It was in my college days when I first heard about ActiveCollab. The time when Internet in Serbia was only a vague term familiar exclusively to a small group of geeks obsessed with RPG games like Elder Scrolls, Warcraft and all the weird names you’ve probably never heard of.
While I was getting a grip on this intriguing universe I spotted a small team hiding behind forbidden doors in the library offices of the Faculty of Technical sciences in Novi Sad. Thanks to forum posts and their stories about Internet programming and entrepreneurship experiences in the real world I came across an application made to be the project management for all programmers — ActiveCollab.
In times when Basecamp was the absolute number one in the project management market, ActiveCollab was the only product that had the potential to compete with a mission to simplify project management for developers. Later, as the years passed and I was given the privilege to meet Ilija and Goran, I realized that those guys actually inspired me to start with web programming and eventually start my own business. The motivation to share their story, their passion to build the product from their basement and work on a startup when nobody even knew what that word meant, was a turning point in my career and helped me decide about what should I do after graduation.
With the very first installation of the self-hosted version 2 I was hooked into ActiveCollab’s main features that provided me with a full set of assets I needed for every project: client management, projects sorting by categories, milestones for defining project sections and deadlines, tasks for individual actions, notebooks for all necessary documentation and time tracking — an essential part when you’re charging your projects by the hour.
As my team started to grow and eemagine started to handle many projects and clients, Discussions came as a perfect solution for organized talk about problems, new features or team-to-client discussions. Although many clients still reside on email as a primary form of communication, many of them realize the value of the Discussions feature as perfect way to keep all included team members in the loop.
When eemagine started to handle projects that required agile and scrum development strategies again ActiveCollab proved its strength and ability to be configured exactly the way you want. Milestones can be defined as sprints, tasks categorized as stories, enhancements, chores, bugs or whatever you need or the client requires.
One of the best features that I like in the newer versions of ActiveCollab are notifications and announcements.
Notifications are perfect for a quick overview of recent activities of your team and announcements are best way for communication with your team and clients about general information like holidays, Friday beer meetup or barbecue for the weekend.
From the first day cloud-based version was introduced I knew it will be the best move for ActiveCollab improvements since it relieved me of unnecessary costs for hosting and management of application updates. After a full year as cloud plan user I can only recommended it for everybody since downtime is a forgotten word and the new application features are instantly available and help section along with live support makes it a perfect user experience.