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Task manager guide: how to use its features to get more work done

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    On an average workday, how many tasks does your team tackle?

    If your office (virtual or not) is anything like ours, the number is easily in the double, if not triple digits.

    If you want to keep track of the progress of multiple projects and critical business processes, email, spreadsheets, or pen and paper just isn’t going to work.

    The good news is that there are much simpler, more accessible systems for keeping work organized. With a dedicated task manager system, you can manage all team projects and workflows much more efficiently.

    In this article, we’ll cover what a task management platform is, how you can choose the right one, and how to speed up your workflows with automations and integrations.

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    What is a task manager platform?

    A task manager or management platform is a software application that makes the process of outlining, assigning, monitoring, and evaluating work items easier.

    With a task manager, there’s no need to email each individual employee about their tasks. Everyone can see what they should be doing in one shared platform, in real-time.

    Screenshot of a team tasks board.

    Managers also get a much better overview of the real project status, with color-coded task statuses, priority rankings, and flexible task groups.

    In essence, it’s a platform to help your team get more work done.

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    How to find the right task manager software for your company

    With 272+ different software options out there, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.

    But the right option for your company is out there. To find it, start with the following:

    1. Consider your workflow

    Do you have a complex workflow with both internal and external reviews of wireframes, prototypes, and finished designs or products?

    In that case, you need a flexible platform that can be easily customized to suit how your team works.

    It doesn’t matter if the software seems good in every other way. If it fails your team here, it won’t become the foundation for increased productivity and better teamwork.

    2. Assess for scalability

    If your company is growing fast, or you plan on transitioning more than one team, you need a robust platform that supports multiple teams.

    Can you add multiple boards and a logical structure for different teams? If your task manager requires everyone to work from the same table, things will get messy.

    Imagine if everyone had to spend time sifting through hundreds of unrelated tasks to find what their team was working on.

    3. Explore real reviews from similar users

    Screenshot of real monday review.

    (Image Source)

    What are the experiences of existing users? Reading real, verified reviews can often highlight the essential advantages and disadvantages of different platforms that will help you choose.

    Check confirmed consumer review sites like Capterra and G2 to compare platforms.

    4. Find a solution that integrates with tools you already use

    Chances are your team already uses a wide variety of other SaaS tools every day. If you add a standalone app to that, it’s not going to help them be more productive.

    However, if the project management app integrates with many of those tools, it can become a platform for keeping everything organized and maintained every step of the way.

    Instead of having to check separate sites and apps all the time, your team can expedite work and eliminate confusion by referring back to one platform.

    5. Assess for ease of use and adoption

    Make sure that the platform or app you choose is easy to learn and use. That will make a huge difference for team adoption.

    A straightforward platform that makes their life easier will have a high adoption rate all on its own.

    6. Check what kind of training and support it offers

    The final consideration is understanding how much training and support your team will require to work with the platform. Does the platform offer onboarding videos, webinars, and an easy-to-browse knowledgebase?

    Does the application or platform offer technical support for all users?

    These are important considerations before making your final choice.

    If you want a task management platform that can take your team to the next level, you’ll want to make sure your tool of choice can also tackle these 5 automations.

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    5 smart task management automations to boost productivity

    The average office worker spends over 3 hours every day on tasks that could have been easily automated. Yuck.

    These range from simple data entry, like copying data from one application to another, to manually making changes on each platform.

    A smart task manager platform includes automations that enable it to basically run itself, and save your team valuable time. Here’s how monday.com saves teams valuable time by enabling speed with automation.

    1. Automatically assign tasks to another user based on status change

    Screenshot of monday status change-related automations.

    With monday.com’s automations, you can use status changes to assign tasks, notify someone, or create a new task item.

    You can also set tasks to get deleted automatically when their status changes to something. For example, “final upload completed” or “accepted by client” could be used here.

    2. Automatically create new time-based items every week or month

    Screenshot of monday item creation-related automations.

    If you have a weekly workflow that includes repetitive tasks, you can set up automations that perform these tasks for you.

    You can also automatically assign tasks to the right team or person.

    For example, if you have weekly goals for sales calls or a number of A/B tests, it makes sense to auto-create new task cards.

    3. Automatically notify managers when due dates are passed (and the task is still in progress)

    Screenshot of monday due date-related automations.

    Even with dashboards and reports that offer an overview of projects and tasks, your managers won’t catch every problem.

    That’s why managers must get notified of potential bottlenecks or delays as early as possible. Then they can step in and allocate more resources to the task to make sure it gets resolved quickly.

    If you set due dates or even just benchmarking dates, you can use that to set up smart notifications.

    You can also use the status as a qualifier. For example, if the task is still “in progress” or “working on it” at the due date, alert someone. If it’s in review, don’t.

    4. Automatically track work hours based on status changes

    Screenshot of monday time tracking-related automations.

    If you use timesheets and rely on time tracking for every new task, you can make that easier with monday.com.

    One option is to set up automations for starting and stopping time tracking based on the status.

    For example, if the status is “working on it,” you can start time tracking and then stop it when it changes.

    5. Scheduling: automatically set a task’s due dates after its dependent tasks are complete

    Screenshot of monday dependency-related automations.

    If you plan complex projects that include task dependencies, manually scheduling them correctly can be difficult.

    With monday.com, you can set rules in the task manager to automatically move dependent tasks after their parent task in the timeline.

    This rule also helps you avoid human errors when scheduling tasks.

    You can add these rules to any board by opening the automations tab with the link at the top of the table.

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    7 essential task management platform integrations

    As the SaaS industry grows and the number of dedicated vertical solutions increases, the total number of apps each company uses continues to rise

    Companies use an unmanageable number of different apps. In a company with under 100 employees, each employee needs to interact with 17 distinct apps, on average.

    The number of apps the average employee has to use, by company size

    (Image Source)

    If you have the right integrations in place, you can make your employees’ lives a whole lot easier.

    1. Messaging and email tools

    Screenshot of monday communication integrations.

    If your team communicates and collaborates via email or a messaging platform like Slack, it is crucial that your task manager integrates with them.

    For example, with monday.com you can automatically send emails or Slack messages related to due dates or status changes.

    You can also send emails or messages with status reports and remind managers to check their dashboards.

    You can even use incoming emails on specific channels or boards to update task items or create tasks.

    If you have a specific channel for incoming customer form emails, you can use them to automatically create support or sales task items and assign them to the relevant team.

    2. CRM software

    Screenshot of monday CRM integrations.

    A CRM is crucial to maintaining and nurturing customer relationships over time.

    With monday.com’s integrations, you can create new task items when leads come in, and sync all future lead changes to both systems.

    Firstly, this gives you a better overview of the performance of your sales campaigns. Secondly, you can easily create and assign a specific task list tailored to each sales lead.

    3. Cloud file storage

    Screenshot of monday cloud storage integrations.

    Do you use a cloud storage platform like Google Drive or OneDrive to store your files and documents online?

    With monday.com, you can easily add files directly to the task manager from either Google Drive or OneDrive through native integrations.

    You can add these files through status updates, infoboxes, or add a “files column” to your board.

    4. Software development tools

    Screenshot of monday software development integrations.

    If you are responsible for managing tasks for a software development team, you’re probably working with a few different developer platforms.

    monday.com has native integrations with GitHub, GitLab, Jira, and PagerDuty. You can create items based on commits, create issues based on item creation or status changes, and more.

    We offer a lot of smart automations to eliminate the need for manual data entry and task creation. You can also create custom options from scratch to suit your unique workflow.

    5. Marketing platforms

    Screenshot of monday marketing platform integrations.

    By integrating data directly from marketing platforms, you can monitor campaigns and easily assign tasks based on performance.

    For example, you could synchronize campaign data from Facebook ads and assign a marketing manager if the ROI or revenue drops below a set amount.

    6. Customer support

    Screenshot of monday customer support integrations.

    If your team is using a customer support platform, integrations can help remove data silos between teams.

    For example, if a bug report comes in via Zendesk, you can automatically use it to create a task item for your development team.

    Not only does this remove the manual work of alerting someone, it also ensures that the bug report reaches its final destination as quickly as possible.

    7. E-commerce

    Screenshot of monday e-commerce integrations.

    Do you sell products, services, or event tickets? You probably have a process to go through for each sale.

    To sell products, there are many processes that need to be done. Your fulfillment staff must prepare each order, identify the right products, package them, print the correct shipping label, and hand it off to the delivery carrier.

    With monday.com, you can automatically create task items in the task manager so your fulfillment team knows exactly what to do and when every time a new order comes in.

    You can also synchronize product inventory data and alert managers when a certain SKU gets low.

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    3 tips to go elevate your task manager effectiveness

    If you want to take your company to the next level, you need to move beyond keeping up with the day-to-day.

    To completely transform your business, you need to build a new management style from the ground up.

    1. Get familiar with the project management life cycle

    If you want better control of entire projects and not just individual tasks, you need to understand the project management life cycle.

    You need to fully grasp the crucial aspects of each phase from pre-planning to closing.

    A better process for managing each stage will transform your team.

    You will find more productive projects, manage them better, and learn and improve more over the long term.

    2. Find the right methodology or framework

    If you’re currently winging your overall project management, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

    You must find the right project management methodology for your project, team, and company. It will transform your management practices, productivity, and team collaboration as well.

    By getting everyone on the same page, you can create a more tight-knit organization that sails through work with speed and efficiency. Instead of top-down micromanagement, you can empower your whole organization to work better independently.

    3. Define KPIs and create real-time dashboards

    The first step is to define key performance indicators (KPIs) and create dedicated dashboards to track them.

    monday.com offers flexible dashboards and reports with a variety of widgets. A task manager can use time tracking and look at resource data like availability.

    Screenshot of dashboard creation tutorial in monday.

    You can also import campaign data or CRM data for a marketing or sales management dashboard.

    The options are endless.

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    Elevate your task manager capabilities and get more done, faster

    If you’re still using an inefficient system to manage your tasks and projects, there’s no better time to change that than right now.

    Every day you keep chugging along, the wasted hours will keep racking up.

    Use our team task management template to start distributing tasks better in just a few minutes.

    Our intuitive platform spells out everything in plain English and makes it easy for your whole team to transition. monday.com also has a vast library of tutorial videos and live training webinars every week.

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