Time Stamp Essential for Freelancers

Time Stamp offers professional, accurate time tracking for freelancers. Designed by Syntap Software, the program was named “Best Choice Award” by PC News Digest in February 2001.

The ability to accurately track time spent on a project is essential to small businesses. Time Stamp is downloaded directly from the website and is set up and ready to use in minutes. The download is free, but Syntap does accept donations if you like the program. With Time Stamp, you have the ability to track and save different projects, change default fee amounts, customize printed reports, add notes to each project, and export the information into XML and ASCII formats.

Simple toggle buttons start and stop the timers. When the timer is stopped, the job is automatically calculated according to the fee entered for that project. This visual conversion of your time into money is a great motivator when projects begin to seem endless. The “slack timer” is a tool that allows you to take short intermissions for phone calls or coffee breaks without having to stop timing the whole project. Time Stamp will display your “slack time” along with work time, showing you how much time and money those coffee breaks are really costing you.

The user preferences feature allows you to set default hourly rates and report end notes. There is also a feature allowing you to build a list of end notes to choose from at the end of each project. The “automatic save” feature ensures that work time will not be lost in the event of a computer glitch or network failure. Once you have saved the project the first time, Time Stamp automatically saves the new information at the time intervals you determine.

The “always on top” and “work in reduced mode” features allow you to accurately judge how long a particular project is taking. For freelancers, this ability may help to decide if hourly charges need to be adjusted, or if per-job charges are more feasible. Also, the user may change the colors of grid rows and data and flash task and tray items for easy and quick readability.

Time Stamp will print professional customized reports for each project. Options are available to print (or not print) your slack time, hourly charges, and twelve or twenty-four hour time formats. Customized end notes, rather than the default notes, may also be added for those customers to whom you wish to give special attention. Basic functions such as page numbers and font size may also be added.

I use Time Stamp in my own typing, editing and transcription service. I have found the program to be accurate, professional, and user friendly. The link to Syntap’s website directly from the program is also helpful for checking updates and e-mailing suggestions or bug reports. Time Stamp is an open source MS Windows program and is designed to run on any version from Windows 95 to Windows XP.

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