Billings 3

I’d used a variety of billing software in the past (including doing it manually InDesign!) and separate timing apps, but discovering Billings 2 was the first time it all clicked together. It quickly joined apps like Coda as one of my “how did I ever manage without?” essentials.

Billings 3 was released today, and here are my thoughts…

First Impressions

The most obvious change is the revised interface. v2 looked good, but 3 brings it in line with Leopard and makes some key changes to improve workflow. For example, invoices and payments have now moved – you need to switch to ‘Account’ view to see these. It took me a a few days to get used to this, but now that I have, it makes much more sense.

projects

(Sorry – couldn’t use a screenshot from my own copy for obvious reasons!)

My biggest gripe with v2 was having to go through a rigmarole just to see unpaid invoices, in my mind the most important bit of information! While there still isn’t an entry for this in the sidebar, I can just click on Reports and then Unpaid Invoices. It’s easier to see past invoices too.

Billings has been given a real polish and even minor details have been given attention, like the menubar timer.

Other welcome new features are:

  • I can see all my slips, and filter by several options
  • Client groups! I just set up two – Active and Inactive Clients. This is a real boon that reduces clutter in the sidebar
  • Clients with overdue payments show up as red in the sidebar

In general though, the revised interface feels like the majority of the changes.

Negatives?

There aren’t many, but there are a few annoyances:

  • The individual slip window still feels in need of attention. If you have more than 99 hours recorded, it only has room to show the first 2 digits. So 134:20 becomes 13:20. Also, the ‘log’ button placement feels like an afterthought, something that would’ve been better as a tab: Scholastic%20Work
  • There’s still no way to import individual projects – only restore a complete database.
  • It’s still difficult to invoice in different currencies, which isn’t a problem for me, but maybe for you.
  • The new icon lacks the detail and clarity of version 2. I’m not sure why they felt this needed to be changed, but this really is minor!
    billingsicons

Gripes aside, it’s still a welcome and worthwhile update to an already great app.

The Hickensian is the journal of Jon Hicks, one half of the creative partnership Hicksdesign. Take a look at the work we do.

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