Tutor Tracker has finally arrived!  Are you ready to stop dreading the business side of tutoring?  This app will change your life!  It's time to stop dreading and start living your life to the fullest.  Learn more about the app here.

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The Story of Tutor Tracker

I thought it would be interesting to share the journey of this app.  It was a group effort, as many of you know.  Way back in the early fall of 2014, I had this crazy idea to build an app with the tutors from around the globe.  With over 100 tutors, we were able to tweak and get Tutor Tracker available in the iTunes App Store.  I couldn't have done it without any of the tutors as figuring out what works for tutors in general was a little tricky!

When we set out as a group of tutors to build this app, we had a lot of great ideas for features like:

  • Text/email reminders for families
  • Anecdotal records
  • Library/lending feature
  • Sync with Google calendar
  • Accesses Google contacts
  • Tracking features for assessments/reading levels
  • Payments
  • Scheduling
  • Invoicing
  • Sign in/out for tutoring
  • Mileage tracker
  • Digital business card

I gathered these ideas and presented them to our developer.  He read them over and shook his head at me.  Silly me!  I obviously didn't know what he knows about apps.  Then he shared this insight with me:

“One app shouldn't do everything.  It's like giving an app a muffin top.  There's too much to handle and things are bound to go wrong.”
 Ah, yes as in muffin top bellies.  Those are definitely not good.  He explained how we needed to focus on three features and then build appropriately from there.  We chose to begin with scheduling, invoicing, and student data.  We drilled it down until we had the basics and saw that group invoicing was key.

As a group, we worked on images, naming the app, and had a private Google Hangout to chat about features of the app.  It was a really cool experience!

Lessons Learned

Communication Matters

App building is not for the faint of heart!  There were times when I was so frustrated and ready to give up.  The way I communicate and the way a developer communicates is very different.  After many frustrating emails, I discovered it was best to just talk on the phone or meet in person.  When that happened, we made so much more progress.

Pleasing Everyone

I guess my mom is right, “you can't please everyone”.  It pained me to know that there were tutors involved in this process that were not happy with the way we were developing this app.  I found myself begging with the developer to add things to try to make these unhappy tutors pleased.  At the end of the day, it just wasn't realistic to move forward with some features and our app would never make it to the app store.  We have big plans to continue adding and developing features for the app, but it's important to begin with good design and build from there.

Apple has Exhausting Expectations

There are pages and pages of documentation for how you make the app, represent apps, distribute apps…I could go on and on.  The amount of different image sizes that apple wants is ludicrous!  You would think that you upload one set of images and it scales, nope!  Developers have to upload over 40 different images and video sizes.  This submission process really wore me out and delayed us getting it in the app store.  It also has to go through the submission process to make sure that your app was designed well and that it follows all of their guidelines.  I wanted to pull my hair out!!

Good Graphic Design is Top Dog

Having beautiful graphics is an integral part of the app design process!  Without having a graphic designer to help us with this app, we would've had a pretty lame looking app.  Sure it could do the simple features we had laid out, but none of that matters until you get gorgeous looking images inside that app.  So big tip of the hat to Jenny Douglas of Primary Prism for helping us out with the graphics.  She is so talented and worth following online.

Thank You Tutors!

I am so thankful for all of you wonderful tutors who helped along the way with both small and big tasks!  Some of you were only able to handle doing the survey, many of you replied to emails and attended our live Google Hangout, and a few were my beta testers.  Without you, this app would not exist or be as amazing as it is!  Tutor Tracker is going to change a lot of tutors lives and you were part of that change.  So once again…thank you.  If I could, I would give each of you a giant hug.  But I guess I'll just send you a virtual one…  {{{{HUGS}}}}

Click here to go to the App Store.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this app allow me to invoice students as a group?

YES!  I was pretty worried we wouldn't be able to offer this feature, but after working on it for about a month, we found a way!  You can organize students by groups and invoice them all at the same time.  The invoices generate with a professional looking PDF attachment for clients to reference.

Can I charge different rates for students?

You bet!  You'll be able to select different hourly rates or charge a flat rate.

Can I sync the app to my calendar on my phone?

At this time we are not offering this feature.  If this is something you'd like to see added, please head over to the app website and click on the grey feedback tab to the left of the screen.  Submit your idea!

Can I multiple tutor sessions at the same time?

Yes, it couldn't be easier!  After you have student info set up with an hourly rate, you'll be able to go into the session page and tap on all the days you'd like to add.  This adds sessions in a batch and makes invoicing even faster for you.

Is this app free?

No, our app is super affordable and only requires a one time fee unlike other invoicing apps found in the app store.

When is the Android version coming out?

I don't know!  The developer and I would like to see how this app is received and how it functions for a broad base of tutors before we move forward with an Android version.  We need some time to recoup our costs before jumping into another app market.  Check back with developer for any news about an android version.


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