Tracking a Large Number of Tasks Online Using Milestones

John Reeve | February 5th, 2013 | , , ,

Regardless of what online software you are using as a task tracking system, you may find yourself juggling an overwhelming number of tasks. Fortunately, a little organization can go a long way.  In this example, we use our online task tracking software, Intervals, to manage and track tasks by grouping them into a milestone, pictured below.

Tracking a Large Number of Tasks Online Using Milestones

Tracking a Large Number of Tasks Online Using Milestones

Tracking how much task time is left on a milestone

The most valuable benefit of grouping tasks into a milestone is the estimated time versus actual time tracked on the tasks. Intervals allows you to estimate how much time each task should require. The milestone sums the individual task estimates and compares them to the actual time tracked on the tasks.

One look at the milestone and you will know if there is enough time remaining to complete all of the tasks. If your milestone has more time remaining than the number of days left will allow, you’ve got a problem. Grouping tasks into a milestone and tracking time against them will reveal timing problems sooner, rather than later.

Filter the list of tasks by status

Grouping tasks into a milestone is a good way to reduce the number of tasks being managed at once. The ability to filter the list of tasks within the milestone helps you concentrate your efforts even more.

Focus only on the tasks that are ready for client review, or the tasks that are in need of assistance. Task status tells you what needs to happen next, making this filtered view ideal for planning out your daily to-do list.

Tracking the percentage of tasks completed on a milestone

A milestone is considered completed once all of its tasks have been closed. A quick glance at this progress bar tells you how far along the milestone has come, and how much farther it still h as to go.

Because each task requires a different level of effort, this progress bar is less a measure of time. Tracking the percentage of closed tasks on a milestone is a quick and easy way to quantify the amount of effort remaining, relative to the amount of effort already put in to the milestone.

Tracking tasks using the milestone

The list of tasks on the milestone provides a detailed view of what needs to happen. The task list shows when each task starts and is due, so they can be managed better within the milestone’s deadline. And the assignee column shows who in the group is responsible for working on each task.

More details about each task can be found simply by clicking on them. While each task is in progress — as time is tracked, comments are added, documents are uploaded — the overall efforts can be managed at the milestone level. This is why milestones are such a great way to break up larger task lists into smaller,  manageable groups.

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Intervals is online time, task and project management software built by and for web designers, developers and creatives.
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John Reeve
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John Reeve

John is a co-founder, web designer and developer at Pelago. His blog posts are inspired by everyday encounters with designers, developers, creatives and small businesses in general. John is an avid reader and road cyclist.
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Jennifer Payne
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Jennifer Payne

Jennifer is the Director of Quality and Efficiency at Pelago. Her blog posts are based largely on her experience working with teams to improve harmony and productivity. Jennifer is a cat person.
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Michael Payne
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Michael Payne

Michael is a co-founder and product architect at Pelago. His contributions stem from experiences managing the development process behind web sites and web-based applications such as Intervals. Michael drives a 1990 Volkswagen Carat with a rebuilt 2.4 liter engine from GoWesty.
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