Regression error: Category on Billable Time

Sometime in the past week, the Category field on the Billable Time form seems to have moved itself from an integral part of the form to a Custom Field.

When this happened, filling in the field (if it exists) became obligatory. There is apparently no way to create a new invoice (or edit an existing invoice) without selecting a category. The first choice in the drop-down list is selected by default, and while you can change it to another category, you cannot delete it or leave it empty.

As a temporary workaround, I’ve added a category called [none] as the first option in my Category drop-down custom list, but that’s not a good solution. I don’t want to see [none] on every Billable Time entry that doesn’t have a category. (I’ve been using Category to designate jobs/projects for those of my clients for whom I am doing more than one job/project, which is the small minority of my customers. Most of my time entries do not have a Category.)

(You can no longer position the Category field on the right side of the screen where it was in the past, but that’s a minor annoyance. You also can’t add a new Category on-the-fly within the Billable Time form – you have to go into Settings > Custom Fields, but that’s a slightly less-minor minor annoyance.)

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I agree that, as a minimum, the custom fields should allow no entry. An important thing to remember is that users have been creative with the features offered by Manager to meet their use cases. One of Manager’s best features has been that it doesn’t impose more on the user than absolutely necessary (such as a customer for a sales invoice). Adding unnecessary restrictions, especially on things like custom fields, goes in the other direction.

The latest version (16.8.27) allows empty value on drop-boxes which are custom fields.

By the way, the reason in-built fields have been converted into custom fields was to simplify data entry for those who have no use for those fields. For example, if you are just one person business, you definitely have no use for Staff member field.

You might also create new custom fields on billable time if appropriate.


@Jon, don’t forget that because these fields are now custom fields, you can edit them to be types other than dropdown boxes. So you could modify to single-line text, for example, or even paragraph text. If you do that, it will solve your “category-on-the-fly” problem, though you’d have to type it in every time, as you can’t switch the custom field back and forth between dropdown and single-line types without going to Settings.

It’s a nice enhancement. Thank you, @Lubos!

It would be nice to be able to position some custom fields on the right side of the form, or to be able to put two or three (or more) custom fields next to one another, on the same row. Maybe if the Position field of two fields is the same, they can appear on the same line – and maybe fractional fields can be used to designate the order within the same line (e.g., Position 20.5 appears just to the right of Position 20.4, and both of those appear above Position 23).

Not if Custom Fields behaved the same way as many other fields (including the former Category field) that have autocomplete enabled. You’d be able to type the first letter, and a list of all previous entries starting with that letter would appear.