For some people, staying organized is a way of life. They have meals planned and grocery lists made weeks in advance, they track all of their work projects, and always seem to know what’s due, what’s coming next, and what they should keep their eyes peeled for, and they never EVER miss a deadline. But for the time management-challenged among us, those who manage large projects with many contributors, or anyone who just wants a better way to stay on top of their to-do list, you can get a little extra help in the form of a task manager.
Not only can task management software help you work more efficiently, and prioritize projects (for yourself and others), but it can even help you achieve a better work-life balance (because you’ll no longer be constantly stressed out about what you forgot to do at work).
Of course, the best task manager is the one you’ll use, but if you’re new to the world of task management, understanding exactly which features and functions you will use can be a challenge. So, let’s take a look at some important qualities to look for, and how they can improve the way you work with others – and on your own.
- A Project Hub: With all of your projects all in one place, you can track your tasks for one or multiple projects, as well as the tasks of the team that’s working with you. In the hub, you should be able to clearly see everyone’s progress – which means that anyone involved in the project should never be surprised by what’s due now, what’s due next, and when the entire project is scheduled for completion.
- Task Acceptance: If you're a project manager or team leader, your task management solution should give everyone on the project the opportunity to accept their tasks, and therefore allow others on the project to see who has committed to the work. This way, there will be no confusion about who is responsible for what, and no duplication of effort.
- Dependent Task Triggers: Ideally, within the hub, the completion of one task should let the next person responsible for a task know that his or her files are ready and that it's time to get started. For instance, if you work in architecture or building, marking the completion of your construction drawings in your task manager might automatically alert your associate that it's time for him or her to handle the task of submitting the drawings for a building permit – thus keeping the work flow moving.
- Task Manager App: Today's workforce is largely mobile, so it only makes sense to choose a task manager that works as well on your laptop or desktop computer as it does on your phone or tablet. With a task app that gives you access to the same information you'd have at the office, you can keep track of your projects no matter where you are.
- File Storage: Task management software that allows you to also store, and organize, your resource files, like documents, spreadsheets, and images, can go a long way toward ensuring that you're always working with the correct information. If you can attach specific files to specific tasks, that's even better, as it will help further reduce any confusion about which information corresponds to which task.
With the right task manager staying on track is simple. By delivering tools that allow you to assign tasks to yourself and others in your group, it's easy to let everyone know exactly what needs to be done and when. And with the ability to attach files to tasks, your team will never have to search for the right file, data, or information before beginning their work. For those who have teams that travel frequently or work remotely, having access to a task management app will allow everyone to stay on top of their tasks while they're traveling for work or working remotely – making it easier to be productive during office hours, and truly enjoy their down time.