Help me find a task management solution!
August 2, 2018 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I need a free, cloud-based solution for task and project management for my team of one. Can you help me find one that meets my specific unicorn requirements?

I have reviewed the previous asks and looked at all the solutions that were put forward. Am I missing one?

My ideal solution has the following features:
  • Free
  • Able to view all projects on one screen with all tasks by status; I have 30-40 mini projects on the go at all times and I need a dashboard view of tasks in each project without clicking on each project one-at-a-time. This helps me remember where every project is stuck or waiting in one view. (Mockup)
  • Able to view "today's tasks" or "high priority tasks" (across all projects) so I can focus on what I need to do today (Mockup)
  • Ability to forward tasks from Outlook inbox to app; preferably by project, but ok if they just land in an inbox to be sorted
  • Beautiful AI, does not look like MicroSoft Project
Optional features:
  • iPhone app
  • Small monthly cost ok for an awesome tool
Things I don't need:
  • Gantt chart
  • Time tracking / billing
I have looked at:
  • Smartsheet (can't log in with gmail, probably op)
  • Basecamp (super expensive, op)
  • Workflowy (hacky but might work)
  • Trello, Taskworld (no single task list, 30-40 projects makes the main screen cumbersomely wide)
  • Todoist, Todolist,, Teamwork, Kanbanflow, Asana, Wrike, Zoho, Smartsheet, Pagico (no unified project view)
  • Monday (expensive)
  • OneNote (hot mess)
  • Confluence (not a project management tool)
Thank you for any other ideas you might have - please save me from trying to build this in Excel!
posted by some chick to Work & Money (8 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Todoist [...] (no unified project view)

Did you try maybe setting them up as sub-projects? I don't know if there are limitations to this that make it a problem, but the nesting thing, if you add sub-projects, you can pull up the main one and it'll show all of them and their tasks. In multiple levels, even. (I don't know why there isn't just a similar view by default for all projects.)
posted by Sequence at 11:35 AM on August 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by notyou at 12:07 PM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

In Todoist, you can also use the “View all” filter to see all your projects, without doing the sub-project workaround.

If you spring for Todoist Premium, you can create your own filters, and you can also use labels for “In Progress” and “Not Started.” I’m not sure I’d bother with “Not Started,” personally, I’d just assume that anything not “In Progress” hadn’t been started.

There is a free plugin for Outlook that lets you turn emails into Todoist tasks... but I haven't tried it and can't comment on how it works. Premium also allows you to forward emails to projects as a task, or to tasks as a comment.

Todoist Premium is $29/year, so not super expensive. The desktop interface and the iPhone app are good.
posted by Kriesa at 12:34 PM on August 2, 2018

Not sure how you looked at Confluence without taking a peek at Jira, but imo it fits a lot of your requirements.

* ability to rank tasks, assign due dates, and create a dash that reflects all of your projects simultaneously
* create tasks (or comments) from email
* not expensive (at least in my opinion) - $10/year to host yourself or $10/mo for cloud. Not outrageous given what you get.
* ui that is, at least, not total garbage. For a private instance I'd think you'd be able to tweak colors.
* iphone app

it may be overpowered, as you put it, but that's just because there are a lot of options. A lot. Talking with anybody who works with Jira daily and has experience with Jira projects that are functional and helpful (hi, that would be me, memail away) would get you a long way towards a simple design that would help you feel comfortable ignoring the plethora of non-relevant options.

it's advertised for developers, but the structure of a coding project and what you describe have a lot more in common than you'd guess. :)
posted by snerson at 1:27 PM on August 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

let me amend that... the ui is not any kind of garbage. I just think the color scheme of the instance I use is gross (pewter/brown - yuck). I don't think that's what comes out of the box. Here is a Jira issue with screenshots of other Jiras attached! Not so bad.
posted by snerson at 1:30 PM on August 2, 2018

Clubhouse might fit your needs pretty well. You can set up multiple projects, look at just one project, multiple, or all of them, and either use labels or workflow states for priority so you can see by priority easily. I'm not sure whether epics or projects are a better fit for your projects, but it has a concept of each.
posted by freyley at 5:06 PM on August 2, 2018

Have you tried playing with the dashboard functionality of Asana to test out a unified project view?
posted by seemoorglass at 8:53 PM on August 2, 2018

Thanks everyone. I'm going to kick these new options (and old options with refinement) around - I really appreciate the input!
posted by some chick at 7:58 AM on August 7, 2018

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