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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

Freezetab streamlines how you save tabs in Chrome

(TECH NEWS) Freezetab is the newest chrome extension that allows you to organize saved tabs in a myriad of ways.

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Internet made easier

With the browser becoming more and more of a workspace than merely an application, the built in bookmarks tool may leave you a bit hungry for more.

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Chrome users who need better tools to organize and manage bookmarks may find the power they need in Freezetab.

Bookmark’s cooler, hotter younger brother

Freezetab seeks to answer the questions of “what if I could organize my bookmarks by website” or “I only want to save all but two of these tabs on zen office designs.” It seeks to give you more options beyond the “one or all” choices in chrome. Here is the lowdown:

  • The calendar feature remembers WHEN you saved a tab – so if you can’t remember the title you can just go back to the day.
  • Chrome either lets you save one or all tabs. Freezetab expands those options to include: all, current, everything but current, right of, left of, or pick and choose.
  • If you are sharing a collection of tabs with a workgroup or a partner, it exports as a nice textbox that is easy to share in integrated messaging, IM, or email. Or even social media!
  • Sorting is robust, and there is a solid search feature that searches as you type.
  • That quick save feature saves all the tabs and closes them – and you can adjust that quick save feature to meet your needs.
  • There is a handy little star feature to note important bookmarks (i.e. recipes and excel techniques).
  • Enhances your close tab capability to close everything to the left and specific tabs – this great if you work in chrome and have 75 tabs open that have one letter names.
  • It is easier to sort tabs after you save them – you can search for them and then sort into folders you create rather manually organizing them into folders.
  • As a bonus: for those who don’t want to have to sort bookmarks – unlike Chrome which requires you to pick a folder or risk turning your bookmarks to an unorganized mess, the extension automatically organizes it for you.

Freezetab findings

After spending a few moments with Freezetab, it does fit in nicely with a workflow. Solidly reviewed, the developer did solve an issue with “pinned” tabs in the 1.2 update. – so it doesn’t remove or add them. The features are nice and easy to use, and it doesn’t require more than five minutes of playing around.

One complaint – if you choose to the right or left of the current tab to close, it did close the active tab as well – which was a little funky. But once you get comfortable with the nuances, it’s easy to use.
The interface is function over form, but you won’t have any problem using or customizing this extension. Now Bookmark smart y’all!

#FreezeTab

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Tech News

We’ve all seen job listings for UX writers, but what exactly is UX writing?

(TECH NEWS) We seeing UX writer titles pop up and while UX writing is not technically new, there are new availabilities popping up.

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The work of a UX writer is something you come across everyday. Whether you’re hailing an Uber or browsing Spotify for that one Drake song, your overall user experience is affected by the words you read at each touchpoint.

A UX writer facilitates a smooth interaction between user and product at each of these touchpoints through carefully chosen words.

Some of the most common touchpoints UX writers work on are interface copy, emails and notifications. It doesn’t sound like the most thrilling stuff, but imagine using your favorite apps without all the thoughtful confirmation messages we take for granted. Take Eat24’s food delivery app, instead of a boring loading visual, users get a witty message like “smoking salmon” or “slurping noodles.”

Eat24’s app has UX writing that works because it’s engaging.

Xfinity’s mobile app provides a pleasant user experience by being intuitive. Shows that are available on your phone are clearly labeled under “Available Out of Home.” I’m bummed that Law & Order: SVU isn’t available, but thanks to thoughtful UX writing at least I knew that sad fact ahead of time.

Regardless of where you find a UX writer’s work, there are three traits an effective UX writer must have. Excellent communication skills is a must. The ability to empathize with the user is on almost every job post.

But from my own experience working with UX teams, I’d argue for the ability to advocate as the most important skill.

UX writers may have a very specialized mission, but they typically work within a greater UX design team. In larger companies some UX writers even work with a smaller team of fellow writers. Decisions aren’t made in isolation. You can be the wittiest writer, with a design decision based on obsessive user research, but if you can’t advocate for those decisions then what’s the point?

I mentioned several soft skills, but that doesn’t mean aspiring UX writers can’t benefit from developing a few specific tech skills. While the field doesn’t require a background in web development, UX writers often collaborate with engineering teams. Learning some basic web development principles such as responsive design can help writers create a better user experience across all devices. In a world of rapid prototyping, I’d also suggest learning a few prototyping apps. Several are free to try and super intuitive.

Now that the UX in front of writer no longer intimidates you, go check out ADJ, The American Genius’ Facebook Group for Austin digital job seekers and employers. User centered design isn’t going anywhere and with everyone getting into the automation game, you can expect even more opportunities in UX writing.

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Tech News

Time is money and Clockify helps you make the most

(TECH NEWS) Tracking your time worked as a freelancer can easily be lost in the shuffle. A new tool has been designed to make this important aspect easier.

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After years of searching for a method that works for me in terms of organization and productivity, the answer seemed to be simple: a calendar I can write on and Post-It notes. This method is a little old school, but seems to get the job done for my organizational needs.

However, there are some things that slip through the cracks with this method, but it’s more user error than it is the actual practice. One thing I struggle with is keeping track of my freelance hours this way.

I have a tendency to guesstimate how much time I worked throughout the day and know that I wind up underdocumenting my hours. I would hate to know how much money I’ve missed out on keeping (sometimes inaccurate) handwritten notes.

But, like many other small scale issues, there is a simple solution. And that is found in the form of time trackers.

One of the newest members to join the online time tracker team is Clockify, who operates under the idea of “your time, your rules.” It is a free time tracking tool designed for agencies and freelancers.

Clockify allows users to manage as many team members, projects, and workspaces that you need in an effort to help your business run smoothly. This allows for a complete overview of team productivity.

The tool offers a way to enter time manually as well as clock time automatically. This way you can keep tabs on what you’re working on and assign and label time logs to the appropriate clients.

With this time tracking, you are able to generate weekly, monthly, and annual reports at any given time. These reports can be saved, exported, and shared with clients to give them more information about your work process.

The real-time tracking helps to improve business efficiency and gives more insight into what each team member is spending their time on. Having this information available can give visual representation of how to improve in the future.

Clockify currently exists in desktop format with iOS and Android apps coming soon.

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