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Harvest vs. Productive.io

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Choosing a time tracking and invoicing solution can be tricky. There are a lot of different options and the best solution for your company might differ from other companies. This article compares and contrasts Harvest and Productive as of .

Comparison Harvest Productive
Pricing $12/month or $10.80/month (annual) per user $15/month or $12/month (annual) per user
Trial/Free Plan 30 day trial, free for 1 person and 2 projects 30 day trial, no free plan
Time Tracking Yes Yes
Project Management With Forecast at $5/user/month extra Yes (Included), UI/UX needs a little work to be polished (at the time of writing this article).
Scheduling With Forecast at $5/user/month extra Yes (included)
CRM/Sales No, but has CRM integrations. Yes
Integrations Many integrations including Slack, IFTTT, GitHub, and more. Only Quickbooks
Native Apps Yes for iPhone, Android, MacOS, Chrome, and Safari. Yes For MacOS, Windows, Android, and iPhone.
Proposals Yes (estimates) Yes
Reporting Yes, but only time entry exports. Yes, profitability, time tracking, sales, and cost rates.
Change Rate Mid Project Absolutely not unless you want to change all historical data. Harvest documentation acknowledges this and recommends cloning your projects upon a Cost Rate change. Yes, you simply go into an employee’s profile, change their cost rate as of a certain date, and all calculations are based off of the new cost rate ongoing.
API Yes Yes
Active Development No major additional offerings since around 2014, their 2017 year in review only includes mentions of additional low value integrations. Very active development including a well laid out roadmap and major additional features offered within the last year.
Scheduled Financials Yes, but only a reoccurring invoice in which is not linked to any project making it extremely hard to track which reoccurring invoice ties to which work. Also, when you bill work to the project based on a reoccurring invoice, the system takes the assumption that the work has not been billed for and creates the possibility of double-billing clients that have a reoccurring invoice as well as paid feature work. Yes, via reoccurring budgets. The only caveat is that Productive will open the budget at the start of the bill term, you log time to it as needed, then you must post bill the time, rather than a pre-bill automated invoice like Harvest would be.
Profitability Tracking No Yes, a very extensive suite of tools to calculate cost overhead on both a flat facility costs (your SaaS subs, coworking bill, etc) as well as the time spent on internal projects.
Overall UI/UX Simple but can be clunky. GitHub Integration makes tracking time to issues a breeze, but that’s the only “nice” UX I experienced while using Harvest. Some of the UX is not extremely intuitive, but the entire UI follows material design best practices. After using the UI for a few days, I’ve come to notice that the UI is extremely consistent and easy to use after learning the patterns utilized by the Productive team.
Support Replies within 7 business days. Usually links to a help article that may/may not resolve your issue. Replies within 24 business hours. Support team is in different time zone. Typically tries to figure out a solution that works for your use case with you.

Rietta’s Choice

After a lot of team discussion, we decided to switch off of Harvest and onto Productive. The driving factors were:

  • No dev movement on Harvest.
  • The inability to track reoccurring invoices against tracked time on Harvest.
  • The inability to modify employee cost rates without duplicating projects on Harvest.
  • Productive’s drop dead simple profitability tracking.

About Alex Piechowski

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Alex Piechowski is a web application developer who is focused on Ruby on Rails app design that takes security into consideration.

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