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Behind-the-Scenes posts:

Harvest Playback, March 2nd Edition

Another week has come and gone here at Harvest. You thought time tracking couldn’t get any easier? On Tuesday, we took things to a whole new level by kicking off our Harvest Everywhere endeavors with the launch of Harvest for Mac. In addition, we’re also excited about two new integrations: ScrumDo and ZenCash.

Twitter was abuzz this week with a lot of excitement about Harvest for Mac. Here are just a few of the notably excited customers:

@awelfle – @harvest Especially with the new Mac App — I’ve been super accurate with being able to use hotkeys!

@peaker – The new @harvest desktop time tracker for Mac is super handy. Forgetting to stop the timer is so yesterday.

@chrismackintosh – Man I love the new Harvest timer on Mac: getharvest.com/mac *LOVE

@jensimmons – I’m loving the new @harvest app for the Mac. No more keeping a tab in my browser for timers. Toolbar reminds me I’m billing. It is faster.

@sahadeva Finally time tracking software that I will actually use: getharvest.com/mac (nav bar widget is awesome).

Otherwise, things went normally. We designed, we developed. And of course, we shared some valuable things with each other through Co-op and elsewhere:

Until next time!

Harvest Playback, February 24th Edition

Just like that and we’re two months into 2012 (which I’m still referring to as the new year — is it time to stop that?). This past week, we released the new password section in user profiles, and we’re just about done with a brand new, interactive projects section. It’s a little behind schedule; here’s a great analogy on Quora that might help explain why that might be (we should mention that we’ve made it past Santa Barbara and we’re just a few miles away from LA proper – but you know, the traffic can be bad on Route 1). We’re also getting ready to release two exciting projects, both are done on our end, and just waiting for some feedback from others. One is the new and amazing Harvest widget for Zendesk. The other project looks something like this:

Harvest for Mac

As usual, a round up of things Harvesters shared on Co-op and elsewhere:

That wraps up another productive and fun week at Harvest. Enjoy the weekend!

Harvest Playback, February 17 edition

Welcome to our weekly peek behind the curtain with Harvest Playback!

This week found the team a little under the weather, with Harvesters both local and remote falling victim to seasonal maladies of one sort or another. In hopes of making everyone feel a little better (sick or not) I made some cookies that went over pretty well. After being accused of “just trying to fatten everyone up,” I decided to take the healthier route and brought in some home-made kale chips on Wedensday. Don’t forget, folks. Eat more kale.

We spent the week gearing up to roll out the next phase of our new user profile page – coming next week! Additionally, Joschka made his first deploy as a Harvester. Check out the work he did on our updated Careers page (and see if you can find the secret link!).

Now for the fun stuff:

  • This week’s Harvest Rdio Playlist is focused on the family.
  • Linked from our #workbetter series on Twitter, we spent a little time thinking about manifestos of all sorts…
  • We’re stunned and amazed by the rise of Jeremy Lin as Linsanity takes over New York City.
  • Samara brought us more cuteness than we could stand.
  • Television we enjoy is often the subject of lunchtime conversation here at HQ, and in addition to the current obsession with Downton Abbey, we’ve started watching (and loving!) Sherlock. And we can hardly wait for the return of Mad Men on March 25…
  • Quick support note: Harvest will be closed this upcoming Monday, February 20 for Washington’s Birthday/Family Day. We’ll be back in action Tuesday after spending a little time honoring GW or just spending it with our families. See you next week!

Harvest Playback, February 10 Edition

Willkommen zum Harvest Playback!

Harvest gets a bit more international this week as we welcome our new development intern, Joschka, to the team. Joschka is from Lemgo, Germany and is spending 5 months in NYC learning the ins and outs of Harvest’s codebase while exploring our great city. The team wasted no time and has already taken him out for karaoke. Check out Joschka’s portfolio to see why we thought he’d be a great fit here.


Joschka’s adventure begins.

We rolled out phase one of our new user profile functions this week. In the coming weeks we’ll be adding the ability to manage a user’s profile right from their profile page — a big time saver when you’re adding a new co-worker like Joschka. We received a lot of positive feedback for this announcement and we’re excited to make it a reality.

The best part of writing the weekly playback for Harvest is looking back through a week of posts to Co-op, our virtual water cooler app. It really reinforces how we rely on Co-op to stay in touch with each other even when many of us are thousands of miles apart. Let’s have a look at some of this week’s highlights:

  • Harvesters had a lot to say about the Superbowl (and that crazy play), but I can’t get past the chicken-wing cupcakes that Christopher ate at a superbowl party.
  • Barry found us the perfect location for future Harvest summits (complete with private suspension bridge).
  • Jae shared a delicious vegetarian chili for a bonus Monday team lunch. For Wednesday’s lunch, Naama suggested we try mindful eating. Once we smelled the delicious indian food, however, we were off to the races. Maybe next week!
  • Doug introduced us to the blobfish and Kim was quick to point out that it looks a lot like somebody stuck Ziggy in the microwave.
  • We want you to be ready for Valentine’s Day next week, so we present two solid gift options: Pizza Hut (yes, Pizza Hut) has put together quite a proposal package which includes a ring and fireworks for a mere $10,000. Vermont Teddy Bear is offering a 4 1/2 foot tall teddy bear (check out their creepy commercial).
  • Barry shared this great photo of President Obama watching a marshmallow cannon at the White House Science Fair.

Pay More Attention to Unsubscribe

Yesterday, Danny and I had a philosophical conversation about unsubscribe links. Specifically, we were discussing the fact that unsubscribe links are a legal requirement, which has made them an afterthought for most people. However in each email you send, every word should have meaning, even those required by law.

Clicking unsubscribe is a critical way that your customers use to communicate with you. When a customer clicks unsubscribe, she is telling you in no uncertain terms that you are wasting her time.

At Harvest our goal is to never waste people’s time (just to track it). That means we look to only send email that will be valuable to our customers. Two of our core principles are to Be Useful and to Keep Improving. The conversation served as a reminder for me not to take anyone’s time for granted. That’s why we decided to give our unsubscribe message some attention.

We are replacing:

This message was sent because you have a registered Harvest Account. Unsubscribe

With this:

We promise to only send helpful emails. If we’re not living up to that promise, simply unsubscribe.

We intend to live by this promise. I hope that sharing this conversation inspires you to be mindful of the things you do in your communications as well.

Harvest Playback: February 3rd Edition

It’s an honor and a treat to work for Harvest. The team in New York does a fantastic job of reinforcing the value of culture, even when interviewing new people that want to join the team. As a result, we have a great group of people who work very well together, and our trust level amongst one another is incredibly high.

One of the big advantages to a high level of trust amongst co-workers is the ability to work productively while also working remotely. I live in Alberta, while Jon lives in British Columbia. Barry is in Minnesota; Doug is in Montana; Warwick is in Pennsylvania. Dee is in Hungary. Our head office is in New York City. And Patrick is trying a different-location-a-month for a while, starting with Texas, and now in Illinois. (All pictures taken today.)

To stay in touch, we all use Co-op to post what we’re all working on, to have some hilarious banter, and to share some informative tidbits during the week. Here are some of this week’s highlights:

  • Patrick is trying to get us to gamble on some strange American tradition called the “Superbowl”. I thought it was a trendy NYC noodle shop.
  • This week we made a playlist dedicated to speed.
  • TJ taught us more about the dangers of fracking.
  • Karen had us all consider the trustworthiness of beards.
  • Barry got nostalgic about what we did last summer. (But it was before my time with Harvest, so it probably wasn’t much fun anyway.)
  • And Christopher came up with a first draft of our new marketing campaign.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

Geeking Out with Timers

Last Friday evening a bunch of us stayed at the office to play Settlers of Catan. It was the first time I ever played, and when I texted my husband to ask him to pick up the kids, he texted back with this: you’ll be there for a while.

Sure enough, the game did not move quickly. I was new, and others were rusty. After about an hour and a half, everyone was getting fidgety, so I took out my phone and convinced everyone to play as a timed game. Everyone got 1 minute for their turn, no more. The game was more fun and no one’s strategy suffered due to lack of time.

Since joining Harvest I’ve gotten a bit fanatical about measuring time and keeping myself to time limits. I’ve found that I have become more efficient. For me, timers create a sense of urgency that I need to help me focus.

In this age of constant distraction, what tools do you use to help you focus?

Harvest Playback: January 20th Edition

Hello!

It seems that flu season has arrived. Harvesters and their children are dropping like flies. So far among our team of 19 the virus has been spotted in NY, MN, PA and Canada. But even though the nasty bugs have been on attack we’ve still managed to get some work done and share some utterly ridiculous videos and animated gifs on Co-op.

The biggest product news this week is that we pushed out a new update to the Harvest App in the Android marketplace. We also deployed another 14 changes behind the scenes to make our beloved Harvest run even more smoothly. We ran a Time Savings Tuesday Contest and got some awesome Keystroke Protips from our Twitter community. And Samara came out of the closet as an introvert by writing this blog post on collaborative work spaces. Take that flu!

Next week Warwick, Jon and Christopher will be hitting the road. If you happen to be in Cape Town next week join our awesome Systems Guy, Warwick, for a drink. Once you’re done drinking him under the table, jet over to Seattle for a happy hour with 2/3 of our support team on Friday night.

And now a brief look into the wacky world of Co-op:

  • Lettini found this explanation to the age old question ‘What are the Developers really doing all day?”
  • Not really sure why Doug decided to share this picture with us, but now I’m sharing it with you.
  • Barry apparently gets tired often and needs a place to sit.  He found this solution – chair pants!
  • And, at lunch today we decided to end the week with a Friday evening game of Settlers of Catan.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Harvest Playback, January 13th Edition

Yikes, Friday the 13th! No point dwelling on it though, let’s all enjoy another dose of TGIF and sit back for another Harvest Playback. Here’s a look at what’s made the news in Co-op and what we’ve accomplished for the week:

Ms. Sarah Haas joined the team this week as our Account Manager. Welcome Sarah! We pushed out our 2011 retrospective looking at all that happened in 2011. We published a pair of blog posts with time saving tips for your commute and for meetings. We did some software upgrades to help with performance and security. We posted about an excellent new Harvest integration, Harvest4Clients that was posted to GitHub. And finally, we sent out invitations for our Harvest Happy Hour (Seattle) event at the end of the month. If you’re in the area, join us!

But what would Friday be without a little fun?  Submitted for your enjoyment:

Hope you all have a great weekend! See you next week.