Time tracking and billing, whatchu usin

I think Sean Corfield asked this question a while back, I remember following it with interest. Now it’s my turn to bring it up again. I’ve been using my home grown solution for years. I really like it, but in moving servers and such, it’s had problems. The admin section doesn’t work since the stored procs no longer exist. It’s entirely CF which I just don’t do much of any more, so maintenance is tedious. Plus I need a windoze box when I need to do any SQL work since the DB is MS SQL.

All that said, I really like it and use it daily to track my time and invoice for it.

I’d like to find something new though. I don’t have many requirements really. I want to be able to generate PDFs. Enter time by client/project. Report on time spent by project or in total by week and month. Lastly, be accessible. My current solution is on my web server so I can get to it on any machine. I have .mac so something that uses a flatfile or whatever, would be just fine.

I’ve tried Billings, it’s ok. What I don’t like is that sharing across X machines isn’t built in. so the solutions are pretty hacky. It also isn’t easy to update invoices. Sometimes you need to update an entry, take something out, whatever. Billings doesn’t really do that very well.

I also tried freshbooks.com. It solves the accessable problem, even has third party tools for widgets and apps to enter data through, should I not want to use the website. The one thing I really don’t like is that I can’t just generate an invoice that I’d email to a client. I can email one from the site, which then gives me a PDF, but by then the client has it. That’s ok but right now I’m working with Universal Mind, and their system supports me uploading my invoice, not emailing it to some one.

What else is out there? I’m contemplating just sucking it up and fixing up my tool, but I’ve got a few other projects that my wife would like done first :) so I’d like something I can just use more or less out of the box.

Freshbooks is still in the running. I’ll be using it tomorrow to track time and see what I think. Oh and in case it wasn’t clear, it needs to be Mac friendly. Windoze only tools need not apply.

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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