This is the first of a series of posts in which I plan to highlight other innovative or just plain cool Australian websites and startups.

A while ago, I became one of the first beta testers for a time tracking application being built by Myles Eftos. The aim was to build a simple online time tracking system, which takes the tedious spreadsheets and hand written notes (if any!) out of the freelancer or solo workers life, and place it in a nice Web2.0 style application.

Since the beta launch, 88Miles has been tidied up considerably, and if it wasn’t for the fact we run our own time tracking and project management system over at my digital marketing agency, Bam Creative, I’d be more than likely using this tool.

It’s a slick design, with a very intuitive and lime green!) interface, which does exactly as promised – makes ‘clocking on and clocking off’ between projects and tasks a breeze. Rather than writing a long review (you’re welcome to sign up and give 88Miles a test – it’ll only take you five minutes to understand the whole system), I thought I’d ask Myles five short questions.

Hi Myles, thanks for answering these questions. Let’s start by giving me the ‘elevator pitch’ on what 88Miles is.

Myles: 88 miles is time tracking software. Nothing more, nothing less. The focus is to make entering time quick and easy. You punch in when you start a job and punch out when you finish, then let us do the hard stuff.

Where did the inspiration to create 88Miles come from?

Myles: As a freelancer I was sick of trying to track time using spreadsheets and small scraps of paper. I really had no idea where my time was going, or at what point a project was at without spending a lot of time calculating time totals. I wanted a system that was simple and as unobtrusive as possible. If it took me too long to enter data, I wouldn’t use it.

Isn’t there already a list of competitors out there, doing a similar thing?

Myles: Of course – this is the internet! But I think the way I have implemented 88 Miles makes it different. Most of the other time tracking systems out there still require you to enter your time after you have done the work. They are an online equivalent to using spreadsheets.

These systems seem to be pretty complex with so many unused features they can bamboozle the user. The average user does want to have to waste time learning how a project management system works – they just want to get what they have to do done.

What do you see about 88Miles that is different from what others are doing?

Myles: Simplicity. 88 Miles does one thing really well. I’m not going to add invoicing systems or rate calculators, because that is not what 88 Miles is about. 88 Miles would have to have one of the shortest setup times around – you can be up and running, using the system to its full capacity in under a minute. I’ve tried to keep the learning curve to a minimum.

88 Miles also has a full web service API (and it is the only time tracking software out at the moment that does, as far as I know) which makes integrating it with existing intranet systems a synch.

Where do you see 88Miles heading from here?

Myles: I don’t see 88 Miles getting much more complex than it currently is, but if anyone has any feature request I would be glad to hear from them.

Having said that, there are some expansions that have been planned: a “corporate” account which will allow managers to create accounts for their staff. They will then be able to see hour many hours each staff member has worked on each project. There is also a mobile phone and desktop version in the pipeline.

Thanks for your time Myles, and good luck with 88Miles.

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