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Tracking hours isn't exactly what inspires bright, idealistic youth to pursue a career in law -- but it's a pretty inescapable reality of the profession. If you run an egg timer every time a client calls or if you attempt to recreate your day in the evening, you could benefit from a better system.
As annoying as timekeeping can be, it's a pretty straightforward task. Thankfully, there's plenty of lawyer-focused timekeeping apps out there, apps which help make the timekeeping easier, simpler and more intuitive. Most of them can also help you spit out an invoice on demand -- and sending out the invoice is why we track our time, after all.
1. Time Master
Master time (keeping) with this app. Time Master' strength is the amount of variables it allows you to work with. You can keep multiple running timers in case you have to switch quickly between tasks. If an important client call interrupts your case research, you can easily switch to a new timer, for example. The app also allows you to sub-categorize work by task and project and to maintain variable billing rates for different tasks and clients. If you want to create invoices or export your info to QuickBooks, however, you'll need to pay for upgrades.
The novelty of Hours Tracker isn't its ability to track hours, but location. Like most billing apps, Hours Tracker allows you to quickly set timers for your work, creating a new entry every time you finish with a timer. But, unlike other apps, Hours Tracker also has location awareness. That means it can tell when you leave the office, automatically creating a new entry every time you step out.
3. Harvest App
Harvest App is a simply-designed time tracking app, with one-tap timers and both automated and manual time entry. It throws together easy invoices and gives you notification when they're paid. It also sends you reminders when you've forgotten to enter time. One of the best features is the ability to add expenses to your bills simply by photographing receipts.
Yep, that's "werks," with an "e." You might think this was a homework app for tweens given the "werks" in the title, but Timewerks Pro is a very adult app. It has all the normal timekeeping features, but benefits from being integrated with invoicing and billing features (for extra cost). Timewerks allows you to sync your data across devices, create invoices with your firm logo, and even accept credit card payments.
We first reviewed this app two years ago and it's still around and kicking. Attorney Timekeeper stands out for being cloud based, allowing you to monitor your time, track hours, set billing goals, and compete against coworkers -- all via the cloud. But, it's by far the most expensive timekeeper on this list, at $50 a month.
Bonus: Hubstaff offers time tracking software that integrates with internet monitoring, employee payroll systems and more. You can try out the software for free with a 14-day trail.