Getting Organized with Task Management Systems
If you’ve ever considered implementing a task management system into your business, keep reading! We’re digging into what task management systems are, why you should use one for your business, and giving you an overview of some of our favorite ones out there.
Which came first, the task or the task management system? Yeah, we’re being a bit tongue-in-cheek right now because we’ve been through what some of you are potentially going through right now. The “task to find a task management system” phase.
Well, you’re in luck! This post is all about the who, what, and why’s of task management. Hopefully, we’ll help clear some of the confusion around task management and help guide you through the choosing process.
What is a task management system?
Task management can be as simple as a “to-do list” but it can also be an evolved system to help manage and track your entire business!
At a high level, task management systems provide an organized approach to:
Scheduling tasks and setting deadlines
Considering this scope, it’s no surprise that there are over 300 available “task management” systems currently on the market. (Don’t worry - we’re not going to go through all 300 options). And while having lots of choices can be good, it can also make the process of actually choosing software, tedious and headache-inducing.
We’ve had the opportunity (and the frustration) of working within various task management systems throughout the years so we’re going to share with you our favorites. But first, let’s discuss why having a task management system for your business can be a highly valuable tool.
Why should you use a task management system?
Before we answer this, let’s consider some of the alternatives to task management tools:
Using sticky notes to jot down tasks
Using an excel document to track timelines
Relying on good ol’ memory
Now, consider using any of these alternatives to try and keep track of every project task, meet deadlines, assign team members, track progress, and remain agile throughout everything.
Does it sound easy? Or organized? Or manageable? (It honestly gives us a bit of anxiety even considering it haha!).
Task management tools should help you do all of those things and more!
These tools are built to make project and task management approachable, organized, and efficient. You’ll be able to organize your work, collaborate easily with other team members, and stay on top of timelines and deadlines without having to worry about digging through old emails to find pertinent information (don’t worry, we’ve all been there too!).
Features you might want to consider
With so many different systems available out there, there is also an almost endless array of features and add on’s you can get from individual task management tools.
Obviously, the exact features you need might be specific to your industry or your business, but some standard (and in our opinion, non-negotiable) features should be:
Flexibility - the system should be able to be “adapted” to suit your business without completely changing your processes (unless you have no processes, then you might need some help first before implementing a task management system).
Structure - any great tool will have been designed by people who “get it” when it comes to organization and project management and offer tangible solutions to your task management problems.
Task Customization - this is an obvious one, but you should have the capability to customize your tasks and add notes, labels, colors, etc to amp up the organization.
Collaboration - though not needed in every business case, most of the time there will be more than one person working on the tasks so having the ability to collaborate and delegate tasks within your system should be essential.
Ease of Use - the system should look great and function even better. There’s nothing worse than struggling with a tool that is confusing and requires its own “task list” on how to do the basic stuff in the system. Make sure you get yourself a clear and easy-to-use (and nice to look at) management tool.
Which task management systems do we love?
As we’ve said before, we’ve had a history of working within a variety of task management systems, from simple “checklist” tools to robust customized project management systems.
And, while we can make the case for almost any of the tools we’ve used in the past, we definitely have some favorites that we recommend for small businesses.
If you’re looking for a simple and exceptionally easy to use basic task manager: Todoist
This is a simple, clean, and easy-to-use platform that ticks all of our “basic must-have boxes”.
Within Todoist, you’ll be able to:
easily assign tasks
assign “due dates”
break tasks into groups (or projects)
assign tasks to team members,
Track task progress
There’s a mobile app available for keeping track of tasks “on-the-go” as well as Todoist offers a number of integrations like Google, Dropbox, Slack, and Zapier to integrate with tools you already use.
Cost: They have a free version that allows simple task management for projects or a premium version ($5.50/month CAD) that gives you access to more features like labeling, filters, calendar syncing, etc.
If you have a large team that works on a lot of projects: Asana
Asana is a popular task management tool choice with a clean and user-friendly interface.
Within Asana, you’ll be able to:
Collaborate with your whole team and have in-system conversations
View tasks as lists, Kanban-style, Gantt charts, or calendar views
Set timelines and track progress
Manage workloads across team members
Streamline processes with automation
Asana also has a mobile app, robust integration options, as well as fun gamification elements (like unicorns that dance across your screen when a task is completed).
Cost: There is a free version that will allow you to add tasks, projects, collaborate with limited members, and view complete task calendars. But if you’re looking for more customization and automation capabilities, you’ll have to upgrade to their premium version ($13.49/month USD).
If you need a tool with robust capabilities and lots of features: Monday.com
Monday.com might have a bit more of a learning curve to get things up and running, but their platform offers more than just task management. You can also use Monday.com as a platform for CRM, budgeting, marketing, and more!
Within Monday.com you’ll be able to:
Create custom workflows
Monday.com offers a variety of templates to help get your projects up and running faster as well as offering customizations to build them to suit your needs. Monday.com also has a mobile app and full integration opportunities.
Cost: You can give Monday.com a try with their free trial. If you decide this is the platform for you, they have a range of monthly packages ranging from $8/month USD per user for their basic package, up to $16/month USD per user for their pro version.
If you need a smaller-scale solution and like visual organization: Trello
Trello is a visual task management software that is a great solution for solopreneurs and small businesses.
Within Trello, you’ll be able to:
Organize tasks visually on a project board
Drag and drop tasks under suitable boards
Add team members or clients to specific boards
Track project progress
Trello has over 100+ integrations to seamlessly integrate Trello with your other business tools. It doesn’t offer the same automation and customization abilities as other tools but for simple projects, Trello is a great option!
Cost: Trello’s free version offers a maximum of 10 boards per team. So if you need a bit more, you can upgrade to their business class ($12.50/month USD per user) and get access to unlimited boards and a bunch of other upgrades.
If you want an all-in-one solution that does more than task management: ClickUp
ClickUp aspires to be more than just a task management tool. It offers a variety of additional options, including docs, email inbox, daily reminders, spreadsheets, time tracking and more.
Within ClickUp, you’ll be able to:
Complete task management
Custom statuses and fields
A custom dashboard
Set up reminders, tags, and an inbox
Just like Monday.com, ClickUp comes with a bit more of a learning curve to get started, but its robust customization, integration options, and mobile app make it a great overall solution.
Cost: Their free version offers unlimited tasks and unlimited members, but for more of the full breadth of functionality, you’ll need the unlimited version which is $11.52/month CAD per user.
So there you have it! Our two cents on task management systems and why you need one!
Do you have a favorite task management system? Let us know! Interested in setting up your organization with a task management process? Connect with us today to see how we can help!