July 14, 2005


I been fortunate enough to be a beta tester for the soon-to-be-released Blinksale; a subscription-based web application from the nice chaps at Firewheel Design for creating and tracking client invoices. But not just any boring old invoices, beautifully designed CSS invoice pages and emails, customizable and collected under a master page for clients to view all their invoices. You can even include PayPal links directly in your invoices for ease of payment.

Most of the money management applications out there are much more detailed than I need, like Quicken or QuickBooks, giving me more headaches than help. My life is already cluttered with enough things to manage it. Blinksale cuts things down to what’s important; keeping track of payments all in one place, and fitting in seamlessly with a brand. Now that the groundwork has been laid, I am really anxious to see how this application evolves. Nice job guys.

Commentary (21):

1. Nick Dominguez says… jul 14, 2005 | 9:39 am

I checked out Sidejobtrack.com recently and it was pretty nice.

Wondering if Blinksale will be worth the subscription fee compared to this app?

2. Dave Simon says… jul 14, 2005 | 9:50 am

How soon-to-be-released? I’m dying to try it out, I need an invoicing app. Right now I manually track them and create them in Illustrator.

3. R. Marie Cox says… jul 14, 2005 | 10:05 am

As the creator and administrator of Side Job Track, I can honestly say that blinksale looks like a far more comprehensive application in terms of invoicing options — and elegant and beautiful and so on — solution for freelancers; particularly for those who place a value on high-quality design in all aspects of their communications with clients.

Now, if you are in the market for boring old invoices… : )

4. Julian says… jul 14, 2005 | 10:51 am

@R. Marie Cox: Thanks for mentioning Side Job Track - I set up an account.

5. Mike says… jul 14, 2005 | 10:53 am

Hey Nick - I recently had access to the beta as well, and I will say that the fees are very reasonable.

I’ll be signing up once it goes live for sure.

*Josh from Firewheel hands me a dollar*

6. Josh Williams says… jul 14, 2005 | 11:06 am

Dave: Soon, very soon. Mere days in fact.

R. Marie: Thanks for the kind words. We certainly aim to please with Blinksale.

Nick: The fees are definitely reasonable. Stay tuned. ;-)

7. Jay Contonio says… jul 14, 2005 | 11:25 am

If any of you on the Windows side would like a nice invoicing/customer tracking app try kBilling from k-billing.com
A buddy of mine that I used to work with wrote it and people are really loving it. I haven’t got a chance to use it yet however.

8. Sean Scott says… jul 14, 2005 | 11:25 am

Does anyone here use packages like quickbooks or money small biz to track client invoices and checks?

9. Nick Dominguez says… jul 14, 2005 | 11:29 am

Josh, Mike: I will definetly check out Blinksale when it launches, thanks.

R.Marie Cox Great work on Sidejobtrack.

10. Javan says… jul 14, 2005 | 12:15 pm

I can’t wait to try Blinksale, but for now, iBiz does the trick.

11. Justin P. says… jul 14, 2005 | 12:54 pm

I’ve been waiting on Blinksale patiently, hand-writing invoices sucks and that’s what I’ve been doing. In the mean time, I signed up with SideJobTrack and my first impression is that it is very cool. Thanks for the heads up on that.

If Blinksale is going to be more feature rich (than SideJobTrack), I can’t wait to check it out.

12. Philip says… jul 14, 2005 | 5:54 pm

I wrote my own basic PHP invoicing script to help out with my small side business of webdesign. The embedded PayPal links is a great idea that I think I should impliment if I continue using my own code. But will be checking both these out anyway.

13. Jason Santa Maria says… jul 14, 2005 | 6:32 pm

I have used a bunch of other apps like iBiz and Money, but was quickly put off by their bugginess. It’s not a knock on the developers, but the application I least want being screwy is the one that deals with my money.

I really like where Blinksale is headed. With that said, I don’t know if I am on board with it enough to subscribe just yet. After trying out those others apps I ended up making my own invoice tracking system with MovableType (since I am not at all a developer). It is very simple, but it works exactly the way I need it to. Switching to Blinksale, and I am only speaking for myself here, wouldn’t be a step up per se, but a step to the side; I wouldn’t be gaining much from it. But, from the conversations I’ve had with Josh about the future direction of Blinksale, I will probably find myself a paying customer before long.

14. Miko says… jul 14, 2005 | 8:28 pm

Will there be more than one type of account? Say, basic and advanced? I probably won’t be billing very often, but don’t want to pay for a full account.

Looking forward to this.

15. Sean Scott says… jul 14, 2005 | 11:21 pm

Jason. Thanks for the reply. I use quickbooks pro. Although the setup can be lenghty and i know i don’t use more than 20% of its functionality i do like the fact that i can pull all the reports in the world i can ever want on my sales outstanding receipts and stuff like that.

Plus if this one-man operation grows to include consultants, its scaleable.

16. Hans verschooten says… jul 16, 2005 | 5:16 pm

This is yet another cool development on the way to web 2.0, I remember going into Illustrator and creating my invoices. I loved the control over every little detail, but at the same time there allways where other more “earning” ways to flex my skills ;-)

17. John says… jul 17, 2005 | 12:19 am

Miko, I think you are going to be very pleased with the subscription options we offer.

18. Michael McCorry says… jul 19, 2005 | 2:10 am

I use MYOB and I’ve gotta say that while it serves my needs very well, like others have said here, it’s a bit cumbersome and I only use probably a quarter of the functions. However, I’ve already paid $100 for the software (theres no subscription) so I’m keen to see if Blinksale will make me want to toss MYOB aside for the sake of pretty invoices and simple interface. Oh, but those pretty invoices… ooh… ahem…

Hurry up already! :)

19. Eric Vitiello says… jul 19, 2005 | 12:47 pm

You should try Studiometry. It’s a Mac & Windows app (not Java) targeting freelancers & small agencies. I used it for 2 years while I was a freelancer. It was great — it can even (with a bit of applescript) spit out illutrator / PDF invoices.

20. Josh Williams says… jul 19, 2005 | 10:46 pm

Hey Michael, we’re MYOB users here too. While it definitely has its place for certain financial tasks, its invoice creation features, as you know, pretty much suck. And that’s why we decided to make Blinksale. And, we’re hurrying. You’ll see Blinksale before the end of this month. Just remember: rush miracle man, and you get rotten miracles.

21. Hornswaggled Again says… jun 27, 2006 | 6:05 pm

So what do you guys think? Its a year later and im looking to use some sort of billing software to send via email. Should i go with Blinksale or do you have any others i should check out. Thanks in advance.