Santiago and Susanne, thank you for your interesting perspectives about the time tracker.. Clearly there are certain types of jobs for which some contractors prefer fixed-price jobs and do NOT like using the time tracker.
I previously did many fixed-price contracts, but now my contracts tend to be hourly. Much of what clients want me to do is difficult to estimate a fixed-price contract for. So I calculate my fixed-price quotes at the amount of hours I estimate the project will take times my hourly times 2. And I tell the clients this. Some still choose fixed-price, but others choose hourly.
@Santiago G wrote:
The other side to this is that not everyone can do/say the same things. Some do need it. So those that need it are also stuck with and bugs/problems associated with the time tracker.
As you and others say, we have to use whatever tools—trade-offs and all—best suit our business. I do use hourly rates for research jobs, where a billable result might be: I didn't find what you wanted me to look for in the place you told me to look for 5 hours; that'll be $400, please! Of course, if that's archival research, there are expenses to add, and no possibility to use the tracker.
Best to all,
Personally, I'd be happier not using the time tracker, but it won't stop me taking a job.
I don't wander off doing other stuff whilst the trackers running, so I have nothing to hide in that respect. I admit though, that I don;t like that if I happen to be doing something work-related in the browser, my bookmarks toolbar and anything else I've got running are all visible to the client. I do find this invasive.
There have been times with an hourly contract that a fixed number of hours have been agreed, and these have been added manually with the client's approval. No tracker involved.
I can see why it's attractive to a client, of course.
I've started to notice recently that some overseas contractors who do hourly jobs have been lowering their rate to get a job and then logging twice the normal hours for that job. Maybe it's just my category but I see it happening a lot lately.
I charge $40 an hour but prefer fixed price. I see freelancers bidding $20 an hour and spending twice the amount of time doing the job than what I would have spent, and often the clients end up paying more than they should have.
I'm not sure, but this looks like a new way to scam clients.