Solo Review – it’s a short review


I mentioned a few weeks back that I was maybe looking at a new invoicing software. Then Ronin went and got purchased by Godaddy and my move was sealed.

One of my first stops on the way was Thrive Solo. I had tried the app a few years back and remembered thinking it was nice but for some reason it didn’t stick.

Since my initial trial Solo had updated to version 2 and I figured I should test out this seriously beautiful app.

Well that’s about all the good I have to say about Solo. It’s beautiful.

In theory you can create estimates and invoices and track todo items and track overall projects.

Unfortunately after 2 hours of playing with Solo (and yes watching the tutorials) I was still mostly lost in the interface. Even coming back the next day and putting in a few more hours I had no idea what was going to happen.

Any time I wanted to do any action I felt like I was just pain old blind guessing. I’d even watch a tutorial video and then go back to the interface and stare blankly at it. There simply weren’t enough visual cues that I could latch onto between the training and the site.

I love awesome design and typography and a unique awesome interface is a thing of beauty. In this case I think that beauty trumps usability.

Solo certainly checks all the boxes off a feature list but since I have no idea how to access a feature the ticked boxes don’t matter.

Do I recommend this, not really. If you think you can jump into the big learning curve I hear that Solo is great I’m just not sure that I’m going to recoup my cost in learning a totally obtuse interface any time in the next year.

It certainly is pretty though.


4 responses to “Solo Review – it’s a short review”

  1. Weird, their home page doesn’t really have any info about the product. Screenshots and features would be nice. Unless they were so concerned about a hip looking site that they hid the content from me.

    Anyway, I’ve been a Freshbooks user for about a year now. I don’t love it, but I do like it a lot. Any reason you don’t go with them? Is it strictly the cost? I like it because it’s so widely supported, but I’m open to changing if something better or cheaper comes out, but works just as well.

    • Curtis McHale says:

      It’s okay functionally then the cost adds to the things that annoy me. I’ve made the move to FreeAgent now, I don’t love how it supports multi-currency with it’s payments/account features but other than that it’s cheaper than Ronin and not owned by Godaddy so it’s my choice for now.

      I’d still love to build a PM/CRM/Payment system for myself but you know that takes time.

      • I thought FreeAgent was only accounting. If it does invoicing, recurring payments and things like that, I may have a look. Thanks.

        • Curtis McHale says:

          It does time tracking, expenses, invoicing (paypal and Stripe) bit of PM (tasks from invoice line items and notes on projects/clients).

          The issue for me is I have a Canadian account but much of my billing is in US to US clients so it struggles with the currency change and picking things up between my accounts (like a US -> Canadian transfer).