How to Manage Task Lists

As you contemplate the length of your or your team's to-dos, it's obvious that you need a good system to manage your tasks.  A good task manager gives you the ability to slice and dice tasks in a variety of ways, to reflect the different use cases for task management.  Here are some of the key organizational paradigms a task manager ought to support:

 

 

By Task List

This may seem obvious, but it is critical that a task manager allow you to break the list of tasks into logical categories.  For example, a product launch might include lists for PR, Engineering, and Sales.

 

By Responsible Party

Another fundamental way to manage tasks is to classify them by the responsible party.  Every task should have a responsible party, and that information should be visible to every member of the team, to help enforce accountability.

 

By Due Date

The final fundamental for task managers is the ability to view tasks by due date.  You need to know which tasks are urgent, which are late, and which can wait for another day.

 

By Activity

One of the overlooked ways to organize tasks is by the level of activity.  As a manager, knowing which tasks are being discussed helps you identify opportunities to resolve questions or reprioritize.

 

By Calendar

While tasks are due on particular dates, as humans, we like to know which tasks fall into particular weeks or months.  A calendar view lets you see which tasks to worry about this week, and which ones to queue up for next week.

 

Task Management in PBworks

PBworks is a task manager that allows you to slice and dice the tasks for any particular project or initiative based on any of the five key organizational paradigms.  And as a bonus, PBworks also allows you to view all tasks across all projects and initiatives by individual user.  As a user, you can see all your upcoming (and late) tasks on a personal dashboard, while as a manager, you can view a user's assigned tasks on that user's profile page.

 

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