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Improvements to creating a new invoice & estimate

It’s been craaaazy busy over here at Blinksale HQ. The Romanian Field Office has been hammering away at some big exciting additions to Blinksale, and we’re pretty happy with how that’s coming along. Hopefully we can share more in the very near future. We hate teasing.

Today, we’ve got a nice upgraded feature: how and where to select a client for your new estimate or invoice.

You know how it is now — or, rather, how it used to be. You’d hit the “New Invoice” button to start a new invoice, and a “select your client” dialogue would insert itself into whatever page you happened to be on. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. And, as you web-savvy types will know, including that dialogue on the Dashboard, Invoice and Estimate pages meant longer page load times. We decided to streamline.

Starting today, create a new invoice or estimate and BAM — there’s the new invoice with the client selection right at the top. This placement is not only contextually relevant, but also gives us a control that can be used for all sorts of juicy features. You’ll see.

The new client selection control is a combination textfield (for typing) and dropdown menu (for selecting). Typing in a client name triggers some cool search-ahead functionality that matches what you’ve typed to your clients’ names, narrowing the list significantly. The dropdown lets you browse alphabetically. Whatever tickles your fancy, we’ve got you covered.

The experience for adding a new client is also streamlined for maximum get-it-done-ness. Used to be that adding a new client meant getting shipped off to a different page. Not so anymore! Adding & importing clients is now handled in a much leaner overlay window. Enter a few details, and your new client is saved. (You may always flesh out more of the client’s details later by browsing on over to the People tab).

It’s a relatively small thing, but it’s the little things that matter, right? We hope you enjoy the improvement!

11 Comments

  • On October 25, 2010, Pai said:

    Import clients from Basecamp, THATS WHAT IVE BEEN LOOKING FOR!

    thanks!

  • On October 29, 2010, Dan Griffiths said:

    When creating an invoice it now defaults to hours rather than the first option on the dropdown (usually service but it also prefills the hourly rate which needs deleting)…adding a lot of time for me to change it on everything. If you are going to change this then you have to provide an option to change the default in the settings.

  • On October 29, 2010, Clarence said:

    Why can’t we add the full company details on the new popup, instead of only the company name? I find this really bizarre and constrictive, especially as it’s supposed to be “streamlined for maximum get-it-done-ness”

    Now, if I want to put the full details for a new client (which I want to do for every single client), I have to make the first invoice, then when that’s done i have to go to the ‘people’ page, find the client, go to the ‘edit’ page, enter the full details, save, which takes me back to the ‘people’ page, find the client again, view invoices, and finally reopen the invoice before I can send to my new client an invoice which actually has their details on it!

    Please just add all fields to the new popup for the full details instead of just the company name! Or if I’m missing something really simple please let me know…

    But the auto-complete-drop-down is a fantastic addition and really makes a difference

    Also, it’s really great the way ‘duplicate invoice’ works now, with the current date and the same client being the default settings, this is brilliant, thank you.

  • On November 1, 2010, Erin said:

    I really like that the units now default to hours, but I sympathize with Dan—for years, I wanted to be able to set a default unit in my settings, rather than have to change every single line item on every invoice from “Service.”

    On the same lines, I’d like to enter one rate per unit (i.e., $100/hr) in the settings for a client, so I don’t have to enter it every time.

  • On November 2, 2010, Jared Christensen said:

    It’s actually been there for quite a while… I guess the new UI helped give it more exposure. Glad you found it!

  • On November 2, 2010, Jared Christensen said:

    Clarence – I totally hear where you’re coming from, and I wish I could push out an immediate solution. But, the best I can do is tell you that a modification is in the works and will get deployed as soon as possible.

  • On November 2, 2010, Jared Christensen said:

    Dan – I totally agree about being able to set a default Unit so that rows are pre-selected with that Unit. I’ve got a case in the queue to take care of that.

  • On November 2, 2010, Jared Christensen said:

    Erin – I think being able to set a default Unit is a totally expected feature, and frankly I’m surprised it’s not already built in. We’ll try to get that added as soon as possible.

    As for the “one rate per unit” request: are you wanting to set different hourly rates for each client? That’s a taller order, since we don’t have per-Client settings yet. The best we can do right now is a global hourly rate, which you can define in Settings > Invoice Details.

  • On November 4, 2010, Danielle Lavoie said:

    Hi Jared,

    I just want to start off by saying that I love the changes made to Blinksale within the past few months!

    I have to agree with both Dan’s suggestion for the default settings (we do not bill in hours, but for Services), and that I would like to add the full company details, as Clarence suggested, when adding a new client through the new invoice page. Even if there were an option to ‘Add address/contact information’ in the modal popup before hitting ‘Save company’, this would save a few extra steps in the invoice creation process.

    Thanks!

    – Danielle

  • On November 15, 2010, Richard Reukema said:

    Rate per client – why not? If I select the client at the top of the invoice – you already have the client information. Why not put up a local variable for Client Unit, and Client Quantity – which is used each time a new line is entered? I’m sure both of these actions are client side base on how the UI response.

  • On December 11, 2010, TimN said:

    I just used the Estimate feature in Blinksale for the first time today because I have done estimates more informally up to this point. It worked like a charm and gave the client the level of polish and professionalism they were looking for.

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