I’m just about to do a bit of marketing splurge, which has prompted my usual search for some software to keep track of things, which preferably can be morphed into a basic CRM type thingy.
At the moment I use a disjointed combination of spreadsheet, WP’d invoicing, and Address Book, but I’d like to be a bit more organised, maybe, as long as it’s not overkill.
I don’t have that many clients and I tend to charge by the day or half day, so time tracking isn’t important.
I tried Bento but it won’t, for example, automatically associate invoices with clients, something which I know I can make Access do very easily. A while ago I tried a couple of the purpose written cheapo invoicing apps, but they were too clunky, especially when it came to invoice designing. And even though I’m quite ok with Access, I took one look at the Neoffice ‘database’ and fled.
Any suggestions? what do other people use? Artful combinations of iLife apps would be good…
Again and again, I came across postings where someone mentions Contactizer Pro as being very helpful for the needs you describe.
I use Billings: billingsapp.com. It’s not the most flexible thing in the world, but it feels solid, imports clients from Address Book, lets you tweak the invoice templates, etc.
You could take a look at iRatchet.
Another vote for Billings. It’s companion program Daylite deals with lots of the customer relationship and sales tracking stuff. Mac only if that matters (EDIT so is Scrivener, sorry a bit slow today).
Avoid the web-based services unless you are certain that it is backed up properly AND that you can get your data out in a usable form should you decide to do so.
Thought it worth mentioning that Contactizer Pro is on sale at Maczot for another few hours.
This is not an endorsement – I’ve never used Contactizer – just a deal I noticed. I switched from Billable to Billings when I somehow corrupted Billable’s client index and it never worked right for me again. I like Billings so far.