To Do List

 

Have you ever had so many projects and things to do that you lose track of an important task? Or maybe you manage a team in your wedding business and you struggle with keeping track of what everyone’s doing?

Or perhaps you’re wasting time sifting through dozens of emails while working on a wedding. There’s got to be a way of tracking project completion without fear of losing something in lengthy email threads.

If this sounds like you… keep reading.

One of my on-going goals is to be better organized and stay on top of tasks and projects (rather than having them sneak up on me!)  So, I started searching for a good task management program or app that can help me stay organized and hopefully make life a bit more simple.

(Disclaimer: I am a tried and true pencil and paper kind of girl. Transitioning into a digital task management scenario has been a scary business, but one of necessity for virtual work. I like my pretty colored pens and notebooks, so I, too, feel hesitancy of not wanting to abandon your pencil and paper roots.)

Here are a few task management programs and apps I’ve tried out:

1. Asana

Pros for Asana:

  • Pleasant looking interface and available on any device.
  • Allows users to assign tasks to other team members, which is great for project management.
  • Free and paid version – the free version works well for many small businesses
  • Integrates with Google Docs, Dropbox, and Box.

Cons:

  • You can only assign a task to one person.
  • Limited viewing customization.  There’s little you can do to customize what appears on your screen.
  • Paid version is a bit pricey for small businesses starting at $21/month.

2. Basecamp

Pros for Basecamp:

  • 60 day free trial to see if it’s right for you and your business.
  • You can assign tasks to individual team members.
  • Integrates with Google Docs.

Cons:

  • Limited number of projects depending on which monthly plan you pay for (starting at $20/month for 10 projects and 3GB storage space.)
  • There’s no way of looking at a comprehensive, individualized to do list for all projects. You have to look at each project individually, or look at all projects and all tasks assigned to everyone on your team
  • Limited use on mobile app. It’s easier to just use the website.
  • Not feasible for individual task management.  Basecamp is really more for overall project management.

3. Evernote

Pros for Evernote:

  • Their logo is an elephant, which never forgets! (Always a good sign.)
  • Available across all devices.
  • Offline use with Premium Version at just $5/month.
  • You can email your tasks directly into your Evernote.
  • There’s also an extension you can use with your browser to quickly snag a screenshot, website, etc. and put into your Notebook.
  • A powerful FREE Secret Weapon for organization when combined with the Getting Things Done method.

Cons:

  • Functions by using notebooks and notes within each notebook, which can quickly become overwhelming.
  • Extension doesn’t allow you to add to an existing note. You have to create a new note.

4. Any.do

Pros for Any.do:

  • Beautiful interface.
  • Available across all devices.
  • Mobile app allows you to run through all of your tasks each day and quickly prioritize them.

Cons:

  • While the appearance of the interface is lovely, there’s no way of seeing when tasks are due unless you click on each individually.
  • Limited customization abilities. You can only organize by project or timeframe for completion.

5. Wunderlist

Pros for Wunderlist:

  • Available across devices.
  • Several different versions to meet your individual needs.
  • Customizable interface options with Pro or Business versions.
  • Tasks are assignable to others.
  • Works well for individual productivity as well as team management.
  • Smart Lists already created that allow you to easily view tasks due for today and for the week, along with those assigned to you.

Cons:

  • Once a project is completed, there’s no way to archive or hide it. This can be a real pain for recurring projects.
  • Only integrates with Dropbox currently.  However there’s discussion of adding more collaborative partnerships soon.

These are a just a few of dozens of popular task and project management systems that are out there.

Learn more about how to stay on track when life gets crazy and why you should dump your resolutions and change your life with these 3 strategies.

When choosing a platform that works best for you, be sure to consider:

  1. What do you need the project management system for?  Yourself, your business, managing projects, etc.
  2. Your preferred organization method.  What looks and works best for you?
  3. Cost, storage, and app compatibility with your devices.

Most importantly, be sure to give the systems you try a good couple of weeks of trial and error to find out what you like (or don’t like) about it. This will help you identify what you want out of a task management system and also give you the opportunity to see if the system works for you and your team.

Tell us what you think! Do you have a favorite task management system?

photo credit: 5/4/2010: To-Do List via photopin (license)

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Posted By

Becky Linot

Becky Linot is project manager and superhero assistant at Book More Brides. She rocks the online world and her little ones with boundless positivity and a wicked sense of humor. When she's not busy being a working fool, you can find her in her backyard-farm with her chickens or glued to her sewing machine.

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One thought on “5 Awesome Tools to Stay Organized”

  1. loyaanderson says:

    Nice topic to stay organized on a business. I started using a software which has Agenda App it allows me to manage all the tasks, calendars, call logs, e-mails, follow-up, my work and Notes. All this helped me to managed my small business . Isn’t impressive. Yes, it is Apptivo software.

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