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Summary:

It’s been nearly two-and-a-half years since we reviewed On The Job here at TheAppleBlog, and we gave it high marks back then. Today Stunt Software has released On The Job 3.0, their time & expense tracking and invoicing application. The new version has some nice new […]

On the Job 3.0 Icon

It’s been nearly two-and-a-half years since we reviewed On The Job here at TheAppleBlog, and we gave it high marks back then. Today Stunt Software has released On The Job 3.0, their time & expense tracking and invoicing application. The new version has some nice new features, but it keeps the excellent simple, yet powerful feel we praised it for back in 2006.

On The Job greets a new user with a sample client and a sample project. It is easy to get in and edit what you need to get started right away. A helpful addition to Version 3 is the properties panel that is shown in gray at the bottom of the window. This replaces an info panel that you had to call anytime you wanted to make a change to a job. Anything you need is within arm’s reach. Before this addition, even simple changes took a few more clicks than it felt like were needed.

On The Job 3.0 Initial Screen

Timing projects is just as straightforward as it was in Version 2. You just click the big “play” button and it starts timing it. You can also start and stop the timer or even switch tasks from both the dock icon or the menu bar item. If you accidentally leave On The Job running while you go grab some lunch, no problem. When you come back, a little idle timer pops up asking if you want to subtract that hour or not.

Going back to see your timed tasks is pretty classy too. Click the little “i” button next to a task, and you can see, add, edit and delete your timing sessions. Lots of little interface things like these really add to the feel of the program.

On The Job Timing Sessions

One big request people had with Version 2 of On The Job was the desire to customize the design of their invoices. Well,  Stunt Software took that to heart and spent some quality time coming up with their invoice designer. It looks like an easy-to-understand version of the Billings invoice designer. I like it!

On The Job Custom Invoices

Not everything is perfect here. There are a few interface inconsistencies that bother me. If you make the window too narrow, things start looking odd in the properties panel.

On The Job Interface Issues

It also doesn’t feel quite right that if I add items that aren’t timed, such as a fixed-cost expense, all it shows is a dollar cost in the row with the time grayed out. There should be additional optional columns for quantity and per-unit cost.

On The Job Fixed Cost

So there is a little work to be done in a few areas like that, but all in all, things are on the right track. I’m hoping we don’t have to wait two-and-a-half years for more updates.

I used On The Job Version 2 quite a bit right when I started my freelancing business. I ended up switching to Billings so that I could have custom-designed invoices, but I always missed the ease of use of On The Job. Now that On The Job has that Invoice designer, I think I just might have to move back.

On The Job 3.0 costs $39.95, and upgrades from version 2.0 can be had for $14.95. It is available from Stunt Software’s web site.

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  1. Currently using Studiometry, but I’m over that interface :) Testing out Billings and On The Job, and I’m hoping one of the other will be the one I switch to!

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  2. As a production designer for a packaging company and a freelancer at home. I have tried numerous programs such as this. But as many people do, they sometimes steer off path and that tends to mess up the scheduler. For example when you have sales asking you to do their job and your boss TELLING you to do another it pushes jobs aside and then you loose track all together. What do you you guys do at work to keep track of time on jobs or do you charge flat rates? I know at work I quote jobs by the hour with a min of 15 minutes at 50$cnd or $75cnd an hour for anything else. At home im a little more flexible with prices so I tend to give fairly flat rates when doing most artwork.

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  3. [...] need to track time for clients. Brian Warren a few days ago wrote a very in-depth article reviewing On The Job 3.0, an amazing program that I have used myself when at my desk. However I needed something that was a [...]

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  4. I have used On The Job 2 and 3 for time tracking, and it worked great for that. The interface is clean and nice. However, the invoicing still does not meet my needs, even with the new abilities in version 3. Once I decided to get serious about creating invoices from within my timekeeping application (as opposed to doing it manually in a spreadsheet), I extensively tested 8 (!) different apps: On The Job, iBiz, Fanurio, Office Time, Studiometry, Billable, Billings, and iRatchet. Any of these is very usable for timekeeping, but as far is invoicing, the clear choice for me was iBiz (which I ultimately purchased). Some of these apps require you to use a programming language to create a template, which is unacceptable for me, as I’m not a programmer. Among the WYSIWYG invoice template creators, iBiz and Billings were more powerful than the others. Billings had a better user interface, but iBiz ultimately created the best invoices for me. I’m going to continue to watch Billings and Fanurio though: Billings is a really nice program, so I hope the invoicing improves. Fanurio has the benefit of being cross-platform, and the developer is so incredibly responsive that it has to be seen to be believed. Plus, the Fanurio developer will create your invoice template for you for free!

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  5. [...] at TAB like to write about invoicing applications. Some of our recent reviews include Billings, OnTheJob and Involer. But forget all of those other invoicing applications, I just found the one true ring [...]

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  6. [...] guter letzt habe ich – nicht zuletzte aufgrund eines Artikels auf TheAppleBlog – On The Job ausprobiert und bin damit soweit ganz zufrieden, auch wenn das [...]

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  7. Sounds like a small update for the 3 year wait however, the ability to customize your invoices is a great addition. I would imagine a lot of people stopped using On The Job 2.0 because of this missing feature. 3.0 may be able to win back some of those customers.

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  8. I’ve been using OnTheJob now for a year or so. I love it. It fits what I do perfect. Not too complicated but does enough to make my time-tracking and billing easier.

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  9. Hi Brian,

    Did you switch back to OTJ http://stuntsoftware.com/onthejob/

    I have just been using Billings 3 but miss the simple ease of OTJ which I got a taste of in their demo download.

    I will try out Billings 3 for a bit more then look again at On The Job 3.

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