From the blog

CurdBee Weekly #2 – featuring Grace Smith

October 11, 2010

Hello, and welcome to another weekly. This issue is packed full of user generated goodness. From an interview with designer Grace Smith to an awesome review of CurdBee by Iszuddin Ismail, the focus this week is on the people that make this community tick. Coupled with the usual content from Beekeepers and Hivemind, we hope this weekly will be a fun and informative read. Enjoy!

User Spotlight – Grace Smith

Owner of a design studio called Postscript5, and editor of The Freelance Feed, Grace Smith is a designer out of Northern Ireland. Apart from being a strong supporter of freelancers and SMEs, she has also been a vocal proponent of CurdBee, and is featured here as our CurdBean of the week! Below, we talk to Grace about design, invoicing, and why she uses the Bee. We know you get asked to do this a lot in interviews, but could you go through your daily toolset for us as well? I’m sure there are many CurdBeans who’d be interested to see how their favourite app fits into a designer’s average day. My daily toolset is as follows: Chrome – Web Browser Google Apps – Email/Docs/Calendar Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator – Design Coda – Code Editor MAMP – Local Development & Testing TaskPaper – Organiser Transmit/Filezilla – FTP Onotate – Project Feedback QuoteRobot – Proposals I have Curdbee set up as a desktop app in my Dock using Fluid. This means I have quick access to my account whenever I need it. Why did you choose to go for CurdBee PRO, what Modules have you added, and why? Although the free edition is excellent, Curdbee PRO offered several features which I felt were essential for my invoicing requirements including; unbranded invoices and emails, a custom domain, PDF support, overdue reminders, thank you emails and SSL encryption. I particularly like having a custom domain to forward clients to, it adds to the feeling of professionalism I value so highly in my studio. I like the Estimate Module as it’s so easy to convert to an invoice when required, and the option of allowing the client to download the estimate as a PDF is an added bonus. You loved our recent User Interface changes! Would you mind telling us why you’re a fan? One new feature I love is the ability for my clientsto now accept estimates with just one click. It saves both of us time! I also particularly like the new smart suggestions for clients and items when creating a new invoice. You’ve mentioned before that you switched to CurdBee from Freshbooks. What prompted this move, and what can we do to make sure you stay with us in the long run? While I think Freshbooks is a fantastic service, I wanted to cut down costs and use a simpler, more efficient platform that meant I spent less time invoicing and more time working. I found Curdbee last year and haven’t looked back. It doesn’t have thousands of unnecessary features, it’s not bloated down with options, it’s intuitive and elegant and exactly what I require. The Curdbee team continue to refine and improve the user experience and interface which is great, as you know these are people who care about their product. Along with the great support, I can’t see myself going anywhere else, anytime soon. If you could change one thing about the CB experience, what would it be? I’m not sure there is anything I would change at present, though there are features I would love to see introduced. For instance; automated late payment reminders which can be set to your specified no. of days and client reports which show their payment history including late payments, how they pay, average amount per invoice etc.

Bee Supported – Localizing Statements

Catering to as many people as possible has always been a major focus for us here at CurdBee, and our Invoices and Estimates localization article is there to help anyone from anywhere customize the app to suit their specific needs. To get started, 1. On your CurdBee account, click on “Settings” from the top navigation. 2. Then click on “Localization” from the right side bar. 3. You will see the following screen where you will be presented with the available templates for localization. [Go to Article]

Hive Mind

This week, we were pretty stoked to have a fellow South East Asian write about us! Iszuddin Ismail (@iszuddin) very kindly recommended us to @hostmyheart, a user on the lookout for an online invoicing app. He also linked us to a lengthy review of CurdBee he wrote a while back. “Then I found CurdBee. CurdBee does not do that (have client/invoice limitations on its free account) to you. Of course there are ways that CurdBee limit its software and try to get you to upgrade. But they do it in a much nicer way. CurdBee does not “force” you to upgrade. CurdBee proves it with its superior software features. Thanks, Iszuddin! It’s always nice to see users happy with our free service. As web app connoisseurs ourselves, we understand the frustrations of artificial limitations and do our best to make sure that CurdBee Standard always remains functional and useful, and above all, allows your business to grow. Speaking of business, good luck with Upload N Sell and Mini Site Gallery. We’ll be watching both closely to see what you’re up to.

Beekeepers

Last week, we debuted Beekepers, a column in which we talk about what it’s like being on the CurdBee team. In fact, in our maiden issue we told you about our average release day. Today, we’re going to expand on that and tell you what it’s like being in GMT +0530, and why that makes releases a little bit easier for us. Being on Sri Lanka Time means that we usually get to work when most of America and Europe is still asleep. It’s morning for us though, and between 10am and 2pm local time, as we migrate the new code and restart whatever needs to be restarted, the majority of our user base is in bed, out on the town or raiding with their WoW guild. That helps. Rather than roll out new versions when everyone is at work frantically refreshing their CurdBee accounts to see if that elusive client finally paid, we get to push new features to much a smaller userbase, which means less stress on our servers, and by extension, less stress on us. By the time you guys are up and hitting your laptop power buttons in that half-conscious state of mind between your first tweet of the day and your first cup of coffee, the new release been up for a few hours and we’ve ironed out most release crinkles already. At CurdBee, we’re forever thankful that the earth is round.

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