Toggl for freelancer, or, how to invoice Toggl time?

I’m considering Toggl (with Timery) to record time for billing clients in my freelance practice.

Problem: toggl & Timery don’t offer invoicing like my current time-tracking app (harvest) does. Anyone else using Toggl/Timery for freelancing time billing work?

All my clients have different billing intervals/rates/terms. Something that can help me prepare invoices for each unique client flow is a non-negotiable ability.

I use QBO though I haven’t authored invoices in QBO thus far, Harvest has good invoicing tools, but mediocre integration with my project management software. I’m not against using QBO to invoice. I am somewhat skilled in Make/Integromat.

Any ideas?

I record my time using and am trying to work with the Toggl API (via Shortcuts) to store my daily time records in DataJar so that I can then query the database and output the time entries however I need them. Having trouble with the Toggl API though – for starters, I don’t know how to parse the JSON output from the Toggl API. For example, the way I envision it, I would have a “dictionary” in DataJar for “diaries” and then within there, each day’s entries would be its own dictionary (and this seems necessary because the JSON output for a given day’s time entries has a ton of different key-value pairs for each time entry.

Interacting with the Toggl API is probably a bridge too far for me at this time. I’ve hacked my way through using API calls to cloud apps a few times to scratch very particular itches, I don’t think I have the chops to make a robust, battle-ready tool to send time to QBO for building client invoices. However, if you have a breakthrough with the API, I’d love to pick your brain. With some working API calls, I may have a fighting chance.

It’s a real shame, because I love how Toggl integrates with my project management app (Asana). It automatically picks up new tasks in Asana projects and allows me to bill against them. This gives me nice segmentation of the time spent on the whole project without adding any new manual labor on my part, since these tasks are already made in Asana projects as new client requests come up.

I wonder if I should just use the Timery Report feature to generate CSV files covering client-specific timelines & projects that I can use to generate invoices? These CSVs have already tallied the time up and presented it in whatever method the report specifies. I would have enough data to make invoices with Project line items showing hours & amount. All other data I need to include on invoices lives in a big Airtable that is kind of the glue that binds my projects together across the various cloud services I use for work. This is very easy to include using Make automation.

I wonder if Hazel and/or Make might help process these CSV files semi-automatically? This wouldn’t be that different than what I do in Harvest now where I use the UI tools to select time period, client & projects that will be invoiced, but instead of Harvest assembling the invoice & sending, It would be a mostly automated process, but the Timery report would be manually generated per-invoice and the resulting CSV put back into an automated invoicing pipeline. Oh, and I should remember to apply an Invoiced tag to the time as the invoice is processed, maybe even append an invoice # to each time entry description.

If you’re using Data Jar create a shortcut that sends an API call to Toggl, and then send the result if your “Get Contents Of URL” to Data Jar. Should be pretty easy from that point to build your shortcut on the structure seen from the dictionary created there.

At the very least you can export as a CSV and manually enter it.

Have you contacted Toggl support about this functionality. I tried looking on their site and it shows the ability to be able to track time w/ a billable rate. Seems weird there is no way to not auto generate reports for clients. I also saw this app in their user created integrations GrandTotal - Invoices and Estimates on your Mac

This blog post may also help you build something. The GitHub repo it links to was created awhile ago but I do see commits as recent as 1 year ago.

Searching ‘toggl invoice’ on Github brings up quite a few options to do this and some even are hooked directly into the API vs needing to download an export.

Thanks for these ideas. GrandTotal looks promising. I think I’ll give it a demo.

Regarding Toggl & Reports: I probably wasn’t writing clearly in my original post. Toggl’s reports are my fallback for generating data to build invoices from. The reporting tools offer me everything I need to slice & dice the time/project/client data into a suitable format to make an invoice. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that, but if I need to use CSV’s to build invoices, Toggl is up to the task.

I saw the blog post for the agency you linked. What they are doing is over my head. I can do enough to be (often) dangerous and (occasionally) clever in Make/Integromat. I can string together API calls for things that aren’t in Make’s custom modules, though it is slow going & error-prone work for me. As for real scripting or programming in code, I’m not up to that task. I haven’t had much luck using code on Github.

With my bookkeeper’s help I found an obscure Quickbooks Online (QBO) integration called TimeSaver that says it can sync Toggl time to QBO. Their SEO is kind of awful and they haven’t crafted their QBO integration page so that searching the term “Toggl” will surface this.

If this works, I’m golden! I’ll post my experience soon.

I sync my Toggl entries to FreshBooks for invoicing, using Gelatech’s Toggl Syncing for FreshBooks.

I tried the TimeSaver QBO integration, and it would probably work great. Dealbreaking catch: To enable time entry support (through automation or manual entry), I need to upgrade my QBO subscription at a net cost increase of ~$250/year. I’m definitely not doing that.

This automation project is on the back burner for now as I have solid client bookings until the end of June. Not much time to throw at this problem. However, If anyone out there does consulting on this kind of automation, I’m willing to pay for a solve to this reporting for invoicing automation. Get in touch with me via the contact form here.