Beta Watch: Freckle, Qitera, Clerk Dogs
Freckle: Dead-Simple Time Tracking
All contractors love to get paid, but few like keeping track of their hours so that they can bill accurately. Freckle is an easy-to-use online service for tracking work. Entering data requires filling just three boxes: the first for the amount of time you worked, the second for the client or project name, and the third for tags. Those tags can identify the job number, a description of the work, or anything you like. Freckle, which has a bare-bones free option and paid accounts starting at $24 per month, can quickly tell you how much time each member of your company has spent working on a specific project. One big problem: Freckle lacks a feature that lets you enter the time you start a project and the time you finish it.
Qitera: Full-Page Bookmarks
Some folks are word people, while others do better with pictures. If you're of a visual bent, Qitera may be the online bookmarking service for you. Similar to Delicious and so many other services, Qitera gives you a browser button for saving pages that you come across while surfing. But when you go to your Qitera page, you can look at those links as a gallery of full-size images of Web pages, instead of as a simple list of text links. You can also comment on pages and share them with friends. The free service looks useful, though sometimes it represents pages with large blank spots where it apparently couldn't capture the data presented.
Clerk Dogs: Video Recommendations
When Netflix recommends a movie, you may like it or hate it, but you can't change it. The free Clerk Dogs is more interactive. Put in a movie, and Clerk Dogs lists others with the same characteristics. Don't like the suggestion? Click Mash It, and tweak the traits of your target movie. Push down the ‘Crude Humor' slider, and the pick changes from Zoolander to The Money Pit. Turn up the romance, and the choice becomes a DVD of the Friends TV series. The database seems limited for now, but it's fun to play with.