Is your desk littered with thousands of sticky notes? Are you using email flags to manage your to do list?
That system might be fine for your personal shopping lists and family to-do lists. But if you’re managing your work that way, it’s time to look in the mirror and ask yourself whether you’re really being that efficient.
What you could really use is a tool to manage your tasks. Great! There are tons of task management tools on the market. So many, in fact, it’s hard to make sense of it all. Do you need just a task app for your phone? Do you need a task list online? Or do you need a larger project management tool that lets you manage your tasks with your team? It’s important to make sense of what your needs are so that you can get the software features you need to help you manage those tasks and pesky to-dos.
But first, how do you know if you really even need to get a task management app or tool to help you get your work done?
3 Signs You’re Getting Bogged Down
So, what are the signs that you’re in need of a new way of managing your tasks? Here are three of them. See how many describe your work habits.
1. You frequently need to be reminded to deliver tasks
Do assignments go in one ear and out the other? Do your coworkers or your bosses have to remind you consistently to get this or that done?
It’s okay! Some people have a hard time retaining dates and other important information when they’re focusing on the work at hand. If that’s the case, then you need to figure out another way to retain crucial data on tasks you’ve been assigned.
2. You spend too much of your day digging through emails looking for files and conversations
Your in-box can get ugly. It can get filled up with some important requests and some unimportant stuff, which makes it hard to between what is a priority and what’s not. Even if you tag and color-code those emails, you’ll still be spending more time than necessary filtering through all the junk to find those pertinent emails related to the tasks you’re working on.
3. You spend half your day in meetings listening to other people talking about their tasks
Meetings are important, but sometimes they’re just disruptive to the process of getting your work done. Well-intentioned daily stand-ups or status meetings can end up wasting time and energy as you have to listen to people talking about tasks you’re not a part of.
3 Ways to Turn That Ship Around—Today.
Now, how guilty are you of falling into these time-wasting ruts? Even if you can relate to just one of the above examples, you’re probably going to want to get a task management tool to help you (and your team). You can be more productive, and you can make the change right now.
With the right task management software, you can streamline activities that used to slow you down. So what do you look for in a good task management tool? These three features will help you resolve the task chaos.
1. Manage your tasks online
So, put the sticky notes down. With an online task management tool, you will never forget about a task. You don’t have to memorize minute details or remember who asked for what; that’s what the software helps you do.
When your task list moves online, it can automate reminders so you’re notified by email about the task well in advance. You can set up those reminders to tell you at any time and repeatedly, depending on your preference.
Not only will you never forget another deadline, but your team can also get in on the automated reminders. You can remove this busy work from their schedule and allow them to do their tasks, without feeling compelled to micromanage them.
Click here to manage your tasks online with ProjectManager.com. You can collaborate on tasks, get email alerts and update task status easily by desktop or mobile.
2. Collaborate around tasks
You’re beginning to see the benefits of an online task management tool, but you rarely work in isolation. It’s important to be able to manage tasks with your team. Rather than have to search through thousands of old emails for that one with the document you need to move forward in the project, now you can collaborate at the task level by attaching conversations to those task.
When you’re having group conversations online, which are now collected around specific tasks, you can attach relevant documents, files and even photos and videos to those tasks! Instead of moving the conversation to another social or chat platform, now you and your team are talking and sharing important data around the task, where you want it and where it’s easily accessible.
3. Plan tasks together with your team
Tasks are important, but usually they’re just one small part of a larger effort. It’s important to not only manage your tasks online but also plan the work or projects connecting those tasks. Look for a tool that lets you do more than just make simple task lists.
When you start managing all your tasks and projects online, your team has visibility into the whole project. They can help spot issues and help define realistic priorities and due dates, when they’re a part of the whole plan.
So, you know it’s time to move to a task management tool when chaos is the normal operating procedure. So look for a tool that lets you manage your tasks online, so you can get automated alerts when those tasks change or are due. Look for a tool that lets you collaborate with your team. And look for a tool that lets you plan your tasks as projects, so you can begin to manage the whole team more productively.