Designed to protect and reassure both you and your clients, your Work Diary acts as a visual record of your hours, showing them both your hours and work-in-progress screenshots. It is also the basis for Upwork’s automated weekly billing system.

To find your Work Diary

  1. Go to the My Jobs tab
  2. Find the contract in the list and click the View Work Diary button

To log your time

  1. Open the Upwork Desktop App
  2. Choose a contract
  3. Toggle the Time Tracker’s On/Off switch to On
  4. Enter a memo and/or activity

Update Your Work Diary


You can only add, edit, and delete time on an active contract in the current week’s Work Diary. The previous week’s Work Diary is no longer editable after Monday at noon UTC. 

  • Only the freelancer can add, delete, or edit time in their Work Diary. Your client can edit your activity labels but not your memos or anything else.
  • 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.
  • Upwork uses 10-minute billing segments, therefore some rounding will occur.
  • You can switch the time zone between “Mine” and UTC to read the information in the way that works best for you.
  • The Work Diary on a closed contract cannot be edited.

Note:

For you to be able to add time manually, you must have permission from the client. The client can either set up the contract so that manual time is allowed and enabled from the beginning, or you can request permission on a case by case basis.

To update memos and activity labels

  1. Go to the My Jobs tab
  2. Find the contract in the list and click the View Work Diary button
  3. Click the memo bar or check the box on the segments to update and press the Edit Memo button
  4. Make the changes you want and then press Update

Reading Your Work Diary


When you use the Upwork Desktop App to log your time, it takes a snapshot six times per hour. Upwork then plugs your hourly activity and work-in-progress snapshots into the appropriate billing segments in your Work Diary. It also records the total number of mouse clicks, scroll actions, and keystrokes per segment. It does not record what you clicked on or typed.

The memo bars in the Work Diary are color-coded to indicate the status of that billing segment. Their color-coding goes as follows:

  • Green: Auto-tracked time, billable on hourly contracts
  • Yellow: Manual time, billable on hourly contracts
  • Red: Time over the weekly limit agreed with your client, not billable

The row of green blocks is the Activity Meter. It shows the number of minutes out of a 10-minute billing segment that had activity (mouse clicks, scroll actions, and keystrokes.)

  • Activity is recorded by Upwork Desktop App and uploaded as auto-tracked time. Manual time does not include activity information.
  • Click on the meter for a detailed view, including minute-by-minute activity counts.

Antivirus software, firewalls, and system overloads can sometimes prevent the app from tracking your activity properly. If you believe this has happened, you may need to whitelist the app in your antivirus software and firewall. You can also check your available RAM and CPU — if they are reaching their limits, you can try to free up resources by closing other programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an activity label and memo?

A memo is the note you create to describe what you are working on during a session. These are important to add so your client knows what you were working on, and to make sure you qualify for Upwork Payment Protection. Clients can also create activity labels for you to use. Clients sometimes use activity labels to track their spending on certain types of work, especially if they are working with multiple freelancers on a variety of projects. It’s important to choose the correct activity label to help your clients keep accurate accounting records, but they can also edit the label you selected, if needed.

How do I delete part of the time I worked without deleting the whole session?
  1. Go to My JobsWork Diary and select the contract
  2. Find the block of time you want to remove
  3. Hover over the time’s screenshots to see checkboxes, then check the boxes for the time increments you want to remove
  4. Once you check a box, Edit and Remove options will appear near the top of the page, next to total tracked time — choose Remove
Why do I see two different versions of my Work Diary depending on how I get to the diary?

We are in the process of updating all the Work Diary views. For a few months, you may see different versions depending on how you access your diary. For now, you can use either version, but we recommend becoming familiar with the updated version.

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