My humble suggestions

Chrobrego
Chrobrego Member ✭✭✭
edited May 2023 in Feedback

Just my opinion after having used Simplifi for the last four months.

What I like:

1 - the spending plan has a lot of potential. It's 'potentially' easy to understand and seems like a great new way to budget that I'd actually use.

2 - I like the dashboard. It has a lot of useful information

3 - the reporting is fairly robust and useful

4 - setting up accounts and the registry is pretty good

5 - the price is good

6 — there seems to be some development and the forums are useful

7 - I like it more than Quicken since Quicken is a bit bloated in my opinion and old fashioned; especially with the interface.

8 — the iphone app is decent

What I don't like as much….

1 - I find that my workflow in Simplifi is unnecessarily tedious and time consuming; compared to some other apps I've used recently. Case in point: why should I have to go to 'reports' to enter an upcoming credit in my credit card register? Why should I have to enter something in the 'subject' line of the register if I'm making a simple transfer to another account??? The workflow needs to be thought out better. It's just too busy and the layout is not intuitive to me.

2 - I dislike having to 'release' funds each month and link transactions that did not link. This is tedious and a waste of my time.

3 - The app does not do a good job linking transactions to scheduled transactions.

4 - the spending plan budget fails with the spending categories. They are TOO LARGE so I can't see my entire budget or even close to it all at once. It's unnecessarily tedious and I end up scrolling a lot.

5 - setting up reoccuring transactions is confusing for me despite the fact that I've been using Quicken since V1 in the 80s. I setup the scheduled transactions but it's called a 'series' then all sorts of other complication. Why can't I just setup an easy scheduled transaction and have the option of it automatically entering on a scheduled date or remaining in pending. Whe the complication.

6 - the lack of an actual balance on my register. I don't like the idea of a 'projected' balance since there have been a few glitches which made it off by several dollars. I want to know what I have and when. Not projections.

7 - no roadmap for development. This feels like beta software to me. I don't mind that at all, but I want to know what is being worked on if I'm going to spend money to support its development.

8 - no ipad app.

9 - the app routinely duplicates scheduled transactions/series or whatever you call it.

10 - I don't like bills being included under 'income' on my spending plan. Income is income; bills should be a separate category

11 - the spending plan doesn't allow money to accrue over months in categories. This really makes the budget much less effective in my opinion.

Comments

  • ajbopp
    ajbopp Superuser ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2023

    Lots of great comments here @Chrobrego ! Let me add a few responses to some of the items you don't like so much.

    3. Can you provide more details about this? Linking transactions is one area where I find the software excels.

    5. I'm not clear on your difficulty setting up scheduled transactions. Simplify seems to do all of these things except giving you an option to automatically enter it in the register. There is no option for not doing this. But I don't think that's your request so I'm not sure what you mean.

    6. A balance on the register would be a great improvement, I think.

    7. I'd be curious about the roadmap too, but having worked for decades in the software industry it's pretty rare to make public what is planned to be worked on and when. For one thing, it tends to change quickly, particularly in today's development workflow where the development team welcomes change quickly and often.

    9. Another one I could use some more detail on. I've never seen this happen.

    10. I suppose you mean that you can create a new source of income and select an expense category in the dropdown list? I can understand why that seems unnecessary, but it's not a big deal to me to select an income category.

    11. There is quite a healthy discussion on the ability to rollover funds, and a lot of different ideas about how it should work. Check out the thread "We want your feedback on the Spending Plan" thread.

    Anthony Bopp
    Simplifi User Since July 2022
    Money talks. But all my paycheck ever says is goodbye

  • Chrobrego
    Chrobrego Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2023

    Sure.

    3 — for example, I setup an account for my Apple Card. I have to manually enter the transactions each month despite the fact that I have a reoccuring series for each with the same amount each month. I should be able to have these automatically enter into the register, but Simplifi isn't that simple. I have to enter the transaction manually then I would assume Simplifi would 'match' it to the series, but it routinely does not. At the moment, I have a $35 Apple One item in my Apple Card register. I also have a $35 Apple One 'series' reoccuring transaction. It doesn't link. I then select the option to manually link it and the item doesn't show up as a linkable option. Just bad.

    5 — in other apps, scheduling transactions are as easy as clicking on a register item and the item is scheduled with some options for various situations (2x a month, yearly, etc.). In Simplifi, they have something called a 'series transaction'. It seems to function like a reoccuring transaction, but it seems much more limited to me and doesn't automatically enter into the register as you mentioned. My problem is the overcomplication of a feature that is essentially very simple. Why create new 'terminology' for a feature that has been around since the early 80s? Keep it simple.

    7 — I agree that roadmaps were not a 'thing' in years past for the reasons you stated. I also ,during those days, just paid a single payment for each new version and ONLY paid if I considered the addition of new features to be worth the upgrade. Often, I would just continue with an older piece of software because it met my needs. In the subscription era, I think there is an expectation that the subscription entitles the user to know what features are being developed. I can no longer vote with my money by looking at a completed new feature set on the new version. Since developers took that option away with subscriptions and I now pay in real time, then I want to know what I'm paying 'for' in real time. I pay for development in my opinion.

    9 — the duplicating transactions likely results from the complications I mentioned with the 'series transactions.' I sometimes can't get Simplifi to link to a transaction despite the fact that I clearly see the transaction in my register. In this case, I just 'delete' the reminder per Simplifi lingo. I find that doing so may inadvertently duplicate the reminder for the next month. Like I said, reoccuring transactions have been an easy simple to understand feature of software like this since the mid 1980s; Simplifi somehow managed to make it complicated.

    10 — the bills under income thing isn't a deal breaker for me. It just doens't make sense. Why have a category named 'INCOME' and then place bills (which are expenses) in it? Just poor layout design in my opinion.

    11- yes, I'm part of that discussion. Part of the reason I use software like this is so I can plan ahead for future expenses and not be surprised by charges and resort to debt. Simplifi argues that 'savings plans' are meant to cover this need, but again — overcomplication for a simple task. Simplifi again appears to want to use a sledgehammer when a small hammer works. It's just more work for me to setup individual goals ON TOP OF THE CATEGORIES THAT I ALREADY CREATED and manage saving for a future expense by adding to my workflow. I'd much rather just add a monthly amount to a category for 'Annual Life Insurance' and just forget about it and it grows without my input. In Simplifi, I have to remember to go to my savings goals and then 'contribute' to each savings goal each month. Not a huge deal, but when you combine it with all of the other little extra steps Simplifi makes me do that aren't essential (like releasing funds each month for each budget category with leftover funds), it becomes tedious.

    In short, SIMPLIFI needs to change it's name to TEDIFI because its just tedious software at this stage. I like it and would love to see it improve, but I'm likely going to move elsewhere and revisit it in 12 months. I hope they work out some of the workflow issues.

  • ajbopp
    ajbopp Superuser ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2023

    As for your Apple Card issue, I'm no expert because I wouldn't touch an Apple product with a 10-foot pole. However, based on other conversations I've seen around the forums, an option you may consider is pointing the finger at Apple rather than Simplifi. Apple seems to be the ultimate source of a lot of these issues.

    As for roadmaps - they are less likely to be made public now than ever before. In years past, A product might have had a plan for where it would be a year from now (which was rarely successful). Today, the roadmap can dramatically change every few weeks as development plans are much more dynamic than ever before, attempting to address immediate customer needs, anticipate potential customer desires, and (what I think affects a product like Simplifi most dramatically) shifting APIs, permissions, communication mechanisms, and all manner of things from the organizatiions Simplifi is collecting data from. If we were given a roadmap, the Simplifi team would be forever defending it from users who want a priority on their pet feature, and the roadmap would no longer be valid in [six] weeks anyway.

    Anthony Bopp
    Simplifi User Since July 2022
    Money talks. But all my paycheck ever says is goodbye

  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    APPLE card is not an Apple product, goldman sachs issues the card (funny, we have an Apple Bank locally, no relation to either). They seem to offer the card to people with bad credit, so i had one a couple of years ago after a bankruptcy, but without an iphone to fully activate it,it's only useful for buying apple products.


    Rob Wilkens

  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2023

    @Chrobrego nice post. Thanks for sharing.

    Under don't like section…

    1 - I'm not following how you have to go to Reports to enter an upcomming credit into your CC register; I've never seen that behavior. When you go to your CC register, do you not have this button immediately underneath the upcomming cards? Maybe I'm misunderstanding.

    6 - Are you refering to a "Running Balance"? I'm assuming you're not referring to the current "Bank Balance" in the upper right of the register on Desktop / "Balance with pending" top center on mobile.

    Personally, I find Simplifi SOOOO much less tedious than Quicken Desktop ever was. I was a QD user from 2014-2021 and I litterally dumped hours and hours into tracking down 42 cent differences with Quicken Desktop, mulitple times. All a matter of perspective I guess. Still, good post!

    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    New to Simplifi in 2021.
  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Flopbot I suspect @Chrobrego is referring to setting up an expected refund which as you know is found in a tap in reports.

    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
  • ajbopp
    ajbopp Superuser ✭✭✭✭

    @DannyB @Flopbot @Chrobrego Tracking a refund is also available in the Transaction Detail window.

    Anthony Bopp
    Simplifi User Since July 2022
    Money talks. But all my paycheck ever says is goodbye

  • DannyB
    DannyB Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ajbopp indeed, you are correct, that is the place to start! I was just wondering about @Chrobrego 's comment about #1 about going to reports to enter a credit to a cc register. Didn't make sense to me and was wondering if it had something to do with the Refund tab in Reports.

    Danny
    Simplifi user since 01/22
    Budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.” ~A.A. Latimer
This discussion has been closed.