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Community Member

Best practises to using the time tracker for hourly Jobs.

The nature of my contract requires me to do some activity fora few minutes submit a job and wait for a few tens of minutes for the job to complete before analysing the results and moving on to the next activity.

On freelancer, since the tool does per second tracking an takes a snapshot at start/stop event. I used to stop the timer

  1. After I have submitted the Job. OR
  2. If I get a new mail notification. OR
  3. If I have to visit google to clarify some syntax/algorithm issues or lookup the meaning of an obscure compiler error/warning

With the upwork timer after losing a few hours of billable hours, I discovered that the tool records time in blocks of 10 minutes and pausing it before the block is completed results in loss of billable hours.

If I have coded for 5 minutes and waited for 5 minutes for the compilation, I do not want to bill the customer for those 5 minutes of idle time. Neither do I want to lose those 5 minutes of billable time.


If I recieve an email from the current client, I do not want a snapshot to take place on my open inbox showing email headers and snippets from other clients. Neither do I want to lose the entire 10 minutes while I read his 2 line message and reply with a quick "Ok"


What does the community do in such a situation.
What are your best practises for using the timer app?

Community Member

Keep in mind that the time-tracker is not a time-clock.


If you're not actually doing anything, but the computer is running a job... then the time-tracker won't even record time.


So if it takes you ten minutes to set up a job, and then the job runs for 2 hours. The time tracker would only record 10 minutes of time, even if you left it running.


But what you describe - 5 minutes of set up and 5 minutes to run the job - is a more complicated matter.


The time-tracker WOULD indeed record that ten-minute block of time. But you're saying you only spent half that time working on the client's project.


Dyumnin: What you describe is NOT the normal way most Upwork freelancers work. I understand the nature of what you're doing. But you should understand that your situation is not what the time-tracker was designed for, and it isn't what most of us experience.


Ultimately you may need to make some of these decisions on your own. You might want to consider using manual time.

Community Member

Hi VijayVithal


Preston H. described it very well, let me add from my own experience;

The upwork app considers each minute of activity a bar in your work dairy, so if you be active 4-5 mins the bar in work dairy shows five filled bars from overal 10. In your case discussing minimum level of activity with your employee may help. Or as Peteron mentioned, working on a project basis rather than hourly, might be more suitable considering nature of your work.

Community Member

One idea is to track your time using a different software (most of them logs by the second) and log the full block of time at the end of the day. This will only work, of course, if you have a trusting relationship with your client.

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