The business side of blogging can be tedious. Lately, online and smartphone apps have stepped up to take the chore out of business planning tasks like bookkeeping and invoicing. Shoeboxed aims to move physical shoeboxes full of receipts from the bottom of the office drawer to an easy-to-use online app. We used their site for a month and found many positives that warrant writers to stop and take a look.
The site organizes and stores receipts, business cards and documents and provides money management tracking and smartphone interaction. There are several plans available for use, ranging from free to $49.95 a month. Online. The ‘most popular’ $29.99 option was reviewed for a month. This plan gives users:
- 150 items scanned by the company
- 500 catch up scans
- 2-3 turnaround time for mailed in items
- Access to the Shoeboxed.com mobile app for smartphones
- Unlimited self-scan
- Pre-paid envelopes and hard copy return
- Personalized Shoeboxed email address for receipt forwarding
Shoeboxed provided blue SASE envelopes and provides users with envelope tracking options online. The turnaround time for mail-in receipts were quicker than the plan indicates. Instead of 2-3 business days, the receipts online by the end of the next business day and all materials were returned within a couple business days. We were able to track the envelopes within the Shoeboxed system which eliminated the anxiety over things getting lost.
For those who want to move things along a little quicker, we also tried the app for iPhones. A quick photo and the receipt was logged and added to the expense tracker. The smartphone app, available for several phone types, took the hassle out of expense tracking.
The only issue is with the unpaid plans. The business card scanner app sends an email to the contact information provided. The only way to disable this feature is to upgrade to a paid plan. Most users will not want to send unsolicited emails to their new business contacts on behalf of a third party. Hopefully, Shoeboxed will remove that feature from the mobile app.
Tracking and Organizing It
There are many apps that promise ease of use, but reconciling them with other programs can be difficult and time consuming. Shoeboxed works with other popular bookkeeping programs like Quicken and Freshbooks and all the information can be exported into Excel and CV files.
The interface is easy to navigate and the financial management information is displayed prominently when the user logs in. The program organizes your receipts by types and creates reports showing the amount of money spent on each category including online purchases, great for keeping expenses and budgets on track.
The business card tracker puts the information from the card into an easy-edit contact management. Both sides of the card is scanned and can be viewed independent of the extracted information. The system is also compatible with most popular contact management systems like Gmail, iPhone/AppleMail, Yahoo, Blackberry, etc.
Overall, the Shoeboxed system is a winner. Any app that can shave time off of everyday tasks gets a thumbs up from us. The thumbs move even higher when you consider the different ways users can upload content to the system. Many easy applications lack that flexibility. Don’t just take our word for it, sign up for a free trial and see if it works for you.
How often do you explore new business planning apps?
Author: Franky Branckaute
Franky is CEO, Editor and Muppet on Duty at Splashpress Media and sporadically blogs about the professional online life at his personal iFranky blog, when he isn’t annoying his colleagues or blog software evangelists. He also is regular Guest Lecturer on all things New Media and ‘blogging’. Stalk him on Twitter or on Google+