Until I review CronSync over a year ago, I wasn’t sold on using an application to track work hours and manage invoicing. I was perfectly content with my pre-formatted invoice document which I’d print to PDF. Since then automating the process has taken off among freelancers, home businesses and even larger studios and companies. A quick search on the Freelance Switch forums will reveal lengthy discussions on the topic.
Ballpark, a similar app with more of a focus on billing, has recently given their service a facelift promising to make things much better. The last time Ballpark was discussed on Web AppStorm was 2009. Apart from the blue colour scheme, the app looks almost unrecognizable as the same app, with its fully redesigned interface that sets it apart from the crowd of competitors.
Their new version that just went live this week offers the user increased functionality, easier navigation and an updated feel for the app. My question is whether or not it’s a viable option for a freelancing business. Let’s take a look.
No software will ever defuse the cooked hand grenade that is a newly formed project group. Leading a project is like leading a pack of rabid dogs. Motley crews rarely form, norm and perform like the textbooks say the will. In fact projects can often be a forum for non-stop arguing, cut-throat tactics and ridiculous organisational methods. Did I mention trench warfare? They’re also a lot like trench warfare. When your shot they pour salt in the wound and laugh.
In the past, the most well-thought out Gantt charts, plans and strategies have crumbled right before my very eyes. Meetings go unattended to and emails remain unopened.
Objectiveli is a web app for the lucky. Those in awesome, hard working groups with brainstorming sessions, lateral thinking and dedication to realise the goals of the group. After a few minutes use I realise the developers knew a thing or two about how to run a project efficiently and effectively. Caution – May induce serious work.
Zendesk is one of the most popular support web apps. Its designed to help you assist your customers with their requests and problems. With native apps for most mobile platforms, as well as a high quality web app, it’s no surprise that Zendesk is used by so many companies across the web.
Zendesk markets itself as having an innovative, unique approach that surpasses competing help desk apps, so you can better help your customers. Let’s see how easy Zendesk is to use and whether can help support your customers easier.
Many businesses today, perhaps web-based businesses especially, are changing from the traditional company structure. By allowing their employees to be more autonomous and having a less-sharply defined chain of authority, work can proceed with less interruption and without the need for consulting superiors on every decision.
10,000ft is a project manager designed to cater to the specific needs of companies using this new management structure. It’s beautifully designed and packed full of features. Let’s have a look at them… (more…)
Today, the Internet is alive with new web apps: some totally unique, others a different twist on an already successful app, others just plain copies of another great service. This is great to see, as it gives users choice, helps fuel competition, and inspire new ideas for the next set of web apps. After all, everything is a remix. We often do interviews with developers from popular, new apps, but we often don’t look back at older apps and see what happened to them. Older apps that stuck around can have quite an interesting story, though.
Today I’m going to talk about HitTail and the revival it received when it was acquired by Rob Walling, a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur. I usually have a low opinion of most acquisitions these days. The acquired products or services are usually outstanding, and acquired by even bigger companies – Google and Facebook are the usual top hitters. These apps more often than not are either shut down, or changed totally, much to the dismay of its users. Lucky this isn’t the case with HitTail; in fact, quite the opposite is true.
The downfall of many new business and products is that the creators loved their idea too much. A quick search for failed tech products will reveal thousands of cool gadgets and gizmos that while awesome, clever and unique, never made enough sales to break even. The inventors loved their pride and joy so much that they assumed the rest of the world would care. But products can be like first-time parents showing off a snotty, crying bundle of burden.
Google has developed Google Consumer Surveys to help anyone decide whether or not to go ahead with an idea. By simply asking their target market “Hey, what do you think of this?”, business and individuals can act on information instead of blind ambition.
The name, however, makes Google Surveys seem like a half baked web app already replicated a hundred times over around the web. Maybe it’s something cooked up on an off-day at the Googleplex in California?
This time last year, I discovered an unknown web application for time tracking, invoicing and accounting named CronSync. My original review, which can be found here, was a positive one scoring an impressive 9/10.
Unlike some apps however, CronSync hasn’t been lying idle for the past twelve months. The team, based in Germany, has been hard at work upgrading and adding new features. For the past twelve months, I’ve watched CronSync slowly get better and better, and over the last two months several fantastic updates have convinced me that a second review was necessary.
If run a business, hate doing the books and are fed up with Excel, read on.
Any business looking to ensure that they offer a good customer service to their consumers is going to want some way of providing help to their users online. In today’s competitive market, being the best is crucial and if your customers think that you’re going to do your best at making sure their issues are rectified, there’s no doubt you’ll probably get repeat business. There are plenty of high-quality support ticket apps out there, but these can often come with a matching price tag. Luckily, there are some free options, too.
The app I’ll be looking at today is Trellis Desk and it certainly fits within the free and high quality category. All you need is a web server to install it on with some basic requirements and you’re away!
Centuries ago, you might have traded a load of wood for some grain you needed. Paper money and coins solved that hassle, and for years, receiving payments was as simple as exchanging money. Then, credit cards came, and messed it all up again. Now it was expensive and difficult to get started accepting payments for your business.
Square has been working to make credit card payments even simpler than paying with cash. I recently had a chance to play with Square’s new iPad app Square Register, which promised to provide a more POS-like experience on the iPad than the original app had. I even wrote a review of the app, within which I mentioned the new and improved web interface. But since writing that review, I’ve spent more time playing around with the web app, and I’ve realized that it’s a fully featured beast of it’s own.
If you’re not familiar with Square, check out our sister site iPad.AppStorm’s in-depth review of it. Basically, signing up for a free account gets you a free card reader that will interface with your iPhone or iPad (or even Android device) via the headphone jack. It lets you take credit card payments through these devices and have the funds processed and deposited into a bank account, which is especially handy for small businesses as well as on-site contractors, booth vendors, or other similar enterprises.
Today, though, I’ve decided to walk you through the new Square web app, and talk about how the Square service is now more viable than ever as a financial solution for your small business. So run and get some coffee, and that “more” button will be waiting for you when you get back.