Productive Glossary

A list of the most frequent terms used in Productive and their explanations.

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Presented below are the most frequent terms in Productive and their explanations.

Admin (role)

Admin is the highest role after the owner. Admins can manage everything, including cost rates and general organization-level settings.


AGI (adjusted gross income) is the gross invoicing (per client, project, time period) minus the client-related expenses. Please check the reports library for several useful AGI reports.

  • Example: We have invoiced 1000 $ to a client for a budget. All of our associated costs for this budget (time tracked, expenses..) amount to 300 $. Our AGI for this budget is 700 $.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Reports


An allocation is the amount of time provided as part of a booking (time off or project). Commonly expressed in days or hours.


API is a set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating application software. Access data is available via the settings, and documentation is available separately.

Approval (expense, billable time)

Approvals are addons used to approve three sorts of entries: billable time, expenses and time off. Using the approval system, entries only become official after they are approved by the responsible person.


An assignee is the person in charge of carrying out the activities specified on a task. Assignees are specified separately on tasks, subtasks and to-dos.

Automatic time tracking (auto-tracking)

Automatic time tracking is an addon that allows time to be logged against scheduled services without their assignees having to manually track it.


The amount of time a person is available to work on projects. Calculated as Capacity (cost rate) minus time booked on time off (vacation, sick leave...)

  • Example: An employee's weekly capacity is 40 hours - 8 hours for 5 days. However, they have taken a vacation for two of these days. Their availability is thus 8 hours for 3 days - 24 hours.

  • Used in: Resourcing


New Productive features that are not yet available to all Productive users are Beta features. Contact the Productive team to sign up for the beta program!

Billable rate

Billable rate is the rate billed to the client for an hour of work on a certain budget or service.

  • Example: We have a budget with a service that we will be charging 100 $ per hour of work done. The 100 $ is our billable rate.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Budget

Billable time

Billable time is the amount of time spent on a task or budget that will get invoiced to the customer. Different to worked time, as worked time may contain time that will not be invoiced to the customer. May include both Time and materials and Fixed service types.

  • Example: An employee has worked 8 hours towards a service. However, we have decided to charge the client for only 3 of those hours, as the other 5 hours were spent doing research on the topic. The 3 hours are our billable time, whereas 8 hours is the total worked time.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Projects - Budgets

Billing type

Billing type is the pricing model set up on each service on a budget or deal. There are two primary billing types: Time and materials (or hourly pricing) and Fixed.

Blended rate

The accumulated average rate of the recognized time, according to billable hours and calculated based on recognized revenue. Expressed as Recognised revenue / Recognized time.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Reports - Financials


A board is a type of view available in Tasks, Deals and Budgets, allowing you to organize your tasks in columns and drag-and-drop them around as needed.


A budget is the "container" for all of a project's financial data. A budget contains services, amounts, expenses and more, and each project can have multiple budgets assigned to it.

  • Useful links: Budget

  • Used in: Budgets

Budgeted time

Budgeted time is the amount of hours anticipated within a specific budget to work on all of the services on that budget.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Budgets


Capacity is the time a person is available for working on projects, defined primarily by their cost rate.


The role is for a person who can communicate with your team on tasks, and also depending on permissions - access time entries, and other info about deals. May also be referred to as a guest.


Please refer to the Time tracking entry.


A contact is any person or company that is relevant to your activities in any way. These range from employees to partners, collaborators, contractors and other useful contacts.


The role for a person who sometimes works with your team but is not part of your company, such as a freelancer.

  • Example: A freelance designer who will work on you only for a few projects, without becoming a permanent employee.

  • Used in: Settings - Users

Cost rate

The cost rate is the basic price of work for your employees. The cost rate plus the overhead per hour equals an employee's cost per hour.

Custom fields

Custom fields are additional data fields that allow you to customize the data on your tasks, projects, deals...

  • Example: We want to categorize our tasks by their Priority. Therefore, we define a Priority custom field with the options set to High, Medium, and Low.

  • Useful links: Custom fields

  • Used in: General

Data import

By using the data import options in Productive, you can quickly import data from other tools (e.g. Harvest, Asana, Trello...).

Data source

Data source refers to the source of information when creating a report, e.g. projects, financials etc. Creating a report from multiple data sources is currently not supported in Productive.


A deposit or prepayment is any amount of money received from a client before the related services are provided.


A deal signifies a prospective project for you and a potential source of income. Deals may be turned into projects with their respective budgets.

  • Useful links: Deal

  • Used in: Sales

Dependency loop

A dependency loop in tasks occurs when two or more tasks mutually block each other, creating an unusual and illogical situation. It's worth noting that Productive does not prevent the creation of such loops.

  • Example: For instance, let's consider a scenario: Our goal is to create a website for a client. However, before we can proceed with the actual design work, we need to have a discussion with the client about their desired design, making the task "Chat about design" a blocker for "Design website."
    On the other hand, we have the flexibility to research the required technology independently. As a result, the task "Analyze needed tech for website design" is considered a linked task rather than a blocker.

  • Useful links: Task dependency

  • Used in: Tasks


A discount (or markdown) is a deduction from the cost of your service, expressed as a percentage.


Docs are an up-and-coming functionality in Productive. They will allow you to maintain and keep extensive documentation on your projects and other points of interest, akin to Google Docs or Confluence.

  • Useful links: Docs

  • Used in: Docs, Projects


A draft is an entry that exists in Productive but has not been finalized and as such has not been made official. Drafts are used for task comments and invoices.


An entitlement in Productive refers to the number of free days granted per the various time off categories.

  • Example: An employee has started working in your organization. They have 20 days of vacation - this is their entitlement.

  • Useful links: Adding entitlements

  • Used in: Contacts

Estimate at completion

Estimate at completion is the projection of the total time needed to complete a Task. It is the sum of "Time to complete" and "Worked time".

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Tasks

Estimated time

The estimated time required to complete the work in the budget scope. The sum of all estimated times of all line items on the budget.


Expenses are all external costs arising due to work on a budget. May be submitted by and tracked against an employee, or against a third party (vendor).


Fallback represents a secondary option in case the primary option is not available. Used in revenue recognition, it allows for the revenue recognition to revert to another date if the primary date is not available.

  • Example: We have a budget with a start date of 1 January and no end date. Our revenue recognition is set to "End date with budget date fallback". Since the budget does not have an end date, it defaults to the budget (start) date. Therefore, revenue will be recognized as arising on 1 January.

  • Used in: Budget


Feed is the log of all updates and changes on a specific item in Productive, such as a budget, project or task.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: General


A field is data related to a certain item in Productive. Fields are shown in the Productive interface and can easiest be manipulated in the Table view. E.g. a Project Manager is a field on a Project.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: General


Filters are a tool used to limit your search or display to only the required entries, e.g. showing only tasks where you are the assignee.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: General

Fixed (services)

Fixed services are a billing type defined on services in budgets. Services defined as fixed may be charged without time having been tracked against them. Used when prices are agreed as a fixed sum, not based on the actual amount of work invested. See also: Time and materials (services).

  • Example: We have a budget of 10.000 $ to create a website for a client. It has not been agreed upon, and the client does not care, how much time we will spend on this project. We will charge the client 10.000 $ regardless of time spent - this is a fixed-price service.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Budgets


Forecasted refers to the sum of current data and future data.

  • Example: We have a budget that we have worked on for 10 hours. Additionally, we are scheduled to work on it for an additional 20 hours. Our forecasted time is 10 + 20 = 30 hours.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: General - Budgets - Reports


Gantt is a type of bar view for visualizing task and project phases. For Gantt-style planning, please use the task Timeline view. A full-fledged Gantt view is an upcoming feature in Productive.


The General Data Protection Regulation or the GDPR is a European Union legal instrument ensuring the protection of individuals concerning the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data.


ID is the unique and unalterable identifier of any item in Productive.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: General

Initial estimate

The initial estimate is the initially forecasted amount of time needed to complete a task.


Reports are highly customizable objects available in Productive for a variety of uses.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Reports


An integration is a procedure that ensures communication between Productive and another tool. These tools include Slack, Google Calendar, Office 365 calendar, Quickbooks, Xero, Exact, Visma e-conomic, Fortnox, Zapier, Jira, and Personio, with other integrations (Bamboo HR, Hubspot, Pipedrive, Github, Dropbox...) in the pipeline.

  • Useful links: available in tool-specific articles in our help documentation. Simply search for the tool you are interested in.

  • Used in: Settings - Personal integrations / Organization integrations


Invoiced amounts are amounts for which an invoice has been created and finalized. (See: Draft).

  • Useful links:

  • Used in: Billing


Productive is currently only supported in English. Translation to other languages (German, French, Chinese, Japanese...) is in our pipeline. Be sure to let our team know which language would be interesting to you!

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: General


Layout is the configuration of data as presented in Productive. Available layouts are calendar, table, list, board, and timeline.


A library is a premade collection of customizable elements, such as reports or custom fields.

Line item

A line item is an individual financial entry on a budget or invoice.

  • Example: We have created a budget with three services: design, front-end development, and back-end development. Each of these services is a line item on our budget.

  • Useful links: Line item discounts

  • Used in: Budgets

Manager (role)

A manager is a role that manages projects and deals and has access to all deals and their relevant financial information except for costs and profit.


The margin is the difference between the revenue and cost on a budget, expressed as Profit divided by revenue.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Project - Budget


Milestones are used to represent an important moment in a project, an extra important task, the end of a project phase, and the like. This feature is currently in development in Productive. Contact us for more info!

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Tasks

Open hours

Open hours is the placeholder line item automatically added to each budget, along with open expenses.

Open revenue

The revenue generated by all of a project's open budgets is dependent on their pricing model.


The organization is your company in Productive. Details about the organization are defined in the settings. Your organization ID is the unique number of your organization. It can be found either in the web address as the number directly after "". Alternatively, it can be found in Settings - API access.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Settings


In Resourcing, an overbooking is any surplus booking beyond the defined capacity for a person.


Overhead represents all aff your facility costs, costs for internal projects and other upkeep costs. Overhead is added on top of your employees' cost rates (salaries) when calculating the cost of their work.


Overtime is the time worked beyond an employee's listed capacity.


A task that has one or more subtasks is called a parent task.


Permission (or role) is the ability to view or change individual elements of Productive, as governed by roles.

Piece (billing type)

The piece is the third billing type on financial line items (alongside Fixed and Time and materials), used for expenses.


Placeholders are 'users without access to Productive' used to plan and schedule work for people who are not yet a part of your organization.

Purchase order number / PO number

The PO number is a unique number assigned to a deal. It will be later automatically transferred to the budget created from this deal.


Probability is the internal estimate for winning a deal. The probability and value of a deal affect its forecasted revenue.

  • Example: A deal is valued at 10.000 $. We set its probability to 25 %. The deal's forecasted revenue is therefore 10.000 * 0,25 = 2.500 $.

  • Useful links: Managing a deal

  • Used in: Sales


Profit is the revenue generated by a budget or project reduced by the associated costs.


Profitability is the degree to which a budget yields profit, expressed as a percentage of revenue against the associated costs.

Profitability manager (role)

The profitability manager is the role that allows managing projects and deals, while also providing insight into their profitability.

Profitability manager with restricted access (role)

A variation on the profitability manager role, removing access to private deals and projects they are assigned to.


A project represents a job or undertaking carried out for a client or for your internal needs. A project contains one or more budgets (with relevant financial information) and tasks for collaboration towards the realization of the project.


A pulse is a periodical and customizable email notification with data from Productive's Reports.

  • Useful links: Pulse

  • Used in: Reports


A rate is a fixed price paid for something. Rates are used for your employee's salaries (cost rates) and for prices that you charge to your clients (rate cards, or on services).

Rate card

A rate card is a predefined list of Service prices either for a client company or for your organization. Rate cards can then be used when creating new budgets.

Recognized profit

Recognized profit is the expected profit of a financial item (e.g. budget). It is calculated as the recognized revenue minus all of the associated costs.

  • Useful links:

  • Used in: Reports - Financials

Recognized revenue

Recognized revenue is the expected revenue of a financial item (e.g. budget) according to the scheduled time, delivered billable time, and generated expenses.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Reports - Financials

Recognized time

The billable time that is or will be charged to the client. Equal to billable time with Time and materials, but cannot exceed the Quantity with Fixed services. Also, in budget spending calculations, used as a way to calculate budget consumption.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Reports - time entries

Recurring budget

A recurring budget is automatically copied at a certain time, thus creating a new, identical budget. Most frequently used with retainers.

Recycle bin

The place where certain deleted items are stored for a period. Items in the recycle bin can be restored to their original location.


Reports help you analyze and make better sense of your data.

Restricted access (role)

Restricted access indicates a variation on an existing role, preventing access to private projects and deals that the person is not assigned to.


A retainer is an ongoing or recurring contract by which a client pays for certain services as required during a time period. In Productive, retainer projects are handled using recurring projects.


Revenue is the amount of money generated by a specific project, budget or time entry. Note that this does not necessarily mean that this amount has also been invoiced. See: Invoiced.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Budgets


A role is a group of access privileges for each user in Productive. These are: staff, coordinator, manager, profitability manager, admin, client and contractor.


Resourcing is a tool in Productive that enables you to do high-level time allocations for your entire team.


Each active employee and contractor registered in Productive takes up one seat, which affects billing. Note that clients are an exception, and they do not take up seats.


The service offered or provided by you to your clients. Each service is defined by its service type, billing type, unit, quantity and price.

Service type

Service types are broad categories of services provided by you to your clients. They are set up in Settings - Service types.

Staff (role)

Staff is the employee role with a basic set of permissions, allowing time tracking, collaboration on tasks and requesting time off.

Staff with access to time (role)

A variation of the Staff role, adding access to time entries and Resourcing.

Staff with CRM access (role)

A variation of the Staff role, allowing access to contacts.

Stage (deal)

A stage (or deal status) is assigned to each deal and is used to monitor and organize deals.

Stage type

Stage types represent the various states jobs may be in. We categorize them into two types:

Deals: These indicate prospective work and correspond to the sales pipeline.

Budgets: These indicate active work and correspond to the production pipeline.


Statuses are used primarily to organize and monitor tasks within predefined workflows. Also used with invoices (Draft, Unsent, Sent, Paid), budgets (Open vs Delivered), among others.


Subscribers are notified whenever a change is made to an item in Productive. Items in Productive are tasks, invoices, budgets, projects, or the like.


A subsidiary is a unique branch of your company, allowing you to invoice your clients from different addresses.


Along with to-dos, subtasks are a method of subdividing tasks in Productive into smaller chunks.


Tags are custom attributes in Productive that you can apply to a plethora of items: tasks, people, invoices, and largely replaced by Custom fields.


A task is an item in Productive that allows coworkers to collaborate on their various assignments.

Task dependency

Task dependency indicates an interdependency between two tasks and their status. Dependencies come in two basic types: blocking/waiting and linked. Blocking/waiting indicates that one task cannot be started or completed until another task is completed. Linked simply indicates that the two tasks are somehow related.

Task list

Created within a workflow, a task list indicates a task's phase or stage. Akin to a kanban board, task lists allow for a neat way to organize tasks into groups.


A template is a sample item (e.g. project, task or deal) used as a shortcut when creating new items with proper data.

Template (document)

A document template is the layout of data on the documents commonly sent to your clients in PDF format. Used for budgets, invoices, and deals.

Time and materials

Time and materials is a billing type defined on services in budgets. These services represent time and expenses, invoiced based on their actual use. If no time or expenses are tracked, nothing will be charged to the client. See also: fixed (services).

  • Example: A budget contains a service defined as Time and materials, at the price of $100 per hour. Upon budget creation, no amount may be invoiced towards this service. The next day, an employee tracks 8 hours against this service. Upon this time entry being entered (and approved), $800 may be invoiced for this service (8*$100; time multiplied by price).

  • Useful links: Rate cards

  • Used in: Budgets

Time entry locking

Time entry locking is an action that prevents creating or changing time entries in an earlier period. May be automatic or manual.

Time to close

Time to close is the number of days elapsed from opening a deal to winning the deal.

  • Example: A deal was opened on January 1st, and closed on January 15th. The time to close this deal is 14 days.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Deals

Time to complete

Time to complete is the projection of time needed to complete a task. Reduced as time is tracked against the task, or can be adjusted manually.

  • Example: The initial estimate on a task is 20 hours. After we have tracked 4 hours on this task, the time to complete is reduced to 16 hours.

  • Useful links: /

  • Used in: Tasks

Time tracking

Time tracking refers to registering the time invested working on an individual service or task in Productive.


Time-off (or time off) is the time during which you are not expected to track time against project services or tasks. Come in multiple time-off categories and types. These are your vacations, sick leaves, and the like.


A to-do is the smallest and simplest version of a task, created either from a task or a subtask.


Utilization signifies the ratio between the amount of time a person has worked, and their availability or another type of work. An example is the premade Report Billable Utilization.

  • Example: An employee has worked 100 billable hours, and 300 non-billable hours. This employee's billable utilization is 25 %.

  • Used in: Reports

Variance at completion

Used in tasks, variance at completion signifies the difference between the Initial estimate and the Estimate at completion. It shows how accurate the Initial estimation was.

  • Example: The initial estimate on a task is 20 hours. However, 26 hours have been tracked against this task before its completion. The variance at completion is therefore 6 hours.

  • Used in: Tasks


In expenses, a vendor is the third-party organization towards which the expense occurred.


A view is used to organize your data and display it in the way you find the most appropriate. A view is made of a layout, filters, grouping and other.

Worked time

Worked time is the amount of time spent working on a certain time entry, service, budget or project, or the amount of time a person has tracked in a given period. Worked time includes time spent on both client and internal projects.


A workflow is the configuration of task statuses, with each workflow divided into three stages: Not started, Started and Closed.

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