FunctionFox Excels in Time and Expense Tracking, But Little Else
FunctionFox claims to be a complete timesheet and project management software for creative professionals. However, after days of trying it myself, I’m inclined to label it as a timesheet and expense tracking platform instead.
This in itself isn’t bad. If you just need a way to track work and profitability, then FunctionFox might be the right software for you. But its unique approach to project management is not necessarily the smartest one. For example, it misses some essential features on its cheaper plans, including the ability to leave comments on tasks.
Even its pricier plans offer limited features compared to other project management software with the same price point. And another caveat: FunctionFox is only available in English.
There’s a free plan, and you can sign up for a free demo of any paid plan. If you’d like to test the software with your data, you can start a free 30-day trial. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you purchase a plan and are not satisfied.
Now for the important question: Will FunctionFox deliver the functionality you need? Let’s take a closer look.
Great for Tracking Time, Just Ok for Project Management
At the core of any well-executed project lies effective budgeting. As such, your priority as a project manager won’t be to simply complete a project, but to get it done within the set scope and budget. FunctionFox gets this (for the most part), and provides features like project costs, estimates, and retainers.
But it falls short by limiting access to crucial features like the Gantt chart. FunctionFox’s Gantt Chart is the only way to view all your projects in one place, and it is only available on expensive plans.
FunctionFox’s expense tracking tools help you stay accountable with your project finances. In Project Costs, you can create estimates of third-party fees you’ll incur through the lifetime of a client’s project.
You can get detailed reports by adding third-party vendors to projects and even invoices for full transparency. So if you have to set up a lunch meeting with your client, deliver materials by courier, or pay for online ads, you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
Once you settle the bill, you can add the actual costs to your project and generate an expense report for your client or stakeholders.
I like that you can add billable rates to tasks, as well as estimate the number of hours each task might take. It can help you shape your project budget. Then, during the project cycle, you can generate an estimate report to track your project’s actual fees and costs compared to the estimates you have set.
As a project manager, scope creep is most likely one of your worst nightmares (workwise). While scope creep isn’t always harmful or avoidable, it’s not the most convenient situation to deal with as project needs evolve.
When creating a new project on FunctionFox, you can outline the project’s deliverables under Project Scope. Then you can set expectations by estimating the number of concepts, design proofs, or copy changes required through the project’s cycle.
You can easily log your hours and add key details like the client, project, and task you’ve handled. You can either add time entries manually or use the built-in timer to track time spent on tasks.
Just keep in mind that, other than the timer icon on the header (which turns blue when you start tracking), there’s no popup or timer app to let you know the timer is on. While testing FunctionFox, I forgot to stop the timer several times. I ended up logging over 48 straight hours before I realized what was happening (I’m a super hard worker, but even for me, that’s a bit much).
On a good note, this is one of the few project management software that let you track multiple tasks simultaneously.
Schedule Projects and Track Your Team’s Workload Easily With Traffic
To effectively manage a project, you have to monitor all progress, make adjustments, and assign tasks as needed. The Traffic section brings together all the features you need to achieve this.
If there are new developments along the way, you can shift your project’s schedule with the option to move milestones and actions too.
Before adding a new action, check your staff’s availability to ensure you aren’t overworking a particular team member and underutilizing another. Availability will show you how many hours an employee has available per day/week and how many of those hours they’ve worked or scheduled.
Generate Comprehensive Reports on Everything
If you’re handling creative projects and multiple clients, Reports gives you tons of ways to track your team’s progress.
Generating a report is super easy, and you can use filters to focus on a specific project variable.
You can produce several reports. For example, you can download an account of how many billable hours your employees logged in a particular period. You can also build custom reports that’ll give you a good view of how your company works.
The major con for me, though, is you can only save reports as Excel, PDF, or CSV files. The best project management software provide integrations with accounting tools and other work apps.
Aside from report generation, you can print most pages on your FunctionFox workspace, like a list of assigned actions or a project schedule.
Examine Summarized Data From the CEO Desktop
The CEO Desktop is a feature best reserved for site admins and high-level managers and executives.
This section uses charts and graphs to show you an overview of all your client projects, project distribution among project managers, your retainers, and more. You can use it to gain insight into project progression quickly.
You can generate reports from your CEO desktop or find links that’ll take you to specific sections on your account.
Pro Tip: By default, FunctionFox only gives the site owner and level 1 users access to the CEO Desktop. You can either use FunctionFox’s access levels or create new account types and determine the features they can use.
Ease of use
Seems Organized, but Navigation Can Get Frustrating
After writing my Teamwork review, I wasn’t too excited to be dealing with a dull and greyish interface. FunctionFox looks reasonably tidy until you realize its navigation is poor and drawn-out.
For instance, I hated it that I couldn’t create tasks from Projects. Or that Action Assignment is listed in the Traffic section but displays features under your To-Do List.
I wouldn’t recommend this tool if you love modern, intuitive software. That said, you can eventually get the hang of FunctionFox’s interface if you put enough time into it.
While FunctionFox doesn’t have the best user interface, it’s not the worst I’ve seen either.
Getting Started with FunctionFox
To start using FunctionFox, go to its homepage and click on the orange free demo button. Then, fill in your personal and company information, and you’re in!
You’ll start on a free 14-day demo, which is pre-populated with sample projects, personnel, and departments. You should explore the demo to see exactly how FunctionFox’s features can serve your team.
When you’re feeling confident enough in your knowledge of the software, tap on the big star you’ll find in your workspace window to either upgrade to a 30-day trial or to purchase a plan.
Quickly Access Your Regular Features With Homepage Widgets
On your homepage, you’ll find widgets that show frequently used features like Project Costs and Flink. You can drag and drop a unique selection of widgets to display from your settings.
But while there are about 17 widgets available, only six can be used at once. You can also rearrange the widgets in the order that you’d like them to appear on your page.
View Your Projects and Milestones at a Glimpse in Project Calendar
Frankly, I think FunctionFox has too many calendars. I mean, there’s Calendar, My Calendar, Group Calendar, and a Project Calendar. It’s a lot to keep up with, plus I feel they could have gotten away with just three.
While FunctionFox’s support isn’t awe-inspiring, you can’t fault its in-app help guides. On the header of every page is a help icon that provides useful information related to that particular page.
It’s so good that you don’t just get a generalized guide to ‘Reports’ even when you are in the Reports section. Instead, you get info on ‘Production reports,’ ‘Estimate report,’ or any other report that you choose.
Tips/Links cards on most pages also show you how to use the page or list helpful links that you can check out to learn more.
FunctionFox Doesn’t Prioritize Communication
Project management thrives on good communication, but if you aren’t on FunctionFox’s higher-paid plans, you’ll have no way of reaching other teammates. At least not through FunctionFox.
Team Dashboard & Communication
The primary way to communicate with team members in FunctionFox is via the Project Blog. A blog is automatically created for new clients, projects, and every received request form.
You can add blog entries to clients or specific client projects. Although you can’t tag teammates or comment on tasks like you can on monday.com, you can choose people to notify of new comments via email. You can also add files to your entries.
Another way to leave messages for your team is by attaching notes to scheduled meetings, milestones, and actions.
On the flip side, you can attach files almost anywhere: add them to tasks, projects, comments, assigned actions, milestones, and even meetings. You can either pick a file from Flink or upload new docs.
Uploaded files are also associated with clients and projects. So you won’t have to worry about a different team accessing your project’s documents.
The mobile app is a great way to track your project’s progress on the go. In theory, you can use all the web features via the mobile app. But in reality, it gets muddled up and disorganized.
I kept getting error messages when I tried to view the Gantt chart for some weird reason. Still, this app lets you do the most among the project management mobile apps I’ve tested.
You can track time, set milestones, schedule meetings, add new tasks, and more on the mobile app.
Support Was Helpful, Although More Channels Would Have Been Nice
Welp, no live chat!
FunctionFox offers support only via phone and email. That’s only from Monday to Friday, and only for nine hours each day. I ran into an issue pretty early in my software testing, so I decided to use the opportunity to try out support.
I asked if there was a way to create a group for multiple teammates to keep in touch (Spoiler: There’s none).
I successfully created a recurring meeting for all teammates in my fictional copy team, but the Group calendar didn’t reflect it. I wanted to know what I was doing wrong.
The response came in under an hour, but it wasn’t very helpful. I later figured out that meetings with a few teammates only appear on My Calendar and Calendar.
Next, I tried the phone line. It’s nice that FunctionFox uses a toll-free line, so I didn’t have to deal with the bill of an international call. After following a few prompts to direct me to the right department, a kind support agent took my call (Great because I get jittery on calls).
I asked if I could import project details from a different platform and how. I also wanted to know if I could access over 10GB of Flink storage on the Premier plan.
It turns out you technically can’t import project data from other platforms. At best, you can download an Excel file of the client and project details you want to move, then send it to FunctionFox to enter it manually.
I had to wait for an email with accurate information on accessing more Flink storage. Thankfully, the email came in pretty fast. Besides, I’d rather get a delayed response than an inaccurate one.
On both occasions, the support agents were polite and eager to help.
Complicated Pricing for a Limited Software
I was a bit annoyed when I saw FunctionFox’s pricing for the first time. It’s confusing and expensive.
There are three pricing tiers: Classic, Premium, and In-House. But then the associated fees get complicated. For example, the first user on a Classic account has to pay $35.00 per month while additional users pay a different fee.
Also, the In-House plan is literally for in-house teams. Departments replace Clients on your In-House account. So if you intend to upgrade from the premier plan to access advanced features like Request forms, you can’t – unless you’re willing to confuse your workers and stakeholders.
FunctionFox is great for tracking project expenses but doesn’t deliver on other aspects of project management. It has a rather dull interface and isn’t very intuitive.
For small creative teams with precise requirements, FunctionFox can offer impressive functionality. But I don’t recommend it for managing large projects that require frequent communication.
If you’re looking for the latter, then check out monday.com or Teamwork instead.
What is FunctionFox used for?
FunctionFox is a great software used mostly by small creative agencies to keep client and project information in one place. You can also use it to track time and project expenses.
If you’d like to explore more options, check our list of the best project management software for 2023.
Does FunctionFox integrate with other software?
No. FunctionFox doesn’t support any integrations. If you want a project management software that integrates with popular apps like QuickBooks and Slack, check out monday.com or Smartsheet.
Is FunctionFox Secure?
FunctionFox claims it doesn’t view or analyze users’ data except when requested. It stores data in professional data storage facilities and conducts backups regularly.
However, it doesn’t encrypt its emails, so you might want to consider a platform with a more reliable data security policy. Smartsheet is a good option that offers AES 256 encryption for its customers.
Which is better, FunctionFox or monday.com?
FunctionFox is pretty good for expense and time tracking, plus it has a free plan. But monday.com offers extensive integrations, an intuitive interface, and more project management features in its paid plans.
Hameedah is a freelance content marketer, copywriter, and blogger. She specializes in creating web content for businesses in the Tech and Travel industries. In her free time, she travels, drools over cat pics, plays League of Legends (the only video game she knows how to play), and looks for new books to obsess over.