More than an egg from a rabbit

4-Apr 2012 • Product
Geoff

Turns out Easter brings more than chocolate eggs laid by a rabbit. Today we've released a bunch of new features and bug fixes for Accelo - we really hope you find them useful!

Work Screen Improvements

The work screen is one of the more important parts of Accelo. Since releasing it in its first version a couple of months ago, we've gotten some great feedback (particularly from our clients at Cardinal Path and Calligo). Here's a run-down of our improvements and bug fixes.

Relocating - heck yes!

  • Recording a start and end time for a work log
    Now, instead of just saying you worked 2 hours on a day, you can say when you did it! Perfect for cases where clients want more details of the work you and your team do, this feature has the benefit that it retrospectively puts the entry into your calendar so your history is up to date everywhere you care about it.
  • Seeing meetings that you're an attendee at, but were created by someone else
    This one was a bug, and a pretty embarassing one. If someone else created a meeting in Accelo and included you as an attendee, you couldn't see it on your work list, which made it very difficult for the work screen to give you an accurate report of the time you worked on a date. We've now fixed this, so any meetings that you are included in that are created by others are captured, automatically.
  • Bringing back timers!
    Wow, when we released the new work screen, we didn't think you'd miss the timer functionality. Turns out we were wrong! The timers have now been reinstated, and they're smarter than ever (which itself is a function of how much more this screen is doing). We'd love to hear what yoiu think.
  • Logging work against components and component tasks
    This one was another shortcoming with what we released initially, and also pretty embarassing. Our users released - and appreciated - how they could find almost anything in Accelo - a client, a job, an issue, a task - and log work against it. Unfortunately, you couldn't log work against a component of a project/job - the place where a lot of you do most of your billable work! We've now remedied this - you can now search by company name and find the components - and their sub-tasks - straight from the work screen.
  • Relocating diaries and conversations to other places (especially billable ones)
    Some of our clients have discovered that you can't log billable time against companies or prospects. This is deliberate, since you can only invoice for time against jobs, components and issues. Unfortunately, with the email capture putting diary entries against a company if the email isn't a reply to something already in Accelo, it is common to find a bunch of your time entries against non-billable company records. We've now made it really easy to relocate a diary entry from one place to another, so if you move a diary from the company to a component, for example, you'll then be able to log billable time - oh, and invoice for it later!
  • Little improvements
    We've also made a bunch of little improvements, including the ability to add a diary entry from your task list on the right hand side (important if you want to do more than just log time, such as scheduling a meeting or logging a phone call), not removing the tasks when you log time against them (in case you do work on the same thing a few times a day) and making sure after saving the changes in hours the screen reloads to where you were with the diary entries expanded out. Oh, and finally, we've now made it easier to log billable and non-billable time in the same place for things that are billable - very handy.

Of course, we're not done here. In the future, we'll be making it possible for users to take things they create outside Accelo - such as recurring and internal tasks in their calendars - and make it easy for them to convert these appointments across to become time entries against client projects, issues and more in Accelo.

If you'd like to share your feedback and suggestions, we'd love to hear them - either use the Make a Suggestion feature in Accelo directly, or email support@accelo.com.

Viewing Diaries in Threaded View 

The redesigned Accelo brought a lot of pluses, but one negative we heard was the loss of full diary threads. So we've brought them back in a new way. Now when you view a diary, at the bottom of the screen we'll list the other diaries and the number of diaries in the conversation. Sweet!

Confidentiality

While the auto email capture stuff is great 99% of the time, if you've got relationships with clients that you need to keep a little closer to your chest, we've got the answer for you.

We've recently refreshed our Confidentiality feature. Here's the short version of how it works:

  • If you have a contact or company that you need to have a more private relationship with, you can set your status as manager to be "confidential" through the "relationships" screen. 
  • If you select "Confidential", every email you send or receive from a contact against that company will be set to be "confidential". When you see them, they'll look normal. Other Accelo users will just see CONFIDENTIAL as the subject, and not be able to see the body. This way, if they can ask you for more info if they have a legitimate relationship with the company, but other than showing an email was captured, it is all completely obscured.
  • For more info about privacy, visibility and access controls, check out our help website.

Companies Dashboard

In the same vein as the Manager dashboard, you can now view all companies with the most email/phone activity and all companies where staff have been logging the most time + revenue.

You can also track the users managing the most companies, as well as see an overview of companies by status and other segmentations.

To access it, simply click on "Dashboard" from the "Company" navigation in the top left of Accelo.

Improved Job Export

We've made a bunch of improvements to our job export to include more real-time information about budgets, billable time and performance. 

To see it in action, simply do an export from any job list and see our new handiwork.

Around the Corner...

Of course, we're not done yet! Here's a few things we're releasing in the next few weeks.

  • Timesheet report
    Want to see what you and your team have been working on? Think it is kinda crazy we don't already have a dedicated interface for this key info? Yeah, so do we. We've got an awesome new report coming to you this month - stay tuned for more.
  • User Dashboard
    Who's working the hardest? What is going on with your work? We're about to release a new dashboard which tells you all this and more. 
  • Contracts Module Upgrade
    Do you do ongoing, retainer based work? Want to have cool tricky stuff like defined charge out rates, links to projects and issues, and one click renewals and invoicing? You're in luck - we're currenrly working on a major upgrade to our Contracts Module.
  • More in-line help
    We've also heard that some of the screens and fields in Accelo can be a bit tricky. We've heard you - coming soon are going to be a lot more help cues, in line and easy.
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