Apollo: New & Sexy Project Management

In Tron style, if you ever get a chance to explore the mythical Appland, you’ll bump into either invoicing or project management apps every step of the way. There’s just so many of them! True, most of them are much more functional and feature rich than their native competitors, but in most cases they’re all the same.

There is, however, something different with Apollo. Apollo is project and contact management done right. Read on to find how it differs from the rest of its competitors.

Overview

Apollo is built to get things done. It’s not just a project management app; it can also handle events, tasks, people, companies and calendars in a neatly integrated package. With Apollo you’ll always know where your projects, your contacts and your life are at and you’ll feel on top of everything — regardless of how hectic your schedule is. Apollo is all about getting things done quickly and efficiently.

Overview

Overview

The web app is in private beta and is free until further notice. Visit their sign up page and follow their instructions to get an invitation code. From my experience they respond to requests pretty quickly. After getting the invite code, signing up is very simple and you’ll get your own sub domain to manage all your stuff.

User Interface

What’s really noteworthy of Apollo which led us to write this review, knowing full well we might get comments like “Another PM app? Doh!” from our beloved readers, is its user interface. I wouldn’t say it’s clutter free and minimalistic because it isn’t. They have features and links packed wall to wall, yet somehow the interface is so refreshing and drives you to take it for a spin.

Project management apps tend to be real snoozers, design and presentation either too bland or too professional. Where Apollo succeeds is in the way all your data is presented; the fonts, layouts, sections and the like.

Using Apollo

Projects & Teams

A project can be created with just a name and immediately a workspace is created in a separate tab. Tabs in Apollo work just like tabs in a browser and you can close them anytime you want. Better yet, you can rearrange them in any order you like!

People In a Project

People In a Project

You can invite people and form teams from the People tab. Send out invitations to whomever you want to be part of your projects and they’ll be added to the list. From this list, you can pick and choose who will work on which project and only those people will have access to the assigned projects.

Adding a New Company

Adding a New Company

If you employ remote teams or outsource work to another company, you can create a new group for accommodating them. Once it’s created, you can use those resources the same way you do with your employees.

Activity Overview

Activity Overview

In addition to having a dedicated overview section to monitor the progress across the board, activity monitors are available for individual projects from the Projects Dashboard.

Tasks & Timers

Adding a task requires less work from the user, which is a really good thing. After entering the task description, all the finer details can be added with clicks and toggles. Tasks can be grouped into Personal, Project or Customer categories.

Adding a Task

Adding a Task

Keeping track of billable hours is very easy with interactive timers; you can start a timer and keep track of how long you are spending on a particular task.

You’re able to run multiple timers running at the same time if needed.

Multiple Timers

Multiple Timers

Calenders & Events

Apollo has one of the best calendar apps I’ve seen so far in a web app (other than Google Calender). Tasks you’ve added automatically find themselves in their deadline dates and with a color code indicating who is responsible for getting it done.

Calender View

Calender View

Events can be added just like in Google Calender and be assigned to the calender of a team member.

Adding an Event

Adding an Event

CRM

Apollo has a built in CRM module, which, while not fully featured, is suitable for creating and managing contacts to keep track of leads. Notes about past communications and tasks for future follow up can also be attached to a contact.

You can check all upcoming and overdue tasks on contacts and filter them based on the person assigned to the task. Contacts can either be a person or a company and you have total control over who can view the list of contacts.

CRM

CRM

Dashboard

The Overview section acts as the centralized dashboard to watch how things are faring with projects and tasks. Two important aspects of a project, overdue and upcoming tasks, are presented clearly at the top of your list.

In the left pane, tasks being performed by employees can be monitored. From calenders, projects to personal tasks, everything can be tracked from here at anytime.

Dashboard

Dashboard

It would have been great if there were some sort of graphical representation, perhaps a progress bar, indicating how far along projects are and how much more is left to be done. Surprisingly, such graphical progress bars are absent at individual project dashboards too! This is one of the features that all project management apps have by default and this might actually be the one thing that Apollo lacks.

Final Thoughts

Apollo takes boredom out of the equation when dealing with most business tasks and the web app is easy to learn and quick to access. While it’s great that the Apollo team has decided not to charge users during the beta phase, it’s always good to set some sort expectations regarding pricing. If people who’ve been using the app for months find their pricing to be steep it might lead to a backlash. Case in point — Zendesk.

Those looking for a project management app for the first time and those whose subscriptions are going to expire soon might want to test drive Apollo before others and we definitely recommend giving it a try.

Share Your Thoughts!

Do you like the refreshing interface of Apollo? Will you consider making a switch from your existing project management app?


Summary

Apollo is not just a project management app but can also handle events, tasks, people, companies, calendar in a neatly integrated package.

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  • http://brandingdavid.com David Peralty

    I never add all my details to an application online if I don’t know what the bottom line will be with regards to price because if the price is too high, then I potentially have to re-enter all my data somewhere else if it doesn’t support exports I can use in other PM solutions.

  • http://www.availlive.com Joey Wong

    I will give it a try for sure since I’ve been looking for a project management system with CRM but it would be even better if they can do invoicing.

  • http://www.pmhut.com PM Hut

    As someone who has probably seen over a 100 project management tools so far, I have to say that Apollo looks amazing, and it also has great functionality while looking super simple.

    Finally, someone doing something right…

  • http://www.apollohq.com Tony Mobily

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your review! Lots of people are asking for an invite code,
    and we are doing our best to provide them as quickly as possible.

    Your review highlighted exactly why Apollo is different to the others.
    It is rewarding to see that after so much development, testing, and
    work, there are people out there who “see” those points. In two words
    – thank you! (To you, and to all those users testing it now after
    getting an invite code)

    Just to make sure everybody knows: we are about to release plans, but
    no, we won’t go silly on prices. We will be cheaper than the
    competition, and generally offer more (Apollo does both project
    management and CRM…). Plus, people who signed up using an invite
    code will have a lifetime discount on their workspace!

    We will soon release a Basecamp-compatible API; so, any third-party software that uses it (for invoicing, for example) will be compatible with Apollo!

    Thanks,

    Merc.

  • Mary J

    I would like to another online project collaboration tool which makes my work easier. The tool is DeskAway (http://www.deskaway.com) – a project management tool with free basic plan, free trials for paid plans having powerful and rich features.

  • Tim

    If you know basic web/database setup or have a web developer in your office, I would recommend Feng Office. It is open source and completely free to install on your own server.

  • Tim

    BTW, that Deskaway software listed above is WAY too expensive for what you get. If you’re going to pay that much, you might as well go with Basecamp. I would guess the above poster works for Deskaway.

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