After focusing on what Freshbooks has to offer in A closer look at why FreshBooks is a freelancer’s best friend, it’s high time I focused a bit on the second most popular online timesheet for freelancers: Harvest.
Harvest is a very smooth piece of software, complemented with a wide set of features and a crisp interface. While it’s not the early bird Freshbooks is (Harvest got founded in 2006 compared to Freshbooks’ 2003), it lives up to any freelancer’s expectations in terms of timetracking options. Of course, it goes well beyond that and I’ll take a look at exactly what’s in the bag for you if you go the Harvest way.
Two small interesting bits of information. First, Harvest is one of the Software as a Service (SaaS) pioneers in terms of using Ruby on Rails framework. And second, the company was the first in implementing a Twitter integration – this way freelancers could track their billable time with tweets.
Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
Well, here’s something even cooler: for a limited time, BlackTimer is offering a free of charge license for Harvest integration. That’s right, you can fetch your own one as long as the promotion is valid. Go ahead and download BlackTimer and email us your personal details and we’ll send you your license free of charge!
Or if you’re not feeling sure yet, let me give you the rundown on what Harvest offers to freelancers.
Timetracking the Harvest way
As it was the case with Freshbook, timetracking is the most sought out feature in Harvest too. That’s natural – most freelancers want to have a reliable online timesheet system that will never leave them hanging. What they desire too (and you surely do as well) is multiplatform and cross-device coverage, which Harvest delivers.
You can track your billable time on Mac or PC, iPhone or Android – desktop, laptop or mobile device, you are in the freelance working game without a problem. Where the software excels is the extended opportunity of tracking your time from other applications like Trello, Zendesk or Basecamp; all with the help of Harvest.
Managing a team’s dose of timesheets can be a pain and if you’ve been a part of a bigger team, you know it very well. The guys from Harvest have thought about that and they have introduced a very simple way to manage a staff’s time and timesheet monitoring plus approval. There is even a feature that allows project managers to automatically remind employees to submit their corresponding timesheets.
Of course, the finishing touch is that timesheet reports can be exported to Google Drive, Excel or CSV without a problem at all.
A Well-Thought Take At Freelancer Reports
As a leading player in the online timesheet industry, Harvest understands the importance of well-visualized and organized reports. Freelancers have it cluttered when it comes to clients, reports and all those documentations and data that need to be organized in some way.
Harvest reports come in a package mixing both functionality and visuality. You have a real-time snapshot of your uninvoiced hours, current income, time eligible to billing and time you can’t be billing yet. You have filter tools at your disposal to refine any report monitoring even further.
What I particularly like about Harvest’s reports is the fact that you can project your budget for a specific project. In other words, after talking with your clients, you can set your estimates for both time or expenses (or either one of them). The software then keeps track of those estimates and lets you know how your freelance work is faring. You can even attach files to your estimates – images, documents, presentations, whatever will make you and your client’s life even easier.
Needless to say, generated reports can be exported in the same flexible manner as the timetracking feature of Harvest.
Try the Harvest integration out while it’s free!
Slick Invoicing With Personalization Opportunities
Ah, invoicing. Most online timesheet systems have added invoicing settings to their overall functionality. The reason is simple: freelancers always need invoicing. If you bundle that dire need with another dire need freelancers have – of a good piece of timetracking software, you are improving your product’s appeal to them.
Harvest gets invoicing right, covering two very important aspects: a) linking it with popular payment gateways (PayPal, Stripe) and b) allowing healthy customization options to invoice generation.
Personalizing invoice is an integral part of any freelancer’s work life. Harvest acknowledges that and lets you upload your company logo, configure how your messages look like and add a heap of other things to personalize your invoice experience. You can choose to have a lean go at invoicing, or fully immerse yourself in a more complicated invoicing experience.
Bonus points are the fact that the online timesheet supports multiple currencies so you can bill your clients in a currency of your preference. Automated reminders and the ability to set up recurring invoices are the icing of the online timesheet cake.
Amazing Catalogue of 3rd Party Apps
If you remember (or if you have read it, actually), I was very impressed by FreshBooks’ third party integration options. The guys over there have a solid portfolio of 3rd party apps suiting various needs across several freelance industries.
Harvest really does live up to the functionality exhibited by FreshBooks. The online timesheet includes dozens of 3rd party integration opportunities. From Project Management to Accounting & Finances; from Customer Support to CRM; from Analytics to Developer Tools or Productivity Software…the Harvest team really seems to have thought about the needs of the modern day freelancer. It even has integrations for Contracts and Proposals, easing your communication with your clients.
Some Final Words
Harvest is marvelous. For me it’s on par with Freshbooks and it really depends on your personal preferences which one would you choose. Both work incredibly well as online timesheet software and offer you a stunning customizable experience.
However, there’s one current advantage that Harvest has over Freshbooks:
The fact that you can have a free of charge license for a Harvest integration with BlackTimer.
If you want to give it a try and combine the powerful functionality of both, go ahead by following this link. Remember: it’s a limited offer so you’d better use it while it’s here!