15 Best Free & Paid Task Management Tools for Design Teams in 2021
The best task management tool list is compiled to help design teams have full control of their design and review process in a breeze. A complete guide to help you manage tasks with ease.
Product teams often break up projects into a bunch of tasks, assign them to different members, set due dates and keep track of all tasks to ensure projects stay on track and get completed on time.
To better manage tasks and collaborate with team members, most design teams choose a handy task management tool to have full control of their design and review process.
In this article, we’ve picked 15 of the best free and paid task management tools to improve your team’s work efficiency. All the task management basics, tips and other useful information are also included to help you learn more about task management and choose the tool that is right for you and your team.
What is task management?
Task management is the process of organizing and managing all tasks throughout the lifecycle. So, the design team’s projects can be completed as scheduled.
In general, the task managing process involves many things like:
- Break projects into a series of tasks
- Assign tasks to different team members
- Set the start and end date
- Change task statuses and keep track of them all
- Create and forward to a new task on time when one task is completed
- Prioritize a task or adjust the task date when needed
The entire process can be really troublesome and complicated especially when a team relies on their own efforts, without the aid of any digital tools. So, that’s why many individuals, teams and organizations prefer using a professional task management tool instead.
What is a task management tool?
Task management tools are digital tools that provide powerful task management systems for individuals, teams or organizations to plan, organize, prioritize and manage all related tasks in one place efficiently.
A great task management tool can not only help you create and keep tracking of a task at the right time, and also provides a dashboard to visualize your task management work. All task details, like task status, completion, data analysis, due date, assignees and much more, are intuitively presented, and can be easily grasped, even at a simple glance.
Most importantly, to better collaborate with team members, many teams and organizations choose an online task management tool rather than a desktop task management tool. So, the entire managing process is done in one platform and a simple link is all they need to share with other team members to have full control of the entire project design process.
How to choose a task management tool for your design team?
Here are basic tips that you should consider:
1). Write down all your needs in advance
There are tons of tools on the market with different features and focuses. To choose the right tool for your team as soon as possible, the first step is to figure out your team’s needs in advance. Gather your entire team or all related participants together, identify the current problems, and discuss what features they expect when using the task management tool.
Take paper or notebook and write down them all for later use.
There are also some great features that you should never forget:
- Easy to create or plan tasks in advance — a simple system allows you to break projects into simpler tasks, plan all tasks based on a timeline and notifiy you to move into the next stage even when you’ve forgotten the right time.
- Visualize all your workload in one place — a dashboard design to present all task information visually. Any important information will never be missed.
- Set a timeline or deadline — a feature that allows you to set a timeline for entire projects or add a deadline for every task. So, you can keep track of the time for each activity.
- Get notified when there are any task changes — a design team can have tons of tasks. To ensure that no task will be forgotten, it is very important to select a tool with notification features.
- Connect designs and tasks together in one place — design teams work on the website or mobile app projects. To better manage their design or review tasks, it is important to check whether the tool allows you to connect the tasks and design drafts together. So, you and your team don’t have to switch between the task management tools and design tools frequently.
2). Research popular ones on the market and make a list
After knowing your team’s needs, it is time to see what good task management tools available on the market. Remember to make a list of all the ones that you are interested.
3). Test out tools, and write down the pros and cons
These days, nearly all task management tools on the market provides a free trial or a free plan for teams to test out and check whether it is a good option. So, no matter what you needs are, take out your tool list, and create an account to test them all one by one.
Here are several tips that you should keep in mind:
- Take all possible participants on the board to test it out
- Try to test every tool on a real project
- Write down all pros and cons
- Make sure to gather the testing feedback from all participants
All testing feedback help you and your team make the right decision.
4). Never forget the cost
When choosing a task management tool, you are supposed to evaluate the price, but also consider the time cost that your team will take to learn and master the tool. Your team’s budget should also be taken into consideration.
20 best task management tools for design teams
What are the best options available on the market for 2020? We’ve handpicked 20 of the best task management tools that you should have a check:
1).Todoist — a simple, no-frills solution for individuals or small-sized teams
Price: Offer a free plan for individuals and a 30-day free trial for teams
Todolist is a simple task management tool having some classic, no-frills interfaces to organize, plan and collaborate on tasks and projects with ease. Trusted by millions of peoples, this tool is a great option for individuals or small-sized teams to free up their hassle from tracking and managing all tasks manually.
- Task and project management
- Visual progress tracking
- Task labels and reminders
- Task commenting and notification
- Full integration with Slack, Dropbox, Google Drive, Zapier and more
- It’s not suitable for large teams that need to work with complicated projects
- There are no Gantt charts or calendar views to organize or manage tasks visually
2).Clickup — a comprehensive option for a team of any sizes
Price: Freemium, start with $5 per user per month
Clickup is a comprehensive solution that helps you plan, track, prioritize and manage tasks of your projects. It is more than just a task management tool by offering far more features to help you organize and manage all project-related resources, like tasks, docs, reminders, goals, and chats in one place. A good tool for teams of any sizes.
- Pre-built templates that help you reuse task list on different projects
- Custom views, like board views, list views, calendar views and timeline views
- Custom dashboards that allow you to manage your tasks visuall
- Add task comments and even convert comments into individual tasks
- Built-in Gantt charts, mind maps and native time tracking, etc
- Integrate with Slack, Gmail, Zoom, Outlook, Google Drive, and much more popular apps and collaboration tools
- There is a learning curve for beginners to acquire different features
- The free plan only provides users with 100 MB of cloud storage
3).Asana — an online option for dealing with complicated projects
Price: Premium, start with $10.99 per user per month
Asana is one of the leading task management tools on the market. This tool has clean and user-friendly interfaces to help you plan and create tasks, and follow up them all via various devices. It has powerful integrations allowing your team to streamline your workflow with many other collaboration tools.
Asana is a good web-based tool for teams to share files, assign tasks, track task progress, get notification, update and comment on tasks in a much easier way.
- Over 50 project templates that help you create a task list that best suits your team
- Drag and drop interface
- Data export
- Automatic notifications and reminders
- Custom calendar and views
- Gantt charts and Kanban support
- Integrate with over 100 tools like Slack, Dropbox, Gmail, Zapier, Figma, Jira and more
- You can not customize the task status based on your needs.
- There is a high learning curve.
4).Mockplus — an online product design platform for teams of any sizes to deal with design drafts and tasks in one place
Price: Freemium, start with $5.95 per user per month
Mockplus is an online product design platform that allows you to design, collaborate and handoff design drafts, all in one place.
The built-in task management solution can not only help you create tasks, assigns to members, set due dates and manage them in an intuitive dashboard. When creating a task, you can easily attach the related design drafts, like your prototype pages or the design drafts of your favorite design tools to connect your designs and tasks together.
When previewing design page details, you can expand the task bar on the top to check the related task and keep tracking of its progress.
Alt: Expand Task Bar on the Top
Mockplus is a great option for teams that want to deal with the projects and tasks in one place. There is no need to switch between different design tools and task management tools. With Mockplus, you and your team can have full control of your design and review process in a breeze.
- Plan, track and manage tasks of your projects
- Simple and intuitive interfaces
- Auto notifications and reminders
- Customize task lifecycles and statuses
- Comment tasks
- Unfoldable task bar that allows you to view task details when checking related design drafts
- Integration with design tools, like Sketch, Axure, Photoshop, Adobe XD and Figma
- There are no Gantt charts or calendar views
5).Wrike — a free online project management tool to manage tasks with your team in real-time
Price: Fremium, start with $9.8 per user per month
Wrike is an online project management tool that allows you to break projects into tasks and manage tasks with custom workflows and task lists. The real-time process tracking makes it easy to keep every team member on track and in the loop.
- Custom workflow, dashboard and task list
- Visualize task workloads with one-click Gantt charts
- Task reporting templates
- When purchasing a subscription, you will unlock more third-party integrations
- There is a steep learning curve
- The user interface may not be best
6).Trello — a visual task manager that helps you manage tasks in a more flexible and rewarding way
Price: Freemium, start with $9.99 per user per month
Trello is a task management software that becomes popular within design teams for its simplicity. Unlike other task management software that helps teams organize and manage tasks with common lists only, Trello provides custom boards to visualize your task workload via cards and lists according to your needs. You can also add comments, attachments, due dates and more information directly to those task cards or lists. All information is much easier to be caught and managed visually.
- Custom boards, cards and lists
- Ruled-based task triggers
- Kanban Boards & Calendar View
- Simple data export
- More onboarding support, like website browsers, iOS or Android devices and desktop apps
- Card views may not be good enough when you need to track time and task progress
7).Basecamp — a simple task management tool better for teams, not individuals
Price: Offer a 30-day free trial, start with $99 per month for unlimited projects and users
Basecamp is a simple task management tool that focuses more on team communication and collaboration. It brings all team members and project tasks into one board for quick navigation and management. It also provides all basics for users to organize and manage tasks: task lists, task assignment, commenting, deadline reminders and more.
- Real-time communication using group chats and direct messages
- Create to-do lists
- Simple task management and planning
- Activity reviews allow managers to have full control of everything related to tasks
- Powerful third-party tool integrations
- Lack some features to simplify individuals’ work efficiency
- Not be able to prioritize tasks based on needs
- There are no great features like Gantt charts and timesheets
8).Monday.com — a customizable task management tool that help you manage tasks, projects and teamwork with ease
Price: Offer a 14-day free trial, start with $8 per user per month, billed annually
Monday.com is an online task management tool that dedicates to simplify task and project management by using simple and visually intuitive layouts and boards. It provides smart features to help you manage tasks like time tracking, automated notifications, dependencies, timeline views, and much more.
- Over 200 customizable project templates to help you get started quickly
- Custom task boards
- Visualize your task workload with a map, calendar, timeline, Kanban, and more
- Automate repetitive work to free up your team’s energy on more important things
- Drag and drop functions
- Integrate with many commonly-used tools like Outlook, Drobox, Slack, Zoom, Zendesk, etc.
- Some users find it is complex to learn
- Lack advanced time-tracking system
- You have to purchase a team with at least 3 seats
9).ProofHub — an online task management tool to organize and collaborate on your tasks
Price: Offer a 14-day free trial
Trusted by more than 85,000 teams all over the world, Proofhub is a good alternative for teams of any sizes to plan, track, organize and collaborate on projects and tasks in one place. It works more like a powerful team collaboration tool, not just a task management tool. Your entire can freely chat, share and proof files for better communication and collaboration.
- Customizable workflows and task boards
- Visualize workload with List view, Gantt chart view, Kanban board view, and Calendar view
- Online proofing
- Built-in chatting features
- Create custom task reports
- Some users find it loads slowly sometimes
10.Nifty — a task management tool that combines collaboration, communication and automation
Price: Offer a 7-day free trial, start with $39 per month for 10 team members
Nifty provides a collaborative workspace for design teams to create, organize, track, and manage tasks with a high level of details. Users can start managing their projects and tasks by creating a custom task list that best suits their workflow or directly importing existing tasks. With high-level of workflow automation, communication and collaboration combined in one tool, it is a great option for your team to better organize and manage your tasks.
- Customizable templates
- Project and task planning
- Automate task assignment
- Automate task progress when one task status has been completed
- Amazing support team
- Powerful third-party tool integrations
- Many users find it is buggy and slow
11).Taskworld — a cloud-based visual task management tool that helps better manage projects and tasks
Price: Start with $10 per user per month, billed annually
Taskworld is an easy-to-use tool that packs visual task management, project planning and team messaging. When it comes to task management, it covers a complete full set of features for visual project and task management, like time tracking, automated notifications, dependencies, timeline views and more. A good option for visual task management and team communication.
- Visual task boards
- Project and team chat
- Comment on tasks
- Visual management timelines
- A great way to manage team members across projects
- Some users find it is slow to refresh in Safari browser
- Some users feedback it crashes sometimes
12).Tasklog — a task management tool for freelancers worldwide
Price: Offer a 7-day free trial, start with $5 per month
Tasklog is made for freelancers all over the world to create and manage tasks, track time and expenses, and export data as PDF or Excel documents. Task management is only one of its main features. If you are a freelancer and looking for a good solution to better manage your times, projects, tasks and even expenses, Tasklog is what you want.
- Interactive task dashboard
- Task management
- Online time-tracking
- Pomodoro timer
- Personalized reports
- Lack third-party tool integrations
- Not a good tool for teams
13).Any.do — a tool to organize your tasks, lists and reminders on nearly all devices available
Price: Freemium, start with $4.49 per month, billed every 6 months
Any.do is a task management app that helps you organize and manage your task and lists with ease, and remind you timely. It is a good tool to help you organize and filter tasks by the due date or category. It is also workable on nearly all devices, like your mobiles, laptops, desktops, tablets and more.
- Auto-synced calendar app
- Located based reminder
- Time tracking
- Customized recurring tasks
- Not a good option for dealing with complex projects
14).Taskque — a smart online task management software for personal use
Price: Offer a 60-day free trial, start with $5 per user per month
Taskque offers all features that you need to manage projects and tasks well online: create to-do lists for managing your tasks, assign and track tasks, and check all task related notifications. It increases your productivity and minimizes distractions. It also integrates with tools like Dropbox, Slack and Google Drive.
15.Hitask — a project and task management tool for teams
Price: Freemium, start with $5 per user per month
Hitask is a simple tool that helps teams organize tasks by projects, assign and share with team members. With intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces, it is good for both individuals and teams. Using Hitask, you can easily attach file to your tasks, set share permissions, add comments to tasks, track tasks by time and overview your team’s events in one calendar.
Email and mobile push notification also make it hard for you to forget any important tasks.
A good task management tool saves you and your team much time and effort, making it one of the must-have tools for many teams and organizations to keep projects on track and complete them all on time.
We hope this list of the best task management tools helps you select the right tool for you and your team.