We’ve looked at several free CRM (Customer Relations Management) packages in the past. Now there’s a new entrant in the category: Bizroof is offering free accounts for their hosted offering, which handles a good chunk of tracking functionality. Their FAQ says that there will free accounts, though they may have limits (and details on paid accounts are not yet available).
Bizroof handles storing and cross-referencing a bunch of basics for anyone doing business: contacts and their organizations, events, documents, users, and tags. After creating an account, you’ll find yourself with immediate links to actions you can take: adding contacts and organizations, creating events, adjusting your preferences and so on. From there, your first stop is your account dashboard, which offers an overview of what’s been going on as well as deeper links.
It takes very little data entry to create things in Bizroof. Adding a person, for example, asks for their name, organization, and tags. You can add more details, such as phone numbers, web sites, and addresses, later. Although you can associate one contact with multiple instances of the supplied data (for example, multiple emails per contact) you can’t create your own data entry fields. Most things you create can also be set public (for anyone in your organization to see) or private (to your own account).
After creating contacts and organizations, you can add tags, notes, and events to them. These are easily viewed from their parent pages, but are also available collected – you can see all events on a calendar, or search for anything by tag. In addition, your dashboard keeps a running list of what’s gone on with your account, and also makes it available as an RSS feed. There are also specific RSS feed for events, contacts, and so on, so you can focus on what’s important to you at any level.
There are some other nice interoperability touches here: you can download a vCard for a contact, or an ics (iCal-format) file for an event. Bizroof also does document management – you can upload documents and tag them for easier finding, though you can’t associate them directly with other entities. Bizroof uses Amazon S3 for backups.
The service has a nice clean design, and the price (for now, at least) is hard to beat. The only major drawbacks I see in this initial release is that their server seems to be a bit slow, and there’s no information yet on what the plans and limits will be. But as an easily shareable system that covers the basics, it’s worth a look.