When it comes to task management, there is a myriad of web-based software options to choose from to help you get organized and get things done. Which one you choose depends largely on your needs. There are three different levels of task management to consider. Each one is geared to handle different volumes of task tackling, and some may or may not address additional workflow needs. We’ve broken down workflow needs into three categories to help you decide which online task manager is right for you.
Basic Task Management
For people who have basic needs and simply need to cross items off a list, an online to-do list is an ideal solution. Basic to-do list managers are often used for personal task lists, but can also be useful for freelancers with lesser needs. The main requirement is an interactive list that can be sorted by priority or date, with the ability to add details to each task. Not much more is required for getting things done from day to day. A good place to start for simple task management is Remember the Milk.
Intermediate Task Management
An enhanced task management service will bundle a few other features into the mix, to give your tasks a greater context, but without distracting you too much from the tasks themselves. Sometimes called a glorified task list, Basecamp is a good example. Tasks may be tied to collaborative and scheduling features like chat and milestones to help smaller teams stay communication with one another and to reign in the abundance of tasks that can be created on any creative project. Services, like Basecamp, will equate task management with project management, but the comparison falls short the minute you realize that managing projects, and a small business, requires more.
Advanced Task Management
Small businesses will usually require task management coupled with a few other features to help manage their workflow. A task management tool becomes advanced when these other productivity tools are integrated with it to form a comprehensive tool that addresses many of the aspects of running a small business. Integrated features can include time tracking, invoicing, collaboration, contact management, and reporting. Tasks are managed in the context of running your business, playing an important role in getting things done. Task management tools in this arena will address the lifecycle of a task — entering the task, tracking the history of a task, tracking time spent on a task, and billing for work completed. For an example of an advanced task management, check out our own web-based tool, Intervals.