Harvest vs ClientFlow
Harvest Review & Alternative
Harvest is a Popular time tracking tool. In this post, I am going to compare its features with a new tool, Clientflow, which also has time tracking as one of its many features. This post will be very useful to you if you are considering any of these tools to find out which one is more suitable to you and your use-case so that you can decide accordingly. If you aren’t going to read the whole blog just know this, Clientflow can do most of what Harvest can but vice versa is not true. Harvest is a very good tool to track your time and your team’s time and do predictive analysis at most. But that is pretty much it. There is no communication aspect involved and definitely no client communication involved. Clientflow is a complete project management tool with many features other than time tracking such as shared inbox, client communication tools etc. which I will write about in detail in this post. So let’s get started.
1. Understanding your use case
To find out which tool will serve you better, it’s of utmost importance that you are clear about your use-case and then decide accordingly. Do you just want to track time for billing process of clients and employees or do you want to increase the overall productivity of your workplace (communication plays a key role here). Depending on your use case, you can decide which tool is your best fit. For eg. if you own a shop and you have to pay your employees just for being present at the store, Harvest can prove to be a very useful tool. Another good example can be if you work in construction and you have to pay your workers on per hour basis. But let’s say you work in any tech or marketing firm, and you have outsourced a particular job and you have to pay them for the work being done and not the no. of hours or employees it took for the work to be completed. In such cases, apart from keeping the time it is being taken to complete the work, communication between you and the people who are working for you also plays an important role. If the later one sounds like your use-case, then ClietFlow is for you.
2. Team Management
Both Harvest and Clientflow has the option of creating and managing team but again, the use-case is totally different. Again, you should use Harvest only if the communication aspect between your team members in not important. For example, say you have to manage an automation centre which runs all along the clock and you have four workers to manage it. Then you can use Harvest to create a team and keep track of which worker was present at what time so that if an error occur, you would know whom to hold accountable for it. Also, you can obviously see the amount of hours each of your worker put in. All your team has to do is start the timer when they come in and stop it when they leave.
As of Clientflow, the communication is always the priority. ClientFlow gets your personal email conversations, your team’s group email conversations and Client communication on a single shared platform. It has all the essential functionality for you to manage personal, team and client conversations. Also, you can have internal discussions with teammates in the comment section. The shared inbox feature (which i will explain in detail in the next point) that it provides simplies the communication a lot and you can be assured that all your teammates are on the same page.
3. Managing Conversation better with Shared Inbox
First let me explain you what a shared inbox means with an example. Suppose you are in the support team of your company which consists of three members and you want mails coming to your support@ gmail account to be accessible to all three members and anyone of them should be able to reply, you create a shared inbox. ClientFlow shared inbox facilitates team collaboration like never before. It is one of the most important tools for an effective and efficient communication. It is a very big boost to the productivity of the whole team.
As Harvest is a time tracking tool, it obviously doesn’t have shared inbox feature.
4. Tracking Time Efficiently
I hope by now, you would have got a clearer idea about your use-case and would now have started to tend towards a particular product. As far as tracking time with efficiency is concerned, both Harvest and Clientflow do well. In both the tools, you add a particular task, assign it to a project/client and then just start the timer.
For Clientflow, along with the time tracking feature, you also get access to all its other features for efficient communication and project management.
5. For Personal Use
If you are looking for time tracking for your personal tasks only, by all means go for Harvest. It has mobile apps and web extensions which comes in very handy and makes it a top choice amongst time tracking softwares.
ClientFlow does not have much use-case here as it was built keeping in mind the communication aspect, which is very useful for enterprise but not so much for individuals.
6. As a Project Management Tool
As a Project management tool, I expect my tool to allow me to list down my projects and tasks, assign them to concerned people in my team and track them. Apart from this, I also the expect it to help me keep track of my clients’ work and facilitate an easier communication with my team.
Clientflow allows me to do all that whereas Harvest fails in the communication part (especially with client communication) as it was never meant to be used as a project management tool. Clientflow has features such as pre-built templates, client approval mails and its simple UI which gives it an upper hand because of its varied uses.
7. Niche vs Multi-utility Product
The best way I can differentiate between Harvest and ClientFlow is that Harvest is a very niche product. It’s utility is relatively small when compared to ClientFlow. It can be used only for tracking time you are spending on tasks for a particular project and client. No doubt, it is one of the best tools to do that, but it does just that. Clientflow has three main use-cases. They are-
- Time tracking– Like Harvest, you can track the time you are spending on various tasks and assign your tasks under projects and clients.
- Shared Inbox- As already explained, with Shared Inbox feature, your communication with your team becomes much simpler and you can be sure that all your team members are on the same page.
- Project Management Software– With Client communication as a priority, Clientflow has many features such as pre-built template, approval mails, project templates etc. which makes it as one of the best Project management software out there.
8. Integrations with other Apps
Both Clientflow and Harvest have many integrations but it is advisable to only use the product for what it is originally made to avoid going back and forth from one app to another and also it goes without saying that the more app integration you use, the more you have to pay.
So which one would you prefer?
From the above comparison, I would suggest that if the utility of your software is time tracking alone, you can opt for either one of them. But if your use-case is wide and you are expecting your tool to facilitate communication between team members and clients and increase the overall productivity of your organisation, opt for Clientflow.