Whether you're a developer, consultant, or do any type of work that involves selling clients blocks of time and invoicing for them, you probably need a way to track the time you spend on projects and have a way to invoice clients. Stint for iPhone aims to simplify the tracking and invoicing process to make it easier to keep track of what's already completed and what still needs to be done.
Upon launching Stint you'll be brought to the main menu which consists of all the clients you've got set up within Stint. You'll see the project name followed by the client name underneath it. To the right you've got a progress circle that shows you how much time you're already spent on the project.
To create a new project, just tap the plus sign in the upper right hand corner and fill in the information. Stint allows you to customize how many days you consider there to be in a week and how many hours you work in a day. After naming the project you can pair it with a client. You can either use Stint's native client management system or pull directly from the contacts on your iPhone. And lastly, you can set up a rate at which you're billing the client. Once you've done all this, the project will be created and will be added to your main screen.
After tapping on a project you've got a few options, you can archive it if you're done with it, view what you still need to invoice, view the project, and add a timed entry. When tapping into a project you'll see a progress bar at the top that will show you have long you have left until the due date as well as how much you've completed. Tapping on the progress bar will show you how much revenue you've already made based on the work you've done and how much you still have left to collect.
Plugging in entries is simple enough. Tap on the clock from by any project or from inside the main project view you can tap "list entries" in the bottom right. To add an entry, just choose the date and then flick your finger up or down on the time for start and finish in order to set it. Dragging your finger left to right over the start and end time will allow you to fine tune down to minutes. Underneath time you can add notes such as what that block of time was spent doing. While it's an interesting way to enter time, it did take me a few minutes to figure it out and I'm not sure how obvious it will be to users. I'd personally prefer a ticker that comes up and allows me to change the date.
Invoicing clients is also easy. Tap on the dollar sign by any project name and you'll be shown a list of entries that haven't yet been invoiced. You can select certain ones or invoice for all of them. A detailed invoice can also be selected. Once you've selected all the blocks of time you still need to invoice for, you can send a PDF invoice straight to your client within the app and you're done. You can customize invoice info such as your company name, address, and more straight from the settings portion of Stint.
- The interface is much better than most project tracking apps that are currently available
- Adding entries is quick and can be accessed from multiple locations
- PDF invoices are a great feature that ensures you don't forget to bill clients and that they'll be able to open them
- For users that sell blocks of time, it's a great way to know how much time clients have remaining
- Archive feature is easy to use and projects can easily be restored in just a few taps
- Entry input is a little confusing and a ticker would allow for even faster input
- Detailed info fields beyond notes would be a nice feature that I'd like to see in an update
- A ticker for rates would be great since not all consultants will bill at one of the presets
The bottom line
Stint for iPhone handles projects and invoicing in a much different way than how most existing apps in the App Store do, and that's not a bad thing at all. I enjoy using Stint for both consulting clients we have on retainer as well as clients we bill as we complete work. For retained clients, it helps keep track of when it's time to bill for another block of time while regular clients can be billed as we work. That's what really sold me on Stint.
The developer of Stint is currently working on iCloud support and an iPad version which will just make the experience even better. While professionals with many clients and employees across multiple platforms may want to hold off until there is more cross-platform support, smaller businesses and self-employed individuals can benefit greatly from Stint. I'd highly recommend anyone who wants to manage projects and invoices directly from their iPhone to give Stint a closer look.
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