Producteev is the new kid on the block in the collaborative task management arena, but this app puts the emphasis on the social and makes multi-tasking, our 21st-century way of life, a lot easier.
Just to be clear, this is not another Basecamp-type application. It is a product of the less-is-more mentality, which often makes for the best applications. Producteev is for managing your activities and communicating with the other people involved in those activities.
My sister-in-law could really use this. She’s a swim team president, an assistant den mother, and in charge of fundraising for a large muscular dystrophy group in Los Angeles. On top of that, she is the Project Queen, at any given moment managing more of them than I ever could; everything from putting solar panels on her roof to organizing a family reunion in Hawaii.
All of our lives are like this to some degree, and web workers have to juggle not only home but also professional activities. We’re under particular pressure to be sure that nothing falls through the cracks. If you haven’t found a solution to that problem yet, read on.
For each of your projects, you make a task box. With just a couple of clicks, you can name them, color code them and add tasks. In this image I have color coded work, home, leisure, and personal activities differently. You can drag the boxes around in your dashboard and drag the tasks up and down within the boxes.
Producteev is much more than a multiple-project to-do list, however.
You can click on a task and, in the callout on the left, enter a status, set reminders for yourself (which you can receive through any of several channels) and leave comments. Other members of the team can leave comments too. You can get an overview of all items in a task box by clicking the Overview button at the bottom right of each box.
You can assign a task to other members just by dragging the task onto his or her avatar at the bottom of the page. An assigned task appears on your dashboard in the Imported Tasks box. From there, you can drag the task into the specific task box where it belongs.
Note that you can give different people access to different activities so that they will only see activities they’re involved with.
The app has a new approach to the social aspect. The integrated Live Feed acts like Twitter or Facebook’s news feed (in the context of a project such a thing might actually be useful) so that you can easily stay on top of the actions and comments of team members. The Live Feed automatically displays new tasks, reminders, etc., and members can also use it to communicate.
Another great thing about this app is that it’s already tied in to the most popular communications channels, allowing you to send yourself tasks and receive notifications in the ways that are most convenient for you. Your IM options are currently Twitter, Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, MSN, and ICQ. Mobile options are on the way: Nokia (due next week), iPhone, and Blackberry. And there will soon be an Adobe Air app (also due next week) that will allow you to work with Producteev from your desktop.
You can import existing tasks from Microsoft Outlook or Remember the Milk. You have the ability to upload and share files, with versioning and comments by team members for each file.
Producteev, one of 30 startups chosen to compete at LeWeb ’08 in Paris, is still in private beta, but they’re planning to switch to public beta and launch the iPhone app in about three weeks. If you’re eager to get in and play with Producteev, you can request an invitation now to participate in beta testing and help them create the product you want. You could also develop for Producteev using their API!
I’ll be sure to let you know when the app goes into public beta. Producteev is free to use during beta, but after that it will be available by subscription, which the founders assure me will be “very cheap.”
Let me know what you think!