10 Free Consultant Time Tracking Templates for Excel

Consultants invoice their work based on time or hours spent on a project or task. This makes time tracking an integral part of consulting. This process can be challenging, especially when handling multiple projects simultaneously. However, it can be simplified when consultants use a time-tracking template. 

A time-tracking template for consultants is a predesigned document with entries for all the information needed to accurately and consistently track time. The standard format of such a template has entries for the consultant’s name, project or task description, date and time, billable consulting hours, charges, and notes. 

This article discusses time-tracking templates for you to use as a consultant by highlighting their essential components. Also, it deliberates the challenges consultants face when tracking time and how a template can help resolve them. 

Common Challenges in Tracking Consultant Time

Manual time tracking is challenging, especially in between tasks. It can lead to delays in task execution and ineffective schedule management. This, in turn, can affect the quality of the final deliverables and make it harder for you to manage your schedule effectively, complete work consistently, and invoice your customers efficiently.

Below are challenges commonly experienced when keeping track of time for consulting services:


Physical trackers require you to manually record the hours spent on duty. Also, you may have to perform manual calculations to determine billable hours and total charges. This process can be time-consuming, leading to a lot of time wastage. Also, it may lead to errors and inaccuracies, necessitating a complete recalculation which costs a lot of valuable time and delayed invoicing.  


The use of manual trackers can lead to inconsistency as it is common to forget to record hours after every task. This can lead to incomplete or inaccurate data. This means similar projects may be billed differently despite having the same scope. 


Often, you will feel like time tracking is an additional administrative assignment that is outside your scope of work. This presents a challenge as you may find it difficult to observe time-tracking policies and procedures, especially when working in an organization where these are mandatory.

Lack of visibility

When time tracking is not centralized, it is difficult to get an accurate record of the number of hours you have spent on multiple projects and tasks. This can limit your ability to manage future projects effectively as you cannot determine how to allocate resources accurately. 


Manual trackers are inefficient and may produce inaccurate and incomplete data. Therefore, relying on this data to make decisions such as resource allocation may lead to wastage. This can lower productivity and profitability, which can be costly for independent consultants or small consulting firms with limited resources to spare.  

Free Templates

Free Consultant Time Tracking Template
Editable Consultant Time Tracking Sample
Consultant Time Tracking Example
Download Free Consultant Time Tracking Template
Consultant Time Tracking Template Format
Customizable Consultant Time Tracking Template
Sample Consultant Time Tracking for Consultants
Free Consultant Time Tracking Example
Printable Consultant Time Tracking Template
Editable Consultant Time Tracking Format

    How Can a Template Help Overcome Time Tracking Challenges?

    A template is invaluable if you want to track time effectively as a consultant and address the challenges discussed above. Using it benefits you in multiple ways when providing consulting services.

    Below are different ways a template will help you record accurate hours when offering consulting services:


    A template is premade with a standardized format and layout to allow you to record specific information consistently. This ensures no important information is forgotten, thus solving the inconsistency problem. Also, this improves the accuracy of the data as errors are reduced. A standardized format also creates uniformity among time-tracking records.  

    Streamlined data entry

    The template has entries for all the key data that ought to be recorded. This makes time tracking easier and faster, thus reducing the time needed to record accurate hours. Common entries of this template include the project name, date, task description, start, and end time, and notes/comments. This way, you do not always have to start by creating a tracker from scratch and deciding what data to collect.

    Reduced resistance

    Templates with user-friendly interfaces can help motivate you to actively track time when working on tasks or projects. This addresses the challenge of considering time tracking to be a restrictive task. A user-friendly template will have a visually appealing layout, instructions on how to fill it, and functionalities such as sum and multiplication. 

    Increased visibility

    A centralized template can be used to track the time used to complete different tasks or consulting projects within the firm. This makes it easy to visualize what multiple employees are working on and the time each task takes. Also, the template can be integrated with other project management tools such as calendars, task lists, and reporting software to further contextualize time usage. This data can be used to prioritize tasks, eliminate hindrances and optimize resource allocation. 

    Improved efficiency

    With a template, time tracking can be made more efficient through automation. Therefore, the likelihood of errors is reduced, and the records can be relied on to make important decisions such as resource allocation. Also, templates can be integrated with other time-tracking and project-management tools such as Asana, Trello, and Harvest. These tools enable real-time reporting and task allocation, further reducing the inefficiency of manual time tracking when offering consulting services. 

    This infographic includes tips for effective consultant time tracking.
    This infographic includes tips for effective consultant time tracking.

    Essentials of a Consultant Time Tracking Template

    There are multiple free time tracking templates for you online. Since most will vary in terms of the elements included in the layout, it is important to familiarize yourself with the most fundamental components.

    Below are the essentials of a time-tracking template:

    Project/task description

    The description entry should be used to describe what the project or task entails. This section can have entries for the following information:

    • Project or task identifier – Each project and task will have a unique identifier. Record it in the tracker to make it easy to locate data for different tasks and projects. 
    • Type of project/task – Describe the task or project. State whether it will be charged as a fixed fee or on an hourly basis.  
    • Estimated time – Estimate how long (in hours) each task or project will take and record this data in the tracker. 
    • Actual time – After each task or project is completed, you should record the length of time it took.

    Date and time

    The date and time entries are meant to document when the consulting work begins and ends. This information can be used to determine productivity and track progress to verify if a project is on schedule. 

    Client information

    You will typically be working for multiple clients simultaneously. This means it is easy to mix up files from different projects. To resolve this concern, a template should have a section to record the client’s identification details. This section can record the client’s name, project name, and contact details.  

    Billable vs. non-billable hours

    An effective tracker will have fields for billable and non-billable hours. This ensures that you invoice the client the right amount and have detailed data on time usage for things like breaks, lunch, preparation, meetings, and report writing. 

    Totals and subtotals

    The template must have entries for the total and subtotal billable and non-billable hours for each project and task. A functional tracker will have formulas to calculate these figures. Add the subtotals for all tasks and provide the total for the entire project. This information will be used to track overall progress, generate reports and invoice the client.  


    A suitable template should have a field to write any notes or comments regarding the specific tasks and project in general. Use this section to record reported issues, key details that may be included in the final report, and information relevant to billing and time management. 

    The Bottom Line 

    As a consultant, you should aim to make time tracking as effective as possible, as it influences how much you are paid. You can use a template for this task. It helps you record accurate hours consistently and ensure you are paid on time and the right amount. 

    You can download such time-tracking templates online for free. To increase their effectiveness, consider integrating them with additional time tracking and project management software. Lastly, while the format of the template can vary, consider one with the basic elements. Typically, it will have entries for project/task description, date and time, client information, task duration, charges, and comments. 

    About This Article

    Sean Alexander
    Authored by:
    Certified Excel & Google Sheets Specialist, Data Analysis, Data Engineering
    Sean Alexander stands at the forefront of data manipulation and analysis, distinguished as a Certified Expert in both Excel and Google Sheets. His deep-rooted expertise encompasses not only crafting intricate spreadsheets but also diving deep into data, extracting insights, and building robust data-driven solutions. Whether it's designing efficient dashboards, creating complex formulas, or engineering data structures to support decision-making, Sean's proficiency ensures optimal results. Based on a foundation of precision and a keen analytical mind, Sean Alexander is the go-to professional for all data-centric needs, ensuring clarity, efficiency, and actionable insights.

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