As I continue to struggle to find the ideal project or task management tool for my growing Web business, I find one app that really tracks project progress well but doesn’t handle individual task management then another app handles task assignments but doesn’t give me a view of the big picture.
Then there are the enterprise level apps that give me a headache to even look at because they cram a gazillion features and functionality into their interface. Or the apps that have robust features that I can’t find or figure out how to use.
Task2Gather is a pretty straightforward application for managing tasks plus it has an iPhone app which in my book is always a plus. On their site, they define their app as:
“…a free online service for task and project management that organizes your personal, family, social and business lives by keeping all your commitments in one place.”
I have mixed feelings about an app that organizes every aspect of your life although I know my whole like – not just my work – needs it. Still, when I see “organizes your family” on the same app that is supposed to organize my business functions in an efficient and cost-effective way, I get a little wary. But maybe this is the way organizational tools are moving – apps to take care of every aspect of your life because ultimately, they really are inter-related.
In order to get a good feel for Task2Gather, I asked my project manager Marla to test out the tool and give her assessment. Right now we are using Basecamp. I’ve sung the praises of Basecamp before, but these days the number of projects we are managing and the complexity of those projects – each with different combinations of team members involved – is making it harder to keep track of everything.
Marla, in her ever efficient way (thank goodness for organized humans!) came up with a list of pluses and minuses for Task2Gather. Here is what she had to say:
- One feature that my project manager really likes is the stats and reports feature. That could take the place of her weekly past-due reports that she generates by hand in a spreadsheet.
- She also likes that you can assign a deadline that shifts with the project’s priority.
- And she likes that you can see how close to completion a project is, but you have to put in hours spent. That begs to ask the question: Would everyone on our team take the time to enter their hours per project?
- Two things that she feels are lacking in Task2Gather are email reminders and when you post messages or comments, the application doesn’t appear to send copies of those messages to the team members assigned to the projects.
- Also, there isn’t a feature where you can upload file attachments.
- She also feels it is really hard to see the tasks, and especially the deadlines. I have to agree with her on that.
Most of the features of Task2Gather are either the same or better than Basecamp and in some cases, just presented in a different way.
After getting Marla’s assessment, I asked Olga Shtaub from Task2Gather to address some of the minuses. Here is what she told me:
- The emails are currently generated only to inform you if a new project was shared with you or when a new task was assigned to you. To notify about any changes in Task2Gather, there is the “News” feature. “News” contains changes made in Task2Gather like comments, deadline edits, task progress or any other changes that take place and that concern your tasks and projects where you participate. The “News” or changes emerge beside the project or task name and are marked with a bold font. Anytime you log in, you can see all changes and check them immediately. The “News” section is refreshed every 5 minutes.
- Task2Gather is planning to add a new notification system so users can choose the way they want to be notified by the service.
- The upload feature in Task2Gather is scheduled for release in the beginning of the next year.
- The company is planning to change a little bit the UI, design and probably the colors of Task2Gather.
Overall, I think that when it comes to project and task management, it really boils down to not only your needs but your preferences. As cloud working continues to become more and more pervasive, the competition amongst the project management applications heats up in the battle to be better. So while Task2Gather may not end up solving my company’s project management quandries that are often very specific to the way Marla and I like to manage, it could be the perfect solution for another Web worker or Web working team.
What are you using today for project management and task management, and how is that solution really working for you?