- Monday is the best overall task management app, offering over 200 templates and increased storage for teams.
- ClickUp is the best low-cost choice, offering unlimited users and storage.
- Airtable is the best for visualization, with a simple interface and drag-and-drop controls.
- Trello is the best for beginners, with a simple interface and clear views of task progress.
- Teamwork is the best for remote team management, allowing for real-time collaboration and time tracking.
- Todoist is best for basic tasks, with unlimited users and gamification features.
- Asana is best for larger organizations, with custom views and integrations.
- Basecamp has the best pricing structure, with a flat fee for unlimited users.
Is your business asking about the best task management apps? Task management software has made a splash in a big way in recent years. If teams are properly trained on one, it can help increase efficiency and laser focus on tasks as needed.
However, with so many on the market these days, it can be a bit difficult to discern which ones are worth using. Today’s guide aims to take away some of the headaches with some of the best of the best when it comes to keeping your business on track.
Why Should You Use Task Management Apps?
So, why should you use a task management app? Now, it certainly is true that integrating a bunch of technological processes into your business can hinder your performance. However, picking one app and sticking with it can see net positives when it comes to overall productivity.
Organization and Efficiency
The best task management apps are ones that allow you to organize and delegate tasks efficiently. When properly implemented, they should allow a bird’s eye view of progress to management and focused tasks to personnel.
This helps to keep everything honed in and focused. Some apps allow for the assignment of milestones to progress, so there are constant goals to focus on.
#1 Best Overall: Monday
Monday is built for scaling and is quite flexible. Whether you’re a solo business owner or the manager of an enormous team, Monday is a fantastic choice. You have the ability to choose the free plan, which offers over 200 templates for use but severely restricts your storage.
You can keep an unlimited amount of documents, which is a great pick for a freelancer. For teams, the paid plans really open up the application. You get access to increased storage, integrations with the likes of Slack and Google Drive, and expense tracking. It does suffer from a somewhat confusing pricing structure for the paid tiers. Monday is paid per seat, rather than offering a single cohesive payment plan.
|The free tier is quite generous for small teams and solo business owners.
|The pricing structure is per seat, rather than a flat fee with available seating.
|Paid plans scale quite well, and offer up automation and other data-centric views.
|Paid plans require a minimum team size of three people.
Best Low-Cost Choice: ClickUp
ClickUp is a budget choice but comes packed with features. The basic free plan offers unlimited users, but you’re restricted in storage and usable spaces. The paid plans open this up substantially, with even the most basic tier of access allowing for unlimited users and unlimited storage. The lower cost of the premium plans helps to make this one of the best task management apps for any team.
Like Monday, ClickUp has plans offered per seat, but the pricing is overall more affordable. You don’t have a set minimum of users, as an example. The standard views available are lists, boards, and calendars, which are available to all tiers of access. Paid plans grant access to Gantt, timeline, and workload views. However, despite its flexibility, there is quite a steep learning curve to get started.
|The free plan is available to unlimited users.
|The software has quite a steep learning curve for beginners.
|The views available are quite data-rich, with good visualization of tasks and timelines.
|Automations are limited monthly, depending on which plan you’re using.
Best for Visualization: Airtable
If you’re looking for rich visualization of your tasks and timelines, Airtable is a great choice. It’s one of the pricier software suites on this list, coming in at a steep $10 to $20 a month per user. However, it is one of the most intuitive productivity suites on the market. You’ve got a simple and familiar interface, akin to the likes of Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.
Designing your views is a cinch, as well, with simple drag-and-drop controls that any user could learn in a matter of hours. Integrations are similarly robust, allowing for the likes of Slack, Google Drive, Zendesk, and Salesforce. The biggest downfall are the guest capabilities. You can invite as many guests as you want to a given table, but they have no ability to communicate or edit tasks.
|Simple and intuitive to use, with an aesthetically pleasing interface.
|The paid plans are quite expensive, starting at $10 per seat.
|The free plan allows for unlimited views, with a restricted amount of data per task.
|A guest has no way of editing or marking up data points on a view.
Best for Beginners: Trello
Trello is the best choice for users looking to keep it simple. What makes this one of the best task management apps on the market is the simple interface. Any user can learn Trello in a matter of minutes, and you’ve got access to clear views on what tasks are completed and in progress.
Free users are restricted to a single view, with only ten boards available and a maximum file size for all attachments. However, when you upgrade to a paid plan, it really opens up. You’ve got access to more views, over 200 integrations, and increased automation runs on a monthly basis.
|Unlimited users and cards for free plan teams.
|Tracking multiple tasks for teams can be difficult on the free plan.
|Unlimited integrations for all plans.
|Priority support is only available to premium plan users.
Best for Remote Team Management: Teamwork
Few task management apps excel at handling remote workers like Teamwork. What makes this one of the best task management apps isn’t necessarily its workflow, but rather its time management. In the post-pandemic world, there is a slew of workers in far-off offices or at home. Teamwork allows you to track the time natively, so you’re not playing guesswork for billable hours.
Teamwork offers similar views to other productivity apps, like Kanban boards, lists, Gantt Charts, and personalized views per user. Where it excels compared to other apps is in the emphasis on remote work, meaning users can collaborate in real time.
|Super simple to use for any user new to it.
|The plans are relatively expensive per user.
|Allows for remote collaboration and timekeeping for billable hours.
|Allows for remote collaboration and timekeeping for billable hours.
Best for Basic Tasks: Todoist
Todoist is built to keep things simple. You’re limited to two views, but you have some interesting functions at your disposal. The free plan allows for unlimited users and gamification, meaning you’ve always got some incentive to complete a task.
The free plan limits the number of projects available at a single time, but you can get around that with quick production and completion. The paid plans allow for additional views, namely the handy Gantt charts seen in most productivity apps. You also get access to up to 300 projects at a time. However, this is still a very limited tool that is best suited for less complex tasks and projects.
|Todoist is simple to use.
|The scope of a project is somewhat limited due to the simplistic nature of Todoist.
|Gamification of tasks is built into the software.
|Gantt views are only available on paid plans.
Best for Larger Organizations: Asana
Asana is built with larger businesses in mind. To this end, you can create custom views for each team in your business. You’ve got integrations on all levels of access, including the free plans. You also have quite a bit of unlimited access to other features, regardless of the plan chosen.
If you do opt for a paid plan, you don’t have a minimum user requirement. Views include a Kanban board, lists, timelines, calendars, and Gantt charts. You can swap between views with a single click, as well, meaning you’ve got a certain degree of flexibility with one of the best task management apps.
Where Asana falters is the expensive plans and limited support for free users. If you want priority support in the event of an issue with the software, you’ll have to be on the expensive Enterprise plan to get things done.
|Integrations are available for all plans.
|Support is only available on the Enterprise plan.
|No minimum users are required for the paid plans.
|The plans themselves are fairly expensive compared to other apps.
Best Pricing Structure: Basecamp
Basecamp keeps the pricing simple, with flat fees all around. You have a simple one-page dashboard for team leaders that allows you to see projects in progress, assignments, and your overall timeline. Communication is handled natively through the built-in messenger.
Where Basecamp has its drawbacks is the lack of a free plan. You also have fewer software integrations, which can be a headache if you’re relying on additional software to provide the likes of Gantt charts. The pricing is flat, however, with the Pro Unlimited Plan running at $299 for unlimited users and support.
|The top-tier plan has a flat fee regardless of users.
|There isn’t a free plan.
|You have real-time messaging for groups and individuals.
|Gantt and Kanban views aren’t offered.
Picking the Best Task Management Apps: What to Know
Choosing the right productivity software suite for your business can be a tough task. However, there are a few important criteria to keep in mind.
Price Per Seating
If you choose a premium plan with any productivity app, you’ll need to keep the price per seating in mind. Now, most paid plans charge per user, with some apps requiring a minimum number of users to subscribe. This makes it a less viable option if you have a smaller team, like two individuals.
However, for larger organizations, this can add up fairly quickly. As such, you’ll have to make sure there is room in the monthly budget to accommodate your entire team. Flat-fee structures like Basecamp are more of an exception than the norm.
How well can an app scale with the size of a team? Some apps are built with smaller teams in mind, and get quite unwieldy when you start adding additional teams or users to the mix. As such, you’ll want to keep in mind the size and scope of a given project before choosing a task management app.
Tools like Asana are built to scale, with custom boards and work views available per team. That said, applications built for scaling can also be more complex by design. You’ll want to make sure you have a strong educational foundation in how the application operates before applying it to your current workflow.
Any software can go awry for the strangest reasons. You’ll want to have support staff on call because lost time is lost money. Now, most free plans don’t offer any level of support, so you’re on your own. Some plans only offer support on the highest-tier subscription plan.
So, you’ll need to either subscribe at the highest level or hire an employee who is certified and well-versed in your task management app. Asana and Trello both offer easily obtained certifications and courses on how to manage and troubleshoot the software, but it isn’t a complete substitute if something is going wrong with the service itself.
Using the Best Task Management Apps: What It’s Like
When implemented correctly, a task management app can boost productivity significantly. You’ll want to be careful when integrating multiple apps into a workflow. A good task management app stays out of the way, being a useful tool rather than a hard requirement to get any work done.
Task management apps can also give accurate visualization and data for the work done and what has yet to be completed. If you’re in an environment involved with Agile principles, Scrum, or DevOps, you owe it to your team to pick the right task management app for the job.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock.com.