ActiveCollab – A project management tool with 2 HUGE OPPORTUNITIES

Today, I’m going to share the first review of a project management tool. It’s a very basic tool, but have some add-ons is going to make your life easier. Today’s tool is ActiveCollab. First of all, when I signed up for ActiveCollab, the onboarding process was pretty straightforward. I signed up with my email and then I got the idea and the tool that I could create a demo project by creating this demo project. I actually got all the tasks and all the subtask and everything created within the tool.

The good thing about this is that I didn’t have to figure out how to create everything and what was the best thing to do for me to create these things? It was everything was created for me. However, in their report module, I couldn’t use this demo project to try out their report module. Maybe they will fix that in the future. So in order to try out the report module, I had to create my own project, which is completely fine.

The thing about ActiveCollab is that their overview is not that much. They have three different views that you can use. They have their Kanban view, their list view and their timeline view. But what I’m really missing with ActiveCollab is that I’m missing an overview where I can see all of my projects and all of the tasks. It’s like I know it from ClickUp. It’s fantastic and it’s a great way to keep the overview constantly. This is definitely missing in ActiveCollab.

As mentioned it’s very it’s very basic. So they might add it later on, let’s hope. The design of ActiveCollab is also very basic. They use a lot the same colour purple. And their buttons and their links are purple, and it’s difficult sometimes to distinguish between every element. I hope they will work more with this in the future and maybe try to incorporate some icons. For instance, when I create a task, it’s so difficult finding the assignee.

How do I add the assignee? Where is it? And I have to look for it almost every time until I get used to the product. But without further ado, let’s try to dive into the features of ActiveCollab.

So the basic functionality of ActiveCollab is, of course, their project management is it’s as we know it, from all the other tools like Trello, ClickUp and BaseCamp, you basically have a list or cards containing all of your projects.

If you go within one project, you have all of your tasks listed and within each task you can do what you normally can do. You can set a deadline. You can add an assignee, you can add description, you can add subtasks, and you can even add a parent task. Let’s say that you have a big task. You want to split into minor tasks and those minor tasks you want to split into subtasks. This is possible with ActiveCollab.

And it’s one of the features that I personally like about ActiveCollab. Their task view is not the best design. I have to say honestly, I hope they will work more with this. As mentioned in the introduction, their design is very basic, and they should use more icons and colours in order to make this easier and more acceptable and easy to understand. Their add-ons in ActiveCollab, they have quite a few add-ons based on that, they are not so old as a company.

They have add-ons to Trello, to BaseCamp, to Asana. And what I mean by add-ons is that you can basically import your entire projects and tasks from these companies or these project management tools, and then you can get started in ActiveCollab. This means that the transition of changing from another project management tool to ActiveCollab can be done in a few minutes and you don’t lose any data. It is a huge benefit of using ActiveCollab. It’s awesome. It’s so, so good.

However. One thing I’m missing from ActiveCollab would be a synchronisation process. Imagine you’re a freelancer or an agency and you work with multiple clients and all of these clients use different project management tools instead of you have to manually go through each of these project management tools in order to update progress on the tasks you have done or your agency has done. Then you should be able to basically within one tool control all of the different tools.

So let’s say I have a project I have a project within ActiveCollab, every time I do something there. It’s also updated within the client’s project management tool, whether it’s Trello, BaseCamp or Aaana. This feature would be a huge game breaker within this industry and I hope we’ll see it in the future. They have a calendar view, as you can see, I don’t like the design to be honest, it’s very clamped together. It’s very compact.

And a calendar view, which is very compact, doesn’t do what it should do. It should create overview, but instead it creates clamp ness. And you can really get a sense of where everything is going and what you should focus on. Furthermore, they have activities, it’s like a changelog where you can see what you have done in your colleagues, what they have done. It’s very basic. The last module they have is their reports.

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I don’t find this reports to be so useful. I would highly recommend them to instead focus on having different views in their projects, because the reports right now is not giving an idea about how good I’m performing. It’s more different views on their project. For instance, you can filter the different projects to see what projects match the criteria you have set. You can make a timeline of all of your projects. It’s a little bit back to the overview view that I’m missing personally.

And you can see based on different employees, what tasks do they have? What are your colleagues focussing on? These I think they should more work into the different projects and then use a report module for what is actually used for to create performance reports and to tell how each of your colleagues are performing. Furthermore, ActiveCollab has a desktop app, and when I first saw this, I got so excited so I installed it right away and the installation went fine, I signed in, but it’s basically just their Web app in the desktop version.

Right now I don’t see they use the benefits so much. They use the desktop notification, but that’s about it. A thing that I would admire to see was that they use the offline version. I’ve seen so many different project management tools talk about making an offline version, and especially now due to the pandemic that everyone is working remote, an offline version would be more relevant than ever right now. So an execution behind that would really set the miles apart compared to the competitors.

The future of ActiveCollab is bright to some extent, I hope, of course, they’re listening to all the feedback they’re gathering right now, of course, this video, but also all the other reviews that’s popping up. But when I take a look at their roadmap right now, they’re focussing on making a chat and making a mobile application. The mobile application is fine, is definitely a need for that. It would be awesome because no matter where you are, then you can always stay up to date.

What are your colleagues working on? Should you update anything but the chat version I don’t get. They’re never going to beat Slack or any of its competitors. So why not just focus on making the best project management tool that they can overall? I hope they will reconsider or at least release a beta to see if there’s even a need for this chat.

So to sum everything up, I would say that ActiveCollab is an app for agencies and freelancers. The reason why I say this is because if you go into the different tasks, you can see that you can actually market as billable or not, you can add a client to each project and you can even track your time on the different tasks. This is the different elements that you need as a freelancer or an agency. Of course, you can still use this if you’re not a freelancer or an agency, but that’s what I feel that they’re working against. And I hope that will continue to develop everything towards that section because that’s a growing section.

So that’s a wrap. I hope you like my review about ActiveCollab, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment down below.

And if you like the video, I would really appreciate that. Let’s catch up on the next one.

Phillip Stemann
Phillip Stemann
I have been in the software industry for 10+ years, and I’ve gathered a ton of experience I’m sharing with you. I test out tools each week and share my findings with you, for you to easily choose the right software for your needs. I have so far reviews many types of software and even built software myself, it’s a huge passion for me.