When you make the decision to go out on your own, you are faced with many choices. Should you work from home or rent a space? Bill hourly or by the job? What kind of hours should you assign as ‘work time’?
Amidst all those decisions that have to be made, you also have to choose what tools you’re going to use to actually do your job. And the web is both a blessing and a curse in this regard. It’s a blessing in that it gives you a plethora of choices for the different categories of applications. But it can be a curse because there are so many good options to choose from.
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.
To freelancers, time tracking is probably the most important aspect of any project. It helps you keep track of exactly how much time you are spending on a particular project, how productive you are and, most importantly, how much you are owed when it comes to payday at the end of the month! There are many different time tracking solutions available for all platforms, however it seems that in this day and age of the Internet, an online-based solution is often more appropriate.
Why? For one, they are often cheaper than PC or Mac-based software and they have the advantage of being able to be accessed from anywhere, not just from your own computer. There is a wealth of online time tracking applications available. Today, let’s have a look at Paymo, which we just recently featured in a giveaway.
Paymo has a considerable advantage over other time tracking clients in that it is free (if you sign up to the basic account) and that there is a range of goodies that can be added onto it, assisting you even further. Let’s have a look at it in a bit more detail.