Invoice Plane: Open Source Accounting System

Open source accounting system When I first started my business ten years ago, a lot of the tools that I used, I developed myself and that included my invoicing and billing system.

However, about five years in, it was getting to the point where I’d go to invoice a client, I’d have to fix or patch something first. So I eventually bit the bullet and signed up and paid for Freshbooks, which really is a great product but for one, it’s just another monthly bill you have to worry about paying and for two, if you’re just getting started in your business or just have a side business where you don’t need to send invoices or track expenses all that frequently, you may not want to pay that monthly fee.

In comes Invoice Plane. Think of it like the WordPress of accounting software. Invoice Plane is completely self-hosted so you can host it on your existing LAMP server or you can just do what I did and dedicate an old Raspberry Pi to hosting it (or an old computer you have laying around).

With Invoice Plane, you can:

  • Invoice and track clients (totals, outstanding balances, paid balances)
  • Track expenses, including receipts
  • Generate profit and loss statements
  • Accept credit card payments with third party merchants such as my favorite, Stripe (although you’ll need your host on the public internet for that one)

I’ll be the first one to admit that there are a ton of more elegant and more functional accounting systems out there, however, there are some systems that I still like to have in my complete control versus putting in the cloud and business financial data is one.

Check it out at: http://invoiceplane.com

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Todoist: My Favorite List Manager

I keep a list for just about everything. Some of my lists include:

  • Bills I have to pay every month
  • Bills I have to pay every year
  • Books I want to read
  • Movies I want to watch
  • Projects I want to do when I get time
  • Templates for setting up servers

A few months ago, I discovered that my then favorite to-do list app, Wunderlist, was acquired by Microsoft and that they were killing it off in favor of their own app. So I started the hunt for a new list manager. I finally came across Todoist. Hands down a worthy replacement!

Not only just it keep in sync between all my devices, including a web interface, it has a remarkably simplistic design. Probably my favorite feature of Todoist is how quick it takes to add something to a list. For example, instead of having to fumble through a calendar to select a date, then fumbling through and picking a time, all I have to do is write “call insurance Monday at 8am” and it will parse out the date, time and the task.

Another thing that I really like is it has an IFTTT channel so I can integrate it with some of my other services.

Todoist is completely free even though they do have a Premium subscription for $28.99/year but quite honestly, the free version is probably sufficient enough for most people. Go check it out!

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