Task management software


#1

For those of you who don't manage full blown projects but do have a ton of (your own) tasks to manage, what software do you use, if any?

The only real task manager features I've ever used were in MS Project, when I had to either review and propose changes to a PJM, and on some occasions when I found myself playing a PJM role. I hated the software, but knew my way around it. On a few occasions, I've participated in Basecamp projects, but didn't really enjoy the experience. Where I work currently no one uses project management software/systems or even utilize PJM concepts (unfortunately) and because of how extremely fluid things are here, I haven't had to resort to task management software.

Until somewhat recently, when I began to accumulate a larger numbers of tasks (associated with web dev/design and building systems) than usual, all with very short deadlines and all at once. I needed something extremely simple and flexible, that could easily export to and import from Excel. I'm the only audience, but I may occasionally email lists out to others when necessary.

Google Tasks was interesting, but I hated the interface until I found GTasks on Android, Chrome and Firefox. Now I'm in love, but I still don't have export functionality (just import via https://import-tasks.appspot.com). I have a Mac at work, but only use Windows in Parallels, plus a couple of PCs and my Android phone. Android/Browser/Cloud works best for me.

What do you guys use?


#2

My work is a pure agile shop. We often just use stickies on a wall to track status (kanban board). But for small personal stuff, I use Trello. www.trello.com. It’s very lightweight but is pretty nice for tracking tasks.


#3

I love Agile as a concept because it’s very compatible with how I operate these days, but I have yet to work in an environment where it’s been officially/explicitly adopted and some of the (potential) drawbacks are alarming. I can’t really complain or criticize, though, since it’s pretty much how I have to do things in my current ecosystem.

Anyway, I like the stickies on the wall concept. I don’t visualize tasks in quite that way, though, probably because I’m usually a one-man show until presentations come around. I do best looking at an Excel spreadsheet or a list on my phone, for grand strategy / big picture type stuff, browser plugins/add-ons for tracking the tasks as I work, and my phone for, mostly, adding new individual tasks and a bit of organization/rescheduling.

The funny thing is, I sometimes think I benefit most from the data entry aspect of it. Frequently, inputting and organizing new or existing tasks is enough to get me going, because at that point it’s also stored and organized in my brain in a way that supports implementing the tasks pretty well without always having to refer back to any of the other interfaces. I say this realizing that it’s the sort of thing that tends to disturb project managers – indeed in my own past lives I recall scoffing at such practices, and usually for good reason – but now I know that under certain circumstances it can work well. Oversight is still important, though (I create my own whenever possible, since no one else is there to do it).


#4

One more vote for Trello, which I use to manage tasks for my blog and has great features like calendar support. Asana is also awesome, I use that for work.


#5

BaseCamp/Campfire?


#6

Another vote for trello. We use it at work to manage ourselves day to day. Asana is also worth a look, I’m trying to figure out if I can blend trello for small scale day to day stuff with asana for more complex long term projects.


#7

Been trying out Asana, which seems to do most of the basic things I want it to do.


#8

I too like Trello, it’s drag&drop approach and the flexibility it provides regarding the setup of my workboards. If you want something along the lines of MS Project, but simpler and lightweight, check out https://www.teamwork.com/ . If you don’t use it as a file dump and aren’t running a company, the free version (10 MB of file space, 2 projects) will easily suffice. Lets you set up tasks, has a calendar view as well as Gantt, lets you set milestones and model task dependencies.


#9

Pivotal Tracker is worth a look. Agile to its core, super easy to use, and (to me) much less annoying than Asana. http://www.pivotaltracker.com


#10

How do you find Asana annoying?


#12

YOU try it out. I love Trello too much to ever leave it.

Plus…I dunno man…sniff…you kinda smell like a shill to me. ;)


#13

I dunno man, that live chat sounds like something I’ve never seen before. Also, how can he be a shill?The product is FREE!

/s


#14

Maybe the product was, like, the best ever? Now we’ll never know…


#15

Just switched from GTask to TickTick. GTask was annoying me with its Google account integration (I use two key accounts) and the final nail on its coffin was when it simply deleted a large number of tasks from a task list as I connected the Android app to a Google account. No warning, no undo, tasks lost forever. Grr.

TickTick is working pretty well and replaces most of what I was doing in GTask.

  • Subtasks don’t appear in the main interface. Was hoping for a nested tree.
  • When you’re sorting tasks by due dates, tasks are strictly sorted by due date, even when they have subtasks that are due before other tasks
  • Export/import functions are super primitive

Overall I’m fairly happy with it for simple stuff, but don’t think it would work for more complex projects so I’m still on the lookout for new ideas.


#16

I’ve been using Wunderlist for a variety of personal stuff and some work stuff. I mainly use it on Android. I’m not sure how robust the subtask features are, may just be basic. It seems like the old outliners I used on Palm had more robust features than all the smartphone-era ToDo apps have now.