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Login issues from February 21, 2017

2/21/2017 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Our hosting provider made some version updates to our servers that were incompatible with the services we used for authenticating our logins. There was no notice of this upgrade or else we would have worked to ensure there was no downtime. We fixed the problems that arose from the update so you should have no issues logging in anymore.

Database upgrade performed on Sunday November 6, 2016

11/6/2016 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Our hosting provider performed an upgrade on the database architecture that ClearCheckbook uses. When this change was made there were a couple hours of extremely long loading times for the website. We were able to make the necessary updates to fix the issues and now everything should be running optimally and the update provided by our hosting provider should result in less issues with database load times.

Announcing Jive Lock for your transactions

9/8/2016 in ClearCheckbook Updates

Use Jive Lock to disable editing and deleting of transactions that have been jived.

We just released an update that adds the ability to lock all transactions that were jived more than a specified number of days ago. We're calling this feature Jive Lock and it's available to all ClearCheckbook Premium members.

Using Jive Lock will help keep your jived balance in check by preventing any alterations to jived transactions which could throw your balance off. Another way to think of this is archiving jived transactions but still having them displayed in your transaction register.

All jived transactions that have been locked will replace the icon with a icon in the transaction register.
ClearCheckbook Jive Lock

You can set jived transactions to lock after 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 or 90 days from the date the transaction was jived. This will give you at least one day to make any modifications or unjive a transaction before it's locked. The only times when a locked transaction can be modified are when you mark a locked transaction as 'paid' through the Credit Card tool, use the Delete All Transactions setting or by using the Start Over setting.

You can enable Jive Lock and set the number of days by clicking on Settings at the top right side of the page, then click on General Settings.

ClearCheckbook iOS app submitted to Apple for review

8/12/2016 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We submitted our new app to Apple for review. The app will be available for download as soon as it's reviewed and accepted by Apple. We'll post a message at that time with screenshots as well as some basic usage instructions.

ClearCheckbook iOS app beta update

7/25/2016 in ClearCheckbook Updates
I just wanted to give everyone an update on the beta testing stage of the new iOS app. In the last week and a half since we launched testing, we've received a lot of great feedback and have already issued two new updates in that time. The UI side of the app is pretty much complete and we've got a couple more issues to fix but those should be done within the next 7 days. After we finish this list of issues we'll release one or two more updates for a final round of testing.

The issues we have to work on are some long loading times on initial login or app re-launch, a few crashes with editing reminders and budgets and some other small bugs that shouldn't take long to fix.

Thanks again to everyone who's been helping us out with the testing and providing us with valuable feedback.

We'll have another announcement about a launch date after we're done fixing this last round of issues.

Beta testing the ClearCheckbook iOS app

6/29/2016 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're aiming to open the iOS app to beta testers some time next week. If you'd like to help us test out the new app by providing feedback and testing for bugs, please EMAIL US with your email address. Don't post your email address in the comments below or in the support forums or it will be removed. Use the Contact Us form or email address at the bottom right side of the page instead.

You'll receive an invite to the beta program if you're needed.

Thanks!

ClearCheckbook New Feature / Update Roundup for January 2016

1/14/2016 in ClearCheckbook Updates

We've been busy working on new features, updates and bug fixes over the last two weeks and wanted to give you a quick roundup of everything in case you missed our other announcements in the support forums.

New Features:
* Ability to attach files to your transactions
* Search for duplicate transactions in your existing transaction register
* Set permissions for Additional Users
* Save your Import settings for files you use regularly

Feature Updates:
* Better handling of future/post-dated transaction display in register and balances
* Add credit limits to your credit cards

Bug fixes:
* Currency conversions in Custom Reports
* Currency conversions in Save-Up Tracker and Income Budgets
* Editing Envelope Budgets

Other things to note:
* Like we do every year, we opened the 2015 text reports to all free members until April 15, 2016 for tax purposes
* We met with our iOS app developer and the rebuild is coming along well. We'll have a better idea about possible release timeframe in a few weeks

Issues with iOS 9 and the ClearCheckbook app

9/18/2015 in ClearCheckbook Updates
iOS 9 broke something in the framework we're using for the ClearCheckbook app. We tried updating it but apparently xCode/Apple deprecated a lot of stuff that our app's framework relied on and we can't simply issue a 'quick fix'. We'll need to actually rebuild the app which needs to be outsourced and will take some time to do. In the meantime, I'd recommend using the mobile optimized website from the browser on your phone. Simply go to clearcheckbook.com from your phone's browser and you'll have access to the full site, optimized for a smaller screen.

Server Migration Update: Data transfer test on Monday, September 14th

9/11/2015 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Update Sept 14 @ 12:15am ET: We finished running part one of the tests - creating a full backup of the database in a format that we can easily move to the new server. The total elapsed time was about 20 minutes, which is faster than expected. The next step is the actual test of transferring the data.
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Original post:
We'll be running a test transfer of the ClearCheckbook database from our current server to the new server environment on Monday September 14th at 11pm ET. The site might run a little slower than normal during the time it takes us to do a full backup of our database.

The purpose of this test is to figure out how long the actual data migration from our current server to the new one will take.

We're reaching the final stages of our migration to the new hosting environment and this test is one of the last major steps before we can fully transition over.

An update about the ClearCheckbook server migration

8/26/2015 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We've been working hard this last month and a half getting ClearCheckbook's code modified to run in a cloud based environment. All of the code has been transitioned over and is running on a scaled down version of the new environment. Right now we're running a bunch of tests on all of the scheduled jobs (sending reminders, rolling over budgets, automatic backups, etc) and making sure all the background processes are working properly (importing files, mass deleting transactions, restoring transactions, etc).

There are a few things left to tackle such as transferring the SSL certificate and DNS and most importantly, getting all of the data from our current server to the new one. This transfer of data is going to be the biggest hurdle in the whole process and we'll be running several tests in the coming weeks to find the fastest way to transfer our database with the least amount of downtime possible.

Introducing Grouped, Combo and Income Budgets plus Including Future Transactions

4/14/2015 in ClearCheckbook Updates

We've been hard at work creating several new updates to the Budgets tool here at ClearCheckbook. Today we're announcing and launching Grouped, Combo and Income budgets as well as the option to include unpaid bills and un-posted scheduled transactions.

We receive suggestions for site improvements all the time and this round of updates represents some of the most frequently requested ideas. This is the biggest update we've ever made to the Budget tool and we're happy to share what these new features will do for you.

New Budget Features!

Grouped Budgets
  • This update gives you the ability to group multiple accounts and categories into a single budget.
    • Grouped Budgets will let you create, for example, one budget that covers both your Checking and Savings accounts but ignores the others. You can also create a grouped budget that covers multiple categories without having to rely on organizing your subcategories.
Combo Budgets
  • Combo Budgets let you create an Account/Category combination.
    • This update will let you create a budget that, for example, covers any expenses made to your Eating Out, Entertainment and Miscellaneous categories but only if they come from your Debit account.
Income Budgets
  • Set a budget goal for how much you want to save and see how you're progressing toward that amount.
    • If you select the Income Budget option, we'll handle the budget a little differently by tracking all of your deposits made to the budgeted account or category and showing you your progress toward the amount goal.
Other Updates
  • An option to Include Future Transactions
    • When this option is enabled we'll search all of your upcoming and unpaid bills from the Bill Tracker as well as any upcoming and un-posted scheduled transactions from the Reminders and Recurring Transactions tool. Any bills or recurring transactions that meet that criteria and fall within the budget duration will be counted toward the budget.

We've added icons for Grouped, Combo and Income Budgets so it's easier to differentiate them in your budget list and budget history reports. These new features are available now for anyone with a ClearCheckbook Premium membership.

Here are some screenshots from the new Budget updates. You can also check out our video tutorial that covers all of the new budgeting features.
New Budget List
Budget List
Combo Budget
Combo Budgets
Future Budget
Future Budget

ClearCheckbook V4 Launch Date

2/17/2015 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We've been talking about the next big update to ClearCheckbook for a while and now we're finally giving you a solid launch date. We're going to release the V4 update on Saturday February 21st at 7am PST. The site will be down for a short period while the update is taking place.

Thanks to all of you who have helped us beta test the new site and have given us feedback, comments and suggestions. We'll spend the next week working on any final UI tweaks and updates, so if you're a beta tester, keep that feedback coming in!

This update is the largest we've made to the site since the launch of v3 and the premium features back in December 2008. We're really looking forward to the continued growth and development of ClearCheckbook that this update is going to help provide.

You can check out our new Youtube channel with updated video tutorials if you'd like to see more of what ClearCheckbook V4 looks like: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFYpd0WmeIJRV4WrheDHvLw/feed

ClearCheckbook V4 is Coming Soon!

1/14/2015 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're recording the video tutorials and putting the finishing touches on the V4 update. The V4 update includes a site-wide redesign from the ground up which aims to make all the tools, settings and functions of the site more uniform. In addition to the redesign we also added over 30 new features and tweaks to the site.

After we launch this huge update to ClearCheckbook we're going to go back and focus our attention on all of the mobile apps which are in desperate need of attention as well.

We'll post more information on the exact launch date in the next week or two. Stay tuned!

Viewing Multiple Accounts on Transaction Register

1/22/2014 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We just released a new feature, some updates and a few bug fixes. The main new feature is the ability for Premium members to select multiple accounts to view on the Transaction Register. If you're a premium member the Accounts drop down list is now a multi-select form where you can select among any of your active accounts. By selecting multiple accounts your balances will update accordingly and the register will show transactions for each of those accounts combined.

The Search tool was also updated with some new options. When you're searching or exporting transactions you can now select to exclude transfers and paid credit card transactions. This will make it easier to see the correct balances for accounts since you can eliminate duplicates (eg: you paid your credit card with a transfer so now you can hide all the paid transactions since they're covered by that transfer).

In addition to those updates we also knocked out a few small bug fixes related to exporting transactions and the reminders/recurring transactions gadget.

If you're a premium member trying to select multiple accounts and it doesn't seem to be working correctly, please refresh the page about 5-10x in a row really quick to clear your browsers cache.

ClearCheckbook Android App Update

1/3/2014 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We've updated the Android app to version 1.5.0. This update addresses some major freezing/stalling issues when trying to use the application. If you were experiencing any of these issues, please download the update and let us know if you continue to have any problems.

In addition to fixing the stalling issues, we also added the ability to add splits to your transactions from the Add Transactions screen.

The update was submitted to the Play store a little while ago and should be available for download within a couple hours.

Automatic backups of your ClearCheckbook data to Dropbox

11/27/2013 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're happy to announce the launch of a new ClearCheckbook feature that lets you enable automatic backups of your ClearCheckbook data to your Dropbox account.

If you're a premium member and you have a Dropbox account, you can now enable automatic backups by clicking on Tools at the top of the page, then click on Automatic Backups. Once enabled, your data will be backed up to a CSV file on your Dropbox account each night as long as you've added new transactions since the last backup, have an active premium membership and have the feature enabled.

Our Latest New Tool: Save-Up Tracker

3/10/2013 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We've added a new feature to our ever growing list of money management tools. This new tool is called the Save-Up Tracker and it helps you keep track of various goals you're saving up for.

To help understand how the Save-Up Tracker works, let us give you an example. Lets say you have a Savings account that you put money in every month as a way to save up for something. For this example, we'll say you're saving up for a new laptop computer that costs around $1,000 and you want to have it by June.

You can use the Save-Up Tracker to enter this goal, the amount you're trying to save ($1,000), which account the money will come from (Savings) and the deadline (June 2013). Once you add the goal we will keep track of your progress by comparing the balance in your Savings account to the amount of the new laptop. The more money you get in your Savings account, the closer you'll get to your goal. Once you reach your goal we'll turn it green so you know you can now buy your laptop.

The deadline is optional and doesn't have to be set for a goal. Also, another option is to set a percentage for each account. In the example above, if you were also saving up for a $500 new digital camera you could also apply it to the Savings account but set the digital camera as 25% of the Savings account balance and the laptop as 75%. This way you can track multiple goals with the same account and weigh them differently according to how important each goal is to you.

The Save-Up Tracker can be found by clicking on the Tools navigation icon and then Save-Up Tracker. We've also provided a gadget for the ClearCheckbook Dashboard so you can quickly see how you're doing from the Dashboard page.

You can see some screenshots and read some more information about the Save-Up Tracker here: https://www.clearcheckbook.com/save-up-tracker

ClearCheckbook Money Management for Android Update

1/11/2013 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Hot on the heels of yesterday's update of the Android app, we're happy to announce that we've just published 1.4.0 to the Play store. This update has some timeout fixes as well as an entire new tool... the Reminders / Recurring Transactions!

You can access the Reminders / Recurring Transactions tool from the Account Overviews by clicking on the "More" icon at the top right side of the app screen and then select Reminders. You have full capability of viewing, adding, editing and deleting reminders from within the app.

The update should become available soon on your Android devices.

ClearCheckbook Android App v1.3.0 Published

1/10/2013 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're glad to announce the release of an update to the Android app. This new version fixes and updates several issues that had been brought to our attention.

Here's what's updated in the latest version:
  • Fixed missing Jive button on Transaction Register
  • Got rid of calendar on transaction form
  • Added custom premium fields to transaction list (check #, memo, payee)
  • Improved UI throughout app
  • Updated Budgets section to work with newer durations


You can see some of the new screenshots here:
https://www.clearcheckbook.com/app/android

You should start seeing the update available on your devices shortly.

We're not done with the app yet. We're already starting work on the following for the next and future updates to the app:
  • Reminders / Recurring Transactions
  • Improved Reporting
  • Improved Tablet interface
  • Offline Mode

New Budgets Tool and Site Updates

11/8/2012 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We've given the Budgets tool a complete overhaul both visually and mathematically. The new visual feel of the budgets will make it easier to see how much of your budget has been spent. You can now expand the budget to view more details such as the start/end dates, original budget amount (if rollover is enabled), a percentage of your budget spent in pie format and what duration the budget resets at.
ClearCheckbook Budgets


Speaking of duration, we've added five new durations to the budgets. Now, in addition to monthly budgets you can set up weekly, bi-weekly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual budgets. If you create a budget with one of the new durations, you select the start date for that budget and we'll use that as the starting date for when the budget resets.

We also updated the Budget History (both the visual and text history) to be more informative. The visual reports now show your budget history for the last 2 years. The text history has been updated to look more like the new budgets page. The Budgets dashboard gadget also got a visual overhaul and the ability to expand the budget for more information.

We will be working on the mobile apps to bring the new budgeting features to them as well. For now, the mobile optimized website also has these new updates available.

If the budgets look messy, please refresh the browser about 5-10x in a row really quick to force your browser to download the latest CSS files.

On top of re-building the Budgets tool, we've also made several other minor updates and bug fixes including:
  • Update: Changing premium membership billing durations
  • Bug Fix: Sorting on Search Page
  • Bug Fix: Importing QIF files with GBP sign
  • Bug Fix: Reports Gadget not showing currency correctly on refresh


As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact us and let us know!

Balances Updates and Money Lending Tracker

10/15/2012 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We've been busy working behind the scenes on a huge amount of updates to the site. The biggest of these updates is the way account balances are calculated. Previously, account balances were stored separately in the database which could cause some issues with the correct balances being shown on the site. To remedy this, we've gone back and updated and re-coded a lot of the site so the balances are calculated on demand each time the page is loaded. This means that at any given time, the balances that appear on the site are the correct balances based on the transactions you've added. We've created a separate blog post that covers some FAQ's about this new update. That blog post can be found here: https://www.clearcheckbook.com/blog/miscellaneous/account-balances-update-faqs.

In addition to that giant overhaul, we've also gone back and worked on optimizing the server interaction behind each page to dramatically cut down on the number of database queries which directly affects the load time of each page. For example, on the Dashboard page alone, we cut the number of database queries to 1/4 what they previously were.

We also made a few smaller updates such as being able to jive a transaction through the Edit Transaction form. There were also a few small bugs we addressed while going through all of these updates.

Money Lending Tracker
On top of all that, we've also added a new tool to the site. We have been getting requests for a Money Lending Tracker for a while now and finally built one. The new Money Lending Tracker can be found by clicking on Tools and then Money Lending Tracker. This new tool lets you track who owes you money as well as who you have borrowed money from. There is an associated gadget with this tool that can be added to your Dashboard.

We hope you find these latest updates and features useful! We are always looking for feedback and suggestions for future improvements to the site as well. If you have an idea for a new feature, tool or update to the site, please use the Contact Us form at the bottom right side of the page and let us know!

Mac OSX Dashboard Widget Updated

9/16/2012 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We've released an update to the Mac OSX widget that fixes some compatibility issues with the way we're now storing passwords on the server. You can download the update by clicking here: https://www.clearcheckbook.com/downloads/ClearCheckbook_v2.1.0.dmg.

You can also find a link to the new file by clicking on the Tools navigation link and then click on the image of the Mac OSX Dashboard Widget.

Site Interruptions September 10, 2012

9/10/2012 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Some users started mentioning they couldn't reach ClearCheckbook.com for a couple hours today. The server was running just fine and we weren't having any issues connecting to the site. Well, it appears GoDaddy (our domain registrar) was having some DNS issues today which was causing some people to have trouble accessing the site.

More information about the GoDaddy DNS issues can be found here: http://mashable.com/2012/09/10/godaddy-down/

We're sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

New Feature: Re-Arrange Transaction Register Columns

8/11/2012 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Automatic Transaction Categorization
We're happy to release a new feature today that allows you to re-arrange the columns and fields when displaying transactions on the Transaction Register and Search result pages. Now you have full control over how your transactions are displayed by giving you the ability to select where the fields appear.

You can find these settings by clicking on the new "Column Arrangement" icon on the right side of the transaction column headers on the Transaction Register and Search result pages or by clicking on Settings at the top right side of the page then click on "Re-Arrange Transaction Columns."

On this page you can use the drop down lists to select which transaction fields you want to appear in each position. Once you save these settings all of your transactions will be displayed that way on the Transaction Register and Search results pages.

This feature is available to all members who have upgraded to the Premium Membership.

Automatic Categorization of Imported Transactions

6/15/2012 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Automatic Transaction Categorization
We just released a new feature for the Import tool that gives you the option to have us automatically categorize your imported transactions. This tool uses both your past transaction history plus any additional associations you want to manually add.

This new feature will help speed up the importing process by saving you the time of having to manually categorize your common transactions. You can access the automatic categorization management page by clicking on Settings at the top right side of the page, then click on Auto-Categorized Imported Transactions.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for future updates to the tool, please let us know!

Introducing ClearCheckbook Investment Portfolio

5/11/2012 in ClearCheckbook Updates
ClearCheckbook Investment Portfolio
We're happy to release a new tool today called the Investment Portfolio. The Investment Portfolio helps you track your various stocks and mutual funds so you can watch your gains over time. Included with the Investment Portfolio tool is a new gadget so you can watch these same investments from your Dashboard.

To get started, simply enter any stocks or mutual funds you've purchased. You'll just need to enter the date purchased, number of shares, purchase price per share and any commission. We'll use this data to calculate a Cost Basis that we'll use to compare with the Market Value so you can track your gains.

The Investment Portfolio is available to all members who have upgraded to our Premium Membership. The new tool can be found by clicking on the Tools menu and then click on the Investment Portfolio link.

Note: All investment data is provided by Yahoo! Finance and is delayed by 20 minutes.

iPhone App logging out issue

3/28/2012 in ClearCheckbook Updates
If you've updated to the latest version of the iPhone app and it logs you out every time you close the app, please delete the app and re-install it. In every case this has fixed the bug.

We're still trying to determine what's causing this to happen with some users, but until then the delete/re-install technique will fix the problem.

New iPhone App in Development

2/24/2012 in ClearCheckbook Updates
It's been about a year and a half since we initially released our iphone app. In that time, iOS has undergone some major changes which have pretty much crippled our existing app. After looking into the issue for a while, we found a solution that meets our needs to start developing a new iPhone app.

The main issue we were facing was with each new mobile device that comes out, they all require a new app to be created using their own custom framework and code which means every app we develop is one more set of code we have to worry about keeping updated. The method we decided on will help keep these issues at bay while still being able to provide a native app.

Currently, the new iPhone app handles logging in, registering, account overviews, transaction register and transaction viewing. We hope to have the new app completed and released by the end of March.

Here are some screen shots of the app currently in development:


As you can see, the app looks a lot nicer than the current one.

If you're an existing iPhone user, please use the mobile optimized website by going to clearcheckbook.com in the browser on your phone. This will work much better than the current iPhone app.

Stay tuned for more updates.

ClearCheckbook Introduces Balances Timeline Reports

1/6/2012 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We just released a new feature available to all premium members that lets you view your end of month balances for the entire timeline of your transaction register. This feature provides both a visual and a textual view of your balances from the first transaction you added to the latest.


The visual report allows you to select certain date ranges to get a more focused view of your balances. You can also switch between 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, 1 year and All Time viewing modes. The textual table is fully sortable so you can easily figure out when your balance was the highest.

The Balances Timeline report can be found by going to the Reports page and then click on the "Balances Timeline" link under the Accounts tab.

ClearCheckbook Introduces the Auto-Jive Tool!

1/4/2012 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We released a new tool today that will make it easier to reconcile your accounts. The Auto-Jive tool lets you upload CSV, QIF, OFX and QFX files to the site that contain cleared transactions from your bank or financial institution. We then search through your transaction register and find matching transactions. Once matches are found, you can easily jive those transactions.

The Auto-Jive tool has adjustable filters so you can change the search criteria. By default we search for the exact amount and transactions that are within three days of each other. You can easily change these to find transactions that might have taken longer to post than the default.

We’ll also let you know if there are any transactions that don’t match so you can investigate why. If they simply haven’t been added to your register yet, you can easily import them into your account.

Auto-Jive is available to all premium members and can be found by clicking on Tools at the top of the page and then click on the “Auto-Jive Your Transactions” link.

Bill Tracker gets a Major Overhaul!

12/18/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have completely overhauled the Bill Tracker tool to make it more usable and useful for you. The Bill Tracker now works for bills that aren’t paid monthly by letting you set the bill in the same way you can create reminders. We have also upgraded the way the bills are displayed by color coding them based on when they’re due.

We’ve also tied the bill tracker and the reminders system together a little more. Now you can associate bills with reminders much easier. When you create a new bill or edit an existing one, you have the ability to have the system instantly create a reminder associated with the bill. You can decide right away whether you want to be notified and have the bill auto-post to your account or if you simply want to be notified so you can pay the bill manually.

As a premium member, you can now change the timeframe your bills are displayed for. By default you will see the next 30 days worth of bills but if you’re a premium member you can change this to 30, 60, 90 or 120 days. This should make it easier to plan for the future by seeing what bills will be due in the upcoming months.

A side effect of the new bills system is that some of your previously paid bills might show up as unpaid. If this happens, don’t worry, just click on the bill and click the Delete link. Next, click on the link to “Delete this due date.” This will remove the already paid bill from your list until it’s due next time.

We hope you enjoy the upgraded Bill Tracker. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about the tool, please let us know through the comments or by contacting us via the link at the bottom right side of the page.

ClearCheckbook Introduces Debt Snowball Tool

12/8/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're proud to announce the release of our very own Debt Snowball tool to all ClearCheckbook users. The Debt Snowball is a method of loan/debt repayment that has you pay off your smallest debts first. Each time you pay a debt off you take that money and apply it to your next smallest debt. The idea is that as time goes on, you're paying more and more toward your debts similarly to a snowball growing as it goes down a mountain.

The Debt Snowball tool will show you when your loans will be paid off based on your minimum payments and any additional money you're putting toward your debt each month. We also provide you with how much interest is yet to be paid off and a progress bar so you can see how close you are to getting rid of a loan.

The Debt Snowball tool can be found through the Tools menu. In addition to the Debt Snowball page, we also have a gadget so you can quickly see your balances and loan payoff dates from your Dashboard.

You can read some of the help documents about the Debt Snowball tool here: https://www.clearcheckbook.com/help#25

Currency Conversions Now Automatically Update

10/26/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have updated our Currency Conversions feature so that it now downloads a list of conversions nightly for a majority of our currencies. Each night the rates will be updated on the site so you won't have to manually update the rates as they change. You can however manually update the rates if you'd like to input newer rates than what is currently available.

This should help keep your accounts better up to date and take the responsibility of keeping the rates updated out of your hands.

The currency conversions are provided for free by Time Genie

ClearCheckbook Reporting Gets an Overhaul

10/24/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We've spent some time going through and updating most of the reports on ClearCheckbook to make them more useful. We've switched to a new method of generating the reports that now makes them interactive. Simply hover over your reports and you can get detailed information about the spending or saving.

We have also updated the overall reports to take currency conversions into account. The overall spending vs. saving report will now convert all currencies to your global currency for display purposes.

The following reports received the upgrade today:
- Accounts (Line, Bar and Advanced)
- Category (Pie)
- Custom Reports
- Report Dashboard Gadget

We have also re-worked the way the report data is generated, so it should help speed up viewing the reports as well.

ClearCheckbook Database Updates Completed

9/22/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have completed all of our database updates that we had been running over the last several nights. These updates were aimed at future-proofing our database by setting up some archives as well as taking a second look at our indexes and updating them appropriately. Between these two updates, we have cut our CPU and memory loads in half. You should definitely notice the site loading faster now.

A side effect some of you may see are a temporary error in your balances. If your balances seem off to you or they aren’t showing all of your accounts, simply click the Refresh Balances link located under your balances and they will be re-calculated for you.

Our next upgrade will be coming in the following weeks and will involve setting up an additional server to run in our environment. This will provide more redundancy and will also improve response time.

Thanks for your patience while we performed these updates. I know many of you were affected by some slow-downs or the site not loading, and we’re extremely sorry for that.

More database updates to ClearCheckbook

9/15/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Update:
I just wanted to give a little more clarification on what's going on behind the scenes and why you experienced some extreme slow downs this morning.

ClearCheckbook has over 20 million transactions stored in its database for over 180,000 users. In extremely simple terms, whenever you load your ClearCheckbook account, the site has to dig through those 20 million+ transactions to grab yours. As time goes on, this takes longer and longer as more transactions get added to the site. We want to keep the site running as quickly as possible so we came up with a couple solutions, the best of which was to archive transactions for people who hadn't signed on in a while.

Last night we started a script that would take some of those 20 million transactions for people who haven't logged into the site in a while and move them into a different table, one that doesn't need to be called when we're pulling up your transactions. (Don't worry though if you log back in and you haven't been on in a while, we have it set up to automatically restate all the archived transactions for your account if they exist).

Some time during the night, our database has a command that runs periodically to rebuild indexes and maintain associations. This is something the database does on its own to keep its own speed up. When that started running in conjunction with our archive script, it really started to bog down the database because tens of thousands of transactions were getting archived at a time and the script was trying to continually re-index all the tables at the same time.

We didn't catch what was going on until a little while ago, so we killed both our archiving script and the "autovaccuum" script the database was running and things have returned more or less to normal.

We're sorry for the disruptions this has caused. Rest assured your data is safe as we always perform a full backup before running any updates like this. Our overall goal is to keep this site running as quick as possible to let everyone get instant access to their finances. We're sorry we dropped the ball on this one. We won't let the same thing happen again.

Brandon O'Brien
CEO / Founder of ClearCheckbook


Original Post:
Last night and continuing for the next few nights, we will be running some database updates that are aimed at speeding up site performance. These updates revolve around archiving transactions for members who haven't logged into the site for a while. This will help speed up the site because there won't be so many unused transactions taking up space in the database.

The script from last night ran a little long and if you tried visiting the site early this morning you may have noticed some slow loading pages. We have fixed this so it won't happen the next time we run the script.

Server Updates and Response Time

9/1/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
If you’ve noticed any issues accessing the site over the last hour or two, we’re sorry. We’ve been running some updates to the server to help speed up the site.

We still have another major update to run later in the night that will also help the response time tremendously. We're sorry for any interruptions this has caused.

ClearCheckbook Premium Groups has launched!

8/24/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're proud to announce the launch of our ClearCheckbook Premium Groups feature. Premium Groups was created with families, groups and other organizations in mind. The group owner can easily manage all group member accounts, but none of the group members can access any information other than their own. Plus, the group owner and all group members get full access to all premium membership features!

When you sign up for Premium Groups, you become the "Group Owner". The group owner has the ability to incorporate existing user accounts or create new user accounts that they can directly log into and manage. The group owner can easily log into any of the group member accounts to run reports, view transactions, look at budgets, and anything else they can do to their own account. They can also limit the accounts and categories all group members have access to.

Premium Groups is a great way for one person to be able to manage several ClearCheckbook user accounts without having to remember a bunch of usernames/passwords.

We have been testing this feature with several different groups and families, including money management caregivers who help manage the checkbooks of several people at one time. This feature is a must-have for anyone who would like to manage multiple user accounts from one place with the added benefit of all the accounts having the premium membership.

All memberships are yearly and are priced according to how many group members you wish to have. You can learn more about the group membership by clicking here: https://www.clearcheckbook.com/group.

ClearCheckbook Money Management Android App Updated

6/21/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have updated the ClearCheckbook Money Management app for Android so it's more optimized for Honeycomb tablets. This update also issues a fix so when you hit the enter button in a text field, it will take you to the next form input instead of submitting a return in the text box.

We're working on some more Honeycomb optimizations and will be releasing those in the near future.

Dashboard and Reports fixed in IE9

5/25/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We fixed the issues that were causing a few problems in the latest version of IE9. One of the issues was moving gadgets on the Dashboard page and the other was properly viewing reports. Both of these issues have been tested and resolved.

If anyone using IE9 experiences any other anomalies on the site, please let us know and we'll work on getting those fixed.

New Feature: Saving Searches and Custom Reports

4/26/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Do you find yourself searching with the same search criteria on a regular basis? Are you constantly creating the same custom report over and over? Well now you don't have to! We're proud to announce the release of a feature that lets you save your searches and custom reports.

From the Search page or the Custom Reports page, you will now see a 'Saved Searches' or 'Saved Reports' link below the search box. If you click on that link, it will expand a box that shows you any saved searches you've created and lets you save new search criteria.

To save a new search, simply enter your search criteria and click the Search button. After that, click the Saved Searches link and enter a name for your new search criteria, then click Save. It's as easy as that!

The Saved Searches and Saved Reports work interchangeably, so if you save a custom search, you can pull that criteria up on the custom reports page and vice versa.

This feature is available to anyone with an active premium membership. Give the new feature a try and let us know what you think!

Estimated Future Balances Updated

4/25/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have updated the Estimated Future Balances tool so it now shows a true list of future transactions and a running future balance next to them. This should make the tool much more user friendly now and make finding your future balance for a given date in the future much easier.

We have updated the main site and the mobile optimized site with the updates. We have a few more updates planned for this tool, but wanted to get this launched, as many people have been requesting this lately.

Give it a look and let us know what you think!

New Feature: Check for Duplicate Transactions

4/19/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We are proud to announce the ability to check for duplicate transactions when you import files into the site. This feature has been highly requested and we're glad you can finally start using it.

When you import a file into ClearCheckbook, you can now click a button at the top of the verification page to "Check for Duplicates." After clicking on this button, it will search through all your imported transactions and all the transactions you've entered in the site and try to find any duplicates based on a set of filter criteria.

You can change the filter criteria that adjusts the amount range and day range surrounding each of your imported transactions. This is helpful in case you've already added a transaction to your register, but it's also included in your imported file with a different date.

If the search finds any duplicate transactions, you can easily delete the duplicate before it gets added to your register.

This feature is available to any member that has an active Premium Membership.

Import Tool Completely Upgraded

4/18/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have gone back and completely re-written the Import Transaction functionality. This update includes several bug fixes and improvements. Below are some of the updates and fixes we made to the import tool.

Updates
- Improved handling of importing QIF, OFX and QFX files.
- All fields are searched in QIF, OFX and QFX files, not just the first entry.
- Ability to correctly import CSV files with separate Debit and Credit columns.
- Improved handling of importing splits and transfers.
- Doesn't automatically add categories or accounts until you verify the transactions in case you mis-assign a field.
- Better automatic field matching.
- Warnings if we think you mis-assigned a field.
- Better editing of imported transactions.

All of these updates should make the import tool a lot more robust and usable. Please give it a try and let us know if you run into any issues or have any suggestions for future improvements to the import tool.

ClearCheckbook Introduces Bill Tracker Tool

1/26/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're proud to announce the release of a new Bill Tracker tool to our website. The Bill Tracker allows you to enter all monthly bills into the site. When you've paid one of the bills, you can let the system know and we'll keep track of when you last paid and for how much.

Premium members will also be able to view reports on their bill payments over time. This way you can see if you're paying more or less as time goes on for a specific bill. It's a great way to save money by seeing if you can lower your monthly bills.

We've also tied the Bill Tracker into the Reminders / Recurring Transactions tool. When you add a recurring transaction, you can identify it as being a Bill. When that recurring transaction gets added to the site, we'll update your bill tracker with the date and amount paid.

You can find the Bill Tracker by clicking on Tools at the top of the page and then click on Bill Tracker. We've also added a Dashboard Gadget that lets you see your bills and when they were last paid.

We hope you will take advantage of this new tool and use it in your arsenal to help manage your finances.

Some screenshots:

Currency and CSV Importing Updates

1/3/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have fixed an issue that was preventing currency conversions to take place in the search results. This has been taken care of and will now accurately convert to the global currency if you're using multiple currencies and they both appear in the search results.

We've also updated the functionality for CSV imports so they can better handle uploads from Buxfer. If you are importing CSV files that you exported from Buxfer, you'll need to remove the first line of the CSV file before importing it into ClearCheckbook (It should say something like: "All transactions for your_buxfer_login"). After that, please refer to the image below that displays what fields to match up with the Buxfer CSV file.

How to import CSV Files to ClearCheckbook from Buxfer

Android App Updated

11/7/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We've released another update to the Android app that fixes more bugs and should eliminate more of the 0 balance issues. If you're using the Android app, we strongly recommend upgrading.

New Budget Features Available

9/20/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have just updated the budget area with two new options. Now, when you add or edit an existing budget, you can select whether or not you want deposits to be considered with the budget and you can also select if you want transfers to be considered in the budget.

ClearCheckbook Status Update

8/23/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We wanted to let everyone know what's been going on behind the scenes and what our current and future plans for ClearCheckbook entail.

Our Last Big Update
The last major overhaul that ClearCheckbook saw was about two and a half years ago when we launched V3 of the site. This included the dashboard, premium memberships, more reporting, currencies, translations and more.

This last update was the culmination of about two years worth of suggestions and requests. We learned a lot about what to do and what not to do with this update and will be taking that knowledge into account in the future.

The Current Site
ClearCheckbook as it stands today has been receiving about 190-250 new user signups per day from the site and mobile apps. We have been continually monitoring forum posts and emails and have been fixing bugs that many people have been reporting.

The reason there hasn't been any real new feature announcements will be explained below.

The Future of ClearCheckbook
Like with the last big update to the site, we had to make a conscious decision about how to proceed. To incorporate many of the larger features that have been requested, we need to give the site a much larger overhaul so it can handle all of these upgrades. The best way to do this is to have one main development path and keep the majority of effort focused there.

This is what we're doing with ClearCheckbook. We are putting the majority of our time and resources into the next big update of the site and will be incorporating a lot of the feature requests and updates into that version. In an effort to cut back on duplicating work, we will not be releasing too many new features to the current site in the near future.

We aren't ready to give any real details on what's going to be included in the next big release of the site, but we are focusing on usability and new features. We have been working on this for about a month now, which is why you might have noticed a drop in our feedback in the forums and blog.

Mobile Apps
With the release of the latest Android update, all of the mobile apps should be essentially on the same page as far as features go. With our limited time and resources, we can't show the mobile apps the same kind of attention as we do the main site. We also don't have the resources to work on a Blackberry or Windows Mobile app at this time. In the future, this will change as we continue to grow.

Conclusion
While most of our new feature development will be shifting to the next version of the site, we are still committed to maintaining the current version of the site through bug fixes and smaller updates. As always, please send us feedback through the Contact Us link at the bottom right side of the page or through the forums. We respond to basically every email that requires a response and we're spending more time in the forums and help answer questions there.

ClearCheckbook is growing quickly and we are doing everything in our power to help pave the way for this growth.

ClearCheckbook Android App Updated

8/22/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates
The ClearCheckbook Android application has been updated. This update includes the addition of Premium custom transaction fields (memo, payee, check #), ability to add transfers, "zero balance" fix, and some other bug fixes.

We also updated the look and feel of the app to better match that of the website. We have done away with the black background and have a new theme that's much easier on the eyes.

You can see the screenshots at our Android App page.

Issue with the Reminders / Recurring Transactions Resolved

7/1/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates
There had been a glitch in the Reminders / Recurring transactions script that was causing any recurring transactions to be marked as Posted without actually being added to your account.

The glitch has been fixed and all recurring transactions should post as normal from now on. We will be closely monitoring the reminders to ensure it continues to behave without any more issues.

To get your transactions to post, you can enter them manually or send us a Contact message (bottom right side of the page) and have us reset your "Posted" status so you can click "Post Now" next to the reminders that didn't post.

Again, we are sorry it took so long to track the issue down, but everything should be back to normal now.

-Brandon

ClearCheckbook iPhone App Approved

6/27/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates


The iPhone app has been approved and is available in the App Store to download right now.

You read more about the iPhone App, view screenshots and find a download link here.

iPhone App Submitted

6/20/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates


The iPhone app has been submitted. Now it's in Apple's hands to determine when it'll show up in the App Store.

The app is completely free to use. You can sign into the app with your existing login credentials for the site and all of your data will be synced to your phone.

A few updates and iPhone news

6/3/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have added a few changes to the site this morning. You now have the ability to hide your split transaction children from the transaction list (to take up less room) by clicking on Settings at the top right side of the page and then click on General Settings. You can choose to show or hide the split children here. If you hide the split children, they will still be counted toward your reports and budgets and can be found in the search. They will simply be hidden from the transaction register.

We also updated the Estimate Future Balances tool to work for a duration less than one month. You can now project what your balance will be for durations such as 2 weeks in the future.

The iPhone app has been completed. We are going through it and beta testing and fixing any bugs we find for another week and then will submit it to the app store.

Errors some of you received this morning are fixed.

6/3/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We had an unusually intense spike in server usage late last night / early this morning. This was causing some of you to get an error message telling you to contact us. The issue that was causing the spike has been resolved and everything is back to normal.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

iPhone App Development Update w/ screenshots

5/24/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates
I'd like to take a minute and give a status update in regards to the ClearCheckbook iPhone app. The developer we hired has been working extremely hard to get the app working to the specs we requested.

Pretty much all of the features are up and working in the app now. We're just getting the finishing touches put on it now (making the app look visually a nicer and fixing some formatting and bugs). We hope to have the app ready to submit to the App Store in 2 more weeks at the latest.

Here are some screenshots of the app as it stands right now:

Login Page
Login Page

Account Overviews Page
Account Overviews

Transactions Page
Transactions Page

Spending Limits Page
Spending Limits

Reminders Page
Reminders Page

Reports Page
Reports Page

Four new tutorials posted!

4/22/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have posted 4 new video tutorials to our Tutorials section. These new tutorials include setting up your accounts and categories, creating budgets, setting up a reminder and importing transactions.

The videos have been uploaded to YouTube in HD quality and can be viewed well there. Our tutorials page (which links to all the tutorials) can be found here: www.clearcheckbook.com/help/tutorial.

If there are any specific tutorials you would like to see added, let us know in the comments!

Rollover Budgets now available!

1/7/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We just upgraded the Budgets/Spending Limits tool by adding a "Rollover" option. This option, if enabled, will let your spending limits rollover each month. This means that any unused money will be added to the limit for the following month.

Here's an example: You have a limit set on Entertainment for $100 a month. Lets say you only spend $50 this month. When the limit resets, your new limit will be $150 for the next month.

The opposite is also true though. If you spend more than your limit, your limit for the next month will be smaller by the amount you over spent.

You'll be able to tell which limits are set to rollover by an icon next to the limit amount.

New "Page Specific" Help Topics!

1/6/2010 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We just rolled out an upgrade that will allow you to get help topics specific to the page you're viewing by clicking on a new Help tab at the top right side of the page. This new tab will appear on any page where there is specific help topics for that page.

This new help tab will cover frequently asked questions as well as provide some walkthroughs that cover some of the tasks for the page you're viewing. This will make it much easier to find helpful information and answer those quick questions you might have without digging through the entire help section.

We will keep the help topics up to date by updating them if we find users are still having trouble with certain aspects of the site. If there's a question/answer you think we should add to any of the help topics, please let us know!

More Updates: Forum Searching and Auto-Completing Memo/Payee Fields

12/3/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We just added the ability to search through out Support Forums. If you have a question you can try searching first before creating a new thread with a topic that might have already been answered.

We have also added the auto-complete feature to the premium Memo and Payee fields. Now you can have those fields auto-complete when you're typing in them.

As always, if you have any other suggestions for new features or additions to the site, please head over to the Feature Suggestion Forum and let us know!

Upgrades and fixes for Reports, Limits and Future Balances!

12/2/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We just released a few upgrades and bug fixes to various parts of the site. The first upgrade is to the Limits/Budget tool. The tool now lists a Totals row so you can see the totals of all your current limits as well as the percentage of your overall limits.

The second upgrade is to the Estimate Future Balances tool. You can now see a "Details List" for all transactions being calculated for each month. When you run a future balance estimation, there is now a "Details" link next to each month. Simply click it and you will see a breakdown of all transactions that are included to figure out your future balance for that month.

We also fixed a few bugs in the Reports section that was causing some months of data to be left out of the text breakdowns under the Account reports.

Also, if you're viewing a specific account, when you try to add a transaction, it will default to that account.

If you have any other suggestions for new features or additions to the site, please head over to the Feature Suggestion Forum and let us know!

New Premium Feature: Merging Categories

11/23/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're announcing the release of a small new tool that will let you merge multiple categories into one. Do you have a couple categories that you'd like to merge together but don't want to go back and change every transaction? Now you can simply go to the Categories settings page and select the categories you want to merge from and which one you want to merge them into and we'll take care of everything.

This isn't something you're going to use every day, but when you need to use it, you'll be glad it's there.

If you have any other suggestions for features or tools we can add to the site, please head over to our feature request forum and let us know!

Some updates to the Account Dashboard!

11/20/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We've updated a few gadgets on the Account Dashboard to make things a little easier for you. You can now adjust the number of transactions the "Latest Transactions" gadget displays. You can choose from 10, 15, and 20 transactions. You can get to these options by clicking the "down arrow" icon on the top right side of the Latest Transactions gadget.

We also added the "Post Now" button on the Reminders gadget. Now you'll be able to instantly post recurring transactions from the gadget rather than having to go to the Reminders page.

You might have to refresh your browser a few times on the dashboard page to clear out any javascript files your browser has cached.

If you have any other suggestions on how to make the dashboard or any other part of the site better, head over to the Feature Suggestion Discussion Forum and let us know!

New navigation structure is now live.

10/21/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have updated the navigation structure to give you a better idea of what each nav item does. The new navigation is broken up into Overviews, Register, Reports, Budgets and Tools sections. There are also two smaller icons to add transactions and search transactions.

The Overviews is the Account Dashboard. The Register is the Summary page. Budgets will take you to the Spending Limits page. Everything else should work as normal.

If you have any questions about the new navigation, please let us know.

New Feature: Custom Reporting!

10/8/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
A new feature has just been released that lets Premium members create custom reports based on search criteria. You now have the power to essentially create limitless reports based on whatever data you want.

Simply go to Reports and then click on the Custom tab and you can enter your search criteria and some reporting options (whether you want transfers to be included and whether you want a day or month view) and then we'll create the report for you.

Let us know what you think!

A few bug fixes (reports and editing transactions)

10/7/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
An issue with reports not displaying in Internet Explorer 8 should now be fixed. If you are still experiencing any issues with the reports not showing up, please let us know in the comments for this post or by sending us an email using the Contact Us form at the bottom right side of the page.

Also, an issue with editing transactions has been fixed. The bug revolved around a conflict if you tried to edit a transaction after you had the Add Transaction form loaded. Thanks to ClearCheckbook user 'jessethouin' for figuring this out!

Change to the way you edit transactions

9/30/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Editing transactions now takes place without the use of the long loading pop up box. When you click on a transaction to edit it, the edit form will appear directly under the transaction. This should increase load times and make things smoother.

If you edit multiple transactions at once, the edit form will appear at the bottom of the transaction list (above the Edit button).

ClearCheckbook.com gets a facelift!

9/24/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
As the first step in making ClearCheckbook more user friendly and easier to use, I have released a new visual layout and color scheme to the site. The home page now features a slideshow of some of the most important aspects of the site and makes it easier to sign up for ClearCheckbook and easier for existing users to log in.

The next thing to get an overhaul will be the way the site is laid out once you're logged in. I want to make it easier for everyone to figure out how to use the site and to be able to fully grasp all the tools ClearCheckbook has to offer.

Let us know what you think of the updated colors in the comments below!

A Plethora of Improvements and Updates

9/18/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
In what will soon become a very long list of updates and new features and refreshes to the site, I'm proud to announce several new upgrades and features that have just been released.

Sub-Categories:
You can now add sub categories for better tracking of your spending habits. All sub categories will be rolled into the overall category for reporting purposes, but will also be broken down so you can view spending in the individual sub categories. The same is the case for pie charts and spending limits.

To add a sub category, simply go to the Settings->Categories page and add a new category name and select the Parent category from a drop down list.

Currency Conversions:
All balances can now be converted to your global currency with the Currency Conversion tool. You can access this as a dashboard gadget or through the Settings->Currency Conversions page.

If you have more than one currency set up, you will have the ability of entering a conversion rate for your secondary currencies. We will be using this rate to convert all balances to the global currency (set in your Settings->Account page). Individual transactions will not be converted, just overall balances.

Updated Reports:
The reports area has been cleaned up and made more usable by splitting Account and Category reports into separate tabs. You can now view all of your Account information on one page and all your Category information on a different page.

The reports have also been updated to reflect the new sub-categories feature. All parent categories are reported with the sub-categories rolled into them. In the Line/Bar reports, you can scroll down and see your parent and sub-category totals broken down. The Pie charts show the parent and sub-categories rolled into one total, but you can select to view the breakdown of sub categories via a drop down menu. This way you can compare individual sub-categories with each other.

Minor Updates:
- Currencies sorted with "most used" currencies at the top
- Check # / Memo / Payee field added to Recurring Transactions
- Fixed some CSV importing issues for fields listed with parenthesis and quotation marks
- Finally fixed (hopefully once and for all) the iGoogle gadget and GoogleTalk Checkbot

There will be more announcements on Monday. I can't say anything right now, but it involves a lot more time and resources being devoted to ClearCheckbook.

ClearCheckbook Server is Finally Upgraded!

7/30/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We are finally back up and running on our main server. Our main server has been upgraded to 12 GB of ram and dual 1.5 TB hard drives. It has also been moved to a new hosting facility that offers more bandwidth than our previous one.

Sorry to all of those who experienced the SSL issues during this transition. Everything should be resolved now and you should hopefully notice an improvement in load times for the site.

The only known bug that might have occurred is some of the reminders may not have been run while on the temporary server. If you had a recurring transaction set to hit between July 25 and July 30, I would suggest double checking to make sure the transaction was posted to your account.

Update on iPhone App Development

7/20/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Since this is by far the most requested feature and the one thing that drums up the most discussion on this site, I wanted to give everyone an update to the status of the ClearCheckbook iPhone app.

I am working on the basics of the application right now (adding transactions). For the first version, there will be some basic features such as adding/editing/deleting transactions, managing accounts and categories and syncing with ClearCheckbook.

I am limiting the initial version to these basic functions simply as a way to get a functioning app out on time. After the release of the basic app I will begin developing a more complete app that has reporting, searching, etc capabilities.

I have registered with the Apple iPhone Developer site and started the developer approval process. This must be done in order to put an app up on the App Store. I've heard this process can take a while, so I'm not sure when it will be done. I am hoping this approval comes before I am done with the app.

I thank everyone with an iPhone for staying patient. Having to learn a new programming language takes quite a bit of time... and then turning that knowledge into a reliable app takes even longer.

For those of you with a Palm Pre, BlackBerry or Windows Mobile device... I am focusing on the iPhone app for now for several reasons:
1. The App Store on the iPhone is by far the most used.
2. I have an iPhone myself so it's much easier to test on a device I have.
3. I am one person and can only learn so much at a given time.

After the release of the iPhone app, I will start to pursue other mobile devices.

Exporting Custom Fields and Google Gadget

7/10/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
You can now export your custom fields when you export your data. This was overlooked originally, but has finally been added to the site.

The Google Gadget should also now be working again in Firefox. Part of the Google API had changed and one of the functions we were using to resize the gadget was acting up. This has been taken care of so the gadget should show up correctly after Google updates it.

Multiple logins per account now available!

6/22/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We just rolled out the ability for premium users to create additional users to access their accounts. This has been a highly requested feature and is ideal for a couple who has joint bank accounts.

When you create a new user to access your account and they add transactions, their username is appended to the description of the transactions they add so you can easily see who has added what transactions. The main users name will not show up next to all the other transactions to make things easier to read.

To set up additional users for your account, you must be a premium member and then go to Settings and click on the "Additional Users for this Account" link. You enter a new username and password on this page to set up the new user.

All additional users will have the same permissions as the main user. This means they can add/edit/delete transactions, reminders, notes, gadgets, etc.

Date formatting options available

6/17/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
You can now change how you want your dates displayed on the site from the Settings->Date Format and Timezone menu. You can choose from mm/dd/yyyy, dd/mm/yyyy and yyyy-mm-dd.

I'm not quite sure how this setting had been left out, as it had previously been available. Anyway, it's back up now and is working in both the standard and mobile site.

Export records based on category

6/15/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have added the ability for you to export your data based on category. You can now select between all accounts and specific accounts and all categories and specific categories. This will make it easier to export exactly the data you want.

New Premium Feature: Limits History

6/13/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We are proud to announce the release of a highly requested feature: Limit Histories. Now you can view your past spending limits compared against what you actually spent. Unfortunately, all previous limits are based on the current limit, but from now on, the history will reflect the limit for that given month.

To view your limit history, go to the Limits page (Tools -> Spending Limits). Now there will be a navigation box that lets you click on "Limits History". This will take you to the graphs showing your history.

Minor Update: Importing custom fields

6/11/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
I wanted to let everyone know that we updated the Import tool for premium members slightly to allow them to import their custom fields (memo, payee and check #). These options now show up when you import a file.

Advanced Reporting: New Premium Feature

6/10/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We just released a new premium feature that allows you to view some advanced reports. These new advanced reports allow you to view your spending/saving per account and category for each day or weekly average for a given month. You can also compare one month with another one to see how your spending/saving habits might have changed over time.

To access these new reports, you must be a premium member and then go to the Reports page. There will be a new link at the top of the page that says Advanced. Simply click on that and you will be taken to the new reports.

To use the new reports, select whether you want to view deposits or withdrawals and what account or category you want. Then you select the month you want to view and an optional month to compare with.

ClearCheckbook translated to Chinese

6/2/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Our third site translation is up. This translation is for Chinese (traditional). A very special thanks ClearCheckbook member "capriskye" for doing the translation.

If you notice any errors or missing translations, please use the contact us link at the bottom of the page and let us know (and let us know the proper translation if you can).

Next Site Translation: Brazilian-Português is up!

5/20/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Our second site translation is up. This translation is for Brazilian-Portuguese. A very special thanks ClearCheckbook member "stigger" for doing the translation.

Again, if you notice any errors or missing translations, please use the contact us link at the bottom of the page and let us know (and let us know the proper translation if you can).

Benvenuto a ClearCheckbook!

5/19/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
ClearCheckbook has released our first translated version of the site! You can now view the site in Italian by selecting the Italiano link at the bottom of every page.

We have a few other translations currently under way and should have them up soon (Spanish and Brazilian-Portuguese).

If you notice any errors or missing translations, please use the contact us link at the bottom of the page and let us know (and let us know the proper translation if you can).

We would like to thank ClearCheckbook member 'arkitetto' for doing the translation. They were rewarded with a free year of premium membership for the help.

Slight theme adjustment to ClearCheckbok

4/30/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have changed the theme of the site slightly so that it's a little easier on the eyes. There was a lot of negative feedback when the the previous theme was launched, so this one will hopefully make up for that.

Please let us know what you think.

Auto-post Recurring Transactions

3/30/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have just added the ability to auto-post your recurring transactions. This will give you the ability to add recurring transactions to the site before they are scheduled to.

To use the Post Now feature, go to the Reminders/Recurring transactions page and you will see a "Post Now" link next to each reminder with an associated transaction. Click on that link and it will auto-post it to your register dated with whatever the reminder date is.

The reminder will still run on the scheduled day, but the transaction will not be posted since you already clicked the link.

General Settings updated to be easier to use, plus new setting.

3/13/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have just updated the Settings page slightly. When you go to manage your settings you will now see a link for General Settings. Here you will be able to modify the following:
* Toggling help boxes
* Display of site walkthrough
* Your default account page
* Display of 3rd dashboard column
* Enabling/disabling autocomplete

We have added the ability to enable or disable auto-complete because some people would simply like to turn it off.

A bug with toggling the help boxes has also been resolved.

Third Column Added to Dashboard

3/13/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
A third column has been added to the Account Dashboard page. Those with larger screens can now take advantage of some extra screen real estate.

If you do not wish to use the extra column, there is a link there to remove it.

If you are having issues with the 3rd column updating, clear the cache in your browser. Some javascript files have been updated and the new ones are necessary for the third column to work. Browsers like to cache these files, so it may seem like it's not working at first. Clearing the cache will fix that.

Estimate Future Balances with Line Chart

3/12/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have added the ability to view your future balances with a line chart in addition to the text view. The line chart will show you your future balances, deposits and withdrawals so you can see trends over time.

There was also a small update to how the dates were calculated for the future balances, so a few bugs were also cleaned up.

Updates to mobile site and login preferences

3/9/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have pushed out a few minor updates today. We changed the site so if you access it from your iphone or ipod touch, it will automatically take you to the mobile site.

We also modified the "remember me" setting when you log in. It will now remember you across multiple computers. You might have to log out and log back in on the machines for this to take effect.

Support Forums Now Available

1/18/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
To help better support ClearCheckbook and all our members, we have put up a new Support Forum section. Now, you will be able to ask questions and get feedback or answers from other ClearCheckbook members. We also have a place for you to read about and share your tips and tricks. This will help you and others get the most out of ClearCheckbook.

We will be monitoring the forums and respond to any questions and comments that we come across.

You must be logged in to post on the forums, but anyone can read them. We hope this will help people find answers to their questions quicker, as it can sometimes take us a while to get to every email that comes in.

If you have a question about the site, please go to the Forums and see if someone else has already asked the question.

New Premium Feature: Custom Transaction Fields

1/16/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have just released a new feature for Premium Members that allow you to turn on and off certain custom fields for you transactions. These custom fields include check numbers, payee and memo/note fields.

Enabling any of these fields allows you to add them to your transactions. You can then sort by the check number and payee fields or search by any of the new custom fields.

To manage your custom fields, log in and go to the Settings link at the top right of the page. Then click on the link that says Manage Custom Transaction Fields. From here, you can select which new custom fields you would like turned on and off.

New Feature: Suggest a Feature!

1/8/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have added a new feature to the site that lets you suggest new features that you would like to see added to the site, and also rate other members suggestions up and down.

We will use this feature list to determine in what order develop new upgrades to the site. If you have an idea that you would like to see added to the site, please log in and then click on the "Suggest a Feature" link at the top right side of the page.

The Suggest a Feature tool is to be used only for new features. This is not a place to report bugs. To report bugs or other issues, continue to use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.

Please check it out and add any features you would like to see added to the site!

Recent bug fixes and updates to ClearCheckbook

1/7/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We are still working on fixing issues and adding updates based on user feedback. Some of the recent updates to the site are:

  • CheckBot is back online

  • Added ability to "hide all" categories in the dynamic category reports. This will easily let you select a single category to view.

  • Added a property to the Reminders gadget that lets you select if you want the calendar to appear

  • Added a property to the Reminders gadget for premium members that lets you select the number of days to view upcoming reminders.

  • Moved descriptions to the same line as the rest of the transaction for non-premium members (moves the description in the spot occupied by running balances for Premium members)

  • Fixed pie chart issue that was causing "Other" category to show incorrect results

  • Fixed search page issues related to multiple pages and sorting

  • Fixed a bug that was causing some members to see a No Account with a balance of 0 showing up in Account Overviews

  • Fixed recurring transaction/reminder bug that was causing transactions to show up as transfers or not show up at all


Again, if you notice anything else, please use the Contact Us link at the bottom right of every page. Please don't post issues to the blog, as they probably won't get resolved and you won't receive an answer.

Also, if you have suggestions for improvements or feature requests, please let us know by using the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.

Another Status Update

1/2/2009 in ClearCheckbook Updates
I wanted to let you know that we've been making more updates and bug fixes to the site over the last week. As of this post, we have updated or fixed the following issues:

  • Reports show monthly deposits/withdrawals in text format
  • Adding Transactions on summary page lets you edit/jive added transactions immediately
  • Fixed exporting issue with Internet Explorer
  • Fixed header issue with OSX Dashboard Widget
  • Fixed jiving issue after editing a transaction
  • updated the Refresh Balances script

We're still working on getting CheckBot back up. We will have it back online by the end of the weekend.

If you have anything else you have noticed while using the site, please use the Contact Us link at the bottom right of every page to send us a message and let us know.

We're listening to your feedback...

12/22/2008 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We've received over 100 emails in the 12 hours since V3 launched. We have been working hard to take many of your comments into consideration. While we experienced more unexpected things pop up than we would have liked, we hope it hasn't tarnished your view of ClearCheckbook.

So far we've fixed the following:
* Drop down descriptions working in IE6 and IE7 now.
* Account overviews are on the Summary page again.
* You can Jive from the Latest Transactions gadget.
* Deleting issues have been resolved
* iPhone/iPod Touch icon working again
* Issues dragging dashboard widgets have been fixed
* Login form is now easier to find
* Getting the iGoogle Gadget and OSX Dashboard Widget updated
* Fixing description auto-complete in the Mobile app

A few of the things we're still working on are:
* Getting CheckBot up again
* Adding monthly totals to the reports, so you can see actual values, not just the report itself.

While there are still things we have left to do, please know that we are listening to your feedback and doing our best to fix any issues.

If you find something you don't like about the site, or something isn't behaving correctly, use the Contact Us form at the bottom of the page to let us know... please don't flood the blog comments with things like that. We see them faster if they're sent directly do us.

Thanks for your patience.

ClearCheckbook Downtime for V3 Update

12/20/2008 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We will be taking ClearCheckbook offline on Sunday, December 21 from 3:00pm - Monday, December 22 at 12:00am PST. The reason we need to take the site down is we're transferring our entire 1+gig database for the V3 switch and need to make sure no changes are made to it during the transition.

We don't anticipate the conversion to take that long, but we're leaning on the side of caution.

Checkbot will also be offline during this time.

We'll see you in V3!

Fluent in English and Another Language?

12/2/2008 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We are looking for people who can speak English and another language fluently and would be willing to help translate the upcoming version of ClearCheckbook.

The main languages we are hoping to have at first are:
-Spanish
-Portuguese
-Italian
-German

Based on the number of people who use ClearCheckbook outside of the US, those languages will be the most useful at launch.

If you would like to help and translate the site, please let us know. We have made it easy and will provide you a document with all of the text that needs to be translated. As an estimate, you're probably looking at about 400 different lines of translations (ranging from one word to a few sentences in length).

Please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of this and every page to let us know if you're interested, what language(s) you speak and some background information.

Thanks!

System Downtime Canceled

10/16/2008 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Due to some issues with our host, we will not be taking the site down today. In the unlikely event that things do work out and we are able to take the site down for upgrades, we will let you know.

We had originally stated that the site would go down on Saturday to make upgrades to the server running ClearCheckbook, but our host told us we could only do it this Friday from 2:00-4:00pm PST.

During this time, the entire site will not be accessible and CheckBot will be down.

We are upgrading the RAM in our server from 4 GB to 12 GB and will be replacing each of our 80 gig hard drives with 640 gig drives. This is all in preparation for launching ClearCheckbook v3.

Please make your plans accordingly and know that we will be working as hard as possible to get the site up as quickly as possible.

Preparing for V3 and Beta Testing Update

10/8/2008 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're getting really close to having ClearCheckbook V3 wrapped up. Before we can make it live though, we need to do two things. 1) We will need to upgrade the ram and hard drives in our server. 2) Go through about 2 weeks of beta testing to ensure all the bugs are worked out.

Server Upgrade
In an effort to greatly increase the speed of ClearCheckbook after the V3 upgrade, we are going to upgrade the RAM to 12 gigs (up from the current 4). In addition to the RAM upgrade, we will also be putting in dual 640 gig hard drives (up from the current dual 80 gigs). Our current plan is to take the site down for a few hours on Saturday October 18th to make these hardware upgrades. We will post more about this when the time is closer.

These upgrades are going to cost us $420 in parts. If you have been thinking about possibly donating a few dollars to the site, now would be a great time!

Beta Testers
As we have previously mentioned, we will need some people to help beta test the site. To start off the testing, we are looking for 25 people who are willing to go through and use the new site and provide us with feedback, bugs, etc.

In an effort to try and get the best people to test the site, we will be looking at a few factors for the beta testers:
1) How long have you been a member of ClearCheckbook
2) What kind of technical experience do you have with web development
3) Have you ever beta tested a site or software before

If you are interested in helping test, please use the Contact Us form at the bottom of every page and let us know. Please provide any additional information that will help us understand your level of knowledge about the items mentioned above.

One other thing to keep in mind for people interested in beta testing... any information you enter during beta testing will not carry over after the site is launched. The testing period is for testing only, even if we ask you to use it like you normally would to get as much of a "real world" test as possible.

We are planning on starting beta testing on Monday October 20th (after the upgrades have been completed).

Thank you all for your patience while we finish up V3 development.

Resolved: Unexpected Downtime

9/24/2008 in ClearCheckbook Updates
At about 2:00am MST this morning, ClearCheckbook started to experience some issues connecting to our database. After struggling to figure out what was happening, we finally tracked it down to some DNS issues with the server.

No data was lost during this time and everything is back up and running now.

Sorry for the unexpected downtime.

Scheduled System Downtime on July 19th

7/17/2008 in ClearCheckbook Updates
There will be a scheduled system downtime on July 19th at 10:00pm PST. It should only last for a few minutes. During this time the site and CheckBot will be totally offline.

Minor Updates to Search and Quick Add

3/19/2008 in ClearCheckbook Updates
There have been three additions made to the Search page and one update made to the Quick Add form.

On the Search page, you now have the ability to search for transactions that have no category and/or no account associated with them. This will be helpful for tracking down rogue transactions. Also, you now have the ability to specify whether or not the transaction you're looking for is a deposit or a withdrawal.

On the Quick Add on the Account Summary page, if you are viewing a specific account (anything other than "All Accounts"), that account will be the default when you are adding transactions through Quick Add.

Please keep sending in those requests. They may not make it onto the site immediately, but if they're good suggestions, chances are they'll make it up sooner or later.

A Surprise for iPhone and iPod Touch Users :)

3/7/2008 in ClearCheckbook Updates
I'm proud to announce the release of ClearCheckbook Mobile today. ClearCheckbook Mobile is a version of ClearCheckbook developed specifically for the iPhone and iPod Touch. All elements of the site (minus a few that are still in the works) have been ported over to the new layout.

Over the next week or so, the remaining elements of ClearCheckbook will be ported over to the mobile site and it will be complete. I will make another blog post when that time comes.

Until then, please try out the new mobile site and everything it has to offer! IT's completely self sustaining now (meaning you can do everything from registering new accounts to changing your date and currency settings). Try it out and let us know what you think of it by sending us an email or posting in the comments of this blog entry!

For more information on ClearCheckbook Mobile, click here.

Update (March 8, 2008):
Reminders / Recurring Transactions and the "Lost Password" features have been added to the mobile site.

Also, ClearCheckbook Mobile has been added to the list of WebApps on the Apple website.

New Feature: Archive old Accounts

1/21/2008 in ClearCheckbook Updates
If you're like me, you've had a few old bank accounts or credit cards that you have canceled or closed out. Instead of constantly seeing these old account names when using the site, we just developed the option to Archive your old empty accounts.

This option doesn't delete any of your transactions, it simply hides all mention of these accounts from the site. You can go back at any time and set them as active so you can view the data from those accounts.

To archive your old / empty accounts, click on the Settings link and go to Manage Accounts. Simply uncheck each account that is no longer active and click Save. You can come back to this page at any time to re-activate your accounts.

We have also made it a little easier to switch between the different types of reports. A lot of people didn't know we still had bar graphs available to view on the site because the link was a little hard to find. Now it will be much easier to see and use.

If you have any questions about the added Archive feature, please send us a message by clicking on the Contact Us link at the bottom of every page!

Minor Update to Search Page

1/15/2008 in ClearCheckbook Updates
You can now search for a specific amount using the Search page. To search for an amount, simply enter the amount and adjust any other search criteria and click Search. This feature has been frequently requested and serves a good purpose for tracking down rogue transactions.

Over the course of the next month we will be slowly updating the site little by little with some of our more requested features.

If you have any feature requests you would like to see added, please send them to us. There's no guarantee that the exact feature you request will be added soon, but we do take note of all requests and try to implement them eventually.

A Happy New Years Surprise from ClearCheckbook!

12/30/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
I know we're a few days early, but we wanted to bring in the New Year with a server upgrade for the site. We just made the switch to our new server named DocOck (yes, like the villain from Spiderman). You should notice the site performing much faster now... as the server itself is about 8x more powerful in every way than our old one.

We named the server DocOck because it has Dual-Quad core processors for a total of 8 processors running with 4GB of RAM. This should be enough power to manage the site for a while :)

We're still looking to see if anything is acting up from the switch to the new server. If you notice any issues with the site, please use the Contact Us form at the bottom of the page to let us know.

Thanks and Happy New Year!

ClearCheckbook moving to a new server tonight...

12/30/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
In a few hours we're going to be moving ClearCheckbook.com to a new server. The process shouldn't take long but there may be some time during the move when the site is not responsive. We will be working our hardest to ensure this down-time is as small as possible.

I will make another post when the site has been successfully moved.

OS X Dashboard Widget Updated!

12/14/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
In an effort to make it easier for you to manage your finances, we're proud to announce that we've updated our OS X Dashboard Widget to allow you to enter transactions directly from the dashboard on your Mac!

The widget still has the same functionality it always had, but now you have the ability to enter transactions. The widget will pull all of your accounts and categories and give you the ability to add deposits, withdrawals or make transfers without having to sign into the site.

To download the newest version of the widget, log in and go to Tools and click on the OS X Dashboard Widget icon. Simply install the new widget over the old one and you'll be good to go.

Try it out and let us know what you think!

First 3rd Party Add-on Developed for ClearCheckbook.com!

11/6/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
This little add-on is aimed at those of you who are frequent users of the command line. The add-on interfaces with the Google Talk CheckBot and allows you to execute withdrawals, deposits and transfers, but without having to sign into Google Talk. There's more though, it even has an offline support mode!

Here's the official description from the developer's website:

This small script allows you to add transactions to your Checkcheckbook.com account without having to fire up a browser windows/tab. It uses the Google Talk Bot of CCB to do this and hence you will need to enable Google Talk setup on CCB. The script also supports offline mode of operation so if the script cannot connect to the server or you work in offline mode (-o), the script writes the transaction to a local file. The next time it is invoked to connect to the server, it sends the old transactiont too to the server.

Requires the Net::XMPP Perl module. To use, rename to script to ccb-bot4bot.pl . To configure the script, open it in an editor and edit the following:

  • Set your Google Talk username for the $username variable

  • Set the password associated with that username as the $password variable.

  • Change $offlineFile to point to your offline file. Make sure that the permissions allow the script to write into it.

  • perl ccb-bot4bot.pl -h gives you the usage


To download the latest version of the add-on, download it here.

Thanks Srijith for your work!

It's About Time... ClearCheckbook.com Version 2 Upgrade Released!

10/29/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
The latest version of ClearCheckbook has finally been released. This version introduces an incredibly large number of new features, updates, and visual enhancements which will all lead to making your ClearCheckbook experience more productive.

Here's a breakdown of some of the new features and major updates that have been made to the site:

  • Recurring Transactions - This had been one of the most requested features that people wanted added to the site. Well, now it's here and it's working great. The recurring transactions are now tied into the reminders system, which has also been updated. Simply enter when you would like your transaction to take place and whether or not it's repeating and we'll take care of the rest.

  • Updated Reminders - We've now added many more options for how your reminders can repeat. Now bi-weekly, bi-monthly, every 3, 4, and 6 months are all options you can choose from. The interface to the reminders system has also been upgraded.

  • Split Transactions - This was also another highly requested feature by our members. Splits work just like you'd expect them to. Simply enter your transaction and tell us you want to split it and we break it out so you can enter amounts/categories for each split. There's no limit to the number of splits you can make either.

  • "Quick Adding" - We've given you the ability to add new transactions directly from the main accounts summary page. Now there's no need to go to a separate page to add your transactions (although we still give you that option)

  • Jiving / Balancing - The way you reconcile your checkbook has also been completely revamped. Instead of having a dedicated page for jiving transactions, you can now mark a transaction as jived (cleared) directly from the main accounts summary page. In addition to this, you can also set your view options to view only cleared/uncleared transactions for all accounts or specific accounts. This will make finding uncleared transactions much easier.

  • Credit Card Transactions - The credit card system has been updated to make it easier to select the transactions you're paying off and see how much your balance is. Also, once you "pay off" a credit card for a month, the old transactions you just paid do not disappear... they remain in your transaction list so you can still see them for historical reasons.

  • Exporting of Transactions - You can now export to QIF format. Why is this such a nice feature? Well, that means you can export all your transactions and then re-import them directly into ClearCheckbook without having to manually enter them all. Exporting in this format also retains split transactions.

  • Reports - The reports tool has also been overhauled to give you a much better picture of your spending / saving. We have new graphs that you can view, which tell you much more information than the previous reports.

  • CheckBot 2.0 - CheckBot has also been completely re-written from the ground up. In addition to being much more stable, CheckBot can now accept messages from SMS/Text Message, AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo! and Google Talk messaging systems.

  • Site Help - The help section of the site has also been updated to make finding answers to your questions much easier.

  • No Confirmation Email Needed - Instead of requiring a confirmation link be clicked in an email, we simply require that you click a link on the page after registering (although we'll still send you the email with the confirmation link)

  • Advanced Transaction Editing Features - In keeping with our new theme of reducing the amount of unnecessary pages to visit to perform simple tasks, the transaction editing form appears directly below a transaction in the transaction list itself.

  • Importing The importing section got a major facelift. You can now import transactions that you had previously exported from ClearCheckbook! In addition to that, you can also import QIF files that contain valid splits.

  • Auto-Completion for descriptions - When adding new transactions, we will offer suggestions of previous transactions that match what you're typing.

  • International Settings - We have completely updated the way currency and date formatting are handled. You can now select from many different date and currency formatting options and set your site defaults.


In addition to all of these new features and updates, we still offer the same great experience we always have. The site is still completely free to use and we never ask for any account information and never send you any junk mail or give out any of your personal information.

There are a few features which unfortunately weren't able to be updated in time, such as the new Budgeting system, but that should be available to use some time over the next few weeks.

Like the new features? Then help us spread the word about it! Submit the site to Digg and other social sites, blog about us, tell your friends, etc. This new version just goes to show that as the site gets bigger it also gets better.

What's next for ClearCheckbook? Well, that's a very good question. We already have several new ideas in the pipe line that should be appearing over the next few months. These new updates also promise to make the site even better.

Thanks for all your support. Please feel free to let us know what you think of the site by sending us a contact message or by posting it in the blog.

It's Getting Closer...

10/23/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
As I said last week, I was planning on releasing Version 2 some time this week. Well, I am fairly confident that I can now pick an exact time the site will be released. I'm planning on making the switch from V1 to V2 on the night of Sunday, October 28th. I know that's not quite "Mid October" as I had promised back at the end of August, but we're trying to make sure everything is working correctly before we release the site.

In the transition between versions, the site will be unavailable for up to an hour or two. This is partly why we picked Sunday night to make the switch, as it's typically our least busy time period.

I'll post more details as to the exact time and duration of the switch later in the week.

Also, it looks like we're right on track to hit the 1,000,000th transaction some time before Friday!

Stay tuned!

Status Update: V2 and Other News

10/15/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
I wanted to take a minute and give everyone a small update on the status of the Version 2 (V2) launch. Development and testing of V2 is going well. Many of the new features have already been developed and are performing well. Having said that, I'm looking at a launch date some time during the week of October 22nd. I want to take a little extra time to make sure everything is working correctly before making the site live.

To give a recap of some of the new features being added to V2, I'm going to list a few of them here:
  • Split Transactions-Ability to break a transaction into multiple categories/amounts.

  • Recurring Transactions-The ability to add recurring transactions to the reminders system. These transactions will automatically be placed in your account on the specified date.

  • Misc Reminders updates-More recurring period times (like bi-weekly, bi-yearly, etc)

  • Improved user interface and layout that promises to be much quicker than it is now.


There are many other enhancements being made to the site, but those are some of the major ones.

Also, I would like to remind all new members that when you register for the site, you don't need to wait for the confirmation email to arrive. Simply click on the confirmation link that appears on the page after you submit your registration.

In other news, if trends continue the way they have been over the last month or two, we're set to break the 1,000,000 transaction and 10,000 active user mark by the end of October.

It's astounding to see how fast the site continues to grow and it's great to read all the emails coming in from people who say that this site has changed the way they manage their money. I know that with the V2 release, it will do an even better job.

Continue spreading the word and keep the site growing!

Server Downtime Notice: Friday October 5 at 11:55pm EST

10/3/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
This is just a notice that the server will be down for a short period of time on Friday October 5 at midnight eastern time (late Friday night / early Saturday morning) for necessary updates. The update process shouldn't take more than a few minutes and everything should be up and running as normal shortly after that. We'll be standing by in case any issues arise due to this update.

Reminder Emails Issue

9/6/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're currently working on an issue that was brought to our attention about reminder emails not getting sent. Everything looks like it is running fine, but apparently some people aren't getting the emails.

Please let us know if you haven't received a reminder email when you were supposed to so we can try and narrow down what is causing this to happen.

Update: The reminder emails should be functioning normally now. I don't know why some people weren't getting their emails the last few days. Let us know if you still aren't receiving your reminder emails when you're supposed to.

Site Update Complete

8/23/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We made several behind the scenes updates to the site tonight and the result should be extremely noticeable. The speed of pretty much everything should be improved. This includes the reports, balances, Google Gadget, Dashboard Widget as well as many of our other features.

If you happen to notice any issues, use the contact form at the bottom of the page to let us know.

Site Maintenance Tonight (August 23)

8/23/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're finishing some updates that we're going to roll out tonight which should help greatly reduce the amount of stress on the site and really help to speed things up.

This update affects the Balance Overview and the balances that appear at the top of the Accounts and Jive pages. These two features of the site draw a lot of processing power the way they're currently being processed. In the new method, things will be much much quicker and won't rely on the database nearly at all to calculate the balances.

In addition to fixing the balances you see on the site, it will also help tremendously speed up the time it takes for the Google Gadget and Dashboard Widget to calculate your overall balances.

The updates will start around 10:00pm EST and could last up to a few hours. During this update, the site could run slower than normal, so be prepared.

I'll make another post once the update has been successfully completed.

CheckBot Update: Limits for Categories

6/19/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
CheckBot has been updated to give you the ability to access your category limits. To do this, make sure you don't have any accounts and categories with the same code, then enter the same message to checkbot with your category code.

For example, I have a category set up for food with the code of "f". To get the limit for my food category, I would enter "lim f" and CheckBot will reply with my limit.

Remember, if you're using a cellphone, enter the message as "clearcheckbook:lim f" with the number as 265010.

Minor Update to Importing feature

6/2/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
The Import feature has been updated with an option that will attempt to match categories associated with imported entries. Some programs export categories with the QIF file (like MS Money). Now, when you import that file and select the option to create the associated categories, it will attempt to do so.

If the category associated with the imported entry does not already exist, it will create it and assign the entry to that category. Right now this has been tested and works with MS Money QIF files. If you have a file that has categories associated with it but they're not getting added, use the Contact form to let us know and we'll see what we can do.

On another note, the first round of invites for the beta testing have been sent out. Hopefully there will be another, much larger, round of invites being sent out in a few weeks when V2 is much more fleshed out.

V2 Sneak Peek: List of New Features and Initial Testing

5/29/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Because development of version 2 is taking a little longer than expected, I thought it would be good to give everyone a list of what some of the new features will be to V2 and also list some other improvements to existing features. Also, at the end of this post I'll be detailing some requirements for initial testing of V2.

You can find pretty much all of these as suggestions that were made in a previous blog post asking for ideas for version 2.

  • Ability to split transactions

  • Quick Add on the accounts page

  • Jive entries directly from the accounts page

  • Added features to the search page

  • Updated handling of credit card transactions

  • Ability to set recurring transactions

  • Updated reminders system

  • Much needed improvements to Currency / Time Formatting

There will also be many other behind the scenes improvements which will dramatically increase the responsiveness of the site as well as some other smaller features that aren't listed above.

In an effort to take a giant leap forward in the usability of the site, Internet Explorer 6 will no longer be actively supported. There are simply too many flaws with the browser that make cross browser compatibility nearly impossible. Because we believe in moving the web experience forward instead of backwards, we encourage all Internet Explorer 6 users to start using Firefox or upgrade to Internet Explorer 7.

While we're not going to make it impossible for IE 6 users to use the site, as it should still work for about 90% of tasks, we strongly encourage you to consider upgrading to a better browser. We will also continue to make features compatible with IE6 if it doesn't involve drastic measures.

We should be ready to start alpha testing the site by this weekend. I only want to open it to maybe 10 or so users and will grant access to those users who have been here the longest time over new members.

The ideal alpha tester is someone who has some programming / web / computer knowledge and will be able to provide details to any errors they come across. We also want to get a wide range of people to test the site. This means we need different operating systems and browsers to go through the site and see if there any flaws with any of them.

If you are interested in being among the first people to see and start testing V2 and feel you meet the criteria above, please leave a comment on this blog post with the operating system and browser you use along with any other information you think would be helpful in determining if you're a good fit to start testing.

For those of you who fit the requirements, I will be in contact with you some time over the weekend with details of the testing.

Mac OS X Dashboard widget for ClearCheckbook

3/14/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
As part of the constant effort to make your finances readily available to you and to let you know whether or not you can afford that new toy you've wanted... We're proud to announce the Official ClearCheckbook Mac OS X Dashboard Widget.

Mac OS X Dashboard Widget Screenshot

Mac OS X Dashboard Widget Screenshot.


With this new widget, you can quickly and easily see your account overviews at any time simply by loading up Dashboard on your Apple computer. Similar to the Google Homepage gadget, you can see your account overview as well as a breakdown of all of your accounts.

To install and set up the dashboard widget, you can start by downloading it in .dmg or .zip format. After downloading and opening one of those files, double click on the ClearCheckbook Widget. After the widget is installed, flip it over and enter your account information (username and password). After you enter your password and click "Done" your password is encrypted and your data will be retrieved.

The widget will update every 15 minutes when you open dashboard, plus there is a refresh button on the back of the widget so you can manually refresh it whenever you would like.

Try it out and let us know what you think!

ClearCheckbook Gadget for Google Homepage now live! [UPDATE]

3/9/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Google Homepage is one of the best places to keep track of pretty much anything you can think of online. Now, you can add ClearCheckbook to that list. We just finished setting up the ClearCheckbook.com Gadget on Google Hompeage!

Google™ Homepage Gadget Screenshot

Google™ Homepage Gadget Screenshot.


What this means is you can add the ClearCheckbook Gadget to your Google Homepage and see your account balances without having to log into ClearCheckbook. We also provide you with some quick links to adding entries, viewing reports, jiving/balancing your records and more.

Is this secure? Of course it is! We have generated a 16-32 character string for each member of the site consisting of numbers and uppercase and lowercase letters. You can only access your Gadget by sending that code. Don't worry though, you don't have to manage this. All you have to do to set up your new ClearCheckbook Gadget is log into ClearCheckbook, go to "Tools" and then click on the image of the gadget. Everything else will be taken care of for you.

Try it out and let us know what you think by posting in the comments.

Update: Mar 14, 2007 - I have enabled scrolling on the gadget because some users who have more than 5 or 6 different accounts were starting to get cut off. You'll have to re-install the gadget by following the same steps above. Future updates will not require a re-install.

Major Update: New and Improved Reports

3/5/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
The reports were the original reason people wanted me to create this website. When I showed some screenshots of the reports I had set up, they convinced me to move the site from my home computer and personal use and open it up to anyone to use.

Updated Reports Screenshot

Updated Reports screenshot.


As time went on, more and more people joined the site and the time it took to generate the reports grew and grew. We tried to implement a few other changes that would cut back on the load time by letting you generate your reports when you wanted to, but even that took a very long time.

Last week we did some brain storming and developed a new way to handle the reports. This new method actually keeps track of the the total amounts for each month so it doesn't have to generate them each time you reload the page. This brings a tremendous improvement in speed to the site. Now, instead of minute long load times for the generation of reports, the reports are created in less than half a second.

In addition to the blazing speed of the new reports, the look got a bit of a facelift and we added the different accounts to the reports. Now, in addition to seeing your categories, you can see all your accounts and how much you deposited or withdrew from each account for each month.

A few other great additions to the reports are the ability to track how much you deposit into a category (previously you could only see how much you took out) and also the ability to click on any month in any category or account to see those purchases and deposits.

On top of the update to the reports, the Search page has also been updated to allow for searching within specific accounts.

We hope you enjoy the updated reports. Try it out and let us know what you think by posting here in the comments!

New Site Update: Accounts Overview

2/20/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Many people were sending in emails asking for a way to view an overview of all their accounts easily and in one place. After spending some time determining the best way to execute this, we're proud to announce the Accounts Overview feature on the Accounts page.

Accounts Overview Screenshot

Accounts Overview Expanded.



Now you can easily and quickly show or hide your accounts overview by clicking a single button. By default, your accounts overview is displayed. To shrink it, you can click on the "Shrink" link. If you decide you want to see all your account balances again, simply hit the "Enlarge" link and it will come back.

The reason we're giving you the option to shrink it down is that not everyone wants to see their account balances or they only have one account and don't need to see it. This will give them the option to hide it while it will give other people the option to display it.

The Enlarge / Shrink feature is also a great way to give yourself some extra screen real estate and allowing you to view more of your entries without having the Overview at the top of the page.

Try it out and let us know what you think about it in the comments!

New Site Update: Add Accounts & Categories on Add Entry Page

2/17/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
This feature has been requested many times by our users and we're happy to announce it's here. When you're adding entries on the "Add Entry" page, you can now create new Accounts and Categories on the fly. Previously you would have to go to the Settings page and add your new accounts or categories there.

This new feature will help you save some time when you're adding your purchases and deposits and realize you want to set up a new category or account.

If you're having problems with the new accounts or categories loading, try refreshing your browser a few times. The old javascript file might have been cached by your browser and isn't loading the new code that allows the new accounts and categories to get added.

Help Documentation / FAQ's Unveiled

2/14/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
The long awaited help documentation has been completed and is now available from anywhere on the website by clicking on the "Help" link at the top right in the navigation bar. You can browse through the help topics as a list or search by tag / keyword.

There are currently around 70 help topics and that list will grow as new features are added to the website. If one of your questions isn't answered in the help section, as always, feel free to use the Contact Us link and let us know.

New Feature: Spending Limits on Categories!

1/21/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
The time has finally arrived... you can now set monthly limits on your spending categories! Members have been requesting this feature for quite some time and we're proud to announce it's finally here. This will be a great tool for helping you set budgets each month.

Spending Limits Manager Screenshot

Spending Limits Manager screenshot.


In the new Monthly Spending Limits manager you can quickly add, view, edit and remove limits for accounts and categories. Forget using envelopes to manage your money each month, let us do it for you automatically. Once you set up a limit for an account or category, as soon as you make a purchase in that account or category it deducts from your limit and shows you how much you've spent.

As you can see from the screenshot on the left, my budgeting could use a little work. Now that the limits manager has been set up, it'll be a lot easier to judge how much I can spend on different categories each month.

You really need to check it out and see how awesome and easy it is to use. You can check out the screenshots if you don't already have an account with us.

Try it out and let us know what you think by posting here in the comments!

New Site Updates: Nav Structure and Checkbot

1/20/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
There have been a few minor updates made today. The first and most obvious update to our members is the re-organization of the navigation structure when you log in. Now, all the helpful tools are placed in a "Tools" link and are no longer in "Settings."

The links that now reside in "Tools" are Checkbot, Reminders, Spending Limits, Scratch Pad, Importing Records and Exporting Records. Breaking these away from Settings and putting them in Tools is an obvious decision. In the Settings menu you'll find, strangely enough, the settings that will help you manage your ClearCheckbook.com account.

In addition to the navigation structure update, CheckBot has also been updated. You can now transfer money from one account to another with Checkbot. The text you need to type in to make a transfer is located in the CheckBot Manager (which is now in Tools -> Manage Checkbot).

Several Behind the Scenes updates

1/9/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're in the process of conducting some major updates to the code that runs ClearCheckbook.com in an effort to make things smoother and faster for everyone. Unfortunately, the updates we're making can cause some unwelcome side-effects such as seeing PHP warnings or errors. If you come across any of these please report it ASAP with the contact us form at the bottom of the page.

Here are a few of the things the updates are addressing:

1) You can now log in with a "Keep me logged in" option. By default from now on when you log in, you will be logged out when you close the browser. If you would like to stay logged in even after you close the browser, click the "Stay logged in" check box under the login form. This is something people have been requesting for a while and it's now in place.

2) Anti-caching measures. More recently a lot of people have been sending us messages saying that this or that isn't working properly. 95% of the time this is due to your browser "caching" the pages. (Read more about caching here.) Generally what you can do to alleviate this is to force your browser to refresh and clear out the cache (or Temporary Files as Internet Explorer calls it). If you ever experience something not updating, try refreshing the page a few times. If it still doesn't work, clear out your cache and try again. If that fails, contact us and let us know.

The Anti-caching measures we put in place today should help reduce that significantly, but dealing with issues like this isn't an exact science and there are always exceptions to the rule.

3) The third big thing we've been working on is the new way to handle Reports. It seems the script that gets run each night isn't behaving properly and is stopping before it creates all the reports. We're debating the idea of whether or not to even run the script at night but rather let you, the users, click a button whenever you want your reports to update and it will update only yours. This is the method that's in place right now and we will probably stick with this until we can optimize the report building code a little more.

To sum things up, a lot has been going on behind the scenes the last couple of days. Everything we're doing is to make things better for you, the user. If you notice any errors or things that don't work, please report it immediately using the contact form at the bottom of every page.

Improved load time of the reports page

1/7/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Many people, as well as I, had noted that the reports page was loading extremely slow each time you tried to load the page. Part of this long load time is that there are over 90,000 entries in ClearCheckbook and it had to crunch through all of those when generating the reports.

What happens now is that each night (morning) at around 1:30PST a script is run that generates all the reports and saves them as a static file. This static file is then loaded whenever you access the page.

Within the next couple of days you will have the ability to re-generate your reports page whenever you would like. This will create a new static page that will be loaded the next time you access your reports.

Update: January 8, 2007
After the reports are generated tonight, you will have the ability to rebuild the reports whenever you would like.

Checkbot Updated

1/2/2007 in ClearCheckbook Updates
There was a bug with CheckBot that was recently fixed. The problem was occurring when some people used text messages to update their accounts. They were getting flooded with 6 or 7 text messages after they would send their message off.

The reason this was happening is that some cell phones were sending additional messages to CheckBot and CheckBot was in return responding with a message saying it didn't understand the last message.

For some reason, some cellphone service providers find it necessary to send several messages saying "This was sent with a text message. You can respond and I'll get a text message in response." The messages varied, but the result was the same.

The fix was easy, we simply told CheckBot not to respond to any message it didn't understand that were over 10 characters long. For those of you who had experienced this problem, please try again and let us know if that fixed the issue.

You can now export your data

11/14/2006 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Now you can export all your records stored in ClearCheckbook to a CSV file. This link can be found in your 'Settings' page in the 'Helpful Tools' section.

All of your data is exported in a CSV format that is easily imported into Excel, Quicken, Microsoft Money and other applications. Now you have full control over all your data and can use other money management applications along side ClearCheckbook.

Reminders system active

10/1/2006 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Reminders! Reminders are finally here. Now you can log into your account and set up some reminders for things like rent/credit card bills/utility payments/etc. You have the options to make these repeating events as well as the ability to have ClearCheckbook email you a certain number of days ahead of time so you wont forget. You can read about it by clicking here.

CheckBot is now running

9/20/2006 in ClearCheckbook Updates
CheckBot has been released! CheckBot is the newest and easiest way to keep track of your finances while you're on the go. If you have a cellphone that has SMS (text messaging) or AIM capabilities, you can now update your ClearCheckbook.com account from anywhere you have cellphone reception! Read more about it here.

Import QIF records

9/10/2006 in ClearCheckbook Updates
The ability to import QIF files from your bank account, Quicken or Microsoft Money has been added to the site.

n order to make it easy to keep your finances organized, we have a page that allows you to import Quicken Interchange Format (QIF), OFX and QFX files that will automatically be added to our account on ClearCheckbook. In order to make this process simple and as pain free as possible, we show you all the records and let you verify them before they are added to the site.

You can modify the description (since the descriptions the banks give your purchases don't make too much sense), you can modify the amounds, transaction type and date all before submitting them to your account. If one entry is invalid, you can remove it with the click of a button. On the import screen, we also give you the ability to choose which account these entries are for. In addition to that, you can also select the date range of the items you want to import from the QIF, OFX or QFX file.

New server for better reliability

9/8/2006 in ClearCheckbook Updates
The site has been switched to a new server and was down for about a day. The old host (Dreamhost.com... don't ever decide to use them to host a site) had been down for the better part of the day and that was enough incentive to switch servers. The site is now hosted on LunarPages.com which has a much much better uptime.

The SSL will be down for a few days while we get a new IP and re-do the certificate. It will be back shortly. The site will still continue to function as normal even though it does not have SSL.

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