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How to Keep Track of Your Hours

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Some professions require employees to keep track of their own hours. Particularly if you're self-employed or working on a contract basis, you may need to tabulate the hours you work so you can be paid accordingly. It's important to record your hours promptly and accurately.

Create a written spreadsheet or open Microsoft Excel or its equivalent. Across the top of the document, write or type your name and the name of the project you're working on or company you're working for.

Write down the day and the start and end time of the work you performed in the far left-hand column. Include billable and nonbillable time so that you can show the client all the hours you spent on the job at the end of the project. Nonbillable time is time spent doing work indirectly related to the client. One example is managing the payroll of a group of freelancers who are working on the project for the client; although it is necessary to get the job done, you cannot bill the client for the expense.

Write down the type of work you performed in the second column. A short description, such as, "Drafted press release," is sufficient.

Include your out-of-pocket expenses, such as gas mileage or purchases associated with your work. These values can go in new rows underneath your billable and nonbillable hours.

Total the billable hours you worked and multiply the total by your hourly rate. Add this number to the sum of all out-of-pocket expenses, and record the value in a new row at the bottom your spreadsheet. This is the the client owes you.