Toggl for freelancers – My Review

Domenico Trimboli

By Domenico Trimboli



In my journey to review all the top time trackers for freelancers, I quickly ended up finding Toggl and its time tracker, Toggl Track.

I wasn’t expecting much – after a while, all time trackers become kind of similar.

And yeah, Toggl does not reinvent the wheel, but it has a free plan that beginner freelancers will find helpful, and some features that I really, really liked.

What are these features? Let’s dive straight in!

Toggl for Freelancers

Contrarily to others, Toggl is a time tracker built for employees who work remotely – and their employers, of course.

Freelancers are not their main audience, and it shows. While other tools like Freshbooks and Bonsai have a pretty advanced set of features that can help you run your freelance business more efficiently, such as invoicing, client management and some basic forms of project management, Toggle is “just” a time tracker.

Yet, I liked some of their productivity features, mainly:

  • The weekly calendar view, which makes it ideal for time blocking
  • Pomodoro settings that automate the use of this technique, if you like it
  • Integration with other calendars, such as Outlook and Google Calendar

And they offer all of this at a pretty great price – their Starter plan has (almost) everything you need as a freelancer, at just $10 per month ($9 when you choose an annual plan).

Weekly Calendar View

A great way to time block your week.

Pomodoro Timer

If you are a fan of the Pomodoro technique, you’ll love Toggl.

Outlook/Google Cal Integration

Available starting from their Starter plan.

Overall Rating:
4.6 / 5

Toggl Pros

  • Basic plan that is free forever
  • THE tracker for Pomodoro addicts
  • Slick browser extension
  • 30 day free trial for their Premium plan

Toggl Cons

  • Billable rates not available on the Free plan
  • Fixed fee projects only available with a Premium plan
  • No invoice tracking/mgmt
  • Charging per user per month may make it expensive for teams

serious plans Start at $10/month

Core feature: time tracking, pure and simple

There is a reason why Toggl has a lower price point than other tools – it focuses on time tracking exclusively, without the bells and whistles. And if you are looking for something that is nothing more than a time tracking tool, Toggl is a great product at a great price.

Toggl allows you to start tracking times in 3 easy steps:

Project creation window in Toggl Track

1. Set up your new project

From the main menu on your left, set up your billable rate for later.

Next, simply go to Project > Create new project.

Here you can name the project and create the client, and then add a couple of extra details.

Unfortunately, the fixed fee option is only available for the Premium plan, which costs $20 per month.

2. Start tracking

Once the project is set up, just mark the hours you are about to track as Billable, hit the Play button and that’s it – Toggl is now creating a time sheet for you while you work.

Chrome users (is there anyone who doesn’t use Chrome in 2024?) can also use the Toggle Chrome extension. I have tried it on several projects, and it works pretty well.

Tracking time on Toggl is as easy as hitting the Play button

Productivity features

In addition to time-tracking, Toggl has 2 features that I really liked and that other time trackers lack – a weekly calendar that allows you to time block/time box your days, and a series of features that allow you to use the Pomodoro technique.

Weekly calendar view

While this is common in most calendar apps, very few time trackers offer a calendar view.

Toggl does, and I love it, because it allows you to time block your days so that you optimize your time as best as you can (and stop finding excuses like ‘I don’t have time for pitching’).

Keep in mind that Toggl is not a time blocking app, and if you become a time blocking pro, you will probably end up with some dedicated tool.

But I expect most Toggl users to be beginner freelancers, and for them, even an extremely basic feature like this may be quite helpful.

Pomodoro time management

If you are into time management, I am sure you have heard of the Pomodoro techinque.

In a nutshell, it’s a time management system that breaks up your working hours in intervals, separated by short breaks. The average Pomodoro time block is 25 minutes of work, followed by 5 minutes of break.

When you use other time trackers, you need to:

  • Set up an alarm when you start tracking your time
  • Stop tracking when the alarm rings
  • Take your break
  • Restart your timer (and the alarm)

I don’t use the Pomodoro technique myself, but I can see that this sucks.

Pomodoro settings inside the Toggl Track app

Toggl has dedicated Pomodoro settings that automate all of this so that you don’t have to do any of that.

You just start your timer, and it’s set up so that it stops in 25 minutes. Oh, and when you hit the 25-minute mark it reminds you to stop working as well.

It’s a relatively simple feature, but if you are a fan of this technique, it’s a huge time saver.

Toggl free plan – and why I am hesitant to recommend it

Not all time trackers offer a free plan, and I really appreciated that Toggl does.

However, the free plan has serious limitations that make me hesitant to recommend it. The main issue is that the free plan doesn’t offer you the option to set up billable rates – while it creates your time sheets for you, you can’t even apply your hourly rate to it.

So you have to track your hours in Toggl, but then use your calculator to actually know how much you can charge your client. Not to even mention the possibility of creating invoices, which only exists on the Starter plan.

Where does it leave you?

With a nice Play – Stop feature on a browser extension, and a recap of the time you spent working on a project. If that’s all you are looking for, then go for it. But to be fair, there is very little difference between this and noting down your time sheets on a piece of paper next to your laptop.

Further questions on Toggl? Look here

Toggl is a live time tracker – it helps freelancers and employees to track the time they spend working on projects. Freelancers can also use it to invoice their clients automatically, using the hourly rate they set up on the app.

The Pomodoro technique is one of the most popular time management techniques around. In short, it breaks up work into intervals (usually 25 minutes) separated by short 5-minute breaks.

The Toggl tracker is available as a browser app, a phone app or a Chrome extension so that you can track your time in the way that’s most convenient to you at any given time.

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