There aren’t many new features this time because we are working hard towards the Version 1.0 release: full, stable, and getting out of beta. So hundreds and hundreds of hours have been spent in fixing bugs and improving features that weren’t fully working. The next major release will probably follow this trend as well.
One of the things we are doing to reach the goal of a very stable system is to move all the experimental and not yet ready for production features to plug-ins.
So for releases 0.6.3 to 0.7 we will have fewer features but more plugins.
A big improvement on the Open Source / community release is that we actually tested the Open Source download version; it is much more stable than the previous one.
New features includes:
Source code highlight
It’s a cool feature for developers when sharing source code snippets in notes & project discussions.
To use it, add <sourcecode> </sourcecode> around your source code.
Twitter full rewrite
Our initial implementation of the Tweet import was using the Twitter public RSS feeds. The issue was that they were down most of the time, creating tons of unexpected problems.
So we went for a full rewrite with the Twitter API.
The main features are:
- Broadcast private messages to your followers.
- Follow the tweets of your friends or followers.
- log in with Twitter.
Ofuz is not a replacement for Twitter UI or some of the great Twitter application out there. But it make sense to be able to follow and record the tweets of some of your professional contacts. Specifically, the ones you need to follow when you are working.
Broadcasting private messages is an experiment. It comes from our concept that a Customer Relation app should be able to use all channels of communication, not only email.
So when you decide to send a mailing, if your contact doesn’t have an email address and is following you on Twitter, the message will be sent to his/her Twitter private message inbox.
Twitter login will let connect your Ofuz account with your Twitter account, so you can then forget your Ofuz password and always log in with your Twitter credentials.
This release includes a lot of bug fixes and adjustments like usual, including:
- bug fixed on the VCF import
- bug fixed when updating the Settings information page
- bug fixed in the Google login
- New process and start page for new users
- Improved the co-worker invitation process; it’s simpler and smoother
- utf8 bug fixed in tasks & tags
- bug fix when adding multiple phone numbers or email addresses to contacts
This is a minor release but we fixed a number of bugs like:
Alignment in Chrome & small screens (netbooks)
UF8 in tasks, meaning non-ASCII chars now work in Tasks
Usability and related messages.
Invoice logo image size and quality
The new features include:
Transfer of accounts from one Ofuz installation to another. It will export everything in a nice XML file that can then be imported.
This can also be used to backup all your data and keep it safe with you.
Twitter login — now you can log into Ofuz using your Twitter login.
Twitter API integration to import your Contacts’ tweets faster. Next step will be using the Twitter steam API for realtime tweets.
Google login — if you prefer you can use your Google account to sign into Ofuz.
For all the external logins, the first time you will be asked for your Ofuz username and password. The site will not ask for them again, as you will just use your Google, Twitter, or Facebook login.
It’s been two years since we started the first mock-ups and prototypes for Ofuz. We have now implemented all of the base features that we wanted. Each of our 3 components has the most important and used features that a business needs to operate.
We understand that no one business is the same and for that we created a REST API and a Plug-In API so, just like WordPress, you will be able to customize your Ofuz experience with Plug-Ins that match your business model and processes.
From now on we will improve usability and stability in the core features of Ofuz, and all additional features will come from plug-ins.
Today I feel like Ofuz is on track to fulfill the promise of improving freelancers’ and small businesses’ productivity.
Version 0.6 is our biggest release ever, because we are reaching our goals on stability and with the core features we wanted.
The hard part is that most of you will not see the changes. They are structural changes like the multi-language support and the Plug-In APIs for the open source release.
What you can see is the documentation we have written last month for the PHP developers.
You will also enjoy some of the performance improvement we did as well as a nice new feature: the task multi-select. Like, for the contact you can select one or more contacts or tasks and apply an action to them. Like, select 5 differents tasks in a project and close them all as done, or select 3 contacts and send them a message.
Ofuz 0.5.8 has quite a few new features, and over 90 across the board improvements. In this blog post, I want to tell you about the new Auto Responder feature in Ofuz.
An Auto Responder is a mailing list feature that sends timed followup messages to your mailing list. You create a sequence of email templates and tell the Auto Responder how long to wait before sending each one. Then, when new people join your mailing list, the Auto Responder sends out your emails at your chosen intervals using the merge fields from your email templates to personalize each email.
Auto Responders can be a great way to convert contacts into customers. Remember the following important facts:
On average, it takes 7 contacts within 18 months to make a sale. Reference
2% of sales are made on the first contact, 3% on the second, 5% on the third, 10% on the fourth, and 80% on the fifth to twelfth! Reference
Auto Responder sequences should provide interesting or valuable information to your contacts, and it should remind them about the benefits of becoming a customer.
Here’s how to set up an Auto Responder in Ofuz.
Sign in to your Ofuz account.
Set up any email templates that you plan to use for your Auto Responder.
In the top right of the Ofuz page, click Settings.
On the left navigation bar, click Auto Responder.
Click Create New.
In the Auto Responder Name field, type a name for your new Auto Responder.
In the Tag Name field, choose the tag that you want to associate with this Auto Responder. Contacts tagged with this tag will receive your new Auto Responder sequence.
The new Auto Responder appears in your list of Auto Responders. Click the new Auto Responder’s name.
Click here to the right of You do not have any auto responder Email Templates for Auto Responder1.
Either click Select Email Template and choose an existing email template to add to your Auto Responder, or create a new email template using the form that appears.
Fill in the Name field with a name for this template.
Fill in the Subject field with the subject you want this email to have.
In the Send it in field, type the number of days you want to wait before sending this message.
In the Message editor, create your message.
To create additional emails for this Auto Responder, click Add a new email, and then repeat steps 11 – 16.
That’s all there is to it! Ofuz contacts that are tagged with the tag assigned to your new Auto Responder will automatically receive personalized emails at the intervals you’ve chosen. You can really save yourself some time by combining the Ofuz Web Form feature with the Auto Responder feature.
We’re excited to announce a new version of Ofuz that includes almost 100 changes, new features, improvements, and bug fixes.
We listen to our users, and your feedback really drives our development. In this release of Ofuz, about 90% of the changes are directly based on your feedback. Please keep the feedback coming!
Some of the new features include:
Taxes on Invoices (global and per line)
PDF invoices can be downloaded from Ofuz and sent by email
Payments can be applied to multiple invoices
Client view includes a list of all the invoices due
Auto Responders allow you to create a series of email templates and attach to a tag
View all your invoices for the year by default instead of Month by Month
Update the invoices status, so you can manually set an invoice as Sent
Cancel invoices and delete proposals
Copy a note, file or document from a contact to a project
Attached Tasks to Contact and Project
Notes can now contain some HTML tags
View Tasks grouped by projects
Private client link with invoice view and online payment
We are very exited about this new release as we have now reached feature parity most of our competitors in the Online Invoicing space. Remember that Ofuz does invoicing and has powerful contact management, group emailing, and task management features!
We are now getting closer to our next major release, Ofuz 0.6. That release will be available as a web-based application at Ofuz.com and as an Open Source download.
Stay tuned, and if you haven’t already, sign up for a free Ofuz account now.
Timesheets made their official appearance in Ofuz a few weeks back.
We’ve been playing around with the concept for some time. So today we decided to release the first draft of what will become a powerful time management application.
In this first version we’re covering:
Tracking your time on a contact or client.
Tracking time on tasks in a project.
Viewing your and your co-workers’ daily work logs, notes, and time recorded.
Total time for all client & project tasks, weekly or monthly.
Online time tracking, time management, and timesheets are wide subjects so the goal of this initial version is to offer very simple, non-intrusive features to cover as much usage as possible. They are tons of good reasons to track your time and no reason for not doing it. Time is the most precious resource we have.
With the hundreds of beta users and thousands of contacts added during beta1, things were getting slow when managing contacts.
The search and tag selection were especially below the acceptable threshold.
To enable Google Gears to manage your Ofuz contacts, go into Settings, choose the Google Gears tab, and then turn it on.
But Gears is not yet available for everyone — like on my Linux 64b desktop.
Then, last week we rewrote the standard web-based version of the contact management section. This added infinite scrolling, so it’s a great performance feature. It initially loads just the first 50 contacts and as you scroll down it loads more contacts until it reaches the end.
Lastly, we moved Ofuz to new hardware servers in a new cloud environment based on Open Source technologies. The result is a 10x performance improvement in Ofuz contact management. Now, even with thousands of contacts the user interface is extremely responsive.
Give us your feedback and let us know how fast it runs for you.
The 0.4 tasks are now frozen, and all new requests and minor bug fixes will go into Ofuz 0.5
Even if we still have about 40 tasks & bugs to implement, there is a good chance that Ofuz 0.4 will be released this month.
Even if we have been adding tons of small improvements and features for the past 3 months, we have 3 major features that will go live this month:
Google Gears support
It’s a free and open source add-on created and donated by Google that you install in your web browser, like the flash plug-in.
Once installed, the application can then be used off-line.
The contact search using Google Gears is super super fast, with 2,000 contacts in an instant. For 0.4 we have implemented it as a proof of concept in the Contact management section. It’s totally usable, so if you guys like it we will extend it to additional parts of Ofuz.
Google contact Sync
This means importing and exporting your contacts from Gmail to Ofuz and Ofuz to Gmail.
For now the sync is not automated; you have to go in settings->sync and click Google to import and export contacts to Google.
We did this because some may not want all of their Ofuz contacts in gmail or do not want all of their gmail contacts in Ofuz.
So you still have a choice. Based on your feedback we will adjust this.
This is the last piece. Ofuz was initially designed to cover all the business customer relations needs from start to finish.
- Find customers by organizing your address book and working your network
- Get things done in collaboration with project management.
- Get paid
Now the “get paid” part will be in Ofuz 0.4. It was originally planned to be in Ofuz 0.5, but due to popular demand we created a initial basic version for Ofuz 0.4
In this initial version of the Invoicing we have implemented the following features:
- Create invoices
- Internationalization (currency, number formating)
- Manage payments
- Customers can view invoices online
- Online payment with Paypal or Authorize net
In 0.5 we will add:
- Recurring invoices
- Invoices attached in PDF
- Auto Alert on past due invoices.
I’ll give you more details on the other 40 tasks later this month…
Thanks to all the beta users for their feedback during Ofuz 0.3
This is the new feature of the day. We just added a new drop box for projects.
Now each project is associated with an email address; if you send a message to that email address it will automatically create a new task in that Project.
The project drop box email address is on the bottom left of the Project page. See the screen shot.
If you’ve never used a drop box, you may wonder what those weird email addresses are everywhere.
They are email addresses to send content to Ofuz — can be a note on a contact, task, project task or task discussion.
If you have an open project you are actively working on and want to stay on top of it, even if you are not in front of a computer, then the drop box becomes handy. To begin, just add the project drop box to your address book. For example, create firstname.lastname@example.org with a name like Project x51. Then, any time you think of a task for that project, just send an email to that address. It can be from your smart phone, public web mail or your email client; perhaps because you don’t want to open Ofuz.net just for adding one task.
If you have not used drop-boxes yet, try it. In your settings page you will find one area to add new tasks and one to add a note to a contacts.
Regarding the one to add notes — if you add it to your auto Bcc it will put a copy of all the emails you send attached to the appropriate contact.