I’ve been using Freshbooks for time tracking and invoicing of clients for over a year now, but I’m finding that the $19.95 a month pricing is a bit high for someone like me.

I have a number of various clients that ask me to do work on their website, and recently someone wanted me to teach them PHP via Skype. These are all projects I’m doing on the side, outside of my normal day-time job hours, so I’m not bringing in a lot of money with these side projects. I’m one guy with several clients, but each client might be one small job that pays about $100-$200, sometimes like $400. At $19.95 per a month that comes out to approximately $240 a year. I might have brought in about $1000 this year, so that $240 is cutting into about a quarter of the income it helps me produce.

Because of this I decided to look for a more competitive, yet equivalent replacement. I was almost sure I had found this through Curdbee, but they do not have an API or reliable error free time tracking method. I’m used to using the Freshbooks dashboard widget for Mac computer to keep track of the time. I don’t have to worry about accidentally closing my browser window and loosing the time I’ve already tracked during one session, and even if I forget to clock out and shutdown the computer, when I start the computer up again I see that it continues from the time that it saved the start of my session. In such cases, which do occur at times, I’m able to modify the time with a fair estimate and submit the time. Having a desktop widget or application that works like this is key to tracking time for each task I work on, and later on invoicing the client for the work (with detailed task-by-task time tracking).

I believe I’ve found a worthy competitor of Freshbooks for my time tracking needs in Harvest.