ApolloHQ is an “integrated project and contact management” program for multiple users. It is web-based and works on newer versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. I tried the program for several days and concluded that once little glitches are fixed it will be a good tool for freelancers working in teams and small business owners who want to have a fully hosted, online-based program (note that a single user version is in the works too). That Apollo is online is great for those of us with good, high speed internet connections, which includes a wide range of users – unfortunately for this traveling freelancer it became a challenge to use the program when I found myself using a 2G connection with speeds still measured in KB.
At first I was a bit skeptical because of the computerized voice I heard in the instructional video but that turned out to be just a quirk. Overall the program was designed to be rather easy to figure out so there is not much need for instruction. The layout is user-friendly: on the left-hand side a permanent bar displays links to each section and at the bottom of the bar the user may find buttons to add tasks, calendar items and timers. Once a user goes into a section he finds tabs that help organize the system further.
Upon logging into ApolloHQ.com the user goes straight into the overview pane, where he can also select an ongoing project or task from the Jumpstart list – like a list of shortcuts.
The calendar, tasks and projects are all integrated:
- When a user goes into the calendar he can see what tasks are due by looking at the top of each date
- When a user wants to track his projects he also can see a timeline of the activities related to a given project
- When looking at his tasks the user may see them listed by date and user
In the calendar an owner may add users and choose what kind of access to give each: read only; read and add events; or read, add, edit and delete events. Tasks are divided into one’s own tasks, project tasks and customer tasks. The timer feature is great. It offers a user the option to create various timers quickly from the sidebar as well as from within a project.
The contacts feature in ApolloHQ has functions other than just listing contact details, which isn’t a bad thing but it takes a little getting used to since it’s different from other project management programs. There are, for example, tabs for deals and cases. Under deals users can keep track of bids they have placed for jobs and later mark each deal as “won” or “lost.” Under cases users can start tracking an issue, making notes on its progress. The activity tab, as elsewhere in the application, works a bit like a social media update page and shows recent and upcoming activity such as tasks and notes that users decide to share. At the moment there’s no option to import contacts but the developers tell me they are working on this feature.
At the moment there are no working language options but the help desk guys tell me that they are working on translations to make the program available in German, Spanish, French and Italian. In the meantime there are three versions of English: American, British and Australian! International users will appreciate this attention to detail – dingo lingo does come in handy at times.
The email reminder for my tasks due worked well but the site just wouldn’t display a calendar item I added the same day. There were errors here and there, such as when I tried to add a task to a project without a task list but the program wouldn’t let me add the task without selecting a task list – end result was that I could not add my task.
For those interested in the program, it might be worth it to sign up now while it’s still free and wait to use it full-time once the glitches are all ironed out. Maybe there will be a discount for existing users when the program becomes a paid service. There’s definitely potential in ApolloHQ and I think its developers will be working hard to get everything running smoothly soon.
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