On The Job – Track billable hours on OS X

Contrary to popular belief, freelance work can be quite stressful. Don’t get me wrong, “work your own hours” definitely has its upsides. Unfortunately, when it comes to billing clients, the laid-back casualness soon dissolves and that pile of sticky notes with chicken scratch hand writing soon takes on a very menacing attribute. The secret is transforming the archaic hand scrawled notes into presentable invoices.

on the job screenshot

Fortunately, Stunt Software offers a fairly new option for OS X users with its On The Job (Price: $24.95 + Demo) project tracking solution.

After having scoured the net for relief in gaining some sense of organization and automation concerning billable hours, invoice creation, and project archiving, I stumbled across a few viable options including: Blinksale, FreshBooks, and SideJobTrack. All three of these were great options yet all shared the same dependancies: online access and / or a small monthly subscription fee for real world usage.

On The Job offers a great deal of functionality packaged into a tiny little application which looks right at home in your OS X Applications folder. Gone are the days of sticky notes littering the desktop, desk lamp, monitor screen, or back pockets. On The Job offers a balanced feature set aimed at improving productivity, time management and invoicing.

Grab yourself a fully functional demo of On The Job to see if your current workflow could use a little efficiency revival with a few of the following features:

Dock timer & Idle checker

dock iconOn The Job’s dock icon serves as an active reminder of your current task. Thanks to its stop watch like timer, users can keep a watchful eye on the amount of time they’ve spent on a current task. If by chance an urgent call redirects your attention, On The Job conveniently prompts you with a message offering to subtract your computers idle time from billable hours.

Grouping, organizing, and archiving

file treeUtilizing a familiar hierarchal folder and file tree, users will have complete control over project organization and task management. Create parent folders for specific clients with sub folders and tasks pertaining to different responsibilities for each. Once a project is completed, archive the project folder for invoice referencing at a later date.

Address Book integration

addressbookOften overlooked, Apple’s Address Book has become a valuable asset in organizing both personal and professional contacts. On The Job offers the ability to quickly reference contacts and clients directly from your Address Book from within the application itself. No need to copy n’ paste contact details, simply click the vCard icon found within the individual project information details.

Project billable hours

bill hoursRather estimating figures for invoicing purposes, embrace the automation offered by On The Job for tracking hours worked, rates, expense, and invoice calculations. Specify an hourly figure per project to automate billing down to the second. Alternatively, direct On The Job to round up or down at 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, or custom intervals.

Invoice creation: PDF, TXT, CSV, & XML

on the job pdf invoice

Create beautiful PDF invoices on the fly for select projects. In addition, On The Job supports exporting project invoices as plain text, XML, or CSV formats. Email your invoices directly to clients from within On The Job using your default mail client.

Will On The Job streamline your workflow?

Stunt Software’s On The Job offers the perfect blend of functionality presented in an attractive minimalist interface. No frills, unnecessary bells or whistles, or bloat. While there is no guarantee that the quality of your work will improve because of this application, I highly recommend the project tracking utility to anyone in search of an all-in-one solution for organizing, tracking, and invoicing clients.

Fresh updates are in the works

After personally speaking with Dan concerning On The Job, and despite the relatively new release, I’ve discovered the next release(s) will include a few much welcomed features:

  • State & Local Taxes: Two text fields will allow users to input applicable tax percentages which will be automatically calculated into the total billable hours.
  • Additional PDF Templates: Additional PDF invoice templates and customizations.
  • Menu Bar &/or Widget support: The added convenience to toggle between tasks timers directly from the OS X menu bar or a standalone widget.

Definitely check out the rest of the software offerings by Stunt Software including: PhotoBooth, Downsize, and Overflow. Digg this.

Discuss - 20 Comments

  1. Thame says:

    I’ve been using it recently and am loving it.

    So simple yet so good.

  2. jakedahn says:

    Wow, I think the first app you mention is pretty cool, gonna have to check it out!

  3. Kevin says:

    This looks pretty cool. I sure can relate to the pile of sticky notes!

  4. JR says:

    This is *just* what I was after! Gonna try it out right now.

  5. Regi says:

    Its a nice change having this sitting the HDrive, saves me several clicks thru them long online service menus.

  6. Nice write up. I’ll have to check it out.

    FYI, side job track is totally free. I’ve been using it for a couple months now, it’s really great.

  7. Looks like a real time saver and hassle remover.

  8. Derek says:

    [quote comment="5138"]Looks like a real time saver and hassle remover.[/quote]

    Definite ergh “time saver”. Not sure about removing any sort of hassle though. There is still work to be done right? Look for an upcoming review of an additional time management service aimed at increasing productivity and managing hours on a per project / task basis.

  9. Chad Edge says:

    I used iBiz [http://www.iggsoftware.com/ibiz/index.html] (used to be called iWork [before Apple came knocking]). I was very happy with that app.. even after they added a server/client model for networked users (internal; not over Web). It allowed us (the designers) to track project progress, track hours, and even begin timers based on design files.
    While the auto-start timer only worked if you tracked specific files, we found that if we begin each project by launching an empty template (inDesign, Illustrator, etc), then we could start the timer with whatever project file we needed to work on.

    Handy little app. I’ll have to look up On The Job to see how it compares.

  10. Derek says:

    Chad, iBiz definitely looks like a full blown solution. The iCal integration looks killer. I was scratching my head the other day wondering if something like iCal integration was something that was really needed. For now, On The Job does a great job. I’ll definitely keep an eye on iBiz though.

  11. [...] Time & money. Both valuable commodities concerning personal & client project management. Over the past few weeks I have spent a great deal of time experimenting with services and applications designed to improve overall management and productivity. From the open source Basecamp alternative known as activeCollab, web based services such as Blinksale, and desktop solutions including Stunt Software’s On The Job [read the review], I have seen a wide range of options available to professional and casual users alike including my recent experience with the Tick preview release [Tickspot]. [...]

  12. [...] I took the svelte application for a little spin and came away impressed. Impressed enough to keep the little icon / timer in my dock for any “projects” which require some sense of time management and billing. [...]

  13. Fred says:

    Looks a lot like TimeNet Pro which I use and recommend.

  14. Harold says:

    I looked at On The Job but the demo didn’t work for me I couldn’t seem to edit the hourly rate etc. My intial impression is that it’s a little limited for my needs.

  15. Derek says:

    To edit your hourly on a per project basis, CMD+I on the project in the left sidebar and set your hourly.

  16. Glenn Wolsey says:

    I also wrote a little mini review:

  17. [...] Kent Sutherland’s Chax is to iChat what Saft is Safari, On the Job is to project management, or ketchup is to hotdogs. Chax adds subtle enhancements to iChat without taking away from the simplistic nature of the application. Using a few of the default as well as added Chax features, you too can fine tune your chat session productivity level. [...]

  18. [...] Article about On The Job, a time tracking / invoicing / project management software for OSX, courtesy of 5ThirtyOne. [...]

  19. Hey Derek! This is pretty cool. I really like the iTunes look and feel. Very clever! Just gotta say, though, that you don’t have to be online to use FreshBooks time tracker widget for OSX or our iPhone application. You only have to be online when you submit your time.

    Also, there isn’t necessarily a price point. We offer a free (called our Moped plan) package which allows you to invoice up to three clients.

    Just sayin’ ; )

    Rayanne Langdon — Marketing Coordinator, FreshBooks.com

  20. Michael says:

    I second the recommendation of TimeNet – the software is amazing, ridiculously powerful and easy to use. Just grabbed the newest update and it’s really pretty incredible. Check it out!!

    http://applesource.biz/software/timenet