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Introducing Favorites

We’re excited to introduce our new Favorites feature in Harvest for iPhone and Android. This simple improvement to our mobile time tracking lets you focus on just the projects and tasks you need while tracking time from your phone.

Favorites for Android and iPhone

To start using Favorites, simply tap the star next to the project and task field while creating or editing an entry. From that point on, when you tap the new + button, you’ll be presented with a short list of these favorited projects and tasks. You can start a timer instantly by tapping the play button, or tap the row to edit the timer before saving it.

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Using the Harvest API for Radical Transparency with Clients

The beauty of Harvest is that it brings time tracking to life. All the data you collect through your timesheets gets pulled into graphs and reports that give you insight into your business. For the tech savvy, the Harvest API unlocks even more possibilities for making use of your data. In this guest post Zbigniew Sobiecki, CEO of Macoscope, shares how his company has taken advantage of the Harvest API to fit time tracking into their workflow.

Our work as a software house is governed largely by agile methodology. Part of this involves charging clients by the hour (as opposed to fixed-price projects) so they only pay for the time we actually spend working on their project. Such an approach makes Harvest the single most important data source in our whole organization.

What Exactly Does Harvest Do for Our Company?

First of all, each member of our development team should spend 6.5 hours a day working on client projects. Harvest helps us monitor their current workload and quickly notice when someone is working too much. Believe it or not, it can be a real lifesaver! Each developer on our staff is obliged to responsibly track their time every single day, so they aren’t relying on their spotty memories when trying to fill out timesheets a couple days later.

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Notable Announcements for Your Team in Slack

How do we communicate important announcements to our 45 person team across nine different countries here at Harvest? We use a single email to aggregate all of the team’s notable messages for the day. It’s the one email that everyone on the team reads every day. It highlights notable things like:

  • Hey team, we shipped this new feature today. It’s out to 75% of customers.
  • Reminder that our Summit is in NYC next week. Please remember to bring a gift for the gift exchange!

To create this email, we use Slack. All a member of the team needs to do is type /notable in Slack (from any channel), and it will hashtag the message as notable and post it in the #general room.

But more importantly, it will add all the notable messages for the day to a Team Notables email, so that they don’t get lost amid GIFs and emojis in Slack.

Notable Announcement Email

How to get /notable for Your Team

We find this email so useful that we’ve open sourced the code so your team can benefit too! There’s instructions on how to set it up here. It’s only a one-time setup, and you don’t have to be a developer to download it.

Our thanks to Harvester Jason Dew, who built /notable and worked on open sourcing this feature during our Harvest Hacksgiving (a three-day hackathon our team hosts internally the week of Thanksgiving).

Invoices: Now with Attachments

We’ve got a little new years gift for you: you can now attach files to invoices!

attach_file_link

If you’ve got contracts, statements of work, or friendly GIFs you want to attach to your invoices, go for it! If you send the invoice to your client, they’ll be able to see and download these attachments. And they can see these attachments on the web invoice too.

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We know there are potential improvements that’ll make these attachments more seamless, especially if you’re looking to attach reports. However, we didn’t want to hold off releasing this feature for those of you who need it. So enjoy, and here’s to an ever-improving 2016!

New: The Harvest Power-Up for Trello

The Harvest for Trello integration just got a whole lot better! We’re delighted to be one of Trello’s first Power-Ups for Business Class, which makes Harvest time tracking a native feature in Trello. Once you enable the Harvest Power-Up on a board, your whole team will be able to track time right inside Trello. Simple as that.

Track Time from Trello Power-Up

Trello’s a great tool to manage your team’s projects. The Harvest Power-Up gives your team a quick way to get a timer going without ever leaving Trello. You’ll be able to see the total time tracked to each card in Trello. And better yet, all of your Harvest timesheet entries will have a link back to their Trello cards should you need to reference the details:

Trello Timesheet Entry

But this is just the beginning! We plan to surface more Harvest data right inside Trello so that you can have key information at your fingertips while you manage your projects. Have something you’d like to see added to our Trello Power-Up? Feel free to leave a comment here, or drop us a line.

For more information on how to set up the Power-Up and track time, check out our Help Center.

Project Exports Get A Boost

We’ve made exporting projects out of Harvest quicker with this latest round of updates, hopefully making your reporting process a bit easier.

Export only projects with a budget

Only care to report on projects with a budget? You can now zero-in on your active, budgeted projects by only exporting these from the Projects page.

Export Projects with Budget

Easily see if your budget is in hours or fees in your projects export

When you exported your projects in the past, you may have been confused if you had a mix of projects budgeted by hours and fees. We’ve cleared this up by adding a Budget By column to the export, which gives the units (hours or currency) of your project.

Budget By Column in Projects Export

Quickly export detailed time entries for a project

We’ve made it a bit more convenient to get all the detailed time entries associated with a project. You can export the detailed entries from your project’s page to Excel or CSV in just two clicks.

Export Project Analysis to Excel

Any questions or feedback? We’d love to hear from you.

Archive the Old, In with the New

Everyone likes to start the new year with a goal in mind. If yours is to be more organized, then archiving projects in Harvest may be the most satisfying thing you do all week! Even if organization isn’t your goal (maybe you’re looking to take up knitting, instead), it’ll still feel great when you’re looking at freshly cleaned list in the Projects section of your account. It’s like seeing the floor in a closet for the first time in months (or years…we don’t judge)!

Sounds good! How do I archive my projects?

To archive a project, just head over to the Projects section of your account and click the Actions menu for any project. Select Archive, and you’re all set!

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What projects should I archive?

You can archive things that are no longer actively being worked on. When you archive a project, all the data stays put in your account, so you’ll still have easy access for reporting and invoicing. However, it’ll no longer appear in your list of active projects, and people won’t see it as an option to track new time or expenses to.

Another pointer: it can be helpful to duplicate long-term, internal projects every year. Then archive the original. This gives you one project per year, and can make it easier to use reports to show you the most relevant information.

Okay, but why should I bother archiving projects? They’re not bothering anyone.

Trimming down your list of active projects will make the Projects page in your account more useful, since you’ll be able to see just the projects that matter to you now. Your team also won’t have to scroll through tons of unused projects to find what they’re looking for when they track time.

You can learn more about archiving projects in our Help Center, or shoot us an email at support@harvestapp.com, where our Experts are ready to help! We hope you have a happy and clutter-free New Year!

How an Agency Used Forecast to Improve Resource Scheduling

Forecast makes it easy to schedule your team on multiple projects and plan out what you’re working on over the next few months. But it’s much more than a visual team calendar. It provides you with the insight to answer critical questions about your business: What is the team working on right now? Who’s under water? Do you have the capacity to take on new work? How secure is the future of the business?

In this post, Holly Davis, a project manager at White October, describes how her digital agency implemented Forecast and used it to help manage their business.

Resourcing for a growing agency is a big challenge. Things change from minute to minute and everyone has different information they need access to:

  • The whole team needs to know what they’re supposed to be working on.
  • Project managers need to ensure that resourcing forecasts mirror the needs of their upcoming project work.
  • Account managers need long-term forecasting so they know what new business they should pursue.

A year ago we were struggling to fulfill these needs, mainly due to the fact that we had little confidence that the data we were putting in was an accurate reflection of ‘reality.’

One of our project managers, Sarah Clarke, decided to take on the challenge of improving resourcing at White October. She chose Harvest Forecast, integrated with our main Harvest account, as the management tool.

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How a Digital Agency Used Harvest to Re‑Examine Its Business

In this guest post we learn how Shareef Defrawi, President and Founder of digital marketing agency Bonafide, used data gleaned from Harvest to make three vital improvements to his business. 

I resisted time tracking for a long time—way longer than I should have as an agency owner. I had a checklist of fears in my head: Wouldn’t time tracking impede creativity? Wouldn’t it come across as a little 1984—“Big Brother is watching you?” And wouldn’t monitoring time actually take time, maybe more than it saved?

Then there’s the comfort of the status quo: business is good, our clients are happy. What can time tracking possibly contribute when things are already running smoothly?

The answer, as it turns out, is quite a bit.

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Be Transparent and Accurate When Tracking Time in Other Apps

It’s pretty neat to never have to leave an app you use everyday to start a timer. Our integrations with various project and issue management apps like Asana, Basecamp, Trello, or Zendesk do exactly this. But there’s another huge benefit to these integrations that flies a bit more under the radar. Your Harvest timesheet entries link back to their external reference–like the Basecamp to-do, Zendesk ticket, or Trello card.

Trello Time Entry in Harvest Timesheets

Exports Now Include External Reference URLs

We spent a lot of time talking to customers who use these integrations and learned that they’re transparent with their clients. They share their Basecamp projects and Trello boards with their clients so that they can see what’s being worked on and what progress has been made. The one key thing that’s been missing is the ability to share how much time has been tracked to each task or ticket with your clients without a big manual effort.

Now, it’ll be much easier to know how much time you spent on specific items in other apps. We’ve added a new column to your Detailed Time export: the External Reference URL. When you prepare your weekly reports to send to your clients, you can now easily group time entries by tasks or tickets from these other apps, or provide a click through to the details.

External Reference URL in Export

Enter Time for Previous Dates

And if you’re going to share this data with your clients it should definitely be accurate, right? Up until now, tracking time from these apps has been a very in the moment thing. But now, you can backdate entries if you forgot to log time from a task or ticket on a specific day. What used to be a cumbersome process of flipping between these apps and your Harvest timesheets is now just one click away!

Changing date from Harvest Button

If you have questions or feedback on other ways we can improve time tracking from your project and issue management apps, let us know!