A common challenge that creative teams face is completing their projects on time. The number one cause for this is a lack of effective communication and collaboration across all the departments working with creatives. If your company is suffering from the same fate, it’s time you reevaluate your current tools and strategy. Level up your creative team’s workflow by investing in the best task management software. This tool can help your creative teams spend less time managing tasks, and focus more on the creative work.
What is task management?
Task management is the process of monitoring various tasks in your project from start to completion to achieve your goal. This process focuses on breaking down the workload into smaller individual tasks that contribute to the execution of a project and ladder up to a greater goal. Take note that task management is more than just creating a glorified to-do list. It also involves:
- Task planning
- Monitoring task progress
- Getting clear on roles and responsibilities
- Distributing workload to team members
- Tracking deadlines
- Adjusting work schedules
- Coordinating team workflows
Effective task management can help your creative teams get more work done on time. It allows them to plan, organize, and prioritize tasks to finish them efficiently without overshooting budgets. Hence, more businesses are investing in task management tools for their creative teams. In fact, a recent study shows that task management tools will reach $4.33 billion by 2023 with an annual growth rate of 13.7%.
Why do you need a task management tool?
People tend to confuse task management with project management. As a result, they invest in project management software even though what they really need is a task management tool. In fact, a survey by Statista shows that 76% of respondents used their project management software for task management.
However, the two skillsets differ in several ways. For one, project management requires you to look at the bigger picture of a cross-disciplinary project, while task management micro-focuses on the parts that make up that big picture. Take for example a marketing campaign. The campaign is the project, and may involve multiple stakeholders, timeline phases, and creative disciplines (strategy, copywriting, design, development, channel management). Project management involves mapping out the larger scope and workflow of how all of these pieces fit together.
While the different things you have to do for the project to succeed are the “tasks,” which team members must manage on a more individual level. This includes brainstorming, finding the right marketing channels, building a referral program, connecting with influencers, and picking metrics and KPIs to measure your campaign. Each of these tasks may very well have checklists of sub-tasks within them.
A task management tool allows you to bring these tasks to an individual level so that your team members can focus on completing them one by one. This prevents the team from being overwhelmed by the entire project by dividing the whole thing into smaller chunks to be managed separately.
How task management tools speed up your workflow
Task management tools are often used for dealing with repetitive and independent tasks. This allows your creative teams to properly stay on top of projects and plan their workflows for different tasks — to get the work done in a timely manner. It also enables them to delegate individual tasks to the rest of their team members and prioritize accordingly.
Different task management tools offer varying features to help your team. As a result, some tools stand out from the pack. To help you find the perfect task management tool for your creative team, here are some of the best ones in the market.
Best task management tools for creative teams
Asana is one of the top task management tools that can show you what creative collaboration really means. Its vibrant interface is one of the reasons why it’s so popular among designers and creatives around the world. More than that, it makes delegating and organizing tasks so much easier and more convenient.
There are many options for task creation in Asana. You can create new tasks and sub-tasks, duplicate existing ones as a ‘template,’ or merge tasks together. Your team members can then view these tasks in different forms such as List view, Boards view, and a Timeline view. On top of that, you can adjust permissions on who can view, access, and edit the tasks.
Asana also allows you to assign individual tasks to members and determine the rest of their collaborators. In doing so, all the individuals involved in accomplishing the task will automatically get notifications about its progress. Collaborators can also comment and reply to each other, allowing them more in-depth discussion about the task.
Another great feature of Asana is its task dependencies. This lets you determine the order in which tasks need to be performed. For example, one task needs to be completed first before moving on to the next one. When the first task is finally completed, Asana will automatically notify the assigned member of the next task that they can start working on it.
This allows you to clear up confusion when a given task is “blocked” by another, and keep the work moving forward in a streamlined manner.
Another top task management tool on the list is Wrike. It’s a free task management tool and project management system that’s great for simple remote collaboration. It is ideal for streamlining workflow, allowing your creative team to organize everything so that they can complete their tasks in a timely fashion.
Wrike provides your team with customizable tools so that they will have exactly what they need. This includes personalized dashboards, workflows, reports, request forms, and more. This breadth of features allows you to switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and traditional workload views to visualize task prioritization.
Wrike’s customizable request forms can simplify how you delegate tasks to members in your creative team. Through it, you can input important details of the task and add dynamic branching questions based on the rules you create. This way, your teams can get all the information they need to start on the task without asking again and again. Moreover, Wrike leverages smart automation when it comes to creating tasks and assigning them to the right individuals.
It’s worth noting that Wrike can be both a project management AND a task management tool, depending on which features you’re employing.
Trello is another popular task management choice for many creative teams. It is well-known for its comprehensive and customizable Kanban task management boards that allow members to see every little detail of their project tasks. Through Trello, stakeholders can create cards for every new task and post them up on the board like digital post-it notes. The cards, in turn, contain tracking lists so that you can follow up on the progress and status of other tasks within the project.
You assign tasks by adding members to cards. These cards will then contain all the needed information about the task such as its due date and file attachments. Trello also provides different views to display data in a clear and actionable way. This includes a Timeline view, Table view, Dashboard view, and Calendar view.
The interface of the software is on the minimalistic side, making it easier to explore and use its feature without prior knowledge of how it works. It also gives plenty of room for personalization such as dashboard customization options and integrations with third-party apps, making it one of the best examples of task/project management tools in the market.
Many smaller teams choose to start their task management journey with Trello due to its simplicity and affordability, and then graduate to a more robust tool like Asana, Monday or ClickUp later as they grow their organization into multiple teams.
Next in this task management tools leaderboard is ClickUp. It is a freemium task management software that provides templates for creating tasks or task lists. This helps your creative team save up time since they don’t have to start from scratch anymore. Stakeholders can even set up recurring tasks for different projects which they can edit later on.
ClickUp also has auto-reminders to make sure your team members keep track of their deliverables. These can be customized to how, when, and where your members can receive reminders for added convenience. Similarly, your members can dictate how often they want to receive notifications about their tasks.
Another feature of ClickUp is task prioritization. It uses a simple color-coded system so that your team can easily identify which ones are more important and which ones can wait. It also offers multiple ways to view tasks such as Board view, Calendar view, Timeline view, and more. ClickUp also has an option where members can view only their assigned tasks, to keep things compartmentalized and focused.
ClickUp also has a unique commenting feature where you can convert comments into individual tasks for quick task delegation.
Monday.com is popular for its simplistic and effective task management interface which allows users to focus on the tasks at hand. It resembles a highly customizable spreadsheet with tons of task management features for your creative team. This includes:
- Task dependencies
- Task scheduling
- Real-time task trackers
One of its popular features is its Monday workdocs. This is where your creative team can communicate by adding updates, questions, comments, or files to specific tasks. This serves as a workspace where members can brainstorm ideas and collaborate. It also helps handle difficult feedback within the team.
Spice up your task management tool
Task management is essential to any productive and effective creative team. It helps improve their workflows, making them more efficient and organized. Hence, most creative project management tools offer robust task management tools to help members focus on their individual tasks and improve collaboration at the same time.
And if you want to level up task management within your creative teams, you can integrate these best tools with other third-party apps for collaboration. A great example is Punchlist, a feedback tool that allows your stakeholders to comment directly on your websites, landing pages, ads, PDFs, and image files.
Punchlist integrates seamlessly with the aforementioned task management tools (and more) to turbocharge your project management workflow, rather than doubling efforts. All your collaborators have to do is point, click, and comment with exactly what they’re referring to — and the important meta data gets instantly sent to the card/task/item in your task management tool of choice (screenshot, resolution, browser type, device details).
From there, team members can simply move the work forward in their existing workflow — whether that’s a kanban board or a list view — and have precise clarity on exactly what needs to be done. So go ahead and check it out now.