Twice last year I tried to do plain text accounting. And I failed to do so because it requires using the computer regularly to sort expenses that happened during the week. « Cone » is an Android app that enables you to all entries on the go. Then a computer is only needed for analysis.
Earlier on the irc freenode#plaintextaccounting salon, I had the chance to talk with the developer of « Cone » and I had a feeling that I could contribute some ideas on how to make the data entry faster.
Here is the feature request and below the reasoning about it:
Feature request : set as default & shortcuts
By adding two buttons, we can speed up the data entry procedure a lot.
The first button would be « set as default », this one would be used when changing currency for example.
The second button would « save template as short-cut » that would create a shortcut in the launcher (and/or maybe in the app as well)
Now I’ll explain the reasoning behind it.
80% of the expenses occur when I am outside, either with cash, or credit card.
Current workflow : (tons of clicks : open cone app, new entry, click on money source text zone, wait for keyboard to load, type enough letters so that autocomplete triggers, click on the autocomplete suggestion)
We could add an option where the user can specify which money source is « favorite », and those are accessible in a drop-down menu when adding a new entry. (4 clicks : open cone app, new entry, click on drop-down menu, selects cash as money source)
Even better would be an Android shortcut. By clicking such shortcut, the « add » screen is already populated with the pre-selected money source (1click : shortcut for cash data entry)
The same reasoning could be applied for recurrent situations, let’s say « buying a baguette at the bakery ». Source cash, destination bakery, amount 1euro.
Maybe the shortcut system could pre populate other fields as well, then a shortcut « bakery baguette » would be one click, il would open the add entry, everything would be populated already, pressing OK would close the add panel and close the cone app as well (since the add entry was not spawned from the app).
Amount has to be entered most of the time. I don’t see how can the current menu be improved because I already want euro as default. But imagine I live between usa and Europe, then when I go to usa I can change the preference so that default transaction is usd instead of eur?
Again, this could be a « default panel ». What we can do here is add another button to the « Add transaction » called « set as default ». This would be enough to solve this situation where its needed with the least amount of clicks (when I arrive in USA, I create my first entry of the trip, I change EUR to USD, click « save as default », then continues to enter the entry as normal)
Other use cases
I can’t imagine more complex situations as I don’t encounter anything that complex. For trip accounting, I go back to tricount, export the csv at the end, and process it. But maybe it could be considered later on? One may only need to replicate tricount panels.