Project management and task management.
Those terms get tossed around quite a bit. But are there any real differences?
Consider this example. At my house, I want to put in a new stone walkway that leads to my front door. To do that, I’ll need to clear the ground, make it level, add the stones and also do a lot of other things I’m not thinking about.
The project is creating the walkway. The tasks are what I need to do to make it happen.
But other tasks involve gathering resources: buying stones, finding my shovel, and oh yeah, asking friends to help me out. Those are all tasks, too. Scoping out and considering the needed resources are vital to a great project.
The project is the overarching goal which has many tasks: create a stone walkway.
The tasks are everything that needs to get done to accomplish the goal.
Project management usually encompasses tasks. Each project usually has several tasks, due at different intervals. Often, they’re dependent on one another and sometimes one task can’t be finished until the next one begins.
Even though I used an example of creating a stone walkway that was a personal project, generally task management is for more personal things whereas project management is generally working with teams.
Sometimes tasks independent of a project aren’t necessarily that big. For instance, if you’re a salesperson, you probably have to reply to a lot of emails and make several calls. Your task is to call the next person on your list.
Your project would be to follow up with 100 contacts that you met at your latest conference. For some you’ll call (tasks), others you’ll email (more tasks) and you’ll want to gather your sales enablement material that specifically relates to the conference topics (more tasks).
Projects often involve more than one person, and each of those people is performing individual tasks related to the projects. The sum of everyone’s task management will be a finished project. For a new feature, that’s a project that involves more than one person.
Are You Confusing Projects with Tasks?
Ouch. This will cause you a lot of frustration. For example, if you’re writing the words “Build New Product” on your to-do list…well, that’s a little much. You won’t get that done in a day. Instead, you’ll need to break that up into smaller chunks or tasks, and then take action on those smaller steps.
One method that’s really great at separating projects and tasks is the Get Things Done Methodology. It really helps you separate out what takes a long time versus what’s easier to do in a few steps.
Do You Need Project Management Software or Task Management Software? Hmmmm….
No matter the size of your project, you probably still have a few reminders stuck on post-It notes. Task management software helps you keep to-do lists and other notes in one place. They help you move one task along before starting another. Most of the time these tasks aren’t related or dependent on one another. Popular task management apps include Todoist or Any.do. These are simple apps that are task-driven. Often they’re ranked by urgency and the reminders can be set often.
Project management software, on the other hand, is meant to coordinate projects. These project management tools are all about collaboration, coordination, and project planning. These software programs have subtasks, comments, attachments, and task descriptions that give detail on when a project should be done. It often takes a robust time view or Gantt chart to see how all of the projects stack up against one another.
Project management software is also great for time estimates, logging time, and project reports. Most task management software programs just don’t have that. Tasks aren’t usually that urgent or that involved to include time estimates within them.
The Best Project Management Software is Also Task Management Software
There aren’t necessarily clean breaks between your work and personal life. Yes, there’s balance, but making your children’s dance recital could overlap with your next client call. Or you may need to fit in that Amazon order while writing your next project proposal.
See what I mean?
The best software is project management and task management. You have the tools to do both with the simplicity not to overwhelm one with the other. You should find software that’s a joy to use–whether it’s tasks or projects, personal or professional.
FYI, That’s Why We Created ClickUp
Yep, ClickUp is truly a productivity platform that you could use for personal tasks as well as professional projects. It’s a question that has driven our CEO Zeb Evans from the beginning. He asks this:
- “Why can’t my work life and my life outside of work be in the same place, but partitioned enough so they don’t mix?
- Why can’t I just have everything in one simple and beautiful platform?
- These are the questions I asked myself. And this is the core of ClickUp’s mission.
- We aren’t here just to solve the project management problem. We came together to solve bigger problems.”
It’s an ambitious goal to solve a huge problem of separating tasks and projects. But that’s why we’ve made ClickUp free and easy to use.
ClickUp has the personal task management capabilities to help you finish your tasks, such as:
But it also has the powerful features you need to get things done at work, like:
- Multiple Assignees – Collaborate together on a single task – if your Space allows it.
- Assigned Comments – Instantly create and assign action items for yourself or others.
- Priorities – Create custom priority levels, and organize tasks based on their importance to a project.
- Favorites– Create your own customized sidebar to include sorting, filtering, and even your favorite view.
- Chrome Extension– Provides fully comprehensive features to increase productivity, including time tracking, image markup, and task creation.
- Three Different Views – List View, Board View, and Box View offer the perfect view for developers, managers, and everyone in between.
- Dependencies – Link tasks together based on their requirements to ensure the right tasks are completed in the right order.
- Time View / Calendar – Easily drag and drop tasks to make scheduling a breeze. You’ll also see tasks that aren’t scheduled yet.
- Integrations – Connect to Google Drive, Dropbox, Harvest, Toggl and tons other integrations to simplify your workflow.
At ClickUp, we’ve built a tool to solve the personal and professional. Will you join us in making it happen? The easiest way to do that is give it a try. Sign up today!