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Cashboard is how freelancers bill like a boss

Running a business is no easy task, especially if you’re just getting started. Having the right tools can make all the difference. Here’s one we love.

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One and done

Running a business is no easy task, especially if you’re just getting started. The right tools are crucial to ensure things run smoothly. While there are LOTS of apps out there to help you, it’s hard to know where to start and what you need. One platform offers and all-in-one solution for business billing and time tracking without the need to endlessly search for apps and tools to help get your business off the ground.

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Time, money, and project management

Cashboard offers freelancers and small businesses a way to track their time, send out quotes and invoices, efficiently manage projects, and generally get paid on time without the hassle of spreadsheets and time tracking apps. It lives in the cloud, so it’s always in sync allowing your employees to access the system and track time, manage tasks, or pay invoices regardless of whether they are at their desk or on-the-go.

Lose the endless spreadsheets

Cashboard runs on the web, iOS, and Android. It’s also encrypted and backed up which they invite you to verify here. If you’re tired of using spreadsheets to track your projects and billable hours, Cashboard may be for you. One of the best parts of Cashboard is the interface extremely user friendly interface. If you’re an advanced user, you will dig the customization and integration options. For example, Cashboard integrates with many popular platforms like Basecamp, Mac Time Tracking, Time Post, QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel and Google Spreadsheets, and PostalMethods.

Guided setup and tracking

If you decide to try it, you can get started immediately, or you can go through the built-in setup guide. If you plan to integrate with Basecamp, the setup guide is a good way to get up and running faster. The guide will walk you through adding your details and default preferences (currency, mode of payment, etc.). Then, you’ll add your clients and you’re ready to create your first project.

When you begin a project, you’ll be able to track the entire process from start to finish. More often than not, you’ll need to create an estimate for the work your client needs; Cashboard has a built-in, flexible estimate creator tool. It allows you to bill by the hour, or by a set price. You can also set flat fees, high/low estimates, and establish two different types of taxes. If you don’t like the default choices, it also supports rich formatting using the Textile markup language and the exporting of payment information and client data.

Invoices in a flash

You can also use the same tool to create invoices. These invoices can be emailed to clients on the fly, or via the Cashboard app. You can also export invoices to PDF. My favorite feature is the “deposit invoice.” You can create these for work that hasn’t been performed yet and any payment will be recorded as outstanding credit. You can link your Cashboard account to PayPal, Stripe, Moolah and Authorize.net, as well as, credit card payments.

Collaboration-friendly

If you’re working in a team environment, you can utilize the built-in project management tool to list the tasks you or your team will need to do to complete the project. Then, assign them, add due dates, and once they’re completed, bill your clients. Having an overview of the entire project allows you to track expenses, see what has been paid and what needs to be paid, and which employees are performing best – all without leaving the Cashboard platform.

Two week free trial

While it isn’t the only solution, it’s certainly a good place to get your feet wet with a program that does it all. Cashboard also offers a two week free trial period so you can see if this might be a better alternative to separate project management, billing, and invoicing software.

#Cashboard

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

Tech News

Uber has secretly set up tip limits for drivers #classy

(TECH NEWS) Uber has had a shaky year, but their latest move proves that perhaps a new leader doesn’t mean a new culture.

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After frequent requests from drivers, Uber finally added a tipping option to their ride-sharing app this June. But, after a few months to try it out, riders and drivers alike have been disappointed to discover that Uber puts an upper limit on how much a rider can tip.

Lyft has allowed riders to tip for almost five years, but Lyft too has a tipping maximum. In many cases, Lyft and Uber drivers aren’t aware that there’s a limit to tips until they have a generous customer who finds that they can’t tip as much as they’d like.

Initially, these apps were seen as a convenient, tip-free alternative to traditional cab services. However, because fares are calculated in mileage and not time, tips can be especially appreciated when rides take a long time but have low mileage, such as in dense traffic, or when the driver has to make multiple stops. And of course, tipping is always a great way to say thanks to a driver who goes the extra mile (no pun intended) to help out the rider or make the ride especially pleasant.

Unfortunately, some riders have found that they can’t tip as much as they’d like. Uber told CNET that they placed a maximum on tips to help avoid “fat fingers” typos, such as when a customer means to type $10, but accidentally types $100 instead – a problem that could seemingly be solved by adding a secondary confirmation before withdrawing the payment.

Uber limits tips to 200 percent of the cost of the ride, or $100. Lyft also limits to 200 percent of the fare, but also blocks tips above $50. Of course, riders can always tip in cash – but not having to carry cash was one of the perks of ride-sharing apps in the first place.

Generally, drivers for Lyft get more tips than Uber drivers. That’s because Lyft riders receive a prompt to tip upon reaching their destination, whereas Uber drivers have to reopen the app and rate the driver before tipping. Since few Uber riders take the time to rate their driver, even fewer ever make it to the tip screen.

Granted, an extra big tip is a rare and precious thing. But it shouldn’t be up to the company to cap tips if riders feel compelled. Says Denise, a Los Angeles Uber driver, “Generosity should be something that you have no limit on.”

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Tech News

Tesla to build largest ‘virtual power grid’ on this round Earth

(TECH NEWS) Tesla teams up with Australia to create a virtual power grid, cutting energy costs and preventing blackouts.

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Tesla’s teaming up with Australia to provide an energy efficient solution to blackouts and price surges in the Southern Australian state.

Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill announced a new partnership with Tesla that will provide solar panels and batteries to homes in the southern state. Since the area consistently struggles with adequately powering homes, Weatherill and Tesla hope to create a “virtual” power grid to stabilize electricity infrastructure.

In the extreme wilderness area of South Australia, nearly half of all power comes from wind farms. Last September, issues with wind farms caused a statewide blackout. Sure, tornadoes were to blame too, but backup generators also failed, so the whole system collapsed.

To address this issue, a combination of solar panels and Tesla batteries will eventually be installed in 50,000 homes in the state. Any surplus energy generated by the home’s solar panels can contribute back to the larger grid.

Excess energy can be routed back to a centrally controlled grid to provide energy to the rest of the state as needed.

For the initial test, 1,100 public housing properties will receive the batteries and solar panels free of cost, using the sale of electricity to cover expenses. An additional 24,000 more public houses will get added to the program as well.

If the trial runs succeed, private homes will be included by 2019. Eventually, the plan is to have batteries and panels installed in 50,000 homes, creating a 250MW Virtual Power Plant.

Participating homes will have 5kW solar panels and Tesla Powerwall 2 13.5kWh batteries installed, providing a more reliable source of power, and potentially lowering power bills by thirty percent.

Installation is proposed to take four years, and according to Tesla, the virtual power plant will have as much capacity as a coal plant or large gas turbine.

Funding comes from a $2 million Australian ($1.6 million USD) grant, and a loan from the state’s Renewable Technology Funds for $30 million Australian ($23.8 million USD).

While the plan seems well-meaning, Austalian Prime Minister Malcomlm Turnbull called Weatherill’s previous strategies as “reckless” experiments, leading to excessive energy costs. Partnering with Tesla may give Weatherill some street cred for the upcoming South Australian election, proving he has a game plan for curbing energy costs.

According to the South Australian government, the virtual power plant could provide around twenty percent of the state’s daily average energy requirements. Tesla plans to review all properties to determine if the homes can support their systems and be able to participate.

If you happen to live in South Australia and are reading this, you can register to participate in the program. Registration doesn’t guarantee participation, but if initial interest exceeds original estimates, the government may consider extending the program.

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Tech News

Intel to launch smart glasses we might actually want to wear

(TECH NEWS) Smart glasses have launched and died, to be reborn as warehouse worker tools, but Intel’s giving it a shot, and this design might actually stick.

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Even though Google Glasses and Snap Spectacles totally bombed, tech companies keep trying to make smart glasses a thing.

Intel’s plans to make a go of it, betting on a sort of “less is more” design concept. Previous smart glasses were bulky, didn’t conform to the wearer’s head, and frankly, looked kind of dorky. People also found them invasive, awkward to interact with, and were especially creeped out by the notion that smart glasses wearers could be filming them or taking their picture without consent.

Intel’s smart glasses, called Vaunt, are much more stripped down – no camera, no buttons, no distracting messages or images floating in your vision. Says Itai Vonshak, head of products for Intel’s New Devices Group, “We wanted to make sure somebody puts this on and gets value without any of the negative impact of technology on their head. Everything from the ground up is designed to make the technology disappear.”

Vaunt glasses weight only 50 grams and look totally unassuming, like a regular pair of glasses. They work with prescription or non-prescription lenses. They use a very low-power laser to project messages directly into your eye. In order to get that right, you have to have the distance between your pupils measured so that Vaunt glasses are custom made to fit your eyes.

Intel wants their smart glasses to be helpful, but not invasive. Notification messages only appear if you look slightly down. Looking straight ahead, the messages disappear. Messages can also be scrolled through or dismissed with small nods of the head.

What exactly will Vaunt glasses be used for? Intel is taking a “if you build it they will come” attitude towards this question. They’ll have an early access program to encourage developers to come up with apps and uses for the smart glasses. Some ideas include driving directions, reminders, and recipes.

Will a set of simplified Vaunt smart glasses win over the same consumers that have rejected the bells-and-whistles versions of the past? That remains to be seen, but crazier things have happened.

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