Paydirt: A Fresh New Take on an Invoicing and Time Tracking App

Invoicing, time tracking, and project/task management: the three app categories that seem to dominate the world of web apps. It’s incredible how many apps are trying to target this same space, and after a while it feels a bit repetitive. There’s only a few apps that feel really innovative. Mostly, you end up wishing that the best features of all of them could be combined into one great app, while you keep using the one you started with just because you’ve already invested time and money in it.

There’s a newish invoicing and time tracking app, though, that’s unique and innovative enough that you owe it to yourself to try it: Paydirt. It’s been on our radar since mid-2012, and has gotten better with time, enough that it’s the time-tracking app you should try if you don’t have one already. Keep reading to see why.

Getting Started, for Real

Tracking time and making invoices shouldn’t be so complicated, but it often is. You’ll have a dozen little things to setup, an interface to learn how to use, and customization options to make it work the way you want. Paydirt starts you out with a very nicely designed welcome screen that steps you through much of the setup and customization without you even having to leave the welcome screen. It’s a bit of hand-holding that didn’t feel too overboard, actually, considering how it actually got you setup rather than just showing you some demos.

A step-by-step setup that makes sense

You’ll be able to test everything, and even create a dummy invoice that’s emailed to you, so you’ll see how everything works and is setup. You can do this in other apps, but usually you’ll need to go setup a dummy client with your own email address, while here everything’s setup as you’d expect from a real client.

A sample invoice and client will help you get started

It’s All in the Integration

So what’s so great about Paydirt itself? It all starts with its Chrome or Firefox extension (and I hope they add a Safari extension in the future, but Safari users are out of luck for now). You’ll need to install the extension, and set it up in Paydirt by adding keywords (say, company or project names, email addresses, URLs, and more) to your clients. Then, whenever you visit a site or web app that includes those keywords, you’ll see a tiny Paydirt notification on the bottom asking if you’re working for the client it noticed a keyword for. Click the notification, and you’ll be able to quickly mark down what you’re doing and start tracking time, all without leaving the web app you’re currently using.

It works great, and if you take the time to add keywords and tweak what Paydirt is picking up on, you can get it to work with the apps and sites you’re using with your clients. This makes it the perfect time tracking and invoicing app to integrate with the new Basecamp, Asana, Flow, or any other to-do list or project management app you’re using. It’d also work the same, say, with WordPress, GitHub, Gmail, Google Docs, and other sites and web apps you’d be using in your work. I was truly impressed how much it just worked.

Paydirt in Basecamp … or any other web app you use

Back in Paydirt itself, the integration continues, since you can view or hide the sidebar from any part of the app, to make sure you keep up with what’s going on. Plus, everything is lightening-fast. Click between your Dashboard, Clients, Invoices, and more, and the pages will load instantly. No more waiting for pages to load, like we’re so accustomed to in most web apps.

Paydirt runs incredibly fast

Finally, Paydirt makes it easy to get paid the way you want to. Most invoicing apps only work with PayPal, which is a decent option but with enough little problems and potential issues to make it somewhat worrisome. Paydirt goes a step farther by integrating with Stripe, which lets you receive credit card payments directly without going through PayPal. It might not be for everyone, but that was one extra in Paydirt that made it really stand out versus the competition to me.

PayPal + Stripe integration means payments work the way you want

Conclusion

Paydirt is the only timetracking app I’ve ever tried that made it so simple to understand how to get started, and then continued to make it simple to integrate it in your work. If you do much of your work online in web apps, then Paydirt’s Chrome integration will likely make Paydirt feel as integrated with your workflow as a native app could ever hope to be. If you take a bit of time to setup your keywords right, you’ll always be able to keep up with your time spent and turn that into invoices easily.

The only catch is that Paydirt doesn’t have a free account option, so it’ll cost you at least $8 AUD per month for 3 clients, and more if you’re managing a team. Freshbooks and Harvest both let you get a similar account for free, though the pricing is much more similar for full-featured accounts. Either way, Paydirt’s integration makes it a clear winner feature-wise, and I’d recommend giving it a try if you need a time-tracking app. Plus, there’s a nice bonus: Paydirt has a free invoice maker for Chrome you can use if you don’t need much from it, and can still use its nice interface.


Summary

An invoicing and time tracking app that makes it incredibly easy to keep up with what you're working on and bill your clients for your time.

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  • Quick note to Appstorm: As of 3:26pm (Eastern), clicking on the Feedly review redirects to the web.appstorm Feedburner RSS feed instead of the correct page containing the Feedly reiview.

    • It’s been a few hours… I’d like to see this fixed too :)

      • Hey, sorry about that. It’s all fixed now. Weird WordPress issue.

  • Paydirt does a LOT right, but there’s a lot missing too (at least as far as I can tell while playing around):

    – Can’t offer discount on invoices.
    – Cant create recurring invoices.
    – Can’t toggle whether “Payment Due” is shown on invoices.
    – Can’t change text for Qty and Unit Cost (weird for services).
    – Invoices don’t display anything about projects or jobs, just show date and the description. Makes it hard to quickly know which project things are related to.

    These are just a few of the things I noticed, as a FreshBooks customer for years. It LOOKS great and I think it has amazing potential, but there are just some little things that I’ve come to expect and rely on.

    Thanks for writing about it! Hadn’t heard of them before.

  • Thanks for your feedback Nick.

    I’ve sent you an email with a longer reply, but for the folks at home:

    – Discounted line items are supported
    – Invoices do contain information about the jobs they include (it’s in the invoice description for all invoices, and the line item description for fixed price jobs)

    As for everything else, too true! We’ll keep working to make improvements like these. :)

    Thanks again.
    Tristan

  • Another new system that’s worth checking out is Salestastic. They have a free plan too if that suits what you need – http://www.salestastic.com