The benefits of implementing task management software in a small business cannot be overstated. However, scrolling through the app store and staring into the sea of software available can be daunting. How are you supposed to make a decision when there’s so many options out there?
Don’t get overwhelmed. Here’s some staple features to look for in task management software to help cut out the noise.
1. An effective planning and scheduling system
A robust planning and scheduling system is the most important function of any task management software. Make sure that the app makes it clear who is assigned what task, and can set deadlines to keep your business’s operations smooth and accountable. The app should also be able to prioritize tasks so your team can tell what it needs to focus on first.
Another useful feature to look out for is a shared team calendar, which makes it easy to keep your team on the same page by sending everyone notifications and updates automatically. It’s even better if it can sync with several other calendar apps like Google Calendar and iCal to avoid compatibility issues among your team.
2. Easy collaboration functions
A task management software that doesn’t allow your team members to collaborate and communicate easily isn’t worth a second glance. Even something as simple as file sharing will be sorely missed if your task management app of choice doesn’t offer it. Anyone should be able to upload and access whatever files they need without hassle.
While an in-app messenger system isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker if it’s missing, discussion boards and comment sections can be hugely useful, as they make taking notes of issues or concerns easy.
3. A straightforward permissions system
The more people you employ, the more important this becomes. Being able to set access permissions effectively is vital as your team grows.
There are a minimum of three levels of access your task management software should provide. You should have the option to provide access to only one relevant task for low-level employees and clients who don’t need access to sensitive information like budgetary concerns and long-term plans. You also should be able to assign an entire project to a project manager without providing access to every project. For the most crucial members of your team, an option to provide access to everything is also key.
Most importantly, this shouldn’t be a complicated process. Make sure your app makes it easy to alter people’s permissions to avoid hassle.
4. An agreeable user interface
It’s astonishing how often this one gets overlooked. Seeing how few apps are designed with user interface, or UI, as a priority is almost tragic. No matter what features an app has, if it’s unpleasant to use, you might as well skip it. You and your employees will find yourselves frustrated more often than not, and you’ll likely end up moving on to another app.
Ease of use and intuitive design are hugely important for a productivity app – otherwise, it probably won’t be too productive.
5. Useful expense tracking
“Time is money,” so they say, and a good task management app should be able to handle both. While most task management services will feature things like deadlines and time trackers, the best will also address your budgetary concerns. You’ll be especially grateful for this as your business and projects grow in size.
Producing budget reports automatically will save you a lot of time and will also notify you when you’re spending more than you planned. You’ll also probably want an app that can set up automatic invoicing for your client.
KissIQ is a task management software that also has expense tracking. Give it a try if you’re looking for an example of an app that takes all these features into account.