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March 07, 2011

Project (Mis-)Management

Rate This | Votes: 1592

In the immortal words of Bonnie Tyler (sort of),

"Where have all the good project management software packages gone and where are all web-based GTD tools?
Where's the task-wise Hercules to fight the rising amount of projects?
I'm holding out for a hero.
I'm holding out for a project/task management and collaboration tool till the end of the night.
It's gotta be fast,
And it's gotta be flexible,
And it's gotta be able to manage disperate, ranked task lists with simplicity."

The Contenders

Now, it's been a couple months since I last pored over lists of project manager's features (and even tried some out), but this are the ones that I've boiled boiled down as the potentially best (for me) solutions.

GQueues

For a while now, I have been using GQueues to manage my to-do lists. The really great thing about it is that it's just so dang fast and easy. You can dive in and within seconds be recording and organizing all of your to-do information. It also integrates with Google calendar--which is awesome.

On the negative side, though, it's not so much a project manager as a task manager. As soon as you have tasks spread out over multiple projects, it becomes very bad at helping you to manage and, more importantly, prioritize those tasks. This is fine if you just have a couple of projects, but what if you are, just to pick a random example, a freelance graphic designer and web programmer with potentially dozens of projects to track at any given point? In that scenario, the impetus is still on the user to track status on each project individually.

GQueues is an amazing tool for making sure you don't forget anything, but I'm looking for a modern piece of software to do more than just speed up what I could do in a text editor (or a piece of paper for that matter). I need it to help me be even smarter about what I should be working on...

GQueues Website

Cohuman

This is one that seems like it's got great potential to me; I keep wanting to use it, but I keep finding a reason not to. If I were in more of a development team environment, then I probably already would be using it. Having said that, I am trying it on for size—again. It's great for managing tasks across multiple projects, but, as I said, it's somehow just shy of being great. I also have found the developers to be very responsive. Plus, huge points for using Get Satisfaction for their customer feedback... now that's a great tool!

The problems I have with Cohuman are few—but big. There's no way to assign a user and a project to task at task creation (you have to go back and edit the task to add one or the other)—this becomes a big, unnecessary time-suck especially when you realize that this is for every task that is created (and think about every simple step in a process and that overhead can really add up!). Projects themselves can't be ranked; this means that tasks for my own sites can potentially get a higher priority than tasks for a client's site (a big no-no!)—that alone means that you still have to individually manage each project to make sure its tasks are completed on time. The other issue I have with it is that the interface just feels sluggish to me... too much animation and too little hurry-up-and-get-to-what-I-clicked-on.

Cohuman Website

Asana(?)

I just ran across this one today. It's in closed beta, but it sure does look promising... I'll have to keep an eye out for this one...

Asana Website

Suggestions?

I have yet to find a piece of software that really fits the bill for my project management needs. I know there are tons and tons out there, and this is a problem that tons of people face every day—so what gives?! If anyone knows of some great project managers to check out, please drop a comment below!

An ideal project manager (for me) would be/have:

  • Web-based
  • Not ridiculously expensive
  • Unlimited multiple projects
  • Project ranking
  • Task ranking
  • Intelligent task tracking across multiple projects
  • Task dependencies and/or subtasks
  • A very fast, clean interface
  • Google calendar integration
  • An android app for managing tasks
  • Tags

Comments (2)

  1. Darren Doyle:
    Mar 09, 2011 at 01:41 PM

    Here's another little gem I found... It is geared toward GTD (Getting Things Done) workflow, integrates with Google services, and has a syncable Android app (OS 2.2+)...

    http://actioncomplete.com/

    Reply

    1. Crissy:
      Sep 18, 2011 at 05:23 AM

      You've got it in one. Couldn't have put it bteetr.

      Reply

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