A Beginner’s Guide to Free Task Management Software
If you’re serious about your work and keeping it organized, then implementing a task management software is essential.
While you may find it overwhelming at first, once you learn the ropes it’ll become incredibly easy. With some simple task management hacks, you can use this type of software to streamline your business.
What is Task Management Software and Why is it Important?
While the term ‘task management‘ sounds pretty high tech, it’s not. All it means is a software that helps you to manage tasks from the moment you start working on them until they’re complete.
This could involve many different tasks, including:
- Task Creation: Setting actionable goals for your project before turning them into tangible tasks. You can also add details including time approximations, status, duration of task and dependencies.
- Prioritization and Organization: Considering every factor that could influence these aspects of the task in order to work out how you’re going to approach it as a whole.
- Updates and Task Monitoring: Task management really begins once you’ve created the task. To ensure that the task is monitored correctly, it’s important to document everything relating to the task from its inception to its completion.
So, why is task management so important?
When it comes to everything you’re currently working on, you need a bit of clarity in order to see the bigger picture. This is what task management does.
It means that you’ll always be on top of what needs to be done, as well as the order that it gets done in. This potentially means a reduction in anxiety and stress—especially if you tend to procrastinate.
Other benefits of task management include:
Working Efficiently and Keeping Organized
Because everything you’re currently working on is in one place with task management, you’re automatically organized. It allows you to order your tasks in terms of difficulty and priority.
You’ll also no longer have the issue of looking for tasks through old emails or piles of paper. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t misplace a task.
Meeting Your Deadlines
Nobody wants to get to the end of the day before they realize that they need to put an extra two hours aside for admin and emails. If you set specific time limits for each task, you’ll find yourself working better within these boundaries.
By restricting how much time you spend on activities that are low-priority, you now have the time to put into tasks that are of greater importance.
Staying Within Your Budget
Most tasks are connected somehow to a budget or rate. When you’ve got to add images or promotional videos to your task, it’s vital that you don’t go over the budget you’ve made or been assigned.
With task management, you can easily divide your overall budget according to your preset tasks. This means you can allocate it to individual activities in a way that you couldn’t before.
Setting Clear Priorities
Being clear on your priorities is inherent for keeping your workload nicely balanced. If you use task management to organize your tasks in order of priority, you won’t experience stress and pressure at the eleventh hour on a task with a tight deadline.
If you’re someone who struggles to not see everything as a priority, let’s look at how to use task management software to help with this.
How to Organize and Prioritize Your Tasks
Ways of Organizing Tasks
- To Do Lists: each task management method begins with a to-do list. Either on a piece of paper or an app, create a brainstorm of your goals. Once you’ve got them all, order them by priority. You can even break down bigger tasks into more digestible bites so that you can envision more progress.
- Detailed Task List: while to-do lists are great if you’ve got an entire team to allocate tasks to, this simply isn’t going to cut it. A detailed task list is similar to a to-do list, except it contains more detail about each task. These details may include billing, due dates, estimated overall cost and a description of the task itself.
- Subtasks: if you’ve got some tasks on your to-do list that are too big even for a detailed task list, try turning it into multiple subtasks. This will help you to see it as a manageable step by step process instead of an overwhelming task. You can even try and allocate one subtask to each team member.
Types of Task Priorities
One of the most crucial elements of task management is learning how to prioritize your tasks.
If you haven’t prioritized your tasks correctly, then task management isn’t going to work very well.
Let’s break it down and take a look at two main types of priorities to consider:
- Time-based Priorities: these priorities focus on the task deadline. All activities that fall under this umbrella must be completed by the set deadline. When labeling tasks in order of priority, you can use a number of different titles to order your time correctly. These include today, tomorrow, this week, this month, past due date, upcoming, later and this year.
- Urgency-based Priorities: these tasks are intended to be worked on and completed to reach the ultimate goal. However, how they are worked on is entirely dependent on how soon they’ll affect the overall outcome. When labeling tasks in order of priority for the measure of urgency, some titles could include critical, high, medium or low.
Other Elements to Consider
What should a task include? Let’s take a look.
- Description: the more detailed your task description, the better. The clearer your description of the task, the less room there is for misunderstandings and mistakes. This also means that you have streamlined your task information to be in one tidy place. If you’re a team leader, your team will appreciate explicit instructions that means they won’t have to ask additional questions.
- Task Dependencies: most of your tasks will be tied to other activity in one way or another. If you set explicit task dependencies, you and your team will know exactly how to tackle a task as a whole. They’ll know which aspects of the task need completing and what other activities depend on those aspects of the task being done.
- Task Status: having a task status helps you to keep track of how much of the task you’ve completed. As you or a team member works on the task, its status can change according to the progress.
- Time Estimates: whether you ask for feedback from team members or set up a system that tracks your time, there are easy ways to estimate the amount of time a task will take. Knowing approximately how long it will take to complete a task will help you and your team members prioritize the rest of their day around it.
Best Free Task Management Software
We’ve discussed the hows and whys of task management software. Now, let’s take a look at a couple of free options out there:
- Todoist: Todoist is a task management software that allows you to organize your tasks into streamlined to-do lists. Whether you’re at your computer in the office or on your mobile, you can easily set task due dates and priorities. For free you can have eighty active projects running at once, and up to five people on each project.
- Wunderlist: Wunderlist is another to-do list task management software. It helps keep your life manageable as you can take it anywhere with you. Whether you’re organizing your work duties, a family trip or just the grocery list, Wunderlist makes it easy. The free plan comes with a number of their basic features.
- Any.do: Any.do is a task management software that enables you to split up your business and personal tasks into user-friendly lists. You can also set yourself reminders, add notes and files, invite people to view and edit the task, and even subtask your more substantial tasks. The free option comes with all the necessary features.
Gryffin: A Great Option for Task Management
Gryffin is the type of task management software that stands out, for a number of reasons. One of these is that it wasn’t created to simply be a task management software.
It was created by a digital marketing agency whose innovative, creative individuals were growing weary from juggling too many tools for their tasks.
Gryffin’s platform works to scale your larger—and smaller—tasks into more manageable bites. Let’s take a look at some of the features that they offer:
- Connected Tasks: Gryffin helps you stay organized by bringing all the parts of a project together—data, deadlines, files, emails, invoices, and, of course, tasks. Create and complete tasks within your Project Hub to easily track a project from start to finish.
- Task Manager: You also have your own personal task list in your Task Manager, where you can see all overdue, current, and upcoming tasks from all projects. You can also use your Task Manager to see tasks you’ve assigned or tasks assigned to anyone in your company—a great auditing tool for project managers!
- Automated Workflows: Take the hassle out of task management! From streamlining multiple workflows in one place to creating new ones for your business, this feature is designed to help you prioritize efficiency and rule out time-wasting.
- Task Scheduling: Gryffin’s task management software allows you to schedule your tasks ahead of the day effortlessly. By setting start and end times to tasks, you can jump into your workload with clear boundaries around each task.
- Recurring Tasks: Gryffin’s software can save and store information related to repeated tasks. This means that instead of starting from square one every time, you can directly go off the pre-existing information stored through their software.
- Calendar-Based Task Management: Syncing up your work calendar with Gryffin’s software will allow you to work out task priority based on due dates and time.
- Task Notifications: You don’t have to worry about forgetting to do a task again. With task notifications that you can set as a reminder, you’ll have all your work done well within the designated time frame.
- Task Priorities and Milestones: Because Gryffin’s task management software is all-inclusive, you can efficiently manage your task priorities and keep a record of task milestones, all in one place. This means you don’t have to worry about misplacing or misunderstanding a task ever again.
With task management software, you can begin to get your task organized in order of priority. You can start to avoid procrastinating, and you can even say goodbye to the anxiety and stress you’ve experienced as a result of tight deadlines.
Task management software is designed to keep all your tasks neatly ordered, so all you have to do is worry about working on them or allocating subtasks to your team members.