There is really no logical reason for you to work within the ODesk system and be confined to a few choices and be paid 10% less than you expect. The ODesk payment assurance is great. Having a two-way feedback system is also great.

But why? Aren't you an application developer? Can't you find alternatives to market your skills and make sure you get paid? Is it work that is not worth doing because you want to focus on paying jobs? Then I'm about to post some tools which might help you with financial matters.

Here's the most important thing I have learned this year:
Work for value and make sure you don't work overtime and every hour is paid. Time is money. Time lost can have negative effects to your health and to your well-being.

I learned that clients want you to work for value but most are not willing to pay you at your hourly rate to make sure the work that you do is 100% accurate. The costs you incur by fixing every visible issue without being paid hourly is considered a loss. This is why opted to work as a full time application developer. The stress level is less. Money isn't as much as I get paid freelance but I am not treated like a god.

Toggl

Toggl is for time-tracking. Their free forever plan is great but you are limited to just that feature. The premium plans have more features like integration with Basecamp.

Klok

Klok seems to be a better option than Toggl. It is an Adobe AIR application. Free. You don't have to be online to track your time.

Fanurio

Fanurio has a one-time cost or license which I think is great. It works on Linux, Mac and Windows and has all the features necessary for you to track your time for each task, send invoice to clients and determine how well your finances are.

Redmine

Redmine is a Ruby on Rails project management system. By experience it is something which only developers and Q.A testers can use because often clients do not know what a valid "bug" is. It is completely free. And the best thing about it is that it is possible to integrate billing and invoicing through some plugins. You might want to check the Redmine Budget Plugin.

Blinksale

Blinksale is just for invoicing. Invoice design or creating an invoice through Excel for instance and manually sending to client isn't much of a challenge but if you don't want to bother about those things, Blinksale makes sense.

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Hello! I am Kat. I've been a developer for several years. When I'm not sitting down, reading and working for long hours, I am traveling to some place of interest.
If you want to reach out, you can send me an email or add me up on Google Plus.