A while back, chris did an article on project management software. This is how I became aware of freshbooks. I really like freshbooks, but do not want to pay a monthly fee to use the service. So having read other articles, I found fanurio which is ok, it would be nice if it had other stuff but that may come in the future. I have also been looking at quickbooks which is really expensive and does not have a lot of project management features. Like timers and new project creation and things of that nature.
So I was wondering what others use? Do you know of something better that is cheap or can be downloaded and doesn’t cost a lot? One of the other programs I found was Easy Time Tracking pro http://www.easytimetracking.net/
That’s why I mentioned the manipulation.
I don’t let clients log into it, so I can manipulate it however I feel. I have well over the 3 clients in there, I just set it up differently.
I’ve never used Freshbooks for actual project management, only the invoicing. That might actually be something worth looking into :P
I looked at Harvest, which I thought had one of the best packages for the price ($12/mo for solo), but what kept me from using them in that they have no estimates functionality.
Right now, I use Curdbee for invoicing but that’s all it does. I am thinking of switching to Freshbooks even for the higher price tag just so that I can use that estimates functionality.
But from a purely project management standpoint of letting clients login and make comments and all that jazz – I use ProjectPier. It’s an open source version of BaseCamp that in my opinion is 10x better because you can skin and customize it.
I don’t understand how you can set up freshbooks to allow more clients. I have two clients in there and I can have one more before it forces me to upgrade. I would be very interested in knowing how you set up your freshbooks Doc. Can you give some pointers to doing this?
I’ve set up my Freshbooks like this:
I have 3 "clients":
1. Personal Work (Blog, Website, Writing, Classes, etc)
2. Paid Clients
Under each one I define as many projects as I like. For example, under personal work I could have:
- Website Redesign
- Online Tutorials
- Blog Writing
Under "Paid Clients" I could have…
- Client Name – Website Design
- Client Name – Website Coding
- Client Name – Meeting
- Client Name – Research
- Client Name 2 – Website Design
I like it. I think I will try that out and see if I can get it working for me. Right now I am messing with harvest. But I really don’t like the idea of paying a monthly fee. I would imagine that the way you have it set up you can not allow your customers to login and view their project
Doc, do you just not email the client w/ estimates and invoices, and instead just manually send them the PDF? It seems like the only way you could use the Freshbooks functionality would be to update the client every time you wanted to fire an invoice off to them via email.
I love the freshbooks options. Just hate the price. But it does seem to be the best for web designers. I think my second choice so far would have to be fanurio. For the price, it has some good options and it seems that they are interested in making it better and better. So some free upgrades could come your way. Easy Time Tracking isn’t bad, but it doesn’t work as good as the others. Still the price is good.
Is the only thing you’re after time tracking? If that’s the case, there is a desktop widget for Win Vista / 7 that tracks time as good as any of the time trackers I’ve seen. So that option is totally free.
I’ve looked at Fanurio, but what I hate about it is that it’s a locally downloaded license. You’ll want a completely mobile solution if you go with one of these joints, or else you might as well just create your own excel invoices and pair it with the desktop widget I mentioned above.
I’ve been messing around with Harvest all afternoon after I saw it had that estimates functionality. My only gripe is that it isn’t as slick as Freshbooks, but it appears to contain all of the same features that are important: projects, time tracking (w/ iphone and widgets), estimates (accept or decline via email), invoicing, and recurring.
What I really like about it is that it’s unlimited clients for $12. And that’s pretty damn good imo. This last year I had more than 25 clients, so I would probably immediately need to go the 100 client tier of Freshbooks if I want to take advantage of all the cool functionality. The bright side to the whole thing is that it’s all tax deductible, so paying monthly for something isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you by a long shot. I just wish Harvest looked as cool :)
I know what you mean about freshbooks looking cool. Plus it has the feature of assigning a login for your clients to view information about their project which could be good for you. what I want is to be able to make a client, make a project, and then have the timer running that when done I can push a button and log the time to that project and have the software tell me right away how much I earned for that customer. I wish I had the skills to program my own thing
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