I’ve been using the free, old version of activeCollab for years and was pretty happy with it, except for one major problem – there’s no way to save a project template. So every time I created a new project, I would spend 1-2 hours setting up all the milestones and tasks.

That was getting very time-consuming, so I started looking for other solutions. Basecamp was pretty good but seemed expensive with its monthly payments – $24 to $49 per month depending on how busy things were. Then I looked at the paid version of activeCollab.

It looked good -very similar to what I had, but quite enhanced from that level. I bought a $10 hosted demo that was fully functional for 30 days, and used it for three projects. I loved the fact that I could now create a project template (or as many as I wanted) – that was the biggest thing for me.

So my demo expired and I was ready to buy. activeCollab comes in two versions – Small Biz ($199)  and Corporate ($399). Two of the main differences were that the Corp had both the calendar and time tracking. I could live without those, so I bought Small Biz.

Today they sent me my hosted demo database so I could import my projects into my new install. That worked flawlessly, but when I logged in and started working on one, I kept getting an error.

I went back to their site and discovered that managing tasks, which I would consider to be a crucial, default-level function in any project management applications, apparently  is not important for small business users.

I spent quite a lot of time researching my options, then actually using this software in the last month. I like AC a lot – but if I’d read the list of differences more carefully I would probably have not even considered this product.

Now I’m not sure what I’m going to do.  Should I fork over the additional $200? That really rubs me the wrong way, paying for something that IMO should be included as a very basic feature. But if I spend more time going out and looking for something else, would I just be better off giving in and buying this upgrade? Ack ack ack.

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