This year I did quite a bit of contract editing work. Because I was working from home and being paid an hourly rate, I investigated several time tracking software applications so I could generate accurate and professional-looking invoices for clients. In the end I settled on OfficeTime, an app that is available for Mac OS and iOS devices (as well as Windows computers). Essentially you enter client and job details and the rates you are charging, click a start button (from a drop-down menu in the menubar) and OfficeTime will keep tabs on how much time you spend on each project. You can pause, resume and stop the timer from the menubar.
You can work on multiple projects by switching between jobs in the menubar. There is also a notes field to enter information relating to the project you are working on.
When it comes to invoicing a client, you simply enter your personal details on one of pre-configured templates (which can be easily modified), then select the relevant dates and data fields you want to capture and OfficeTime will automatically generate a professional looking invoice. A range of detailed reports can be produced and there is also an option to export data to Excel.
OfficeTime's simple and clean design makes it easy for users to record time and track expenses. A worthwhile (and tax deductible) investment at A$62 (this varies with the exchange rate). The companion iPhone app is about A$12. This can be used to track time and expenses while you are away from your office. It syncs seamlessly with the Mac OS app. The apps are easy to use and work flawlessly. I highly recommend them for freelancers.
The makers of OfficeTime, OfficeTime.net, are planning a major update to this suite of apps and is using crowdfunding to help speed the development of the new versions.