Getting Started

Getting Started

ActiveCollab helps you organize your work and collaborate with others.

Your Account

To start using ActiveCollab, you’ll need to:

  • Create a free trial; or
  • Get an invitation from another user. You’ll then be able to create an account and log in to ActiveCollab.

After logging in, click on your name in lower left corner to:

  • Update your profile by changing your photo, name, email address, regional settings, and language.
  • Set your preferences by picking a background photo, setting email notifications, and choosing the default screen after logging in.
  • Change your password to keep your account safe.
  • Sign out.


A project is where you work together with your team and clients.

Every project is made up of different parts:

  • Tasks show you what needs to be done and when. You can assign them to others, set a due date, and group them into lists.
  • Discussions are the place to exchange ideas and feedback. If you come up with a particularly interesting suggestion, you can also convert it to a task.
  • Files show all the attachments on tasks, comments, or notes. You can also make uploads to the Files section directly.
  • Notes are simple text documents. They’re great for collaborative writing and tracking the history changes.
  • Time is where you can log how much time has been spent working on something.
  • Expenses are fixed costs that help you track how much the project is costing you.
  • Activity shows all the changes and updates on this project.

Sample Projects

Sample Projects are virtual playgrounds designed to show you how ActiveCollab can be used by different industries. Each sample project is designed with an intention of teaching you new and useful ways to get the most out of the software.

Sample projects have no influence on your subscription plan nor they add up to a number of your active users. Apart from that, they are completely the same as your regular projects so feel free to explore and play around – you can't mess anything up.

If you erase or skip sample project, you can always import them from Add-Ons section.

My Work

This part of ActiveCollab shows you everything that is related to you. My Work helps you keep track of updates and all your tasks, logged time, and project activity.


This page helps you stay up to date. Here, you can see everything that's been happening on all projects on a given day. It's great for catching up after you’ve been absent from work or to see what others have been doing.


The calendar gives you an overview of when something needs to be done. If you set a due date for a task (or a start and end date for a task list) it’ll appear on the calendar automatically.

ActiveCollab also lets you create custom calendars and add events which don’t belong to any of the projects:

  • Open the Calendars dropdown menu and click +New Calendar to create your own calendar. Enter the name, pick a color and decide who can see it.
  • After you’ve added a calendar, you can create your own events and notify people about them.
  • To reschedule an event, simply drag and drop it to another date.
  • If there are too many events on a calendar, you can always filter them by using the Calendars dropdown menu and choosing what you want to see.


  • This is where you can see all the users in your ActiveCollab, grouped into companies:
  • Click +New Company to create a company for your clients or subcontractors.
  • Click +Invite People to add new users by entering their email addresses.
  • Edit existing users to give them access to projects or change their role to owner, member, or client.


Issuing invoices and sending them to clients is quick and easy:

  • Click +New Invoice and enter the client details.
  • Choose whether you wish to create a free from invoice and add items manually. Or you can create an invoice automatically from tracked time and expenses.
  • After you’re done, you can edit the design or send the invoice PDF by email.


  • Estimates are useful for offering your product and services to your clients:
  • Click +New Estimate to create a proposal for your client.
  • An estimate is similar to an invoice - after adding items, you can send the PDF to your clients.
  • When you reach an agreement, you can mark the estimate as Won and Start a project from it.


  • Running a report lists the information you need. The following reports are available:
  • Payments - shows an overview of all payments in a selected time period.
  • Uninvoiced - shows time and expenses that haven’t been included in an invoice yet.
  • Tasks - lets you find tasks by filtering the information you need.
  • Workload - helps you distribute tasks evenly among your team.
  • Time Tracking - shows how much time has been tracked across projects.
  • Expense Tracking - lists fixed expenses across projects.
  • Estimated vs.Tracked Time - helps you see how accurate your time estimates are.


  • All items (projects, tasks, files, reports, invoices etc.) that you don’t need in your ActiveCollab can be moved to the Trash. Items are stored there for 30 days before being permanently deleted:
  • If you removed an item by accident, click Restore.
  • If you’re sure you wish to remove an item permanently, click Delete Forever.

System Settings

This is where you can adjust regional settings, labels, invoicing, and security settings.