August 11, 2017
The Good, The Bad, and 17hats
17hats—an online management tool for freelancers and small businesses—allows you to seamlessly perform a variety of business-related tasks, including sending quotes and invoices, recording payments, and keeping track of new leads to grow your network. The main appeal of 17hats is its easy-to-use dashboard that’s designed to eliminate the chaos of processing payments, creating documents, and managing project workflow.
After using 17hats for more than a year now, we decided it was time to take a step back and review its pros and cons. Check out our thoughts below to see if 17hats is the right tool to manage your small business.
Chaos. Simplified. The folks behind 17hats hold true to their slogan! The tracking features are easy to access and keep you updated in lieu of approved quotes, pending contracts, past due invoices, and YTD financial statements. The software allows you to customize each document with your logo and brand style guide, making it easy to create templates for invoices, quotes, contracts, and emails, so you spend less time crafting new documents and more time meeting deadlines and getting paid.
One of our favorite features about the tool is that it records all activity related to a single project. Take, for example, you send a new quote. The new project will display the date you sent it, the time the client reviews it, and when the client accepts it. You also have access to every correspondence and document related to each project—which is all neatly organized in a single file. Another great feature is that, once approved, 17hats can transform a quote into an invoice (using your custom template) and submit it back to the client, thereby keeping the project’s workflow moving forward without you having to do anything. And as your invoice’s deadline approaches, you can easily send reminders and send receipts when the payment is finally processed.
17hats does have its drawbacks, however. Take, for example, the fact that while you’re creating an email, you can’t go back to another section of the dashboard without closing the current pop-up window you’re using. Let’s say you’ve just drafted an invoice. You click “send invoice” and a pop-up dialogue box appears, completely blocking the invoice’s critical information (e.g. invoice tracking number, name of project, hourly rate, etc.). If you need to capture that specific info in your message to the client, you have no choice but to close out the email because there is no saving feature. The same goes for introducing additional contacts in your emails. Although 17hats allows you to create email templates and assign each project to a client’s contact information, it doesn’t save additional recipients. So, instead, you need to manually type in the secondary email.
Another issue with 17 Hats is its app, which should really be its own review. You can look on your calendar, send reminders and receipts, but that’s about it! If you’re receiving emails from a client, it alerts you, but you need to log onto your desktop to view or take action.
One useful feature about the app is that it alerts you when someone accepts a quote or pays an invoice, which is always a nice notification to receive after a long day.
Overall, we’re happy with 17hats. It does exactly what we need it to do, and its minor drawbacks are more of a daily annoyance than a real issue. Kind of like waiting in traffic for the light to turn green. Its pros definitely outweigh the cons.
Share your thoughts with us on social media and tell us what you think of 17hats!