Managing a group is almost always a nightmare, and it doesn’t help if you’re stuck using a low-quality web app to delegate tasks. Whether you’re creating the next best-selling mobile game, coordinating a rebranding exercise or putting together a yard sale, it’s important to be able to communicate clearly and oversee everyone’s work with ease.
Tracky is a fresh take on collaborative task management to help you with projects just like these. The app is beautifully designed and suitable for personal and commercial use. It also works great with your social networks. Let’s sign up and see how quickly we can get things done.
Tracky allows you to plan and collaborate on projects and tasks with groups. The interface accommodates both project management novices and productivity junkies alike with plenty of control over action items, users and groups. The app is currently free and in beta, and also has an iPhone app with an Android version on the way.
You can sign up to use Tracky with a quick form or using your Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Yahoo! ID. You’ll then be taken through to a Welcome module to help you get set up – this includes creating a group (which could describe your team or project), your first task (called a Track), and inviting friends using their email addresses or importing them from Facebook and Twitter.
Once you’ve set everything up, you can explore the rest of the app, which is very well-designed. Everything is legible and easy to find thanks to Tracky’s elegant layout. The use of Ajax across the site makes for a smooth user experience – tracks can be added, deleted and assigned to users without disorienting page reloads.
The dashboard has two panes – the left pane shows you tasks assigned to you that are due and allows you to add tracks. The right pane shows you which of your contacts are online – clicking on them takes you to their profiles where you can choose to follow them. This pane also shows recent activity from groups (such as other members’ comments and actions).
To create a personal track from your dashboard, just enter it in the field labeled ‘What needs to happen?‘. You can set a due date, attach files, assign it to another user and even add comments/notes in the Discussion panel. You can also add subtracks within a track and detail it like a regular track.
There’s a lot you can do with a track, including navigating to the track’s own page, marking it as completed, labeling it a milestone (great for projects with several tracks), pinning it for greater visibility, sharing it via Twitter/Facebook/email, following it for updates (even for tracks in which you’re not involved), adding it to Outlook, viewing its revision history and member visibility and finally, deleting it.
Working with a team
Tracky allows you to create groups to bring your friends, family or colleagues together to work on a project. You can create tracks, assign them to group members and keep an eye on everyone’s progress. When you invite people to a group, you can assign them one of four membership levels to allow them read-only access or full moderator rights.
Once you’ve assigned tasks to your team members, they can begin working on their tracks and reporting their progress. To do so one can either mark a task as completed or indicate how many hours he/she has put in and how many remain. Group members can discuss tracks on their own comment threads and add attachments at any time too.
The group interface is similar to the one on the dashboard page; the left pane displays information about the current group and features a toolbar to filter tracks by priority, who they’re assigned to or by tags. On the right are options to edit settings for the group, view at a glance how many tasks are done/pending, see all your group members and view recent activity in the group.
To see how I could get organized with Tracky, I decided to use the app to help me plan a pool party with some friends. Creating tracks and assigning them to group members require just a few clicks and keystrokes. I also sent out messages to the entire group (which they receive in their email) without any hassle. It was also easy to track everyone’s progress, which is essential when working on projects big and small.
I also added a few personal tracks of my own via the dashboard. These as well as the tracks from my pool party group are visible to me on my profile and also in the highly useful Calendar. The easy-to-read screen shows you all your tasks for the month, and clicking on any tasks takes you to the track page to view additional details.
Tracky is designed to allow you to work not just with colleagues but with friends and family as well. The app allows you to share tracks via Facebook and Twitter and also lets you list your group as public, should you want to get more people involved. This’d be great for community events like charity drives. Brands and bands could also make use of this feature to organize street teams by publicizing their Tracky group online and assigning tasks to fans.
I really enjoyed using Tracky because it’s so well designed and built. The app allows you to delegate tasks and get to work quickly – which is exactly what it should do. There’s no extra clutter and everything you need is visible at a glance – whether it’s your tracks for the month on the calendar or your group’s progress in your dashboard.
The word is that once the app is out of beta it’ll have a free plan (for up to five projects per user with 100MB of storage) and a paid plan at US$5/user/month with unlimited projects and 1GB of storage. That’s very similar to other apps in this space (Bunker costs US$5 and Sandglaz US$6, per month) and will certainly give the competition a run for its money. If you’re looking for a great collaboration tool, you should definitely check out Tracky.