Feature Highlight: Quick Bulk Editing a.k.a. CTRL + Click

Bulk editing in activeCollab

Bulk editing in activeCollab

If you’ve used ActiveCollab for long, you’ve had those aha moments where you discover a feature hidden deep in the UI that saves the day or at the very least makes your life a lot easier going forward… but… this is one of those hidden features, you’ll never discover by poking around in the UI… unless you just happen to be addicted to exploring your shortcut keys.

Mimicking some of your common desktop features, the CTRL + CLICK reveals some bulk management features like that hidden power in your favorite video game — an easter egg of sorts — that when you find it, will put a smile on any project manager’s face. Oh you mean I don’t have to change the status on each individual task? I don’t have to move these tasks to a milestone one by one… or… now I can easily correct the mistake a client made by not adding a category to their file uploads.

All this with just a click of a button — and a keyboard shortcut!

Checkout the screenshots below for more handy tips where CTRL + CLICK can unlock clever new features in AC3

Bulk Editing in the Projects list


Bulk Editing in the Tasks List


Bulk Editing in the File List


Looking for a feature you can’t find? Ask us in the comments, who knows… maybe what you need is already hidden just waiting for you! Or we can build a custom solution just for you, I mean… that IS what we do solving workflows in activeCollab! Book a quick chat

Projects can be unpredictable… and that’s OK

keep calm and expect the unexpectedWell, if there is one thing predictable about projects… it’s that they are unpredictable.

Maybe we could argue that the people, places and things that are involved in projects are really the ones that throw off any sense or notion that things will go as planned, but in the end what’s most important is that we know… we accept it and prepare for it.

Now that we know, what can we do about it?

Some book titles conveniently come to mind right away… Don’t sweat the small stuff and Expect the unexpected …. the theme here being: Focus on your perspective and creativity to take on a challenge. Since it’s not humanly possible to be prepared for everything, you can still be in principle… “Ready for anything”

I find the more I accept it and set my expectations, the better equipped I am for the changes in direction, climate and velocity of a project. We all want things to go smoothly but allowing for some flexibility, can go a long way to reducing stress levels, creating better long term business relationships …and probably at home too. *I’ve yet to see someone who didn’t have problems with at least a little cross contamination between work and home life when it comes to stress… maybe you could be the first? 😉

What are some ways we try to expect the unexpected while not sweating the small stuff?

  • Leaving yourself some breathing room when scheduling — even just thinking “maybe this project might not follow my rigidly set plan” could help
  • Being realistic about projects from the beginning and not taking on something with a deadline you can’t or don’t want to meet (yes, we’re talking about stress again here)
  • Don’t write checks that a certain unmentionable part of your body can’t cash 😉
  • Get to know yourself and your team better — the less that is unexpected, the less you have to guess what to expect.
  • Apologize when you see that you have been the cause of a delay – sweeping it under the rug doesn’t help. Promise to do better next time. But get it resolved quickly.
  • Communicate ( Just being honest, this is the hardest one for me — I’m working on it – I don’t like letting people down, and sometimes forget to communicate until I know the answers that are holding things up )
  • This last one might seem counter intuitive — but sometimes the best thing to keep from sweating the small stuff, is to get away from it all and do something else you love… come back fresh and ready to handle the twists and turns of the project. For me, that’s basketball, yoga, reading or a nap(that’s sounds like another blog post, the wonders of exercise and power naps — stay tuned).

So what’s your perspective?…

  • Do you expect projects to go smoothly?
  • Do you build a little room into your projects for the unexpected?
  • When a project takes on a life of its own… how do you adapt?

The collaboration happens in the comments, share your thoughts… we all get a little better at expecting the unexpected.

Preparing for the 4th has paid off — activeCollab 4 that is!

For those itching for the latest update, just wanted you to know — we’ve been busy testing the developer pre-release version of AC4 and on this 4th of July weekend, we have some great news, all our modules passed with a clean bill of health :)

Actually, that’s not quite true — there were a couple changes that affected Cloud Backup and Private Milestones but we have nursed them back to full health.   Quickify and Download All Files just needed an AC4 signature update, so you’ll still need the updates for these too.

We don’t know for sure when AC4 is officially releasing, but you may have heard about it in a recent email from ActiveCollab so we wanted you to know we’re making sure when it does, all our modules will be up to date and waiting for you in the Members area.

Hope you have a great 4th of July weekend to all our US friends, and just a generally great weekend for the rest of you :)

If you are using the current AC 3.3.16 — not to worry, the latest AC 3.3.x versions are already tested and in the Members area.  There are currently no known issues after testing.  If you are having any issues, please let us know

P.S. — It’s a good idea to be sure all your 3rd party modules are ready for version 4, before clicking that upgrade button, you’ll be glad you waited.

Feature Highlight: New Flyout Projects List Filtering

activecollab Flyout Projects Filtering

If you’re like us, you’ve got more than enough projects in your activeCollab and suddenly that helpful flyout list — well, it’s just not so helpful anymore. Why? Because it’s full and overflowing off the bottom of the menu!

Not anymore, the AC team have released a great update in 3.3.13 that adds filtering to the top right of the menu (shown above)

activecollab group projects in menu

And that’s not all, if you go to your main Projects view and select the “Group by” icon — the flyout menu will also fall in line and do the same! This makes the menu incredibly useful, we’re thankful to the AC team for these types of quick wins in productivity.

activeCollab Project Menu Grouping

activeCollab Project Menu Grouping

We hope to see this toggle available on the flyout menu itself in the future, as it took a few mins after hearing about the feature in the release notes, to figure out that you had to change your main project page settings to take advantage of it. But who are we to look a gift horse in the mouth — thanks @activecollab team!

How to Apply Advanced Filters to Incoming Mail in ActiveCollab 3

@mtracey Asked on the activeCollab Forums, about using keywords and/or hashtags to filter tasks sent in via email to activecollab — here’s a quick video answer:
YouTube Preview Image

P.S. — After creating the video, I started thinking about how changing the subject line to include #helpdesk will change the threading if you are using Google Apps / Gmail for instance. Another method might be to use +helpdesk in the email address if your email supports it (Google Apps does). I just tested the theory and you could do [email protected] and have the filter setup to watch for this +helpdesk in the To address instead. See here for configuration: http://share.activelabs.ca/2013-01-07_1814.png

Do you have questions? Let us know via the Contact page or point us to your question on the forums and we’ll do our best to help out!

How to Install 3rd Party or Custom Modules in activeCollab 3

Installing for activeCollab 3 Modules

Start by uploading the module files

activecollab module files

You’ll be uploading a single folder to the new Custom / Modules folder in your activeCollab directory (shown here)

Go to Administration

activecollab welcome screen

Find the Modules area in Admin

Find the Modules area in Admin

Click to install your module

Click to install your module

activeCollab will continue the install process

activeCollab will continue the install process

Your Module is installed and ready to go!

Your Module is installed and ready to go!

Now a couple steps to save you some headaches! Clear the AC3 cache and templates using Admin Tools

Now a couple steps to save you some headaches!  Clear the AC3 cache and templates using Admin Tools

And last but not least — Clear your browser cache.

And last but not least -- Clear your browser cache.

Each browser is different, if you aren’t familiar with the process — Google is your friend but here is a helpful resource: http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser’s-Cache

Most browsers will also clear the page cache using CTRL + F5 a few times to force a refresh.

Your module is installed and ready to go! Enjoy — and if you need any help please let us know.

Your module is installed and ready to go!  Enjoy --- and if you need any help please let us know.

activeCollab 3: How to setup Scheduled Tasks using cPanel

YouTube Preview Image

activeCollab 2 users, the Admin area access is a bit different — but these instructions can help you too!

More Productivity

ActiveLabs = Productivity

Don’t take our word for it, just ask our customers!

New & Improved

Hey Everyone!

I want to start out by apologizing that it’s been too long between updates — I promise you wont have to wait so long next time – And today’s update is all about making good on that promise!

But didn’t you just email me last week??

Some of you might be feeling like you just received something from us recently and wonder what I’m talking about…. And you’re right. We’ve had some great feedback on the most recent blog posts about Why we love activeCollab, Are you using it right? and What’s in a Name? … many of you took the time to also download our 7 tips for activeCollab Free PDF too!

But…. although we have been eager to share what’s going on… we’ve been biting our tongue about the improvements and updates we’ve been making behind the scenes on several of our most popular products!

Why the wait?

Why have we been keeping quiet? Well we’ve been working to improve things on several fronts at once and in the process, a few of the valuable updates to our products were delayed as we were aiming to announce the updates while unveiling our new Members area to make your life easier.

The New Members area — It’s finally here!

The day has arrived, long overdue — you can now login and download updates to any ActiveLabs products from our new Members area with your email address and password, existing customers will receive their login shortly, please login and checkout your updates!  We’d love to hear your feedback, and definitely let us know if you have any issues — [email protected]

So what’s new?

Tabinator ProTabinator Pro

There are just so many improvements in this new version that we felt it needed to be called 2.0 — the most requested feature is now available Unlimited Filter and URL tabs! Other exciting features like Role Management to create base tab configurations for each role — for easy setup of all users. Custom color indicators, drag and drop re-ordering, choose your default tab, and the list goes on. See all the details | Buy Now

Team PrivacyTeam Privacy

We’ve fully revamped this module to provide a much more intuitive UI, along with both a new Quick Settings feature to get up and running easily and an even more powerful Role settings configuration. See all the detailsBuy Now


We’ve quietly added some new features to Quickify that we thought you should know about too… a new Menu Only version not shown in the previous Quickify videos, creates a faster and smaller footprint when you are accessing the features in the toolbar. Customizable Role Settings to only show the optimal features to each role. New iPad / Touch device support — touch and slide on any Ticket or Task link to use Quickify on your phone or tablet! See all the details | Buy Now

And more…

That’s not all, for other updates login to the new Members area and check Your Account for any relevant updates. With the release of our new Members area, you’ll now have access to all your purchases and updates during your 1 year license all in one place.

A note about automatic updates…

We think it’s a great idea to have automatic notifications when new versions are released ala WordPress style plugin updates — that’s why we love what Apps Magnet are doing for the community with their new aC Garage Lite module. We’re thankful for the opportunity to help our customers stay up to date too, so we’ve accepted Nirav’s invite to add our product line to acGarage lite to keep you informed of any updates right where you need them! Get acGarage lite now, it’s free! While you are at it, check out the acGarage Pro service if you’d like to keep your system up to date the hands-free way.

Stay Tuned for More Updates

We’ve been busy with Rocking Your Workflows, Live Chatting with some great visitors, and tweeting advice too… even building out some complex custom development for some amazing clients! (Who else responds “I want to make out with this thing” when they are demoing the latest edition of your work for them! This made our day of course… you know who you are! Thanks!)… but with all that, we’ve still got some exciting new surprises on the way…

As always, happy collaborating and I’m heading back to the lab!



P.S. — Have a question about activeCollab that’s been bothering you?  I’m happy to answer questions on twitter anytime — tweet your question or frustrationlike David did, and we’ll have a mini Rock Your Workflow on twitter!

Why I Love activeCollab…

And other things to be thankful for… plus a chance to win a Rock Your Workflow session!

(note: It is was Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada… hope you wont mind joining me in some Thanksgiving spirit)

Have you ever taken someone you love for granted?…
Or just for a while got so caught up with your life that you forgot all the things you love about them?

It never feels good to be on the receiving end of that lack of appreciation and as much as we are around our family, friends or even our team, it’s easy to start taking them for granted too. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, which is this weekend here in Canada and next month with our friends in the US — as well as some feelings stirred up by Steve Jobs’ untimely passing — I felt like it would be a good time to show some appreciation…

I’ve been really fortunate to have such a great team, that starts with my wife (and business partner) and carries itself through to our admin and development teams — I really didn’t feel like I took them for granted, but in the past couple weeks it’s become a lot more obvious that the real answer is ‘I don’t mean to take them for granted.’

Sherice, my wife — I realize sometimes I’ve expected help from her without really valuing it the way I should.. she’s the best partner in the world.

The rest of the team — To build the products we have and meet the needs of our custom development clients….well, let’s just say, I put them through a lot of challenges and make demands on their abilities…I’m never happy just making something work, it’s got to be just right (logic, functionality, user-friendliness, aesthetics, etc)… so there’s a a lot of research, tweaking, talking and more tweaking! They don’t complain though, and often they are excited about the challenges that come from what we do together, just like me… what more could I ask for?

The Unsung Hero…

There’s also an important member of our team that never really gets the appreciation deserved and by now you probably see where I’m going with this… activeCollab… better known as The Dashboard in our day to day conversations or Dash for short (not quite as creative and original a name that I hope you’ve come up with).

Dash is in the office working , 24 hours a day , 7 days a week… always ready to jump into whatever project any one of our team wants her to focus on, oftentimes multiple projects at once… pulled in many different directions but never complaining. She’s got a great memory, so I can be sure that even if I forget something , I’ll be reminded or have access to her information on anything when I need it.

When Dash first joined our team, our workflow was quite different, very little was systematized (yes, that IS a word :)). Everything was in someone’s head, and not easily accessible at all and most things we did were done differently each time because of that… if they even got done because no one’s memory was as good as Dash’s.

Sure, Dash and I have had our differences, but I’ve come around to her way of thinking… and she’s learned some new things along the way, both from my instruction and from others who have invested the time in her, and for that I’m very thankful.

Enough with the story, you get it… activeCollab truly is the MVP on our team, not to undercut anyone else’s value… we all know we’d be lost without her. Tracking projects, tasks, time, people… it’s no small feat, and we all count on activeCollab day in and day out to be there for us.
What’s better than some appreciation? More of the same!

This weekend, I’m making you all honorary Canadians – eh!

I’d like you to take some time to think about how thankful you are and finish this sentence for me….

“I love activeCollab because… “

OR just tell me what you love about activeCollab in your own words… why not write your own blog post, tweet, or status update about it and post a link here in the comments below! For those of you in the US, you’ll be thankful ahead of schedule… 😉

BONUS — Post your “I love activeCollab” thoughts by October 31st (Extended) and you’ll be entered to win a free Rock Your Workflow session, we’ll choose a random winner by this time next week!
I’ll start things off….

I love activeCollab because… it’s given me the opportunity to find what I love to do and do it with a great team and meet some amazing clients from around the world using it to collaborate on interesting projects… and to help them do what they do even better and easier!

I love activeCollab because… it’s a great foundation to manage my projects, but I’m not limited to built in features… I can use 3rd party modules to expand the features or build my own. Thanks to Appsmagnet, USwebstyle, activeCollabmod and all my colleagues that are part of the developers program…. and to all of you who provide us with feedback and suggestions to improve our products.

I love activeCollab because… of the Modern theme — Thanks Leon! If it wasn’t for you… I’m not sure I could spend the whole day looking at my work, and I’m sure Dash appreciates it 😉

And last, but most certainly not least…

I love activeCollab because… ActiveLabs wouldn’t exist if we didn’t come across aC years ago and start to put it to work in our own business… so a BIG thanks to Ilija, Goran and the whole A51 team for building the foundation of such a great tool and for putting up with all of us who bombard you with support requests, ideas and questions in the forums and email everyday.

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving to everyone –I hope you have a great rest of your weekend!



— Don’t forget to share your own “I love activeCollab” stories in the comments! Our way of saying thanks for sharing…. we’ll randomly select two “I love activeCollab” commenters to win a free Rock Your Workflow session $250 Tweet your #iloveactivecollab thoughts and get two entries :)


– If you aren’t feeling the love for activeCollab right now, that’s ok… send us an email with why you hate activeCollab and you’ll be entered to win too! I am confident we can help you start loving activeCollab again too.


Don’t forget to tell your team, family and friends how much they mean to you too! :)