Nov 14

10 little things Freckle does to help you get stuff done faster

Do you like tracking your time? Chances are that you don’t—it’s a chore, necessary to keep tabs on projects and to get paid. That’s why you don’t want to spend extra time in your time tracking tool. Freckle tries to help minimize the amount of effort that you have to spend completing tasks—software should help you get stuff done, quickly.

Here’s 10 ways we help you get your time tracking done faster, so you can get back to tracking your time:

1. Enter “Fri” into the time field to log for last Friday. That’s just one of the many shortcuts to help you enter time quickly without having to use your mouse.


2. Create new projects instantly, without having to configure anything. Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to pre-configure projects, tasks and tags? With Freckle you don’t have to—just type a new client or project name when you log time and we create the project for you.

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3. Invite lots of people at once Just type email addresses or drag and drop them in from your mail client. One big flexible text field, no need to type in emails, names or other things separately. Saves time and nerves.

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4. Auto-detect import formats We’ll look at the CSV file that you upload to import time for you, so you don’t have to select a format.

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5. Auto-create and archive projects from your Basecamp account You already use Basecamp? No need to set up projects in Freckle—just click the “Connect to Basecamp…” button, allow Freckle to access your Basecamp in the next step and you’re done. It takes just two clicks!

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6. Your weekly report right in your inbox We’re sending you a weekly report right into your inbox Monday morning—so you can catch up with any time that you might not have logged in the last week. We all sometimes forget to log time in the heat of a deadline—but Freckle will nudge you gently so you fill in the gaps and you and your team get paid for what you’re worth!

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7. Log Time on any page in Freckle The blue “Log Time” tab is available everywhere, instantly. You don’t have to go to a special page just to log your time. The same is true for running reports!

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8. Instant invoices There’s no need to configure anything to generate an invoice. Click the “new invoice” button from any group, project or report and we’ll generate a shiny invoice taking addresses, labels, currency and date formats from the previous invoice in that project.

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9. Freckle gets your avatar and time zone automatically We don’t take your time away asking you to upload your photo—we take it from Gravatar. If you’re not on there, there’s also a super-easy way to fetch your Twitter picture. Plus, we figure out your time zone automatically, so even when you travel the meaning of “Today”, “Yesterday”, “Last Week” and so on is always correct. Bonus: you’ll always, reliably, get those automated reports Monday morning before you start to get to work.

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10. The Freckle Mac App—track time from anywhere on your Mac! With a quick keyboard shortcut we’ll take you to the Freckle Menubar Timer. This works intelligently to open on the screen you’re on if you have multiple monitors, and pressing ESC to close the window will focus the app that was active when you opened the timer—we’ll drop you right back into what you were working on before! Another click saved.

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And that’s just 10 of the little things Freckle does to give you back your most precious asset: your time!

Nov 14

New pay-per-seat pricing launches November 28

tl;dr If you have an existing Freckle account, nothing changes for you, except if you choose to opt-in to our new pricing structure by switching to one of the new per-seat Freckle subscription plans.

Later this November, to make it easier for you to choose a plan and grow your Team with Freckle, we’ll introduce an all new-pricing structure. Instead of fixed pricing tiers, we will have per-seat pricing in 3 all new plans.

You will be able to grow to an unlimited number of users and pay-as-you-go, month by month for only the number of users you need.

Solo plan: $19/month, 1 seat included, extra seats $14/month
Or new plan for time tracking and invoicing for freelancers and consultants! Ideal if you work alone and maybe need to add 1 or 2 extra people from time to time.

Team plan: $49/month, 5 seats included, extra seats $10/month
Ideal for time tracking, invoicing and reporting for small teams from 5 to about 20 people! Grow as you go and easily add temporary contractors!

Organization plan: $199/month, 25 seats included, extra seats $8/month
Time tracking optimized for larger teams in the enterprise, departments in large businesses, and our customers in education and non-profit organizations! You’ll get a dedicated account manager and we’ll help you get all your data imported, set up and everything ready to go!

Inviting a person will add to the seat count, archiving a person (or deleting someone who didn’t follow the invite) will deduct. It’s instant and automatic—no longer does the account owner have to be bothered if the user limit is reached and an admin needs to quickly add a new team member or freelancer!

As now, you can of course switch your pricing plan at any time. And as with the current plans, you’ll be able to pre-pay for a year in advance, and get a free month of service.

The Team and Organization plans will also come with extra features specifically for teams, as we roll them out over the next year. We have a lot planned, so stay tuned! :)

We will launch the new plans on the weekend just after Thanksgiving, on Saturday, November 29. After that, only the new plans will be available if you want to sign up for a Freckle account or switch your plan.

If you sign up for a new Freckle account before November 29, you’ll get to keep the current pricing (if you so choose).

By the by, we also offer custom pricing if you need more than 50 or so users now or in the future—please talk to us and we’ll help with customizing a plan that works great for you.

If you have any questions about the new pricing or like help deciding if you should switch or not if have a Freckle account, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Just use the pink tab on the bottom right here or on any page in Freckle. :)

Nov 14

Sharing is Caring

Growing up I constantly heard the phrase, “sharing is caring“.

With four kids all at different ages it was probably the number one repeated phrase in our house.  That and, “don’t make me come back there“, during absolutely every car ride.

As I got older I really did want to share my things with everyone at the party. Unless it was candy, then I became a greedy little hoarder.

Most of us are like me when I’m not on a sugar high.  We want to share our work with people, especially our clients and our customers.  We want to say, “Hey world look at this, I’m so proud of it!“.

Disclaimer:  Freckle is not responsible for anything you break out of excitement or any injuries you may sustain while doing the happy-dance when you hear about this new feature.

Freckle reports are now SHAREABLE!!

When you run any report in Freckle you’ll see a pink “share” button in the top right hand corner of the report.


Share Button in Reports


Clicking the “share” button will give you a dynamic and private link that you can use to share the report with your client.

You can share the link by copying it, both manually and to your clipboard, or by emailing it.

Shareable Report LinkNext to the sharing options you can preview the report your client will get, and stop sharing when your client no longer needs access to that report.  Once you’ve stopped sharing a report, the private link will no longer work for your client.

Shared reports are dynamic so that your client can see the most up-to-date information in the report.  Depending on the date setting of the report, the private link will update itself to include addition entries.

For example, if you share a report for the month of August your client will see any additional August entries.  But they won’t see additional September entries unless you share a September report as well.

In the spirit of sharing, here’s a pro tip for sharing your reports with clients:

You can create an open-ended shared report by setting the date range as the 1st of whatever month you want to Dec. 31st, 2099.  This will let your client see all updated entries from a certain date forward!

Disclaimer:  Freckle is also not responsible for anything your client breaks out of excitement or any injuries they may sustain while doing the happy-dance.

Check out the Freckle Help Site for more info on sharing reports and let us know what you think at [email protected].

Oct 14

How to Land Big Fish Clients with No Cold Calling

Is there anything worse than cold-calling?

Not only is it stressful — *cough* I mean… character-building — it doesn’t work for the kinds of prestigious clients you really want.

Neither does sending in your résumé, no matter how awesome your cover letter. True, having contacts deep inside the organizations is great — if you’ve already got em. Which, I’m assuming, you don’t, just like we didn’t back when we got started working for huge fancy companies on huge fancy projects.

We’ve consulted with some of the biggest…

Before we quit consulting to start Freckle, my husband and I had worked for some of the biggest names in the biz (back then, at least):

  • Pepsi
  • Ford
  • Mini
  • Nokia
  • Coachella
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Bear Stearns (sigh)

and more…

And we did it without all the prerequisites you’d think we needed…

We didn’t have the advantages you’d expect.

We didn’t go to Harvard or Stanford. We weren’t members of a secret society. We didn’t live in Manhattan. We didn’t have buddies deep inside these bigcos. We also didn’t have a huge team, a huge portfolio, or a CLIO, or a super famous figurehead like Sagmeister or a well-known name like Razorfish or Stamen. Hell, we didn’t even have degrees in our field.

And yet we landed big fat contracts at these companies for cutting edge projects.

We didn’t even beg. They came to us.

How did we make that happen?

The power of “I Want That!”

We didn’t wait for these companies to come up with an RFP for a project, and then respond with our proposal. We didn’t wait for them at all.

It worked like this:

  1. We built useful & intriguing side projects — on our own time, as our own clients.
  2. People inside these bigcos saw our side projects, and thought: “Wow, we could really use this for our stuff.”
  3. They contacted us about repurposing our existing work for their own uses.

We didn’t use words. We didn’t use sketches. We didn’t use plans.

Most people are too busy (or unimaginative) to take in your written or verbal ideas — or even sketches! — and imagine how they might turn out, how they might be useful… how they might make them, your client, look super smart for their boss.

That’s why you should skip the “ideas” all together and make things that your future prestigious client can stumble across. So they can see them.

Use the power of Show, Don’t Tell.

Don’t rely on their skills for imagination, or willingness to read your manifesto. Make something they can see and try. Then they can experience it. Then they’ll want it.

Then they’ll start knocking on your door.

Here’s how Show Don’t Tell-ing worked for us:

Now, in the spirit of Show Don’t Tell, I’m going to show you the side projects that lured those big names (that is — the people inside those organizations) to us:

  1. 2005+: The tutorials I wrote for Ruby on Rails and then the design posts that followed it up… made me a go-to when people working with Rails needed a designer who “got it.” Example, example, example, example.
  2. 2006: Scriptaculous, and its shiny animation demos, made Thomas a natural choice for anything heavily interactive back when Ajax was the hottest thing since sliced bread. This led to Nokia and Barnes & Noble for us, among others. Check it out.
  3. 2007: Twistori, a little side project I tried to sell to Twitter in concept… they didn’t want it, so we said “Fuck it” and built it ourselves. This attracted interactive ad agencies and led to Pepsi, which led to many others.Check it out.
  4. 2009: Freckle Time Tracking itself generated a lot of requests for consulting. (But we’re a product biz now!)
  5. 2011: Every Time Zone, leads to requests for licensing and consulting to this day. Check it out.

We’re not the only ones who have used this strategy to great result, though.

Our friends at Less Everything did very well indeed with their open source social network, Lovd By Less, ages ago, back when they did consulting. Many of our friends have “accidentally” founded careers and businesses on the backs of open source work, icon sets, design templates, a series of great blog posts.

This is the same powerful technique behind the idea of writing a book for the reputation. Or white papers. Or designing a project for your portfolio. Or blogging regularly. Or webinars.

But when you focus on making a thing for your potential clients to try and to use — not to just sit there in your portfolio looking pretty — it works even better.

Potential clients will see it. They’ll want it. They’ll contact you. They’ll hire you. You do well by them, you make them look good, then they’ll talk about you to their friends.

This is how it starts.

How to get started Show Don’t Tell-ing today:

It’s really dead simple, because it’s less about cold strategy and more about doing what you got into this business to do anyway:

You’ve got some fun ideas to noodle with — some creative stuff you’ve done for fun, or thought about doing but were “too busy” with client work to finish. Whether it’s a tutorial, a WordPress template, an icon set, a microsite, a library, a screencast, a little OSS app…

Something a client can use. Something your desired clients either need or will find tantalizingly cool.

Do it. Finish it. Ship it.

Share it with your acquaintances.

Rinse and repeat.

True, you won’t ship a side project today and get your most desired clients knocking on your door tomorrow. It takes time.

But if you do good work and you do it regularly, not only will you enhance your skill-set, not only will you build your reputation, you’ll also create an whole highway system of “onramps” that a client might serendipitiously find leading straight to Destination You.

So, remember: Show, Don’t Tell.

Build that little side project. It won’t “pay” today — but it will pay off tomorrow.

Oct 14

No More Mysteries with Entry History

Would you believe me if I told you that Freckle was making it even easier to see the who, what, where, and when of your team’s time?

You might say, Devon, it sounds like you’re trying out for the lead in an infomercial.

But, after that you’d definitely say, Are you serious? How can Freckle tell me even more about my team’s time?!

If you work on a team, you’ve probably run into situations where you needed to put on your detective hat and get the dirt on a time entry.

Was the entry edited?  Who originally logged that time and who made the changes? What changes were made anyway?

Before, you might have felt at a loss for what to do if your team couldn’t remember what changes had been made to an entry.

Now, Freckle gives you the tools to really investigate! With the new Entry History feature you’ll be giving Sherlock a run for his money.

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Just click “edit” or “show” on any entry, and you’ll see an overview of the history of that entry. If you want to see even more details about a specific event, click on it and the event will expand to allow you to see all the available information Freckle has about it:

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Not only can you see who did what—we also show you what exactly changed and information about the app or browser being used.

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If you’re interested in the technical details—you can click “transaction details” to learn more about the event, like the exact time and IP address the request came from.

We can only list the history since we launched this feature, on September 24th, 2014,  so sadly there’s no history before that date.

This feature is only available for Small Team, Medium Team, Large Team and Enterprise accounts, and you’ll need to have an hashtags-enabled account.

Freckle teams, next time you’re questioning a time entry, channel your inner Holmes and use the Entry History feature to help you solve just about any mystery!

Oct 14

How to Survive a Zombie Client

They’re vicious.  They’re out for blood.  And they’ll stop at nothing until they eat your brain.

This Halloween, we’ll help you survive an attack of the killer client, and tell you how to spot ol’ dead eyes from a mile away.

Bad clients are hazardous to your health.  And even worse, they’re soul sucking nature is contagious.

Warning: If you’ve been shuffling around, groaning and blindly killing all of your creativity, you’ve been infected by a zombie client.

But don’t panic.  There is a cure to this disease! And whether you’re an established team or just starting out, you can survive this plague.

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Get Freckle’s free survival guide, daily by email and you’ll be an expert zombie client hunter just in time for the apocalypse:

Happy Halloween!

Sep 14

Saved Reports Can Save You Time!

Public Freckle Announcement:  Report DeJa Vu is a *real life epidemic* that Frecklers all over the world are currently experiencing.

Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, thinking you’ve seen this report somewhere before and eye rolling.

While side affects include a loss of your valuable time and the cranky.

photo cc @JD Hancock

photo cc @JD Hancock

In all seriousness though, why run the same report over and over again when you’ve got a million and one other things to do?

If you have any sort of recurring report that you need to run, you can save the report permanently and come back to it later.

  • a weekly report on a project
  • a monthly report on each of your team members
  • a monthly report on all of your projects
  • a weekly report focused on specific tags
  • a monthly report to view paid vs. unpaid hours & invoiced vs. awaiting payment hours

With the “save permanently” option, all of the parameters you’ve set for that report will be saved in your Reports tab.

That means next time you want to run that report, you won’t need to choose the projects, people or tags all over again. 😀

The only thing you’ll need to change about your saved report is the time frame which you’re running the report for!

And changing the time frame is super easy when you use one of the pre-set time frames or use the Quick Date Calendar.

Let’s see it in action!

Step 1:

Run the report you need just like any other report in Freckle. Choose which projects, time frame, people and tags you want to run the report on.

running a report

Step 2: 

Click the “save permanently” button in the upper right hand corner of your report.  This will save your report to the Reports tab in your green control panel on the left.

save permanently button

Step 3:

Later when you need to run that same report again for a new time frame, go to your Reports tab in the green control panel on the left and click on the last report you’ve saved.

saved reports

Step 4:

Change the time frame of your report by using one of the pre-set time frames or the Quick Date Calendar and click the blue “Run It” arrow when you’re ready.

change date frame & run new report


Once you’ve clicked “Run It” you’ll have a brand new report!

Don’t get stuck in Report Deja Vu.  Save your reports and save yourself some time.

Sep 14

Freckle Timers are in Sync

The Freckle Timers may not have the dance moves that the 90’s boy band N’Sync did, but they’re so in sync that they probably could form their own band.

Timer Band Members:

  • Freckle Web Timer (Old Granddad)
  • The Freckle Menubar Timer (The New Kid)
  • The Freckle Mobile Timer (Mini-T)

All of the Freckle Timers are nicely synced together so that you can easily move from your office to a meeting across town without missing a beat!

desktop & menubar timers

We know that you’re super busy. You’ve got a team to manage, clients and customers, projects out the wa-zoo AND you’ve got to get that dentist appointment  you’ve rescheduled one too many times.

That’s a lot to keep track of.  So we brought in some choreographers (aka the Freckle developers) to get all of the Freckle Timers on the same beat.

When you pause a timer on any one of the Freckle Timers, you’ll see that change reflected on all other Timers in Freckle.

Let’s say that you’re tracking time on a project called, Robot Princess Unicorn, on your Freckle Menubar Timer.  You realize you’ve got a meeting to get to and you leave your desk in a hurry without pausing the Robot Princess Unicorn timer.

On your way out the door you realize you didn’t pause your Menubar Timer. Usually that means doing annoying maths *shakes fists at sky*.

Don’t sweat it!  You can quickly pull up your Freckle Mobile Timer, pause Robot Princess Unicorn, and be on your merry way.  When you get back from your meeting, Robot Princess Unicorn will be waiting for you, right where you left off.

The same is true if you’re away from your computer and realize you want to be tracking your time.

You can open your Freckle Mobile Timer, start the clock, and when you get back to your desk, your Menubar or Desktop Timers will already be running.

We’ve been working hard to get all the Freckle Timers singing along to the same tune. There’s one place where the Timers a little off key and don’t automatically sync yet in the Freckle Mobile Web version. Don’t panic… you can either reload your mobile browser or if you saved the App to your home screen on Android (via Chrome) you can quit your Freckle Mobile App by swiping it off the task manager screen.

And since we know you’ve got a lot going on, we’re working on getting the Freckle Mobile Web version in sync with all of the other Timers.

So go ahead, run around, the Freckle Timers will stay in sync with your busy life!

P.S. The polls are now open for a Timer band name. 😀

Aug 14

The Freckle Chatroom, Come Check it Out!

Last month the Freckle chatroom got a bit of a make-over, and I think you’re really going to like the new look.

Now you can find the Freckle chatroom on any page in your Freckle account and on every page on the Freckle website.  No directions needed!

Just click the pink “Help & Support” tab in the bottom right hand corner.

Help & Support

Weekdays between 10 am – 5 pm EST the Freckle Team will be hanging out in the chatroom ready to help you and answer any questions you may have. :)

Even if you don’t have an immediate problem, stop by and say “Hi“, to us.

The humans behind Freckle waiting to talk with you:

  • Amy Hoy:  Co-Founder & Freckle Designer
  • Thomas Fuchs:  Co-founder & Javascript Guru
  • Devon Kreider:  Resident Support Superhero
  • Thomas Cannon:  Freckle Developer
  • Amber Gohn:  Resident Support Superhero

If no one from the Freckle team is available to talk to you, don’t worry.

You can easily email us at [email protected] or visit the Freckle Help Site when you click on the pink “Help & Support” tab and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Why do we have a chatroom?

Because we love our customers (that’s you!) and we want to hear from you!

Aug 14

Hello OS X Yosemite Public Beta!

We love our Macs here at Freckle—that’s why the Freckle Mac App is now fully compatible with the Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Public Beta, and works and looks great, even with the new dark menus mode!


See you on the final version in this fall!