There’s a healthy market right now for project management tools, from Wunderlist Pro to the now-venerable Basecamp. And then we also have mind-mapping tools such as Mindmeister and Mindjet, which use diagrams in order to outline ideas in a structured way. German mathematics grad Michael Partheil reckons there’s value in combining both tools in a clean, streamlined way, and recently launched a new web app called Subtask to do just that.
Of course, Mindjet itself has combined mind-mapping and project management through its Cohuman buy, but Partheil characterizes the result as “hard to use and bloated with features” — what he’s come up with is a simpler (and cheaper) beast.
“Project management tools are all basically just linear lists of tasks,” Partheil told me. “I always thought it’s easier to think about your project if you can structure it and split it. … The long-term goal is to create a tool just like Basecamp that does everything, but in a visual way.”
Subtask is pretty simple to use. You log in with Facebook or Twitter and can immediately set up your first task and invite others to join your team. A little plus sign next to each task lets you quickly create a new branch to the map and each task can be commented on, annotated, delegated and given a completion date. Files can also be attached to tasks.
The design is admirably clean, although Partheil warns that it doesn’t work well in mobile browsers just yet. There aren’t any Subtask mobile apps yet either, which is hardly surprising given that the project is bootstrapped and Partheil is only working with freelance designers and coders.
Which makes it all the more impressive that, just a week after coming out of beta, 10,000 accounts have been created with around 30 percent of users logging in every day and creating tasks. Partheil says these early users are mostly small web design and development outfits, with Subtask-using teams typically consisting of 3 or 4 people.
It’s a solid start and, depending on how clean he keeps Subtask’s interface while adding features, Partheil may be onto something.