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I am looking for a web/mobile app which could be used to assign tasks to oneself and, more importantly, others who are in your defined network and associated project management. The mobile app is very important as I would like to use it with contractors who are in the field so they can update the status or request more instruction from their mobile devices.

Email, as everyone knows, is the worst way to communicate work orders. I want a compact workflow management system with both a web and mobile interface that doesn't have too many fields of input and is easy to use.

Is there a free application out there that matches this description?

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5 Answers 5

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I'll just leave a list for you here. All of these do task management, have a contacts list and allow assignment and communication of things between people, and having a free version of some type. I've used all of them at least briefly, and I came away with a positive experience. I currently use Doit.im on a daily basis for myself personally, but communication is not key in my instance. I would highly suggest Podio or Trello for you.

Doit.im:

This app is based around GTD, so you have your tasks, contexts, tags, projects and such. Your main screen is your task list, and it's primarily geared towards individuals. In staying consistent with GTD, you can assign tasks to other people. Instant sync across devices requires payment, but it's only $2/month or $20/year, which I Think is quite reasonable. All functionality is present without payment though.

What I really love about Doit.im is the mobile interface. It is really, really easy to add tasks and give them contexts, deadlines, tags, priority, and projects and everything very quickly on the fly. It is also very good with context in terms of "What can I do now". The other apps make the group's life easier, this makes your life easier, and also allows for collaboration. It also integrates with Google Calendar and Google Tasks. Anything with a start or end date on it will be synced to whatever Google Calendar you have listed, so you could sync it to a group calendar so people that aren't even using Doit.im can still see what's going on and what's done and what isn't

Podio

Podio is geared towards businesses. It is a collaboration tool meant to replace email and pretty much any and all administration tasks. It is highly extensible, and allows for inclusion of projects, meetings, budgets, timesheets, and basically anything you can imagine. Your main screen is kind of like a facebook feed, as it is collaboration software. You can basically make it whatever you want, and I would suggest checking it out on their website. It's free as long as your group you're collaborating with is only 5 people. Beyond that, it's $8/person a month, which is a bit high, but I don't know of anything else out there that has anything even close to this functionality. If you want collaboration and there's only 5 people in your group, I see no reason to use anything else.

Trello

Trello is primarily workflow management software, so it's good for things like software development where tasks have a clear process and you can move tasks across the board as they are completed. It excels at letting you know exactly what is going on, and who is doing it at a glance. It's also completely free, so that's great. This is probably ideal if you're working on a bunch of projects or a lot of people you're working with. I'm currently using it to plan my international move, and like it.

Kanbanflow

This is similar to Trello in that it's a Kanban type of system that's primarily goal is organizing your workflow. It works very well, and also has integration with The Pomodoro Technique for when you're at your desk or something and need to stay on task, which I really like. Like everything else it has collaboration and mobile apps and such.

Finally, list comparing a bunch of project management software on Wikipedia. The choice really just depends on exactly what kind of implementation you're looking for, as everything is different. I've been through at least 10 different task/project management programs, and there was just one thing with each of them that really bugged me so I switched, but that's kinda how it is.

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Remember the Milk (rememberthemilk.com) is a multi-platform task management system, and it allows you to assign tasks to other people (I don't know too much about how well it works as I haven't used that functionality much myself). See: http://www.rememberthemilk.com/help/answers/sending/sendtask.rtm

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This may not resolve all your requirements if they very sophisticated but it is worth to consider full use of google calendar. Sometimes it is only matter of proper thinking what you want to achieve and structure your problem that it can be resolved in easy way. Google calendar has many advantages:

  1. It can be run on every platform
  2. Easy enough, so everyone can use
  3. You have notifying option so if you set up some task and include someone else, the person can be notified straight away.
  4. You eliminate problem with duplicating tasks and design time.

The google's calendar seems to be simple but if you really get used to it and use all of its future it is really powerful and resolve most of the problems.

I use google's calendar together with my wife. Maybe it is not the most sophisticated network but it based on it I can show a basic principle.

Individual calendar is connected with gmail e-mail account. For the gmail account I can make different calendars such as 'job calendar', 'leisure & events', 'my personal meetings' etc. I can share every calendar with a person I wish to, who also have the gmail account and this person can share with me so I can see his/her plans. When the calendar is shared the privilege option can be chosen. In my case my wife can edit/add my personal meetings but can only view my you calendar. If I will set-up meeting or design time to anything it is shown on someone's account straight away. if I want to make sure this person is notified that something has change I can tick notification and accept option so this person got an email about change and can accept or not so I know the response. There is also possibility of txt message but it works different around the world.

The calendar got an option of reminder, so I can set-up reminder for a meeting and the person should be notified prior to the event.

it is worth noticed that in description of the event is a location section which I often used with connection with my phone-gps and google's maps and if someone will fill this section I can go directly to navigation where the meeting takes place.

All calendars can be coloured coded so on my starting page I see what events are there planed for a day, by whom and what calendar they are designated to.

The next section are "tasks". They can be designated to specific task's list and filtered by completion etc.

Most of the stuff can be manage in setting option.

I have to say google's calendar in general is an easy tool. It can be seen as its advantage as no one will tell that have to learn a software during a week. It is more about formulate a problem in term of the needs.

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thanks. do you know if it has the concept of a network of contacts to whom you can assign tasks? this is my most important requirement. it would be much like your list of friends on FB –  amphibient Dec 5 '12 at 21:17
    
@foampile I edited my answer to explain more about it if you have specific question I can add some more explanation. –  tomasz74 Dec 5 '12 at 22:09
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I use AnyDO. As a task list app, it's brilliant, really. I have tried a lot of them but this is the one. Both cross platform/device and easy to use. That said I have never actually used it as a collaboration tool, but the features are there. I don't know if it will suit your needs but I think you should give it a try!

You mentionned e-mail is not an efficient tool for task management. This is true. But AnyDo changes that a bit because it integrated very well with gmail (trough chrome extension). It allows you to instantly add an e-mail to the todo list, which creates a tasks and saves inside the url of the e-mail.

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Kanban Tool is probably something you are looking for. It's a visual project management application that allows to share tasks and documents as well as to communicate with team members by adding comments (you can add them via email). The app has a free version.

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