Suggestions for improved usability with dates

I have two suggestions for improving usability with regard to the handling of dates in Manager:

  1. Allow more flexibility when dates are inputted; for example, if the regional setting is US (MM/DD/YYYY), date fields should be programmed to accept an entry of 010216 and automatically reformat it as 01/02/2016. This would greatly improve usability in data entry and reduce errors. (Currently, if the user tries to enter a 2-digit year, for example, the date changes to something totally unexpected.)

  2. To accommodate trans-border business where the company and customer are in regions that expect different date formats, either allow dates to be formatted separately from the system date format (e.g., company in the US sends an invoice to a customer in Canada, so MM/DD/YYYY is used for data-entry but DD/MM/YYYY prints on the invoice), or at a minimum allow the format specification to be printed on the invoice so the customer knows whether 05/12/2015 is in July or December.

There is a quick workaround to address invoice issue. If you are in USA and sending an invoice to Canada where customer expects Canadian date format, you can go to Preferences and change the date format, send invoice, then change date format back.

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Indeed. I think it would still be preferable to have the option to print the date format (i.e., the string Invoice Date (MM/DD/YYYY) ), or perhaps to allow the Invoice Date to be formatted as a long date (January 16, 2016) for clarity purposes. I agree, on second thoughts, that per-customer/per-invoice date formats is overkill.

My workaround is to put a memo line at the bottom of on each invoice saying All dates shown as MM/DD/YYYY , but that’s a bit clumsy. I know I could also create a Custom View invoice, but then I lose all the neat automatic formatting stuff that comes with the built-in invoice.

Item #1 above is still important, though. It would help so much with keypunch if I could type 011816 instead of 01/18/2016 when entering today’s date on everything.

In older versions, Manager indeed was showing long date format such as “January 16, 2016” and many users were complaining this is not how dates are typically presented in their country and Manager should just use the date format relevant to their country. E.g. in some European countries, they prefer format such as “16. 1. 2016” etc.

In future, I will allow greater flexibility under Preferences regarding dates. Right now it’s limited to country selection only.

@lubos: Thank you. I appreciate the challenge of pleasing a broad range of users and localities. Please consider the input side of my request (#1 above), though, as well.