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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Invoicing Decisions: My Freshbooks Experience

For the last couple of years, I’ve been searching for an invoicing tool that worked for the way I work. I tried Blinksale, Freshbooks and Less Accounting, among others. I didn’t have very many clients for my side business, so I was able to organize them using three free accounts. Eventually, that became a pain, especially when tallying income for Uncle Sam, as I started getting more clients.


So I did a pretty thorough test of features for the three services, plus local software programs like Billings, and I decided on Freshbooks.

Now, they all have something going for them. The Less Accounting guys are awesome. But so are the Freshbooks folks. Saul Colt, “Head of Magic” is an awesome customer service rep. They have also done a great job of adding new features with no additional charge.

I know I’m paying a monthly fee for something I could get with a one-time purchase of something like Billings, but the extra money is worth it for me to be able to do my business on any computer, track time on my iPhone, and give my clients a nice online interface for their invoices as well as any support tickets.

Freshbooks, for me, makes my business complete. Now I just need to get busy customizing the interface to give it the DE look and feel.

The service was just named by RWW to the Top 10 International Products of 2008. They recently added these great features as well, which really is extra icing on the cake:

  • Invite contractors to work on your projects.
  • Contractors can work on your projects from their own FB account.
  • Receive invitations and project notifications from email and your homepage.
  • Invoices that are sent from your contractors will appear in your received invoices subtab.
  • Pass your contractor’s hours and expenses onto your client from your received invoices subtab.
  • You can now invite contractors onto your projects when creating or editing projects.
  • Your project creation page has been redesigned to be easier to use.
  • Your Team tab has been redesigned to include staff and contractors.

It really is painless, and fast. Sign up here for a free account and let me know what you think, or let me know what you use in the comments!