Yesterday I made short survey of task management tools. Originally the purpose was to have a good cloud based service for managing small teams and distributing tasks to team members. I personally use OmniFocus which I like a lot for GTD (Getting things Done) with access on all kinds of devices. So the candidates I have had a short look at are:
- OmniFocus: Outstanding for personal GTD. Quite difficult to setup for teams, possible via mail creation of tasks but not that straightforward. what I am also missing with OmniFocus is a web-interface for non OS X users.
- Then we tried Wunderlist. Nice app, cross platform, What I really miss is assigning tasks to people as also free tagging for structuring and clustering tasks as you can do in things. But go on Wunderkinder great stuff!
- Next I checked out basecamp coming from a classical project management approach. Definitely basecamp is very good for project management but if you want to have a small tea,m just focus on specific tasks probably an overkill.
- Next I found a very good comparison of web-based task managers by Jarel Remick. Thanks for this! I basically share his ranking and share his enthusiasm for producteev. They also announced a native desktop client and have client for all major platforms.
- So my favorite is also flow I would say, what I like about is having the idea of setting up tasks, sharing them in a team and also to follow certain tasks if you are interested in them. nevertheless a short p[laying around of the demo on an iPad gave me some problems with the HTML5 interface especially with rotation. BTW I think this is typically still a difficult thing to do with non native apps.
- Other platforms I found are
Table 1.: Comparison of web-based task managers by Jarel Remick
In general all of these offer subscription plans and can be quite extensive, so if you are a team of ten people and all want to work with producteev you can have a monthly plan for 24$ what seems good value to me. As seen from the table producteev gives all features.
So what about mobile support. Nearly all described platforms either give you a mobile native client for iOS and other platforms of web-based mobile apps. What I found interesting in some clients is to see that more and more real-time communication is also combined with task management. In that sense different structures and real-time communication around tasks is really key to support remote cooperation of teams. Also the approach chosen by Mango gives an interesting perspective in structuring tasks due to their current status like in progress, lined up, and a cue, but you can model all these structures with a flexible and solid tag system I think.
Nevertheless at the moment what I am missing and what I did not find is a
- simple to use as flow, producteev
- native clients mobile and desktop
- flexible tagging system integration as flow
- following tasks as in flow, so crowd-sourcing is also an approach as in producteev
- and real-time communication integration
- context-sensitive trigger for distributed teams (if you are in the copy shop > bring some paper > available for team)
- open source tool 😉