The HARVEST Blog

News & small business tips from your beloved time tracking & invoicing app.

Better Insight into Fee-Based Projects

Screenshot of Project Progress graph in USD

The Projects section hasn’t done a great job at showing how quickly fee-based projects are being completed — until now. We’ve just released an update to Harvest that brings all the features of the time-based Project Graph over to fee-based projects:

  • Budget Spent vs. Budget: Fee-based budget lines are now graphed, and Budget Spent (in your project’s currency) is graphed below it. You can quickly see how much of your budget you’ve used, and if you’ll exceed it.
  • Forecasted Budget Spent: If your project is linked to Forecast, we’ll use your billing rate to convert future scheduled hours in Forecast to a projection of budget spent. It’s even easier to see if you’ll exceed your budget with Forecast.

You don’t need to do anything to see this change in your account — just pop over to the Projects section and take a look at a fee-based project (budgeted by Total Project Fees or Fees Per Task) to see the changes. Take it for a spin!

We hope this makes keeping your fee-based projects on budget just a little bit easier – and as always, don’t hesitate to let us know what you think in the comments below or by sending us an email at support@harvestapp.com.

Forecasted Project Health now supports Fee-based Budgets

Earlier this year we announced a tighter integration between Harvest + Forecast, combining your tracked hours with your scheduled hours. This update allows you to compare your team’s estimates vs actuals, and also reveals real-time project health, so you know ahead of time if you’ll go over your hours budget.

We’re happy to announce that we recently added two nice updates to this project health portion of our integration.

  1. We’ll now show if you’ll be over or under budget in the Forecast summary for all budget types, including fee-based budgets.
  2. If we are able to calculate the projected fees, we’ll also show that in the summary, even if you’ve selected an hours-based budget.

This means you’ll be able to know ahead of time if you will go over or come under your fee budget right in the summary!

project-health

Note: To calculate projected fees, you will need to select an invoice method of Project Hourly Rate or Person Hourly Rate.

We know that, at the end of the day, knowing where you stand against your projected fees is critical to your business. We think this update will help you run your projects more smoothly and efficiently.

Bonus! We’ve also just rolled out the “money graph”, which means we will show you a graph of your project’s progress against the monetary budget you have set for any projects budgeted by fees. This graph will also includes projected budget data from Forecast.

Introducing Harvest for GitHub: Track Time on Issues and Pull Requests

Our developers at Harvest spend a majority of their time in GitHub. As someone who organizes our projects, I tend to live in Basecamp or Trello, so the fact that I can start a Harvest timer from those apps is great. But for developers who actually do their work in GitHub, it’s been a bummer that they haven’t been able to start a timer from there. Today, we’re excited to add GitHub to the list of apps you can track time from with the Harvest Chrome extension!

If you already have our Chrome extension installed today, you’ll now see a Track Time button at the top of every GitHub issue and pull request. If not, just install it here. The highlights of the integration:

  • Quickly start and stop a timer from GitHub issues and pull requests. There’s a button at the top of the page, but also down near the comments.
  • The ID and title of the issue or pull request will populate into your Harvest notes.
  • Your Harvest timesheet will have a link back to the GitHub issue or pull request associated with that entry.

harvest-for-github@2x

The Harvest for GitHub integration will make developers and project managers happy. It’ll be easier for developers to get a timer going, meaning they’ll be more likely to track time. For project managers, that translates to not having to remind your team to track time and having more accurate reports. Win, win!

If you have any questions or feedback, just get in touch with us.

Four Ways To Work Faster in Forecast

Harvest Forecast was created with three founding principles: be visual, be frictionless, and be central to you and your team. Today, we’re proud to announce major updates which make Forecast even more frictionless to use. We know the continuous sculpting, shaping, and hammering of your team’s schedule is no small task, and now you have a few more tools to help you get the job done faster.

Here are four big power-ups to know about:

Recurring assignments? Repeat them with ease.

You need Jane assigned to a project for 4 hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the next 5 weeks? What used to be a tedious series of steps is now one simple process: just specify how many weeks you need an assignment to repeat when you create it, and Forecast will do the rest. Easy and effortless.

repeat assignments

Project delayed? Shift everything forward.

You’ve just finished a meticulous project plan when you receive news from your client: the project is delayed by 2 weeks. This used to mean lots of manual clicking and dragging to shift things around, but with the new Shift Timeline feature, it’s now one simple action. Fast and graceful. You’ll find this option in the Actions menu for a project.

shift project timeline

Multiple people working on the same project? Copy assignments.

You know Jack, Joe, and Jane are going to be assigned to the same upcoming project for the same amount of time. Rather than manually creating three assignments, it’s a breeze to copy assignments to other team members. You’ll find this option in the Actions menu for an assignment.

copy assignments

Need to switch things up? Reassign assignments.

You’ve scheduled Joe to a certain project, but something’s come up and you need Jane to work those hours. You can now easily reassign an assignment from one person to another. You’ll find this option in the Actions menu for an assignment.

reassign assignments

These updates are just part of our continuous focus on making Forecast the easiest way to schedule your team. The less work required to update your schedule, the more accurate your schedule is, and the more useful Forecast is to you and your team.

We hope you enjoy these new features! Let us know what you think in the comments below or email us.

Happy schedulin’.

Harvest for Apple Watch is here!

That’s right, Harvest is now on the Apple Watch! With our latest release of Harvest for iPhone 3.1.5, all you Watch users will be able to access Harvest right from your wrist!

Harvest for iPhone 3.1.5 introduces our Apple Watch app.

Continue Reading …

The Harvest Widget: A new way to add time tracking to your app

For the last several years, we’ve been working on providing a time tracking feature any developer can add to their app with just a few lines of code. Our goal is simple: let developers focus on the core of their products, and let Harvest handle the nuances of time tracking. This approach has been a win-win for partners like Asana and Flow, who seamlessly integrated a time tracking feature into their apps with the Harvest Button (formerly called the Harvest Platform).

Today, we’re announcing a new way for developers to add time tracking to apps – the Harvest Widget. It’s just as easy to implement as the Button, but it allows for a different user experience. Rather than having to click the Button to open up the Harvest window to track time, that modal window will just live right inside the interface of your app.

Issue management and help desk apps are great candidates for the Widget – they typically have the space on the interface to fit it. Not to mention that starting a timer in the least amount of clicks as possible is key when handling customer issues or tickets. In fact, we recently rebuilt our JIRA and Zendesk integrations to run off of the Harvest Widget:

JIRA Widget for Platform page

Harvest for Zendesk Widget - Marketplace

Now, the Harvest Widget is publicly available for anyone to add to other apps. Point your developers, or product teams at other apps you use, to our new Button & Widget page. We’re here to answer any questions you have!

Easier Duplicates, Smarter Selectors, and Consistency

Back in May we posted a quick note about polishing. Since then we’ve been chugging away and wanted to highlight some improvements we think will make your Harvesting a bit more bountiful.

Duplicating Archived Projects

First, you can now duplicate archived projects. In the past, you used to have to unarchive a project to duplicate it—but why? You let us know duplicating was just as important for archived projects, and now it’s easy peasy. Just click the Duplicate button that appears at the top right of the archived project’s Analysis page and it’s done.

image_duplicate_button

Smarter Date Selectors

Second, we made our date selectors smarter. In many places throughout Harvest, we let you easily select a date range. You have one field for the start date and another for the end. This usually works fine, but sometimes you’d select a start date in the future. If so, the end date wouldn’t change—and you’d wind up with an end date that fell before the start date.

Today, Harvest is just a bit more savvy: We’ll update your end date based on the start date you select.

Consistency in the Small Things

Last but not least, we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes to make sure your experience in Harvest is consistent. Recently we’ve been focusing on:

  • Improving the look and consistent usage of icons.
  • Making sure high-level layouts (like page headers) are the same throughout Harvest.
  • Editing copy, so when referencing the same thing, we use the same language.
  • Updating components like tables, forms, and buttons to use the same design styles.

Some of these updates aren’t immediately obvious, but with consistency comes predictability. And a predictable app is easy to use. There’s more in the pipeline for consistency updates, but we think in the long run Harvest will feel smoother and more familiar.

That’s it for today’s update from Harvest HQ! And if you have any questions, just let us know in the comments.

New Feature: Budget by Task Fees

Not all budgets are created equal. Here at Harvest, we know how important it is to keep track of those budgets, no matter how big or small. Budget tracking ensures your projects run smoothly, efficiently, and profitably. In the past few months, we’ve made big strides toward bettering your budget experience—we released Forecast, project graphs, and a recent integration between Forecast and Harvest Projects.

In the next few days, we’ll be rolling out another new feature that’ll help with all your budgeting needs: the ability to budget by fees per task.

Let’s take a typical fixed-fee project that’s composed of phases:

  • Phase 1: Research  | Budget: $5,000
  • Phase 2: Design  | Budget: $8,000
  • Phase 3: Implementation  | Budget: $5,000
  • Phase 4: Launch  | Budget: $3,000

How would you set up that project in Harvest? Some of you might budget by total project fees. That works fine, but you won’t be able to track the project’s progress at a more granular level.

The other option is to budget by hours per task. The trouble is, you can’t translate your fees into hours—different people might work on the same phase at different billable rates.

Let’s fix that problem! Our new feature makes it possible for you to break down project fees by tasks. Simply edit a project, and choose the “Fees per task” option:

budget-method

Then scroll down to the Tasks section and type in your fees:

budget-form

Make sure you set an Invoice Method and specify your billable rates and Harvest will do the rest!  If you head to your Project Analysis page, you’ll find this useful report—a breakdown of your project progress by task fees:

budget-table

We hope you find this new feature useful! And as usual, we’d love to hear what you think.

Harvest for Zendesk: Refreshed!

Zendesk, the lovable help desk solution, launched its very first integration with Harvest way back in 2008. As most of us know, firstborns get showered with love in their early days. And then the second (perhaps third, fourth) child comes around, and the firstborn might start to feel a little less in the spotlight. Over the years, there have been bouts of attention given to the Harvest for Zendesk integration, but certainly not enough. We decided it was high time to show Zendesk’s firstborn integration some well-deserved love!

We’ve taken ownership of the Harvest for Zendesk Lotus integration and have rewritten it to work off of our Harvest Platform. With this refreshed version of the integration, you’ll notice:

  • Less clicks. Whether it’s entering time via duration, starting your next timer, or tabbing through the fields without a mouse, it’ll be much quicker to log your time.
  • Auto-populated notes. The Harvest notes field will auto-populate with the Zendesk ticket ID and ticket title.
  • Projects and Tasks are remembered. You won’t have to reselect the Harvest Project and Task when you open a ticket you already tracked time to. For a ticket you haven’t tracked time to, the Harvest Project and Task selected on the most recent ticket you tracked time to will be defaulted. We realize you might have other ideas for how the Project and Task should be defaulted, so by all means, please share them!

Zendesk Anywhere Widget

These changes make it a bit smoother to track time with the Harvest for Zendesk integration. If you have any other ideas how we can make it better, please let us know!

If you’re not using the Harvest for Zendesk integration, you can install it from your Zendesk account here.

Expense Categories: Now with Archiving

It’s spring! Time to throw out that sweater you haven’t worn since 1995, and dust off your beach umbrella.

Here at Harvest, we’re prepping for a bit of spring cleaning, too. A few weeks back, we revealed an improved design for expense categories. Over the next few days, we’re releasing the second part of that improvement: the ability to archive expense categories.

If you’re an administrator, just go to Manage > Expense Categories and you’ll be able to archive any category in your list. Check it out:

archived_expense_categories_gif

If you’re not using a category anymore, just archive it! It’ll be removed from your active categories list, keeping your view nice and tidy.

Worried about how archiving affects data? Don’t stress. Here’re some useful details about how archiving affects your account:

  • If an expense category is archived, you can’t track an expense to it.
  • Archiving an expense category won’t delete your data. Instead, the category is moved to an archived list.
  • If there were expense entries tracked to the category that you archived, they remain intact. You can still report on them and invoice for them. You can also still edit all data related to those expense entries!
  • You can restore an archived category at any time. Restoring the category allows you to track expenses to it once again.

If you don’t see this feature in your account yet, don’t worry. We’re doing a gradual release, so you’ll see it soon! We think this’ll make your spring cleaning—at least in Harvest—a bit smoother. And if you have any questions, just give us a shout!

* We pulled the cat scene of our GIF from Ethan Marcotte’s craftily curated bukk.it. If anyone knows whose cool cat that is, we’d love to know too!