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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.