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When to start tracking time?

I have been hired by a company, and wanted to know when is the right time to start billing? When you are collaborating and talking about the work, or until I have actually started working on the job? It is an ongoing contract.


Yes, all that counts as work.

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Community Member

When to start tracking time?

So track tine even while setting up the company email and setting up access to their sites and them showing me the systems? Sorry - this is my first contract, so I'm not sure when to start. I appreciate your help!

Yes, all that counts as work.

Ok thank you so much for your help!

Community Member

If you are doing something for a client that contributes to the success of your project with that client, you should be tracking that as work time using TimeTracker. (Do not use manual time entries unless you nknow the client well and trust them completely. Clients can refuse to pay for manual time without any ramifications within the Upwork system.)


Start each TimeTracker session at or very soon after each 10 minute section of an hour (e.g. 9:00, 9:10, 9:20...) begins and try to fill that segment with work. Don't try to track work sessions of 6 minutes, 14 minutes, etc.

Hi Will,


I do understand that time is tracked in 10-minute segments. But could you please elaborate on why we should not track work sessions of 6 minutes, 14 minutes and so on?



Hi, Bilal.


It is my understanding clients have to pay for even multiples of full 10-minute segments on hourly projects, so I'd suggest we freelancers try to actually work as much of each segment as possible. 


If I am charging a client $20/hour and they are charged $20 for six 8 minute segments, they are actually paying me the equivalent of $25/hour. That would not be fair to the client.

Community Member

I use time tracking software (the free Toggl program) to monitor my time in addition to Upwork's time tracking. If the client is being shortchanged by Upwork's jumping the gun on those 10-minute increments, I will make up the difference offline (not using the time tracker). I believe in giving the client an hour's work for an hour's pay, not 50 minutes.

I do the same with Toggl, Bettye, but more for my entire day than just billed Upwork work time.

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