Task Management Tools
Since starting Admin Angels UK just over a year ago I've quickly gained experience using a multitude of cloud based task management systems to help improve my own and my clients time management and organisation.
Most of the tools that I have used are available free of charge and each offer a range of fantastic services. The only trick is choosing the one that works best for you and your business.
When I started work as a freelancer I used very different tools to the ones that I use now and so I'm going to take you through some of my favourites.
The 4 main online tools that I have experience with are:
All of these task management solutions have different target audiences and are suitable for a multitude of businesses so I'm just going to give you a quick summary of each and then tell you which is our favourite and why.
In my opinion ConnectWise is a tool best suited to the I.T service and development industries.
The software is created, maintained and supported in America, which I found to be one of it's primary issues. The support staff are difficult to reach and there are often updates that are not available to UK customers.
The first thing that I noticed when coming to use ConnectWise was the amount of 'training' required to use it. I found that after almost a year of training on this programme myself and my colleagues were spending more time learning how to use the system, updating the system and recovering from extensive periods of downtime than actually being productive in the office.
It does have some useful tools such as direct emails to clients but again this seemed to cause some confusion with clients as to how they should submit their issues.
It also has a project development tool which allows you to map full projects and monitor individual tasks.
I think that the best feature of this tool is the reporting system which was very thorough and allows you to track and analyse almost any statistic surrounding the use of the system.
Unfortunately, I found it to be too linear and was very stiff in its uses, not allowing for fast input and efficient working.
Podio is a system that I have only recently started to use for one or two of my current clients and so I'm unsure of any costs to incurred when using it.
The only word that I can really use to summarise my experience of Podio is 'simplicity'. It's extremely easy to use, you simply create a task by clicking one button on your main dashboard, assign a team member and away you go. The person working on the task can add notes and the system will automatically email both the assigned team member and the task creator with any updates.
This is a simple and easy way to keep on top of due/outstanding tasks.
I felt that the freshdesk pricing was much better suited to smaller companies and freelancers as it offers a free (sprout) package that allows for up to 3 users.
The thing that I loved most about fresh desk was the Gamification functionality. This is a built in system that motivates your staff to achieve much more in terms of customer service and productivity. Each week/month badges are awarded for things like fast resolution and customer satisfaction. I felt that this was a fantastic way to not only motivate staff but also to analyse who was performing exceptionally well so that you could offer them perks such as a pay rise, bonus or promotion etc.
I also found the help-desk ticketing systems and time tracking tools really useful so that staff time spent on tasks could be monitored and then billed to the client accordingly.
I loved almost every aspect of this programme and think that the only thing that prevented me from using it at the time, was the amount time that was required in setting it up, moving customers onto the system and getting the customer portal linked to our website...However, it is still on my list of systems to revisit and re-analyse as a potential contender for the new Admin Angels UK help desk system.
Asana is very much like Podio in that it is simple and easy to use, taking just one click to create a new task. However, there are several benefits to it that I'd like to highlight:
The above and much more are the primary reasons that I chose to implement Asana as the Admin Angels UK help desk. We can efficiently manage customer enquiries, tasks and projects, communicate clearly with other team members, create tasks on the fly and track our time spent on each task.
When deciding on which tool to use for you and your business we'd recommend thorough testing. The majority of online task management solutions, if not free, will offer some sort of free trial allowing you to put the system through its paces and identify any pro's and con's that will affect your business and your customers.
We may choose to use another or an additional task management solution in the future but for now Asana is our favourite online tool....what's yours?