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Posts by Samara Strauss:

Next Week: Switch Projects On-the-Fly

UPDATE (6/14): This update is now available to all users. Enjoy!

The Harvest Platform is about to get even easier to use. Next week, we’re launching an update that will allow you to track time entries to Harvest without first linking them to Harvest projects. From now on, you’ll be able switch between projects on-the-fly from a dropdown in each timer window. This small but significant change will bring an increased level of flexibility to the Harvest Platform that many of our customers have let us know they need.


For those who do not need or want to switch projects, fear not! After the change rolls out, the Harvest Platform will remember which projects you had previously linked to your application and show them in the project dropdowns for each entry. While you’ll now be able to change projects, you don’t have to if you’re happy with the current settings.

This is just the beginning of some exciting news for the Harvest Platform. Stay tuned for more next week!

Important Notice for Harvest Chrome Extension Users

Along with this update, we’ll be rolling out a version of the Harvest Chrome Extension that will need to be granted new permissions. This auto-update will cause the timer icon in Basecamp, and the Track Time button in Trello, to disappear until the extension is granted access to these apps. To grant the extension permissions:

  1. Open Chrome, and click the Chrome menu.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Next, go to Extensions.
  4. Next to Harvest Time Tracker, check Enabled.

Use Trello? Track time with the Harvest Chrome Extension

The good folks at Fog Creek have received over 1900 votes to build time tracking into Trello, their project management application. With that much enthusiasm, it only made sense for us to bring time tracking into Trello, Harvest-style. Today, we’re very excited to announce that you can now use the Harvest Chrome Extension to track time right from your Trello account.

Track Time in Trello

Harvest is already the fastest and easiest way to track time, and our integration with Trello goes one step further in making it accessible anywhere and everywhere. Curious? Watch the Harvest Chrome Extension in action.

Here are some great reasons to use the extension:

  • Track time without leaving Trello – You can track time right from your Trello cards, so you can focus on the task at hand.
  • See the time spent on each card – Each Trello card shows how much time  has been spent on it, so you know exactly where your time is going.
  • Get all the benefits of Harvest – In Harvest, you can easily turn the time tracked from Trello into reports and invoices. We’ve got all your needs covered.

Continue reading…

Harvest Playback, March 2nd Edition

Another week has come and gone here at Harvest. You thought time tracking couldn’t get any easier? On Tuesday, we took things to a whole new level by kicking off our Harvest Everywhere endeavors with the launch of Harvest for Mac. In addition, we’re also excited about two new integrations: ScrumDo and ZenCash.

Twitter was abuzz this week with a lot of excitement about Harvest for Mac. Here are just a few of the notably excited customers:

@awelfle – @harvest Especially with the new Mac App — I’ve been super accurate with being able to use hotkeys!

@peaker – The new @harvest desktop time tracker for Mac is super handy. Forgetting to stop the timer is so yesterday.

@chrismackintosh – Man I love the new Harvest timer on Mac: *LOVE

@jensimmons – I’m loving the new @harvest app for the Mac. No more keeping a tab in my browser for timers. Toolbar reminds me I’m billing. It is faster.

@sahadeva Finally time tracking software that I will actually use: (nav bar widget is awesome).

Otherwise, things went normally. We designed, we developed. And of course, we shared some valuable things with each other through Co-op and elsewhere:

Until next time!

Improved Password Security

Your Harvest password is an incredibly important part of the defenses that keep your account safe. In the last few months, we’ve amped up our password security measures, giving your data more protection than ever.

Tighter Password Security

The way we handle passwords is safe and secure every step of the way.

Secure set-up
The Harvest Welcome Email includes a link to a secure password set-up screen. We’ll walk new users through a super-simple process that leaves no guesswork as to whether their password makes the grade.

Safe reset
If you forget your password, we’ll email you a link to reset it.  Your Harvest password is never visible in your account, and it is never sent over email.

Strong requirements
We’ve tightened the belt on what you need – all new passwords must be at least 8 characters and receive a “Good” or “Strong” rating from our new strength indicator (you can try to save a weak password, but we won’t let you). Due for a new one? There’s no better time than now to update your password! Just head to the new Password section of your profile and take a few seconds to make yours more secure.

We know you’ve got a lot on your mind, but you can rest easy knowing that your Harvest account is safer than ever before. Stay tuned for more information on the ins-and-outs of password security, and don’t hesitate to send any feedback our way!

Some Thoughts On a Collaborative Workspace

Over the weekend, a friend of mine gave me a tour of Bloomberg’s NYC office. Their 29-floor building is full of huge, open workspaces. Even the company big-wigs don’t get a private office; when they’re in town, they occupy one of the many transparent, glass-walled conference rooms scattered throughout the building. This is a similar set up to what we have at Harvest HQ, though on a much larger scale, and I think the atmosphere promotes equality and togetherness.

While there’s a lot to be said for this type of environment, the inevitable noise and distraction that comes with it can actually hinder what its supposed to foster: creativity through collaboration. Susan Cain comes to the defense of introverts and quiet workspaces in The Rise of the New Groupthink, an article from last Friday’s NY Times. Here’s the gist of it: equality and transparency are good, but collaborative spaces can decrease creativity, especially in introverts.

Continue reading…

Empower Project Managers with Flexible Permissions

One of our most popular feature requests has been a more flexible user permissions system. Most importantly, administrators needed the ability to give project managers more control over their projects. We’re excited to announce that we’ve made this possible – administrators can now choose which project managers can create projects, view rates, or generate invoices for projects they manage.

Customizing User Permissions

There are three different roles that can be assigned under Manage > People:

Regular User – Mark someone as a regular user if they need to track time and expenses and view reports on their own activity.

Project Manager – PMs can see and approve time for projects they oversee, and they can view reports on those projects. Additionally, there are three optional permissions:

Permissions for project manager

  • Create projects – Allows PMs to create projects for all clients on the account.
  • View rates – Shows rates to PMs for all projects they manage.
  • Create invoices – Enables PMs to create invoices only for projects they manage. A project manager can view and edit an invoice until it’s sent by an administrator (only administrators can send invoices or record payments for them).

Administrators – If someone needs access to all time, projects, and reports in your account, this role is for them.

Roles are displayed next to everyone’s names in Manage >  People, so permissions are both flexible and easy to track. We hope the new user permissions result in a more shared and streamlined workflow across your team!

Timesheet Update: Start Your Week on Saturday, Sunday or Monday

Today, we’re excited to announce the release of one of our most highly-requested features – the ability to start the week on Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

Harvest timesheets have always started on Monday. However, many companies begin their timesheets on Saturday or Sunday, and they approve time weekly based on that start day. It’s been a goal of ours for a while to have Harvest accomodate this worklflow, but we knew that this was a much bigger update than it seemed. Shifting the start day affects all the time a company has entered in Harvest, making it critical that this feature be implemented with the utmost care. With this in mind, we’ve taken every precaution to make sure that a complicated behind-the-scenes switch seems like a simple and seamless one from the Harvest UI.

If your company starts its week on Saturday or Sunday, simply head to Manage > Account Settings and update the Start Week On preference. Harvest Timesheets and Reports will be updated to start the week on the selected day, and timesheets will be approved based on that week.

We hope customizing the start of the workweek makes your Harvest experience even better, and as always, send us your feedback!

Improved Locked Timesheet Interaction

Harvest is known for its simple and intuitive timesheet interface. Underneath that simplicity is a layer of fairly complicated business logic. A time entry has several states, and can be locked for different reasons – for example, if a project has been archived, or the hours have been invoiced. Sometimes a locked timesheet needs to be edited, and it used to be a time consuming process to unlock the timesheet to make necessary changes.

Recently, we took a hard look at the underlying rules, and improved many use cases. The biggest interface update that you will notice is that now, administrators can edit locked time and expense entries without having to unlock them.

Administrators will notice that editing locked time and expenses now works just like editing unlocked entries – hover your mouse over a time or expense, and you’ll see the Edit and X buttons. Click Edit to fix discrepancies or mistakes on a locked timesheet, and maintain accuracy across your timesheets, reports, and invoices.

Additionally, we’ve simplified the explanations about locked time and expenses and unified these messages across views, creating a clean interface that helps you understand why your time is locked.

This update will help you make those small but necessary tweaks to your timesheet, and we hope you find it useful!

Help Center: Is It Helpful?

Two weeks ago, we launched the new Harvest Help Center. The goal for the redesign was to provide comprehensive and well-organized content, so you could get what you need and move on with your day. We thought the design was effective, but how do we really measure and continuously improve the Help Center? Stats from Google Analytics tell us part of the story, but nothing beats actual customer feedback. So today, we’re launching a small feature so you can tell us directly how we’re doing:

At the bottom of each help article, you’ll find a “Was this article helpful?” question. If something was helpful, great! If not, leave some suggestions on how we can improve. Your feedback will help us update current articles and guide us in writing future ones.

As always, get in touch, and let us know how it’s working for you!