Fresh Faces: Alana Waters
February 5, 2008
I’m a ninja — a web ninja. And a photographer too. I design for clients like OfficeMax, Hasbro, Disney and Sony and have photographed bands such as Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, Matchbox 20 and other sundry troublemakers.
“I could go into the blah-ness of describing time tracking and invoicing with notepads and Excel, but why re-live that trauma?”
But my daughters sum it up best when they tell people “mommy just colors and draws”. They don’t know the various roles I play managing clients… their expectations, schedules, budgets and nutty ideas of what Web designers do with their time.
How were things before FreshBooks?
Black and white, but not the good Holga kind. I could go into the blah-ness of describing time tracking and invoicing with notepads and Excel, but why re-live that trauma? There was paper involved, stamps, salty postal workers — oh, the humanity! It wasn’t something I looked forward to, which is ironic because billing meant I had money coming in! How silly is that?
What’s business like with FreshBooks?
Shiny! Okay, first off it’s fun to use. Excel doesn’t flash “BAM!” when I enter my time and it never will. The time tracker feature is awesome. I find I have more billable hours because I tended to round down or “under-guesstimate” how long I was spending on projects.
My clients love being able to manage their budgets. They feel informed, and an informed client is a happy client. I don’t have to explain the bill because they have an awareness of it from checking in as the project moves along.
“With FreshBooks, I find I have more billable hours.”
Plus there’s a friendly formality to the presentation that feels bigger than just a lady at her computer in her home office. It honours the client and helps give me a more professional face.
And I’ll say, as someone who makes usability and user interface her livelihood, it’s very well-designed and easy to use. I jumped right on in, ran with it and have been happy as a clam ever since.