What is Intervals? Read on to discover how Intervals works—what problems it can help you solve and who uses it, along with a tour of its features, pricing and integrations. I’ll also explain how Intervals compares to similar tools.
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What Is Intervals?
Intervals is a project management app designed to help small businesses track their time, manage their tasks, and then use the reports to make meaningful decisions about their business. The reporting and invoicing tools are designed to help improve productivity and bill clients.
Intervals was created to handle the project management needs we had as a web design and development agency as we built over 300 web sites for over 100 companies.
A few years after starting our agency in 2000, we had a project go wrong and we realized we needed a better way to manage our work, track our time, and show our clients exactly how much effort each piece of a project was taking. We built Intervals as an internal tool and then realized there was a bigger need for our software so we turned our focus to making it publicly available as a subscription service. Intervals was launched in July 2006, from our headquarters in Santa Barbara, California.
Since then we’ve been constantly updating Intervals with improvements and new features. We use Intervals to manage our software development process, so we’re in the trenches alongside our customers. This has helped us understand their needs as we’ve evolved Intervals over the years. As Microsoft once pointed out, we eat our own dog food.
Who is Intervals for?
Intervals is ideal for what we call micro businesses. Micro businesses are small businesses with 20 or less people or departments of larger companies.
We do have larger customers, but Intervals is really designed and built for the needs of small teams. Especially small teams that track time and bill their clients for their time.
Most of our customers require time tracking in the same app as they are using to manage projects and tasks for one of two reasons. Either they are billing the client for their time, or they are tracking their team’s time to improve productivity.
- Web design and development agencies
- Creative agencies
- Marketing agencies
- IT companies
- Software developers
What challenges does Intervals solve?
1. It’s hard to know where your time is going
Problem: Companies that aren’t tracking their time don’t know if they are losing money or time on a project. They don’t know if they are billing enough for their work, because they can’t gauge productivity costs.
Solution: Our software helps people figure out where their time is going by tracking it with timers. Without accurate time tracking tools, businesses will see almost a third of their time go unaccounted for. Understanding where that time is going, and getting it back, is very empowering, especially to a business that bills hourly.
2. It’s hard to stay organized
Problem: Without a sound project management methodology, and the software to execute it, businesses don’t have any way to break down a project into tasks and delegate the work.
Solution: Intervals task management features help people know who’s working on what, and when. The time tracking is closely integrated with tasks, so they also know how long those tasks are taking to complete. This level of organization gives our customers the ability to deliver projects on time and under budget. In addition, Intervals keeps detailed histories on tasks to build up your company’s knowledge base of how problems have been solved in the past.
3. It’s tricky to manage billing and get paid
Problem: Without good tracking a company doesn’t know the true value of and how long it takes for their services. And, they may find clients pushing back if they don’t think the billing amounts are justified.
Solution: Our reporting and invoicing tools are one of our most oft-praised features, because they provide the level of transparency necessary to build trust with clients. Customers can review high level dashboards and drill down into their data. Our reporting tools take the emotion out of making business decisions, and our invoicing tools help customers answer client concerns and get paid sooner.
What’s On The Intervals Roadmap?
Since Intervals was launched in 2006, the product has continued to evolve. In 2019, Intervals rolled out several new features, such as a Gantt chart, recently updated tasks, and mobile app. And the product roadmap for the coming year includes some exciting updates, namely:
Some of the items on the publicly available Intervals roadmap are:
- Scheduled reports
- Task todos
- Request queue improvements
- More features added to mobile app
- More third party integrations
Intervals Features Overview
To get an idea of how Intervals works, here’s a tour of the main features and how they can help you manage your projects.
1. Time Tracking
Intervals provide multiple timers that can be used to effortlessly track time against tasks and projects. Weekly timesheets help you review the team’s efforts each week. And the numerous reports provide fast and beautiful visualizations of time tracking data, from high-level overviews to low-level detailed analysis.
2. Task Management
Our software takes a comprehensive and collaborative approach to task management. The request queue can be used to submit work requests via email. Then assign tasks to team members and track every comment, document upload, and update as the task is worked through to completion. Use the calendar and Gantt chart features to schedule tasks across your entire team. Intervals also features milestones, so that projects can be broken down into groupings of tasks to be completed during each project phase.
Intervals has numerous reports that analyze time, task, and project data. Our most oft-praised feature, the reports are useful for glimpsing high-level overviews of project health and analyzing detailed data when needing to make informed business decisions. Reports can be exported into a number of different formats, such as PDF for presenting to clients, and Excel for doing more custom number crunching.
Our invoicing tools have the ability to create incredibly detailed invoices that can be itemized by a number of different criteria. For example, line items can be listed as the date the time was entered, the task the time was tracked against, the person who tracked the time, and more. Invoices can be sent via email, or exported as a PDF, or sent to a third party invoicing platform such as QuickBooks and FreshBooks.
Supporting documentation can be attached to tasks, milestones, or projects, and shared with the rest of the team working on the same project. For example, a copy of the scope could be uploaded to the project, while more detailed supporting documentation is uploaded to each task. All documents are aggregated in one easy-to-access area of your account for quick retrieval.
Intervals vs Basecamp
We built Intervals to fill the gap between overly simplistic software, like Basecamp, and overly complex software, like Microsoft Project. Our features are targeted at customers who have found Basecamp lacking, but also know that Enterprise is overkill.
When we first created Intervals 13 years ago, the small business and small teams market was an under-serviced market. As the SaaS industry has evolved, and customers expect more from their software, we’ve evolved based on customer feedback to continue to serve our small team’s niche.
The ability to track time directly against tasks so that you have one mode of working is one of the features we’ve had from the start that separates us from our competition. The other feature is our reports, which are fast, detailed, and flexible, allowing our customers to go as deep as they’d like into their data.
Overall, our focus on what small teams need is the main differentiator for our software. How time tracking, task management, and reporting work with Intervals are very different than our competitors. They are all intertwined so that you can see the time and financial value of all of your work. Outside of these features, Intervals is similar to other software with features like client management, document uploads, expense tracking, and invoicing.
Intervals is most commonly integrated with accounting packages such as QuickBooks and FreshBooks. Tied for second is Google Drive integration and Slack integration. Custom integrations via our API are popular as well. Our API is used to build custom solutions such as task reports and team notifications.
We provide a fully documented and RESTful API, and we offer developer support for customers integrating with the API.
Our plans being at $59 per month and include 25 active projects. For those companies who want to work unrestrained, we offer an unlimited plan for $299 per month. This plan includes unlimited everything — unlimited users, projects, and documents.
Our pricing is unique in that it’s based on the number of active projects being managed, not the number of users. All plans include unlimited users. You can add whomever you like on your team and not worry about increasing your incremental costs. When a project is complete it can be set to inactive which is akin to archiving it. If you ever need to work on the project again it can easily be activated. The amount of allocated document storage also increases with each plan level.
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