extremely difficult to get projects, and moreover they get trapped with those clients who never pay for your work. Therefore, before starting your career as a freelancer, you should always consult a senior who is already working in this field.
There are various websites where you can gain knowledge regarding freelance working. Always remember to adapt sharp skills, which will help you in grabbing some big projects. Be prepared to show some samples and always meet deadlines. Freelancing is all about quality work and deadlines.