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Estimates are here!

We are happy to announce the addition of estimates to all paid Blinksale accounts, starting… right now! It has been a much-requested feature, and we hope you find it a complementary addition to your toolkit.

In a nutshell, an Estimate is a document that you can share with your clients to negotiate prices, gather comments & feedback and get approval (or push-back)before you begin working. And, because an estimate’s purpose is to become an invoice, it looks a lot like one:

When creating an estimate you enter a “Title” (instead of entering an Invoice ID). After that, it’s just a matter of adding line items and notes — just like an invoice.

Then, when you’re ready, send the estimate to your client via email. Just like an invoice, your client gets a link to their own view of the estimate that they can bookmark and interact with, and which syncs with your copy:

You can check out your client’s view of the estimate by clicking the “View Estimate as Client” action in your estimate page’s sidebar. You’ll see that the primary action on the client’s view of the estimate is “Approve,” as that’s the goal of an estimate: to get approved. There is also a “Decline” option, as well a place for your client to enter comments or feedback.

Once your estimate is approved, you can hit the “Convert to Invoice” action. This allows you to close out your estimate and transition it to an invoice, with all of its approved contents intact. All you need to do is give it a proper Invoice ID and you’re done.

So, that’s it! Now go estimate something big! As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions, here in the comments or by email. Thank you for using Blinksale!

9 Comments

  • On July 15, 2010, Tim Grahl said:

    Hi, I’m very excited about this new feature (and the recent design upgrade), however when I go to view the estimates tab I get this error:

    “You do not have access to estimates.”

    I looked at my account and I don’t see a line in the features that says what level I have to be at to use estimates.

    Am I doing something wrong?

  • On July 15, 2010, Peter said:

    I’m having the same issue as Tim – I’ve had a paid account for years, but can’t access estimates – same error.

  • On July 15, 2010, Jared Christensen said:

    Tim & Peter,

    Wow, I’m very sorry about that. There was a bit of a hiccup in the feature rollout, but your Estimates tabs should be working now.

  • On July 15, 2010, Tim Grahl said:

    It’s working now. Thanks Jared!

  • On August 9, 2010, Dru said:

    Hi. The ‘Estimates are here’ notice on the home doesn’t go away permanently when the ‘hide this forever’ is used…

  • On August 10, 2010, Tony said:

    Hi, were you planning to enable the estimates to be sent as PDFs as per invoices?

  • On August 10, 2010, Jared Christensen said:

    @Tony – Absolutely. That is in development right now. Though, as is the case with invoices, sending an estimate as a PDF will be a feature that is exclusive to the Gold plan.

  • On August 10, 2010, Jared Christensen said:

    @Dru – Strange, haven’t experienced that bug. I’ve forwarded the issue on to our developer.

  • On September 18, 2010, Dru said:

    Hmm… yeah, the ‘estimates are here’ announcement is swell, but as of today, still won’t ‘hide forever’. Dumped cookies, logged out, etc. Mac FF and Safari. It’s ruining my life ;)

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