As our lives get busier and the world gets faster, our workload seems to be just too much some times.
Web apps are getting faster, better, with incredible user interfaces and maybe similar or even better than stand alone local applications.
These two statements above seem to have nothing in common, but in my view they both led to the increasing number of quality web-based task management tools.
Being a fan of David Allen’s GTD methodology, I’ve always tried to apply the method using software tools that could be better than the old pen and paper.
Just a few years back, finding a task management software was a quite hard task itself, especially on a Mac.
Today, I think that choosing the “right one” for you has become a stressful experience because there are too many!
When I started using these task management tools I basically didn’t have much choice. The first ones I’ve used where:
– Remember The Milk
But as a nice intention for the new year I decided to have a deep look into many of the alternatives on the market. First, because I did not like the fact that all the above mentioned products where basically not evolving and seemed to be frozen to a few years back (the only improvement comes from Things that is now offering a cloud based version of their tool, which has now been in beta for an unbelievable amount of time and is becoming obsolete before going out of beta..). Second, because I now feel the need to be more “social”, and these new tools out there are giving more space to your social needs and to sharing your tasks with your teams.
Although the list I’m presenting here is not exhaustive and could be increased every month (or week) when new products come to life, I believe it is a starting point for many who wish to dive into this world of getting organized and getting things done without using pen and paper.
Some of the tools I came across convinced me more than others and therefore I’ve given them extra time to test, try, install. Others did not receive the same treatment probably because the user interface did not capture my full attention and that is why I’m reporting just a few names and relative web sites with no comments.
The first three of the list are still valid tools and I’m not writing anything about them since I’ve done so already in this post: To-Do Lists and tasks management
- Remember The Milk
- HiTask: not very GTD oriented, but with a very nice UI. Tasks are generally organized with due dates and priorities. Also projects are very well organized. One of the most interesting things about HiTask is the ability to assign a time to each task and track your time with a built-in timer. You can either start and stop the timer or manually enter the amount of time you spent on each task, in order to get very nice reports on how you spend your time. Very useful for people who need time-sheets.
- TeamBox: the version 4 has some really great improvements in the UI. If you and your team are always online, then it is a perfect tool for sharing your ideas, and commenting on each task instead of using email.
- Doit.im: this one has really impressed me! Very GTD oriented, wonderful UI, very nice iPhone and Android versions, Mac app, very responsive customer care. Even if some other professional tools are probably better, Doit.im handles very weel shared task with your team. You can easily create several teams, assign tasks and track them over time. Contexts are also very clear and GTD-style. BTW, for now Doit.im is FREE! (yes, MY CHOICE!)
- Flow: Flow is incredibly similar to Doit.im. I don’t know which came first, but I would say one was inspired by the other one! Very clean and GTD oriented user interface with possibility to share your tasks. The only big difference with Doit.im is the price: 99$/year.
- Producteev: very nice UI and I think excellent for collaboration and teams. You can easily comment on each task and see the task history as a Facebook page with comments from co-workers. Also available: iphone app, android app, stand alone app for mac and windows. Excellent for collaboration and sharing but I think way too expensive.
- Do: Do is one the most simple tools I’ve seen. Not GTD oriented but with an extremely easy to use interface: just projects and tasks. That’s it. You can delegate your tasks, comment on each one and create shared notes (for meeting minutes for example). iPhone and Android apps are very clean and easy to use.
- Basecamp: Basecamp is intended for a more professional use and for larger companies. Although I don’t think it offers a GTD style and did not capture my full attention with its UI.
- Pagico: Pagico really impressed me at the beginning. More than a task management tool I would say it is a project management software. Maybe the only one with Gantt charts, it could help you manage complex projects with deadlines. The big bug about Pagico is that there is no web version, no iPhone version (only iPad) and sharing tasks and projects with co-workers is just not straightforward.
- Wunderlist: very popular on the Apple app store. Very clean UI but I don’t think it can compete with many of the others.And here comes a list of tools I did not test deeply enough to write something about them: