When you start growing as a freelancer,and begin to deal with more clients, you come to realize the importance of organization. If you are to become a successful freelance web designer, you need to be able to take advantage of the enormous collection of tools available (whether free or commercial) via the internet. I wanted to talk about On The Job, a program by Stunt software for time and expense tracking, and invoicing, that runs on Mac OS.
If you’ve taken the time to look around for the most common tools used by design agencies, there’s no doubt that you will have come across Basecamp by 37signlas. It is truly an impressive tools, or collection of tools. With Basecamp you can assign and divide tasks, set deadlines and milestones, share and collaborate on file, and track time in detail. While it already sounds like everything you need in one place, you have to keep in mind that the cheapest plan for Bascamp is at $24 a month (with only up to 15 projects and limited to 3GB of storage). The most popular plan is at no less than $49 monthly. Besides being over-priced, if you are working mostly alone, or up to three people together, it is actually inefficient to rely on such a solution. It is mainly geared towards design agencies that might have a team of 10 personnel working on several projects in parallel.
For that reason, On The Job targets a niche that represents a reasonable market share, but are nonetheless overlooked: Freelance web designers who mostly work alone and deal directly with clients. For that category, On The Job is spot on:
- Set up clients and jobs: Therefore it is easy to see the different tasks that you’ve done for every client, and bill him or her accordingly
- Configure the hourly rate, or flat fee: It automatically displays how much each client owes you for each particular job
- Start/stop the timer: Sitting conveniently on the bar across the top, you can easily stop and continue the timer to find out exactly how much time you’ve been spending with each task
- Create invoices: It comes packed with some standard templates, but gives you the full control of making your own template, dynamically showing the new data with each invoice that you create. Not to mention that you can create invoices for certain jobs, or for everything you’ve done for the client
The best part of it all, is that it’s priced at $40. Even if you’re at the very beginning of your freelancing career, this is an extremely small price to pay, especially since you will be using it for at least a handful of years before you start working regularly with a group of fellow professionals.
It would’ve been nice to have a way to access it from other computers via the internet, for example, and to have it available across platforms. Nevertheless. given that it provides an easy way to track time, jobs, clients and invoices, On The Job is the ideal software for freelance web designers who are working alone and have their work mostly centralized on a single Mac.