Billable.Me: Easily Bill Your Clients

Being a freelancer, I’ve tried many applications to help me produce effective and professional invoices for my clients. I’ve experimented with everything from Microsoft Word to other applications on Mac OS X and iOS. Recently, I have come across Billable, a web-based application for invoicing clients.

Billable allows you to easily create beautiful and professional looking invoices without leaving your web browser. While this application may not have all of the customization features that sophisticated users may want, it is definitely a great choice for the general user. Below, I have crafted my full review of Billable.me and my thoughts on whether you should give it a try!

Creating an Invoice in Billable

Billable

Creating an Invoice In Billable

Creating an invoice in Billable is easy:  all you have to do is head over to Billable’s website where you will be brought to a blank invoice. Note that all of the text fields are filled in with sample text. You can simply double click on these text fields to add your own text to the invoice. In fact, you can customize almost all of the text on the invoice including the “Created with Billable.me” footer.

Tax and VAT Settings

Unfortunately, you cannot currently remove the tax/VAT column.

One really cool feature that Billable offers is that it automatically adds up the price of all products at the end of your invoice. It even includes tax/VAT in your final sale price. Keep in mind that you have to set the percentage yourself. The only downside to this is that there is no way to remove the tax column; this can be annoying for freelancers that don’t charge sales tax. To some it may look unprofessional to have a blank column at the bottom of an invoice.

Once you’ve finished creating your invoice, you have the option of either printing the document or saving it as a PDF. I like these options as they’re good for internet freelancers who can simply email their clients invoices, as well as for freelancers who meet their clients in person and need to have a physical copy of an invoice. If you’re midway through an invoice and would like to work on it later, you can save it temporarily to your browser’s cache so you can restart where you left off.

Another cool feature of Billable is that is compatible with most mobile browsers. For instance, Billable works flawlessly on my iPad. If you’re on a mobile browser, you can still save the PDF in the to your device if your browser supports it (as Mobile Safari does). This is great for creating invoices on-the-go, which is definitely a big “plus” for most freelancers.

Yet another nice thing about Billable is the fact that there is no complex setup required. All you have to do is load their site, and a blank invoice is just sitting there, waiting for you to fill it in. There is absolutely no sign up required, nothing is stored on the company’s servers, and your drafts are instantly saved in your browser’s cache.

My Thoughts

What do I think?

Billable is a great option for the most basic of users. While I say this, however, I don’t think Billable is for me. This is because there is no way  to remove columns or resize text. These are important features to me, as some of my clients need specially formatted invoices which Billable simply cannot produce. Additionally, I would also like to see the ability to export invoices in different formats other than PDFs.

However, I do love Billable’s interface and would definitely use it if more invoice customization features were added. I think that Billable should offer a “pro” version which includes these types of features, making it more appealing to the professional user.  Some features that would take Billable to the next level would be the ability to add and remove text boxes, format fonts, and insert personalized company logos. In fact, if advanced features were added, I would be willing to pay for this service if the interface was kept the same.

The final point I wanted to make about Billable is the fact that it’s a free service! This gives it a definite edge over other web services such as Invoicebus. While services like these may add a slew of new features, you still have to pay the hefty price tag upwards of $9.95 a month which is definitely not worth it for freelancers who are just starting out.

Conclusion

While Billable may not be for me, I am still giving Billable a solid 6/10 because of its appeal and ability to meet the invoice needs of the average user at no cost. While I would definitely like to see a “pro” version in the future, the most basic of users would definitely be happy with the existing features and limited functionality. The mobile compatibility also makes this app great for on-the-go invoicing and billing–definitely helpful for freelancers who work on site and want to bill their customers on the spot.


Summary

Billable is a simple yet limited way to bill you clients. The service is free and can be used in any web browser, desktop or mobile.

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