Blog Post

On The Job

On The Job Icon

There are some kinds of applications that just really strike me as admirable. These are the ones that really find a couple things to focus on and do those things really well. The “Microsoft Words” of the world today are so bloated and so feature-rich that they lose focus on what really matters. They have to add features each time they release a new version because otherwise, why would people upgrade? In sharp contrast to the “More Features = Good” way of thinking comes On The Job by Stunt Software. On The Job is a time tracking and invoicing application that is both simple and powerful, and it feels right at home in the Mac OS X environment.

Getting Started

Getting started with On The Job is simple. Helpful on-screen tips guide you through it, but really, there isn’t anything tricky. I’ll walk through a basic job so you can see the features as I use them.

Getting Started with On The Job

First you just add a job. Call it what you want. I named mine “ Redesign.” Next, add a task, this would be some sort of sub task of the job. It’s up to you if you want to have multiple tasks for the project. I should also point out that in the Jobs column, you can group individual jobs into folders. I found this handy for longer projects that have multiple stages.

Editing a task in On The Job

Once you have a task, click the play button and start working. On The Job will track your time as you work. If you need to take a coffee break or go out for some adult beverages, On The Job will figure out you’ve been idle. When you come back, On The Job will pop up a dialog asking if you want to subtract the idle time or not. It knows, on its own that you’ve been idle. Also, it’s easy, even from the dock, to start and stop the time at will.

On The Job in the dock

As I progressed through this project, other tasks came up so I created them and timed my work on them accordingly. Also, it’s easy to add non-timed tasks to the project, such as expense line items. This is handy for people who charge by the job rather than by the hour. You can add credit items as well.

Lots of Tasks in On The Job

Invoicing Makes it Shine

Once I’ve put in your hard work you’re ready to invoice the client. This is a place where On The Job really shines. The invoices it creates are simple and attractive; I often get comments on them. Clicking the “Invoice” button brings open a window where you can, with a click, print it or send a PDF right to Mail. There are a few options to add tax rates, round the time and add your address. Almost always I send my invoices via email, so having this built into the invoicing application is a big bonus. Unfortunately, if you use Thunderbird or anything other than Mail, the “Send to Mail” function won’t be helpful for you, as On The Job doesn’t pick up on your default e-mail client.

Stunt Software plans to fix this in the future. Apparently there is not a standard way of feeding attachments to an email client. Consequently, developers have to handle each email client separately, and adding support for all major email clients is a big task.

A Great App

On The Job is a fantastic application for anybody who does freelancing. It’s not a one-stop solution for managing projects and clients, but it doesn’t try to be. It does what it does very well. It’s also easy to integrate On The Job into a bigger client and project workflow such as Basecamp. There may be a few areas for improvement, but all in all it’s a great application.

23 Responses to “On The Job”

  1. I can’t figure out how to assign different hourly rates per task?

    For instance…
    I want to charge X for graphic design and Y for we development. But the tasks should roll up into the same job/invoice.

    Can anyone help me out?

  2. This program is almost perfect — I only need more control over the format/style of the invoice itself.

    I could live with it the way it is provided it did not convert my logo to TIFF format but kept it EPS/Illustrator/PDF.

    But I really need to get OnTheJob to generate PDFs in the same format as everything else the company pumps out and that means changing the layout of the invoice, at least to some degree.

    Kudos – it’s a great little program.

  3. Saw your ADC Showcase in Macworld this month and thought I would check you guys out. I run a agency studio and have been looking for a digital time/hardcost tracking solution for awhile. We currently use paper. I have been playing with your program and had a few comments of some additions that would fit our needs and would really be useful.
    1. If the window could collapse to a bar similar to itunes. No details just play button and display window. Using the green + button, when expanded it would be in browse mode.
    2. if present tasks could be added with a cost. example Color Copies @ .50 each. you could set it up as a line item and with no time and you could choose it from the + menu. This way everytime a user had one it would be preset. It would be great if it had a quanity number as well. You should be able to change these options from the display window, like you can currently do time now.
    3. All tasks should be a preset with a cost, expense or credit and then available via pull down or quick key.
    4. the folder is a nice way to keep track of weekly jobs, so the artist can turn in a weekly time sheet via invoice. Is there another way? maybe not.
    5. Color coding for tasks.
    6. When etering a new job you should be able to put client and other info if so desired. this would also print on the invoice and be used to sort jobs via the browse.

    So basically an artist could use your tool to quickly track every aspect of the job by present tasks and hardcosts and submit a report/invoice. I have the need to track both time spent and the hardcost for each job. Example: 2hrs mechanical, 1 hr illustration, both have a diffrent hourly fee, this should be preset and esaliy chosen. Printouts 8.5×11 & 11×17, CDs, FTP, Revisions, all have a different HARDCOSTS and should be preset as well. The artist can then quickly enter hi time by function and all hardcosts, a email a pdf to the manager or the client. ie. that is why client info would be great with job numbers, you could sort by client name or account person and send seperate invoices.

    Sorry so much info, I was just super excited when I saw your product and I think with these small additions you could be exactly what the agency world needs!

    Thanks for listening!

  4. I like this bit of software alot. I currently use Blinksale for company invoices and tracking and Basecamp for prject management.

    Blinksale is great for creating and tracking and setting up recurring invoices, but it doesn’t have the simple job tracking and timing that On the Job has.

    I’m going to be using this, but my only real gripe is that I can’t look at all of my invoices and filter by paid, unpaid, part paid, client etc.

    It would also be nice to setup recurring jobs. I’m sure, like me, there’s a good many folk who invoice their client for the same job every month or are on a retainer.

    I know that On the Job doesn’t aim for that, it just organises, times and invoices your jobs, but for the life of me I can’t find a bit of software that does everything I need it to do.

    Track/Time – Create Invoice – Track Invoice Status – Export to CSV (or similar) for accounts purposes.

    I don’t need MYOB or Quickbooks because they are too hefty. And software like Studioline is too complex. I’m a fine of KISS (keep it simple stupid) and On the Job does this incredibly well.

    I just need more control over invoices that have been created – total outstanding and total paid.

  5. I find it amusing that there’s a lot of developer directed response posted here on a completely unreleated 3rd party site (not the Developer’s own site). But anyway it’s all good. Many good suggestions and I’m glad to see a new version. Keep up the great work Dan! Now if only there was a field for “Payment Instructions / TAX #, etc.” ie: Make cheques payable to… at the bottom of the invoice. Right now I’m using the return address area to post this information (below my address). Not ideal but it works.

    Thanks for the great software. I’ll definitely be purchasing it.


  6. Dan – thanks for your reply and your prompt fix!

    I currently use iBiz, but having played around with your app. I will be making the switch. On the Job is not totally ready for prime-time, but it holds a better prospect of becoming that…. i like it! I can see some additions to the UI that could be made but in the meantime it meets my needs. How hard would it be to make it handle Euros US$ and CDN$ as well as others….. just being able to put in the euro symbol would be a plus.

    anyway once i purchase it i will direct the questions/suggestions to your site directly. cheers.

  7. Dear Mr developer, it too me an hour to find the Info panel to enter the invoice number. You will NEVER find the invoice field if the JOBS panel is not selected. Sorry but this is a really bad design flaw. Either have all fields available under your INFO panel or have TWO INFO icons.

  8. Ahhh info panel. Of course. I should have dug around a little more. Thanks for the heads up Dan. Great app btw. Looking forward to possibly using this full-time as my billing/job tracking app of choice.



  9. Kevin:

    Hi, developer for On The Job here. To have the time entered into a task reflected as a cost, the hourly rate of the job must be set to some non-zero value. You can set the rate by first selecting the job in the jobs list by clicking it’s name. Then open the info panel. There will be a field there marked Hourly Rate.

    You will also notice that there is a field in the info panel marked Invoice Number, which should solve the other problem you were having, so you really can use the notes just for notes. :)

    An update is almost ready to make finding those two things a lot easier, and should be out within the next week.

  10. Nice. However I can’t seem to figure out how to just throw in a pre-determined amount of time and have it set the cost accordingly. It lets you manually input time but doesn’t allow you to adjust cost nor does it calculate cost automatically based on manually inputed time. Why allow manual input of time if it won’t use it in cost calculation? Seems like I’m either missing something obvious or it’s an obvious flaw in an otherwise good softaware product. Also, no invoice numbers is pretty much a deal breaker for me as almost all my clients demand them. I realize I could use the “notes” area for this but that just seems hackish and otherwise abusing a feature I may need for *gasp* notes :) Unless again I’m missing something? Also, as already mentioned, sorting projects by ciient would be useful.

    Nice looking/functioning app. Can’t wait to see what future versions have in store. For now I’ll have to stick with iBiz (buggy as it is). Studiometry is complicated and overkill for what I need, Billable has no Tax capabilities (huge oversight) and various other software I’ve tried have been severly lacking one way or another.


  11. Thame: The way I’ve been grouping projects based on clients, in On The Job is using the folders in the “Jobs” section. It’s easy enough and provides enough sorting for me, but I could see how it would fall short for more extended use.

  12. This looks great.. I’ve been considering switching to a new time tracking program since the one I’m currently using (TimeNet) has yet to convert to Universal Binary.. Its slowing my machine down.. and I don’t like that..

    I’ll be checking this one out.

  13. Yeah, it’s a great little app. The only thing I would like would be some way to group projects based on the client. I’ve found myself moving slowly to Studiometry simply for this feature. On The Job is still the greatest app for those quick jobs though.