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Most project managers admit that they have trouble defining clear goals. And even when the goals are clear, it can be difficult to measure progress. In addition, it is not always clear who should work on which tasks. By providing the right resources at the right time, you can significantly increase team member productivity.
Task management software helps solve the above challenges and a lot more. You don't even have to work on a team to benefit from this software. By prioritizing your tasks, you can systematically achieve your goal and increase the chances of completing your project on time and within budget.
Task management can be chaotic, especially if you work in a team environment with complex tasks and dependencies. To do this, I've selected the seven best task management tools that will help you streamline this essential workflow process.
The top 7 options for task management software
- ClickUp – Best Free Task Management Software
- Trello – Best for individuals and small teams
- Wrike – Best for reporting
- WorkFlow Max – Best for Business Management
- Jira – Best for large agile teams
- Microsoft To-Do – Best for personal use
- Accelo – Best for Automation
How to choose the best task management software for you
It helps if you have a good idea of the features to look for in task management software. What makes good task management software can vary slightly depending on your specific needs and your industry. Once you have an overview of what to look for, you can choose the features that fit your bill and use them as the basis for choosing a particular software.
If you are thinking about buying task management software, don't be afraid to avail of multiple free trials to find the one that best suits your needs. Also, note that some software on this list has free options.
Some of the main features I used in compiling this review include:
This is the most basic function of a task management tool. You should be able to create tasks and assign them accordingly. Look for custom fields. This function allows you to define the task in such a way that the person responsible can easily understand it.
It also helps when the tool lets you add links, photos, videos, documents, and comments to tasks. Additionally, you should be able to quickly sort the job based on your preferred criteria, such as: By task, due date, department, or resource.
Notifications when the deadlines are approaching are a bonus.
Means of communication
Communication is essential in a team working towards a common goal. Good task management software should have built-in communication tools. This can be a discussion board, instant messaging, or both.
Discussion boards are useful for large teams. Everyone can see what other team members are talking about. You can even use some task management tools to create task cards from these discussions. This feature can be useful during a productive brainstorming session.
Once the project is up and running, it helps if the team members can easily visualize the process as it develops. Kanban boards do this very well and provide a simple overview of individual tasks and their progress. The drag-and-drop functionality of Kanban boards makes them easier to work with too.
Gnatt charts are also very popular for task management. These diagrams are well known and provide a lot of information at a glance, including recipient, start and end date, dependencies and degree of completion.
Generating reports can be tedious, but it is an essential part of task management. Software with a reporting tool makes the process much more convenient. You can insert and collect data on budget, expenses, performance, resource allocation, and more.
Some software programs have templates, automated reports based on predefined criteria, and customized reports. Look for reporting capabilities that can give you the most valuable information for your needs.
You can't expect team members to be on the dashboard at all times. You reassign tasks, add comments, or make other changes to jobs. Notifications help keep everyone informed of changes in real time. Some task management software also notifies users of upcoming deadlines or other urgent actions that need to be taken.
The different types of task management software
There are three basic types of task management software.
Individual task management software
A single person uses individual task management software. You can think of this as your daily planner, calendar, or journal. Often times, this software is simple and has basic list building and progress tracking features.
The software can be installed on different computers or accessed by several people as a cloud service. In these cases, too, the tool is intended for personal use. This option is perfect for coordinating simple office or personal tasks.
Collaborative task management software
As the name suggests, a team uses software to manage collaborative tasks. This software is interactive and allows team members to change the status of their projects as the workflow cycle progresses. Collaborative software is designed for a single team working on a joint project.
Integrated task management software
This type of software is widely used in large companies. A single interface collects and displays project information from different teams. Project managers can access data for all ongoing projects and teams through a single interface. The software usually integrates with additional file sharing tools like Outlook, email, Dropbox, Slack, and more.
# 1 – ClickUp – Best Free Task Management Software
ClickUp is a great option when you have a small team and can't justify the cost of task management software. Some companies that use this tool are Uber, Nike, Google, and Airbnb.
ClickUp has a free version with an incredible range of features and capabilities. The free version also supports unlimited tasks and unlimited members.
You get many advanced features, including automation, mind maps, goals, portfolio, sprints, Gantt charts, real-time collaborations, workload views and 50+ native integrations.
The layout of the software is user-friendly and allows you to break tasks down into subtasks for easier management. A subtle but practical feature is the assignable comments feature. You can convert comments into independent tasks with the push of a button.
The mention feature is also very useful for getting team members' attention.
ClickUp is also highly customizable and you can freely customize status toolbars, tasks, categories, sections, and comments. The features and functions of the free plan are almost as good as some paid task management software.
ClickUp offers a free version as well as three paid plans including:
- Unlimited: $ 5 per member per month
- Business: $ 9 per member per month
- Company: Contact the ClickUp sales team for pricing information.
You may need to opt for a paid plan if you find that the free version is too restrictive or takes up more storage space. However, this is highly unlikely for a small team with a relatively simple workflow.
# 2 – Trello – Best Task Management Software for Individuals and Easy Workflow
Trello is a task management tool in the best sense of the word. You can also think of this software as a Kanban board app. The software includes cards, lists, and cards that allow you to create as many projects and columns as you need to keep track of progress.
You can assign tasks to team members, attach files to each task, create checklists and add comments, tag members and link files. Trello is highly customizable, so you can put labels on cards for quick identification.
The drag and drop function is very useful. Team members simply slide their cards from one column to the next (e.g., from "To Do" to "In Progress") as they progress through the various milestones. The blackboard view keeps everything clearly organized and labeled.
The power-up function is worth mentioning. You can add integrations and features to your boards, including custom fields, social media, document management, time tracking, and calendar view. The free version only offers a power-up, but you get more with the paid plans.
Trello's planning levels include:
- Free version
- Business Class: $ 9.99 per user per month
- Enterprise: $ 17.50 per user per month
Trello is a perfect tool for project managers who want a quick and easy overview of the workflow. The free version is equally suitable for people who run a startup or even a household. The software has over 19 million users worldwide, including Adobe, Fender, Pixer and Google.
# 3 – Wrike – Best task management software for reporting
In fact, Wrike is a project management tool, and you can tell by its robust and powerful features. In a simple dashboard you can see who has been assigned which task, how long the task takes, what dependencies exist and how far the task has progressed.
You can view and manage projects using lists, tables, Kanban boards, and Gantt charts. By default, Wrike sorts tasks by status (active or completed). However, you can customize the headers for additional workflow categories.
Despite its many features, Wrike is straightforward to use. You can choose from templates for project planning, agile teamwork, marketing campaign management, product launch, professional services management, complex project with phases, and much more.
Another useful function is the document editor. With this you can edit documents directly in the cloud without having to download them first. The specially developed templates also make this software very easy to use.
Additional features include:
- Advanced integrations
- Data exchange
- Graphic analysis
- Time tracking
- Salesforce integration
- User audit report
- Automation engine
The business plan or higher is highly recommended due to its reporting capabilities. You can share reports in real time, access report templates, and schedule report notifications.
Wrike also has additional features that you can add to your account for an additional fee. For example, Wrike Analyze is essentially a business intelligence tool. All you have to do is export, run, or manage reports in your account. You can create highly customized, highly visual reports. Choose from 15 different graphs including heatmaps, pie charts and column charts. You can also create a reporting-only dashboard.
Wrike has a free plan and three paid tiers:
- Professional: $ 9.80 per user per month
- Business: $ 24.80 per user per month
- Company: Contact Wrike for pricing information
Wrike is easy to use for such a feature-rich task management tool.
# 4 – WorkFlow Max – Best task management software for business management
WorkFlow Max has everything you need to manage tasks and much more. You can assign tasks with a task checklist, estimate task times, and set due dates. You can follow the progress of the entire project and individual tasks of the project.
You can also view jobs based on recipient, important date, progress, or deadline. You can also see the percentage of completed each task in real time. There is an automated function for assigning recurring jobs with start and end dates, templates, descriptions and categories.
The advanced time tracking feature lets you record the time in eight different ways. In addition, you can provide details of the time taken that are useful in generating detailed reports. Time tracking with the software also helps you compare the actual time it took to complete tasks with the estimated time.
WorkFlow Max also helps with billing and payment. You can send invoices, manage non-invoiced orders, and track order costs. The job calculation function is particularly useful and tracks the estimated costs down to individual tasks. It also records the specified costs and the actual costs. However, WorkFlow Max guarantees that you will send accurate quotes.
Additional WorkFlow Max features include:
- Document management
- Leading manager
- Customer manager
- Buy order
- Custom fields
- Xero integration
WorkFlow Max is owned by Xero and easily integrates with its software and systems, including Xero accounting software. This tool integrates with more than 25 other products including Dropbox, Box, Adobe Time Tracking, Actual, Google Drive and Flexitime.
You can purchase WorkFlowMax for as little as $ 45 per month. There is also a full-featured app for iOS and Android.
# 5 – JIRA – Best task management software for large agile teams
JIRA was developed specifically for software developers. Its Kanban workflow capabilities make it attractive to a diverse group of industries. If you are looking for task management software optimized for agility, JIRA is your best bet.
If you're already using JIRA, you don't need to sign up for a separate service. The platform works with a ticket system and ensures that the tasks are carried out one after the other. As is so often the case in software development, some tasks can be interdependent. With JIRA you can easily link tickets.
JIRA also supports Kanban and standard sprint planning, among other things. You can easily switch between Kanban boards, Gantt charts and Spring backlogs. Users can create, save, and easily retrieve stories, including estimate, weight, and priority.
Additional features include:
- Requirements management
- Problem management
- Knowledge management
- Incident Management
- Configuration management
- Agile methods
- Portfolio management
- Milestone tracking
JIRA may not be the easiest task management tool to use outside of software development. However, this is a problem that is easy to overcome. JIRA can be integrated with other project management tools such as Proggio. You can also synchronize the two tools so that performing a JIRA task is marked as such in Proggio.
This task management software is also scalable and can accommodate a rapidly growing software development team. JIRA has three plans:
- Standard: $ 60 per month
- Premium: $ 40 per month
- Company: Contact JIRA for pricing information
This task management tool is hard to beat for large DevOps teams.
# 6 – Microsoft To-Do – Best mobile task management app for personal tasks
If you want it to be easier for you to organize your personal life, Microsoft To-Do might be the answer. You can do a lot such as E.g. create tasks, set reminders, prioritize tasks, add due dates, attach notes or files to tasks and summarize related tasks.
This is a mobile and web app that allows you to access your planner anytime, anywhere. You can also share your to-do lists with others, including coworkers, family members, and friends.
Microsoft To-Do also integrates with Outlook Tasks so that you can manage your work tasks along with your daily personal tasks. This app is also very intuitive and suggests personalized tasks that you might want to add to your list.
This is a straightforward yet effective task management app that is free! This is more like a daily planner and is a great alternative to Trello when you don't need its more complicated features.
# 7- Accelo – Best task management software for automation
If you find that you spend a lot of time on repetitive tasks, you can automate them to make task management smoother. Accelo does extremely well in this regard. The software offers several automated functions. You can configure key milestones and set up the system to prompt users for information or update fields.
You can also automate client communications. Accelo automatically tracks emails and gives you important customer information in one place. Other functions you can automate include forwarding emails, billing, and timesheets. You can also automate triggers like closing a ticket, sending emails, or converting emails to tickets.
Setting up recurring tasks is also very easy with this software. You can configure these tasks in a calendar and have the system automatically assign them to team members on the specified date.
Accelo is easy to use for task management. You can reassign and reorder tasks over time, and then send notifications to team members when you reorder tasks.
The simple dashboard lets you sort tasks by workload, status, or due date. In addition, you can highlight tickets that require immediate or special attention, e.g. B. Overdue or unassigned tickets.
Accelo is highly customizable and serves a range of industries including digital and creative, business consulting, information technology, engineering, marketing, real estate and architecture, and more. With the industry-specific templates, which you can also personalize, Accelo can seamlessly adapt your task and project management needs.
Additional features include:
- Team inbox
- Project collaboration
- Client database
- Client records
- Usage tracking
- Report dashboard
Accelo offers five different offerings, including projects, sales, retainers and service. These cost $ 39 per month. You can also opt for the all-in-one ServOps for $ 79. This option gives you all of the functionality of the other four options together.
It doesn't matter whether you prefer proactive methods like Waterfall or reactive methods like Scrum or Agile. A task management tool can help you manage the workflow cycle and increase efficiency and productivity.
It pays off if you take some time first to define your task management needs. Then, choose the best task management software that best fits the everyday problems you want to use this guide to solve.
Be honest with your needs and look to the future before making your final decision. Robust (and more expensive) project management software may be better suited to complex tasks and easily scalable than a simple Kanban board tool like Trello.