June 2, 2022
Once upon a time, we had pen and paper to take charge of what needed to be done. I remember painstakingly choosing planners and diaries where I would make detailed lists of my everyday tasks . And then strike off whatever I accomplished, before heading to bed.
There was a deep satisfaction to using a pen to strike things off my long to-do lists.
Today, there are a number of free task management softwares out there to help us do the same, albeit digitally.
Task management software helps you and your team complete projects efficiently. You can use a task management tool to plan, organize, and prioritize your projects. It is useful for teams and businesses to keep an eye on projects, deadlines, budgets, and resources etc. and to manage them as optimally as possible.
In one interface, a task management software combines collaboration must-haves that lets teams work together without any friction. Think chats, workspaces, forums, kanban boards, dashboards, tagging and commenting, file sharing etc. — all features designed to aid faster information discovery and supercharge communication among teams.
A task management software is important because it helps individuals and teams alike maintain an overview of all their tasks — anytime and anywhere.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of using such a tool on an everyday basis:
1. Provides a way for you to set goals, track deliverables, and manage deadlines
2. Lets you organize your workload by prioritizing tasks
3. Makes it simple to assign, delegate, and monitor tasks from a centralized dashboard
4. Facilitates uninterrupted workflows for faster task completion
5. Helps in better resource planning and allocation — with time tracking and advanced budget estimations
6. Facilitates team collaboration and aligns efforts around common goals
7. Enables everyone to visualize, track, and keep up to date with the progress
8. Lets teams manage everything in one place and acts as a central hub for sharing information
9. Comes with integrations and automations for ensuring maximum work efficiency
10. Improves focus and boosts productivity
Doesn’t it seem like a no brainer to sign up for one of these magic pills that can make you more organized in a jiffy?
But how do you choose the perfect task management software for you (or your team)?
We’ve got you covered!
Check out our recommendations for free task management software that you can try on mobile and/or desktop in 2023.
Most task management tools are built with a desktop-first approach and have limited functionality on mobile apps.
But, here are 5 tools that have great apps for both Android and iOS.
Todoist is often referred to as the #1 to-do list and task manager.
Here’s what you can best use the Todoist mobile app for:
Todoist promises it will “quickly become your hub for getting work and life organized.”
The tool for teams that want higher productivity, Backlog offers a super clean and simple interface unlike some other tools in the market.
Although some of the advanced functions such as Gantt Charts, Burndown Charts, and file sharing are available only on the desktop, the app does a good job of letting you update your projects on-the-go.
You can create and assign issues as well as group related tasks together from the app itself. Collaborating is simple too, with comment threads and wikis designed to bring everyone on the same page, no matter where they may be working from.
This makes it an excellent choice for teams, especially for remote and async work.
Chances are you’ve tried this famous project management app. Or at least heard of it. Trello specializes in ‘moving work forward’ for teams on the move.
Their mobile app is one of the few that has almost everything that we have come to depend on in the desktop version. Be it their kanban boards, cards, and lists that everyone loves, the handy calendar and timeline views, or even file-sharing on the move.
What’s more? Trello can work offline. So you don’t have to worry about losing your chain of thoughts if you don’t have an internet connection when the next big idea strikes!
Trello comes with a few caveats, however. The mobile app won’t let you set budgets, monitor costs, or track progress of the team against the project schedule. The app is therefore more suited for personal use or for small teams handling small projects.
One of the key features that sets Wrike apart from its counterparts is their Work Intelligence™ software that automates tasks and predicts project risk.
It automatically migrates you to different kinds of productivity systems, such as Gantt Charts, kanban boards, table view, lists etc. And also boasts custom dashboards and workflows for seamless collaboration.
You can access projects and folders quickly and keep a constant watch on your inbox and mentions with the push notifications. Wrike’s free task management plan is ideal for small teams of up to 5 users.
Nifty’s mobile app is touted as a “workflow management hub” and for good reason. It serves you both big-picture planning (roadmap) and the finer details (tasks, files) on a combined platter.
Not only can you review project status and milestones for ongoing activities but also make use of the team chat and project based discussion boards to communicate with all stakeholders in real time. The discussion boards work just like Slack channels and you can easily organize your discussions into teams, topics or anything else.
Nifty also comes with custom task-lists where you can break a large task into smaller subtasks that adapt to your workflow. My favorite features however are collaborative Docs and the time-tracker, both of which are built right into the app to simplify task management for you.
While mobile task management tools are always good to have, managing long task lists and long-winded projects is more convenient on the desktop. The desktop apps of all the tools mentioned above are far more powerful than the mobile version. There are also additional desktop softwares dominating the market in 2023.
Here are 5 highly-rated task management softwares for desktop:
Basecamp’s Personal plan is a forever free task management software that is suitable for “personal projects, students, freelancers, families, and light use”. You can handle 3 projects and work with 20 people at once using this plan.
Basecamp works extremely well when you need to collaborate not just with an internal team but also with external members such as clients or agencies. Work can be split into neat projects, each of which comes with its own to-do lists, schedules, recurring check-ins, a group chat, and a message board.
I find the to-do lists and schedules can be especially handy when you want to keep a client updated on the overall progress of a particular task or project. The file storage feature is also pretty useful and lets you upload all essential resources to get work done quickly.
Monday.com offers an extensive free forever plan where individuals (upto 2 users) can keep a track of their work with up to 3 boards, unlimited documents, and over 200 templates. Perfect for visualizing workflows and task status, it boasts great design and color patterns that make it fun to work with. The interface is intuitive and simple to understand for non-technical folks too.
With almost unlimited options for customization, you can configure Monday.com to accomplish almost any kind of tasks you want — from making a simple database of clients, to tracking bugs in your software development process, to launching a product, and much more.
Clickup promises to be the app that replaces all apps. It houses all of your work including tasks, docs, chat, goals and more, in one place. Even on the free plan, you can use it to manage unlimited tasks and sprints with unlimited members — an unparalleled offer.
Another USP? Its in-app video recording which makes async task management a breeze!
For task management, Clickup combines the functionalities of Jira, Monday, and Trello with over 20+ customizable views ranging from simple lists to calendar views and kanban boards among others. Clickup helps you automatically assign tasks, post comments, update statuses, and sync with other tools so you don’t waste time in busywork. Plus it comes with native time tracking!
The only downside is that the free plan gives you just 100 MB of storage.
The devil may be in the details but retaining sight of the bigger picture is what will get you past the project finish line. Asana’s real-time charts and visual highlights let you do just that, quite literally.
For individuals or teams that are just getting started with task management, Asana offers a great connection and organization hub. You can use Asana to seamlessly share task status, identify bottlenecks, and streamline workflows.
This free task management software is flexible and easy to use, and offers unlimited tasks, unlimited projects, unlimited messages, unlimited activity log, and unlimited file storage (100MB per file). It supports over 200 integrations which makes it extremely easy to blend in with your existing app stack.
You can collaborate with up to 15 teammates on the free plan.
Want to manage all your tasks right where they originate? Drag works inside Gmail to let you do exactly that!
A shared inbox-cum-project-management app, Drag eliminates the extra steps involved in switching to an external task management app from your inbox.
Apart from this, Drag works pretty much the same way as other free task management softwares on this list. You get to work in a list or kanban view, add notes and due dates to your tasks, tag teammates, drag task cards between columns as per task status, create checklists, color code tasks, and also organize your email inbox while at it.
Task management is a tough one to master. You have to keep track of multiple things at once. You may need to switch from your dashboard to your to-do list, from your kanban board to your inbox, from your group chat to your calendar many times a day.
Jumping between pages and navigating complex steps to get where you want can cost you valuable productive time. Time that can be spent checking off tasks goes into finding information necessary for doing those tasks.
No wonder 20% of our workday is wasted searching for the right information.
Luckily, there’s a way out. OSlash shortcuts.
OSlash can help you name each page (that lives in a link) and find it instantly. You no longer need to indulge in the manual back and forth of navigating to your task management tool, clicking on the menu, locating the right page, and then repeating the process all over again for a new page. Simply name the link (URL) to your dashboard with the shortcut o/dashboard and type it out the next time you want to open the dashboard. o/to-do-list can likewise take you to your task list in a flash. While you organize your tasks, let OSlash organize everything you need to get them done, better and faster.
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