The projects system has some new tools, hourly bidding for projects, a time tracker to keep a record and a diary of your work on a project, and Invoicing to invoice the client for the amount of hours you worked.
Why? Because thats how I like to work.
In my work with clients on projects I have found that I prefer working for an hourly rate because requirements change. The client will think they want something int he beginning then as things move along, they will come up with new ideas that they will ask to be included. When working on a fixed project rate these are the moments you dread. Changes mean you need to you have to re-negotiate the cost of the whole project. Re-negotiation means time spent negotiating and not time spent working.
The worker tries to get finished as fast as they can and the client tries to get the most for their fixed amount.
For me all my recurring clients have been the ones who have been on an hourly rate. It works for me. So here are the new features you can take or leave.
The Hourly Bidding
Previously when bidding on projects the worker would have to set a fixed price for how much they wanted to complete the project along with an estimate of the length of time it would take them to do it.
Now the worker is still able to do the above, but also is able set a fixed price on how much they want per hour and bid on how long they think it will take them.
So instead of bidding $400 and 5 days, the worker can bid $40 / hour and an estimate of 10 hours.
The Project owner is free to choose the bid they will accept. Obviously 10 hours from someone who ‘knows their stuff’ is much better than 10 hours from someone ‘willing to learn’. So the project owner will need to make sure the person they hire is right for the job.
The Time Tracker
To help the worker keep an accurate account of the time spent on a project there is a new feature, the time tracker.
The design of the time tracker was based on a desktop application that I have always used for recording my worked time. Gnotime is an open source time-tracking software with dairy entry system. I really like this piece of software so based our time-tracker on how it works.
There is a start/stop button on the popup time tracker and a box to put dairy entries. Whenever the clock is started or stopped the dairy is saved and allows you to keep a record of where you are at during the project build.
The Invoicing System
Once you have worked on a project for a period and would like the project owner to release some of the money held in escrow for you, you can create an invoice and send them a copy.
The invoicing system is based on a system I have used and really like bamboo invoice.
Invoicing is not an automatic process. You can create an invoice for whatever you like. Personally I have one rate for small projects and a different rate for large projects. For me any project that exceeds 43 hours is a large project and I want to be able to offer a discount for any hours worked on a project in excess of 43 hours. With this invoicing system I can.
* 43 hours at standard rate
* 15 hours at large project rate
* other additional extras…
The invoicing system is flexible.