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Project Portfolio Management

Why You Should Stop Using Email to Manage Tasks

Published By Team AdaptiveWork

We’ve all done it, kept our inbox overflowing with projects and tasks that need to be addressed and completed. Maybe you have assigned certain emails flags to note to yourself that some are more pressing than others. Perhaps you even have an entire color coded system. Either way, this way of keeping track of tasks is neither efficient nor responsible. One big wave of emails could completely wash away your recollection of one of those tasks that is lingering at the bottom of the pile. With a constant influx of emails and new tasks where the next is more urgent than the last, email is simply not a productive way to keep track of your to-dos.

Luckily, there are project management software options that can capture all of these essential tasks in one cloud-based place. They can be listed in order of priority, be connected to other related tasks, and you won’t be interrupted by a new email (or task) popping up every few minutes to divert your attention away from the task you are already working on. It is important to separate email from task management to avoid spending time searching through email and gaining more time to actually work on projects.

In addition to email being an inefficient way to keep track of tasks, many people fall back on spreadsheets to keep everything in order. Technology has come a long way since keeping lists in an Excel file and emailing that around the office. Distributing an editable document like this poses several problems:

  • It is possible you are viewing an old or outdated version
  • Someone might make a change and forget to send it out
  • Crucial pieces of information could be missed by someone saving over or not adding in data
  • You still end up with an email inbox full of tasks
  • Miscalculations can threaten cost, schedule and project integrity

Cloud based project management that offers task management tools can appreciate the value of email and task management while separating the two from one another. Task management software not only keeps all of the tasks you need to accomplish in one place, it allows you to mark tasks as complete, in progress or incomplete, and is visible across the team. Enterprises need to implement a systematic task management workflow in order to effectively manage time, resources and costs.

According to PMI’s 2012 Pulse of the Profession In-Depth Report: Organizational Agility, 84% of the time it was the most effective organizations conducting project task simplification. They found organizations that were effective at risk management practices such as streamlining tasks to be more agile overall. Additionally, high agility organizations utilize project task simplification 22% of the time. They have found that organizations using standardized practices like task simplification are more agile overall.

Kick the Email To-Do List Habit with Cloud Based Project Management

Getting your enterprise on board with a project management software not only takes care of organizing tasks, it streamlines daily business and improves efficiency across the board. A transparent platform allows everyone working on the project to make updates to tasks in areas such as progress, notes and social collaboration. Project managers can also prioritize tasks for the team to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal. A system that centralizes all project-related tasks in the users’ workspaces prevents important tasks from falling off their radar, which is what often happens with email task management. Project managers can then monitor the progress of all tasks and reassign when appropriate or discuss any issues before the entire project is negatively impacted.

Email should offer support to your daily workload, not hinder it. While project management software can potentially eliminate the need for email all together, cutting it out completely might seem extreme for employees that have grown to depend on it. But it is not the place for task management. Getting employees on board with enterprise project management software will allow for transparency across the company. This is especially ideal for companies that operate out of more than one office, or want clients to have some visibility into projects. With a multitude of intuitive, easy-to-use and powerful tools like dashboards, task flows, approval processes, customized templates and more, enterprises can:

  • Update each task on where it is in the lifecycle stage as it is being worked on
  • Enable task setting and step-by-step planning
  • Assign and monitor resources to tasks
  • Create a task reporting structure
  • Create a task visualization structure at every stage

Ultimately, enterprises can implement a systematic and flexible task management workflow to keep accurate track of projects, instead of relying on lost emails and inaccurate spreadsheets.

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Written by Team AdaptiveWork