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Harvest is a popular and powerful time-tracking app that includes invoicing. Time-tracking apps help you record time spent on task, often so that you later create invoices for billable hours. The act of tracking time is a simple enough. All you really need is a stopwatch and a logbook. But digital time-tracking tools give you several advantages, such as having the timer appear right on screen alongside your work, automatic calculations, and ease of use when compiling time tracked across multiple people working on the same project.
Among time-tracking apps, Harvest stands out for including a full range of invoicing tools. Most other apps in this category either have very light invoicing options or they merely connect to external invoicing and accounting apps. It's also extremely easy to use, whether you run a timer as you work or you manually enter your time later. Harvest has apps for iOS and Android devices, Macs, as well as a web app that comes with extensions for Chrome and Safari. The extensions are another of Harvest's standout features. When you install the mobile extensions, time-tracking buttons appear right inside some of the most popular business and productivity apps, such as Asana, Basecamp, GitHub, Jira, and Trello, letting you can track time on task literally in the same app where you're working.
People who track their billable hours with a timer, rather than estimating them after the fact, end up with more accurate invoices (nearly always to the benefit of the worker) and more accurate future estimates. Track every minute you spend on your clients' projects, and Harvest can automatically turn them into invoices. With Harvest, you can set up and manage the rates you charge in a variety of ways, such as by the hour, by the task, or as a flat fee. When working with a team, different team members can have different hourly rates. Expense-tracking comes included, too, so you can add travel mileage, supplies, and other expenses to invoices automatically at the end of the billing period. Harvest supports multiple currencies as well.
You can even get paid through Harvest by connecting to Stripe or PayPal. When you use this integration, you can include a link on invoices to let clients pay you easily, and when they do, Harvest tracks receipt of the payment and marks the bill paid in your records.
Being able to analyze all the time and invoicing data gives Harvest life beyond its immediate uses. For example, reports in the app help you figure out realistic estimates for future work. Harvest has graphs of your team's productivity, breakdowns of where your time and money went, and a list of your uninvoiced time.
The same company that makes Harvest also offers a companion app called Forecast that helps with team scheduling and future scheduling predictions. Forecast helps you schedule work across teams and projects to ultimately get more accurate estimates of how long it typically takes to go from start to finish with your projects.
Most business apps require some onboarding or orientation time, but not Harvest. It's simple enough that anyone should be able to start using it almost immediately. It's a great tool for tracking time, whether you work solo or on a team, and especially if you need an invoicing app to go with your timesheets.