Introducing “Feature Vote”

By , November 7, 2011 5:26 am

You may have noticed a new menu option for “Feature Vote”. This is a new tool I have added to let you help decided what you think the most important feature request is for Inzolo. You get 10 votes every month to put toward the idea you think would be most beneficial. Also, you can add your own feature ideas. Here is a brief video showing you how simple it is:

New Feature: Search Transactions

By , September 30, 2011 11:01 am

My microwave blew up a couple of days ago. OK, so it didn’t blow up, but I thought it was going to! We hadn’t used it for ours and the display turned off. When I went to pull it out of the cabinet to check to plug I nearly burned my hands. The whole thing was so HOT!

We bought the microwave in April when we moved to our new house. Previously we had an over the range model so we couldn’t take it with us. We bought this GE model from Lowe’s. Seeing how it was only 6 months old I wanted to see if I could get it replaced or fixed under warrantee. I’ll be honest, I don’t keep manuals. They are just clutter. I figure if I need a manual I can always look up a model number online and find it.

I don’t keep receipts either. In this instance I wish I would have. I wanted to see how much I paid for it and when exactly. I opened inzolo and looked though my past transactions in the envelopes I expected it in, but couldn’t find it. That’s when I realized, Inzolo really needs a transaction search feature.

I spent a couple of hours writing a search feature. It’s now in place. Click the new “Search All Transactions” button from within the Budget view to try it out. It will search the Number, Payee, & Memo fields of transactions. This search feature is also in the transaction list when you click on an envelope or envelope category.

I found my microwave transaction. It’s a long story, but it definitely wasn’t in the envelope I expected it to be in, which is why I couldn’t find it originally.

TIP: If you are importing transactions for you bank, take the time to edit edit the memo fields with keywords that will help you find the transaction easier in the future. In this case it was easy. I searched for Lowe’s and found it, but I also had “Microwave” in the memo field so I could have just searched for that term.

New Calendar View

By , September 26, 2011 9:53 am

So it’s late Friday night, my wife is out of town, kids are in bed, and what do I do? I start a hacking session to see what my transactions would look like in a calendar view. Honestly when I started it, it was mainly out of curiosity. Three hours later I found the view interesting enough and working well enough that I just decided to push it live for all to see and use.

Right now, features are pretty basic. It displays all your transactions (associated with any bank account on the calendar). Withdrawals are red, deposits are green. You can move transactions around to change the date of the transaction.

Here are a few of things I thought would be nice to add to this view:

  • Ability to add & edit transactions from this screen
  • Add notes to dates to remind you when bills are due, or when to expect paychecks.
  • Filters? (by envelop or envelop category)
If you have any other ideas or suggestions for this view, please let me know.
Also, note that I have moved the forum and blog links to the footer of the page to make room for the calendar link.

Welcome September

By , September 7, 2011 8:14 am

Welcome September indeed! If you are anything like me you tend to spend more money during the summer months. Kids are out of school. You cram your calendar with as many little vacations, reunions and activities as you can. While all of this is fun and will be missed, my budget could use a breather! Let’s put the kids back in school, stay home on weekends and generally spend less money and basically plug holes in perverbial budget damn.

Below are recent updates made to Inzolo:

  1. First, thank you for all the feedback I got on the mobile Inzolo redesign. I’ve moved forward with that design and added a few more features – most notably you can add and edit transactions.
  2. Added Trust Guard. You might notice on the home page and login page I’ve added a Trust Guard icon. Basically this service runs a series of tests and hacking attempts each night on the server. I’m happy to report that since its very first run, zero vulnerabilities were found. In other words, I have not had to make any updates to increase safety on Inzolo.com.
  3. More Banks: I’ve written a script to connect to OFXHome.com‘s API to merge all the banks they have in their directory that support OFX Direct connect. I’m working with the owner of that site to make sure the directory stays as up to date as possible.
  4. I’ve added a new page for testimonials. If you’d like to add your kudos, I welcome your email. I can even link to your blog or website if you wish.
  5. When you are looking at history in your envelopes or your unallocated income box, you can filter transactions by deposits and withdrawals. This may help you find the transaction you are looking for.
  6. When creating or editing an envelope and selecting an envelope icon, the icons are sorted by name alphabetically now. This seems to have put them in better groupings anyway.
  7. A recent new member requested a dog icon for their pet envelope. Frankly I’m surprised it hasn’t come up until now. There are now new pet icons available. Wouldn’t you know that a couple weeks later my family gangs up on me and now we have a dog. No, I didn’t name the dog Karma (her name is Daisy and she’s a Great Dane).

And now, for an assignment… I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have a visual reminder of debts while working on the debt snowball — something to see where you’ve been, where you are at, and where you plan to be. A thermometer comes to mind. You can see the red decreasing until it gets to zero. But what else could you use to represent this visually? Ready… go! Reply to this post and share your ideas.

Thanks,
Dustin

3 Humorous Debt Videos

By , April 1, 2011 10:51 am

I find these 3 video very hilarious because it seems to show a glimpse of my past life and how ridiculous my thought process was.

The first is a lending tree commercial. “I’m in debt up to my eyeballs” [Yet I'll keep smiling so no one knows]. Tip: Consolidation will not solve your problems buddy. A budget will.

Another classic is this SNL skit. It cracks me up how funny common sense can be when it’s not so common.

This last one I saw today for the first time. This reminds me of the “house poor” feeling. You have no money, so you might as well snuggle up and enjoy your debt.

A Word About Browsers

By , March 30, 2011 2:48 pm

Recently I added support for Google Chrome Frame. It has brought up a few questions from some users. Why did I do this? Let me explain.

The most bug reports I get come from people using Internet Explorer (IE). IE is notorious for having problems. Not only is it more prone to allowing a virus on your computer, but it doesn’t support web standards properly, which is the real issue.

The one advantage of IE is the ability to support Active X controls. This allows you to use plugins that can extend the usefulness of your browser. I used used to work for a company where we made a web based document management solution where you could connect to your scanner, scan files and view the scanned tiff files all within IE. But the problem is, it is this support for Active X that opens the doors for malicious viruses.

A while back I was thinking about this and realized that if IE allows you to plug in Active X controls and essentially run other programs within the browser, why not try to run a better browser inside of IE.

Fortunately I wasn’t the first person to think of this. Someone at Google did, and that is where Google Chrome Frame comes in. If you install Google Chrome Frame, Inzolo will act as if you are using Google Chrome. You will have less issues, better rending, faster performance, and an overall better experience. If you don’t have Chrome Frame install, you will see Inzolo as you normally would in IE.

There is a JavaScript snippet included in Inzolo that will detect if you are using IE. If you are, it will prompt you to install Google Chrome Frame. You can choose to close the pop-up if you don’t want it, but I recommend either installing it, or using one of these more modern browsers:

I know that Microsoft is doing a lot of work on IE9 to improve things and address all the web developer’s complaints. But so far it is still lacking support from what I have tested.

And now, for a little fun.

Manually Edit Envelope Amount

By , March 29, 2011 3:32 pm

There have been a few occasions when I have edited envelope amounts for people. I figured rather than me doing it, why not just everyone more power to make the software do what they want it to do. I don’t want you cheating on your budget… but if you ever need to manually adjust an envelope amount, you can do it now.

To manually set an envelope amount:

  1. In the budget view, click on an envelope to highlight it.
  2. Click the Edit button ()
  3. Click the Edit Balance link
  4. Set your new balance amount.
  5. Hit Enter or click OK to save.

Auto-scroll Envelopes

By , March 21, 2011 2:56 pm

Today I’d like to announce a personal win of sorts. This is a minor feature, but a big win in my book, mainly because it has driven me crazy for so long.

Before I ever released Inzolo, I had a friend try it out as a prototype. His number one complaint was that if an envelope was at the bottom of his list and not in view, he had to scroll down before dragging a transaction on to that envelope. Really it would be better if while dragging a transaction it would auto-scroll as you approached the top or bottom of the envelope list.

I’ve worked on it off and on at times and generally hit a brick wall. Finally, with a little help, I was able to get this to work.

Notice the yellow highlighted areas. When you hover over these areas while dragging a transaction icon, the envelope list will auto-scroll.

iPhone App Status

By , March 16, 2011 7:57 am

Many have asked about an iPhone app. Here’s the story, I hired a guy to help me write one and the results have been sitting on my hard drive for over a year. I never pushed it through the app approval process because I wasn’t very happy with it. It was VERY slow. I started writing a mobile web app and found it to be more responsive. I still hope to release a native iPhone and Android app for Inzolo, but no dates on when that will happen at this point.

As for the mobile web app, you can find it at https://m.inzolo.com

iPhone users:

To add a quick launch icon for Inzolo on your iPhone, do the following…

  1. Open Safari and go to https://m.inzolo.com


  2. Click the bottom center button to bring up the menu options.
  3. Click “Add to Home Screen” button
  4. Click the “Add” button

That’s it! Now you should have a launcher to open the mobile web app.

Inzolo Made My Taxes Easier This Year

By , February 22, 2011 9:51 am

My accountant’s office called me a few days ago to review my taxes before submitting them. She asked if I had a home office. Yes, I do, but the past few years I haven’t bothered to try to write it off. I did it once about 5 years ago and it took so long to figure all my utility bills that I figured I wouldn’t bother in the future.

So when she asked this year, it occurred to me how easy it would be. I simply opened my Inzolo account. That is the beauty of web-based software, you can use it anywhere you have a browser. I then went into each of my utility envelopes (natural gas, electricity, etc) and filtered transactions that were last year. At the top of my screen is shows exactly how much I spent. (Wow, did I really spend over $1200 on electricity? Ouch!)

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