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. Mike Hemberger Avatar

    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.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      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.

      1. Mike Hemberger Avatar

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

        1. Curtis McHale Avatar
          Curtis McHale

          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).