2006 April 24 by Josh
Without further ado, we're absolutely thrilled to announce that Blinksale 2.0 has launched. From here on out, we're dropping its "2.0" development moniker. It's now all simply Blinksale again. And let me tell you, Blinksale rocks.
We believe we've taken the easiest way to send invoices online and have made it even easier. At the same time, we've packed in some really wonderful features we've been itching to add for some time. Now you can easily sort your invoices by date, by status (open, past due, closed, or draft), or by tag. You can use recurring templates to send out automatically scheduled invoices to repeat clients (this is going to be really great if you provide hosting services to your clients). And with the Blinksale API, you can extend Blinksale into your own solutions.
Before you rush right on over to sign up (if you haven't already), there are a couple special features I'd like to highlight specifically. Both of these are subtle features and are likely to be under-appreciated at first. The first is your Invoice History:
We've wanted to add the ability to "track" an invoice since we first launched Blinksale last Summer. When it was sent, when it was paid, follow-up, etc. From experience, one of the primary reasons—if not THE primary reason—invoices go past due is because of a communication breakdown. You may send the invoice to the wrong person, the invoice may get misplaced by the client or delayed in the mail, or you might simply forget to follow up on a past due invoice. Following up on invoices is a hassle. Again, we speak from experience. We've sent hundreds.
With Blinksale's Invoice History, you can now view an invoice, see when it was sent, if and when you sent a reminder, what was said, what the client's response was, when the invoice was paid, and whether or not you sent them a thank-you note to follow up. Think of it like blog comments for your invoice. Your invoice's history and all of its related correspondence is saved for both you—and your client's—records. I think you're going to like this.
The second feature I'd like to talk about briefly is Purchases.
Here's how it works: While Blinksale was originally built as an accounts receivable application, over the last several months we've realized how many Blinksale subscribers send invoices to each other. And we thought, "Wouldn't it be nice if you could save your *incoming* invoices in your Blinksale account, along with your outgoing invoices." Not only can you track your sales, but you can track your purchases as well from other Blinksale vendors.
Where this gets really exciting is through the use of the API. Say you've built the latest, greatest web application. You need to send your customers a receipt for their monthly service. Simply tie in the Blinksale API, off goes the invoice (or receipt) to the customer, and it's automatically added to their Blinksale account for their records.
Imagine receiving all of your online receipts through Blinksale. Tagged. What did my small-business spend in 2006 on "web-services"? You're only a click away from knowing now. A handful of online retailers have already expressed their plans to integrate Blinksale into their services or shopping carts, so I believe its only a matter of time before we see this idea beginning to grow into reality.
I should note that while we have technically released the API today, it will be a few days before we get detailed documentation up for it. We certainly appreciate your patience in waiting for this. We know many of you have been patient for a long time.
All of these features are available on ALL Blinksale plans. Even Free accounts get in on all the fun. The only restriction is the number of invoices you can send per month. Three invoices per month with no other restrictions is a great way to get your small business started.
In closing this post, I need to give a lot of praise to the Blinksale team: Scott Raymond, John Critz, John Marstall, Brian Brasher, and Rich Nichols. Each has played an extraordinary role in bringing Blinksale to you today. Last fall when we began to scope out what Blinksale was to become, I honestly didn't know if we could pull it off while retaining our autonomy during this stage of development. But here we are, and I'm incredibly grateful and blessed to be a part of this venture.
Most of all, I'd like to thank the thousands of Blinksale subscribers. You're truly the ones who have made Blinksale a success, and will continue to make Blinksale a success. Thanks for being the early adopters, and for letting us know how we can continue to improve the service. Even now, we know Blinksale has plenty of room for improvement, but we're pretty darn smitten with where we are today. We look forward to moving forward with you.
So what are you waiting for? Go check it out for yourself.
Final note: If you have Blinksale technical support questions or bug finds, please do not post them here. They'll get lost. Please send them instead to support [at] blinksale [dot] com. We'll be able to get back with you much faster that way. Thanks in advance.