At billmywork we are strong proponents of release quickly and release often development process. Central to this approach of building and releasing software to our customers is the feedback we receive. Ths can be a double-edged sword, while the feedback is valuable, it also introduces the risk of inadvertent bugs finding their way into the software.
Bugs and code are always part of life, we admit. But the sooner we discover them and apply a fix, the better for our customers. Now how that entire process is managed is probably best discussed in a separate blog post. We are writing today to inform you, our customers of brand spanking new features we have enabled in our software to make life even more easier for you. How about that? Yep, we do care.
Alright, here is a summary of what we have accomplished in the last few days.
I am going to discuss each one of these in detail, so you know where to find them and use them
So we send a lot of emails as a small business on a daily basis. Buried in your email pile are all interactions with your customer. And at times you want to know exactly when was it that you sent an email using billmywork, so you could gently remind your client, that an invoice or estimate is nearing its due date, or perhaps just to feed your curiosity.
With billmywork, we are now setup to track up to three emails per entity type that you send to your clients. At the time you send an email using billmywork our software will store the exchange and you will be able to look it up in a few clicks. This feature applies to invoices, estimates and purchase orders.
To use this feature, pick the client of interest to you. Once you are on the snapshot page for that client, there is an "Email" tab available. Clicking the tab we will show you email(s) that have been sent to this client. The emails are gathered and shown for reference only. We do not track the "message" in the body of the email, since your privacy is of concern to us. We do track the date and the other relevant details in that email. So the next time you wonder, exactly when was it that an email was sent to your client, look no further, we have it a few clicks away.
You may sort on the date column to get to your data faster. We know details matter and we are here to enable the features your small business needs in order to succeed.
The email tab , highlighted in "Orange" above will now show all emails that have been sent to your client. This information makes it easier for your customers to track emails as well as you, knowing how often you are sending these emails and whether your client is responding to your request in a timely manner.
This is a major rewrite for us. With this specific feature we want to be able to define a unit of work, based on time or material or both. So for example, you could be a software consulting firm, billing solely on the basis of your time. Or, you could be a contractor selling supplies, in which case you are performing work solely on the basis of specific materials. Or you could be a contractor that paints, in which case you will be charging for the gallons of paint as well as the time it takes for you and your team to finish the job.
So, then we have several flavor in which to define our unit of work. Enter "Job". A job is a unit of work that your business provides. A job is performed for a customer and billed on the basis of rate(s), by project, staff or even a flat amount.
In addition to the core data about a job, you can add the following
Each job/project has a sequence number associated with it now. Sequences are auto-incremented as and when new jobs are entered in the software. This is mighty useful when searching for information on work done for your customers. Tasks can be entered or removed from the same view. The same applies for services and staff members that can be linked to this job.
As such, when creating a project, we have enabled the creation of "default tasks" and "default services". A default task is one such task that you end up performing on any job specific to your line of work. This could be a task such as "Design user interface", which applies to all user interface specific work for a job. When you mark a task as a "default" task, we auto-magically pull this into your default task when you create a new job, saving you the the tedious effort in entering the same task over.
The same applies to your services section, when a service is marked as a "default" service, we apply it to your new job. Now you have the freedom to "remove" the service from the job, if you are not going to be doing that for the specific work, but it is nice that we add it for you, so you don't have to. Agree?
A job now gets a "status". This is different than marking a project as "archived/deleted". Here we are concerned with the current state of the task, as in whether someone is working on it or whether the task is now complete. The status of a project helps us forecast better and also helps us manage the projects that are currently underway. Once a project is marked completed, we can perform other business related activities, such as sending and invoice and getting paid.
Go ahead sit back and add staff members to your project and in just a matter of a few clicks we have created a job. So when you find yourself smiling, that your business management got easier, we are here to accept your gratitude and continue to evolve the platform to suit your needs.
We have upgraded the binaries used in the software wherever necessary so needless to say we are currently running with the latest binary versions of the core libraries.
Let us know how we are doing, or send in a feature request by contacting us Until next time, from everyone here at billmywork, have a good weekend and see you next week!