I upgraded to new FreshBooks—and here’s what happened

I have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to upgrade to the new FreshBooks for months. So when I finally received word that I could make the switch—I did my happy dance. And today I want to share what happened during the migration…because change isn’t always easy—but it’s worth it! 

Stuff I like

The new FreshBooks interface is modern, intuitive and nice to look at. It’s now simpler to copy the invoice link, which is a function I use often. The history of each invoice and estimate is streamlined, and it includes functionality where you can comment back and forth with the invoice recipient. Cool beans.

Stuff I had to adjust to

I used to be able to set verbiage directly into the email template (which was part of my onboarding process). Now I have to copy and paste it instead—which is not a big deal. But this change had a plus side, too. Previously, the client would have only had this information in their email…now it’s part of their FreshBooks ‘history’—which I like.

Another change in the new FreshBooks is the invoice templates. You can create a new template for regular invoices, recurring invoices, and estimates and this will apply to all future invoices/estimates. But, you can’t go back and update all previous invoices in a bulk way. You have to manually update the style settings one at a time. As I have dozens of recurring invoices for clients on my website maintenance plan, I was not happy about the grunt work involved in changing the default color of purple. Thankfully, I emailed FreshBooks and they took care of this for me. FreshBooks really does have superb customer service!

FreshBooks also offers invoice templates that are free to download even if you aren’t a paying customer. Pretty nifty!

What happened next? Change spurred more change.

Updating FreshBooks motivated me to tackle a few other items on my ongoing efficiency-quest:

  1. tracking my time (the app I used was no longer supported)
  2. creating new projects in fewer steps

For time tracking, I discovered that Toggl has the ease and functionality I needed, like idle detection in case I forget to turn off my timer when I go eat a sandwich. As I was trying to figure out if Toggl would work together with FreshBooks, I discovered (what, what!) that I could hire a Toggl Master to help me incorporate it into my workflow. Yes, please! They recommended Zapier (which connects apps together to automate your workflow) in order to link up my project creation and time tracking, and just $100 later, I have an awesome system that saves me so many steps!

Now I just enter client info in my Google spreadsheet, and through Zapier, a new project is created in FreshBooks and Toggl. Couldn’t be any easier unless my Google spreadsheet could read my mind.

For a closer look at Toggl, check out this detailed review: Toggl Review: The Best Time Tracking Software On The Market? by Lewis Parrott of The Freelance Effect.

Change isn’t easy. But when you pick software with excellent customer service—you’ll always have a human support if necessary. And that makes change fun…because you can take the good, and get help with the confusing.

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About Jill Anderson

Hi, I’m Jill, a WordPress WordPress designer/developer who partners with talented designers, copywriters, and agencies on their websites, and their client’s sites. I’m passionate about crafting beautiful and innovative WordPress websites focused on clear positioning and positive user experiences. Get my free report, Get Your Website Done: 12 Actionable Steps for Designers, and check out my Client Onboarding Toolkit, a simple 4-step digital course for converting prospects into a paying clients.


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12 thoughts on “I upgraded to new FreshBooks—and here’s what happened

  1. Whilst I like the look of the new FreshBooks, I’ve found them to be really slow at re-introducing missing features from the old version, and also inflexible around a specific issue I’m having.

    I decided to create a “ACME” business to test the multi-business feature. For months I’ve now been requesting this business be deleted (I never created any invoices or clients in this business) yet they seem unable to because they don’t “have the tools to delete businesses”. It’s just a row in a database. It’s just flabbergasting they can’t remove a business created in this manner.

  2. Thanks for the tip on Toggl. Took a little while to figure out how I should structure what I need (and still learning during trial period), but tech support hooked me up! Always great info, Jill. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for sharing Jill! I’m curious about how Toggl is better than just using Freshbooks time tracker. What are its benefits? Are there more reasons it’s cool besides the idle time feature? I’m super interested in streamlining my process, but wondering if it’s worth it for me to sign up for two additional monthly subscriptions. Tell me more about these apps!

    1. Hey Megan – I’ve actually gone back to using the FreshBooks timer as it was too much to keep up with 2 systems. I do wish it had an idle feature.

  4. I am using the Classic platform and I would like to make the switch. How do I do it? I do not find a way to make the change. I emailed Freshbooks but since it’s Friday, I probably won’t hear back until Monday.

    1. Hey Maria – I received an invite to switch, so that’s probably what you’ll need as well. I’m sure FreshBooks will be back in touch with you soon!

  5. Nice post. So, do the times you track in Toggl update in Freshbooks automatically? You know you can share Zapier zaps. Put them in your post and I’m sure a lot of people would use it. :)

    1. Thanks, Brett! I ended up removing Toggl from my workflow as it was too much to keep up with 2 systems. Now I just use the FreshBooks timer. It isn’t the greatest timer ever, but I do love the simplicity of just using the one system.

      I am still using Zapier to send my Google Sheet info to FreshBooks. I’ll have a look at how to share that.

      1. Thanks for the reply.

        I was using Tyme 2, which is great, but I need the automated billing of Freshbooks, so I switched to that. I got Eon to use with it, but it is a mess. I need a native Mac OS app that I can have in the taskbar and shows me when the timer is on, and reminds me if I forget to stop it. I also need a mobile version. The Freshbook timer is so limited.

  6. Brett, if you ever find a solution to that problem, please message me. I have been searching high and low. We bill with Freshbooks and love Toggl, but it just isn’t viable. I too need a native MacOS and Windows app for the timer so that it can integrate seamlessly with New Freshbooks.

  7. Thanks for this post. Inspiring me to do the upgrade finally, but also making me realize I need to carve out some time to deal with all these issues when I do it.

    I’m already a Zapier Pro user, so I’ll try and post anything I learn here.

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