Retiring Early

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Should I use Blinksale, Freshbooks, or something else?

QuestionMarkOk, question time. Working on the new business, one of the first things we are trying to nail down is the software that we will use to manage the business. Has anyone out there used either Blinksale or Freshbooks to manage some or all of their business? We are looking to manage our customers and invoices with one of these services. We're using basic online banking for paying the bills, so that side is covered. I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience using these tools -- they both seem like they have a lot of online awareness.

Two other tools that I also found that may have worked for us are: SideJobTrack (which is free) and SimplyBill. Although SideJobTrack is free, it looks like it has been abandoned by it's creator. The last blog post on their blog was in June and it looks like the creator of the site has moved on to other things.

My initial impression of SimplyBill was ok, but after digging into it a bit more, the service is very rough around the edges and looks like the team that put it up there hasn't done much to it since it launched. As with SideJobTrack, they also look like they have moved on to other efforts. There is nothing worse than using software that is no longer a focus of the creator.

Anyway, any opinions on any of these tools would be much appreciated. If there are no opinions, I may have to do an in-depth analysis myself...

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4 Comments:

  • At 11/17/2006 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I looked at sidejobtrack and simplybill a while back. I found sjt to be odd -- I couldn't figure out how to send an invoice and it wasn't clear what form the invoice templates would take -- it seems there were no default templates and you had to write code to create them yourself. So much for free. That was a deal breaker for me.

    re: simplybill: while the invoicing piece was ok (not great), the project management area was completely unusable. I literally couldn't figure out how to add a project with tasks and just track my time.

    In the end, I threw my hands up and wound up going with Blinksale for invoicing and manage my projects in Excel.

     
  • At 11/17/2006 2:17 PM, Anonymous Josh Williams said…

    Hey there... I replied to your comment regarding Blinksale back on our blog. I hope this helps answer your question. Thanks for giving Blinksale a try.

     
  • At 11/20/2006 6:04 PM, Blogger fin_indie said…

    Thanks Josh. I am a little disappointed by the one-way "refresh" type integration and was hoping for more of a round trip, but it is what it is.

    @Anon: I agree with SJT, it looks pretty much dead on arrival. Same with Simplybill, which is why I'm contemplating FB and BS. Would it be interesting if I posted my comparison between the two?

     
  • At 12/23/2007 8:33 PM, Blogger Ian said…

    There are so many online applications like this, I have been trying to decide on one for a while. Cashboard (www.getcashboard.com) has time tracking, invoice training, project tracking, accounting, timesheets, all this and more in one website.

    Does that make it the best?

    Depends on how easy it is to use, all that I've tried seem easy to use but only Cashboard has all the features in one. It even has a Mac dashboard widget so I can the time spent on the work I'm doing and assign it to a specific project/client without having to log in to the site.

    Cashboard have not updated the blog much lately, but there was a post just a few days so they are clearly working on it.

     

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