In this post, I will share some of the best task management tools used by online business owners. I will give you a view of the pros and cons and how to determine which one is right or best for you and for your business.
In this podcast, I talked about what a work management space or system is. And today I will give a review of some of the tools that you can use to put your work management system to use. To briefly recap, a work management system is a way to streamline how you perform your business’s day to day activities and how to delegate them to your team members or to outsourced members.
A work management system makes sure that everything is more streamlined and organized. It replaces the whole notebook and sticky notes all over the place kind of system. And it’s used interchangeably with the words; project management or task management. In case you’ve heard those words as opposed to a work management system, they all mean the same thing.
Misconceptions of task management tools
There’s one right tool that everyone should be using
The first misconception is that there is one right tool that everyone should be using. I know depending on the people you follow on Instagram or on social media, you may have seen people promoting a specific tool because that’s what they specialize in. They will want to put that specific tool in the best light.
You cannot switch task management tools
The second misconception is that you cannot switch work or task management tools once you settle on one today. It’s like you’re stuck with it for life and there’s no going back.
First things first; There is no one right tool that everyone should be using. It is all relevant to your business, your business needs and how you as a person prefer working.
For the second misconception, you can always change project management tools. In fact, some of the project management tools have a functionality that allows you to migrate your tasks and workspace from one specific tool to their tool. This functionality was created because they know that sometimes you might need to change tools in the future. And that’s why that functionality is there.
So, you can definitely change tools once you pick one. But it’s obviously best to pick one and stick with it because switching tool comes with a lot of change management that you need to take into consideration. You’ll have to learn a new tool all over again. And that’s more time you’re spending, trying to learn a new tool instead of trying to further grow your business or serve more clients or focus on what you do best.
Asana, Trello & Click up
I am focusing on Asana Trello and Click up. These are the three most popular task management tools use by online business owners and specifically in the coaching industry. There are others out there but I’ll be focusing on these three.
Before I give the pros and cons, here’s some background based on hardcore facts about these companies.
Asana netted $142 million in revenue in 2019, Trello netted 1.6 billion in 2020. Trello is owned by a company called Atlas. Atlas as a company is what netted the 1.6 billion, but it’s still a good indicator of how well Trello is doing because it is part of this company.
Click up is probably the newest of the three companies and the newest of the three tools. Click up has been estimated to have a net asset value of $1 billion. And it’s estimated that they made revenues of $30 million in 2019. It’s evident that their revenues are lower, but it is a newer company, but it’s still valued at quite a high amount.
The reason I shared these statistics is to show that these are all great companies. The financials, performance and profit of a company is a good indicator of how well they are selling and how well their core product or service is doing. The fact that all these three companies are doing relatively well is an indication that their tools are good for use.
Remember, there is no one tool that is better than the other. It is all relevant to your business. The most important thing is that you pick what works for you.
During my VIP day session, I help you perform a systems audit and we also do a review of the tools that would be best for your business and how you want to run your business. If you need extra help in figuring out what is going to work best for you can reach me here.
Advantages of Trello.
1. Works well for visual people & its user friendly.
Trello is great for visual workers and it is super user friendly. It has a really nice user interface and you can drag and drop tasks around.
2. Works great for people who are starting out
For me, Trello is more of a database or a way to store information. As opposed to a way to track and manage and monitor and delegate tasks. This is my view based on how I have been able to use it. It is still a great tool if you want to start off with something that’s really simple and user friendly.
Disadvantages of Trello
1. Inability to view all your tasks
You can’t see all your tasks in one dashboard. Because tasks are organized based on the board in which they belong. It’s not possible to have a view of all your tasks that are on all your boards. This is why I think it’s best for storing information, as opposed to tracking all your tasks in the different moving parts of your business.
2. Not ideal for collaborating & managing tasks
It’s also not the best for collaborating and managing tasks since your tasks are grouped by board. And you may have different tasks across different boards.
It’s also not possible to see tasks that you’ve allocated to different team members as opposed to the tasks that are grouped by board.
3. The Kanban style view
Trello was built on a Kanban-style view. This is where you view tasks as a group of lists, which are then part of a board. And your tasks are moving downwards and your lists are moving to the right. This is the default view in which you view your tasks.
It is possible to view your tasks by calendar view. But Trello wasn’t built for you to be able to view your tasks from a different point of view such as; Calendar view, Gantt chart view or timeline view. The timeline view allows you to see when tasks are starting or when tasks are ending.
I actually used Trello when I was started my coaching business. I then switched to Asana after two months of using Trello. Because I realized that it just wasn’t going to work for what I wanted to achieve in my business and how I wanted to support my clients.
Advantages of Asana
1. User friendly
Asana is also a really great tool in terms of its user-friendliness. It has a really nice user-friendly interface and it’s very easy to learn and understand.
2. Works well for team collaboration
Asana works really well with teams because you can actually view tasks that you’ve allocated to others. You can view your tasks in one dashboard. As opposed to viewing them in segmented different boards, based on how you have organized your tasks in your business.
3. Has a free version
Just like Trello, Asana also has a free version. You can get by with the free version for quite some time, as you learn how to manage tasks. And how to use project management tools and features effectively. I would highly recommend you start with the free version, especially if you’re not sure if you’re going to stick with that tool for the long haul.
4. DIY Set up
With Asana you can totally set it up yourself. You do not need to have an expert help set up. Unless you really do not want to get involved in the tech and you would really rather have someone else help you set it up. I can help you set up Asana if you prefer having someone help you with that. This is one of the services I offer my clients.
Disadvantages of Asana
1. It’s expensive to upgrade
It is a bit expensive to upgrade. Because you have to buy a license for each user and that’s how Asana has set up their pricing.
For example, if you have a team of three you will need to have a license for each team member. And if you have clients in your work management space you will have to have a license for each client. And at the minimum you will need to buy five licenses, each license is valued at around $999.
Therefore, the minimum entry price in order to unlock all the premium features is about $55-60. This is quite steep especially for online business owners who are just starting out. Since there are so many other tools that you need to subscribe to in order to run your business effectively.
Some of the basic features like start date, viewing tasks assigned to others are only available on the premium version. Unfortunately, there are quite a number of great features that would be nice to have on the free version. But they can only be accessed if you’re subscribed to the paid version which is a tad disappointing.
2. Limitations on how to view tasks
There are limitations in how you can view your tasks. Asana offers viewing tasks from more points of use than Trello. With Asana you can view tasks by calendar i.e., you’re able to view how your tasks in a specific project fit in your calendar. It has the list view option and the board view or Kanban style view (Trello’s default view).
But there are other more advanced views that are not available on the free version of Asana. For example, if you want to view your tasks by timeline or chart view, this is not possible on the free version.
Now that being said, Asana is my preferred tool currently. Because of the balance between its user-friendliness and the number of features you need to get by with managing your business.
Click up is the new kid on the block of all three task management tools. As I was researching how Click up started, I learnt that they assessed the tools that were there in the market. And assessed all the gaps that those tools were not fulfilling. And how they could help businesses further streamline their business management.
I definitely think they have achieved that and they embody that in terms of the tools and features they keep adding to their tool.
Advantages of Click up
1. It’s cheaper to sign up
Click Up is much cheaper to sign up for if you want to go onto the premium and paid version from the onset. They have a free version available but from my point of view, you almost need to sign up for the paid version in order to get the best out of it.
2. Lower Cost per User
The cost per user is also lower as it is around $5 per user at their lowest-paid version in comparison to Asana, which is around $999.
3. It replaces a lot of other tools
Click up can be used as a database, it can be used as a calendar. And they’ve recently introduced their emailing feature. With the email feature, it’s possible to send emails from Click up as if you were sending it from your Gmail account.
4. All in one tool
Click up is marketed as an all-in-one tool. But I would like to qualify this by saying all-in-one tools do have their weaknesses.
I will use an example of a coach who specializes in helping graphic designers grow their businesses. That coach is much more specialized and is going to deliver a much better service to designers than an all-rounded business coach who helps anybody and everybody. The same goes for tools. A tool that is specialized in streamlining one area of your business is going to be way better than one that does all the things.
I feel like the other functionalities on Click Up such as; emailing, calendar and database are all great. However, they will not have all the features and functionalities that Calendly would have when it comes to calendar management. Or the features and functionalities that Airtable would have to manage information in a database.
5. Offers more ways to view tasks
Click up offers way more ways to view tasks. I counted around 11 different ways to view your tasks as opposed to Asana which is around five and Trello which offers only the Kanban view style. This is quite a big plus for people who want to view their tasks in many more different ways than just the typical group or list view.
Click up also offers embedded views. Meaning you can see things from other apps within Click up. They offer integrations just like Trello and Asana. But they go a step further and allow you to actually open documents or files within Click up without going to that specific app.
For example, you can access and open Google files without actually going to Google drive and having to open your file from there.
6. Offers more features & functionalities on the lowest version
Even on the lowest version, Click up has a lot more features and functionalities. But remember to ensure that those features and functionalities are going to work for and fit in your business.
Disadvantages of Click up
1. Extremely steep learning curve
Click Up’s con is that it has an extremely steep learning curve. And I would not recommend DIYing your Click up set up especially if tech is not your strong part. I would only recommend DIYing if you have enough time to learn it and to set it up properly at the get-go. If you want to DIY setting up your work management space in the shortest amount of time, then I would not go for Click up.
However, there are a number of different experts out there. There are so many different OBMs integrators, myself included, who can help you set up Click up. And you won’t have to get bogged down into the details of the tech. And trying to understand all the features and functionalities.
2. It can be overwhelming
Due to all these features, bells and whistles that come with Click up, it can be quite overwhelming. This is why it’s best for you to get someone to help you set it up.
What to consider when picking a task management tool for your business
Here are a few things to consider when picking which tool is going to be right for your business.
1. What does your company and team look like now? And what do you envision it to look like in the future?
Are you a one-woman show or a lean team? Or do you plan on growing your team into a fully-fledged business and corporation type kind of setup? Depending on what you envision your team to look like, that will determine whether to go for something simple, like Trello or something that has all the features and functionalities like Click up.
2. What do details and project management meant to you?
Are you a visual or detail-oriented person? Is project management something you’ve always wanted to incorporate in your business and make the most use out of?
Or do you want something that is simple to replace your notebooks so that you don’t have to lose view of your tasks? And you don’t have to take 10 minutes trying to find out where you wrote that important note about your business.
3. Do you have the support & investment you need to set up your preferred tool?
Lastly, do you have the support in getting up to speed? Or are you going to have to do this on your own? You obviously need some investment in getting support to help you set up a complicated tool like Click up. In comparison to a tool like Trello and possibly Asana, which you can set up on your own.
The investment is going to be a key consideration in deciding which one you settle on for your business.
Nine Must have features for a task management tool
Here are nine features that I would say your task management tool should have.
- An overview of all the tasks in your business, in one place.
- Being able to drill down to specific teams or team members in your business.
- Ability to switch between different views because people work differently. You might prefer working with a list view while your team members might prefer working with another type of view. And you want to be able to easily switch between different views so that you are getting the most out of the tool. While maximizing your productivity at the same time.
- Ability to integrate easily with other apps to further reduce manual work. For example, you can integrate your task management tool with Slack. That way you can discuss specific tasks on your work management tool on Slack. Without having to copy and paste the task that you are referring to as you are communicating with your team members.
- Being able to time track when you are performing certain tasks. Time-tracking is so critical in making sure that you understand which tasks take a lot of your time. Which tasks could you potentially delegate and save so much time on? Toggl is the time tracker that I use and I’ve integrated it with my Asana workspace. And you can definitely integrate it with click up as well. I’m not sure that Trello has that functionality.
- The ability to easily collaborate with team members. Collaboration in terms of messaging team members, assigning tasks and following up easily all within your task management space. Ensure that this is as simple as possible so that you’re not getting bogged down in the details of the work management space. Or worse, you have your work management space, but you’re still using email to do back and forth task assigning.
- Automating recurring tasks. This is one of the features I love about Asana because you can easily automate recurring tasks without having to create a new task all the time.
- Having task templates which is really important in putting your SOPs into play. And making them real living documents in your business by creating tasks that are related to your SOPs. On Asana you cannot create task templates on the free version only on the paid version. Whereas with Trello, you can create task templates both on the free or the paid version. And on Click app, you can do so both on the free or the paid version. So that’s just something to think of.
- A tool that offers you customer support. Otherwise, you will spend hours and hours trying to figure out something in your task management tool. Yet you could have contacted online customer support and they would have given you the answer immediately.
All the three tools that I have talked about today, Trello Asana and Click app are all great. And they are backed by great companies, which is evident from the statistics I shared about their revenue and performance to date.
PRO TIP: Determining which task management tool is right for you depends on your business. What is best for how you work and how your team members work?
I would recommend trying each of the tools maybe for a week or two and see which is the best fit. Get feedback from your team members if you have a team. Let them tell you which one they feel more comfortable with the pros and cons.
If you need help to get onto the right task management tool from the get-go, we can chat about my VIP day. And how I can support you with this. We’ll also talk about the other different systems that you need in your business to get your business streamlined.
As stated earlier, trying and testing them out is really great, because they all have some form of free version. Then. make a decision once you have gotten a feel of all of them. Be intentional not to prolong this because you do not want to spend hours and hours trying to figure out which one is good for you. Settle on one and if your business outgrows its features and functionalities, then upgrade to a different one.