The HARVEST Blog

News & small business tips from your beloved time tracking & invoicing app.

Harvest for iPhone 3.1: Manage Invoices from Mobile

You and your clients are doing more business on mobile as smartphones become more sophisticated and bigger. Our iPhone app lets you track time and expenses, but invoicing is not as mobile-friendly. Starting today, you can manage invoices from anywhere with the latest release of Harvest for iPhone.

iPhone Invoice Management

Review and Update the Status of an Invoice

Simply whip out your iPhone—like at a bank, or a client’s office—to review and update the status of an invoice. You can view the status of sent invoices, and see which ones are paid and outstanding. And just as easily re-send invoices to clients who misplaced them.

Paired with our mobile-friendly web invoice, clients can view and pay invoices right from their phone.

Receive Push Notifications for Payments and More

With 3.1, push notifications notify you immediately of payment on sent invoices. As soon as your client pays an invoice via Stripe or PayPal, the invoice is marked as paid in Harvest, and account owners are notified on iPhone. For old-fashioned clients who prefer to pay by check, manually mark their invoices as paid and keep receivables up-to-date.

Businesses with timesheet approval also receive notifications sent as reminders to submit time — you’ll be less likely to forget, and you can submit easily right from the app in case you’ve already clocked out and left the office.

Send Clients a Thank You Note

After receiving payment you can send a thank you note right from the app to show your appreciation (and then splurge on some fancy coffee beans). You won’t miss a beat when surprising your clients with an immediate follow up.

This is the first step in managing invoices with Harvest for iPhone, and we plan to release more updates in the future. If you like what you see, please let us know with a review in the App Store.

Harvest for Android 1.7: A Reliable Business Tool

Harvest for Android continues to get better this year with the release of 1.7. Following the modern design introduced last month, the latest update is much more reliable, with a slew of bug-fixes aimed to increase stability and improve syncing data to Harvest.

Harvest for Android 1.7

Quickly Search for Projects and Tasks

Reliability is matched with performance. Time and expense entry has been completely redesigned, with a focus on making input and selection painless. Customers with many projects and tasks can now quickly search and select without having to scroll through long lists.

Create Clients, Projects, and Tasks on the Fly

Not only can you search through projects and tasks, you can also create them.  Clients, projects, and tasks can be created on the fly, even while offline. You won’t have to wait until you have access to a computer to start on something new.

Secure Data Remotely

In the event your Android device is lost or stolen, you can revoke access to Harvest for Android by visiting your Account Profile via a web browser. You’ll also notice the app requesting new permissions to access account services. We’ll be better equipped to securely manage and sync your Harvest account with this enabled.

We invite you try 1.7 with your Android device today, and stay tuned for features like invoice management in the near future. Please write feedback to support@harvestapp.com, and leave a review in the Google Play store if you like what you see!

Customize Max Hours Per Day in Forecast

In July, we introduced Harvest Forecast, a whole new way to schedule your team’s time. Since then, hundreds of companies have adopted Forecast as their tool of choice for team planning. While this has been an exceptional beginning, we’ve been hard at work to make Forecast even better.

Starting today, you can customize the max hours per day for each person. Until now, every person in Forecast is scheduled against a default of eight hours per day. Many customers have asked for this to be flexible to match their needs and we listened. If your entire team schedule around something other than eight hours per day, or if certain individuals on the team have unique availability, you can now accurately reflect that in Forecast. Learn more about how to customize hours per day in our Help Center.

customize max hours per day

This is the first of more updates to come. If you find yourself struggling with unwieldy resource planning spreadsheets or programs, we welcome you to give Forecast a try.

New! Mark Expenses as Billable or Nonbillable

Here at Harvest, we know projects are more than the sum of their hours. Lunch with a client, supplies for a project, tickets to Comic Con? All of this can be tracked in Harvest with our expenses feature.

The trouble is, there’s no way to flag which expenses you’ll pass on to your clients, and which are just internal.

But that’s changing! Today you’ll be able to mark your expenses as billable (invoiceable to your client) or nonbillable.

billable expenses

That billable box will be checked by default, since our Spider-Sense tells us you’ll want to cash in on those expenses. There are a few other things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • We’ll pull only billable expenses into invoices.
  • Your projects’ uninvoiced amounts exclude nonbillable expenses.
  • Your expense report exports have changed. When you export expenses to CSV or Excel, you’ll see a new column titled “Billable?”; it’ll indicate your expense’s billable status. We’ve also made a few other edits to the expense report’s export format to make it consistent with time exports. Here’s a sample expense export so you can know what to expect.

Now if we could only figure out how Spidey’s web-shooters work, we could cut out those travel expenses…

Feature Update, October 31, 2014

We heard your feedback, and recently updated this feature to allow for more flexibility with default settings and billable status.

If a project is set up as non-billable, its expenses will default to non-billable. If a project is set up as billable, its expenses default to billable. We hope this makes this feature even more easy to use!

Harvest Projects and Browser Compatibility

When we began working on our new Harvest Projects section, we had one vision: a unified place in Harvest where you could edit, manage, and report on your projects. We’re putting the final touches on Projects now, and can’t wait to share the results with you. But there’s an important thing to keep in mind.

Harvest Projects comes with many new, useful features. In order for them to work properly, we’re using new technology that’s available only on modern web browsers. That means the new Harvest Projects section will not support Internet Explorer 8 or 9.

This change won’t affect the majority of our Harvest accounts. However, 2% of our customers use these older versions of IE. If that’s one of you, we strongly recommend that you switch to Google Chrome or Firefox, or upgrade to a newer version of IE.

Curious what an upgrade will get you? Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store for our new Harvest Projects:

projects-sneak

We’ll be on hand to help with this transition, and there’ll be ample time to upgrade to our new Projects section. If you have any questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at support@harvestapp.com!

Introducing Harvest Forecast

For the past year, a small team within Harvest has been working behind-the-scenes on a brand new project.

Today, after 5,443 hours of research, design, prototypes, more research, rewrites, polishes and betas, we’re excited to unveil our newest product: Harvest Forecast.

Forecast-Team-View-800

Thinking About the Future

For the past eight years, Harvest has refined how businesses track, analyze, and get paid for their time.

As our customers have grown their businesses, we recognized that Harvest was only part of the solution. Tracking time in the present and past was easy, but there was no answer for the future. Coordinating team assignments and schedules proved to be challenging. You might ask questions like:

  • Do we have enough capacity to take on a new client in two weeks?
  • What are the important milestones and deadlines on our projects this week?
  • Should we hire another person to meet the upcoming project demands?
  • How can we share this plan with the team?

Traditionally, businesses call this kind of scheduling “resource planning.” We like to think of it simply as team time planning.

Many businesses build spreadsheets to try to manage this planning. What we’ve heard from our customers, however, is that spreadsheets just don’t cut it. They’re unwieldy, difficult to maintain, and hard to share.

A New Way to Plan Your Team’s Time

Here at Harvest, we started to imagine what a truly modern solution to the problem could look like. Time was already our primary focus, and we knew that there could be a simpler answer.

We put together a small team of developers and designers with three key concepts in mind:

  • Be Visual – Scheduling projects and people is easier when done as a simple, visual experience.
  • Be Fluid – Accept the reality that schedules and priorities frequently change. Make the information easy to update and maintain so that it can accurately reflect reality.
  • Be Transparent – Plans work best when everyone knows where their time should go. The easier they are to share, the more informed and productive everyone becomes.

Around these simple concepts, Forecast was born. It’s a simple, visual way for you and your team to collaborate on who is working on what and when. It’s a solution designed precisely for the challenge.

Just the Beginning

While Forecast is beautifully simple to use on its own, we’re most excited about the possibilities for people who use Forecast in tandem with Harvest. Harvest tells you how your team spent time; Forecast anticipates where your team will spend time.

At launch, we’re starting simple. Harvest customers can easily bring all of their clients, projects, and people right into Forecast and start scheduling.

In the coming months, we have big plans to bridge the future and the past. One of our primary goals is to surface estimates vs actuals so that business owners and project managers can have previously unavailable insight into how they run their projects.

We’re excited to announce Forecast’s launch today not only because it’s the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work and thought, but because we believe it can make managing your business easier. Check out what a few of our beta customers had to say here.

If you or someone you know finds scheduling people on projects challenging, we invite you to give Harvest Forecast a try today!

Pricing Update (8/15)

After listening to input from many of you, and after deep consideration on our part, we’ve decided it’s best to price by person rather than by projects. You can learn about our new pricing here.

This past month has been an amazing ride, and we’ve heard a lot of great feedback and feature requests, many of which were already on our roadmap. We’re looking forward to sharing these updates with you in the coming months.

Faster Estimate Approval and Payment with Gmail Actions

In May we made it easier for your team to view timesheets straight from Gmail with the initial release of Gmail Actions for Harvest. Now, we’re streamlining the approvals and payments process for clients to help you get paid faster. The latest Gmail Actions allow clients to view estimates and invoices with one click right from the corresponding email’s subject line. With fewer hurdles, clients have fewer reasons to delay. You’ll have more time to get work done instead of hunting down approvals and payments.

Gmail Actions for Harvest Estimates and Invoices

We’ve also added Gmail Actions for report downloads from Harvest. When reports get emailed to you, a button appears in the subject line to open them faster. Simply click Export > Google Drive from a report like the Detailed Time Report, and you’ll have one click access from your inbox to view the report in Drive.

If you or your clients are already using Gmail, these buttons appear automatically on emails from Harvest without any setup. Feel free to send us any feedback or get in touch with our support team if you are having any trouble!

Say Hello to Getting Paid on the Fly

Everyone likes getting paid, and Harvest has a few features to help that happen fast—web invoices and online payments, to name a few.

Usually invoice payments through Harvest work great—if your client is on a computer. But what about your on-the-go clients who use their phone for more than Candy Crush? Ten percent of Harvest’s web invoice traffic comes from mobile—that means a lot of clients viewing a lot of invoices on their phones.

Previously that could be troublesome. Invoices didn’t look their best and, more importantly, you couldn’t pay them from your phone.

Today that’s changed. Say hello to Harvest’s mobile-friendly web invoices, featuring a brand-new, clean design.

Mobile web invoice

Even better, your clients can now pay their invoices straight from their phone. Just set up a payment gateway like Stripe or PayPal. Then your client simply taps the payment button to put money in your pocket.

Mobile web invoice payment

You and your clients are on the move—and now, so are your payments!

A New HarvestStatus.com

Nobody is quite sure how the internet really works and things sometimes go wrong. If Harvest experiences any systems issues, we try to keep our customers apprised of the situation as things develop, using a combination of Twitter and HarvestStatus.com.

Today we deployed an improved version of HarvestStatus.com. We hope this new tool will be very useful.

Customers can now subscribe to updates that we post on HarvestStatus.com. Just click the ‘Subscribe’ button on the new site, then add your email address or phone number. The system will then notify you of any new issues so you can stay informed. There’s also an RSS feed to make things even easier.

This new system allows folks on various Harvest teams to communicate with you during any service-impacting events, allowing those of us fixing any issues to focus on the task at hand.

For any customers who were relying on the now-deprecated status API on the previous version of HarvestStatus.com, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll be glad to work with you on a new solution.

I will now head back down to the Harvest engine room where we spend our time working to keep Harvest running smoothly!

Meet the New Harvest for Google Apps

Google Apps is ingrained in our workflow here at Harvest, and many of our customers share the same story — checking e-mails in Gmail, collaborating on docs in Drive, and more.

Harvest fro Google Apps

The latest release of Harvest for Google Apps takes advantage of these tools already familiar and frequented by teams everywhere. It introduces the ability to pull users from Google Apps right into Harvest without re-entering any information. There’s also a tighter integration with Gmail. The team can take action on submitting timesheets and more right from Gmail’s inbox. Read on for the complete rundown of features.

Single Sign On

Sign in to Harvest with your Google Apps account and have one less password to remember. If you’re already signed in to another Google property like Gmail, you won’t have to re-enter your password to get into Harvest.

Import Users from Google Apps

With employees already in Google Apps, you can quickly add them to Harvest. From Manage > People in Harvest, click Import from Google. Then check off the Google Apps users you’d like to invite to Harvest. They’ll receive an e-mail with information to setup their account.

Gmail Actions

While viewing your inbox, a button now appears near the subject line of certain e-mails received from Harvest. These Gmail Actions provide one-click access to timesheets — either your own, or another employee’s timesheet for approval.

Export to Drive

Create the perfect time report and export it to Google Drive. Simply click Export > Google Drive from the report to export it to Google Drive. From there, manipulate the data in the resulting Google Spreadsheet, share it with colleagues or clients, and more.

Add the integration via the Google Apps Marketplace, and leave us a review if you like what you see! If you have any feedback, or if you’re having trouble please get in touch with our support team.