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Review : 17hats

review-17hats-2

I promised you a review of 17hats, so here we go!

I started testing out 17hats around the middle of October. I went ahead and took the plunge and signed up for the full year subscription so I could really dive in and use it for all it’s worth.

Their features looked promising, and I was really expecting a lot out of this system that claimed to be an all-in-one solution.

After using the software for a couple weeks, I came to a final verdict and wanted to share my thoughts with you.

PRICE: $19/month if you sign up for the annual plan. They were running a special to get an entire year’s subscription for $137. Keep an eye out for another deal like this.

PROS:

  1. Everything in one place – Invoices, estimates, contracts, client details and client projects all in one spot can be really useful.
  2. Price – Much cheaper than the combo of my other software (Freshbooks, Echosign, Basecamp, Bidsketch, Outright).
  3. Timely – They are super quick to respond to support questions.
  4. In beta + constantly thinking about what to add next – They seem to be very on top of adding new features and getting feedback from current users. I was able to provide feedback and suggestions for their new time tracking app.

CONS:

  1. No ability to assign to-do’s – This one should be an obvious and easy fix.
  2. No client access – One of the main reasons I pay for Basecamp is so that my clients can login to their projects and see all outstanding to-do’s, view files and discuss revisions. If I can’t give my clients access to their project in 17hats, then it’s pretty much useless for project management.
  3. No ability to have discussions within projects or share files – Since you can’t add any additional users or your clients, the ability to have discussions within projects doesn’t exist. This is one of the biggest uses of Basecamp for me, to keep all discussions within a client’s project, rather than in my inbox, especially when discussing a particular file – like a design mockup.
  4. No ability to add custom colors or backgrounds – As a designer, it looks a little amateur sending clients to a invoice, contract or questionnaire with an off-brand background color.
  5. 17hats branding on all paid plans – I think that if I’m paying a yearly subscription for something that I should have the option to remove their branding. And if I choose to keep their branding, I should get some sort of referral credit when people sign up from my link.
  6. The script font – I hate the Jenna Sue font. It’s overused + it looks cheap. They just need to get rid of it and go with a premium font. I know, silly con, but that alone would make me not want to log in everyday. #fontsnob
  7. Glitches – I was creating a contract within a client’s project, clicked “save as template” and once I had saved everything I couldn’t find the contract template, which meant I had to recreate from the beginning. The text editor is also very glitchy – you’ll notice that certain lines disappear until you scroll down, and small things like that.

THE FINAL VERDICT: 

Personally, 17Hats is a NO for me at the moment. They are missing some vital features in order for me to replace them with my current systems. Once they add the time tracking, ability to add clients to their projects and have discussions, they could be a serious contender for me.

If you’re not as particular about custom colors and don’t need to give your clients access to their projects, then this might be a good option for you. The fact that invoices, estimates, contracts + questionnaires are all in one spot is AWESOME.

I ended up requesting a refund, because they just aren’t quite where I need them to be yet. Once they get the time tracking feature added, they could start by replacing my Freshbooks and EchoSign account. I’ll be waiting patiently.

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If you’re looking for more reviews on 17hats and a comparison review to a similar piece of software, check out Morgan’s review of 17hats and the Motiv App. She listed some really great points.

Have you tried 17hats yet? Have any additional pros or cons to add to the list for everyone considering using it? Tell me in the comments below!

Photo from Shay Cochrane

  • Kristina | Kristina Lynn Photo

    I have been an avid ShootQ user for the past 5 years but was tired of paying the $40/month so started looking for something else, that’s when I was introduced to 17Hats. I completely agree with you 100% about the missing features, especially the lack of workflow. But I took the bait and signed up for a full year to try it out (not going to lie, I mainly wanted to lock in the low price). They have been making some progress on features added, with workflows slated to hit before the end of the year, so hopefully they hold true to that. I’m still on the fence about it as a whole, but think it’s just so different from ShootQ that I needed more time to get used to it. I think it’s got potential!

    • Amanda Genther

      It definitely has potential! They just need to get some of those features installed and I think there would be a whole new group of biz owners who would be able to reap the benefits!

  • morgan haines

    PREACH! The jenna sue font thing was a super irritating feature for me. I felt like it was screaming in my face every time I logged in! The program does show promise though, so it will be interesting to see where it goes. Thanks for linking to my article!

    • Amanda Genther

      It definitely shows promise and I can’t wait until they add some of those important features (time tracking, client access, file sharing, etc) so that those of us who need more of a project management system can use it!

  • THANK YOU for sharing your insight! I have been wondering about functionality with them and although now sounds like not the best time, I will be waiting patiently for updates and new releases.

    PS. toats agree on Jenna Sue!

    Sincerely,
    #fellowfontsnob

    • Amanda Genther

      No problem! Glad it could help you out. I love being the guinea pig ;) Also, #fontsnobsunite!

  • Alana Wimmer

    Spot on Amanda – I also gave them a trial and found the lack of time tracking, plus I could not for the life of me get it to sync with Paypal after 10+ troubleshooting sessions, meant it’s a no for me right now. But an interesting concept for the future maybe… :)

    • Amanda Genther

      Definitely! The time tracking feature should be added pretty soon and I know just having that will help so many creatives!

  • Lena and Aggy

    From someone who doesn’t have a lot of online systems yet (I use Freckle for Time Tracking, PayPal for invoicing, Google Docs for document sharing, EchoSign for contract sharing, Asana SOMETIMES for project management, and Buffer for Tweeting. But that’s it. I do my own bookkeeping accounting in an Excel spreadsheet #organizationalnerd), 17hats is a really, really really awesome 1st step for entrepreneurs who are just starting out and just getting systems in place. I really never thought I’d have one of these business management SCRUM systems, but I liked the low cost and I figured they’d get better going forward.

    So while I totally get where you’re coming from, I’d also encourage new entrepreneurs who haven’t been in the game for a while and who don’t have many systems set up to think about it, mainly for its low investment and simple interface (oh, and non-designers as well. I’m a workshop + retreat planner for ladypreneurs and small businesses so Jenna Sue font ain’t no thang :)

    • Amanda Genther

      Yes, I totally agree. As I mentioned above, if you don’t need to give your clients access, share files or care very much about the overall design aesthetic, this could be a perfect solution for you. I’m glad you got in on the low cost, that will be a huge benefit once they add the other features :)

  • Same feelings on all of this. I signed up played around for a few hours and then gave it the boot. My main thing was that I just didn’t like the overall design, and I know I didn’t give it enough time to get the hang of things.

    Hoping someone can bring something along that combines everything and is easy on the eyes one day soon.

    • Amanda Genther

      That’s the one thing they are awesome at is adding new features pretty quickly. I already know that the time tracking feature will be added within a couple weeks and workflow soon after!

  • Great review! I messed around with the free trial for a while and there are two main reasons I decided not to use it:

    1. The interface looks so dated. The two main things that bug me are that ugly, amateur typeface you mentioned, and also the gradients. I think the whole thing looks like it’s from about five years ago when heavy Apple-style gradients were in. Well, there’s a reason everyone’s moving to flat interfaces…

    2. I don’t like that it’s a hosted platform. I prefer to use things I can buy, download, and install on my own server. That way I can skin, brand, and modify it the way I want. Now, if the UI was really nice (which it’s not) and it had plenty of branding options (which it doesn’t) then I would be okay using a hosted platform. But that’s just not the case with 17hats.

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I just signed up for the free trial of 17Hats and Motiv App. I’m starting to put a lot of work into my business, and am getting booked with clients rather quickly, so I really need to find a low cost and simple system quickly! Would you say that your setup is the best that you’ve found so far? (Freshbooks, Echosign, Basecamp, Bidsketch, Outright)

    • Amanda Genther

      Hi @ashleyshropshire:disqus! I really love my setup right now until someone can do everything. I use a combo of Freshbooks, HelloSign (used to use EchoSign), Basecamp and Outright. I create my own proposals now so I can brand them!

  • R. T.

    I just got to this review after googling some issues with 17Hats. I also decided that they were a “No” – but then promptly forgot about them. This morning, their server sent a test email from *my* gmail account – before I was even awake. So I went in and revoked their access to my email. That’s shady, in my opinion. If you have signed up for even the trial, make sure you revoke access in your email!

    Other than that, I am at least glad I googled the issue, because your blog looks super interesting! As a entrepreneur and creative, I think I am going to poke around a bit! :)

    Thanks!

    • Amanda Genther

      Wow! Thanks for the heads up. How does one go about revoking access? Within 17hats or within gmail?

      Hope you found a few more interesting things while you were poking around!

      • R. T.

        I did find plenty! I also shared your info with a peer, I thought she would find your stuff interesting too!

        To revoke access, I went into the gmail settings, it’s in the actual “account settings” under your profile, not just under your gmail, (click on your pic on your account for that) and go to: Connected apps and services/ Account permissions/View all. That’s where I was able to revoke permission.

        Cheers!

  • Andrea

    Hi, What software would you recommend for an art consulting company? We create invoices, po’s , quotes and would like to keep track of images and packets we send out as well as revisions to images or artwork?

    I do not like quickbooks (fyi) so I prefer to use something cleaner and user-friendly for my business partner and I.

    • Erica Walsh

      Hi Andrea! Curious if you ever found a solution? I am looking for a similar program and am not in love with 17hats either!

  • Greg Turiya Liotta

    Thanks for this, Amanda! I was really attracted to the 17Hats program to help me integrate all my systems. I’m a counselor/coach who manages with PayPal and an assortment of tools, and was really hoping to put it all in one place. Signed up for the free trial, but the very first thing that went wrong was the calendar. I kept inputting appointments into it, and they were either disappearing or ending up in the wrong dates. That was enough for me to trash the whole thing. I can tolerate the bad font and stylistic issues, but not getting the data in the correct place is a project killer. Next!

  • LLF

    This software has alot of good & bad points. I tried to give it a try, even was able to get past some of the things I didn’t like. I signed up for a year subscription, when there was a key part that was critical for my business. I contacted support to be refunded on the same day that I signed up for a year subscription and they said no. That’s horrible customer service. So for all the good things it does, they are treating people poorly and they get a big NO from me.

  • Stephen Lalla

    I signed up for the trial and it worked great. The main feature I was looking for was the accounting bank integration. I paid for a 2 year service at $249 on 10.11.2015 and it stopped importing my bank transactions. After many many email messages to 17 Hats and no fix after over a month, I cancelled the service and they only refunded my $200. So I paid $49 for a service that didn’t work. I highly recommend you look elsewhere as I feel totally screwed over by this company.

  • Lindsay Carlson

    Thanks for this Amanda! I’ve had my eye on 17 Hats for a long time now but have the same sort of things holding me back from signing up too. Have you looked into Pancake App? I like that it’s very similar but allows for team collaboration — and the pay-once model can’t be beat.