Posts tagged with ‘task management’
My personal task management tool is Todoist: I like it’s flexibility and ease of tagging.
The company behind Todoist is Doist, and they’ve announced availability of Dropbox and Google Drive attachments on Todoist tasks.
Below you see a task, opened to see the ‘back’ where the notes and attachments are shown. You can see the file attachment box now supports more than the drag&drop method previously supported.
Below you see my Dropbox, and attaching the file works as you’d imagine.
The sharing works in the obvious way: once I share the file with a co-worker via Todoist, they will be able to see the file.
Justin Rosenstein of Asana walked into the lion’s den of Techcrunch Disrupt yesterday, and tried to raise the topic of purpose and meaning to a tech crowd obsessed with material and social success.
His talk was an appeal to building your life’s work on helping others to ‘thrive’, and making that the foundation of any business or product that the entrepreneurs in the audience might be contemplating.
I think he misstepped in several regards, but I personally support his adoption of the ‘transpersonal’ ideal that Mazlow discussed in his last years: the highest good is help others reach their potential, and to find meaning and purpose in life and work (see What Drives Us?).
His missteps? He was very direct in naming activities that he thought were a waste of time — like playing or building yet-another-game — but he wasn’t willing to spell out what he meant by ‘thrive’, arguing that it was a ‘primitive’: an irreducible concept. But I disagree. At the very least he could define it by what it isn’t. But maybe he was put off by the most common definitions, which include ‘to prosper, to flourish’. And his comment about flying coach to the conference fell flat.
Justin said that he thought it was a good thing to do, and that he asked for Alex Wilhelm — the Techcrunch pit bull — to interview him after the talk. After a great deal of sparring, Wilhelm asked,
If you didn’t have a lot of money, would anyone listen to you?
which is a perfect proof of the profound cultural distance between the libertarian, every-man-for-himself technoid mentality, and Rosenstein’s humanism. Wilhelm’s question underscores that, yes, Techcrunch does in fact invite speakers who have grabbed the brass ring. But they are supposed to say acceptable things, and Rosenstein wandered too far past the boundaries into something more like a TED talk, or Seth Godin at 99U last week, telling people that being creative means you have to confront and accept your own fears of failure. At Disrupt, those emotions, and humanism, has to be kept in check.
The second part of the conversation veered to Asana, the product.
LIke many others, Rosenstein and his designers made the gamble on HTML5-based mobile clients, and now have decided to bite the bullet and build native clients, to make them faster and tighter.
Since we were talking about mobile, I asked what I think of as an obvious question. My belief is that all mobile work tools — like Asana’s task management platform — will inevitably incorporate messaging between coworkers. So I asked him if they were going to add messaging — chat — to Asana. He didn’t answer, but the shock showed in his face. And then he turned to Emilie Cole, the PR person who had arranged the meeting, and she made a very careful statement that didn’t really say yes or no.
So, assuming I am right, Asana will become another proof point in my assertion that work tools will have build messaging in because it’s a pain to leave the Asana (or other work tool) context to chat about work matters. And even more compelling: When you are in the midst of a discussion about work matters and something crops up that should be captured as a task, its a pain to leave the chat context. What people want is a two way interchange between chat and capturing work matters as tasks.
Justin was a bit more forthcoming about other plans. Asana is being used by a number of other tech groups as a platform for task management, through its API. But the platform isn’t limited to just managing tasks: other sorts of business information could be implemented, both via API and the normal user experience. So imagine if in the future I wanted to store and share research notes. Asana might provide the means for me to do so, and link those with tasks and other forms of information, like milestones, deals, and who knows what else.
This opens the door for other companies or users to create ‘apps’ — like my research notes example — and they could be managed and monetized — via an app store model.
Asana is headed toward becoming an extensible work management platform, one that I feel will challenge the leaders in the field. One of the reasons I think Asana will move to the front of the pack is the group of companies that they work with, that are pushing Asana in the direction they are headed.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Asana announces Chrome extension (at last) http://t.co/SruHnNYMyY and I return to Asana after a short Any.do mobile-first experiment— Stowe Boyd (@stoweboyd)
I return to Asana after trying Any.do for a few weeks (see Asana announces Chrome extension (at last)).
The announcement of a better Chrome extension was an important consideration, since Any.do has a great integration with Gmail:
I loved that Gmail integration. Frankly, I hope Asana knocks it off. But the extreme limitations of accessing and manipulating Any.do tasks — and their bizarrely cheerful support responses — made it very difficult to use the app on the Web. Better on the iPhone, but even there it was less than optimal.
My review of ten team task management tools now available at GigaOM Pro, using a task model versus team model 10x10 grid approach:
- Top tier: Asana, Trello, Do, and Wrike
- Mid tier: Producteev, and Astrid
- Lower tier: Basecamp, Remember The Milk, Action Method Online, and Workflowy
Excerpt to give a sense of the analysis in the report:
Three offerings in the top tier — Do, Trello, and Asana — cluster together, with Wrike as an outlier. Do and Asana are competitive products, sharing common design metaphors as well as similar team and task models. Both scored an eight for having effective killer features, as did Trello. Trello has perhaps the most innovative user experience of all of these top-tier solutions. But the choice between those two user experience design approaches has to be left to the user, ultimately. Wrike, the outlier in this tier, is a somewhat less team-oriented tool but has the richest task model of all the products.
I think in future versions of this report I will a/ start with a larger group of products, b/ winnow down more aggressively, with one sentence or one paragraph characterizations of the lower tiers, and c/ provide in depth reviews of the top tier solutions, only.
You know task management has gone big time when it displaces the Christian Singles online dating ad on the NY Times.
I took a look at Blossom.io, a task management tool built around product development, incorporating as its major design premise the use of Kanban boards for projects.
Blossom.io makes the stages of a Kanban board the central motif of task-based coordination of work, which is a reasonable approach in product-centered work. Blossom.io is a lean and lightweight tool, a handsome member of the small and simple school of design.
Read the whole review at GigaOM.
Kickoff is perhaps the closest I have found for a minimal usable team task management tool, given a few missing pieces. Read the rest.
I’ve taken a new role at GigaOM this week, writing regularly for the Pro service in the Social topic area. It’s not a great departure since my work at GigaOM upt o the present has been social tools and the future of work, but I am now a regular contributor — a Curator, in their terminology — as well as writing a number of reports this coming year.
It’s a great group, and I’ve particularly enjoyed the collaboration of working with David Card, the VP of Research.
I have recently written a report on team task management tools (in production), and earlier this year I wrote the Work Media Roadmap (subscription required), tracking a number of leading work media tools — enterprise social networks — and most importantly, the forces that are causing companies to adopt them:
The old architecture of work was based on process-centric, collaborative work. That is, all the people involved in a business process — for example, new customer acquisition for a consumer-products company — would work exclusively on that process, and the process defined everyone’s work. In principle, each member of the consumer acquisition team would spend 100 percent of their time on that process, and all the members would be co-located (in cubicles or offices) so that the process could be as efficient as possible. Considerations of what would be best for the individual would be deemed irrelevant. Collaboration was the byword, and web tools were designed around symmetrical projects, where members derived their rights by being ‘invited’ — in other words, assigned — to process-based project groups.
A new architecture of work is now emerging. “White collar” work first became “knowledge” work. Now it is known as “creative work.” The transition from process to networks is not just a recasting and not just a different style of communication. Work is increasingly being styled as information sharing through social relationships, where following takes the place of being invited. People coordinate efforts but work on a wide variety of independent projects with different co-workers. A new degree of privacy and autonomy animates cooperative work, in comparison to collaborative work.
Individuals cooperating hand off information or take on tasks in a fashion that is like businesses cooperating: They understand the benefit in cooperating but don’t have to share a common core set of strategic goals to do so. They don’t need the complete alignment of goals with everyone they work with that defines old-style business employment.
We are moving into a world of work where individuals will act increasingly independently but still need to work closely and intensely with many others, in various forms of asymmetric and intransitive relationships. Business software will need to provide a much greater degree of fluidity in this new era than ever before.
I’m looking forward to continued investigation into the business of social business, and the future of work.
I’m writing a report on Team Task Management tools (to do lists), so it would be great if you could participate in a short survey here. I am trying to figure out which are the ten tools I must review.
Sometimes, a company needs just a little bit of help, for example with terminology. I am always willing to take a look and see how I can help.
Recently Producteev was going back and forth on the particular way to differentiate between two kinds of workspaces in its collaboration tool. They seemed to be conflating (or confusing) the concepts of privacy and access.
Here’s how it stands now (from their blog):
1. When you collaborate with other users on a specific workspace, by default, everyone will be able to see all tasks posted by the members of this team (members who got invited and joined the workspace). Note that except the creator, the assignee and the administrator of your workspace, no one else can EDIT them. They can only view them, and post comments on them. They can’t change a deadline, edit labels or change the person in charge for example.
2. If you want more open collaboration, and let everyone from your team interact with all of your workspaces’ tasks, we recently launched a new setting for that, it’s called an “unlocked” workspace. Once that feature activated, anyone from your team can : complete a task, edit labels, set deadlines and reminders, change the assignee, etc. Anyone can do anything! Your workspace is not public, just editable by all the members of that workspace.
UPDATED ON MAY 7, 2012: Thanks to @stoweboyd for helping find the right terminology for “Locked’ and “Unlocked”!
Little things matter, metaphors matter. Getting terminology right — to be clear and intuitive — matters.