Report Library for Professional Services Firms

October 13, 2009

A couple of report-related updates today.  You’ll notice that we’ve added an autumn colour to our tabs and we’ve also got a new General Ledger integration report.

New Report Library

Projjex conveniently places its reports on the window where we’ll think they’ll be most useful.  However, this can make it difficult to remember where one particular report is.  No longer.

We’ve created a Report Library and gathered the most common reports together.  You can still run reports from their original location;  you can also find them in the Report Library.

By the way, note that certain reports are only available to administrators and project owners.  If you can’t see some reports, that’s probably why.

The New Report Library

General Ledger Integration Report

Is your accountant asking you how to integrate Projjex invoice and tax information into your accounting system?  Now you’ve got the answer:  run the new GL Integration Report and put a smile on their face!

As usual, you’ll come across other minor enhancements and tune-ups such as the slightly revised Gantt Chart.  Enjoy all of these changes – and let us know what else you’d like to see from us.

Regards,

alex-signature

Alex Glassey and
The Projjex Team

Here’s how to reach us:
Support email: support@projjex.com
Suggestions: feedback@projjex.com
Telephone: (888) PROJJEX or (888) 776-5539
Send postcards to: 1-974 Sutcliffe Road, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8Y 1M8
Follow along on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexglassey

Better. Faster. Prettier.

September 12, 2009

For everyone in the Northern Hemisphere, we hope you all had a fantastic summer.  If you’re on the other end of the planet, be patient – your summer is coming soon!

No matter where you are, though, we’ve got lots to talk about!

Projjex Looks Better

If you’ve already signed in this morning, you’ve seen that we’ve modernized the look of Projjex.  This new look is easier on the eyes.  We’ve taken the time to slightly reorganize things so they’re more consistent and easier to find.  We also needed to adjust the interface to accommodate some significant enhancements that are coming in the next six months.

It’s quite a change from the original design and may take you a day or two to get used to.  We think you’ll agree, though, that Projjex looks much better with its new facelift!

Fully Branded Client Experience

You can now provide your clients (and sub-contractors and staff) with a completely self-branded Projjex experience.  They can sign in to Projjex from your website (or a generic sign in page) and then will only see your logo while using Projjex.

In addition, we’ve created a new role called ProjjexClient.  When you identify somebody as a ProjjexClient, they will have read-only access to the Projjex data that you give them access to.  They can download and upload documents and then can also add notes, but they won’t be able to make any other changes.  Any emails sent to them will not identify Projjex in any way – including the return email address which can be set by you.  This is a great way to get your client directly involved in the management of their project!

You can have an unlimited number of ProjjexClients so long as you have a paid membership to Projjex.

How to create a branded environment

To learn more about branding Projjex you must be the manager of a Central Administration account.  If you are:

- sign in to Projjex
- click on “Settings” (at the top right)
- click on the “Central Admin” tab
- click “Manage your central administration group”
- click the “Preferences” tab.

Use this page to provide a default “From” email address that will be used for all emails that Projjex generates from your projects.  Attach your logo which will replace the Projjex logo on all windows and reports.  Then:

- click in the “Branded Login” section at the bottom of the window
- follow the instructions and click the “Save Changes” button.

Here’s how the branded sign in will appear on your website:

Branded client sign in.

Changing someone to “ProjjexClient”

Central Admin managers can change somebody to a ProjjexClient role from the Users tab in Central Admin.  Click on the menu beside the person’s name and choose “Upgrade to Client” (or “Downgrade to Client” if they currently have a paid account).

Central Admin upgrade menu

“Free” accounts have been discontinued

As mentioned in our emails to you over the summer we needed to change our account structure to better reflect our customers’ use of Projjex.  Effective immediately, we have discontinued the “free” Projjex account.  All free accounts must either convert to a paid account or be converted to a ProjjexClient account by a Central Admin manager.  If you currently have a free account, you will be brought to an upgrade screen the next time you sign in.  Regardless of which account you choose, rest assured that all of your Projjex data remains intact and will be retained for at least 6 months.

New Projjex users will have full access to all of Projjex’s features free for 14 days.

Some other significant changes

We’ve made many other smaller changes that make Projjex even better to work with.  Here are the more significant ones:

You can now make individual items billable or non-billable.

When adding or editing a task or milestone, you’ll be able to check a “Billable?” field on or off.  When entering time against that item, the time entry screen will default to this status.  You may still over-ride it at the time of entry (in other words, you may still enter non-billable time against a billable task, or billable time against a non-billable task).

We support more browsers.

We now support this extended list of browsers:  FireFox 3.0 on Windows and Mac, FireFox 3.5 on Windows and Mac, Internet Explorer 7 on Windows, Internet Explorer 8 on Windows, Google Chrome on Windows.

The Dashboard goes visual.

The Project Status Summary section of the Dashboard now presents more data, more meaningfully.  Each project now shows the number of items in the project and the number of items assigned to you.  For both the project overall and for you it also shows the number of items with no due date, number of items due within 7 days, and the number of overdue items.

You’ll also see a quick visual indicator of the status of budgeted resources and billable dollars.  The number underneath the graphic is the budgeted hours or dollars;  hovering over the arrow shows the actual billable hours and dollars along with a percentage of actual over budget.

This is a very convenient way to see the status of your projects.

New Project Status Summary view.

Links in email alerts go directly to the item.

When you receive an email alert about a particular project item, clicking on the link in the email will bring you directly to the item in the Projects tab in Projjex.  ‘Nuff said!

Date Manager can be run at any level in the Projects tab.

Use Date Manager to quickly change start and/or end dates for a group of tasks and milestones.  Date Manager can now be invoked from any item in the Projects tab and will only affect that item and all of its “children”.  Just click on the pull-down menu beside that item and choose “Date Manager”.

This is a very fast way to change dates to a group of related items.

You’ll be warned when you try to upload documents with duplicate names.

When you attach a document to an item, Projjex will check to see if a document with that name already exists in that project.  If it does, you’ll be prevented from attaching that document to that item.  Your options are:

- rename the item and try again OR
- go to the documents tab, find the document and use the “Add new version” option from the document’s menu.

Remember to use the search feature to quickly narrow the number of documents you see in the Documents tab.  Simply type the name of the document and click on the “magnifying glass”.  You’ll instantly find what you’re looking for and you can then use “Add new version” to upload the latest version of your document.

Remember to keep in touch…

We’ve got lots more coming soon.  In the meantime, call, write or email us with your compliments or concerns.

Regards,

alex-signature

Alex Glassey and
The Projjex Team

Here’s how to reach us:
Support email: support@projjex.com
Suggestions: feedback@projjex.com
Telephone: (888) PROJJEX or (888) 776-5539
Send postcards to: 1-974 Sutcliffe Road, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8Y 1M8
Follow along on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexglassey

Management Reports for Professional Services Firms

June 26, 2009

Professional services firms need specific management information to properly manage their firms. Two key performance indicators are “utilization rate” and “labor inventory”. Today, Projjex has added two new management reports that provide this critical information.

In addition, you can now record expense budgets by project and task, and then see comparisons against the actual expenses incurred during a project.

New! Labor Inventory Report

To help you manage your resources and your business, the new “Labor Inventory” report tells you how many unbilled person-weeks of time you have remaining in a project.

For example, let’s say you have a project that’s got 400 budgeted hours. And let’s say you’ve already charged 100 hours against that project. If you normally bill 30 hours a week, the report will tell you that you’ve got 10 person-weeks of billable time remaining in that project (i.e. 400 budgeted hours MINUS 100 billed hours EQUALS 300 hours remaining DIVIDED BY 30 hours per week EQUALS 10 person-weeks).

As you use this report to assess all of your projects, you can better manage your firm’s resources:  if the sum of person-weeks in all your projects drops too low, you’ll know that it’s time to increase your marketing efforts or adjust staff levels. As the number of person-weeks gets higher, it’ll be a signal to start hiring.

To see the new “Labor Inventory” report:

- sign in to Projjex
- click on the “dashboard” tab
- open the “Project Status Summary” section
- click on the print icon to the right of the project that you wish to run this report for
- select “Labor Inventory Report”
- confirm the options and…
- …click the “Create Report” button.

Note that the “Labor Inventory” report is only available to administrators.

New! Individual Utilization Rate Report

“Utilization Rate” is an important number for firms that charge their time to clients. It shows the billing efficiency of an individual or a firm. There are two methods to calculate utilization rate:

The first method calculates the number of billable hours divided by the number of hours recorded in a particular time period. For example, let’s say that I recorded 40 hours of time this past week but only 30 hours of that was billable. My utilization rate would then be 30 / 40 = 75%.

With this method, however, it’s easy to see how this utilization rate can be gamed:  if I stop recording non-billable time, my utilization rate will always be 100%.

The second way to calculate utilization rate is to take the number of billable hours and divide by a fixed number of hours per week. For example, let’s say that I recorded 32 hours of billable time in a 40 hour week.  My utilization rate would then be 32 / 40 = 80%.

Note that with this second method it’s possible to have a utilization rate that exceeds 100%. If I recorded 50 hours of billable time last week then I’d have a utilization rate of 50 / 40 = 125%.

Projjex’s new “Individual Utilization Rate” report calculates both of these values for your team members and for the group overall.

To see the new “Individual Utilization Rate” report:

- sign in to Projjex
- click on the “time/expenses” tab
- click on the “admin” sub-tab
- click the print icon at the top right
- select “Individual Utilization”
- choose the people that should be included on the report and click the “Next” button
- confirm the options and…
- …click the “Create Report” button.

Note that the “Individual Utilization” report is only available to administrators.

New!  You can now record budgeted expenses…

…and compare them with actual expenses. Add or edit any task or milestone and you’ll see a new field called “Budgeted Expense”.  Use it to record any positive value that represents the expenses that you believe will be incurred for that task or milestone.

Then use the “Project Status Report” to see an up-to-the-minute comparison of actual and budgeted expenses.  This really helps you keep track of everything related to your project!

And More to Come Next Month!

Even though we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada), and even though summer offers an unbelievable  variety of activities (hiking, biking, fishing, climbing, sailing, boating, snorkeling, scuba, cottaging…) we’ve decided to forgo our summer holidays so that we can bring you even more great features… ;-)

Have a great summer (or winter if you’re on the other side of the line)!

Regards,

alex-signature

Alex Glassey and
The Projjex Team

Here’s how to reach us:
Support email: support@projjex.com
Suggestions: feedback@projjex.com
Telephone: (888) PROJJEX or (888) 776-5539
Send postcards to: 1-974 Sutcliffe Road, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8Y 1M8
Follow along on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexglassey

For Professional Services Firms: A Huge Update!

June 1, 2009

Many Projjex users are professional services firms.  Professional services firms have specific needs relating to tracking time and expenses, billing, and managing projects.  This release has 11 major enhancements and dozens of minor tweaks that address those needs.  So if you’re a professional services firm, you’ll find lots here for you;  and if you’re not, you’ll also find lots to love.

The new release includes:

- the ability to track expenses and invoice them
- a brand-new Time Clock window:  it’s now super-easy to calculate and track time
- a new Gantt chart:  you can now see 8 weeks at once
- a new Date Manager:  change multiple start and due dates at once
- a new TimeOnly user:  perfect for sub-contractors and associates
- a new email scheduler:  get daily update emails only on the days you want
- an updated Project Status Report:  even better project tracking
- a new invoice style:  clean, professional and it supports expenses
- create a group of projects:  clean up your workspace and focus on just a few projects at a time
- revised Central Admin:  much easier to use

You’ll also notice that we’ve removed the banner at the top of every Projjex page.  This keeps the screen clean and improves performance.

We’ve also added a white paper that we think can help you revitalize your firm.  It’s called “Improving Financial Performance Through Daily Time Tracking“.  Download it directly right here:

http://www.projjex.com/whitepapers/time-tracking-benefits.pdf

This is a great release and we know you’ll love it! Keep reading for all the details.

New! Expense Tracking

Record expenses, write them up (or down), and then invoice them. You can now let Projjex track all your time and expenses.

To record an expense:

- click on the “time/expenses” tab
- click on the “expenses” sub-tab
- click on “+ ADD EXPENSE”
- choose the project that you want to add the expense to and click “Next”
- enter your expense details.

Note that the “Cost Amount” is the actual amount that you paid for the expense.  The “Bill Amount” is how much you’d like to bill your client.  These are often the same amount, however some firms “write up” their expenses by adding an administration fee or percentage.  In this case the Bill Amount would be higher than the Cost Amount. And you may wish to bill your client less (“write down” the expense) for any number of reasons.

- if you’ve finished entering expenses, click on the “Close” button; if you’d like to add another expense, click on the “Add Another” button.

Your expenses will  show on the “expenses” sub-tab.  In addition, administrators will be able to see expenses on the “admin” sub-tab.  Expenses will also appear during the invoicing process.

Add a new expense.

New!  Time Clock:  Track time anywhere, anytime.

The Time Clock is a small browser window in which you can track time against any of your projects, tasks and milestones. Time Clock will even calculate durations for you.  Here’s how to use it:

- sign in to Projjex
- click on the “time/expenses” tab
- click on the “timesheet” sub-tab
- click on “Time Clock” and the Time Clock window appears

The Time Clock Window

Note that Time Clock is in a separate browser window.  You can sign out of the main Projjex window and Time Clock will continue to be available until you close its browser. This makes it very easy to always have a time tracking window available on your computer’s desktop.

To record time in Time Clock:

- select a project,
- select a task or milestone,
- confirm that the date is correct,
- add additional description if required,
- enter the time in a hh.hh format (ie. 1.25 is one and a quarter hours or one hour and 15 minutes),
- confirm whether the time is billable or not,
- and click on the “Save” button.

A message will briefly appear telling you that the time record was successfully saved.

If you prefer to have Time Clock calculate the duration, simply click the “Start” button. Time Clock will now remember this start time, even if you close the Time Clock window. When you click “Stop”, Time Clock calculates the elapsed time and puts the value in the “Hours” field. Feel free to change it and then click “Save” to save the time entry.

All time entries are saved into your project and can be viewed, edited and deleted in the “timesheet” and “admin” sub-tabs.

Updated!  The Gantt Chart

Yes, Gantt Chart fans, you can now see up to 8 weeks on the Projjex Gantt Chart! Here’s how to see it:

- click on the “Calendar” tab
- select “Task (Gantt) View” from the pull down menu that appears on the left side

Gantt Chart

Remember: you can change dates by simply clicking on the date navigation keys.  You can also change the view using the project and the resource filters:  see the tasks, meetings and milestones for a single project, a group of projects or all projects;  see the tasks, meetings and milestones for an individual or for everybody.

New! Date Manager

We wanted to give you the ability to make date changes to many tasks and milestones at once. However, in order to keep Projjex as easy to use as possible, we wanted to do this without resorting to dependencies (where, for example, the start date of task 2 depends on the end date of task 1). Dependencies can get very complicated and, for most people who are managing a project, dependencies are simply overkill. Many people simply want to do something like this: “For all tasks and milestones in the Acme project that haven’t started yet, delay them by 10 working days”.

The Date Manager accomplishes this.

Simply click the “Date Manager” link from either the “projects” tab or the “calendar” tab:

- Choose your project,
- the responsible person or people,
- whether you want to adjust tasks, milestones or both,
- how much you want the date to change (positive values make the dates later;  negative values make the dates move earlier),
- confirm the working days of the week,
- select the appropriate date range(s),
- and click “Next”.

Date Manager will show you all of the items that will be affected and allows you to unselect those you don’t wish to be adjusted.  When you are satisfied with the items that will be adjusted, click “Next” and Date Manager will make the changes.

Note that Date Manager won’t adjust any items that are complete.

Date Manager works well in conjunction with the Gantt Chart – changes are immediately updated so you can ensure that your changes are exactly what you want.

The Date Manager screen, below, will accomplish the simple query shown above (“For all tasks and milestones in the ‘Q2 Release’ project that haven’t started yet, delay them by 10 working days.”
Date Manager Option Screen

New! TimeOnly User

Wouldn’t it be great if all of your staff and sub-contractors were using Projjex to record their time and expenses? That way your “Project Status Report” would always be completely up to date.  It would also make it so much easier to create invoices if everyone’s time and expenses were always up to date.

Here’s a great way to ensure that all of your staff and sub-contractors are properly recording their time – without having to purchase the full version of Projjex for all of them.

Using Central Administration, you can now specify that somebody is a “TimeOnly” user.  After they sign in to Projjex they will only see the “time/expenses” tab. This will allow them to use both the Timesheet and Time Clock to enter time; they’ll be able to record their expenses; and they can view or print the Timesheet report to get a record of their time.

Best of all, TimeOnly users cost only $5.95 per month!

TimeOnly users must be set up as part of a Central Admin group.  They must be set up by the Central Admin manager.  At least one person in the Central Admin group must be a full Projjex user.

New! Email Scheduling

Everybody loves getting the daily status emails from Projjex (well, almost everybody!) but some people would like to get them less frequently.

You can now tell Projjex which day(s) of the week you wish to receive the status email.  Here’s how to adjust the email schedule:

- click on “Settings”
- click on the “Preferences” tab
- open “Email Settings” by clicking on the expand triangle
- choose the appropriate days of the week
- click the “Save” button (at the bottom)
- click “back to Projjex” in the top right menu

Updated! Project Status Report

If you use the “Project Status Report” you already know how valuable it is.  If you don’t use it, here’s one more reason that you should review it every week for each of your projects.

We’ve added some additional information to the bottom of this report (click the image to see a larger version):

Click to see larger image.

Click to see larger image.

We’ve added a “Project to Date” section.  The first line in this section summarizes the budget and actual information for completed items.  This is a great way to tell if your project is running ahead or behind schedule so far.

The next line is similar but shows budget and actual information for items that have been started but are not yet complete.  The line below that shows a summary of items that are budgeted but that haven’t yet begun.

We’ve also added a “Project Invoicing” section at the end.  This helps you to keep track of the financial aspect of the project.

At Projjex, we’re very strong believers in tracking time daily and then using the Project Status Report each week to keep on top of things.  If you haven’t read it yet, click here to get our “Daily Time Tracking” white paper and click here to see our Quick Start video that shows you how to set budgets and then use the Project Status Report effectively. This is really important stuff.

New! Another Invoice Style

Here’s another invoice style that is very clean and professional-looking (click on the image to see a larger version):

Invoice Style #2

To use this invoice style:

- click on the “invoices” tab
- click on the “setup” sub-tab
- choose “Style #2″
- click on the “Save Preferences” tab

New! Create a Group of Projects

You already know how to use the project pull-down menu to view a single project or to view all of them. However, if you have a lot of projects, you might find it convenient to work on a particular group of them. You can now do this by creating “Project Groups”.

Groups are created through Central Admin by the Central Admin manager.  Here’s how:

- click on “settings”
- click on the “Central Admin” tab
- click on “Manage your central administration group”
- click on the “Project Groups” tab
- click on the “Add New Project Group” button
- give the group a name, select which projects will belong to this group, and click the “Save” button
- click “back to Projjex” in the top menu bar

To use the group, simply click on the “projects” pull-down menu (the menu at the far left immediately underneath the logo):

Using Project Groups

By selecting the group “Acme Client Projects”, Projjex will show only the projects that belong to this group. All tabs will respect this filter (for example, the new Gantt Chart will only show items from the projects in this group).

This is a great way to group projects by client or even by department.

Note that a project can belong to more than one group.

Here’s how to delete a project group:

- click on “settings”
- click on the “Central Admin” tab
- click on “Manage your central administration group”
- click on the “Project Groups” tab
- click on the name of a project group
- click the “Delete” button
- click “back to Projjex” in the top menu bar

Note that deleting a project group does NOT delete any of the projects that belong to it.

Thank you for your comments and suggestions!

We keep saying this but only because it’s so very true:  we love hearing from you.  We love your emails and your calls.  We love your survey responses.

Thank you from all of us. Keep the comments coming!

Regards,

alex-signature

Alex Glassey and
The Projjex Team

Here’s how to reach us:
Support email: support@projjex.com
Suggestions: feedback@projjex.com
Telephone: (888) PROJJEX or (888) 776-5539
Send postcards to: 1-974 Sutcliffe Road, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8Y 1M8
Follow along on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexglassey

Professional Service Firms – Strategies to Increase Billings

April 26, 2009

Do you manage a professional service firm?  Do you want to ensure you’re not giving away hours of free time per month?  Industry best practice suggests adopting daily time tracking procedures throughout your firm.

The benefits of daily time tracking and recording include:

- Ensuring that billable time doesn’t get forgotten.  At the end of the month it’s just too easy to forget a couple of minutes of review here and a short phone call there.  Time tracking studies suggest that this can be as high as 20% (!) but that typically 5 – 10% of billable time is simply not recorded when done monthly.

- Greater accuracy and professionalism.  You have multiple clients but your clients only have one “you.”  If your staff isn’t recording time daily your firm may record billing mistakes due to faulty memory or transcription errors.  Your clients will notice. In the unlikely event of a billing dispute, not having accurate billing puts you at a huge disadvantage.

- Higher likelihood that staff will record all billable time. Daily billing/recording sends a message that your firm is serious about complete and accurate billing and this will put subtle but firm pressure on staff to properly record billable time.

Still not convinced that tracking time daily will significantly help your firm’s financial performance?  Visit us soon for more compelling reasons to adopt daily time tracking.

Professional services profitability – tracking time on a daily basis should be a top priority

April 20, 2009

Being in touch every day with professional service providers like consultants, architects and engineers has made it clear that you’re all concerned about the recession and you all want to be more profitable.

Here’s an observation that is elegant in its simplicity:  companies who bill out their staff by the hour will significantly improve their business simply by ensuring that everyone records their time by the end of each and every day.

Doing this typically increases billings (by as much as 10% a month), improves the manageability of projects, speeds up cash flow, reduces admin time, highlights staff performance, and makes future proposals more profitable.

Sound too good to be true?  I’ll flesh this out in greater detail in coming posts but in the meantime start thinking about how you could move your organization to daily time tracking.

Greased Lighting, a helpful tip, and ways to keep in touch

March 5, 2009

Woo hoo!  More great stuff added to Projjex today.

Faster “projects” tab

Like, way faster!  You should notice an overall speed improvement to most things in the “projects” tab.  In particular, opening larger projects can be as much as 95% faster.  Whoosh – greased lighting!

Yellow highlight bar

We’ve added a yellow highlight bar to make it easier for you to work with items in the “projects” tab.  You’ll notice it when you add, edit, delete or drag an item, and when you click on an item’s menu.

projjex20090305-011

Recent Activity and Activity Log now use pages

You can now specify how many items to see at a time in the Recent Activity and Activity Log sections of the Dashboard.  Move the slider to increase or decrease the number of records.  This will speed up these sections when you have large numbers of items.

projjex20090305-02

Another good reason to try Firefox…

…add and edit windows in the “projects” tab can now be dragged – hooray!  This allows you to see what’s underneath the window without having to close and reopen windows. This feature is only available in Firefox as Internet Explorer doesn’t support this ability.

Security status now highlighted in icons

The security status of items marked as Private and Personal is now shown by a change in an item’s icon.  Items marked as Private now have a small triangular “P” in the lower right corner of their icon;  items marked as Personal have both the triangular “P” and a thin red border.

These new icons make it immediately obvious how items are being shared:
- items with normal icons can be seen by everybody that has been invited to your project
- items with a triangular red “P” in the lower corner can only be seen by people “inside” your organization
- items with a triangular red “P” AND a red border can only be seen by you, project administrators and people with invoicing access

projjex20090305-04

Hovering over the paperclip icon now shows an unlimited number of files

When you hover over the paperclip icon in the “projects” tab, the small window that shows the files attached to that icon now uses scroll bars to show an unlimited number of files.

Time items displayed differently

To keep the “projects” tab free from clutter, time records no longer show in the main item view.  To see time records that belong to a specific item, edit the item and click on the “Time” tab.

Of course, the best place to see time records is in the “Timesheet”!

And some little stuff, too…

  • general interface cleanup such as alignments and fonts;
  • when adding a task, the “Add Another” button is now the default when you press [ENTER] making it much faster to add several tasks;
  • initials are displayed in the user dropdown menus along with the user name;
  • Notes can now be dragged and dropped; and
  • meetings can be added directly from the Meetings tab.

Hot Tip!  Create instant discussion groups

You can instantly create a discussion group.  Simply add a note to a task or milestone.  Someone else can then click “add note” and add their comments.  Other can contribute at any point in the discussion by simply adding their own notes.

You can easily follow along because everyone else’s notes will show in your Dashboard in Recent Activity.  And you can see the entire conversation anytime, including your own comments, by simply going to the “projects” tab and expanding the appropriate item.

projjex20090305-05

Please keep in touch!

Projjex is a team effort.  Our team includes not only our designers, programmers, testers, and support and operational people, but also you. In fact, you’re the most important person on our team. Please keep in touch:  call us, email us, visit our forum, send us a postcard, or drop by for tea. You’re always welcome!

By the way, I’d like to extend a special thanks to Jamie, Jo-Anne, Marty, Leah, RJ and Anna for their hard work, patience and enthusiasm in this release.

Regards,

alex-signature

Alex Glassey and
The Projjex Team

Here’s how to reach us:
Support email: support@projjex.com
Suggestions: feedback@projjex.com
Telephone: (888) PROJJEX or (888) 776-5539
Forum: forum.projjex.com
Send postcards to: 1-974 Sutcliffe Road, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8Y 1M8
Follow along on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexglassey

NEW! Integrated invoicing is here!

January 9, 2009

As we promised in our last blog, we wanted to start off 2009 with some big news:

Projjex now has integrated invoicing!

With ProjjexInvoicing you can:

  • attach client information to projects
  • automatically create invoices from time records with 4 summary levels
  • add expenses or other charges to invoices
  • record discounts on your invoices
  • automatically calculate 3 levels of taxes
  • print your invoices (they fit into a standard #9 double window envelope)
  • email your invoices as a PDF file

This is an amazing addition to Projjex!  Projjex now supports your complete work life-cycle:

  • use Projjex to create budgets and estimates
  • use Projjex with your clients and colleagues as you work on the project
  • track your time with Projjex (use your mobile device to do this, too!)
  • create professional-looking invoices

ProjjexInvoicing is included AT NO EXTRA COST when you sign up for ProjjexTime (which only costs $5.95 a month).  And for the next 30 days you can use it for free!

We’ve got a complete overview of ProjjexInvoicing at the bottom of this page, so keep scrolling.

And in other news…

We’ve also enhanced the Project Status Report.  It now includes real-time financial updates, budgets and variances.  You can see the Project Status Report for any project for which you are an owner or administrator. Go to Dashboard, open the “Project Status Summary”, and click on the printer icon that appears to the right of your project.

…and we’ve added customer support options

You can now reach our Customer Support Team using our toll-free number (1.888.776.5539, extension 5).  This is in addition to our tutorials, blog, forum and support email (support@projjex.com).  Get the most out of Projjex – call or write us today with your questions and comments.

Enjoy the new features! We wish you good luck and good fortune in 2009.

All the best,

alex-signature

Alex Glassey and
The Projjex Team

ProjjexInvoicing Described in Full

You’ll notice a new tab the next time you sign in to Projjex.  If you click on the “Invoicing” tab, you’ll see a set of three sub-tabs:

Invoicing tabs

Invoicing tabs

The Invoice Setup Screen

To start, click on the “setup” sub-tab and the following window will appear:

Invoicing Setup Window

Invoicing Setup Window

If you charge taxes on your invoices, enter up to three taxes in the “Tax Setup” section. Enter the tax name and the tax rate including up to 2 decimals.  Tell Projjex how the tax is to be calculated in the “Applies To:” line.  For now, you can leave the “Charged On:” field set to the default of “Time and Expenses”.

Enter your company name and address in the “Invoice Header” section. This will then appear on the invoice at the top left corner. You can modify this information when you create an invoice.

If you have any text that should appear at the bottom of your invoices, add it in the “Invoice Footer” section.  You can modify this information when you create an invoice.

Click on the “Save Preferences” button when you are finished with this page.

Adding Client Information to Projects

You can now add client address and contact information to each of your projects.  There are two places to do this.  You can click on the “projects” tab and then click on the “Edit” menu item beside any project. The project edit window will appear:  click on the “Client” tab.

You can also add client information by clicking on the “clients” sub-tab which appears under the “invoicing” tab:

Client and Project List

Client and Project List

All of your projects will appear. You can change the sort order by clicking on the headings. And, in a sneak preview to what’s coming in future releases, you can even change column widths by clicking on the space between column headers.

To add or change the client information for a project, click on the “edit” menu item beside a project:

Add or change a project's client information

Add or change a project's client information

Add your client’s information and then click the “Close” button.  The information that you add in here will be used on any invoices created for this project. You will be able to review and modify the client information when you create an invoice.

If you have multiple projects with a single client, you can copy client information from another project by using the pull-down menu at the top of the window.  Simply select the project that already has your client’s information and click the “Copy” button.  You can then review and edit this client information.  Note that changes that you make to the client information in one project are NOT reflected in other projects.

Creating an Invoice

Okay, let’s get to the good stuff!  Here’s how to create a new invoice:

You can start the process from either the “clients” sub-tab or the “invoices” sub-tab.  From the “clients” sub-tab, select the project that you want to create an invoice for, click on the menu’s down arrow and choose “Create Invoice”.

From the “invoices” sub-tab, click on “+ ADD NEW INVOICE”.  Either way, the following “Create a new invoice” window will appear.  There are now three steps to creating a finished invoice:

Create a new invoice - step 1

Create a new invoice - step 1

Confirm (or add) the project that you want to use in the “Project:” pull-down menu.

If you have time entries associated with this project, select the date range.  We recommend that you leave the first date blank in order to find all unbilled time entries.  Normally the second date would be set to the end of your billing period (typically the last day of the previous month).

If you have time entries associated with this project, be sure to check “Un-invoiced time entries from the selected project”.

If you select “Show each time entry on its own line”, Projjex will create a draft invoice where each time entry becomes its own line.  However, Projjex can also summarize your time entries in three ways.  Select the summary method you’d like.

After you’ve chosen the summary method, you can select which fields Projjex should use when creating the draft invoice.

When you’re satisfied with your choices, click “Continue” to reach the second step:

Creating a new invoice - step 2

Creating a new invoice - step 2

Note that the second window will NOT appear if there are no time entries for the date range that you selected. You would immediately see the third screen.

The second screen lists all of the time items that Projjex will use to prepare a draft invoice.  Review them carefully and unclick any time entries that you don’t wish to invoice at this time.  Projjex won’t forget about them:  they’ll show up the next time you create an invoice for this project.

When you’re satisfied with the time entries that have been selected, click “Create Invoice” and the third window will appear:

Creating a new invoice - step 3

Creating a new invoice - step 3

Confirm or change your information and your client information.

Projjex automatically generates an invoice number and then will increment this invoice number for all future invoices for this project. You may change this number.

Projjex assumes the date of the invoice is today’s date. You may change this date.

Enter a purchase order number in the “PO Number:” field, if appropriate.

Change the currency field, if appropriate.

Depending on the options you chose in the first screen, and the time records you selected in the second screen, Projjex creates one or more line items. You may edit the description, unit cost (hourly rate), quantity, and the applicable taxes.  Projjex will update the item’s Price and the invoice totals at the bottom of the screen.

You may add a new blank line immediately below any existing line by clicking on the “+” symbol at the left side. Use this if you wish to invoice expenses, for example.  You may also add a discount:  simply make the unit cost negative.

You may remove any line by clicking on the “X” symbol at the left side. You will be asked to confirm the removal of the line.  If this line was created from one or more time records, Projjex will show you the time records it used to create the line and will ask if you wish to mark the time records as “un-invoiced”.  We recommend that you mark these time records as ‘un-invoiced’ unless you are certain that you do not want to invoice your client for these time records.

The invoice footer displays the information you recorded in the “setup” window.  You may change this information.

The “Save as Draft” button will save this invoice as a draft.  You can print it but it will have a “Draft” watermark displayed on it.  You may edit it at any future time.

The “Delete” button will abandon everything you’ve done for this invoice and will not save a copy of it.  All time entries used to create this invoice will remain marked as “un-invoiced”.  Use this button if you want to start the invoice creation from scratch.

The “Cancel” button works the same as the “Save as Draft” button.

Click “Save and Finalize” when you are satisfied with your invoice.  The invoice will be saved, all time entries used to create this invoice will be marked as “invoiced”, and the following screen will appear:

Creating a new invoice - final screen

Creating a new invoice - final screen

You can print and email this invoice from this screen.  If you choose not to print or email from here, you can do so at any future time from the “invoices” sub-tab.

Projjex keeps a record of all draft and finalized invoices on the “invoices” sub-tab:

The 'invoices' sub-tab

The 'invoices' sub-tab

Use the drop-down filter to show “All Invoices”, “Draft Invoices” or “Finalized Invoices”. Sort the invoices by clicking on the appropriate column header. You may print, email or view any finalized invoice, however you may not change any part of it.  You may print or edit any draft invoice.

We hope you enjoy ProjjexInvoicing!

Ho Ho Ho!

December 18, 2008

Today we’ve got a couple of items to get you through the holidays.  Then watch out in January as we start off your New Year with a bang!

New ProjjexMobile Release!

We’ve enhanced ProjjexMobile in several ways:

1. It’s got a new look that makes it easier to navigate.

2. We’ve speeded things up a bit.

3. It now runs on Windows Mobile (Yay!).

We haven’t had a chance yet to test it out on the new BlackBerries.  So take a couple of minutes and try out ProjjexMobile on your Storm (or whatever else you use) and let us know how it works.

Remember: to get to ProjjexMobile simply point your mobile browser to https://m.projjex.com.

New iCal Integration!

icalIsn’t it nice when you ask Santa for something really cool and then you get it?  Well, you all must have been good this year because we’re happy to deliver iCal integration just in time for the Holidays!

You can now have your Projjex Tasks, Milestones and Meetings show up in any iCal compliant calendar such as Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar.  Here’s how to do it:

1. Sign in to Projjex.

2. Click on “tools” on the upper right of any screen.

3. In the iCal section, click on “Click here to setup an iCal subscription”.

4. Follow the instructions for your calendar.

That’s it!  Your calendar will now show the tasks and milestones that belong to you along with any meetings that you’ve been invited to.

iCal integration is included at no extra charge for all paid users.  Enjoy!

Seasons Greetings from Projjex!

On behalf of everyone at Projjex, have a joyous holiday season.  And may 2009 be filled with good health, happiness and prosperity.

All the best,

alex-signature

Alex Glassey and
The Projjex Team

November News

November 14, 2008

We’ve got a lot to tell you in this post!  So grab another cuppa and spend a few minutes with us.

iPod Touch Winners

Let us start off by congratulating our two iPod Touch winners, Mr. Noel Mills and Mr. Brian Goldfinch!  Brian is the Queensland Regional Manager of The WorkPac Group in Queensland, Australia.  He uses Projjex for any projects that require more than a couple of steps.  Noel is a management consultant who works in Indooroopilly, Australia.  He uses Projjex to prepare marketing plans, procedure manuals and for planning community-based events.

Thank you to all who participated – this was a very popular contest that we’ll have to do again!

New Features and Lower Prices!

We’ve added three significant new features today.  Central Admin allows any user (even a free user) to manage a group of people and their projects.  It allows one payment to cover everybody.  And it protects corporate data because projects managed by Central Admin “belong” to the Central Admin account.  Central Admin is optional, it’s free, and it’s described in greater detail below.

We’ve added a great new report called “Project Status Report”.  When you start a project you can use this report to help with your project budgeting and to help you prepare proposals.  Once the project is underway, use the report to monitor elapsed time and due dates of the project.  The Project Status Report is a great management tool.  Read on to learn more about it.

You can now instantly send email alerts when adding or changing tasks, milestones and notes!  See below for the details.

By the way, ProjjexMobile and ProjjexTime have now been thoroughly beta tested and are rock solid.  We’ve moved them into full production.  Go ahead and try them out – they’re both very useful.

Finally, we’ve lowered our pricing and simplified it.  And for all of our current customers (and anyone else who signs up by November 30) we’re offering an amazing pricing special that will save you $60 per person!  Get the details (and the valuable coupon code) below.

NEW!  Central Admin

Central Admin brings the key administrative functions into one place.  With Central Admin you can:

- manage all of your users’ payments in a single place (and get discounts as the number of users grows)
- invite new users to Central Admin so you can manage their accounts
- pay for people even if they don’t belong to your Central Admin
- remove users
- create, modify and archive projects
- share all users’ available disk space (for example, if you have three users, each of whom has 500 MB of disk space, they would now jointly share 1,500 MB of disk space)

With Central Admin:

- assign one or two people who will set up and manage all of the Projjex staff accounts and all Projjex projects.

- invite clients to collaborate on projects at no cost (ie. by setting them up with a free account).  If they are collaborating on more than 3 projects with you, you can offer to pay for their Projjex account as part of your service to them.

- ask sub-contractors to join Projjex so they can collaborate with you.  Ask them to use Projjex to record their time so your project budgets will always be up-to-date – and so you’ll never be surprised by late invoices again!

To start using Central Admin, sign in to Projjex and then click on “settings” at the top right of any screen.  Then:

- click on the “Central Admin” tab.

- Projjex will determine if you’re set up with Central Admin and, if not, click where it tells you.

- enter the name of the Central Admin account (normally your company/organization name).

- if you want to use your logo on Projjex screens and reports, you can add it here.

- click the button that says “Setup Central Administration”.

- based on projects that you already belong to, Projjex then provides you with a list of people that you may wish to add into your Central Admin account.  Only choose people that are part of your organization or who you are sure wish to be part of your Central Admin account.  These people will be sent an invitation and must accept the invitation in order to become part of your Central Admin account.

You’ve now created your Central Admin account.  We hope this makes your life easier!

NEW! Project Status Report

Part of the Project Status Report

Part of the Project Status Report

Projjex takes the budgeted hours from each task and milestone and compares them with the actual hours recorded with ProjjexTime.  It shows you the variance in hours and % for each item and for the entire project.

The Project Status Report is a great way to help you prepare proposals.  Set up the project’s tasks along with the budgeted hours and the report will help you fine-tune your budgets.

Then use the report regularly to ensure that you’re keeping on track.

To run the Project Status Report, sign in to Projjex and click on the “dashboard” tab.  Open the “Project Status Summary” section which will list all of your projects.  If you are the owner or administrator of a project you will see a printer icon at the right side of the screen on the same row as the project.  Click the icon to see the report’s options.

NEW! Instant Email Alerts

Another much requested feature:  now, when you add or change a task, milestone or note you can have Projjex instantly send out an email notification of this change.  To do this, simply select the people you wish to have alerted using the “Email alert” field at the bottom of the window, and click either the “Close” or the “Add New…” button.  The alert will be sent immediately!

The Email Alert field

The Email Alert field

New Pricing

In order to make things easier for all of our customers, we’ve decided to simplify and lower our pricing.  So, effective immediately our new pricing will look like this:

Paid User: paid users get full use of Projjex (except ProjjexTime) on a per person per month basis.  Also: unlimited number of projects, 500 MB of disk space, branding on screen and reports, no ads, API access, ProjjexMobile, Central Admin.  Only $14.95 per person per month for the first three people.  The price per person drops if your group has more than three people.

ProjjexTime: we now charge $5.95 per person per month for unlimited use of ProjjexTime.  The price per person drops if your group has more than three people using ProjjexTime.

Free: Free accounts will be able to view up to 3 active projects, will not have branding or API access, will have 250 MB of disk space, will see rotating ads, and will have access to ProjjexMobile and Central Admin.

Our current users will have until the end of November to make any desired changes to their accounts.  Therefore, please review your Projjex account between now and November 30 to see how this new pricing will affect you.  And here’s something to make it even easier for you:  use coupon code “SPX1108″ and save $5 per person per month for the next 12 months.  That’s a $60 per person saving.  And you can save an additional 10% by choosing to pay annually.  Full access to Projjex for less than 9 bucks a month!

While the coupon code is supposed to be for current Projjex users :-) we don’t mind if you share it with your business friends.  But they must act quickly if they want to take advantage of it.

To review your pricing options and to use the pricing calculator, sign in to Projjex, click on “settings” and then click on the “Account” tab.  Any questions?  Send an email to accounting@projjex.com or call us, toll free, at 1.888.776.5539, extension 1.  We’re happy to help.

Well, that’s it for today.  We’re going to take the weekend off and then start working on our New Year release – lots more cool stuff coming up!

As always, keep your comments and suggestions coming.  Best way:  send your emails to feedback@projjex.com.

All the best,

The Projjex Team


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