No matter how organized you are, you can always improve. There are a few on-demand project managers on the web that can help you do so, and this blog has done extensive coverage on free task management applications and to-do list managers. If you want an application that gets a little more sophisticated than many of the simple to-do list managers, look into Wrike.
In Wrike, you manage your projects and tasks from a console called WorkSpace, and you always have access to a dashboard where any overdue tasks get collected. You can manage projects across multiple groups, and create a new group at any time. The application isn’t quite as robust with graphics as some of the high-end project management solutions out there, but those aren’t free, and Wrike is. It’s also available to you anytime you have access to a browser.
Wrike is designed to integrate its functions with your e-mail inbox, and with the inboxes of people in your groups. So, for example, you can assign a task to someone in one of your groups by typing that person’s e-mail address into an “Assigned to” field. A “Create a New Task” button is always available atop your WorkSpace screen.
Assigning tasks also works the other way around. If you are in your e-mail inbox and want to assign a task from there, you can just add firstname.lastname@example.org as one of the recipients for the message, along with the other recipients in a group, and the task will be tracked within Wrike.
You can also sort on the various standardized fields in the application, so you might sort by the Assigned to field, or sort by deadlines within a Due Date field. Each standardized field has a drop-down list of filter choices you can make. For example, the Due Date field’s drop-down list lets you automatically sort deadlines in ascending or descending order, or by overdue tasks, or by tasks due today or this week.
The primary item on my Wrike wish list is that I’d like to have room to manage more projects with the free subscription to the service. Wrike offers paid subscriptions for versions of the service that are more robust than the free one, and the free service limits you to 10MB of storage space and 20 total projects that you can manage. If you come to depend on it, it won’t be long before you want more space for more projects. The good news is that you can upgrade to 250MB of storage space and unlimited projects for five dollars a month.
If you do become a power user of Wrike and manage many projects with it concurrently, it is capable of good reporting. A Reports choice at the left of your WorkSpace screen allows you to generate reports on tasks and projects assigned to you, that you’ve assigned, or you can sort projects by date, status and more.
Overall, my favorite thing about the application is that it’s built from the ground up with the understanding that e-mail collaboration is central to how most projects get done. It integrates well with how working people use e-mail. If you like the idea of having your project management application on-demand on the web, you might also look into Project-on-Demand. It’s not free, although there is a free trial, but it can handle Gantt charts, PERT charts, and more.
Do you have any good tips on online project management applications?