Review: MakeSomeTime Invoicing App

In my never-ending quest for the perfect project management (PM) system, I recently came across MakeSomeTime (MST). “That’s an interesting name,” was the first thing I thought.

MakeSomeTime Dashboard
MakeSomeTime Dashboard

The interface is shiny and the dashboard is decent, but it is slow, and it doesn’t have the basic feature I require now from a PM tool when adding projects and tasks. In MST, like many other PM tools, you have to enter the task, then click a button, add another task, click a button. Asana and Basecamp understand how painful that can be when setting up a project or just doing a brain dump of tasks and ideas. They allow you to just type and hit enter over and over as you build out your list.

Besides the dashboard, the interface is clunky. There’s a lot of wasted space. Here’s the “add new task” screen.

Adding a Task in MST
Adding a Task in MST

Notice in the background for this project, the actual project details and lists are way down on the screen rather than front and center. Every panel of this interface has a huge header area with counts and data that isn’t really critical. I’d like to see this information on the dashboard, but not taking up this much space on every screen.

The big draw for some people will be the pricing. It’s cheap. Dirt cheap. $3 per month for a freelancer gets you unlimited everything except for additional staff. $25 per year ($2.09 per month) gets you two staff members and unlimited everything and more storage. That’s very cheap.

I tend to spend a lot of time signing up for apps to test and never end up writing my review, so I wanted to throw this one out there while I had a few minutes. My recommendation: stay away from MST unless you are so strapped for cash that you can’t afford a few more dollars per month for a better system like Freshbooks or Harvest. And, if you’re that strapped for cash, you probably shouldn’t be worrying about an invoicing system.

I’ve been testing Teamwork PM’s new version for the last few months. I’ll try to post a review for that one soon as well.


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Choosing Asana Over Basecamp

I have a long history of testing every known tech service or product on the market. I also have a history of never committing to one and the constant state of flux was manageable when I was just doing a few freelance projects on the side.

Since taking my business full time, though, I’ve struggled to find my happy place with a project management tool. Until recently. A few weeks ago, Asana and Harvest introduced time tracking within Asana. This was a great integration for me.

I had been using Basecamp for about six months, but had not completely committed to it. Most of my clients and subcontractors never used it, and it was moderately expensive for a tool that only I was really using. Finally, time tracking and scheduling was pretty weak.

I’ve played with Asana for over a year, but also never committed to it. When I finally decided to switch to Harvest full time from Freshbooks, and I heard that Asana had added Harvest time tracking right inside each task item, I was sold.

So far, it’s worked well. I still have one issue because I have separate Harvest accounts for Duce Enterprises and Learning Ninjas, and only one Asana account with different workspaces. As far as I know, you can only link one Harvest account, so that’s something I’m still working and I’ll let you know what happens.

Basecamp is excellent. It’s simple, easy to manage, has project templates, calendars, and many other features. But it’s limited in time tracking (none in the new version) and is a bit on the pricey side for one user. If you have a team, or a committed group of subcontractors, or clients who love to “watch” a project, then Basecamp is a solid choice.

Most of my clients don’t want to watch the task lists. And if they did, Asana still allows for that (though it’s a bit more work for the client to set up an account and join a project in Asana than in Basecamp). So, for me, Harvest time tracking inside of my task manager was perfect.

I’m still looking for the ultimate calendaring and project management tool. Somebody go build it for me, please!

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Olympus Has Fallen…Out

This looked like a movie I’d really like. An attack on our soil, a patriotic, badass response, and Morgan Freeman as a high-ranking official yelling at people.

What it actually is, though, is a bad mashup of Rambo and Die Hard, set in the White House.

Gerard Butler as a secret service agent. Really? A character named Mike Banning with a bad accent? Not buying it.

Aaron Eckhart and Ashley Judd as President and First Lady? Riiiiiiiiiiight. When have you seen people anywhere close to that attractive in office?

And then the Rambo/Die Hard effect: Banning survives a ridiculous number of attacks, is the only one left to save the world (but not really the world, because it’s just the White House), saves a kid, saves the President, and survives. I especially like the scene where all the idiot secret service agents run out onto the front steps with no formation or concept of weapons, into a barrage of high-caliber bullets, presumably to jack up the number of bodies Banning has to step over to enter the building, for effect. Lame.

Tons of inconsistencies and other annoyances as well.

  • Freeman’s character (Speaker of the House) negotiates with terrorists, then doesn’t, then does. WTF?
  • The White House bunker is pretty damn easy to get in and out of, apparently.
  • When two of six SEAL team helicopters get blown out of the sky by some super weapon, the obvious, and surely realistic, military tactic is to keep attacking with the other four until you’re down to only one. Then retreat.
  • Gerard Butler as a secret service agent. Yes, I have to mention it again. It’s that bad.
  • The codes to the stupid disarming mechanism for our nukes, which, of course, if activated, would detonate them on our own soil. The whole concept is just absurd.

Okay. I’m done. It’s lame. Skip it.

Shit, G.I. Joe is going to be bad, but at least I know that and go into it with different expectations.