We recently discovered Paydirt, an exciting new app with a beautiful interface that will help you get organized for invoicing and time-tracking. Paydirt was created in January 2011 by a freelance partnership between Tristan Gamillis and Nicholas Firth-McCoy. They’re located in Abbotsford in the newly established shared workspace, the House of Commons and they’ve come up with a very unique service that we think you’re going to love.
I had the opportunity to interview Tristan Gamillis this week about how Paydirt was created and where the team is headed.
1. Your slogan is “Time tracking and Invoicing for freelancers, by freelancers”. How did you decide upon serving this niche?
We’ve both been freelancing since high school and struggled to find billing software that really matched the freelance workfow. Sometimes you’re working at and hourly rate, sometimes at a fixed price, sometimes both, and the scope of a project oftens changes part way through. It’s complex, but any software made to do it needs to be simple. Freelancers need a billing system that’s simple, works with this freelance workflow, and is a pleasure to use. We were scratching our own itch.
Time tracking for freelancers is another can of worms, but I’ll get fired up and excited about that in a moment.
2. What inspired you to create Paydirt?
Many freelancers and partnerships are doing their books in spreadsheets and making their invoices in Word or InDesign because large accounting packages aren’t a good fit. We did too, and it can be a real timesink.
Freelancers also tend not to track their time – at least not dilligently – and often don’t realise how it affects their bottom-line. Even if you’re not billing hourly it’s crucial to track your time so you know if you’re quoting accurately. We wanted to find out why, so we interviewed every freelancer we could get our hands on, and the response was basically unanimous: most recognised the importance of time tracking, and they all said that they forgot to do it. That’s the problem: it’s hard to remember.
We knew we had these problems. Once we realised they were everyone’s problems we set about building a solution.
3. What unique features make Paydirt stand out from the all of the other time-tracking apps?
Time tracking that’s easy to remember! We’ve got extensions for Chrome and Firefox that let you track time straight from the page you’re viewing. They recognise when you’re looking at a page related to your client (it could be their website, a website you’re building for them, an email you’re writing to them, etc.) and add a small notification in the corner which lets you start a timer in one click. It’s helpful to have your time tracker one click away without having to open it or switch windows, but most importantly, it acts as a reminder.
For exmaple, I’ll be busy tinkering on something when an email rolls in from a client: “Can you check out this issue on our website? One of our WordPress Plugins is playing up.” Like a good freelancer I immedately open their site and start working on fixing their issue. This is when I should start a timer for “Website maintainence”, but usually totally forget. But Paydirt notices I’m working for my client and adds a link to start a timer for them, right there on the page.
Sign up for more
There’s no code to add to the page or any tricky configuration. Just grab the extension and you’re good to go.
4. What are your future plans for expanding and improving Paydirt?
We’re currently developing mobile apps to help you track time when you’re on the road. We’d even like them to offer similar time tracking reminders based on your location (when you visit your client, for instance).
Other plans include custom invoice styling, expense tracking, and integrating with web services like Basecamp.
We take our queues for development from user feedback, so get in touch and tell us what you’d like to see! We’re always happy to chat.
The interface really matters when you’re adding new tools to your freelancing toolbox, and that’s one place where Paydirt excels. If you’re struggling with accounting for your hours and your billing is in complete disarray, you need to check out this app and its unique features. We’re excited about where Paydirt is headed and we are planning a quick guide on how you can manage your WordPress freelancing business more efficiently using Paydirt. Follow @paydirtapp on Twitter for all the latest news.