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Posts by Karen Schoellkopf:

Uniting New York City’s Technology Companies with Walkabout NYC

After hosting our second Walkabout NYC, an open house for technology companies, just over a week ago, I wanted to share with you why we here at Harvest organize this city-wide event. Harvest has always supported the entrepreneurial spirit (like with our New Founders Program). The goal of Walkabout NYC is simple: to create a connection between the tech companies and the community that surrounds, inspires, and supports them.

Danny Wen and Shawn Liu, the co-founders here at Harvest, have always enjoyed taking tours of creative and entrepreneurial workspaces. No matter what size, they found the spaces always fostered inspirational energy. From forming the company in a tiny shared office to Harvest’s current home in a Soho loft, Danny and Shawn recognize how instrumental those behind-the-scenes experiences were along the way.
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Harvest Helps You #workbetter

For the new year, we decided to roll out our new #workbetter initiative, where we spotlight interesting links relevant to running a small business and productivity. We’re excited to share ideas and tips from the world at large to make you and your business more efficient and successful, and we’re delighted that many of our followers have already jumped in on the link goodness.

Here are a few gems from January:

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to stay informed (in the sidebar to your right), and feel free to share your own suggestions by using the #workbetter hashtag! We’ll keep digging around to find you the best ideas and conversations catching fire in the world of small business.

Upcoming Webinar: How Harvest Can Help You During Tax Season

As we head into the new year, we recognize that tax season can be very difficult for businesses large and small. Face this tax season confidently by attending a live webinar and Q&A on how to use integrated finance apps that you can find on the Google Apps Marketplace. We’ll be hosting the webinar with Google and leading online financial apps Shoeboxed and Outright.

Harvest, along with Shoeboxed and Outright, will show you how Google Marketplace apps can help you organize your financial documents, streamline invoicing, and aggregate your accounting information. We’ll demonstrate how easy it is to seamlessly manage your accounts payables and receivables through Harvest, and how our contextual gadget in Gmail streamlines invoicing activities.

Please join us on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 11:00 a.m. PST / 2:00 p.m. EST:
Register now!

Harvest Co-founder Danny Wen Talks About Being a Bootstrap Entrepreneur

Our very own co-founder Danny Wen was interviewed this week by Andrew Warner, the founder of Mixergy, a website dedicated to to ambitious start-up businesses.  Danny talked about how Harvest came to be, and what it’s like building a company from the ground up.  Here’s a glimpse into his thoughts on deciding which projects to focus on:

One of my former colleagues had a great piece of advice, which is when you think about projects, you want to qualify them. You want to have some rules that say, what is going to make this project worth my time. A quick rule of thumb is, does a project fit? Is it going look great on my portfolio in terms of where I want to take the business? Is the project profitable because it’s going to pay really well? Or is the project simply going to help me going to learn something new that I’m really interested in? Now, if you can get two out of the three criteria fulfilled, then it might be a really good way to say, “Okay, let’s go with that project.” If you can’t get two or even three of three of those criteria, then you might want to say no to the project.

Watch the full interview here:

And thanks to Andrew Warner, for asking the delving questions on the joys and challenges of starting your own company — we hope you enjoy the interview!

Confessions of a Productivity Hacker

We’d like to share some excerpts from Jeffrey Perkel’s article about his time-gap discovery, when he first started using Harvest for tracking his time.  Thanks Jeffrey, we hope this will help other freelancers and small business leaders, and we’re glad to help you along the path of productivity!

I have a confession to make: I’m not as productive as I’d like to be.  For me, the realization that I was less productive than I thought came via Harvest, a web-based app for time-tracking and invoicing. At the suggestion of productivity wonk John Pavlus, I gave Harvest a whirl.

Harvest is a productivity dream. There’s a web interface to track your projects, tasks, invoices, and expenses. There’s a dedicated MacOS dashboard widget, even an iPhone interface. I set up my tasks and projects, and then diligently set to work trying to track my day: 44 minutes to interview so-and-so; 36 minutes to read this paper; a bit more than 3 hours to write that article, and so on.

I felt very accomplished… until I added everything up and found that, despite all my careful tracking, I had gaping holes in my day. Partly, that’s because I didn’t add things like lunch, picking up the kids after school, and the occasional break to check Twitter, email, and the news. And partly it’s because I’d start reading something and then realize, oops! I forgot to turn on the timer. Still, it’s clear I can do better. It’s not that I thought I was some productivity machine, working 25 hours a day, 8 days a week. But I didn’t realize how much time I was frittering away, either.

By casting my daily activities in such sharp relief, Harvest helped me identify the problem. It’s up to me to set things right.

Confessions of a productivity hack(er) was originally posted on Freelancer Hacks

New Ways to Think About Your Brand

On my recent visit to San Francisco, I was walking down Valencia Street, in the heart of the Mission District, and this huge, hulking letterpress machine caught my eye, just sitting silently in a storefront. What is this? I peered in to the cavernous space. It was dark, and all the stores were closed. To the left, another letterpress machine, a Vandercook, and beyond, some more goodies I couldn’t make out. And there’s a big Levi’s logo on the storefront window. What the…? Turns out, this was a Levi’s store, but not like any store I’d ever been to.

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Existing Harvest Customers Can Now Utilize Google Apps Integration

We’re excited to announce that we’re now able to bring all of the benefits of our Google Apps integration to our existing customers!

You can read the full description of the Harvest Google Apps integration on our previous blog post about it, but here are the highlights:

  • Single sign on for all employees via their Google Accounts
  • Submit timesheets directly from Gmail
  • Export timesheet reports into Google Docs
  • Get Quick links to Harvest in relevant emails

The installation process is much the same as what we outlined previously for new customers, and you can watch the video to get an idea of what the the signup process, and the overall integration, will look like.

To enable your Google Apps integration, go to the Harvest Google Marketplace Page, and click Add it now.  Enter your Google domain information, and you will be led through the integration setup process from there.

A few things to note:

  • Once you sign up, anyone who is on your Google Apps domain and has a Harvest user account will automatically have the Google Apps integration enabled.
  • During the setup process, you’ll be prompted to import new users from Google to Harvest, which will allow you to create new Harvest users from your Google users.

We’re thrilled to expand our Harvest Google Apps integration, and as always, don’t hesitate to share your feedback and suggestions with us.

Come Out And Meet the Team in NYC

Join us for a drink next Wednesday, June 9th, between 6-8pm, and say hello to the guys and gals that make Harvest run.  We’re hosting a gathering of customers, partners, and friends at Brinkley’s, just around the corner from Harvest HQ in Soho. We’d love to share a drink with you, introduce you to each other and simply get to know you better!  RSVP on our Facebook Page, and we’ll see you there!

May HOBBY is coming up – get your tickets now!

It’s that time again – we’ve got a great line up of presenters for our upcoming Hobby event on Wednesday, May 19th, at 7pm:

  • Michael Karnjanaprakorn is an avid poker player who will be donating 100% of his 2010 WSOP winnings to various charities. He’s been coached by Annie Duke and Rafe Furst, and will talk about poker, decision making, and why you should always throw paper on the first throw.
  • Jordan X is a rock climber, mountaineer, and trader extraordinaire. When he’s not climbing rocks, scaling mountains, or watching the Dow tank in a matter of twenty minutes, he is one of more than twenty million people in the online dating scene in a quest to find true love or “the one” to join him in his adventures and high jinks.
  • Brett Collinson is an experience designer from Melbourne, Australia. He visited New York for the first time a year ago and, like a kid in a candy store, saw theater every night he was here. Stimulated by this rich feast, he moved here 2 months ago and has been enjoying New York theater as a local ever since.

As always, you can see videos from previous Hobby events at our Hobby Channel, like Phin Barnes talking about his sneaker obsession at last months Hobby:

We look forward to seeing you at May Hobby!

Harvest Now Supports Native Excel Exports

Up until now, when you ran a report, and selected More Actions, there was an option to Export to Excel.  What it did is export the report to a .csv file, which you could then open in Excel.  While this worked fine for most of our customers, some of our overseas customers experienced character formatting issues due to the translation from .csv to Excel. Well, no more!

We have implemented an update to Harvest that now gives you the option to Export to Excel (as a native Excel file), or you can select Export to CSV, to continue exporting the same way you have been.

We hope you find this update useful, and let us know if you have any questions!