Task Management on the Web in 2010

There are a few task management web apps that have caught my attention in the past months. Some are in alpha, some in beta and some already available. Their approaches vary greatly as well.

But, in my opinion, they are all going to make a splash in 2010.

Four new apps have gotten some press of late and I think all are worth a look. They vary in their approach: two are minimilistic and sparse by design, while the other two attempt to meet the needs of more strict GTDers. Let’s take a brief look at each one.

TeuxDeux

First off, there is TeuxDeux. The app has gotten a lot of press since it first debuted, partially because of the name(s) behind it. Designed by Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swissmiss), the design of this app will appeal to people looking for a simple solution.

Nice aesthetics combined with a simple feature set.

Nice aesthetics combined with a simple feature set.

The interface basically makes this app a time sensitive digital white board. As seen above, you simply enter tasks one at a time and then click on them when completed. Like a whiteboard, the tasks is still there after completed, but is ‘scratched out’. Overall, it’s a nice look and feel, with excellent little touches (like the ellipsis for tasks with longer names etc.).

Available now, the app is currently free.

TaskFive

In a similar approach, TaskFive gives the same simple time based approach with a simple scratch pad style list.

The focus here is also simplicity, but with more emphasis on the team than the individual.

The focus here is also simplicity, but with more emphasis on the team than the individual.

The biggest difference here is that you can add multiple users. This would allow for management of several team members or employees by one person. There is also the ability to get an overview of the progress of the entire team or to allow a mentor to view the status of tasks by the user.

Overall, the interface is not quite as nice as TeuxDeux, but the usability is about the same.

Nirvana

In a different direction, the app titled Nirvana is a more feature intensive approach to task management. Featuring concepts like a Someday and Waiting For list, this app is built with the GTD zealot in mind.

A slick web based application, Nirvana appears to borrow its interface from the desktop.

A slick web based application, Nirvana appears to borrow its interface from the desktop.

Now, if you’re at all familiar with Things for the mac, you’ll see a striking resemblance in this web application. In fact, there has been some controversy over the approach taken here.

But whether you consider it inspiration or ripoff, there must be some happy Windows users who would love to use a tool like Things, and can now use a close approximation on the web.

Scraplr

Last, we come to Scraplr. Another more robust, perhaps more complicated, approach to task management, Scraplr also attempts to appeal to those who adhere strictly to the GTD process.

Scraplr appears to be a massive undertaking, but it's too early to judge its effectiveness.

Scraplr appears to be a massive undertaking, but it's too early to judge its effectiveness.

Seeing as this offering is still early on in development (alpha), it’s hard to judge just how good the app may be. It clearly has potential, but good looks do not mean much if the usability is poor.

Choose Your Flavour

Whether you prefer a simplistic approach or a more robust and flexible tool, the four applications listed above look to be solid options. It’s exciting how much variety the web has to offer, but it can also be daunting.

If you’re looking for a task management tool to help you be productive, be sure to identify how you work first. Then you’re more able to make the right decision for you. Enjoy getting things done in 2010.