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How to retrospectively add manual time?

chanamy77
Active Member
Amy C Member Since: Nov 20, 2019
1 of 8

I'm behind with logging my manual time, and need to enter some time starting from 3 weeks ago.  However, the "add manual time" button is unavailable beyond the current week.

 

Is is possible to retrospectively add manual time?

 

Thanks!

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 8

You can not add time to a previous week.

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
3 of 8

The only way you can be paid for that time is for the client to pay you via a bonus. 

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 8

The original poster did not understand some things about logging manual time. Fortunately, it is easy to learn from this mistake and not make the same mistake in the future.

 

Clearly, postponing the logging of manually-logged time is a mistake. It is not possible to log for a previous week. It IS possible to log manual time up to the very last minute of the current week. The week ends at the same time for everybody: midnight GMT on Sunday. (I live in Arizona, so for means 5pm on Sunday evening.)

 

Does that mean it is okay to keep track of my manual time during the week and then add it all at the last minute before the week ends?

 

No. That is not okay.

 

That is disrespectful to clients. And it is dangerous for the freelancer.

 

What if I do 10 hours of work during the week... but I don't log that manual time until Sunday?

What if on Saturday, the client closes the contract? That means I don't get paid for those ten hours. And there is nothing I can do about it, and nothing Upwork can do about it.

 

I could write a message to the client explaining that I worked for ten hours but didn't log that time yet, and I could indeed ask for a bonus payment to pay for that time. It would be up to the client to decide if she wants to pay that bonus or not. She is not obligated to.

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
5 of 8

Preston H wrote:

The original poster did not understand some things about logging manual time. Fortunately, it is easy to learn from this mistake and not make the same mistake in the future.

 

Clearly, postponing the logging of manually-logged time is a mistake. It is not possible to log for a previous week. It IS possible to log manual time up to the very last minute of the current week. The week ends at the same time for everybody: midnight GMT on Sunday. (I live in Arizona, so for means 5pm on Sunday evening.)

 

Does that mean it is okay to keep track of my manual time during the week and then add it all at the last minute before the week ends?

 

No. That is not okay.

 

That is disrespectful to clients. And it is dangerous for the freelancer.

 

What if I do 10 hours of work during the week... but I don't log that manual time until Sunday?

What if on Saturday, the client closes the contract? That means I don't get paid for those ten hours. And there is nothing I can do about it, and nothing Upwork can do about it.

 

I could write a message to the client explaining that I worked for ten hours but didn't log that time yet, and I could indeed ask for a bonus payment to pay for that time. It would be up to the client to decide if she wants to pay that bonus or not. She is not obligated to.


There's a lot of hogwash here, so I'm responding for the benefit of less experienced FLs reading along who may be led astray. I have earned in the neighborhood of $50k via manual hourly contracts over the past couple years. The nature of my work makes using UW's desktop tracker unfeasible -- I do a lot of thinking and staring, sometimes a lot of digging around online, often a lot of review & revising the old-fashioned way with printouts and colored pens.

 

First and foremost, do not enter into a manual hourly contract unless you feel confident the client is honest and professional. You can't always know for sure, you have to rely on your own experience and judgment.

 

Second of all, limit your exposure until you've established strong rapport and mutual trust. Don't bill more the first  and second weeks than you'd be willing to walk away from, just in case there's been a miscommunication and/or you called it wrong and the client's a flake.

 

Include memos about what you were doing -- not in 10-min increments, but specific enough to support a conversation to help the client understand what you were doing that day and how long things take, if it becomes necessary.

 

IMO it is not necessary to log time daily. I almost never do that. I use my own desktop tracker and when I have UW hourly projects going, I roll up a timesheet on Sat or Sun and log my time then. For one thing, I would never accept a contract from a client who might close it and vanish on me before I was paid. For another, if a client wants to dispute manual hours, I'm out of luck anyway -- the payment is not protected by UW.

 

Preston, as I recall, you don't use manual hours yourself, right? 

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 8

re: "Preston, as I recall, you don't use manual hours yourself, right?"

 

I avoid using manual time if at all possible. Sometimes I DO log manual time.

 

And I regularly advise freelancers in the Forum to NOT use manual time unless there is simply no option. For example: If a freelancer his hired to bake a cake and photograph it for a blog, then using the desktop time-tracker is not a viable way to log time. Such a freelancer would need to use manual time, or a fixed-price contract.

 

I have always maintained that there types of work for which manual time is not an option. That was not a topic I was addressing in my post here.

 

I don't have any objection to how you personally use manual time.

 

But my description of how Upwork's user interface works with regards to manual time is accurate.

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
7 of 8

Your assertion that waiting until the end of the week to log all manual time is "not OK" is not OK, in my opinion. There's nothing disrespectful about it, categorically speaking. As with virtually everything else (on any type of contract), success and satisfaction for all concerned depends on effective vetting before the contract, clear communication, and honesty.

 

Furthermore, logging manual time daily doesn't protect you if the client's going to bail anyway. Manual time is not protected, it's undertaken entirely at  the FL's risk. I really think those of us with enough mileage to know, should try to help newbies understand that "payment protection" beyond tracked, documented hours is extremely limited; and that freelancing means taking responsibility for your own business and not assuming there is some failsafe in place to bail you out if you goof.

 

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 8

re: "Your assertion that waiting until the end of the week to log all manual time is 'not OK' is not OK, in my opinion."


You are correct. This is my opinion.

 

re: "Furthermore, logging manual time daily doesn't protect you if the client's going to bail anyway. Manual time is not protected, it's undertaken entirely at the FL's risk..."

 

No, it does not protect you. My recommendations about how to best log manual time should NOT be interpreted as some kind of way to protect a freelancer from client malfeasance or any of the problems associated with manual time. Manual time is not "protected" no matter what you do. And you're right to point that out.

 

In my post, I described many mechanical aspects of how the user interface works. You and I both agree about those facts.

 

As I said, I don't have a problem with you use manual time.


But it is my opinion that waiting until the end of the week introduces and unnecessary additional element of risk to the freelancer. And it is my opinion that doing so is disrespectful to the client.

 

As I freelancer, i believe that it is entirely possible that I have been hired by a client who really would want to have time-logging information available as soon as possible. I have worked for clients who don't check logging and don't care about that information at all. I have also worked for clients who have limited budgets and will want to know about any expense they have incurred as soon as possible.

 

I consider it a sign of respect to record that time as quickly as possible. That may very well be unnecessary for your clients.

 

But I can assure anybody reading this thread that no client will complain that you logged time too soon if you log that time right after a work session rather than waiting until the end of the week.

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