You know you need to keep better track of your time, but how can you do it easily, without spending a lot of money?
Many software companies offer a brief free trial, followed by a monthly fee or subscription. If you are making enough money on your writing to justify an expense of $60 or more per year, go for it. If you're just starting out, or if you are a poet like me, you might prefer something a little less pricey. You can always upgrade after you make the New York Times Bestseller List.
I personally use Caato, a free time tracker that lets me know how much time I'm spending on each writing task. I can enter the times manually, or I can let it keep track of my work time down to the second.
If you were to enlarge this screen shot, you'd see that so far this year, I've spent an inordinate amount of time clearing my desk - which seems low-level but I've gotten really tired of not having room to work, so this really is a first-quarter priority for me.
Another embarrassing insight is that I've spent a lot of time on "NOS" (not otherwise specified) tasks, so in February I'll be watching that category closely, to make sure I'm really using my time well, and not just puttering about at my desk. It's pretty easy to avoid the hard work of writing by playing at it, and I'm always prone to falling into rabbit holes.
If you don't use a Mac or if you also use mobile platforms, Caato won't be the best choice for you. Fortunately, there are a myriad of options out there for every computer, tablet, phone and gadget imaginable. Here's a link to a really useful list from appadvice.com.