What is task management?
Each project that you undertake is going to be made up of different tasks that need to be done to complete the overall project. Software for managing tasks is a way of organising workloads for individuals and teams and involves identifying, tracking and managing the work. By following a task management system you can monitor progress, assign tasks to different team members, set deadlines and ensure that work is done in an efficient, coordinated way.
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What is task management software?
Task management software is designed to streamline the process of managing tasks, giving individuals and managers a clear overview of what needs to be done and by who. It’s more than just a to-do list — it allows for online task management that ensures each task is done and projects are completed on time.
Using a task management tool provides a platform to coordinate all the different tasks that need to be done across multiple projects, as well as day-to-day admin. It enables easier collaboration between teams as each task can be assigned to someone with a clear deadline so everyone knows what they need to do and which tasks to prioritise.
Read our in-depth blog on the best task management apps your business needs.
How to perform team task management?
Team task management involves breaking the project down, assessing the requirements and deadlines for each task and assigning them to the appropriate person. As a project manager, you're often overseeing multiple projects at the same time and trying to ensure that your team can complete their tasks and get the projects finished on time.
It’s important to have a good process in place for recording and tracking the progress of tasks across the team. You need to be able to quickly see the status of each task so that you can tell it’s currently being worked on.
You should also regularly check and assess whether the work is on track or there are any issues that need to be dealt with. When tasks are completed, team members need to update its status and the project plan, as well as inform anyone who might be working on a dependent task.
Team task management is a lot simpler if you're using software like Workiro to track projects and tasks. Each project can be broken down into tasks and subtasks with start dates and deadlines attached and assigned to different team members.
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Your team will be able to see a list of all the tasks they need to do across various projects and which ones they should prioritise, with automatic reminders about completing their tasks. You'll also be able to monitor progress and only step in when you really need to.
Why is time and task management important?
It's inefficient and unproductive to start work on each task in the order that it comes up, as you'll end up unintentionally focusing on low-priority tasks and leave important or time-sensitive ones until the last minute when they have to be rushed. Or, you'll switch between tasks too often and make little progress on each one because you're not fully focused.
Up to 80% of an average working day is spent on tasks with little or no overall value to the business. Task management is important because it gives you an overview of all the work you need to do, organised so that you can see which things to start on first. Incorporating time management into your process will ensure that you spend the right amount of time working on the right things.
Time and task management will help you see everything you are currently working on and what's coming up, show you your priorities, the amount of time you can spend on each thing, and the most efficient way to plan out your workload.
How to manage your tasks
To-do lists are a good starting point for managing your tasks, but when you're dealing with multiple projects, conflicting deadlines, and different team members a written list just isn't the most effective way. Once you’ve outlined all the tasks you need to complete, you need to identify which ones take priority over others, and which ones are dependent on others being completed.
The simplest way to prioritise tasks is by putting them into the order that they need to be completed to progress through the project, and labelling them Urgent, High Priority, or Low Priority. You also need to assess the resources each task needs and estimate how long each task will take. Some low priority tasks might take a long time or require a lot of resources, therefore they can’t be left until the last minute.
With your tasks prioritised you can fit them into a schedule of work, with start dates, time estimates and deadlines. Once this is done you can assign tasks out to different team members. Don’t underestimate how long tasks will take, and where possible track the actual time so you can improve your estimates for similar work in the future. Allow some flexibility in your schedule as problems arise or requirements and deadlines change. And ensure that you communicate regularly and effectively with your team so that everyone understands what they should be doing.
Online task lists allow you to easily update tasks, prioritise them, and set deadlines. An online kanban board provides a visual overview of a project, where you can add individual tasks and subtasks into different columns and track progress as they're moved from the to-do list, to 'in progress' and then to 'complete'.
Want to manage your tasks more effectively? Read our blog on how to break down tasks into manageable pieces
How to improve task management
A task management tool offers a lot of features and functionality that can streamline your work process, saving you a lot of time that can be spent elsewhere.
- Use your task management tool for everything: don't switch between written lists or asking people to do something via email. Any unmissable task that needs completing should be added to your task management software. It needs to be the one place that your team can check to see what needs to be done, otherwise things will get missed. Use a tool like Workiro that allows you to create tasks from email, Slack, or via a mobile app so you never forget to add them in.
- Use deadlines: add a deadline to each task so that it's clear to everyone involved when it needs to be done. And you can see an overview of all deadlines on your calendar and plan out how you'll get everything finished in time.
- Track your time: track how long you spend on each task so that you can have a better understanding of what takes up most of your day. You'll be able to see where you can improve, and it'll help you to estimate how long similar tasks will take in the future.
- Share the workload: using task management software makes it easy to see who's doing what and whether they have the capacity to take on some more work. Tools like Workiro will give you an up to date overview of projects and help you to delegate different tasks. You’ll be able to get more done and give your team opportunities to take on more responsibility.
Task management vs project management
Project management involves the planning, organising, and delivery of a project. As well as planning out the workload it also covers managing resources, files and documentation, time tracking, and reporting.
Task management breaks down a project into the specific tasks that need to be done to achieve each stage of the project. These can be organised by priority, given deadlines, and assigned to different people. Task management is key to successful project management — it ensures that things are done in the right order and the work is completed on time.
Task management vs time management
Time management is the process of planning out your time between different tasks and activities — it helps you to effectively plan out when and what you can get done.
While task management and time management are two separate concepts, they can be brought together to ensure you're working as efficiently as possible.
Task management outlines the different work that needs to be done, and when it needs to be done by. Time management is then important in creating a schedule to ensure that there’s enough time to work on each task to meet every deadline.
Popular task management tools and software
Workiro is a task management tool that also includes a range of other features such as workflow management software, secure file sharing, to do lists and electronic signatures. Out software is very simple to use and streamlines your workflow to reduce the clutter often associated with organising and managing tasks. It enables you to assign tasks that are organised into a prioritised to-do list based on team members, due dates, and tags.
Workiro integrates with thousands of additional applications via Zapier — including the tools listed below — meaning you don’t need to alter your processes or existing tool stack to improve your productivity.
The feature that sets Workiro apart within task management is the automated follow up reminders that nudge team members (in a nice way) leading up to the deadline. This reduces administration and undue stress whilst giving you visibility and peace of mind that the task will be completed.
Data protection is of paramount importance to any organisation and this is where Workiro adds another string to its bow. Encrypted, secure file sharing enables you to move away from sending sensitive information via email, allowing you to transfer and access data on the Workiro platform wherever and whenever you want.
Workiro’s main features include:
- Seamless integration with other popular tools such as email and Slack
- Encrypted, secure file sharing
- Automatic notifications of updates and changes
- Automated follow-up reminders for tasks
- Categorise and tag tasks
- Easy to use mobile app
Asana is a project management software that enables users to organise and prioritise tasks. It’s a useful tool for organisations of all sizes and can be used to coordinate multiple projects at the same time with dashboard views. It can be integrated with time tracking software to give you an accurate idea of how long each task takes.
Asana can be integrated with Workiro to automatically update when new projects, tasks, subtasks, and tags are created and when tasks are completed.
Effective task management is the key to breaking projects down into manageable chunks of work and ensuring that it’s all completed on time. Task management is centred around a to-do list of things that need to happen, but it is a lot more valuable than just that — this guide explains how task management can help you to set priorities and deadlines, distribute work across your team, and track progress. Let’s get started.
Asana’s main features include:
- Shared projects viewed as lists or kanban boards
- Tasks, subtasks and checkpoints
- Set start dates and due dates
- Clear task dependencies
- Timeline overview of projects
- Inbox for project updates, conversions, and assigned tasks
- Create teams and control individual permissions
Monday.com is a team management and task management tool that's designed to efficiently manage multiple projects at the same time with simple visual overviews. It incorporates features that aim to increase productivity such as time tracking, notifications, workflow automation, and calendar views. Integrating Monday.com with Workiro allows you to sync new tasks, boards, and updates.
Monday.com's main features include:
- Automated workflow
- Workload management
- Dashboard overview of all projects and work
- Calendar, timeline, or Kanban view
- Time tracking
- File sharing
Free task management software
Trello is a kanban-based task management tool that allows you to create separate boards for each project and set up cards that can be arranged into lists on the board. Each card can be a separate task with a deadline, team members assigned to it, and it can include comments, checklists or documents.
The key features you’ll need for task management are available for free, but you are limited to using one power-up (advanced feature) per board. These include calendar or timeline views and integrations with other tools. Trello integrates with Workiro via Zapier to enable changes such as new boards, cards, tasks and deadlines to automatically sync.
Trello’s features include:
- Built-in work-flow automation
- Mobile app to keep up-to-date on the go
- Task cards that can be assigned to team members with due dates
Toodledo is a flexible tool designed to increase productivity that allows you to create notes, custom lists, and structured outlines, in collaboration with others on shared projects. It's also capable of recording and tracking time, setting reminders for deadlines, and creating a calendar overview of projects. It's easy to integrate Toodledo via Zapier to automatically create new folders, tasks, and notes in Workiro.
Toodledo's main features include:
- Collaboration tools and shared projects
- Recurring task management
- Reporting and analytics
- Time tracking and alarms
- Gantt/timeline overview of projects and tasks
Online task management is the best way to ensure that your projects are completed efficiently and on time. By breaking projects down into smaller tasks with their own deadlines and more achievable milestones you and your team will stay motivated and productive throughout. It’ll be easier to distribute the workload, keep track of what needs to be done, and overcome any issues or setbacks.
But there’s a lot of choices when it comes to task management tools and software, so here’s 3 tips to help you find the one that works best for you:
- Try them out before you commit. Take advantage of the free trials that most software offers like Workiro, this gives you a chance to test out what you like and don’t like and figure out which one is best before you have to spend any money.
- Do some research and read reviews. There are lots of technology review sites that can give you an overview of each task management tool and outline the pros and cons. It’s also worth looking at customer review sites like Trustpilot to see what users like and dislike about different tools.
- Check out their plans for the future. You might prefer one of the tools over another, but it doesn’t have all the features you need, so find out if they have plans to add more features in the near future before rejecting it.
These tips will help you to narrow down your task management software options. But if you’re looking for something quick and easy to get set up then you can start using Workiro to organise, assign and track tasks in a matter of minutes.