Task Management for Project Teams
Task management for project teams is one of the core functions in project management and involves a typical work breakdown structure that divides your project into manageable tasks. Managing such tasks on priority, while keeping up with the cost and schedule criteria, and ensuring team collaboration forms the basis of task management.
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What is task management?
Task management is the process of monitoring your project's tasks through their various stages from start to finish. This involves actively making decisions for your tasks to accommodate changes that can occur real-time, with your end goal being the successful completion of your tasks. Project task management also means managing all aspects of a task like budget, time, scope, resources, recurrence and so on effectively.
Project management vs task management
Project management is the process of managing a project which has a fixed start and end date through the various stages of planning, execution, monitoring and closing. A project is aimed at executing a specific end goal by performing several manageable work items to achieve it. These work items are called tasks.
Task management is the process of managing an individual task from conception to closing. A task needn't necessarily have any goal or even specific deadlines. A group of tasks together contribute towards the execution of a project. Therefore task management is inherently a function of project management.
Project management requires you to see the big picture. Project managers generally have multiple projects of various priorities running simultaneously. Successfully managing them requires a proper analysis of the relationships and dependencies that exist between its various components. Task management on the other hand involves micro-focus in achieving just the task completion. Both project and task management need team involvement and management to make sure the resources can optimally juggle multiple work items.
How to manage tasks?
In PMI's 2017 Global Project Management survey , 37% of executive leaders said "the primary cause of failure [of projects in their organization] was a lack of clearly defined objectives and milestones to measure progress" and "a lack of discipline when implementing strategy." Keeping this study in mind, here are some key steps involved in task management:
Prioritization: Whatever tool you use to manage your tasks, whether a simple to-do list or a comprehensive project task management tool, the most important aspect of task management is prioritization. This helps in efficiently completing all the tasks involved while maintaining the planned constraints.
Milestone tracking: The findings of this study also show that establishing clear goals is essential to the successful completion of a project. Although for task management an end goal isn't necessary, defining milestones helps motivate teams to execute tasks successfully.
Schedule management: Making sure your task gets completed on time is something that has an impact on the overall project health. Attributing the right time frame by estimating the effort involved is key here.
Resource allocation: Optimum resource management is the next step to ensure effective task management. Depending on the budget and schedule, assign the right talent and amount of resources to get work done.
Collaboration: For all the steps mentioned above, collaboration is key. While working in teams usually means more work gets done, keeping team members in sync can be difficult. Task management software for teams can help you keep your team connected.
Another interesting way to manage tasks can be by categorizing them on a deadline or priority matrix with "schedule" and "priority" as the axes. With this structure, necessary work that needs to be done immediately should be placed high on both priority and schedule, while necessary work that isn't needed immediately should be placed high on priority but low on schedule.
Why do you need to manage tasks?
Task management improves your workflow in many ways.
Make your work more efficient
Inefficiencies often stem from disinterest. Task management principles greatly improve productivity by making sure the right resources are utilized at the right time. This includes giving team members tasks and responsibilities that match their abilities and interests.
Bring focus to your job
Whether you work as an individual or for an organization, all your tasks are done in order to achieve a particular goal. However we often end up doing things that distract from or don't contribute to this. If there's a systematic way to approach all your work items, your work will be more focused on the end goal.
Organize your organization
It's not always possible to work only on one task at a time. However, working on many things all at once can become chaotic. Organizing your tasks in a way that helps streamline your workflow goes a long way in becoming more efficient and reaching your target.
How to implement task management?
You can manage tasks with a variety of tools, including:
Simple to-do lists or check lists
From grocery shopping to planning a sophisticated wedding, making simple lists to manage tasks never goes out of style.
Visually appealing and easy to use, these boards are simple yet effective. Dragging a task from "In process" to "Done" is almost as cathartic as striking it off a list.
What's a day without at least one reminder about that thing you forgot to do last week? Adding deadline-oriented reminders to your calendar helps organize your time.
Whether you use cloud or on-premise software, taking the time to set up your tasks here will reward you with insightful resources, reminders, and reports.
Beyond just the tools you use, there are many points to remember while implementing your task management system.
The subtle art of saying "no"
Learn it. Practice it. Say it to anything that won't help with your goal.
Beware of killers
Time, or productivity killers will make you lose focus.
Business as usual
Always remember to set aside time for your routine tasks while planning.
Balance your plate
Delegate tasks. You may be a perfectionist, but taking on everything yourself is a sure path to disaster.
Don't put it off
Things that can be done today should be done today. Procrastination leads to multitasking, and not in a good way.
Take a break
No one can be productive 24/7, so it's a good practice to prioritize even break-taking. Since interruptions are bound to happen throughout the day, taking deliberate, timed breaks will help you come back to work with renewed vigor.
Mind over matter
Stop worrying about things that you have no control over. While planning, make some room for the unexpected to happen, but otherwise don't let it affect your work.
Who is task management for?
Task management systems benefit anyone who has tasks to do—which is everyone. People who pursue project and task management can fall into the following broad categories:
Stay up to date on how free or busy your team members are, and delegate work accordingly.
Task management for teams helps with delegation of tasks within a team, coordinating team members to work productively towards a common goal.
Personal task management
Get instant updates and notifications on all work completed by your team members.
Why do you need a task management tool?
From task planning to managing, task management software helps you log and track every piece of information related to your project. The ability to keep track of your tasks, deadlines, meetings, and team responsibilities makes task management software a crucial tool for your business needs. If any issues arise, it only takes a click to gain insight into the exact source of the problem, take control immediately, and make changes to improve your work flow successfully. Additional collaboration features like chat, forums, and dashboard help your whole team stay connected and on top of the latest developments.
Benefits of using a task management tool
- Helps you to organize, assign, and prioritize tasks using color codes
- With the help of Gantt charts, it helps you monitor your progress and mark milestones to keep your project on schedule.
- Allows you to set goals, keep track of deliverables, and manage deadlines
- Offers comprehensive, customizable schedules to facilitate uninterrupted workflows
- Eliminates the need to remember all tasks yourself and keeps you on track with timely reminders
- Customizable options help you work with what you find comfortable
How to choose the right task management software?
Depending on your purpose, price range, existing work environment and preferred platform, there are several project and task management tools available. From simple checklists which may not even require an internet connection to a full-fledged project task management software, the capabilities are varied. There are also software options that fit specific industries like construction, IT or education or specific functions like crm task management.
Zoho Projects is an online task management tool that's not only affordable and easy-to-use, it also has features that ensure scalability and data security. Strong collaboration features, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, detailed reports and task-specific time trackers make this one of the best task management software options available in the market. The feature-rich basic version is also a means for performing free task management. Check out the pricing details of Zoho Projects here.
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Task Management: Everything You Need to Know
July 11, 2022
A guide to task management.
When your team is working on multiple projects, each with its own set of tasks divided among different team members, how do you make sure everything goes smoothly? How do you see if every task is completed on time? Is your team working on the most important tasks first? Does every employee have the relevant information needed to complete their tasks? Sure, you can rely on sticky notes, to-do lists, countless meetings, and endless email or Slack messages to keep track of everything. Or, you can use task management software to create an organized work process that ensures every task and project is completed efficiently.
In this guide, we'll be introducing you to task management and some common challenges that managers face. We'll also explain task management software, how it helps teams, and the features you should look for when choosing your task management solution.
What is Task Management?
Task management is the process of creating, prioritizing, delegating, and monitoring tasks to ensure they are completed within given deadlines. It also involves organizing the workflow and resolving bottlenecks to ensure efficient task completion. Task management is an essential component of effective project management and successful business operations.
Project managers (PMs) often use software for managing tasks to get an overview of the entire work process and the project's lifecycle. When they can see the big picture, it's easier to prioritize, schedule, and assign tasks. How is task management different from project management?
Task management can sit under project management , but they are two different roles. The first focuses on getting tasks set up and ensuring employees submit work before deadlines, whereas project management mainly focuses on reaching overall project milestones and deadlines. PMs can assign an employee multiple tasks across different projects as part of their daily or weekly workload since it's a unit of work. When these tasks are completed, it contributes to project progress.Project management also involves other aspects of projects, such as resource management, budgeting, and portfolio management.
What Are the Common Challenges in Task Management?
Task management might seem simple when you first start out, but it's a complex process with multiple variables. As such, PMs often face these challenges when it comes to task management:
- Employees need uniform and efficient work processes so that they can get their work done on time. Implementing these processes is easier said than done, especially for larger projects where tasks are spread across multiple employees and different teams.
- PMs can end up wasting a lot of time manually delegating and tracking every dependent task or subtask. A task management app with automation can speed up this process significantly.
- Collaboration is harder without task management software since every team member has to go back and forth between tools to understand even the most basic details. 50% of employees said workplace distractions, like checking multiple communication platforms, had a significant effect on their productivity.
- PMs have to manually set up a recurring task every time. Doing this on a weekly or monthly basis can bog them down with mundane work.
- It's challenging to keep track of every deadline, milestone, and goal. In a 2020 report, 54% of project managers said they did not have access to real-time project key performance indicators (KPIs).
When you lose track of important data related to project progress, it's harder for PMs to lead their teams toward successful project completion.
What is Task Management Software?
Task management software is a tool used to streamline all the processes involved in creating, delegating, and completing tasks. These tools are built to help project managers get the best out of their teams. They also help employees work faster and collaborate better.
A task management tool combines every necessary feature a PM needs to create and manage tasks. These features include:
- Creating and sharing task lists
- Assigning work to individuals
- Identifying and labeling dependent tasks
- Creating subtasks from larger deliverables
- Estimating task duration
- File sharing
- Collaboration tools
Most task managers also let you import data from third-party apps and attach them to tasks as needed. Ideally, your task manager should let you create a work process suitable for you rather than forcing your team to adapt to it. Whether you want to create a simple to-do list and assign each item to a team member or create a complex yet intuitive system to complete large projects, task management software makes the process effortless.
The Benefits of Task Management Software
If you're still not convinced that task management software is the way to go, here are some reasons for you to reconsider:
- Organize all tasks on a single platform: With the right task management tool, PMs have their entire workspace on one platform. They can delegate tasks with ease, monitor them at a single glance, and immediately address any delays or issues.
- Prioritize tasks based on importance: All tasks are important. But are they all equally important? No. With a task management tool, PMs and teams can focus on the most critical tasks first and then turn their attention towards less impactful ones.
- Boost team collaboration: ‘Teamwork makes the dream work’ might be a cliche, but it holds true for most organizations. Task management platforms have features to boost collaboration, such as in-task comments and user mentions, to help teams communicate with a purpose.
- Break down complex projects into subtasks and dependencies: Large projects can be daunting. They require tons of planning and seamless execution since minor delays or mistakes can lead to major issues. This is why task management software like SmartSuite lets you create sub-tasks and dependent tasks, so it's easier to manage.
- Automate repetitive tasks: Some tasks, like a monthly report or a weekly meeting, happen on specific dates throughout the year. Rather than setting up each of these occurrences manually, task management software uses automation to create tasks every month or week, based on the PM’s needs.
- Check on tasks with a single glance: Project managers have multiple projects on their plates. They can't afford to manually look at every task every day to make sure it will be completed on time. This is why they need a task management tool to see all their tasks in one window.
- Portability: Good task management software like SmartSuite lets PMs monitor tasks and communicate with their team no matter where they are via dynamic mobile apps. They can also alter task details on the go.
- Support remote teams: When the entire team can look at an up-to-date project board with all their tasks on it, they don't have to go looking for crucial information or badger their managers/team members for it. This is especially crucial for remote or hybrid teams where different workers have varying time zones and work schedules.
How to Pick the Best Task Management Software
When you're picking out a task management tool, here are seven features to look out for:
1. Visual Task Management
Your task management platform should have a visual interface that makes task planning, task tracking, and collaborative task management easy. This easy-to-use interface should let you drag and drop items, indicate task priority, add task dependencies, and easily see details like task status, deadlines, and assignees without actually opening the task. Team members should also have access to any information they need at all times.
Good project management software offers multiple project board views to support different project methodologies. These views include a Kanban board, Timeline View, and Card View.
On SmartSuite, PMs can group their team's tasks and create a Gantt Chart via the Calendar View or see a task list using the Grid View . In addition to this, time tracking capabilities allow team members to log their time and ensure they're being productive. A dynamic interface ensures proper information distribution and helps even the most rookie users understand their tasks in minutes.
2. Real-Time Collaboration
The right task management software enables you to create a culture of collaboration in your organization. One of the primary features to facilitate effective teamwork is in-task comments. When you add comments within tasks, work conversations happen where the work is being done — aka within context. This eliminates the need to switch between tabs and apps to get general information, updates, or edits.
SmartSuite takes it a step further by letting you @ mention team members to bring them into a conversation or grab their attention to an essential element within project tasks.
To streamline inter-team projects, SmartSuite has a member directory where you can view information about employees in other teams. This way, you can find collaborators from other departments and ask them to join your project. Permissions allow PMs to dictate what every employee has access to, while Activity History lets everyone monitor exactly what is happening.
Manual, redundant tasks have a significant impact on productivity. Research suggests 90% of employees are frequently burdened with monotonous or low-value tasks. Mundane, repeatable tasks that could be automated are estimated to cost businesses 19 working days of productivity per employee each year. Which can significantly affect your bottom line.
Automation is essential for effective task management. It eliminates low-impact tasks from your workflow so that employees can focus on work that matters. Task management software like SmartSuite has automation rules to streamline your work processes. The automation works on a "if this, then that" logic, where "this" is a trigger and "that" is an action. You can see an example in the image below.
You can use automation for creating and assigning tasks, getting notifications, moving tasks from one field to another, generating records from your email, and more. On SmartSuite, you can even automate events across multiple integrated apps.
If you need to calculate values quickly (or just hate math), you can use SmartSuite's Formulas to get all the calculation features you'd get in a spreadsheet. You don't have to manually build the formulas (though you can if you want to). Instead, you can just use the Formula Builder to pick items from a drop-down menu.
4. Third-Party Integration
When your team has to jump between different apps to get data, update schedules, or communicate, they waste time. The more tools they use, the more noise there is in terms of emails and notifications. This is why your task management system must integrate with third-party apps.
An integrated workspace that connects your email, Slack, Calendar, and document management systems helps teams eliminate the noise and be more productive. Tools like SmartSuite go beyond integration. We integrate with 2000+ apps and also let you create automation rules between them.
Using SmartSuite, you can create a cohesive system where all your apps work together.
Getting started with a task management platform shouldn't take you hours. The right tool will have templates for easy onboarding, regardless of the industry you're in. PMs need templates for multiple project processes in different industries to get their teams running as quickly as possible. Whether you're building a sales system, marketing campaign, or recruiting board, or you’re tracking a construction project, SmartSuite has Solution Templates for them all.
All of these templates are customizable. So, you just need to pick one and fill in the details or make changes to match your work process. Even if you choose to start from scratch, SmartSuite lets you create a project management tool for their team with ease. PMs can select from different elements, including work process, field types, and reports, to develop transformative business solutions for their team.
Dashboards are your key to making data-driven decisions on a task, project, and organizational level. A dashboard visualizes all critical data in one place, so managers and leaders can gain valuable insights, make crucial decisions, and identify any potential issues.
In task management software like SmartSuite, you get access to a dashboard filled with different types of widgets. All these widgets compile data in real-time and show the latest stats on every important project metric.
You can create a dashboard to track projects and monitor department performance, or you can even create a personal one to get your latest performance statistics.
On SmartSuite, you can embed charts into widgets and add tables to summarize the data for easier understanding. A dashboard helps keep decision-makers, such as stakeholders and leadership, updated on project progress. They can grasp project or task progress without diving into too much detail and make decisions accordingly.
7. Data Management
Manually filling in data from multiple sources into your project is time-consuming, and there's a higher chance of errors. Exporting data manually is equally arduous. The task management software you choose must enable seamless data importing and exporting with a few clicks. This is why in SmartSuite, you can import data from spreadsheets, calendars, and contacts to update existing records or create new ones. Its import module is intuitive and directly fills in the imported information into the appropriate fields.
You can also customize which data is filled into which column and pull in data from other apps using automation. Plus, you can directly add files to records, so team members have it right where they need it, rather than having to use email or Slack or a shared folder on another app. You can add multiple file types, images, and videos to every task or record.
You can also drag and drop or upload files into records, fields, checklist items, and comments. Collaborators can add comments directly into the shared file. For example, editors can use comments on an image to suggest edits.
What Is the Best Task Management Software?
We're not biased or anything, but SmartSuite is the best task management software for any team or organization. Do we have hundreds of competitors? Yes. But do we have the features to beat them all? We think so.
SmartSuite is a dynamic all-in-one work management platform that supports effortless task management and offers many other solutions across every business process.
Our tool uses a system of Solutions, Applications, Fields, and Records to help you create a task out of any item. You can read how it works here .
Here's how SmartSuite stands apart from its competitors:
- We have 100+ Solution Templates so that you can set up projects instantly. Whatever field you're in, there's a template for you.
- You can also build a custom Solution to match your team perfectly.
- Unlike most other workspace tools, our system lets you turn anything into a task by adding due dates and assigning it to team members. This includes checklist items, comments, sub-items, and records.
- Your tasks are supported by intuitive file sharing, collaboration, and data management features. So, your team can streamline their work processes and be more productive.
- Teams can use seven views — including Grid, Kanban, Card, Calendar, Timeline, Map, and Chart — to visualize their tasks and promote transparency.
- You can automate your entire workflow and create a cohesive work system on our platform by integrating with 2000+ third-party apps.
- Our time tracking capabilities make for easier work management.
- Our platform has activity logging, instant notifications, login tracking, and a recycle bin, so you're aware of any modifications to a Solution or specific data. Admins can even view all active sessions and terminate any suspicious ones.
- We have dynamic web, tablet, and mobile apps, so you can work on the go, at the office, or from home.
Learn more about our platform and why it is the best task management software here.
Get Your Work Done on Time With SmartSuite
Task management software is part of the foundation of a successful organization. SmartSuite has all the tools needed to help you manage every task and project without a hitch. Our robust platform caters to businesses across every niche.
You can get a taste of how our platform works by checking out our Task Manager Solution Template .
Recommended Templates (Live Interactive Demo):
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11 Management Tasks That Matter the Most For Your Company
Managing is one of the most important tasks in all companies, despite their type, size, market, or industry. As an entrepreneur, you will also need to practice management . Here you can find 11 most important management tasks.
Sometimes entrepreneurs at the same time in addition to their entrepreneurial duties will work on entirely different tasks called management tasks. That means they also need to have some types of managerial skills required for the successful implementation of management tasks.
There are plenty of tasks that managers will need to accomplish in their daily work routine whose purpose is to bring effectiveness and efficiency in their company.
Remember, you are building a business, not the product . Here is one list of the most important managerial tasks.
Management Task #1: Coaching
One of the most important management tasks is coaching. Managers must be the persons who will show to their subordinates or team members the right direction where the organization will need to go. They are simply instructors and trainers.
The goal is to develop business with high business potential energy in all organizational members.
Management Task #2: Planning
Planning is one of the management functions and one of the most important everyday tasks of the managers.
Managers are persons who plan the future of the company and think about all future activities that organizational members must accomplish. So, planning becomes one of the most important management tasks.
Scheduling, for example, is a crucial aspect of planning.
If managers were to take their time to plan their meetings or appointments, they can’t do away with scheduling their activities. It’s precise because of this why managers should invest in online scheduling platforms.
When they have a single place where they can view their schedules and important events, they gain clarity on how to go about their day, allowing them to perform better as managers.
Also, working with an online scheduling platform prevents them from missing their events since they get reminders minutes or days before the event schedule.”
Management Task #3: Change Agent
In reality, you can’t find even one day in your business without changes.
A successful change process will require strong change agents, the persons who will initiate and facilitate the whole process.
You must plan and manage the entire change process if you want to bring the desired results. Managers at the same time must ensure that the company will continue the current level of success and prepare to implement change that will bring future success.
Management Task #4: Forecasting the Future
Forecasting is another managerial task that will provide a picture of how the future will look like from the business perspective.
This managerial task is very important because if you implement it in the right way, you will have a clear vision for the future. In such a way you can better prepare yourself for that future.
Management Task #5: Motivating Employees
Employees must be motivated if you want to get the best results from their work. You can’t find the person who will work for nothing.
All employees have some motivational factors that will lead them to bring better results in your company. But, these motivational factors are different for each employee.
One of the management tasks is to optimize motivational processes and maximize employees’ working performances . So, create and spread motivation is another managerial task.
Management Task #6: Organizing
Organizing is also one of the management functions aside from planning and motivating. Without some level of organization, your company will exist in chaos.
Businesses with more employees will have different ideas, different ways of doing things, and different personal habits.
Organizing is a management task that will make all organizational differentiations to work as one whole – the company.
Management Task #7: Staffing
Staffing is another managerial task. Because the organizational members, or simply people are one of the most valuable resources for today’s companies, this task becomes crucial for managers.
Selecting the right staff for the company is the heart of enabling a successful company’s future operations. A better team will mean the existence of a higher business potential energy in the enterprise.
Management Task #8: Controlling
Controlling is also one of the managerial functions like planning, motivating, organizing, and staffing.
This task is something that will give you the picture for possible mistakes and failures between what you have planned and actual results from the implementation of your plans.
The goal is to minimize the deviation between plans and reality.
Management Task #9: Negotiating
Another important management task is negotiating. In the business world, there are two types of negotiations : internal and external negotiations.
Internal negotiation is in place when managers negotiate with the entities from inside the businesses, and external negotiation is in place when managers negotiate with external entities that are outside the company as suppliers, customers, and community.
The better negotiation skills of managers will increase the overall business potential energy of the company.
Management Task #10: Delegation
Successful managers know how to delegate the right tasks to the right people.
We cannot find the perfect manager. Delegating tasks to team members is something that differentiates successful managers from the average and below-average executives.
The delegation process is a combination of different knowledge and experience that will bring better accomplishment of the tasks.
Management Task #11: Representing
The last but not the less important managerial task is implementing the representative role of the company.
The managers represent companies that they manage.
How they look, how they talk, how they walk, and how they think will build the picture of the company in the eyes of the people from outside the enterprise.
If you want to read more articles about management, read the following:
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- 24 Time Management Tips
- 14 Best Planners For Peak Productivity, Success & Happiness
- Weekly Planner Template To Ace Your Weekly Schedule
- Is Your Structure Up To Date?
- I am Manager, What’s Next?
- 11 Managerial Skills
- The Level of Resistance to Change Versus Results from Change Process
- Resistance to Organizational Change
- Evolution of Organizational Changes
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Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter . Contact Dragan
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12 Effective Task Management Strategies for Modern-day Project Managers
“Our goals can only be achieved through the vehicle of a plan. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso
It’s common knowledge that projects are made up of tasks/ subtasks, each of which has its own importance in the successful completion of the project. Now the only secret to getting a project completed successfully is to manage its associated tasks with the utmost efficiency. And task management strategies are what help a project manager achieve all of this successfully.
In simple words, if you don’t have the right strategies for managing your team and their tasks, you can’t succeed as a project manager. That means you need to bring your organizational and task management skills into play. While working on a project, you need to identify all the tasks, figure out their duration, set priorities and put in all efforts to prevent them from falling behind the schedule. After all, as a project manager, you are the person responsible for keeping the projects and teams on track, particularly when the pressure is at its peak.
Table of Contents
1. Define everyone’s roles
2. use kanban for planning, 3. focus on one task at a time, 4. do the scary tasks first, 5. set time limits, 6. communicate clearly , 7. collaborate frequently, 8. develop an efficient filing system, 9. keep track of things, 10. never forget risks, 11. use a dedicated software, 12. be open to feedback.
Before getting started with task management and allocation, you need to clearly define everyone’s roles and responsibilities in the project. It is important for everyone in the team to know what they are supposed to do, and how their work is going to impact the overall project progress. This unifies their efforts and the team members can align their efforts in one direction. Also, that’s how you build accountability and a sense of responsibility in the team. When the team members have a clear understanding of what is expected from their work, they can work with a more focused mind, instead of being confused, which is the hallmark of a champion team .
There is no better way to plan your tasks and projects than using kanban boards. A kanban board is basically a visual representation of your project and your team’s overall progress . For many entrepreneurs, applying kanban for task management is one of the most effective ways to sort work-related tasks/activities. The visual representation provided by kanban answers all your important questions like “what tasks are currently being worked on?”, “how many tasks have been completed?”, “are there any tasks that are likely to fall behind schedule?”, “what tasks do we need to do next?” , and so on. For this and many other reasons, using kanban is a must if you are looking to optimize your team’s task management.
A major mistake that most project managers and teams make while working on projects is doing more than they can handle at once. As a result, they end up doing nothing at all. If you are considering your task management strategy, make sure that you avoid multitasking at all costs. Insead of doing everything at once, you can consider breaking big tasks into smaller subtasks and then focusing on getting them completed one by one. Even the world’s greatest professionals have admitted to struggle whenever they plan to do multiple things at the same time. So keep multitasking at a distance and give your complete attention to one task at a time.
Since we all are humans, it’s completely natural to feel a little anxious while dealing with difficult and challenging tasks. In most of the cases, we make all attempts to avoid difficult things or in other words – we prefer to save the most difficult task for the last. Now, this approach might save a few sweat but we will have to deal with the difficult tasks some day, right? So why don’t we get them completed in the very beginning. Just think of all the thoughts that go through your mind when you have a challenging task and think of how much motivated or credible you will feel when you would accomplish them successfully .
A critical part of the task management process is to set realistic time frames against against each task. As a project manager, you have to define milestones and deadlines within a project based on the relevant importance of the associated task or activity. While doing this, you need to make sure that every timeframe you set is actually achievable. Keep track of tasks at work and try to avoid any undue stress on your project team. Keep your task list organised and set realistic time limits.
According to Gallup – disengaged workers cost American Businesses somewhere between $450 billion to $550 billion annually. This number clearly reflects the importance of communication for businesses and teams, and also justifies why it is one of the most important task management strategies. As a manager, you need to streamline your team’s communication efforts to such an extent that it becomes effortless. One of the best ways to achieve this is by creating communication channels that ensure a free flow of information so that no one feels hesitant to ask questions, clarify doubts, and so on. You can use virtual commu
As a project manager, it is extremely important that you keep your task management strength clear in front of your fellow team members. Talk to your team on a regular basis, ask them about the project/task update (both success and failure), what frustrated them the most in their current task management strategy, and use their feedback to organise your tasks better. Effective collaboration is even more important when you are managing a virtual project team. It can be a little challenging at first but there are plenty of remote team collaboration tools and apps that make team communication smoother than ever before.
Managing tasks and projects include a lot of paperwork. Tons of documents are created and amended when you are working on a specific task in a project. Now this can easily turn into a task management nightmare if you don’t have a proper filing system. And we are not talking about the old. If you want to organise your tasks, you need to ensure that all the documents and critical data associated with a project are kept at one single place. Doing this will save you and your team a lot of time since you don’t have to worry about searching scattered files for the latest version of a document.
Developing a system and defining things sets the tone for building a successful team. However, how successful that system is proving to be is a different matter altogether. To see whether the system you have designed is working fine and whether the teams are able to accomplish their tasks successfully, you need always keep track of things. The easiest way to do this is by using a project and team reporting tool. Modern-day reporting tools come with features like project reports, resource reports, and time reports, which give you a clear idea of everyone’s efforts, how things are moving forward, and how team members are utilizing their time.
Believe it or not, fear is the biggest motivator of human behaviour, particularly in the case of task management and project management . You need to accept the fact that sometimes things might not happen as per the plan and think about the negative consequences. This helps you to prepare a task management strategy that ready for every scenario.
Last but certainly not the least, if you are wondering how to organize tasks at work and keep everything in one place, you can’t neglect the importance of a dedicated online software solution. Check out ProofHub online workflow management and task management software . Save yourself from the trouble of handling outdated spreadsheets and to-do lists, get your tasks and teams online with this feature rich software solution.
The last factor that is going to play a vital role in your list of task management strategies is – FEEDBACK. There’s always room for improvement, and it is by sharing constant feedback that you are going to find that room. Now, one important thing to remember here is that feedback sharing is always a two-way process. You need to provide feedback to the team members wherever you think is necessary, and at the same time ask them to give feedback for the work processes and overall everything. Doing so will make ensure that both your team and your work processes are evolving, and you are well on your way to achieve the best possible results.
Task management is an essential quality for every project manager. If you are not good at keeping your tasks organized, how can you expect your team to move the project forward? Just take a deep breath, do thorough planning. Take a good look at your resources, communicate extensively with your team, and with effective task management, project success should definitely come easy.
So, what do you think about these simple task management strategies ? Did you try any of them? If so, tell us how it helped you stop procrastinating and perform more productively in our twitter handle @proofhub !
Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on a lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, "Let’s go!" instead of "Go!" many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.
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What is Task Management? A Beginners Guide
Category: Task Management , BLOG .
This guide gives you an overview of Task Management, its importance, and how to implement an effective task management system.
- What is task management?
- Why is task Management important?
What are the essential task management skills?
- Tips for implementing an effective task management system.
- Task management tools, and how can they help you manage tasks better.
What is task management software?
Leveraging task management software to manage tasks better, task management: frequently asked questions.
Taking up projects and completing them successfully is the essential routine of any organization. Completing the tasks efficiently in an orderly way and promptly requires careful project management.
A project consists of numerous tasks and activities carried out by various individuals and teams, which all come together to create the outcomes that lead to the successful completion of the project. So the key to achieving effective project management is managing all these tasks better, monitoring their progress, and organizing and optimizing them systematically. Such an activity requires more than just a simple to-do list and a schedule; this is where task management becomes an important component of project management.
What is Task Management?
Task management is the process of breaking down a project into smaller tasks, managing those tasks, and monitoring the progress of every task. Task management aims to
- Break down projects into tasks
- Allocate tasks to teams and individuals according to their skillsets
- Constantly identify the most important activities that the employees should be doing at any given moment
- Prioritize tasks accordingly
- Organize tasks efficiently
- Forge team collaborations and enable better teamwork
- Empower employees to carry out their tasks in the most efficient manner
- Constantly evaluate and improve the way tasks are carried out
- Complete tasks in the shortest time possible using the least amount of resources
Why is task management important?
Task management is important because of the following reasons., 1. task management helps prioritize the right task at the right time.
During project execution, the priorities constantly change, and it is critical to do the right task at the right time. For instance, if you run an e-commerce store, you should work overtime to stock products and customize offers during the holiday season. It does not make sense to do that after New Year. So all your tasks related to that would be a high priority. Task management constantly evaluates every task and helps you decide which task should be prioritized at the current moment. This enables teams and individuals to use the time judiciously, focus on the critical tasks at the moment and complete the right tasks at the right time for successful project completion.
2. Task management gives you actionable insights
Task management visualizes all the tasks and processes and their respective status. This gives an overall idea of where the tasks and project stand. It helps you understand the project dynamics, workflows, and the nature of teamwork in cross-functional teams. You can monitor the project operations better, make data-driven decisions and generate insightful reports for the stakeholders.
3. Task management lets you keep track of costs and deadlines.
Completing a project is important, but completing it within the budget and before the deadline is equally essential. Task management helps you keep track of the cost spent on a task in relation to the progress made. Helps to constantly manage and reallocate resources according to changing needs in a project, cut spending wherever needed, and complete projects without overshooting the budget.
Task management verifies the status of every task in relation to the schedule. When a task hits a snag, the project managers can pay attention and address those tasks This helps in effective time management and timely completion of the projects, which is extremely important for the organization’s overall success.
4. Task management helps build better communication
Follow-up, review, and feedback are integral parts of task management. So, once the tasks are allocated to individuals, communication plays an essential role in getting the work done. Task management requires employees to constantly update their tasks and communicate with their project manager for review. Whenever there is an update on a task, they have to subject the task assessment to the manager’s feedback. This looping creates a reliable and consistent communication channel between the employees and the leadership, creating a robust workflow with relentless task progression.
5. Task management improves efficiency
Task management enables project managers to keep an eye on every task in the project. It enables the project manager to respond quickly to issues and provide smooth project flow, improving efficiency and keeping the project on track.
6. Task management increases productivity
The tasks are constantly reviewed, and challenges are addressed. There is teamwork and intervention from the project manager, and the employees involved in those tasks are required continuously to be at their productive best. With all the updates on tasks and deep insights provided by the task management software, it is easy for the managers to fathom how productive employees are and implement suitable performance management measures if needed.
First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end. Aristotle
Effective task management will pay dividends in both the short-term and long term. But to get it right, it is essential to have the following task management skills.
Six essential skills to be a good task manager.
Regardless of how well you plan a project, there is always a chance of something going wrong. It merely takes a few bad decisions, employee turnover, or even the slightest change in the market conditions to derail a project. So, one of the most important task management skills is quickly adapting to changing conditions, tackling unforeseen challenges, and being flexible enough to alter plans, reorganize tasks and absorb the impact of the changes to complete the project successfully.
Adapting to the changes is one thing, but reading conditions and foreseeing the imminent challenges is an entirely different task management skill. This skill helps you avoid specific challenges and delays by implementing timely solutions. If you can predict and foresee better, you can shift your priorities and manage tasks proactively.
3. Project Control
While paying attention to individual tasks and processes, it is also essential to have a complete overview of the project to have a broader understanding. Keeping an eye on the project’s overall development and how the status of various tasks affect the project’s progress helps you make crucial decisions based on a broader understanding of the project.
The project’s priorities constantly change; accordingly, some tasks lose their priority, and some gain their importance simultaneously. Focusing on tasks that don’t deserve your full attention at any given time slows the project. So it is an essential task management skill to ensure that all the tasks are aligned to the project’s goals and actively work towards fulfilling project objectives.
5. Aligning tasks to goals
Even when you can complete tasks faster and more efficiently if those tasks do not contribute to the objectives of the project, they will not serve the purpose of pushing the project forward. So it is an essential task management skill to ensure that all the tasks are aligned to the project’s goals and actively work towards fulfilling project objectives.
6. Time Management
When a scheduled task is not completed within the specified time, it has a ripple effect on the other tasks, ruining your subsequent plans. If the tasks get pushed to a later period, it will snowball into a bigger problem and affect the project. Time management skills let you complete the tasks on time and keep the project on schedule.
Tips for implementing an effective task management system
Some best practices let you implement effective task management and improve project execution.
- Create a daily schedule.
- Create a to-do list so that you do not miss anything.
- Identify the most important tasks to do, sort them according to their significance and prioritize your tasks.
- Focus on the task at hand and avoid distractions.
- Avoid postponing and stick to the schedule.
- Review your daily progress and ask yourself if you could have planned the day better and completed the task faster and more efficiently.
- Analyze your performance regularly and identify areas of improvement.
- Connect with your team members, collaborate and share responsibilities whenever you cannot complete all the tasks alone.
What are task management tools, and how can they help you manage tasks better?
Task management is impossible if you don’t have the right tools. Every aspect of task management requires a task management tool to make it work. For instance, a daily planner that helps create a daily schedule can be a task management tool.
The basics of task management are all the same regardless of the nature of the project and tasks involved. Depending on the size and scale of Organizations, task management tools and their capabilities can vary. The three types of task management tools are
1. Manual task management tools.
Manual task management tools are essential visualization tools, including charts, whiteboards, planners, schedules, etc. They are flexible and easy to use. But they have limited capabilities and are only suitable for personal use, small organizations, and projects with minimal tasks to manage.
2. Digital task management tools
Digital task management tools are electronic devices that help in task management. They can be anything ranging from a digital board to a simple spreadsheet or a powerful task management solution installed on computers that integrates with the other business systems to enable a wide range of capabilities for the benefit of multiple departments across the organization.
3. Online task management tools
Online task management tools are software systems available online and delivered as software as a service (SaaS). They offer cloud capabilities and promote better collaboration among team members from different locations. It is indispensable for a hybrid work setup, where the employees of an organization work from other places and geographical areas. Online task management tools help you manage tasks remotely, and they are highly scalable and can be upgraded. Some online task management tools include online task lists, Kanban boards, cloud-based task management systems, etc.
Task management software is a comprehensive suite that brings all task management functionalities to a computer or portable device. It streamlines task management, helps build collaboration, and gives you control over tasks and projects. It helps visualize performance based on various data points, thus empowering you with data-driven task management.
Following are the functionalities of a typical task management software.
1. List of tasks
Task management software displays all the tasks under one interface, along with details like who is responsible for the completion of each task, status of the tasks, priority of the task, etc. This interface gives control over the entire project and all the tasks involved in it. It allows the project manager to change priorities and re-assign and reorganize the tasks. The platform enables the employees to update the status of the tasks regularly. Managers get notified on completion of the pre-determined milestones. The task and project status are updated in real-time.
2. Workflow visualization
Task management software provides kanban boards to organize tasks, customize them to your production cycle, and visualize workflows to optimize them and achieve efficiency.
3. Task search
Finding a specific task and tracking its status can be difficult in a large project involving numerous tasks. Task management software lets you search the task based on criteria such as priority, completion status, etc., using filters and tags. It makes it easier to locate tasks within the system.
4. Real-time insights
Task management software enables precise time tracking by automatically creating insights based on the team’s logged hours. It also helps track budget spending, utilization of resources, the progress of tasks, and project performance.
5. Collaboration tools
Task management software traces the team dynamics and maps the tasks to the collaborators, creating a rich visualization of tasks undertaken by cross-functional teams and individuals sharing the workload. It promotes collaboration from multiple locations by letting users interact with the collaborators, work together as teams and quickly insert comments, notes, and files required for the quick progress of the tasks.
6. Live updates on tasks
Task management software enables employees to update their progress in their tasks, which are reflected in real-time. Project managers stay informed about task status and completion and make sound decisions based on real-time data. The software also provides ways to instantly alert the project managers whenever an update or change is made.
The right software tools can help your team to break down their objectives and goals into tasks and track them. Profit.co enables your team to transparently track tasks, promote accountability, and communicate on one centralized platform. Get started on Profit.co for free today!
Task management software simplifies the management of tasks and enables project managers to monitor the tasks and projects better.
- Steps in leveraging the task management software to optimize your tasks and workflows to manage tasks better and improve project performance.
- Create a project calendar to schedule the task with timelines, milestones, and deadlines for each task.
- Identify what is important and prioritize the tasks accordingly. Mark the priority of each task in the task list so that the employees can focus on the important things.
- Add individual task lists, share essential files and documents needed for the tasks, and add task descriptions.
- Assign the tasks to various teams and individuals so they will get notified and start working on those tasks.
- Visualize workflows and track the tasks.
- Classify the tasks based on their priorities and progress so that they can be easily found when the employees search for specific tasks.
- Encourage the teams and individuals to use the collaboration tools to communicate better and work together to create the best outcomes.
- Keep track of the updates and changes by getting notified instantly through email or the notification feature
- Use the dashboard to track tasks and get various project-related insights to make better decisions, and change the priority of tasks.
1. What is task management, and why is it important?
Task Management is the process of planning your day and scheduling tasks so that you can complete the right tasks at the right time in a systematic manner. It improves efficiency and improves performance.
2. How do you do task management?
Depending on your requirements, you can use any task management tool, such as a simple to-do list or a spreadsheet, up to a powerful Task Management System that gives you control over all the tasks involved in the entire project.
3. What are task management skills?
- Good planning
- Scheduling tasks
- Prioritizing and organizing tasks
- Building collaborations and teamwork
- Sound decision-making based on data analytics and insights
4. What are the four elements of project management?
The four core elements of project management include scope, time, money, and resources.
Better understanding of the differences between OKR, task management, and project management makes it easier for teams to use task management software. Software should be agile, easy to implement in your organization, and simple to integrate with your other software. To learn how Profit.co can help you with your company’s tasks, track them with measurable metrics and keep your team connected, book a free demo with the experts at Profit.co today!
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Task Management: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Things Done More Effectively
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John is the CEO of an online telemedicine company. He is pulled in all directions as he tries to bring his online health company to fruition while training his employees, getting licenses for his practitioners, and taking care of his family’s needs.
John invested in project management software and even hired a project manager to oversee the software development process, but the day-to-day tasks are slipping through the cracks.
If you, like John, are ready to learn some best practices you can employ in managing tasks and how to implement these practices in your current tasks, then this article is for you.
Task Management: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Things Done More Effectively – Chapter Index
Chapter 1: what is task management.
Chapter 2: How to Manage Tasks
Chapter 3: Task Management Tools
Chapter 4: task management software.
Chapter 5: How to Manage Your Tasks Effectively With SweetProcess
According to Techopedia , “Task management is an activity in which an individual or team leader tracks a task throughout its life cycle and makes decisions based on the progress.”
More than just tracking, however, task management also involves delegating tasks to team members and setting deadlines so that each task—and the entire project—is delivered in a timely manner.
Task management entails determining the “who” and the “what” that are needed to achieve a particular project’s goal. Following that, creating and executing a plan, and staying updated with the progress, become easier.
For a task to be managed properly, there are three crucial stages that such a task must sail through: the planning, executing, and monitoring stages.
The questions to answer for the planning stage are “What tasks will be carried out?” “Which personnel or team crew will handle what?” and “How should these tasks be prioritized?”
Task management, in its basic state, entails breaking down a particular project into a series of individual tasks and/or components. This is a sure way to enhance productivity and help execute a project efficiently.
As soon as these questions are answered, the execution stage is next. The task manager then keeps an eye on the list of tasks, and monitors the execution and overall process.
Why Task Management?
There is every chance you are wondering why you need task management and what the fuss is about.
There is a disparity between an individual’s way of doing things and how a dedicated task manager executes the same. It is quite a bit more than just monitoring whole projects or individual tasks, since utilizing task management strategies has an effect on both the planning and the execution of what you do. It ensures your team is efficient and that no one is left behind.
For instance, in this time when tasks are done remotely, effective task management ensures that you are on the same page with your team and that tasks are achieved within specified time frames.
Here are some benefits of task management, when utilized:
- It makes your work more efficient : Task management helps you stay on top of what is next and what is important, as opposed to spending your time thinking about what is next, thereby wasting more time. It helps to boost productivity.
- It brings focus to your job : Task management clarifies and focuses your attention on the next step in completing the task, allowing you to cut off distractions that compete for your attention on the job.
- It aids organization : Task management helps you put in place the right people suited for each role and helps you identify or determine when they step into the project. A project or task without a clear and organized way to work may evolve slowly and expend more time and energy than is necessary. With effective task management, you can be sure that everyone on the team knows where they belong, gets prompt delivery of information, and understands where they come into the process to achieve a common goal.
- It identifies resource needs : In big organizations, it is usually a challenge to identify where and how resource needs are allocated, especially if there exists a lack of understanding about which tasks are most highly valued and who will provide oversight. Task management helps to bring together your team and processes, and this results in an efficient and streamlined workflow by giving clarity in terms of identifying priorities, needs, and available resources every step of the way in your project.
- It creates room for better planning : Planning is crucial in projects and tasks alike, as well-planned projects save energy, expenses and time.
- It creates an environment for improved workflow : The ability to oversee a large project is no easy task. Sometimes, there is a need for increased interdependence among multiple teams, and any slight failure might bring a setback to the entire project.
Effective task management, which enhances collaboration and communication, helps to strengthen as well as improve the workflow process. Bringing teams together and encouraging them to all work in synergy will show them that they are all working toward a single purpose, irrespective of their locations and departments. This, in turn, raises the standards in your business and eases your team members’ lives as well.
- Monitoring : Task management uses a level of monitoring that allows you to see clearly the inadequacies in your plan. As you engage in active monitoring, it prevents delays, identifies task dependencies, and gives room to apply changes and tweaks where it is appropriate.
- Improved collaboration : Collaboration is improved when you employ task management strategies. Task management involves team management. It gives your team a clear idea of who is working on what and how they should work together, especially when you have multiple departments and teams pursuing a common goal. Task management brings the individuals together irrespective of their responsibilities, even if they are working remotely. Communication, teamwork and sharing of ideas and files becomes a lot easier and helps individuals know what to do in order to proffer solutions to existing problems.
Project Management vs. Task Management
Project management is the parent of task management. To drive this home, task management can be subsumed under project management, as task management entails micromanaging.
Project management deals with more than tasks. In project management, you have to allocate resources, foresee and identify risks and form a liaison with stakeholders. Task management is targeted toward smaller details and ensures that, to achieve the main goal, everyone is effective in their parts. So while project management looks at the bigger picture, task management is concerned with focusing on details to complete the task.
Task management is, therefore, fundamentally a part of project management.
But how exactly do you manage tasks effectively? Let’s consider that next.
Chapter 2: How To Manage Tasks
Managing tasks effectively doesn’t have to be a complex process, even if it’s for a Fortune 500 company. Basically, there are three ways to manage tasks.
Three Ways to Manage Tasks
Task management has proven time and time again to be crucial in the delivery of a successful project. Managers employ whichever method they think is best for their team. Here are the three common methods for task management:
- Write an old-school to-do list :This is the simplest way to handle your tasks. All you need to create a to-do list is a pen and paper.
The old-school way of writing a to-do list is good for tasks that are light and not cumbersome. All you need to do is write down each task, set a deadline for each of them, and mark each task off as you accomplish it.
Although to-do lists are ideal for personal tasks and will help you as an individual not go off the grid in your tasks, and cost less, they will only suffice for one person. You will need to find a more suitable option if the number of people you need to manage exceeds one.
- Use a kanban board: Dating back to the 1940s and developed by Toyota in Japan, a kanban board is digitized. It makes use of columns and enables you to visualize all your tasks at once and break down the project into identifiable segments.
To paint a clearer picture, the columns can be used to show the various stages of the project’s progress and workflow. You will find inside each column a card that shows individual tasks. As the project starts, and the team executes each task, members will, in time, journey down the kanban board until they reach the completed column.
Kanban boards not only maintain an organized task list but also ensure that bottlenecks are not missed and alarms are raised if deadlines are looming. Your team gets notified automatically about tasks that are overdue and that, in essence, helps to keep the project on the right track.
Using a kanban board is an effective way to visualize all the tasks inside a project and gives team members clarity about their workload, idea status, project progress, and deadlines.
- Use a task management tool :This is the easiest way for anyone to manage many projects at once. Aside from the fact that your team members have easy access to their personal accounts, they also have their separate schedules, lists of tasks, as well as deadlines assigned to each member.
Collaborations are made easy and time wastage is minimized, as there is no need to waste precious hours planning and attending meetings.
A task management tool will give you clarity as to who is handling what and when the due date for submission is. It also helps your team work on multiple projects at once.
Using a task management tool is efficient and perfect for projects that need collaboration and where tasks are assigned according to individual capacity. Task management tools are, however, reasonably expected to be more expensive than using pen and paper.
Now that you know the three different ways you can manage your tasks, the next step is to consider the specific strategies you’ll employ in managing your tasks.
Task Management Steps
Every good project that will result in success needs a plan or strategy. There are tasks and subtasks involved in a project and executing them well will definitely need proper planning.
Here are some steps you can take to manage your tasks more effectively:
1. Define everyone’s role : This is the first thing a project manager must do before anything else: define every individual’s role before allocating tasks to the team. Everyone on the team must not be in the dark about what they need to do or how their contribution keeps the project going. This brings unity in their efforts and streamlines it toward completing the project. It also gives team members a sense of responsibility and keeps their minds focused on the job once they are aware of what their roles are and how they will play out.
2. Use kanban for planning : Akanban board is a perfect way to plan projects and tasks. A kanban board presents you with a visual representation of your tasks or projects. This visual representation answers the most important questions: “What are the current tasks undergoing execution?” “How many tasks are yet to be completed?” “Are there tasks falling behind schedule and likely to derail the team’s concerted efforts?” and so on.
For this reason, the kanban board is the most efficient way for entrepreneurs to manage work-related tasks.
3. Stay on one task at a time : As a task manager, one thing you should never do is to try to do more things than you can handle. You might think it is helping to speed up the process when, in fact, it reduces your work rate and efficiency. When you consider your strategies, strike multi-tasking off the list. In place of doing it all at once, break enormous tasks down into doable bits and take on the tasks one after the other. This will give you a better result than multitasking.
4. Do the daunting tasks first : Anxiety is a natural feeling for humans especially when you face challenges. In the same vein, some really arduous parts of your tasks might bring the same anxious feelings. Do not leave the challenging bit for later. If you do, you might have dodged the real work for some time, but it is just waiting for you in the future. The best approach is to get the harder tasks out of the way. This takes a huge worry off your chest, and you feel better about it. So don’t leave the daunting tasks for later. Do them first.
5. Set deadlines and time limits : You must set realistic deadlines and time limits for each task. This is an important point that cannot be overlooked as you must define deadlines based on the associated activities and how crucial they are to the project. Ensure the deadlines and time frames are achievable and realistic.
It is also important to keep track of tasks while working and find a way to avoid undue stress on the team so they can achieve their set goals.
6. Communicate with clarity : Communication is such an important tool that its absence can bring about a dysfunctional team. Disengaged workers, according to Gallup , cause American businesses to lose between $450 and $550 billion annually. If anything, the numbers show how relevant communication is in business and team projects. It also reflects why effective communication is the most important task management strategy.
The job of a manager is to ensure that communication among the team is so streamlined that it happens easily without prompts. The manager must endeavor to create communication channels that make information flow as freely as possible and create an atmosphere where suggestions and questions are welcome so as to clear doubts. The manager can choose virtual communication in cases where physical communication is impossible or could be more expensive, as with remote workers.
7. Frequent collaboration : It is important that a project manager keep their task management ability open and clear, not hidden from the team members. This is even more important when you are dealing with a virtual team. Regularly communicating with your team members, asking them for updates on the progress of their tasks, setbacks they might have experienced, and challenges they may have encountered when applying the current strategy, provides feedback that can help you organize your tasks better. This may prove challenging at first, but recent developments in virtual collaboration tools and apps have helped to massively improve communication and teamwork.
8. Develop an efficient filing system : Paperwork is an inevitable part of project/task management. Large numbers of new documents are created and edited daily when you are working on a specific task. This can quickly develop into chaos if you don’t have a plan or system for filing. All the documents and raw data associated with a particular task or project must be arranged in the same place if you want to save time and avoid stress. You and your team will perform tasks better when they don’t have to search for scattered files or the newest version of an important document.
9. Keep track of things : Developing a system for managing tasks creates the foundation for a successful team. However, tracking this system’s efficiency is a completely different thing. Most days are filled with activity and go by in a heartbeat. During all this activity, it is important to monitor how well team members are able to achieve goals and to assess whether the system you have designed is indeed working. Using project reporting tools represents the best way to do this. Newer reporting tools use features like project reports, time reports and resource reports to show how effective the current model is in terms of team members’ productivity and how well they are utilizing time and resources.
10. Never forget risks : It is necessary to accept that sometimes things will not go according to plan. Therefore, it is important to think about the potential pitfalls in your current task management strategy so that you can be ready for every eventuality.
11. Use a dedicated software :The right tool at the right moment can work wonders for you and your team. A dedicated online software solution can exponentially raise the chances of your project’s success. Due to the abundance of options in the market today, it is necessary to research and choose the software that is easy to adopt and aligns with your finances and the requirements of your team.
This is why, later in this article, we included the top 25 task management software out there, so that you can compare and choose whichever suits your team best.
12. Be open to feedback : Communication and feedback represent a critical part of improving any system. It is important to remember that this must always be a two-way process. You should give feedback to your team members where necessary and ask them to do the same during and after tasks.
Many projects where team members are afraid to express what’s on their mind suffer from lack of information that may eventually jeopardize the whole operation.
Need more task management ideas? Below is a video that gives you “The 3 Best Methods for Task Management”
Pen and paper, notepads, kanban boards, journals, software, etc. have been mentioned throughout this article, and these are tools that can help you manage your tasks effectively.
Before we delve deeper into task management tools, one important question remains: Why should you use tools to manage your tasks?
To answer this, let’s consider the benefits of task management tools.
Benefits of Using a Task Management Tool
Other than speed and ease, using tools to manage tasks has numerous benefits, and some of them include:
Keep tasks in one place
Even for teams with a limited number of members, using a task management tool can give huge rewards. If all the team members used separate calendars, notes, documents and emails, the project manager would never be able to properly track who is handling what. A good task management tool will bring all tasks together in one place to help maximize efficiency, productivity and improve collaboration among team members. Within the same task management tool, you can easily plan and organize tasks.
Prioritize your work
It is impossible to be effective in today’s world without having a structure that helps you prioritize tasks and information. Most people are not as effective in managing their time as they think they are. In fact, research from the Pew Research Center states that 70% of Facebook users spend time using the app every day. This means that one’s task may always be at the mercy of the next notification that comes in, even when it is not important.
Using task management tools helps to arrange all your tasks according to priorities, track deadlines, and delegate tasks properly. This will ensure that the right amount of time is being spent on priority tasks without any distraction.
Teams are more effective when there is a common understanding of the goals and the strategy that is being used to achieve these goals. With a visual task management system, team members can easily see what their colleagues are working on. This makes it easy to search for information, identify problems early, and exchange ideas and solutions.
Track team progress
According to research conducted by the University of Ottawa , 33% of projects fail because they lacked involvement from senior management. Using task management tools helps you to constantly be present and easily notice when your attention is needed in certain tasks. Specialized charts will also help you monitor progress and track milestones that will help you keep your project on schedule.
Put project work at your fingertips
Task management tools will help team members have access to the task list round the clock, no matter what part of the world they’re working from. The sight of tasks being steadily checked off the to-do list also can help boost team spirit and morale.
Set due dates and never miss deadlines
With task management tools, keeping tabs on deliverables, tasks, and deadlines is so much easier. You may also involve the clients in this process to allow a transparent flow of information that promotes customer trust and loyalty.
Now that you’re sold (hopefully) on why you should employ task management tools, you should know that there are certain things you must look out for in a task management tool before opting for one.
Key Components of a Task Management Tool
Even in its simplest form, a task management tool serves to help teams, companies, and individuals stay organized.
This organization entails arranging tasks according to their priorities, visualizing the status of projects as they are being worked on, and analyzing results to determine future strategies.
The following are the important features found in all reliable task management tools:
- Prioritization : Since all your tasks cannot be addressed at once, the key in task management is to decide which tasks are more important. The task management tool helps you achieve exactly that. Using a color-coded system that is easy to understand, team members will be able to identify which tasks to prioritize and which ones to de-emphasize. Messages should easily be converted to tasks that can be filtered and arranged by their deadlines so that time is effectively managed.
- Visualization : Task management tools can help you observe the state of tasks at a simple glance. This visual medium should not be complicated and must be easily accessible to team members. Tasks are usually arranged in a checklist, with subtasks added underneath for detail. Different tools offer different methods of visualizing tasks and workflow, including project boards like kanban boards and Gantt charts.
- Analysis : This is an important part of tracking the progress of any task or project. Task management tools allow you to analyze data, whether through customized templates or formulas. They produce data that can be easily understood so that team members can easily observe what they have done, how they are doing, and where they can improve.
Any tool lacking in any of these three departments loses its essence as a task management tool. So what kinds of task management tools are available?
Types of Task Management Tools
Manual Task Management Tools
These are basic forms of a task management system that use physical items like blackboards, whiteboards, cork boards, or just a simple stretch of paper that has been fixed on the wall. These kinds of tools are only effective for people who are dealing with a small number of tasks that are similar. They are basic tools that are non-virtual. Companies with standardized tasks frequently use these tools because they do not require any serious updates or special attention. This allows them to be able to adapt the tool to multiple tasks with no stress.
Electronic Task Management Tools
Electronic task management tools range from simple spreadsheets to intensive management application apps. These tools provide project teams with increased functionality and flexibility. Unlike the manual task management tools, they can be carried around on your computer or mobile electronic device. They do not have restricted space and allow users to import as much or as little information as they want. Electronic task management tools contain much more advanced features compared to manual tools, such as resource tracking and analytics.
Online Task Management Tools
Online management systems have improved upon the electronic management tool by adding the boundless expandability of the internet. They are packages that allow team members to connect with each other from remote locations and still effectively monitor tasks. Online task management tools allow their users to work and store their information on the cloud so that individual members can properly manage their personal storage, and critical information is properly backed up.
The internet connection allows team members to communicate faster and collaborate more effectively. Task updates can be automatically communicated through emails, and client emails can be automatically converted to tasks on the tool. Thanks to online task management tools like kanban boards and project boards, teams who take on many tasks with varying descriptions and priorities can easily share information over an internet connection.
How can you choose the right tool for managing your tasks? Let’s look next into that.
Choosing the Right Task Management Tool
It is essential that you choose a task management tool that matches your purpose, price range, and existing work environment. This process takes a lot of time and careful research, as there are many task management tools that are available to choose from. They range from simple checklists, which may not even require an internet connection, to a full-fledged project task management software with a wide range of functionalities to satisfy even the most demanding teams. The simplicity or complexity of a task management tool hardly matters when selecting the one you need; it is more important that whatever tool you select can help you and your team organize yourselves better, collaborate, work faster, and be more productive.
The essential questions to ask yourself before selecting a task management tool are:
- What type of tasks do you usually encounter?
- How often is collaboration needed for tasks to be completed?
- How many people are on your team?
- Do you need the data analysis feature?
- Are the time-tracking features essential?
- Will you need to integrate the tool into existing systems and applications?
- Is remote access essential?
Whatever you end up picking should tick all the boxes for you so that you not only get things done, but you get them done properly and effectively.
Even though, as you can see, there are several tools available to help you manage your tasks more effectively, task management software is the most popular for a reason: it’s the most effective. And for this reason, task management software will be specially highlighted next.
Task management software is a tool that allows your team to turn large projects into manageable tasks and then helps you, usually in a shared virtual workspace, collaborate, plan, track and ultimately complete those tasks.
If you’re not yet sold on task management software, then let’s discuss why you should employ one—or more.
Why Do You Need Task Management Software?
Task management software will help you to avoid wasting time organizing sticky notes, searching your inbox for an important email, or writing endless numbers of to-do lists. These nifty tech platforms provide management solutions by helping team members collaborate, prioritize tasks, manage time effectively and meet deadlines—all in one tool.
Here are 11 reasons you need task management software:
- It helps your team to collaborate effectively : Task management software can allow up to 50 team members to communicate remotely. Beyond that, it also allows you to invite guests, which may include external specialists or clients. This, along with live editing features, provides full transparency over your tasks and allows effective feedback and exchange of ideas.
- Track time spent on work : Task management software helps to monitor the amount of time spent solving tasks. This, in turn, helps to monitor and improve the strategy used for delivering tasks.
- Organize, prioritize, and assign tasks : Task management software helps to eliminate the guesswork in planning. It will make sure that team members can see which tasks are most important or time intensive. It also clearly shows what tasks each member is currently handling, so that work can be delegated effectively without overworking anyone.
- Update status of tasks online : The ease of updating tasks in task management software allows team members to save time and observe changes in real-time. It also allows you to identify tasks that may require special attention or intervention.
- Monitor progress in real-time : The progress of tasks can be easily tracked in task management software. The software will allow you to check in on the status of your team’s projects immediately and easily assess your next move.
- Attach notes, files, links, and make comments to tasks : Task management software features allow important documents, links, and comments to be uploaded so that collaboration among team members is seamless.
- Share tasks with the team : You can easily delegate tasks among team members once they have been created with task management software and everyone is signed up.
- Create personal to-do lists within tasks : Task management software helps you create customized to-do lists that can be saved and easily reused. This is important for teams that work on similar tasks regularly.
- Keep tasks in one place : Task management software represents a pool of all the resources needed to effectively manage as many tasks as possible, all in one place.
- Put project work at your fingertips : Tasks can be accessed in this kind of software without restriction on team members’ location. Team members can carry software in their portable electronic devices and interact with the rest of the team effectively.
- Set due dates and never miss deadlines : By setting reminders and due dates for small sub-tasks and larger projects, you will be able to keep up with deadlines and deliver on time thanks to task management software.
Now that you’re 100% sold on task management software, the next step isn’t to run off to buy yourself one. Before doing that, you need to arm yourself with the knowledge of what to look for in your ideal task management software.
Key Features of the Best Task Management Software
To find your perfect task management software, you must first navigate the numerous options available in the market. The software you choose should provide features that are most important when it comes to managing your personal tasks, team members, and the general growth of your business.
However, there are certain important features that you must look out for when shopping for task management software. Some are:
- Robust task lists : Typically, task lists are created at the start of a project after consideration from all stakeholders involved. The best task management software contains detailed task lists that help you observe the status of tasks and see which team members they are best suited for.
- Dynamic kanban boards : Kanban boards allow team members to visualize workflow and production cycles. The software should have kanban boards that can be fully personalized to allow team members to organize their tasks into columns with labels such as to-do, in-progress and done. This gives a sense of transparency to the whole project and allows team members to focus on priority tasks.
- Instant email notification : Efficient task management software usually contains built-in email notification templates that are associated with different tasks. Whenever a task has been completed or reaches certain predetermined stages, an email notification is instantly sent out to selected team members using your desired template.
- Team collaboration tools : It has been said that team collaboration is the key to the success of any venture. Good task management software enhances this collaboration by giving team members a platform to communicate on. For instance, when a comment is uploaded regarding a task, an email notifies the other team members assigned to it. Even if a team member isn’t assigned to the task, they may access the conversations through different features within the software.
- Accurate time tracking : Tracking the progress of tasks is the most important part of management. If tasks aren’t being performed on time, then the project is in trouble. Task management software tools should help you to monitor deadlines and ensure that you are always on time with delivering tasks.
- Tags and filters : Apart from priority tags, there is a need for even more task identifiers in task management, especially in big projects where tasks have a higher chance of slipping through the cracks. These tags should be easily customized. The tasks may be tagged and filtered according to categories, such as difficulty or progress, which helps managers know which tasks have been started or otherwise delayed.
How to Choose the Right Task Management Software
Task management is not just about making a to-do list and ticking off tasks once they’re done; it’s about team management. It’s collaborating with team members, prioritizing tasks, managing your time, and monitoring progress. Therefore, picking a pocket-friendly software that permits the following features is essential.
Task planning and creation
Task management software allows for simpler ways of planning projects. It allows managers to easily create an overview of the project and share it with the stakeholders involved. The collaboration features of these software options also allow for brainstorming, which is needed for identifying, creating, and prioritizing tasks. Task management software allows for the creation of customized plans for new projects. They also use templates to organize tasks, and this is very useful, especially if your team constantly handles similar projects.
The next stage encompasses the ability to delegate tasks and tools to single or multiple people. Most task management software allows you to assign tasks—some more than others. Some software are able to assign multiple team members to a task, while others limit you to one team member per task. Task management software also monitors related tasks and makes sure that team members don’t work on tasks with incomplete information. They make sure certain tasks are not worked on until their affiliated tasks are completed.
A software that allows you to track task progress, observe status updates, and monitor deadlines is essential. Your tasks can be synced to your calendars and emails to make sure that you are constantly reminded of deadlines. You can arrange your tasks according to due dates or priorities, among others, so that you can work on the most important tasks first.
Effective task management software allows you to integrate it with other apps. This is especially important when you are collaborating with other professionals outside your team or working on a project with specific requirements. The ability to integrate third-party apps like Dropbox, One Drive, Workspace Calendar, and Zapier can prove to be very effective for your team management.
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect requirements for your task management software, the next question is: How exactly do you use this new piece of tech now in your possession?
How to Use Task Management Software
While each task management software has its own unique way of being used, and you might have to learn from the developers (perhaps from their knowledge base), there are some general usages they have in common.
First, the task page of your task management tool is the most important part of the software. You should make it a priority to visit it first thing every day. The tasks that have been assigned to you will be displayed on this page, and it is important to make sure that your priorities for that day are aligned with what you see on the task list. If not, then it is necessary to quickly make the required changes.
The details of tasks will be displayed once the task is clicked. Related information such as task documents, audio messages, links, and status updates can be easily attached to your tasks so you can always access them with ease.
A long task list may be daunting, but it is important that you stay calm and avoid being overwhelmed. Avoid multitasking too, as this inevitably leads to mistakes.
Finally, it is important to update your to-do list once you complete any individual item. An easier way to stay on top of your and your team’s deadlines and tasks is to check your to-do list at the end of the day and mark your tasks accordingly (i.e., “in progress” or “done”). This means that you will begin the next day with a clear idea of your progress and what your next priority should be.
Have you researched the numerous task management software available in the market and are still confused on which to choose? No worries, we got you covered below.
Best 25 Task Management Software Solutions
Here are the best 25 task management software out there, mostly based on popularity:
SweetProcess allows you to document standard operating procedures (SOPs) and easily share them among team members.
It can be used for a wide variety of tasks, from routine day-to-day operations to major projects. You can use SweetProcess for your personal projects or as part of a team.
Its collaboration features allow team members to collaborate on projects in real-time, despite their location.
SweetProcess also allows you to attach images and videos to your tasks and processes to improve clarity. It is perfect for supporting collaboration between team members with features like live task editing and real-time updates and feedback.
Pricing : SweetProcess is priced at $99 per month for a team of 20 people. It offers a free 14-day trial and a money-back guarantee 30 days after purchase.
Monday is an excellent task management software as it prioritizes simple, visual layouts that help clarify your work sequence.
It won the 2019 Webby Award for best productivity platform.
Monday allows you to customize its spreadsheet-like interface but also includes an exciting number of features that make it more aesthetically pleasing and interactive than a regular spreadsheet.
These features include message boards, task management boards, and some easy-to-read visualizations that allow you to display your project data and quickly get an idea of your progress.
Members can collaborate by uploading relevant files and assigning deadlines and tagging members on tasks.
Pricing : Monday is free for up to two users, and subscriptions are priced from $14/user/month.
Asana is one of the most popular software out there, and it is very well-suited to large teams.
Asana has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to use. The software also functions offline to allow you to continue updating your tasks and then sync it with the rest of your teammates’ work once you’re back online. It offers project templates that can be designed to fit your project’s specific tasks.
Pricing : Asana’s premium package begins at $10.99 per user, per month. The free option allows only ten members and excludes features like the dashboard, task analytics, and Gantt views, among others.
Trello is task management software with a free option that is great for small- and medium-sized business needs. It uses a kanban-style tool to help you organize your project.
You can add tasks, descriptions, and deadlines with a Trello card. These cards are easy to move around on Trello’s kanban board. It may be great for beginners, but it lacks powerful automation features and may not be suited to large operations.
It has some downsides when it comes to tracking time and task progress metrics. You may start your business with Trello, but if you plan to expand, expect to be shopping around for a more advanced tool as your business grows.
Pricing : Trello is free for up to 10 boards, and its paid “Business Class” annual subscription starts at $9.99 per month, per user.
Todoist task management software works as a to-do list that gives a clear overview of tasks. Its unique features help you organize tasks by date, color code, and much more. You can access many curated templates, such as social media calendars, product roadmaps, development workflows, etc.
Adding new tasks, comments, recurring due dates and subtasks is easy with Todoist.
Pricing : The free plan allows you to handle up to 80 tasks. Subscription plans start as low as $3 per month to $5 per month. You can use both paid plans for free for 30 days and even get a refund 30 days after purchase.
Wrike is a wonderful task management software for modern enterprises with an emphasis on remote work.
Wrike doubles as one of the best workflow management and board meeting software, which allows you to further simplify your workload. It fosters remote team collaboration with features like real-time editing and feedback on tasks.
Pricing : Wrike plans are divided into Professional ($9.80 per month; five to 15 users); Business ($24.80 per month; five to 200 users); and Enterprise (Quote-based plan; five unlimited users). Its free plan accommodates up to five members.
ClickUp is a task manager with powerful features for managing your team’s projects on one platform.
Team members can plan projects, schedule tasks, and manage resources in a centralized space. ClickUp helps team members and other stakeholders to collaborate easily. Team members can also create Gantt charts, calendars, and timelines to visualize tasks and workflow.
It also contains reporting features that allow you to create custom dashboards, as well as six built-in report types for team reporting.
Pricing : ClickUp’s free plan is robust and contains primary features. The unlimited plan starts at $5 a month per user and offers additional features.
The major specialty of Basecamp is the ridiculous amount of integration it allows.
Basecamp Personal, the free version of Basecamp, offers three projects, up to 20 users, and 1GB of storage space. This version of their tool is great for personal projects, students, freelancers, families, and light use.
Pricing : Basecamp Personal is free but a bit feature-lite, so many will feel compelled to upgrade to the professional paid plan. Basecamp subscription costs $99 per month.
MeisterTask is software that helps teams get more work done in a shorter time. The MeisterTask user interface is straightforward and easy to navigate. It offers lots of tutorials and articles that make using the task management software easy.
Some of their other features include data backup and recovery software, kanban boards, in-depth reports and statistics, etc. You may also become a “watcher” and stay in the loop to monitor task progress after you have assigned them to team members.
Pricing : The Basic plan is free and is suitable for simple task management, while the Pro plan ($8.25 per month) is suitable for extensive integration and automation. The Business plan ($20.75 per month) is used for extensive group sharing. The Enterprise plan is used by enterprises that require more advanced custom features and is therefore specially priced.
Any.do is task management software that offers features like calendars, planners, and reminders. There are other incredible features that make it unique, like the “Moment” feature, for example, which allows you to get a push notification telling you about all your plans for the day.
Other features include voice entry, automatically clearing finished tasks, and a free reminder tool that lets you add daily, weekly, and monthly reminders.
Pricing : The billing cycles Any.do offers includes: one month at $5.99 per month; six months at $4.49 per month; 12 months at $2.99 per month.
Smartsheet task management software is easily adaptable for users that have expertise in working with Microsoft Excel because of their similar spreadsheet interface.
Smartsheet takes it further by avoiding complicated formulas and making sure that you can add customized logos and different colored themes for separate projects.
It offers simple functions like assigning tasks, subtasks and resources. Team members get real-time updates when changes are made. Smartsheet also allows shared views, activity logs, and status reports that help team members remain organized.
It can be integrated into numerous apps and can be made extensible through REST API and Webhooks.
Pricing : Smartsheet starts at $7 per user, per month, with a range of three to 25 users. They also offer a 30-day free trial.
Taskworld is a type of task management software that encourages smarter collaboration among team members. It has an interactive interface that allows users to have a comprehensive overview of tasks in real time.
Tasks can be updated on multiple projects at the same time, and recurring tasks can be created for routine jobs.
Taskworld offers a “task points” feature so that you can order tasks based on their complexity. Other features include a common workspace that aids collaboration, checklists to break down complex tasks, tags, labels, file and image attachments.
Pricing : Taskworld offers two paid plans. The Professional plan is priced at $14.99 per user, per month when paid monthly ($10.99 per user, per month, billed annually). The Enterprise plan is billed according to the special needs of your project.
Taskworld offers a 15-day free trial, and you may receive up to three months free by subscribing annually.
ProofHub serves as a cloud-based solution for many enterprises. It uses key features like Gantt charts, notes, to-do lists, calendars, milestones, timesheets, and more.
ProofHub has a reporting engine that helps users generate reports to monitor their resource use and project progress.
Pricing : Proofhub offers a free version with limited features and paid subscriptions starting from $45 per month.
Teamwork is a powerful task management software that is rising in popularity, thanks to the simple user interface that allows users to manage multiple projects easily.
Every member of the team can use the software to track their important tasks and highlight how the progress of some tasks affects other team members.
This feature-rich software is suitable for almost any enterprise.
Pricing : Its free plan covers a maximum of two projects and subscriptions begin at $10 per month when paid annually. Enterprise plans are negotiated separately.
Jira is an excellent software for helping teams track time and carry out detailed planning that requires organization. You can create stories and issues for each team member to assign separate tasks.
A unique feature of Jira is that it allows you to create your own workflow, i.e., submission path. You can track tasks more easily thanks to its highly visible boards. You create different tags and filters for the cards, like released, unreleased, and in-progress. It also supports integration with over 3,000 third-party applications.
Pricing : Free plan is for up to 10 users. Standard subscription is priced at $7.50 per user per month; and premium at $14.50 per user per month. You can request customized pricing for over 100 users.
Evernote is task management software designed to take and organize notes during meetings or while managing projects. It has an easy-to-use interface and allows you to affix pictures and screen captures from the web, share notes with your team and so much more.
Evernote allows you to manage tons of information in a single place with lots of other features that make sure your files are always accessible.
Pricing : Evernote has a free version. Its paid plans include Personal at $7.99 per month; and Professional at $9.99 per month.
Sendtask is a task management tool that helps you create to-do lists for your tasks.
It allows ease in collaboration with your team members, clients, and suppliers under a single dashboard. Clients and suppliers can collaborate with your team without joining the application.
Auto-reminders and direct integration with Slack are added advantages.
Pricing : The software is still in its beta version, so it’s free for use. The website also says that current features will always remain free, so you still can plan a long-term partnership with the software.
Nifty is a great piece of software that helps you visualize your tasks all at once and break down your projects into tasks to fulfill big goals.
You can filter and view all the tasks by their deadline to know which one to tackle first. In addition, you can filter tasks by categories, milestones, and more. Task templates can also be stored for recurring tasks.
Nifty also allows you to move your tasks from pre-existing platforms like Trello very easily.
Pricing : Niffy subscriptions start from $39 per month to $399 per month for an enterprise plan. It also allows a 14-day free trial for you to test out the software.
Airtable allows you to create and assign tasks, attach files (including notes) and set statuses. It also allows you to manage projects in multiple views through the gallery, grid view, calendar view, and the kanban.
It is a suitable collaboration tool for all business sizes, whether small or midsize businesses, or large enterprises, especially if your team members prefer to manage projects on tools like Microsoft Excel. That’s because it has a spreadsheet interface and focuses on data organization.
Pricing : Airtable offers four pricing plans: Free, Plus ($12 per month), Pro ($24 per month), and Enterprise, which requires you to contact Airtable for a quote.
Hitask simplifies task management by helping you easily construct new projects, assign and share tasks, share a central archive and calendar, send and receive notifications, and synchronize information across all devices.
It’s one of the simplest and easiest-to-use task management software, and this allows teams to set up new projects very quickly.
One nifty feature Hitask has is its repeating tasks feature. It saves you the time of creating the same tasks over and over again. This allows you to create repeating events, be it daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.
Pricing : Pricing starts at $4.98 per month and it also has a free plan.
As an online task management tool that helps to keep teams productive, nTask provides members with tools that allow efficient collaboration between team members. These tools include scheduling meetings, assigning tasks, generating progress reports, setting recurring tasks, sharing files, attaching files to tasks, and generating checklists.
nTask can be used by anyone as it is easily learned and has a simple interface. It’s especially great for individuals and small teams.
Pricing : nTask offers a free version and a paid version at the affordable rate of $2.99 per month.
22. Things 3
Things 3 is an award-winning personal task manager for Mac and iOS.
The tool blends beautiful design with robust task management features like to-do lists, calendars, and more.
Things 3 mobile app has a beautiful design, including smooth animations, a dark mode, and solid project documentation capabilities. The software also integrates with many iOS-specific tools, like Apple’s Calendar and iCloud.
Other task management software, like Slack, Asana, Evernote, Basecamp, and Jira can be connected to Things through an account with Zapier.
Pricing : Things 3 is priced at $9.99 for iPhone/iWatch, $19.99 for iPad, and $49.99 on the Mac. It comes with a 15-day free trial.
Taskque is a web-based project management software that is designed to allow you to monitor and optimize performance.
Taskque also allows for enhanced collaborations among members and helps maximize productivity.
Automatically assigning tasks to the next available team member to zero down on your work is one unique feature of Taskque.
It’s usually described as “one of the best task managers that’s a step up over a regular to-do list app.”
Pricing : Taskque has a free version limited to five people and a $5 per month plan designed for businesses.
Flow is task management software that helps team members communicate effectively and spend less time discussing tasks. It allows users to visualize tasks through kanban boards and offers features such as social collaboration and dynamic issue tracking.
Flow helps in prioritizing multiple to-do lists and therefore allows tasks to be managed effectively.
Flow basically helps you to focus on work.
Pricing : Subscription to Flow is priced at $53 per month for six people. You have to contact Flow directly to access its pro plan.
Quire is suitable for small- to medium-sized businesses. With Quire’s nested task list you can break down tasks into small, manageable steps for easier implementation.
It helps you to manage to-do lists and tasks, and it facilitates collaboration across teams.
Quire offers useful features such as document management, live editing, discussion boards, file sharing, milestone tracking and project planning.
Pricing : Quire is priced at $8.95 per month. It also comes with a free version and a 30-day free trial.
Now you have 25 of the most popular task management software from which you can choose, depending on your needs, to manage your tasks.
Despite this, choosing can still be a daunting process. If you are still confused, you can try SweetProcess, and then decide if it’s for you. It’s free to try and no credit card is required.
Let’s discuss SweetProcess next.
Chapter 5: How To Manage Your Tasks Effectively With SweetProcess
Whether you are managing a team of experts or you’re hiring your first employee, SweetProcess gives you the systemization you need to help organize and grow your business.
This task management software allows you to centralize everything related to a particular project or task so that you never have to waste time worrying about “Who kept what?” and “Who is working on what?”
SweetProcess allows you to document procedures and make sure that everything that concerns that task is kept in one accessible place. This feature helps to remove guesswork from recurring tasks and allows new employees to hit the ground running.
Jamie Ramsden, business intelligence and lean Six Sigma champion at Turkstra Lumber , describes how they supercharged their employees’ efficiency by creating seamless business processes—a great example of SweetProcess in action!
The team at Turkstra Lumber was effective at doing their jobs without documented processes, but they weren’t as coordinated as they should be. They performed tasks in different ways, creating inconsistency across the organization.
Having everyone on the same page, working with the same processes and procedures, was imperative to achieve the great results they desired.
There are several ways the team at Turkstra Lumber is benefitting from implementing SweetProcess in their organization, but one notable way is that even though the organization already boasts of great employees, it has been able to equip them with the business processes and procedures they need to perform tasks efficiently instead of wasting time and resources. By doing so, its employees are now even more productive.
Moreover, with SweetProcess the organization fosters collaborations among employees as it allows everyone to contribute to creating business processes, procedures, and policies.
Another organization, out of hundreds, that has benefitted from SweetProcess’s easy process documentation in completing tasks is Onogo.
According to Florinela Serban, head of operations at Onogo : “The main difference with SweetProcess that appealed to me is the ease of use… There’s a lot that you can also do with the content. You can add videos and photos and links to more information; and not only that, but you can also run it as tasks and on the backend.”
All the procedures that have been used in solving tasks remain saved in SweetProcess and become a rich knowledge base for a new employee who is encountering new challenges or clients who want to learn more about the process.
Other than documenting procedures and processes, SweetProcess makes it easy for you to track the activities and task history of team members. It saves you time and allows you to always remain on top of situations.
To sum it all up, SweetProcess allows you to:
- Document your procedures step by step.
- Combine several procedures to form a workflow.
- Turn your procedures into actionable tasks and assign tasks to team members.
- Restrict access to selected members of your team.
- Get team members to suggest improvements.
- Create a decentralized knowledge base from your procedures and policies.
- Integrate with over 1,000 apps.
- Track changes made to tasks with version history.
- Embed files and videos to your tasks and procedures.
- Collaborate in real-time with team members.
- Secure your account with two-factor authentication.
- Get access to email and phone support if you need help.
- Edit screenshots and images right inside SweetProcess.
Want to find out if SweetProcess is the solution your organization has been waiting for to better manage tasks? Then take advantage of the free trial.
SweetProcess allows users to experience a 14-day free trial that requires no credit card information for you to access. After which you can subscribe for $99 per month ($82.50 if you pay annually) for a team of up to 20 people and pay an extra $5 per month ($4.17 if you pay annually) for every team member you add over this number. If your team is not up to 20 members, then you can contact SweetProcess to gain access to their special pricing for smaller teams.
You can use your active SweetProcess account with the iOS and Android app options, without any additional fee. Simply head to your apps store, search for SweetProcess and download it for free.
SweetProcess guarantees you’ll get your money back if you are not satisfied with the progress made within thirty days of using the software. We also offer a free one-hour phone consultation to brainstorm strategies to grow your business.
Simply click here to sign up for a free 14-day trial of SweetProcess and start your journey toward effective task management.
There you have it! Task management operations, as crucial as they are, do not need to be a source of stress, or be stressful in any way. This is especially true if you employ a reliable task management solution like SweetProcess.
Now you should have everything you need to know to tackle all your task management challenges. You just need to take the correct next step and try SweetProcess for free.
Join more than 40,000 thriving companies today and allow SweetProcess to help organize your processes and tasks for speedier business growth.
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The Ultimate Guide to…
Brought to you by projectmanager, the online task management tool used to plan over 2 million projects..
What Is Task Management?
- Why Manage Tasks?
Common Task Management Tools
What is task management software, benefits of task management software, how to manage tasks in projectmanager, how to manage your team’s tasks.
- What You See On a Task Management System
- How To Track Task Progress
How Often Should You Update Your To-Do List?
Should you share task lists, how to save time with task management tools, next steps for task management.
Projects are made up of tasks, and knowing how to manage your tasks and team members is the secret to getting your projects completed on time. At its simplest, task management is having a to-do list, but you’ll soon find that to-do lists aren’t going to cut it for managing project workloads.
Task management is a process where a project manager identifies, monitors and progresses the work that needs to be done during the day. In terms of project management, task management is how the workflow is efficiently organized. It’s task-oriented, detailed and part of the larger scheduling of a project.
Tasks come in all shapes and sizes, and so should task management software. ProjectManager is online project management software that helps teams manage their tasks in real time. Assign and prioritize tasks, set up recurring tasks and give teams a collaborative platform to share files and comments. More than a mere to-do list, our tool also helps track your tasks in real time to keep you on track. Get started for free today.
A task, just like a project, has a life cycle. It starts when the task is ready, then it’s assigned, started, finished and verified. It can also be terminated, expired, paused or failed. Some tasks can be dependent on others to start or finish. The process of monitoring them is known as task tracking and it’s an important aspect of project management.
Task management is a complicated discipline, one that requires great attention to detail, flexibility and the right project management tools.
Why Should You Use Task Management Tools?
You can’t be efficient if all you do is react to whoever shouts the loudest at work. You can’t be efficient purely by answering the next email in your inbox. And data from the Pew Research Center points to another reason that you might not be as good at managing your tasks as you think: 70% of Facebook users spend time on the app every day.
You have to manage your tasks as a group because what comes in next might not be the most important. You have to manage your time to spend the right amount of time working on the priority tasks.
To keep things organized you’ll need a task management tool to help you prioritize tasks, track progress and collaborate with your team. Our free Related: task tracking template is a great place to start monitoring your project tasks.
Task management tools let you stay on top of all your work and help your team hit their deadlines too. The benefits of task management are:
- You can see everything you are working on at once
- You know what your priorities are
- You know how much time you’ve got to do those tasks
- You can group tasks together to work on similar things at the same time
Some project management tools also offer resource management, time tracking, and team collaboration features so that you can manage your projects.
Above all, you can keep a balanced workload so that you can adjust or delegate tasks and deadlines—preventing you from being overworked.
There are lots of project management tools for managing your tasks. We’ll outline a few of the more common tools below.
At the simplest, you’ve got a notebook and pen and you can write down your to-do list. The downside of this simple approach is that it’s hard to move tasks around to group them and prioritize them. Today most task management apps come with a to-do list feature that helps you better track, prioritize and assign tasks.
Online Task Lists
The online task list is a step up from a to-do list. Since it’s online, it can be accessed from anywhere, and it can be updated and edited easily.
ProjectManager’s online task list lets you have complete control over your tasks. Add due dates, priority levels, attachments, notes and even tags for easy sorting. Plus, you can set recurring tasks so you don’t have to keep adding them to the project. If you’re working on a team, you can assign tasks to other team members to help carry the workload.
Online Kanban Boards
If task lists just don’t do it for you, try using kanban boards to manage tasks. Kanban boards are a popular project management tool that provides a visual means to manage your project tasks. Tasks are created using kanban cards, which are then placed in relevant columns.
Kanban board columns are typically labeled as “to do, doing, done,” but with ProjectManager you can customize your columns to say whatever you want. Plus, just like with the task list feature, you can add files, comments, priority levels and more to your tasks. The user-friendly interface allows you to quickly track progress levels for tasks, and where a bottleneck or overdue task might be lurking.
Task management software streamlines the process of managing tasks. It gives project managers more control over project tasks and teams the means to work better together to complete those tasks.
Comprehensive task management software , like ProjectManager, lets you use all of the most common task management tools in one software. Task management is more than just making a to-do list and crossing out those tasks once they’re complete. It’s controlling your work, prioritizing tasks, collaborating with team members and tracking progress.
Watch the video below to learn more about task management, and how a well-organized task list can set you up for success.
Powerful task management software can offer a path for your teams to work more productively. A task management tool that is integrated with other project management features is even better and can help you better manage tasks and projects.
Here are some key benefits to look out for when choosing the best task management software to manage your work.
- Track time spent on work
- Collaborate with teams
- Organize, prioritize and assign tasks
- Monitor progress in real-time
- Update status of tasks online
- Attach notes, files, links and make comments to tasks
- Share tasks with the team
- Create personal to-do lists within tasks
Must-Have Task Management Software Features
Prioritize work & set recurring tasks.
More than a to-do list, you need project management software equipped with a task list where you can assign tasks, track progress, set priorities, attach files, share comments and list due dates. Set recurring tasks for repeated work to save time. You want the ability to create your own private task lists and migrate them to Gantt charts too, so you can organize your work.
Visualize & Customize Workflow
Kanban boards visualize workflow and should be easy to use with drag and drop cards. Your kanban board columns need to be customizable so you can align the tool to your project’s production cycle. They can be great to organize tasks, collect product backlog items and plan sprints.
Stay Updated on All Changes
Staying updated with everyone’s work facilitates team collaboration and gives project managers real-time data to make better decisions. Changes to tasks can trigger email alerts to keep everyone on the same page. In-app notification is even better.
Work Better Together
Give your team a collaborative project management platform and they’ll be more productive. Online task management software connects teams anywhere and at any time, to let them comment on their tasks and attach relevant files to foster teamwork.
Get Real-Time Data on Task Progress
To stay on schedule you need to keep an accurate time tracking record of your team’s logged hours on tasks. There are also the costs associated with resources, which must be tracked to stay on budget. An online task management tool can monitor progress and track performance.
Find Tasks Quickly & Easily
Projects have many tasks and you want to be able to find the one you need when you need it. That’s where tags come in. By tagging tasks by priority, department or deliverable, you can quickly filter your work and see just what you want when you want it.
ProjectManager gives you all the task management tools you need to collect, assign and track tasks through every phase of their life cycle.
Here’s a step-by-step list of how to manage your tasks in ProjectManager. Sign up for a free trial and follow along to take control of your project tasks.
1. Import Task List or Start a New One
Tasks are the small jobs that lead to the final deliverable. You break down the larger project into these more manageable tasks, which is called a task list.
In ProjectManager, you can easily import your task list from any spreadsheet or even from another project management software, once it’s been exported. Or you can open a new project and start your task list in the software.
ProjectManager allows you to visualize your task list using multiple project views such as Gantt charts, kanban boards, project calendars or the task list view.
2. Prioritize Tasks
Tasks can be overwhelming unless you first determine what must be done, what’s important and what can be ignored if there’s no time. That’s called prioritization.
ProjectManager has a pulldown menu that can indicate priority. There are preset priorities with symbols and color codes. Now you can filter your task list to see what to work on next.
3. Add Task Descriptions
Tasks should come with directions. Teams shouldn’t be micromanaged, but there is usually project management documentation that clarifies expectations. That frees up both the manager and the team member.
Our project management software has unlimited file storage, so managers and team members alike can attach as many documents and images that they need to the task. Team members can even manage their own tasks by adding to-do lists or comments.
4. Assign Work
No task gets done unless there’s someone assigned to it. Assigning work is what triggers that task’s execution. No amount of direction or organization is going to overcome a lack of accountability.
ProjectManager’s task management tools make assigning tasks easy. Once you’ve invited the team into the project, they’re all collected in the dropdown menu on the task. Simply select one or more team members and they’ll be alerted by email.
5. Switch to Kanban View
Not all team members are going to work the same way. Managers and stakeholders tend to respond to the timeline view of a Gantt chart. Team members, however, want a project view that helps them track tasks and manage their work. Kanban boards are a great task management tool to visualize production cycles and automate workflows .
ProjectManager has a kanban board view that’s fully customizable. Team members can organize their tasks into columns, such as to do, doing and done. Then they can just drag and drop their task card to the appropriate kanban board column. This helps them stay focused on what’s high priority, while providing transparency into what everyone is working on.
6. Set Up Filters
On big projects, tasks are going to need more identifiers than just priority levels, or else they’ll fall through the cracks. Plus project managers will want their team to update their statuses with notes and progress levels.
With ProjectManager’s task tracking features, team members can indicate their status on a progress bar, noting how much work they’ve done. Managers can filter by progress to see what work has been started. You can set custom tags for better categorization, too.
7. Stay Productive with Collaboration Features & Email Alerts
Team collaboration is what makes projects more productive. Getting team members to work better together leads to greater efficiencies and quality deliverables. Being able to give teams collaborative tools is essential to any successful task management.
ProjectManager’s task management tools facilitate collaboration at the task level by giving teams a project management platform to communicate. When a comment is added to the task, an email notifies the other person. If that person isn’t assigned to the task, you can still bring them into the conversation by tagging them in the task list, kanban board, Gantt chart or project calendar view. While it can be difficult to search out these dialogues on email, they’re all tethered to your task and easy to find on ProjectManager.
8. Track with Dashboard
Managing tasks means tracking progress. If your tasks aren’t performing as planned, then your project is in trouble. A task tracking dashboard collects project metrics to give you a high-level view of the project.
ProjectManager has a real-time project management dashboard, so the data collected isn’t from yesterday, but as current as the most recent status update. It then takes all that information and crunches the numbers, displaying the results in user-friendly graphs and charts that can be shared with stakeholders.
9. Get Detailed Reports
Dashboards are good for broad strokes, but managing tasks means getting into the weeds sometimes.
ProjectManager has easy reporting features that can be filtered to show just the data you want. Get reports on tasks, seeing due dates, milestones summary and more. There are also project management reports on variance, workload, availability and others.
ProjectManager gives you much greater flexibility than paper to-do lists and task management apps, and it’s not only about making sure everyone has access to the ‘master’ list of tasks. You can:
- Use kanban boards, Gantt charts, task lists and project calendars.
- Turn task lists into projects
- Export and import lists from Excel or MSP
- Define custom kanban board views
- Filter lists by day/week/month
- Drill down into the details of a task from the task list
- Manage dozens (and even hundreds) of tasks from multiple projects easily with only a few clicks.
If you need a task management software that lets you manage tasks in multiple ways, and roll those tasks up into full-blown projects with resource management, task tracking and reporting tools, then sign up for a free trial of ProjectManager .
One of the big challenges for project managers is making sure that tasks are done by others. When it’s your responsibility, you know that you will get around to it, but when you need to delegate tasks—let’s face it, they probably need a little chase every now and then, even if it is an action that has been recorded in the minutes of a meeting.
When other people take an action in a meeting, make a note of it and add it to your task management app. Assign it to the right person and it will show up in their personal to-do list. Then they won’t forget!
With a project management software like ProjectManager, you’ll be able to monitor progress and see how your team members are doing. Filter the project’s task list by resource to see what work everyone has got on: this gives you an at-a-glance view of the workload for each person. You can then remind them from time to time about what they agreed to do, making sure it is completed before the deadline.
The cool thing here is that it means your simple to-do list is linked to resource management reporting. You can pull up details of who has too much to do and who has some capacity to take on more work, using the information in your task list, Gantt chart or kanban board. It saves a lot of time and duplication of effort.
ProjectManager lets you see your team’s workload at a glance with our resource management tools. Our colorful resource chart indicates if any team member is over or under allocated, and then lets you reassign tasks with just a few clicks to balance the workload.
How to Use a Task Management Software
The main things you’ll see in your task management tool are – obviously! – the tasks. Make the Tasks page of your project management tool the first place you go every day.
You’ll see the work you have assigned to you that day, their percent complete , and the upcoming tasks so you can check that the priorities align to what you feel you need to work on and make any changes to your task list as necessary.
Click any task and you will see the details about that piece of work. In ProjectManager you can go even further, sequencing tasks , sharing status updates, adding links, uploading files and audio messages to your task. It’s a great way of keeping everything to do with that activity in one place.
Tasks that are overdue will be highlighted automatically by the task management app. This is helpful to see what you should have completed by now but haven’t. You can either agree with your team that the due dates for completion needs to be changed or get cracking on making sure that work is finished off. It’s a very visual reminder of what needs to be done!
Pro Tip: Don’t let a long task list overwhelm you. Stay focused and avoid multitasking .
How To Use Task Tracking Features
On your task management tool you’ll see a column for ‘Progress’. This is an indication of how far through you are with the work. Anything that is greater than 0% means the task has started and when it gets to 100% the task life cycle will be considered complete.
In ProjectManager, your team members can update their tasks’ life cycle manually by expanding the task and updating the progress timeline. The task tracking data flows through to the timesheets and updates your project schedules to reflect how the team is getting on with the tasks allocated to them.
The easiest way to stay on top of your deadlines and tasks, and those of your team, is to update your to-do list once any individual item on it is completed. If that sounds like too much to remember, check your to-do list at the end of every day and mark the tasks you finished that day as complete. Mark anything that you started as ‘in progress’.
It will take you a minute or two and it means that tomorrow you’ll be starting work with a clear idea of what you are in the middle of and what should be your next priority.
Pro Tip: Book a 15 minute slot in your calendar at the end of every day to update your task list. If you are using timesheets (and you should be) then you can fill them in at the same time.
Yes! Task management works best when everyone can see what needs to be done. Online task management software makes this easy because your project task list can be shared with the team. Don’t worry about people getting confused about what they personally need to do: each task will be allocated to an individual so you get the whole picture for the project while still knowing what you are personally responsible for.
The exception to this rule is that you will probably want to keep your personal tasks separate from project tasks. Items like completing your expenses, that meeting with HR you’ve been meaning to organize or providing a reference for someone who has just left are tasks that you don’t need to share with your team.
Managing your tasks, and those of your team, takes up valuable time in the day. You may be wondering if it’s worth it. When time is money, are you really going to get a return from spending so much time on managing your workload?
The answer is easy: Yes! Not managing tasks is a recipe for missing deadlines and feeling overwhelmed. You’ll spend more time working out your priorities every week and dealing with the fact you’ve spent time on the less important tasks while ignoring a looming deadline. Ultimately that will cost you money, time and stress.
You can still cut down the amount of time it takes to manage your tasks by using the right project management tools. Here are 5 tips for saving time on task management activities.
- Tip #1: Use Your Project Calendar What gets scheduled gets done. Use your project calendar or project schedule to add deadlines for your tasks. Then you can forecast when you might be busy and when you’ve got extra capacity.
- Tip #2: Stick With One Method Forget sticky notes on your monitor, a list on your tablet, scribbled notes on a piece of paper… you need one to-do list. Using online task management software or an app is the best way because you’ll probably always have your phone or laptop with you. You can quickly open the task management app on your smartphone or tablet and record the task.
- Tip #3: Prioritize your tasks We mentioned this earlier but it’s worth mentioning again. Creating one central list of tasks for you and the project team is a big help, but then you need to think about the right way to tackle that long work management list. Prioritize your tasks. There are two ways to do this: what’s urgent and what’s important. Of course, a task can be urgent and important at the same time and the priority of tasks can change from day to day!
- Tip #4: Track your time Using timesheets for time tracking is a great way to manage tasks. Why? Because it helps you see exactly where you are spending your time during the day and this information lets you prioritize effectively.
- Tip #5: Delegate Finally, look at what you can delegate. You don’t have to do everything on the project yourself. Projects are a great development and learning opportunity for your team members too, so think about what you can delegate to others. Not only can you pat yourself on the back for helping develop their skills, it is also work off your to-do list that you don’t have to do!
If you haven’t already found the task management app that works for you, now is the time to test drive a few products and find one that suits your style.
ProjectManager is easy to use, quick to set up and lets you manage task lists with your team from wherever you are.
Start your free 30-day trial
Task management resources.
- How to Estimate Tasks and Dependencies
- 5 Ways to Improve Time Tracking
- 10 Tips for Better Task Management
- How to Link Tasks on a Project
- Project Management Trends (2022)
- How to Prioritize With Personal Kanban
- How to Schedule Different Project Tasks
- How You Can Manage Task Dependencies
- 5 Tips for Task Estimating
- What Is Batching and How Can I Use It to Get More Done?
- How to Make & Maintain a Project List
Deliver faster, collaborate better, innovate more effectively — without the high prices and months-long implementation and extensive training required by other products.
The Definitive Guide to Task Management
Ever wonder how the most powerful people on earth actually get so much stuff done ? 🤔
People like Bill Gates and Elon Musk haven’t been super successful in their lives by accident. They’ve done it by organizing every hour of every day—scheduling their time so they’re productive and reaching their goals.
This way of thinking is the crux of task management. After all, everybody has the same amount of hours in their day, but it’s how you organize those hours that determine how much you actually get done.
The way we organize our working days comes down to strategy. Some people will stick to a to-do list , while companies may find it more useful to use task management tools to organize their calendars. In fact, companies that use techniques like task management spend 28x less money than those who try to deliver projects without a real plan or strategy.
In this piece, we’re going to take a deep dive into:
What is task management?
Why you should start thinking about task management
Three different ways you can manage tasks
The advantages of using a task management tool
How to choose the right task management tool.
Let’s get organizing 🗂️
Robust task management software
Plan, track, and monitor all aspects of your tasks across every project or break them down even further with subtasks.
What Is Task Management?
Task management is where every task is scheduled and managed using details and deadlines to deliver projects on time.
Task management isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It’s just a fancy way of planning how tasks are handled from the moment you put them into a schedule until they’re completed. We’re talking about setting deadlines, collaborating with team members, and creating project schedules that allow you and your team to be as productive as possible.
When it’s done well, task management allows you to:
Manage your workload: See what’s on your calendar, what items you need to prioritize , and what deadlines you have looming
Boost productivity: When every task is organized, you’ll know exactly what you need to be working on and what needs to get done. All of the information for every task will be in one place
Create collaboration channels: Task management is about team management. Your team will have a better idea about who is working on what and when you expect them to collaborate on a task to get it completed quicker
Be more time efficient: Instead of deciding what task you should do next or what is more urgent, task management eliminates wasted thinking time. You’ll always know what you should be working on.
What’s baffling is the number of businesses that still don’t have a process in place to organize and complete tasks in their pipeline. PMI's 2017 Global Project Management survey found that 37% of executive leaders admitted the biggest cause of failed projects was a lack of clearly defined objectives and discipline when implementing strategy.
In other words… not planning well enough.
Why you should think about improving your task management process
Ever wonder how teams like Microsoft manage to release new products and features all the time?
It’s no accident that their 3000-person team of developers is so meticulous that they’re able to release brand new versions of every one of their projects every three weeks. Their tasks are managed down to the finest details. Everyone knows what needs to be done, who will be doing it, and when tasks need to be delivered.
You see, task management is just one part of the overall puzzle of project management . MetaLab Project Manager Kyria Brown put it best when she compared the planning, completing, and delivering projects to flying a plane.
“At the most basic level, a Project Manager’s role is to ensure things run smoothly so the pilots and flight crew can do what they do best while the passengers feel safe knowing they’re not going to fall out of the sky or crash mid-flight,” she says.
“None of us would make good pilots anymore than we’d make good designers or developers, yet as Project Managers, we get to be the shepherds of their successes and live our creative dreams vicariously through them.”
However, successfully landing that plane highlights the benefits of task management. Not only can task management help you see from 10,000 feet what everyone on your team is working on, but it’ll also give you a better idea of their capacity and what tasks they’re prioritizing.
The good news is that task management isn’t exactly rocket science. On the surface, it involves three simple steps:
Step #1. Create tasks: The first step is unpacking a project and creating individual tasks to deliver it. Once you know what these tasks are, you can turn them into actionable items by creating deliverables and setting deadlines
Step #2. Organize and prioritize: Think about every roadblock you might come up against during the project. Could a team sickness derail certain tasks? Does your team have the capacity to get them all done? Schedule the tasks on your team's schedule based on who has spare time
Step #3. Monitor and update: Here’s where task management really comes into play. Once a project kicks off, you can use task management to monitor each task and change things in real-time. If a team member is running behind, you can re-allocate a task to another team member or change tasks around so the most important gets done first.
The best way to actually manage tasks, however, is still up for debate.
How to manage tasks: 3 different methods
We know you’ve heard it before, but it needs to be repeated— failing to plan is planning to fail.
It’s obvious that task management is a crucial part of delivering a successful project, but it’s up to you to decide which method is best for your team. The most common methods for managing tasks can be put into three different categories:
✍️ Manual: To-do lists, anybody?
📊 Electronic: Spreadsheets/apps
👩💻 Online: Cloud-based task management tools
The truth is that if you don’t have a way to manage your tasks, it’ll be an uphill climb to get everything done on time. Here are some ways to turn that pile of tasks into an organized timeline.
1. Write an old school to-do list 📝
Ahhh, the to-do list.
It’s the simplest way to manage your tasks, and the good news is that all you need is a pen and paper to create one. If your task list is fairly light or straightforward, this method may be enough for you to organize your schedule.
Simply write down each task you need to get done, add a deadline, and tick them off as you complete them.
If you like the idea of planning tasks on a to-do list but you want to do it digitally, you can use an app like Todoist . In the app, you can create tasks, set deadlines, and have access to your digital to-do list no matter where you are.
✅ The good news: To-do lists are the task management equivalent of going off-grid. You don’t need an internet connection or to pay for an app to organize your tasks.
❌ The bad news: To-do lists are very basic and if you are managing anyone other than yourself, it’s not ideal.
2. Use a kanban board 🧮
Kanban boards were developed in the 1940s by Toyota. In Japanese, Kanban means signboard—which is exactly what this task management system is.
A Kanban board is basically a digitized post-it note board, and they normally look like this:
Managing tasks this way helps you to visualize every task inside a project and break them up into columns. For example, you can use columns to represent stages of a project’s workflow. Inside each column will be a card that represents an individual task.
Let’s say your team is doing a website redesign . To get the project done, your team will have to complete tasks like selecting typefaces, collecting images, and building a mood board. Using a tool like Teamwork, you can organize these tasks into separate columns on a Kanban board:
Once the project kicks off and the team starts working on each task, they will slowly make their way down the Kanban board into the completed column. Teamwork’s triggers also cut out the manual admin work by automatically re-assigning tasks and changing due dates when a task moves from one column to the next.
However, Kanban boards do more than just keep your tasks organized. It can also help you spot bottlenecks and raise the alarm if deadlines aren’t being met. If a task is overdue, your team will get a notification automatically and you can quickly address the problem before the entire project gets derailed.
✅ The good news: Kanban is a great way for your team to visualize every task inside a project. It gives everyone a clear idea about their workload, due dates, and how a project is progressing.
❌ The bad news: For big, complicated projects, Kanban boards can get busy and look overwhelming.
3. Use a task management tool 👩💻
A task management tool is the easiest way for teams to manage multiple projects at once.
Not only will every team member have access to their own account, but they will be given their own schedule, task list , and due dates for every task assigned to them. It’s the easiest way for teams to collaborate and get projects done without having to waste hours every week in planning meetings.
You will also have a 10,000 feet view over every project in your pipeline. A task management tool shows every task and which team member is working on them so you can better estimate your capacity for future projects, and you can also schedule people to work on multiple projects at once.
✅ The good news: Task management tools are perfect for teams who need to collaborate on projects and plan tasks based on capacity.
❌ The bad news: These tools will probably cost a little more than a pen and paper
When it comes to managing tasks at a team level, it’s a bit different from managing a shopping list.
Small businesses managing tasks will look a lot different from companies with 50 projects in their pipelines. Even so, managing tasks using methods like spreadsheets, whiteboards, and post-it notes can be a recipe for disaster.
Nobody wants to walk into the office on Monday morning and find this.
The big pull of investing in a task management tool is that it helps deliver projects successfully by recognizing that task management is team management.
Before Telecommunications company Strencom started using a task management tool, they were trying to deliver hundreds of projects by using traditional tools like email, spreadsheets, and documents.
Not only were they struggling to deliver all of their projects on time, but their communications with clients also suffered. The company’s Director of Operations, Colum Buckley, says the company reached a point where managing projects using email and spreadsheets had become a total nightmare.
So, they started searching for a task management tool that would keep tabs on deliverables, tasks, and deadlines, as well as involving their clients in the process.
The company invested in Teamwork. Not only does the tool give them real-time insight into their pipeline, but it involves their clients, who can not track their project’s progress without the need for an official update from a project manager.
Strencom has tripled its NPS score — a metric used to measure customer loyalty — in just five years.
“Not only are we completing more projects in less time, but we’re getting a reputation for on-time delivery and reliability,” Buckley says.
“Our project delivery is now a real value add, which is good for us in Operations and for everyone in the business.”
Picking the right task management tool for your specific needs is super important, so you need to do your research.
Some tools out there are basic, and others have everything but the kitchen sink. So, it’s important to know exactly what you need before you invest. To do that, you should compile a “must-have” features list by asking yourself:
What types of projects do you normally have in your pipeline?
Does your team collaborate often and would you benefit from features like notifications and automated triggers?
How many people are on your team? (this will impact how much the tool will cost)
Do you need reporting and analytics features?
Will you need time-tracking features?
Would you benefit from project templates to improve your task management?
Will the tool integrate into your existing tech stack?
Whatever task management tool you pick, make sure that it ticks all of the boxes on your list and doesn’t break the bank!
For more details about getting started with a task management tool — check out Teamwork .
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