Active Collab

Active Collab - Features, Pricing, Alternatives, and More

Matthew Guay
Written by Matthew GuayLast updated July 27, 2015

There are great time tracking apps, tools that can simplify your invoicing, dozens of ways to help your team communicate, and more project management systems than you can possibly choose between. You can pick a great app for each thing, tie them all together with integrations, and get your work done. Or, you can simplify your team work by picking one tool that can manage everything your team's working on.

Active Collab aims to simplify your work with one place to manage everything you're working on: tasks, time sheets, invoices, documents, communications, and more. And with its recent redesign complete with background images from Unsplash, it aims to do all of that in a stylish app you'll want to use.

It all starts with projects, the primary focus in Active Collab. Setup projects for everything you're working on, and choose whether they're internal projects or client work you'll be billing for. For the latter projects, you can set a budget, add job types and rates, share your project with clients, and choose if they can see time entries or not. Active Collab has integrated time tracking app, so you can log time on tasks and get a report about time spent across your projects.

Once your projects are in place, it's time to list your tasks. You can just type them out quickly and tap your Return key to save them, or you can assign them to team members, add detailed notes, and set due dates. Active Collab's task interface is much like a to-do list app—you can drag-and-drop tasks between lists in a project, see all of your assigned and upcoming tasks on your personal My Work list, and view what everyone's working on from the calendar view.

Then, instead of centralizing all communications in one place, Active Collab has discussions in each project. You can comment, mention team members with an @sign, and keep up with the discussions via your My Work list. Instead of opening Google Docs to collaborate on documents and other text elements of your project, Active Collab's Notes section in each project gives you a place to work together on text. There's also a spot for files, expense tracking, and a detailed activity log in each project, to keep everything in one place.

When your projects are done, the Invoices tab is where you'll go to get paid for your work. You can make new invoices for anything—perfect for one-off payments—or turn your time slips and expenses from projects into detailed invoices. Your clients can then pay you via credit card or PayPal, right from your Active Collab invoice.

With so many features, you'll have a lot going on in your Active Collab account all the time. But it's easy enough to keep from getting overwhelmed, since nearly everything you'll need to see and work on will show up in your My Work page. For everything else, you can turn to Active Collab's reports, where you'll find automated reports on uninvoiced time and expenses, overdue tasks, projects budgets versus their real cost, and more. Each report can be customized based on the project, user, and more, for a quick reference of the info you need.

If you're looking for a way to keep your team's projects, time tracking, invoicing and more all under the same roof, Active Collab is a streamlined option that does a quite good job keeping everything simple. It can even run on your own servers if you want, a great option for internal project management for larger teams.

Have any feedback on this overview, or something we should change? Let us know!

Active Collab Features

  • Project management, team collaboration, time tracking, and invoicing in one app
  • Get a glance at all tasks across projects in one dashboard
  • Filtering to find the tasks you need to work on
  • Group calendar to see what everyone's working on
  • Collaborative documents to work on writing together
  • powered themes
  • Self-hosted version to run on your own server

Active Collab Pricing

  • $7/member/month for unlimited projects, tasks, and time records
  • Additional $2.50/member/month for invoicing, time estimates, online payments, and Quickbooks and Xero integrations

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Active Collab is a popular, all-in-one tool for project management, team collaboration and billing. Available both in cloud and self hosted versions.