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Review of Paymo: Pros, Cons and Pricing of Award-winning Project Management Software

paymoIf you need to manage projects you can buy a project management/collaboration app, a time tracking tool, and an invoicing app to manage collections. These are the three essentials to create an efficient pipeline from brainstorming to starting the project and to collecting payments. Or, you can use Paymo, a simple yet powerful app that combines all three elements at a cost ($4.95 per user/month) lower than subscribing to three separate apps.

The app is ideal for small businesses and medium enterprises to easily track work hours, monitor tasks, and generate invoices. But Paymo has more features that streamline your workflow and get you and your team organized and focused on the deliverables.

In this Paymo reviews, we’ll show you the top benefits you’ll get from the app, plus scenarios of common problems managers face and how the app can solve these. We’ll also sum up user comments and testimonials about Paymo to give you an overall perception of the app. Moreover, after reviewing its actual features under simulated scenarios, we’ll show you the top awards we’ve given Paymo and why. Lastly, we talked with Jan Lukacs, CEO of Paymo, to learn more about his plans for development of the software.

What are the highlights of Paymo?

  • It bundles three different but related business processes in one–task management, time tracking, and invoicing–saving you money and giving you a more seamless integration
  • Automatic time-tracking saves you the trouble of starting/stopping the timer in between working hours; it also helps you to work on multiple projects at once
  • Dashboard and quick lookups let you see the big picture at once or drill down to details when needed
  • Users module lets you see a full view of all users’ tasks, timesheets, and performance metrics
  • Online invoicing lets you create invoice from timesheet data, plus, connect your payment gateway to allow clients to pay directly in the invoice

What we like the Most about Paymo

1. Project-related workflows are seamlessly integrated while keeping the overhead low

Managing projects means you need to handle three major areas: time tracking, task management/collaboration, and collection. Instead of getting separate apps for these processes, you can get all three in Paymo. At $4.95 per user/month, the price is affordable even for a freelance worker. When you operate on a tight margin or cash flow, you need to lower non-core operating expenses. Paymo helps small businesses catch up with the big boys.

More importantly, with time-tracking, collaboration, task management, and invoicing in one app, the integration is more seamless; thus, workflows are faster and data migration error is avoided.

The time-tracking and invoicing workflows are well integrated so you can add timesheet data right into the invoice.

The time-tracking and invoicing workflows are well integrated so you can add timesheet data right into the invoice.

2. Automatic time tracking makes it easy to handle multiple projects

Being one of the best project management software services, Paymo has a web and desktop timer that gives you flexibility where you want to work, on your workstation or away. As the web interface does the job of counting work time down to the second–no more undercharging the client–the desktop app is even better. It’s got an automatic time tracking feature (Paymo Plus) that keeps tab of your activities on your desktop.

The desktop app can auto-monitor the time you spend in, say, documents, emails, social media, and specific websites that you listed using the app’s intuitive rule filtering system. You don’t need to start/stop the timer; it starts and stops the instant you start and stop working on your desktop. At the end of the day, simply group together the related tasks shown in the Time Entries window and you get the project’s daily timesheet. We find this really helpful for people who handle several simultaneous projects where starting/stopping the timer for different tasks is not only confusing, but cumbersome. The desktop version works for Windows and OS X.

The desktop app’s automatic time tracking records the time you spent in various activities on your desktop. Calculating the project’s daily time is as simple as grouping related activities at the end of the day.

The desktop app’s automatic time tracking records the time you spent in various activities on your desktop. Calculating the project’s daily time is as simple as grouping related activities at the end of the day.

The desktop app also lets you log time entries or new tasks without having to go online, a useful feature if you have Internet connectivity issues. You can also let it detect idle time to avoid, this time, overcharging the client.

Start working even when offline. The desktop app gives you flexibility to work even without an Internet connection.

Start working even when offline. The desktop app gives you flexibility to work even without an Internet connection.

Both web and desktop interfaces have neat features, including: automatic field completion of project name and tasks when you start to type the name; time entries down to the seconds; and viewing of timesheets in a user-friendly calendar style with easy drag-and-drop tool to move the timesheets. Likewise, you can always manually add time in the timesheet when needed.

Missed to start timer? Manually add time in the timesheet.

Missed to start timer? Manually add time in the timesheet.

3. Get a quick view with dashboard and inline editing

Project management is all about seeing the big picture, while having quick access to the details. Paymo gives you this flexibility.

The main dashboard gives you a quick view of key data, such as your existing projects, number of clients, and calendar of your or your members’ daily work time. Plus, you get insights like the month’s top projects and clients and the current month’s total work hours versus the past month’s. You can also select which data to display by choosing which of the eleven plugins to enable.

The main dashboard is useful to help you plan strategically or gauge where your business is heading.

The Dashboard displays insights that can guide you to develop strategic plans.

The Dashboard displays insights that can guide you to develop strategic plans.

Going further into details, you can click the Projects dashboard to drill down to each project’s metrics. In two clicks from the main dashboard, you can check critical data about the project, such as: total time worked, completed tasks, task milestones and the assigned persons, timesheets, and related discussions and comments. The Projects dashboard makes it easy to get a quick status view of different projects. It’s easy to jump from one project to another in a single interface without cluttering your screen with numerous tabs or windows.

The Project browser shows all your projects in one window, allowing you to jump from one project to another, while getting a quick view of each project’s insights within the browser.

The Project browser shows all your projects in one window, allowing you to jump from one project to another, while getting a quick view of each project’s insights within the browser.

Further down the rabbit hole, if you want to immediately view tasks across projects, you can browse the My Task window. This section lets you do inline editing so you can quickly manage tasks from different projects without having to go inside each project’s window. The tasks are presented in a bullet list.

What we like is that you can manage each task from the bullet list: attach a file, check the due date, add comment or description, or delete the task. You can also drill down to the task details with one click. If you have team leaders under you, the My Task feature is a neat way to see what their members are doing and, from time to time, get connected with both team leaders and members, without getting too involved in their daily routine.

Inline editing lets you to manage tasks across different  projects in an instant.

Inline editing lets you to manage tasks across different  projects in an instant.

4. Get a full view of your team members’ performance

Paymo lets you to keep tab of the performance and assignments of your team leaders, members, and other users of the app. Click on the Users tab and all app users are shown; click on the individual user and his or her performance details are shown in easy-to-grasp visuals.

This feature makes it easy to balance your employees’ workload or see who is falling behind schedule. One of its better uses that we see is when you want to assemble a highly prolific team for a critical project based on individual performance or if you want to group the right mix of star performers and newbies in a team. This feature can also be a complementary job performance evaluation tool.

Users’ performance and assigned projects are laid out in easy-to-grasp visuals.

Users’ performance and assigned projects are laid out in easy-to-grasp visuals.

As project manager, you have access to user’s tasks and timesheets. An Activity Feed also shows what he or she has been doing in chronological order. Likewise, you can add new tasks right inside the user profile instead of going to My Tasks. Small shortcuts like this go a long way to keep your mind uncluttered.

Paymo also has these standard project management app features:

Discussions – Paymo is a simple but efficient app that can handle the collaboration dynamics of both a small team and a global workforce. The Discussion module inside the Project section lets you talk directly with other users. You can ask for more recent progress details, address day-to-day issues, or simply keep tabs on the latest updates. The Discussion module is useful for team leaders allowing them to stay on top of their team’s task details and, vice-versa, for team members to immediately connect to their supervisors for an urgent issue. The tool also adopts the familiar social media comment thread style, which adds simplicity to the overall discussion experience. Furthermore, you can attach files and use smart formatting to highlight your key points. You also have the option to send the comment to a user’s email address to ensure no message falls through the cracks.

Discuss day-to-day issues right inside the Project window.

Discuss day-to-day issues right inside the Project window.

Secure file sharing – Paymo allows you to share files in one location, which makes locating documents easier and efficient. No more issues that hinder productivity like a missing or misplaced file, or cluttering your computer with disparate files. Here’s what we also like: Paymo lets you preview image files inside the app. That means you don’t have to download large files to your computer, which can later bog down your storage space. As for security, you can limit file access to authorized users to protect company data.

Smart reports – You can customize timesheet reports to match your corporate processes. In the Report browser, you can tick about twenty options that change users, name and report type, display settings, and advanced settings including task descriptions, bar charts, and time entry notes. You can also display your logo to appear professional, which can greatly help a freelancer or small business to project bigness.

More importantly, the Report module lets you generate real-time timesheet data. We find this feature a big help for project managers who need to send employee work time to accounting on a routine cutoff period.

Online invoicing –  Turning timesheet data into an invoice is only two clicks away. This saves you from manually typing the same information into an invoice, which not only takes away a few hours from your work, but increases the likelihood of data errors. However, when needed, you can still edit the data in the invoice. Send the invoice via email with language and currency options. The whole process can only take a few minutes, which helps you to collect faster, too. Here’s another useful feature of Paymo: if you use an online payment gateway, such as PayPal, Stripe, or Authorize.Net, Paymo can link to it allowing clients to pay directly in the invoice. Once paid, the invoice is marked as paid in your Paymo browser.

Need to bill in Slovak koruna? No problem, Paymo lets you to choose the currency in your invoice.

Need to bill in Slovak koruna? No problem, Paymo lets you to choose the currency in your invoice.

Mobile apps – Paymo has Android/iOS native apps to let you use the software even outside your workspace. The mobile apps even let you work offline; once you go online, your data is automatically synchronized with your online account. We would have loved to see all features in the mobile platform for full flexibility, but right now the apps only support My Tasks, My Timesheet, Project, Clients, and Timer. That means you cannot add new user and generate reports or invoice with the mobile apps.

Paymo Pricing Plans

Paymo offers a single price plan as well as a 15-day unlimited free trial that lets you try out the software first. 

Free Trial

During the 15-day trial period you can use Paymo without any restrictions. To access your data and continue after 15 days, you’ll have to subscribe to the monthly plan. You can easily sign up for Paymo free trial here.

Paid Plan: $4.95/user/month

Features included in the paid plan include: support for unlimited projects, unlimited clients, unlimited timesheets as well as unlimited storage. You will also gain acces to priority support, a customizable dashboard, automatic time-tracking features and 256-bit SSL security. Other features you will get are: tasks & discussions, multi-language interface, project templates, timesheet reporting, unlimited backups, file sharing and timesheet charting. The plan also invludes integrations with Zapier and email as well as a User Performance Tracking feature. You will also be able to use free desktop and mobile apps for Paymo.

You can also extend Paymo functionality with add-ons:

Invoicing Add-on: $9.95/month

Includes support for unlimited invoices, unlimited estimates, and unlimited expenses

Notes Add-on: free

Includes support for unlimited notes, as well as note sharing and public sharing features.

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What customers say about Paymo

Paymo is ideal for both small businesses and medium enterprises, but its impact is more pronounced on small business owners, freelancers, and consultants, who use Paymo to streamline their multiple tasks, from managing projects to collection. Scouring the Internet for Paymo user testimonials, we noted these recurring accounts:

  • It tracks expenses, which helps users to stay on budget
  • It keeps users organized
  • It allows them to see the big picture, especially how much time is spent on different projects

Iver, a managing consultant from Chicago, IL, said it’s great for independent consultants who often rely on external partners to complete a project. “Paymo transforms us different players with different specialties into a cohesive team.

Similarly, small businesses find Paymo a practical tool from starting a project to collecting payments. “Its time tracking and online invoice-collection process are great,” said Stephen, who runs a web design agency in Reno, NV.

Meantime, Darin, a web developer from Short Results, saw the practical use of the Project dashboard to juggle priorities. “Due to priority, which project I am working on at any given time can change rapidly.

An Interview with Jan Lukacs, CEO of Paymo

Jan Lukacs CEO of Paymo

Jan Lukacs CEO of Paymo

We talked with Jan Lukacs, CEO of Paymo, to find out more about the app. We discussed what makes the app stand out, the common problems it can solve, and what features to expect soon.

Why is Paymo unique?

Consistent with our findings on the top benefits of the app, Jan Lukacs said Paymo is unique because it bundles task management, time tracking and invoicing in one app. “This way a company doesn’t have to use 2 or 3 different apps, and the process is seamless,” he said.

Moreover, Lukacs said getting a bundle app lowers the overheads, which is especially helpful for startups. Getting three separate apps for task management, invoicing, and time tracking costs more.

[With Paymo] you can keep track of your clients and projects, assign tasks to employees and keep an eye on their billables. After everything is set and done you can create invoices and reports and get paid for all your hard work. All this without having separate accounts and subscriptions for each individual need,” Lukacs said.

He also cited the app’s automatic time tracking as a major benefit. “At the end of the day just allocate the time to your projects. It’s ideal for heavy multitaskers or people who forget to clock in.

What specific problem scenarios are solved by Paymo?

Lukacs said the Milestone option with reminders can be helpful when you need to closely watch multiple project deliverables on a tight schedule. He said a web developer, for example, who’s working on complex tasks with a short deadline can set milestone reminders. “Just to make sure he has finished each stage of the project on time he uses the reminder option to give himself a couple of days notice, to be able to fine tune everything before moving on to the next step.

Lukacs gave another common problem many people face when working on their computer: they get distracted by news, articles, Facebook, etc. and this requires stopping and restarting the time tracker in between work. “Paymo Plus is an automatic time tracking app that tracks everything you do on the computer and starts when the computer boots up. This way you don’t have to stress about starting the timer each time you need it.

What exciting new features to come can we expect?

Lukacs mentioned that Paymo will soon be integrated with Zapier, which allows Paymo users to integrate with 300+ apps in the web app automation service. Likewise, Paymo, he said, will soon feature Gantt Chart and Planning Module to further enhance user experience.

Stephanie Seymour

By Stephanie Seymour

Stephanie Seymour is a senior business analyst and one of the crucial members of the FinancesOnline research team. She is a leading expert in the field of business intelligence and data science. She specializes in visual data discovery, cloud-based BI solutions, and big data analytics. She’s fascinated by how companies dealing with big data are increasingly embracing cloud business intelligence. In her software reviews, she always focuses on the aspects that let users share analytics and enhance findings with context.

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