There are just so many task management tools out there. I have spend a lot of time trying some of them. Only until recently when my tasks become too many to handle by email and memory, I start to really think about which tool to use. Most of them can do collaboration by sharing tasks with others. Thus, it is not a really big issue to me. The reason I have not found a perfect solution is that task management is not just what it looks like.
To me, task management consists of three different things:
- Reminder: very simple task to remind me what to do, nothing more
- Planning: besides reminding, this requires some sort of organization of many smaller tasks
- Data collection: many tasks result data, which need to be kept and might create new tasks
The solution I have for now are:
Asana is a very popular task management for team. For each task, you can assign to other and attach files. Tasks can be grouped into projects and workspaces. But in general, tasks are organized as a list of tasks. Relationship between tasks is weakly linked by projects and tags. Therefore, I use it as a reminders. Just quickly type what to do today and tomorrow, set a due day, assign to myself or others. That's it. It allows me to remember every trivial things.
Quire is a very young task management tool on the market. What it is good is that tasks can be arranged in endless hierarchy. It is a relatively simple tool than Asana, but because of that, the website feels snappy. When do you need a hierarchical task manager ? Planning. Similar to outliner, I can have a big project diced into small tasks and track each one of them. Surely I can also put trivial reminders into it, but quickly the whole hierarchy becomes messy and it becomes hard to find important tasks from trivial ones. Thus, it is better to keep reminder-type task out of planning. Quire is good in outling the relationship between tasks. In another word, it is good for planning.
One big reason for people to keep using email is that they do not only handle tasks, but they also need a place to keep the data from task and comments on them. Although both Asana and Quire can have attachment, you need to download them before viewing. It is as inconvenient as email. Trello does a very good job in presenting data visually, less on task management. Therefore, I use it to keep the data of finished tasks and add comments on it. It is also a good tool to share data with others.
In the end, I use these three tools to keep things going. An email can be converted into any of them and make my inbox clean.