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Whether You Charge a Fixed Fee or By the Hour, It’s Now Easier to Invoice

Some new invoicing features are headed your way!

Since we launched the new fixed fee project type, it’s been a lot easier to gain valuable insight into the health and profitability of projects that bill at a fixed price.

But there was a catch: Harvest was originally built to invoice for tracked time, using hourly rates. Now that Harvest supports projects that bill a variety of ways (not just hourly), what’s the best way to invoice? It just wasn’t clear.

That means you may have run into a few invoicing problems in the last few months. For example:

  • A lot of fixed fee projects have multiple invoices, which are issued only when you hit a milestone. Harvest had no easy way to track these invoice schedules. For many of you, this meant you had to track this info outside of Harvest, and jump there when it was time to invoice.
  • There was no clear way to invoice for a fixed fee project’s expenses. Even with workarounds, you still had to do some manual editing to get those expenses into a proper invoice.
  • It was difficult to include both time & materials and fixed fee projects on the same invoice. Either you had to issue your client one invoice per project, or manually edit your invoices to combine them.

If you’ve run into these things, don’t be discouraged. We’ve got some new features for you! Continue reading…

Push Projects from Harvest to Forecast, or from Forecast to Harvest!

Linking projects between Harvest and Forecast offers a wide range of useful benefits. It opens up the possibility to see where your projects are headed, allows you to plan your team against the remaining budget, and offers a view of estimates vs. actuals.

However, getting new projects from one app into the other has always required a cumbersome process:

  • First, the project has to be created in Harvest.
  • Then you’d need to make your way over to Forecast.
  • Then you’d need to locate the “Import from Harvest” option for projects.
  • Then finally, you’d be able to import the project into Forecast.

Phew, that’s a lot of steps! I’m exhausted just typing that out…

We want to make this workflow faster and simpler. Today, we’re excited to announce two new ways of getting projects created and linked between Harvest and Forecast.

Part 1: Harvest to Forecast

The first part of our workflow improvements allows you to push projects directly from Harvest to Forecast, without having to go to Forecast and import.

Create this project in Forecast

If you’re a View-Edit user in Forecast, you will see a new option when creating or editing a Harvest project: “Create this project in Forecast so you can plan your team’s time”.

Saving the project with this option selected will automatically create the project in Forecast. You can push projects to Forecast the first time you create a project, or anytime later when you’re ready to start scheduling it.

After pushing, we’ll also offer a quick link to jump over to the Forecast schedule if you want to start planning your team right away.

Part 2: Forecast to Harvest (New!)

The second part of our workflow improvements offers the brand new ability to create and plan your projects in Forecast before pushing them to Harvest.

Create Project in Harvest

In Forecast, you will now see a new option under a project’s Action menu to “Create this project in Harvest”. Select this action, confirm, and Forecast will do just that.

There’s one extra feature we’ve included here: When pushing a project from Forecast, if the project has people scheduled to it, we’ll automatically assign those people to the created project in Harvest!

Again, after pushing, we’ll offer a quick link to jump over to Harvest so you can update any further project details (e.g., budgets, rates, task assignments, etc).

Note: The new “Create Project in Harvest” action won’t appear if the project is already linked to Harvest. Also, only scheduled people imported from Harvest will be automatically assigned in Harvest when a project is pushed.

All New H+F Project Workflows

Getting projects created and linked in both Harvest and Forecast shouldn’t be a hassle. Now, it’s as easy as an extra click, giving you time back to the work that matters.

Whichever direction works best for you and your team—pushing a project from Harvest to Forecast, or from Forecast to Harvest—we’ve got you covered.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team. Happy scheduling!

Announcing Harmojis: Harvest-Themed Emojis and Stickers

Hello! You may know that Harvest HQ is in New York City, but did you know we’re a mostly remote team? Currently, we’re working across more than ten countries and in more than five time zones.

Because we live thousands of miles apart, we can’t walk over to a coworker to give them a high five for their stellar presentation, laugh about the awkward first date they had the night before, or give them a hug when they’re having a bad day.

Thankfully, we have some tools up our sleeve that have helped us become the tight-knit, collaborative crew we are today. One of those tools is the wonderful art of emoji.Whether it’s in Slack, Trello, iMessage, or elsewhere, a little emoji can go a long way to help us communicate those subtle emotions that can be lost in translation. And those small touches add up to stronger relationships and stronger teams. 

For the new year, we thought we’d give a little gift to our team: our own Harmojis, or Harvest-themed emojis and stickers:

 

 

 

 

Today, we’re excited to share this little tidbit of our culture with you! You can use these Harmojis to bring some fun to a few of the places you work and chat. Access Harmojis (and learn how to install them) here.

For all the emoji connoisseurs out there: if you love making and using custom emojis, we’d love to use them too! Drop us a note—we can’t wait to hear from you!

Weekend Scheduling Is Now Available in Forecast

Harvest Forecast was introduced in the summer of 2014, bringing a simple and intuitive experience to planning your team across projects. From the beginning, scheduling in Forecast has focused solely on weekdays, Monday–Friday.

Over the past 3 years, scheduling on Saturday and/or Sunday became our number one most requested feature. Whether it’s contract work, hosting an event, shooting a commercial, or simply needing to meet a Monday deadline, there’s a myriad of reasons why many of our customers need to schedule on the weekend.

Today, we’re excited to share that scheduling on Saturday and Sunday is now available for all accounts.

Weekends for New Accounts

All new Forecast accounts automatically include Saturdays and Sundays on the schedule.

For anyone that wanted to use Forecast but needed to schedule on the weekend, you can sign up for Forecast today!

If it’s been a few years since you last tried Forecast, catch up on other new features you might have missed.

Weekends for Existing Accounts

If you’re a customer today, or you plan to revisit an old trial, you can add weekends to your account right within Forecast.

If you missed our in-app announcement, simply head to your Settings page. You will see a new section to “Add Weekend Scheduling to Your Account”, which will take you to a new page to do exactly that!

Planning your team’s time is as seamless as ever—you’ll find all the same functionality with just a couple extra days per week.

An important note: Adding weekends to your account is permanent, and there is no undo. Make sure everyone on your team is on board with this change before proceeding!

Assigning on Saturday or Sunday

Saturday and Sunday will automatically default to non-work days for all team members. Since assignments scheduled across non-work days automatically exclude those days from hours calculations (per our recent change), this will allow you to continue to create weeks-long assignments without needing to edit out the weekend time.

However, if you want to explicitly schedule on the weekend, simply click directly on the Saturday or Sunday you need!

We’re excited to start the year closing out one of our most requested features. We have a lot of ideas for 2018 too, stay tuned!

If you have any questions about adding weekends to your account, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Happy scheduling!

2017 Year-in-Review

Back in December, we took some time here at Harvest to reflect on 2017. Over the course of the year, we said hello to a few new faces (and their new pets), shipped a lot of useful new features for our customers, answered many customer support tickets, and added two beautiful murals to our office in NYC. I’m proud of all the good work our team has put in, and we’re grateful for just being able to do what we do for another year (our 11th!).

Looking back, it was a good year for Harvest. And I’m excited to share a bit of that with you in our Year-in-Review.

2017 year in review

Outside of work, 2017 was a difficult year for many of us in this world. A lot of horrible things happened, from Hurricane Maria to the heinous atrocities in Myanmar. It’s hard not to focus on (and be paralyzed by) all the bad news. But many good things happened as well, and a lot of people have worked extremely hard to make our world a better place.

Our business is a member of the community, and we want to do our share to help make it better. As we reflect on and celebrate the work we did last year, we see many opportunities to do more in 2018, starting with our own business. We want to have a more diverse team and create a more inclusive culture. And we’ve committed to putting aside 4% of our yearly profit for giving back. It’s not much, but it’s a start, and I hope to share our progress and learnings along the way.

2018 has started off bitterly cold in New York City, but we know that better days are ahead. We look forward to doing some good, honest work this year, and we wish you a wonderful new year!

Smoother Scheduling for Part-Time Employees in Forecast

Earlier this year, we added the ability to choose which days of the week people work in Forecast. This allows for more accurate scheduling and reporting of part-time employees and freelancers.

However, non-work days (days on which someone is not available for scheduling) can create an issue when assigning large blocks of time. The flexibility of dragging an assignment out for multiple days/weeks/months has always been one of Forecast’s most useful features, but assigning over non-work days would create overbookings that needed to be fixed.

We wanted to improve this small issue. Starting today, Forecast will now automatically schedule around non-work days, so you don’t have to fix those overbookings.

Smarter Non-Work Day Scheduling

When dragging an assignment across a non-work day, Forecast previously would count the number of hours on that day. With this change, Forecast will now automatically not count the assignment’s hours on those non-work days.

Visually, the assignment looks like it’s “behind” the non-work day indication (the diagonal gray bars). The heat map on the Team Schedule will take this into account and not count those hours for that day or week. Simple.

But what if you need to schedule on that non-work day? No problem!

If you need to schedule on a day someone normally does not work, you can do so by explicitly creating an assignment on that day. Forecast will ask if this is what you’d like to do, and create an assignment that does count on non-work days.

This new functionality is seamless, simple, and further promotes Forecast’s goal to create a frictionless scheduling experience.

Coming Soon: Scheduling on Saturday and Sunday

We haven’t been entirely forthcoming with you. Dragging assignments across multiple weeks for part-time employees is indeed an issue, but only a few customers actually have this problem today. This change will most likely not immediately affect you and your team.

However, today we’re also announcing that Weekends are coming to Forecast! We’re excited to finally offer planning on Saturdays and Sundays.

When we launch Weekends, all new Forecast accounts will automatically start with a 7-day schedule. All existing accounts will remain 5-days at first, but we’ll be offering an option to update to a 7-day schedule soon after (more details on how and when that happens will be announced soon).

A 7-day Forecast schedule will mean that everyone on the account will have at least two non-work days (typically Saturday and Sunday). We wanted to make sure that the flexibility to drag assignments out for multiple weeks remained intact once we added Weekends, and that’s a bigger reason why we made the change outlined above.

Wrapping Up

Assignments in Forecast now schedule around non-work days. Today, most Forecast customers will not notice any change. When Weekends are added to Forecast, this change will make a huge difference in providing a flexible and seamless scheduling experience.

When can you expect the ability to plan on Weekends to land in Forecast? All I can say today is “soon”. We’re actively working on this feature, and simply need to get this new assignment functionality out the door first. When Weekends are ready, we’ll be announcing that both inside of Forecast and right here on our blog. Stay tuned!

If you have any questions about this change to assignments, or Weekends coming to Forecast, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Power Up Your Project Knowledge by Budgeting in Fees per Task

Have you been using Harvest’s new budgets for fixed fee projects? If so, you might’ve run into an interesting problem. A project can come under its total budget, but how do you know exactly what happened beneath that total number? How do you pinpoint where your team’s kicking butt, or going off track? Or where should you rethink expectations for future projects?

Those questions can be hard to answer if you’re setting just one general budget for every project. But we’ve just released a bit of x-ray vision into exactly what’s going on: the Fees per Task budget.

What’s Beneath the Surface of Your Budgets?

Check it out: this under-budget project looks healthy, and probably made a profit.

 

But is this project really as on-track as it appears? What if:

  • One task took 10 times longer than you expected. Egad!
  • Another task took up $200 worth of time, instead of the $2000 you expected. Nice, but something’s off.
  • Someone tracked $500 worth of time to a task you didn’t expect to work on for several more weeks.

If you look at just the overall budget, you might never know these things were happening. And you wouldn’t have the info to know how to improve (or whom to high-five), how to better budget your next project, or where to focus your project management energy.

Continue reading…

New Roles Get You Faster Access to Team-Specific Reports

A few weeks ago, we announced a forthcoming feature: roles. Today, we’re beginning to roll out this new feature, so you should see it in your account within the next few days! That means you’ll be just a few clicks away from reports that can answer questions like:

  • Do I need to hire another person to help my design team?
  • Did my remote team track time this week?
  • Which team is most billable, most overworked, or consistently under capacity?

What’s a Role?

Roles are descriptors for your teammates, which let you associate a person with their responsibility or position at your company. You can create any role to help identify your teammates—like Designer, Sales, Manager, NYC Office, etc. And you’ll be able to apply any role to anyone on your team.

Harvest roles on a person's profile

The Power of Roles

Don’t let the simple setup of roles fool you. A role’s real power is in your Team report.

In the past, your Team Overview was just a list of everyone on your team. If you work with more than a handful of people, that list was unwieldy. What if you just wanted to report on a specific group?

Continue reading…

New Fixed Fee Budgets Show If You’re On Track or Billing Enough

We were excited to kick off the summer with the release of our new Fixed Fee feature. But one problem’s been bugging us all summer long. After you set up your fixed fee project, how do you know if it’s on track, or if you charged enough?

Answering those questions isn’t easy. Your fixed fee project might be wildly profitable or leaking thousands of dollars. Maybe your team’s working too much (and potentially out of scope), or working too little (and in danger of missing milestones). There simply isn’t a straightforward way to know this info in Harvest.

Today that’s changing! We just released budgets for fixed fee projects, so you can keep things on track.

Now if you create or edit any fixed fee project, you’ll see two ways to budget: in fees or in hours. And depending on which budget method you choose, Harvest will surface different kinds of useful info.

Continue reading…

Introducing Harvest API v2

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of a new version of the Harvest API!

Our API has a long history. It was first introduced in November 2006, with a limited set of time tracking functionality. A year later, we added support for managing clients, projects, tasks, and users. In 2009, invoicing and expenses made their API debut. But the last major update to the Harvest API was made in October 2011.

The new version we’re releasing today is faster, more consistent, and more complete than our existing API (v1), and gives us a solid foundation to expose even more functionality in the future.

What’s New in API v2?

API v2 is a JSON API that allows you to interact with your Harvest account programmatically. You can track time, log expenses, create projects, and more.

Security: Authentication is even more secure. Starting with API v2, we’re replacing Basic Authentication with Personal Access Tokens via Harvest ID. To get one, sign in to your Harvest ID account and click on the Developers link in the top navigation. From there, you can create a new personal access token to authenticate yourself! You can add or destroy these as needed, so you have finer control over your tokens.

Pagination: All collection responses will be paginated so that they’re faster to generate and deliver. You’ll have the freedom to choose how many items you’d like to receive per page. We also include links to the first, last, previous, and next page.

Consistency: Consistency was a major goal for this version. We now return more appropriate HTTP response codes and use consistently coded timezone and currency codes.

Continue reading…