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Posts by Matthew Lettini:

Edit Forecast Assignments and Milestones Without Losing Your Place

One of Harvest Forecast’s founding principles was to be frictionless. Today, we release a simple update that should further minimize friction when scheduling.

Now when you create or edit an assignment on the Forecast schedule, you’ll have access to the edit form right next to that assignment. This also goes for milestones. This change keeps you in context with the project or person that you’re planning, so you’re in and out of Forecast even faster.

assignment-popover

As an added bonus, we’ve also added a Cancel button to the edit form. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team. Happy scheduling!

Smaller Increments and More Flexible Scheduling in Forecast

Scheduling your team is a fundamental part of Forecast. On average, our customers create 50,000 new assignments every week—that’s a lot! Today, we’re releasing a major update to scheduling in Forecast that offers you tremendously more flexibility when assigning:

  • Assign time in smaller increments than whole hours (e.g. 0.5, 3.68, etc)
  • Select 7.5 as an option for Max Hours/Day (this allows you to set a 37.5-hour workweek)
  • Quickly adjust the Total Hours for any assignment, instead of only its Hours/Day (more on this below)
  • Other workflow improvements for faster assigning

The above changes allow a wider range of scheduling options available to you in Forecast. You can now assign a project manager that is only sitting in on a 15-minute meeting (0.25 hours/day). You can also accurately book a 37.5-hour workweek without unnecessarily over- or under-booking your team’s schedules.

New Ways to Assign in Forecast

We want Forecast to be even better for high-level planning and have done just that by now allowing you to adjust the Total Hours for an assignment. Here are some examples illustrating how you can use this feature to plan at a higher level:

  • Hours/Week — You want your developer to work 30 hours on a project each week for the next few weeks. Simply create a Monday-Friday assignment, enter 30 into Total Hours to show hours/week, and repeat this assignment for as many weeks as needed.
  • Hours/Month — You plan to work 100 hours on a project for the entire month. Create an assignment from the first business day of the month through the last, and enter 100 into Total Hours.
  • Hours/Phase — You just won a new project and you want to assign 60 hours over the first three weeks to a designer. You can create one assignment for those three weeks, and enter 60 into Total Hours.

In each scenario, Forecast will do the math for you to break the assignment down to the proper Hours/Day. We’ve created a short, 2-minute video that highlights these new concepts. We highly recommend you watch it as you’ll learn some insightful ways to work faster in Forecast:

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team. Happy scheduling!

Zoom Out the Forecast Schedule

The schedule is at the heart of Forecast. It’s where you assign hours to your team and add milestones to your projects. It’s where you can see the team’s availability and overcapacity. Every week, it’s displayed on conference room TVs in meetings all over the world.

Today, we’re introducing an incredibly useful (and oft-requested) feature to the Forecast schedule: Zoom Out.

The amount of weeks you see in the schedule is based on your browser’s width. A typical schedule used to display only ~3–5 weeks at a time. That wasn’t enough… Perhaps you’d like to see the next two months to get clear insight into when a developer team would be freeing up. Maybe you want a high-level view of when you can take on that next project.

Now, with the click of a button, the schedule will show you ~9–12 weeks at a time.

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Everything about the schedule will remain the same when you zoom out. You can still assign time, resize, drag, and split assignments, add and edit milestones, etc. It will simply show you more weeks in the timeline.

We believe this new feature will give you the high-level view you’ve been missing. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team.


As a reminder, you can still navigate the schedule forward or back in time. Make use of keyboard shortcuts to make this even faster: use the left and right arrow keys to navigate weeks, t to return to This Week, - to Zoom Out, and + to Zoom in.

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!

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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.

Export your Forecast Schedule (Beta)

Today we’re introducing a new feature to Forecast: you can now export your schedule to a CSV file! This is super useful if you want to work with your Forecast data in other applications, such as Google Sheets or Excel. We’re still fine tuning things, but we wanted to get this out to you today in its Beta form so you can give it a try.

To try this out, just head over to the new Export section from the navigation menu. Once there, it’s as simple as choosing the weeks you’d like to export, and choosing the format of your export:

  • Projects Schedule View will list your projects, with a separate line for each person’s assigned hours for each week.
  • Team Schedule View will list each person on your team and a rollup of their assigned hours for each week.

forecast-exports

As you can see, exports are a fast way to get weekly summaries of your Forecast schedule. We hope these exports allow you the freedom to do more with your data!

If you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at support@forecastapp.com.

Jump to Harvest’s Project Analysis from your Forecast Schedule

Today in Forecast we are adding a quick link for you to jump from your schedule to Harvest’s Project Analysis page.

The Edit button on expanded project rows will now be replaced with the project’s Actions menu. For all Harvest-connected projects, a new action to “View in Harvest” will be present.

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Now you can easily stay on top of your project’s progress as you’re scheduling. We think you’ll find this link helpful as you use our upcoming Harvest + Forecast integration!

Bonus: Update your project notes in Forecast often? Now you can click the notes icon on a project row to edit them immediately!

Assign Company-Wide Holidays and Closings in Forecast

Harvest HQ is closed for a holiday nine times in 2015, and we also host two week-long company-wide summits throughout the year. We know that you have your own company-wide holidays, closings, outings, and summits, and we want to make those easier to manage when scheduling your projects.

Now in Harvest Forecast, instead of tediously assigning Time Off for each person individually, we’re introducing a much simpler way to mark these days off for your entire company.

Previously, assigning time off for everyone would mean a separate row for every person, which could fill your entire screen with noise for just one holiday. Now, that time off will be rolled up into just one row.

cwto

Simply select “Everyone” from the “Assign Person to Project…” option on the Time Off project and assign the days as you normally would. As always, you can use the Notes field to explain what the Time Off is for. And this company-wide assignment behaves like any other Time Off assignment, showing up in all project rows to help you avoid scheduling projects on these days off.

We hope you enjoy this new feature. If you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at support@forecastapp.com.

New and Improved Harvest Navigation

Today we’re excited to launch a new simple navigation. This new navigation is only one part of a larger effort to make Harvest better for tablets and touch devices, and clear up some usability issues. We’re launching this in preparation for a couple of big updates coming this Fall.

The new navigation is designed with larger click/tap areas, which make it easier to get around within Harvest. The new look is visually simpler and out of the way, allowing you to focus on the important bits below. It also introduces a new Profile Menu (click your profile photo in the upper-right of the new navigation) which offers quick access to your profile, weekly time report, and sign out. Tip: Add a profile photo if you haven’t already.

Note to Administrators: A common support question we hear is where an administrator can change their Account Settings. We’ve made now made Account Settings easier to get to by moving it from under the Manage tab to its new home: the Profile Menu.

Along with the visual updates, the code behind the navigation is much cleaner and lighter. We’re really excited to launch this upgrade. Enjoy, and let us know what you think.

Harvest Android Update: Improved Syncing

android-time-tracker

Today we’re announcing a significant update for our Free official Harvest Android app, version 1.3. This update brings improved reliability with your Android phone syncing to your online Harvest account.

We launched our Android app in March of this year. This summer we overhauled the entire syncing engine in our iPhone app with brand new API calls, and now we’ve brought these new API calls to our Android app. They are a much more efficient and reliable way to sync time and expenses on your phone, even on-the-go!

Along with the reliability updates, this version also includes some new features and other improvements, including:

  • Sync button added to Pending tab
  • Project Codes are now displayed
  • ‘Report Issues’ directly from the options menu
  • Various bug fixes
  • New icon

Enjoy, and let us know how the Harvest Android app is working for you. If you’re running into any phone-specific issues, let us know by writing into support.

Visit Android time tracker to learn more and download this companion app for free.

Continue reading…

Harvest’s New PDF Engine

Update: We’ve now added a Snail-mail Friendly option to move the client address to the left for the envelope window. You can find this option, hide columns, and company logo in a new Appearance tab on the Invoices and Estimates configure pages.

Today we’re announcing a significant upgrade to our invoicing and estimate platforms: a new rendering engine for the PDFs you send to your clients.

The new engine, which is built with wkhtmltopdf and Liquid-based templates, renders PDFs based on HTML and CSS. This is really exciting, because it allows us to use more flexible and simple code to create them. This means we can have the exact same code for invoice and estimate PDFs as we have in the app, which means they now have the same design and options.

What’s New

Implementing this allowed us to make some other features available on Invoices and Estimates:

  • PDFs now have the page number at the bottom (and an option to translate).
  • You can now hide the type, quantity, and/or unit prices columns.
  • If you have a company logo uploaded, but still want your invoice to say “Invoice” on the page, you now have this option. You can turn it on where you uploaded your company logo in the configure section, and then change the title in translations (i.e. – you’d rather have “Tax Invoice”). The same applies for estimates.
  • We’ve added quick access to your Web Invoices and Web Estimates.
  • The new PDF engine is also able to render many more languages. See an example of some languages below:

The biggest win is that we now have the flexibility we need for adding features to our invoices and estimates in the future. Any change will automatically work in the app and as a PDF.

We hope this new PDF engine makes your Harvest experience even better.