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How to Better Organize Your Teams’ Tasks

  • Bhangra

There are a million task management softwares and honestly I can’t rank them. They all have their pros and cons, but they all more or less have the same functioning. Some are calendars, some are todo lists, some are kanban boards, some are gantt charts, some focus more on collaboration. The software you use doesn’t matter too much as long as you like it and it and use it consistently. I’m going to list three task softwares that I’ve used, but don’t take this guide as an end all be all list, like my others.

Todoist

  • 2-Way GCal Sync
  • Quickly add tasks once you get a hang of the lingo
  • Subtasks, comments, tags, reminder, add files, descriptions, and more
  • Kanban and list views

Todoist is the one I use on a regular basis. Its format is fairly flexible, but the feature I love the most is the 2 way calendar sync. If I make a project, I can sync it with a GCal. Anytime I make a task in that project it’ll show up on my GCal, so if I edit a GCal it’ll also edit the Todoist task. Comes in handy because I also live by my calendar and it’s nice to see all your tasks with everything else in your life.

There is a bit of a learning curve to using Todoist, but once you do it is extremely powerful. Let’s say you want to add a task to make formations tomorrow. You can type “make formations at 2 PM tomorrow #Bruin p1”. Your task will be titled “make formations” and you’ll get a reminder at 2 pm tomorrow. The rest is optional. Whenever you use the # it’ll add the task to a certain project. This task I added to the Bruin project. The p1 means that it’s a high priority task, you can add p1, p2, p3, and p4 to any task. You can also assign them to someone else on your group, you can add files and documents directly to the task, you can comment on the task and tag people letting others know whether it’s been worked on or not. There’s a ton you can do.

The one place it is a little limited is the views you can use. There’s the traditional list view of all your tasks that can be sorted by priority, due date, who it’s assigned to, etc. You can also view it as a Kanban board which allows you to drag and drop each task into a different grouping. Like a sprint with assigned, working on, needs review, finished kind of list.

Board View
List View

Asana

Asana is a task management software that is a bit less intuitive but much more powerful. If you can get your team to use this religiously, I would highly recommend it. It’s much more focused on collaboration and gives you many more tools to do just that.

  • More customizable and powerful
  • Awesome ‘approval’ processes
  • Lets you create forms to ensure everything for a task is done properly
  • Better timeline views for overlapping tasks

Like todoist, Asana has all the big things. Multiple projects, comments, attaching files, assigning tasks, multiple views, filtering, tagging, etc. Where it shines is all the complexities, which once you master, will let your processes smoother.

Forms allow you to simplify and clarify what is needed for a certain task. Let’s go back to the making formation example. You can create a ‘form’ that you use every single time formations are being made and fill in the blanks. It’s kind of like a Google Form for your tasks. Which formation is this? ___, who worked on this ___, what song was used [attach file here], attach images for the formation here ___. Whatever you think. Then the form can be programmed to automatically send all this information to whoever normally reviews it like your captain.

The approval process is simple, but weirdly most apps don’t do this and it’s fantastic. Each app can be marked for approval. When a task is first accomplished it’s marked pending. Then it can be marked approved, changes requested, or rejected. I know this may sound silly, but when you’re looking at all the tasks that need to be done and you can at a glance see what has been done but not actually reviewed or been given final approval is comforting.

When you are looking at all your tasks, you have a few more options with Asana. There’s a timeline view, which lets you see all your tasks like a gantt chart. Meaning, every task has a start and stop date and you can see in a more visual way and what tasks are waiting on other tasks to get done so they can start.

Timeline / Gantt chart view in Asana

Notion

  • You’re already using it for other aspects of you team right?
  • Customizable as heck
  • Easy to integrate with other files and notes in notion.

Notion is pretty all around wonderful. Making a good organized todo list is easy with Notion, but you’ll have to play around with it to get it the way you like it. There are dozens of tutorials on YouTube, too many for me to just list here, but Thomas Frank is someone I reference a lot when messing with Notion.

If you’re already using Notion for other aspects of organizing your team, Notion is a no brainer for task management. You can easily link to other assets and documents that live in your Notion account directly to your tasks. It’s already shared with the people that need to see it. And having everything in one place just makes it more likely to actually be used.

Building stuff in Notion can be intimidating if it’s your first time messing with it. Thankfully, there are thousands of templates made by people who are better than you at it. The one I often reference is this template by Thomas Frank. You can easily customize it the way you like or find some other template. Whatever works for you is all that really matters.

Thomas Frank’s Notion Task Manager Template

The one super handy thing about Notion is that you have a ton of views at your disposal. You can view them like a table, like in the picture above. You can view them as a list, a gantt chart, a calendar, a gallery. And then you can save certain views with filters and sorts on them. You can make a custom view that shows you only the next 7 days of tasks that are a high priority, or you want to only see tasks related to applying to competitions within the next 4 months in a timeline view. All doable within Notion

Final Thoughts

Like I said at the beginning. I’m not going to rank these because I have no idea how I could. They’re all good. They all have different ways to succeed at the same task. However, at the end of the day, the only task management software worth using is the one that you actually use. You can even just use iPhone notes and share that with your team if that works the best for your team. But use a system and stick with. Don’t spend more time setting up the software than you spend actually using the software. I’ve done that too many times and understand how frustrating that can be.

I know I didn’t cover a ton of softwares like Trello, JiraMonday.com, OmniFocus, Google Tasks, Fantastical goodness. The number of softwares out there is astronomical. These are three I think offer the best balance of ease of use and has all the features necessary for any dance team. As usual, lemme know if y’all have any feedback for me in the comments below!

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