Task Manager Professional: Project Management in Windows 8

Project management tools are ten-a-penny for iOS and Android, but they are somewhat thinner on the ground for Windows users. Task Manager Professional is one of a growing number of apps that brings to-do list and project management to Windows 8.

If you’re looking for a way to keep on top of a DIY or business project, want to keep on top of things you have to do on a day to day basis in the home, could this be the tool that helps you to stay organized?

Setting Up Projects

Things start to get a little confusing fairly early on. You are initially presented with a blank canvas – which many people will prefer to being given some sample data to work with. In order to get started you need to battle with the slightly convoluted approach the app takes to getting things set up.

Feeling lost? The app gives you few pointers about how to get started with your projects.

Feeling lost? The app gives you few pointers about how to get started with your projects.

The problem stems from the fact that there are so many different levels at which you can create tasks – none are compulsory and you can tackle things in whichever way works best for you. But there is certainly potential for getting overwhelmed to start with.

It’s quite easy to get lost in Task Manager Professional. You can create a workspace – or several if you wish – and each of these can be used to house one or more projects. Projects can be entities in their own right, but they can also be made up of tasks.

These in turn can comprise any number of sub-tasks and navigation quickly becomes rather nightmarish. This becomes apparent when you use the Back button to attempt to jump up a level and find that you have to work back through your entire navigation history.

Workspace, project, task or sub-task? The choice of where to start is yours!

Workspace, project, task or sub-task? The choice of where to start is yours!

Wherever you are in the app, you are free to create any of these items and you can also specify another item that should act as the parent. Conversely, you can also create any item that is higher up the hierarchy – Project or Task for example – and then create child items from the bottom menu.

If you start to get deeply embroiled in using Task Manager Professional, you might want to consider assigning tags to your projects so they can be searched. This is something that requires a degree of planning, however.

Want to assign a tag to a task? You’ll have to have created it first.

Want to assign a tag to a task? You’ll have to have created it first.

Rather absurdly, it is not possible to create tags as and when they are needed. If you’re editing a task and decide to add a tag, you had better hope that you had the foresight to create it in advance. If a tag does not already exist, you’ll need to exit task editing mode, head to the tag section of the app, create the tags you need and then return to the task to add them – such a simple thing really should not be this complicated.

App in Action

One other issue that rears its head quite early on is the fact that your mouse scroll wheel cannot be used to scroll through the app interface. While this is not a problem when the software is being used on a tablet or laptop, it’s a big problem for desktop PC users as turning the scroll wheel to scroll is second nature.

App settings are sparse, but you can select which screen is displayed at startup.

App settings are sparse, but you can select which screen is displayed at startup.

Individual screens of the app give you a good overview of what you need to do and enables you to see your up-coming deadlines at a glance. You can store basic details about things you need to do, add notes and assign deadlines.

The app can make use of Windows 8’s live tiles feature and you can opt to pop any of your on-going projects on your Start screen. As you would expect, these are live tiles that convey your progress through the task, but this is an option that’s only available if you’re willing to pay.

For £2.59, you can buy the Extras Package which brings a number of features to the app in addition to the tile pinning. You can also add alarms to items, schedule data backups and more.

Part with a little money and you’ll gain access to a number of extra options in the app.

Part with a little money and you’ll gain access to a number of extra options in the app.

Summing Up

There is a great deal of potential here, but I can’t help but feel that insufficient thought has been put into the app interface as the way the different component work together. While everything is cleanly set out, things are unnecessarily awkward on the navigation front.

Task Manager Professional could have been an app that aided workflow and helped to increase productivity, but until some changes are made to the way it works, it’s likely to slow down all but the simplest of projects and tasks.


Summary

Task and project management for Windows 8 users that makes things just a little too complex and long-winded.

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  • http://www.taskmanagerprofessional.com Dean Chalk

    Thanks for the review. The team here at Yellow Spot Apps (authors of Task Manager Professional) have already made a number of changes in response to initial feedback that is along the lines of the review above, so we believe that the app is becoming better already. We are releasing updates to the app weekly, and will include changes in line with all of your great constructive feedback described above in the next release.. We’d love as much feedback as possible (positive or negative) from reviewers and users to enable us to continually update the app in line with the needs of our customers.

    Many Thanks

    The Team – Yellow Spot Apps

    PS – We are about to launch our cloud synchronisation feature (as well as a Windows Phone 8 version) which synchronises all of your data to the cloud, so you will be able to use the same app on all of your windows 8 devices

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