When it comes to different types of time management software, we’re certainly not starved of choice—and if you’re looking to organize and manage your workload more efficiently long-term, you’ll definitely want to think about investing in a task management app. The right task management tool helps you stay on top of all of your commitments and visualize progress as priorities change.
But of course, not all task management apps are created equal, and whether you intend to use the tool for personal or professional reasons can make a huge difference. To help you find the right solution for your needs, we’ve broken out the main difference between personal and professional task management apps —with best-in-class examples for both.
What are the main differences?
While many task management apps share similar features, they often have very different levels of detail, incorporation and control—and much of this hinges on whether you want to use the tool for professional or personal purposes.
If you want to use a task management app for personal use, you probably only require basic to-do list features to keep on top of things, but if you’re using the app for professional purposes, it’s a whole other ball game. To be able to track progress on work, report on where effort is spent, update status, prioritize tasks and create planning timelines, you’ll likely want feature-rich project management features, as well as budget tracking and time tracking capabilities. Some professional task management app also let you set deadlines, compare estimated time vs actual time on tasks, and set automatic reminders.
Then of course there’s the issue of whether you’re working as a team or as an individual. Not all task management apps offer team collaboration features, scheduling, and shared visibility. Even as a solo professional, you may want personal goal and milestone features which more basic personal task management apps don’t offer. With these nuances in mind, we’ve pulled together some of the best task management apps for personal and professional use.
Best task management apps for personal use
One of the most popular simple personal task management apps currently available. As the name suggests, Remember the Milk is designed for staying on top of life’s small to-dos. It’s powerful enough to let you organize task priorities, due dates, repeats, lists and tags, and get reminders via email, text and mobile notifications. You can also share your lists to keep friends and family in the loop, and integrate with Gmail, Google Calendar, Evernote and more.
With Google Tasks you can manage, capture, and edit your tasks anytime and anywhere, with to-do lists that sync across all your devices. Though this app is simple and clutter-free, you can still add details and sub-tasks. An obvious choice for people who use Google products, Google Task’s integrations with Gmail and Google Calendar make it easy to link up information across your personal online space.
Microsoft To Do is a cloud-based task management app that lets you manage your tasks from a smartphone, tablet and computer. The smart daily planner helps you stay on track, and you can break tasks down into simple steps, add due dates, and set reminders, as well as share your list with friends and family.
One for the Apple crowd. Things is an award-winning personal task management app that helps you achieve your goals. You can use checklists to break down the finer details of a to-do list, view your calendar events with your to-dos, which gives you an outline of your schedule, and plan your week ahead with the new Upcoming feature, which shows everything in your diary for the next week, including scheduled to-dos, deadlines, and calendar events.
First and foremost an app for capturing and organising ideas, Evernote also helps you stay on top of your tasks by creating to-dos in your notes, which puts your jobs in context. It also removes the need to switch between notes and a dedicated task management app, which can interrupt your flow. You can even add due dates, reminders and flags to help you stay on track and ensure nothing gets lost.
One of the more developed personal task management apps, OmniFocus is designed to capture thoughts and ideas and turn them into tasks and to-dos, helping you focus on the right things at the right time. Because it’s deeply integrated with Apple, OmniFocus can become a seamless part of your daily life, and allow you to stay organized on all devices.
Best task management apps for teams
Unlike most team task management apps, Timely marries task organization and automatic time tracking, helping teams effortlessly visualize progress and see how long different deliverables actually take. Teams simply create or assign new tasks, and drag and drop them to their calendar to plan their schedule. With live progress bars, deadlines, and capacity calculations, everyone can plan work, track progress and manage priorities from one tool.
Flexible, agile, and super easy to use, Todoist allows you to create a to-do list on an intuitive note-taking interface, and then assign work from there to your coworkers. You can use the app to upload files, notify people, set recurring due dates, centralize repetitive admin, and even color-code tasks by their level or urgency or importance. There’s even a productivity view called Karma that gamifies your progress against each task.
As a task management app that allows teams to collaborate, plan, analyze and manage everyday tasks, nTask is popular with both small businesses and individuals. It provides tools that enable collaboration between team members, and makes it easy to generate progress reports, assign tasks, set recurring tasks, and share files.
If your team uses Microsoft, you might want to think about using their Planner, which helps you organize teamwork using visual, intuitive and collaborative task management. You can use the app to create content-rich Kanban boards complete with files, checklists and labels, helping everyone on your team feel empowered, no matter their role.
One of the most popular task management tools for teams is MeisterTask, which provides all team members with an overview of work in progress, from conception to completion. The Kanban-style boards help digitalize workflows, and the Gantt-style timeline helps drive efficiency, ensure deadlines are kept, and keep teams aligned.
Toodledo is a collection of powerful tools that help improve your productivity by creating powerful to-do lists. You can use folders, tags, contexts and subtasks to ensure your lists are organized as competently as possible, and the app also allows you to sort and search through your tasks, create structured outlines, and track your working habits, as well as collaborate with coworkers, friends and family.