Check your Freelancer's Work Diary

The Work Diary acts a visual record of your freelancers hours featuring a grid of work-in-progress snapshots in hourly rows, each representing a 10-minute billing segment.

To view your freelancer’s Work Diary:

  1. Go to Freelancers, find the contract, and choose View Work Diary from the Actions list.
  2. Select the date you want to view in the center of the navigation bar.
  3. Hover your mouse over the screenshot thumbnail image for a larger preview or click it to view the full-size image.

Although it is useful to literally see what a freelancer is working on during the week, the Work Diary is a billing tool and cannot replace the need for you to communicate expectations clearly and manage your project directly. Please be aware that:

  • You can switch the Time Zone between Mine, User, and UTC to read the information in the way that works best for you.
  • The previous week’s Work Diaries are locked, and therefore no longer editable, every Monday at noon UTC.
  • Upwork uses 10-minute billing segments, therefore some rounding must occur.
  • Every hourly contract has its own Work Diary.
  • Only time within the weekly limit on an hourly contract will be billed and included in reports.
  • You cannot add, delete, or edit time in your freelancers’ Work Diaries. You can update activities labels.
  • When a freelancer makes manual changes to the Work Diary, including adding or removing time and editing memos or Activity codes, the changes update in your Reports once a day.

Reading the Work Diary

When a freelancer tracks time using the Upwork Desktop App, a screenshot and activity summary uploads to each 10-minute segment. Activity associated with a screensnap may span two billing segments. You can also agree to let your freelancers add manual time to represent work activity not captured by the Upwork Desktop App.

The memo bars in the Work Diary are color-coded to indicate the status of that billing segment:

  • Green – Auto-tracked time, billable on hourly contracts; may qualify for the Upwork Hourly Protection
  • Yellow – Manual time, billable on hourly contracts; does not qualify for the Upwork Hourly Protection
  • Brown – Time over the weekly limit agreed with your freelancer; not billable

The row of green blocks you see under each screensnap is the activity meter. It shows the number of minutes out of a 10-minute billing segment that included activity.

  • Activity is recorded by Upwork Desktop App and uploaded with auto-tracked time. Manual time does not include activity information.
  • The meter records the total number of mouse clicks, scroll actions, and keystrokes per segment. It does not record what a freelancer clicked or typed.
  • Click the meter for a detailed view, including minute-by-minute activity counts.
  • Activity levels during a stretch of logged time will fluctuate depending on the task. Some tasks, such as phoning, reading, and thinking will show low activity. If you are concerned about significant portions of the Work Diary with low activity, please discuss them with your freelancer.


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