Accelo Review & Alternative | Accelo vs ClientFlow
If you are looking for a project management and automation tool, you might have come across accelo. Here, I will briefly compare the features and utility of accelo with Clientflow. ClientFlow is essentially a Project management and communication platform helping you manage both internal and client communication.
1. Project Management
Both these tools help the users manage project but they have very different UIs. I would personally say that ClientFlow’s UI is much more intuitive while the UI of accelo is daunting because of their plethora of features displayed on the home screen itself. Basically Accelo has tried to be a all in one solution but is very confusing if you decide to explore it yourself.
Below are the features that both Accelo and ClientFlow provide wrt Project Management-
- Allows you to create tasks, assign them to yourself or any other assignee
- Select start and due dates
- Enter task description
- Have board or Kanban view
Now these are the features which are present in ClientFlow but not accelo that might come in handy for you-
- Attachments- In both ClientFlow and Accelo, you can attach documents present in your system to tasks. However, in ClientFlow you can also attach documents directly from your facebook, instagram, google drive and dropbox. Add to it that you can directly search images on web there itself and attach. These features are not present in accelo.
- Copying tasks– In ClientFlow, you have the option of copying a set of repetitive tasks that may be part of various projects so that you don’t have to type them again and again. Eg. if there is a task named ‘employee onboarding’ which will have certain sets of subtasks and attachments, you can just copy it and use it in various projects.
- Tasks status– Accelo has very limited task status namely ‘Accept’, ‘Accept & Start’, ‘Pending’’. Also, you cannot create your custom task statuses. In ClientFlow, you have a variety of task statuses such as ‘In progress’, ‘ Waiting for Client Approval’, ‘Blocked’, ‘In discussion’ etc. Apart from that, you can create unlimited no. of custom statuses according to your need.
- Project Template– You can save any of your Project as a template and use it later anytime. This proves to be very handy with projects that are recurring in nature. You won’t have to take the pain of listing all your tasks, subtasks and attachments.
2. Shared Inbox
This is a very useful feature that ClientFlow has. Accelo has a feature called Request Inbox which has a few similar features but it focuses only on client part and creating tickets out of the requests (premium feature) which needs to be resolved but completely misses in-house team conversation.
Let me explain what shared inbox means. If you have say firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com as an gmail account or google group, you can connect those with ClientFlow. Also you can connect your personal emails so that you don’t have to switch back and forth between your mail accounts.
There are also other features which makes ClientFlow’s Shared Inbox very advantageous to use –
- Internal comments– In ClietFlow’s Shared Inbox, you can assign your team member tasks directly from the mails so that there is a clear ownership of work.
- Approval– In ClientFlow, you can send mails to client directly using built in approval format with a due date and they have option of ‘accept’ or ‘reject’ after the proposal mail and they can state the reason for the same.
- Pre-built templates- ClientFlow has many pre-built mail templates such as onboarding templates, status update templates, feedback templates which saves you from writing those lengthy repetitive mails again and again.
- Custom ClientFlow account– You also have an option of creating and using a custom ClientFlow account if you don’t want to use gmail.
3. User Interface
As mentioned in my first point, accelo shows all its features in its homepage, which is highly confusing and non-intuitive. As a user, you must be clear about your purpose is before deciding on a tool. There are more specific tools regarding say, CRM (eg. Freshdesk, Hubspot) or for email campaigns (Mixmax) and having one in all tool doesn’t make much sense if you cannot have all the extensive features for that specific use-case.
As for Clientflow, it is very focused towards communication (internal as well as with client) and Managing Projects. So everything it does keeps these two focus points in mind. As of communication (Shared Inbox feature), the UI is similar to gmail so that the transition is very easy.
The same is true for Project Management. Projects have tasks and every task can be associated to a project/client or to a user. Plain and simple; meets all the requirements; no rocket science. Now if you try create a task in accelo, it gives you the option of associating it with companies, sales, projects, milestones, assets etc. Utterly confusing. This simple example gives an idea that accelo has tried to make a one in all product and in the process, it has made things super complicated.
The pricing of accelo is as complicated as the product itself. First the plan is divided into 5 categories, i.e. sales, projects, services, retainers and servOps. Now all of them are subsequently divided into two parts, i.e. plus and premium. Now, except servOps, the other pluses i.e. sales plus, project plus, services plus and retainers plus cost you $19 per month per user and premium costs you $39. ServOps plus costs you $39 and ServOps Premium costs $79 per user per month. Now, I wouldn’t explain all the plans and features each of them cover because when I open the page, it seems like someone has thrown plethora of features which I don’t understand right on my face (and trust me, it’s not a good feeling!).
As of ClientFlow, you get all the features which they have at $19 per user per month. That’s it. No gibberish.
Concluding, I would again iterate that in ClientFlow, they have focussed on two pillars that are the most important for any organisation i.e. Communication (both internal and with clients) and Managing projects. And as an evolving product, they take your feedback very seriously and implement them asap.