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Just a quick update on some of the new stuff we've been doing around here the past few weeks. Possibly THE most requested feature for CPO has been the ability to create estimates. So, we're finally going to make that happen. But as we were building out the estimate feature, we went ahead and decided to do a whole bunch of good stuff in the Finances area. Here's a quick list of things you'll see within the next 2 weeks:
I think that's about it. We hope to have all of these updates rolled out by mid-October. Thanks for reading!
Until now, there hasn't been an easy way to change the date of a timesheet entry. If you accidentally entered time on the wrong day, you had to delete the entry and enter it again on the correct date. We added a little feature last week that lets you change the date on a timesheet entry with just a couple of clicks. Watch the quick tutorial below to find out how.
We made it really easy to change folder names in the file manager today. Check out the quick video below to see how it's done.
We've always felt a little bad about not offering a place where subscribers could see their payment record. So this week, we've fixed that! Beginning this week, you will receive email receipts each month for your CPO payments and you can view them within the app as well.
To view your payments, you'll need to go into the My Account area which is new.
You'll notice that we've moved some stuff into the My Account area that used to be under Settings like changing you password, cancelling your account, and changing your credit card or plan type.
To see your list of payments, click on the View Account Payments tab.
Here you'll see an entry for each payment you've made since May 2012 - unfortunately, we couldn't get data for any payments made prior to May. The Profile ID is a unique ID assigned to your subscription by our payment processor. It will change if you update your credit card or change plans and it's handy to have on hand if there's ever a payment dispute.
Right now, this is a simple list view. Eventually, we'd like to give you the ability to print or email your payment data from this screen.
Thanks for reading!
Our push to move CPO beyond the browser continues. Today we're happy to announce our desktop app for Mac and PC! Now can log time to any of your active projects and tasks right from your desktop without ever having to open CPO in your browser.
For now, the desktop app can log time for multiple projects on a given day. It will also keep a history of time logged. Using the built in calendar widget, you can view time spend on projects in the past.
When the app is minimized, you will see a little icon in your tray indicating whether or not you have active timers running. You also get a small menu of options for logging out or getting help with the app.
One last nifty feature...if you want to start a new task that isn't already in your task list, you can add it right in the task combo box. You don't have to log in to your account in the browser, and add the task there - you can do it right from your desktop.
Check out our Extras page to find the download links for both Mac and PC. Installation should be quick and painless on both platforms.
Yes...and, it depends. Some updates are certain. For example, we would love to add better keyboard shortcuts to the app along with some simple reporting features. We've also thought about releasing this as a standalone app in the Mac App Store.
Other features we see being useful are a task manager, file uploader and viewer, invoice viewer, expense manager, and maybe a contact list manager. We're going to take a wait and see approach to these other features. Our sense is that most users will be happier with a good and complete mobile app so that's where we will likely spend most of our resources.
However, if folks seem to really like the desktop app, then we'll give it some more love!
We're really pleased with the Chico UI components. We didn't like the idea of including a huge UI library (like jQuery UI) just to get a calendar and a combo box. Chico UI fit the bill nicely. It's a relatively new library on the scene but the devs are actively working on it and respond quickly to bugs and feature requests. Check 'em out for your next project!
We're happy to finally announce our new iPhone app for CreativePro Office! Now you can track your time and tasks while away from the office. We know you've waited a long time for this release and we appreciate your patience.
Currently, our iPhone app includes time tracking and task management. You can track time against any of your current projects and tasks. The timer can run in the background so you don't need to have the app in the foreground to track your time.
The task manager allows you to see all of your current, upcoming, and overdue tasks. You can mark tasks as complete and add new tasks as well.
Download the app and kick the tires for a bit. We're looking for feedback on how well it works and what features should be added in the future.
Yes, lots. Our rough roadmap for additional mobile features looks like this...
Yes, we're actually in the early stages of development. I won't give a release date yet but we do hope to have something available for the iPad before the end of 2012.
Eventually...we would like to get an iPad version out the door first. Tentatively look for something early in 2013.
We've been promising a mobile app for a little over a year. The main problem has been finding a development platform that we felt worked well. Last year there were many emerging mobile technologies that promised the ability to build native apps for both iOS and Android with one codebase instead of buiding separate apps for each platform.
The very first thing we did was build a mobile web version of CPO with a product called Sencha Touch that you could access through the phone browser. We just weren't happy with the results - it was slow and the code was cumbersome...so we kept looking.
Is it possible to import client data into CreativePro Office? You bet! Here's how you do it...
Click the panel labled Import data from other software. Then click the Begin importing data button.
The data you wish to import must be in a CSV formatted file with or without column headers. Using clear column headers will help a lot in step 3 when we map our columns.
If your CSV file imports correctly, you will then map the columns in your CSV file to the Client or Contact fields for CreativePro Office. The select menu next to each field should contain a list of available columns in your CSV file. Select a corresponding column for each field and click the Import Data button. NOTE: Don't forget the check the box labeled First row of data is column headers if this is indeed true. Otherwise, your column headers will be imported as a client or contact.
Next, you will have a chance to preview your data before it gets imported. Make sure that all of the columns are matched with the appropriate field names and click Accept Import if everything looks ok.
If everything went well, you should get a confirmation message like the one below. That's it!
Now you can add tasks and projects to your CreativePro Office account by email! Here's how you do it...
Anything written after the task codes will be automatically included in the task description. A picture is worth...well, you know. Check it out.
Adding projects by email is about the same as adding tasks except you send your project email to project@CreativeProOffice.com. Project codes are slightly different from task codes
So that's it! We hope you find that adding tasks by email is simple and quick. This feature makes it easy to turn any email sent to you into a task as well. Just forward the email to task@CreativeProOffice.com, add you task codes, and send. In the near future, we'll work on allowing tasks and projects to accept file attachments through email as well.
Thanks for reading!
Now you can reorder tasks simply by dragging them around and dropping them where you want. You can reorder tasks within a milestone or move tasks from one milestone to another - it works the same either way. We hope this makes organizing your tasks a little bit easier.
NOTE: Currently you cannot reorder milestones...we're still working on this feature.
Sharing files with your clients has been a glaring omision in the CreativePro Office feature set ... until now! Last week we rolled out some good stuff that allows you to share certain files with your clients and get their feedback messages. Let's check it out.
We'll assume that you already know how to attach files to a project. Once you have some files attached to a project, you can click on a file to share it with the client. Shared files will display the little icon.
Clicking on the magnifier (view) button will display the file view panel for that file as shown below. The file view panel contains some information about the file, a download button, and an image if the file is a PNG, GIF, JPEG, etc.
There is also a message box so you can send messages about the file to your client and team members.
If you send your client a message concerning a file, they will be notifed the next time they log into their account. They will also receive an email containing the message. Clicking on the little disk icon to the right of the message will open up the file view panel for that file.
Clients now have a new tab on their dashboard for Files. To view their files, they first select a project from the drop-down list.
Your clients can view and comment on a file the same way that account owners and team members can.
When a client comments on a file, you will receive an email message and also be notified when you log in as shown below.
Currently, clients cannot upload new files but this is a feature we would like to add very soon. We hope you find the file sharing feature useful and easy to use.
Thanks for reading!
Perhaps the most requested feature over the years for CPO has been project templates. Well now you have the ability to copy milestones, tasks, notes, files, team members, and contacts from one project to another by creating a template from a project.
Project templates are useful for quickly setting up projects that have similar assets and requirements. For example, if you build a lot of Wordpress websites, you will likely have very similar milestones and tasks from one project to the next. You might want to assign the same team members to the project and its tasks. Also, you might have the same contract documents or image asset files that are attached to each of these projects.
Creating a template from one project and then using it to quickly copy assets to each of your new projects will save a lot of time. Here's how it all works.
First select a project that will serve as the template for future projects. Go into the project detail view as shown below. Click the down arrow to the left of the project title and click the Create Template link.
A dialog window will show up that allows you to enter a Template name and Description and select which project items will be copied to a future project using this template. Click the Save button to save the template.
Now, when you create a new project you can select one of your templates and all of your project assets will be copied to the new project.
To manage your templates after they have been created, click on the Project templates tab. From there you can edit and delete any templates that you have created.
That's it! We hope this new feature will save you a lot of time setting up your projects from here on out. Thanks for reading.
We just made your invoice PDF's a little prettier and a lot easier to use. Check out the sample below or download the actual sample PDF here.
We really hope you like the new changes! Thanks for reading.
CreativePro Office has been around, in one form or another, since 2003. Back then the state-of-the-art for timesheet data entry was the typical week grid that looks something like this...
"Hey, that looks just like the timesheet I use on CPO version 2!" Yup, you're right. The point is, as CPO has gone through numerous upgrades and revisions, the timesheet has remained pretty old school and it's time for a change. Here's why.
The old timesheet user interface (UI) has 1 advantage ... it allows for quick data entry for 1 week IF it is the only place in the system to enter timesheet data AND hours are the only data you're entering. Anthing more complex and the UI begins to fall apart. For example, there's no place to view comments without clicking on a comment bubble and the design just looks cramped.
You also run into trouble when introducing other means of entering timesheet data such as the job timer or the up-and-coming mobile app and desktop app (more on these in another post - later). It quickly becomes unclear how to render the timesheet rows with multiple entry points. If I enter hours and comments through the timesheet UI for a given project/task/day and then enter more hours/comments through the job timer for the same project/task/day, how should that be shown? Two lines in the UI or combine the 2 entries into 1 line? It gets confusing fast.
Lastly, as many of our users have noticed, the code is just buggy. Comment popups don't close when you think they should, timesheet rows don't always delete, etc. This is due to a cludgy and ugly codebase that has not changed a whole lot in about 7 years.
This coming Friday we'll be rolling out the new-and-improved timesheet UI. It may take a bit of getting used to, but ultimately I think it will be more intuitive, relatively bug free, and simpler to maintain. Let's take a look...
Hopefully, the first thing you notice is a cleaner look and more 'breathing room' in the design. Other than that, the most fundamental change is the shift from project/task focused entry to day focused entry. In other words, instead of selecting a Project/Task and entering all your weekly hours for that combination, you select a Day and enter whatever project/task/hours you worked for that day.
I don't know about you but for me, this shift just fits better with my daily routine. The clutter reduction and increase in visible data helps me see what I've done day-to-day with a lot more clarity.
Data entry for this new UI look like this...
We understand that a whole-week view is essential as well so we have kept the weekly grid view - it's available when you click the Grid view button.
Also, along the right-hand column you will see a bar chart of hours worked, giving a kind of at-a-glance understanding of the week. Down the road we will include charts to show hours worked per project/task/client as well.
We believe the new timesheet user interface will be a lot more friendly, informative, and stable. Look for this to be rolled out by Friday, Feb. 11th and we hope you like it!
Task notifications by email are now available within CreativePro Office. To activate, simply click on the Settings icon in the upper-right, then click the Email tab. Now look for the checkbox labelled 'Receive email notifications when ... My tasks are overdue or coming due.' Check that box, click the Save button, and you'll begin receiving email reminders.
Two different notifications are sent out for overdue tasks and tasks with approaching deadlines. You'll begin receiving overdue notifications once per week for overdue tasks (more frequently if you have many overdue tasks). You'll receive upcoming notifications once a day if you have any tasks that are due within about 1 week or less.
If you've ever felt a little uneasy keeping all of your office data "in the cloud", we rolled out a feature last night that should help set your mind at ease.
Now you can easily export all of your CreativePro Office data to Excel files! If you ever need a data backup for peace of mind or - heaven forbid - you ever need to move on from CPO and find another project management solution, this tool should help a lot.
Exporting data is simple. First, click the Settings icon in the upper-right . Then click the Data tab. Now, click the Panel labelled Export your data from CreativePro Office as shown below.
After a few moments, you'll be prompted to download a ZIP file. Go ahead and save the ZIP file somewhere and open it up. You should see a list of Excel files like the list below. Each data type will be in its own Excel file (e.g. Clients, Projects, Messages, Invoices, etc.).
Opening up the Project Excel file as an example, you see that each file includes descriptive column headings. From here, you can save the file as a CSV or XML document and import into many other project management applications.
Thanks for reading.
Something we've wanted to do for a long time is to simplify the process of invoicing timesheet entries and expensses. Well this week we made some big improvements in this area. You can now add expenses and timesheet entries to an invoice right from the invoice form. Let's check it out.
To add either an expense item or timesheet entry, click one of the buttons right above the invoice item section of the form as shown below. We'll start by adding some expense items to our invoice.
After clicking the Select expenses button, a dialog window will appear that allows you to search your expenses for the ones you wish to invoice.
You can use the auto-suggest search box or search by date range. We're going to do a text search on Computer and see what comes up.
Ok, we found a few expenses and are now going to select the ones we want to include in the invoice. After we're done making our selections, we can either do another search or click the Add selected items button in the bottom left to add the expenses to our invoice.
You'll notice that adding expenses will automatically change the Type column to Product by default. If the expense is a service, you can certainly change the Type column to reflect that.
Selecting timesheet entries is almost exactly the same except that you can only search by date range. You must first select a client and project in the invoice form before selecting timesheet entries.
If any timesheet entries are found in your date range search, you can then select them to be included in the invoice. Click the Add selected items button to include the timesheet entries.
And there you go. No more flipping back and forth between an invoice and your timesheet page to see exactly what it is you need to invoice.
Thanks for reading.
We're please to announce a completely revamped file manager in CreativePro Office! In version 1, CreativePro Office allowed file uploads to specific projects - there was no ability to share files across multiple projects. In early version 2, we improved file management a bit by allowing multiple file uploads and file "attachment" to projects, tasks, messages, etc. However, this solution was not ideal...file uploads did not work well in Safari, files could not be moved to other folders, file/folder management was cumbersome and unreliable.
File upload and management now has a dedicated section within the application and you should see a new menu item called Files.
This section is where you will do all of your file uploading, folder creation, and moving files between folders. We have kept the popup file manager that is available on all pages of the application; however, its sole purpose now is for selecting and attaching files to items.
Uploading files now is really simple if you use an HTML5 compatible browser like Firefox, Safari 4+, or Chrome. You simply drag and drop files into the file uploader, then click the Start Upload button. If you use IE or some other browser that doesn't support HTML5, you can still upload multiple files at once but drag and drop will not be enabled.
And once the upload starts, you will get an accurate idea of how the upload is progressing and approximately how much upload time remains.
Now you can move files between folders by just dragging and dropping the file onto a folder. You can do the same thing with entire folders as well.
Adding new folders is now a lot more intuitive. Just click the New Folder button, enter a folder name and click Save or hit Enter - a new folder will be created within the current directory. A folders can now be easily deleted by just clicking the delete button when you hover over a folder.
Another nice new feature is the file list view. Instead of viewing your files in thumbnail form where much of the filename can often be obscured, the file list view gives you much more information about the file like who uploaded the file, when it was uploaded, and the file size. You can access this view by clicking the list view icon in the upper-right.
It's still around and available on most sections within the application. However, it is no longer responsible for file uploads, folder creation, or moving files. The popup file manager now exists so you can select files that you want to attach to certain items within your account like tasks, messages, or projects.
Thanks for reading and please let us know your thoughts about the new CPO file manager!
A few users have wondered what happened to project notes in CreativePro Office 2. Version 1 users will remember the rather minimal notes feature that allowed you to attach random notes to a project - simple, almost too simple. Here's the version 1 note entry form...
Just a plain ol' textbox with a Save button. And once you saved a note...
...you really didn't have any way to edit the darn thing. If you made a mistake well, delete and start over.
With CPO 2 we decided to amp up this feature a bit starting with a slimmed down WYSIWYG editor so you can add bullets, indentation, and simple font changes. Links are activated automatically if the link text begins with http:// or https://.
We also thought it would be nice to let your clients see some of your project notes so we added a checkbox that allows you to do just that.
Finally, the finished note complete with creator avatar, date and time stamp, visible to client indicator, and an Edit button! The Edit | Delete button group appears as you hover over a note.
Moving ahead we plan to allow file attachments to notes as well. We hope you like the new project note feature in CPO 2.
Thanks for reading.
Here are some of the features that are going to be included in the new release of CreativePro. If we haven't said so before, CreativePro Office is working on a new version that will remedy the bugs of the existing version AND include these killer new features:
This is a limited list of changes that will be going into version 2.0. These features are in direct response to what users have asked for over the past 2 years that CPO has been active. It isn't an exhaustive list, but it is definitely an exhausting list. For those who wonder what the silence is about, this would explain it.
We look forward to our new release and hope you all are enjoying your summer!
Thank you to all the folks who have braved the wilds of our first CreativePro Office source code release! Because of your bug reports and feature requests we are able to release this first patch to the download.
This patch will bring your installation current with the 1.0.3 release of the CPO source code and addresses the following items:
Instructions for installing the patch are included in the zip file that you will download. Look for more patches in the future at the link mentioned above.
One of the big new features that this patch provides is data transfer from your hosted CPO account to your installed CPO software. Once the patch is installed, go to your Settings area and look for the data download link. You will need to have your online CPO login information handy in order to download your data.
Much thanks to those who have contributed on forums, in emails and by posting bugs. Very soon there will be a development roadmap here on the blog outlining our path to a rebuilt hosted version of CPO that includes all those features that people have been asking for. Keep your eyes open for it!