If you're a one-person shop, constantly on the go with clients, you know taking the time to get back to your office to write up quotes can cut a chunk out of your work day. And having to settle in at home to do this will only cut into family time. So, what do you do? Fortunately, you can utilize the power of your Windows Phone 8 smartphone.
There are plenty of Windows Phone 8 apps available for invoicing. Some of them integrate with powerful web-based interfaces, some are costly, and others are too cumbersome to get up to speed with quickly. And then there are apps like Quote To Order. There are two versions of this app: Free and Paid for $10.99 (USD), and they enable you to quickly create and send invoices to clients. And although the invoices aren't the prettiest (no HTML-based or PDF here), they get the job done in such a way as to make your job efficient.
Here are some of the things you can do with Quote To Order:
- Create quotes quickly and email to clients
- Track order status
- Get quick invoice reports
- Filter reports
- Inventory management
- Live tiles showing Quote, Order, and Open Invoice counts
- Backup to SkyDrive
- Enter items and customers in advance or send on the fly
- Set quote expiration dates
- Configure tax rate
The application takes the standard Windows Phone 8 interface and makes it quite useful, helping to create an invoicing tool that will make your life a little less busy.
Let's install Quote To Order and see how it works.
The installation of this application is quite simple. Just follow these steps:
- Slide your home screen to the left
- Scroll down and tap Store
- Search for "quote to order" (no quotes)
- Tap Quote To Order (try the free version, and you can purchase the paid version later if you like the app)
- Tap install
Once the installation is completed, you'll find the Quote To Order launcher in the app screen (slide the home screen to the left and scroll down until you find the launcher). Tap that launcher, and you're ready to go.
With Quote To Order, you create items and clients as you go. So, instead of building item, service, inventory, or client lists first, you create them as you need them. Once created, those items will remain and can be re-used.
The flow of work goes like this:
- Add a quote
- Select from either an existing customer or create a new customer
- Add items by either selecting from the item master list or creating a new item
- Email the quote/invoice/order to the client
- Receive payment or confirmation of order
- Change status from Quote to Open Order
- Mark Order as paid (once you've received payment)
Before you get into setting up quotes, enter your company information in the Settings window. Here's how:
- Open Quote To Order
- Tap the menu button (three horizontal dots)
- Tap Settings
- Swipe the screen to the left
- Fill out the information for your company (Figure A)
- Tap Save
We'll address the initial Settings window in a moment.
To start a quote, do the following:
- From the main screen (Figure B), swipe until you're in the Quotes page
- Tap the plus sign [+]
- In the new window, enter the customer details, a Quote number (or description), and tax rate
- Tap Save
- Enter the Item quantity
- Tap Save
Quote To Order running on the Verizon-branded HTC Windows Phone 8.
Once you've set up the customer details, you'll find yourself in the Items section. Tap the plus sign [+] and enter the details for the new item (Figure C).
All entries (minus Notes) must be used.
Now it's time to email the quote. To do this, tap the menu button and select "email quote/order/invoice." A screen will prompt you to choose the method of sending (what's listed will depend on what accounts you have set up).
After the customer has approved the quote, you can then go back and change the status of from Quote to Open Order. Now, there's a caveat to this: Once you set a Quote To Order status, it won't show up anywhere! Fear not. Here's how you bring that listing back:
- Go to the Settings window
- Under "When app opens view...," tap Open Orders and Complete Orders (Figure D)
- Tap Save
When you open the main page of Quote To Order, all orders will appear.
There are plenty of other options to set here.
Although you won't be sending out PDFs of invoices with pretty pictures and formatting, if you're looking for an easy-to-use app that you can manage while you're on the go, give the free version of Quote To Order a try. If you wind up liking it, you can pay for the full version that doesn't have ads and invoice away.
What app(s) do you use for invoicing? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.