Pocketsmith.com is a web-based financial calendar application that forecasts the user’s future financial position. The application allows users to build an event-based calendar of income and expenses and establish a budget. Users can then look at the calendar and see their financial position compared to their budget. The application can also forecast future financial position based on income and expenses. Users can have multiple calendars and can track multiple financial accounts. Users can also establish goals and easily see their progress towards those goals. The application uses a visual interface which is quite intuitive. Users can add events to their calendar by clicking on a cell in the calendar. Accounts can be imported from online banking software in OFX, QIF or CSV format. The user can view their calendar by events, account transactions or forecast. The user’s calendars can be linked to any calendar application that supports the iCal format, including iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook and iPhone. In addition the data contained in a user’s calendar can be exported in Excel spreadsheet format.
Dunedin, New Zealand-based Pocketsmith.com was founded in June 2008 by James Wigglesworth, Jason Leong and Francois Bondiguel.
Competition to Pocketsmith comes from sites such as CalendarBudget, which offers a service very similar to Pocketsmith, and from Quicken. A basic account to CalendarBudget is free, and is limited to 1 account with no CSV export function or account import function. A premium membership removes these limitations. CalendarBudget has a much lower userbase than Pocketsmith, with an Alexa page rank near the 4 million mark. Quicken offers a financial calendar mode in their desktop software, but does not provide an online version of the application.
The Pocketsmith site has a very clean and uncluttered look and feel. The entire site is secure (https://), but page loads are quite responsive. Uploads and downloads are responsive as well. Navigation is intuitive, and the calendar interface is very easy to use. There is a convenient top menu bar in the calendar application, with tabs for Forecast, Accounts, Compares and Goals. There is no advertising displayed on the site.
Registration to Pocketsmith is free and is required to set up a calendar. The registration process asks for username, password, timezone and email address. Validation of the email address is not required. The site keeps no personally identifiable information in conjunction with the user’s financial calendars. A basic (free) account is limited to 2 forecast calendars, 6 budget events, 6 months of forecast and 2 transaction accounts.
Two levels of premium membership are available – Premium and Super. The Premium membership offers 5 forecast calendars, unlimited budget events, 12 months of forecast and 8 transaction accounts. The Super membership allows for 12 forecast calendars, unlimited budget events, 12 months of forecast and unlimited transaction accounts. A Premium membership cost $5.00 per month, while a Super membership costs $12.00 per month. The site accepts Visa and Mastercard as payment for premium memberships and asks for card number, expiration date and security code.
The Pocketsmith site is recommended to anyone who would like an easy way to track their finances and budget. The visual interface, as opposed to a traditional list-based financial application, is very convenient. The financial application is a complete finance management solution, and can be used to replace desktop software such as Quicken.