Laura Berlinsky-Schine

Could task tracking software be the answer to your organizational prayers and to-do lists?

First things first: What is a task tracker? Basically, it is a method of staying on top of your busy life and schedule. Businesses and individuals alike can always use ways to streamline and keep track of everything on their plates. This is especially true for time-consuming projects that require up-to-date communication. 

Fortunately, task tracking software automates the often cumbersome aspects of project management. Calendars, reminders, files sharing, real-time commentary and chatting and more allow you and your team to keep track of everything on your plate and collaborate more easily and efficiently. Plus, many of these tools are free. So, what are task management tools that are free and easy to use? Here is some of the best free software on the market in alphabetical order. 


Source: Airtable

A cloud-based task management tool, Airtable makes data accessible to you and your team members. Features include templates, scheduling, calendars, Kanban dashboards, color-coding for better organization, commenting and file sharing. Users can store up to 2GB for free and access unlimited spreadsheets. 


• Flexible

• Scalable (though may require an upgrade depending on your needs)

• Templates available for campaign tracking, calendars and more

• Multiple views and layouts


• Limited access to revision history (two weeks)

• Limited file storage with the free version

• Using the interface requires a learning curve


Source: Any.Do

Any.Do is essentially a feature-packed to-do list. You’ll see an overview of tasks on your plate, as well as individual items labeled according to their priority or when you need to complete them. This can work well for teams, but you can also use it for personal scheduling — it comes equipped with features like grocery lists. You’ll also receive reminders about the tasks you need to accomplish.


• Easy to use

• Well-designed


• The free version is somewhat limited — no outside integration and minimal collaboration features

• Some users report inconsistencies in quality and support


Source: Asana

Asana is free to use for teams with up to 15 people. It enables you to assign and track tasks and overall progress, share files with team members and more. You can also communicate with colleagues through comments, as well as receive notifications and updates on the project. One nice feature is the ability to schedule recurring tasks.


• Highly customizable

• Calendar syncing available

• Allows integrations with other apps


• User interface (UI) can be slow

• No time tracking

• Inability to assign the same tasks to multiple people


Source: ClickUp

ClickUp has a free version that accommodates unlimited users and tasks. Through the cloud-based task management software, you can view, change and reorder tasks on the dashboards, track progress and completion. Additionally, you can create sub-tasks. A premium plan, offering Gantt charts to plan, reporting and unlimited file storage is also available. 


• Multiple views

• Special features such as the ability to create sub-tasks

• Strong customer support


• Users complain about too many notifications, although you can turn them off

• Storage is limited with the free plan


Source: Hitask

With Hitask’s dashboard, you can view all of the tasks you need to accomplish and arrange them however you want — by project, team or due date. It’s easy to assign members to a task with a drag-and-drop feature. The task management tool also includes file storage, reporting, time tracking, task reminders and more. Additionally, you can assign tasks and require responses from team members. 


• Easy to use

• Well-designed, functional interface

• Ability to assign sub-tasks 


• Few integrations available

• The free version only accommodates five users


Source: Quire

Through its “nesting” feature, Quire allows you to break down tasks into smaller components. Other features include cards, a kanban board, lists and filters. The tool also allows you to automate recurring tasks and offers a calendar view. You can map out your tasks visually, allowing you to see the progress of a project or individual tasks. 


• Visual, “tree-like” display

• Access for and sharing with external collaborators

• Centralized location with work to be done

• No limits on tasks


• No time tracking

• Lacks some integrations


Source: Samepage

This cloud-based task management software allows you and your team to collaborate, share and manage files, discuss projects, track progress through activity feeds and more. The platform is equipped with a calendar and web conferencing features, too. With the free plan, you can include unlimited team members. You can also invite external users to access the tool as well. 


• Real-time editing

• Accommodates unlimited team members

• Easy-to-use interface


• File storage is limited to 2GB with the free version

• Some users complain about the notification system

• The mobile app can be inconsistent


Source: Todoist

Ideal for storing and organizing tasks, Todoist allows you to set and categorize your priorities. You can also assign tasks with due dates to team members. If you upgrade, you’ll be able to access features like reminders, location-based notifications and templates. The platform started as a tool for individual projects, and now groups and teams can use it and collaborate as well. 


• Many integrations available

• Easy to use

• Ability to color-code tasks according to priority


• Some users complain that support is somewhat lacking

• Many advanced features, including attachments and comments, require a paid subscription

• Limited import and export functions


Source: Trello

Trello is a collaboration tool that uses boards with cards representing tasks. Users can comment on, move, assign and set due dates on the cards. Adding and moving cards to different lists allows you to see a project’s progress visually. The tool includes calendar syncing, alerts and reminders. 


• No limits on the number of users Trello accommodates

• Multiple integrations


• No time tracking

• The layout can get cluttered and overwhelming


Source: Wrike

A web-based task-management tool, Wrike offers progress and time tracking, planning and scheduling via a single workspace. It’s free for teams of up to five people. When new users are added, they can access previous content and commentary, as well as files anyone has uploaded.


• Easy to use

• Clean UI

• Flexibility


• Limited number of team members accommodated for the free version

• Sometimes there are delays in or missed notifications

• Default filters can’t be altered

Choosing the right software.

How do you know which software is right for you and your team? This largely depends on your needs. For any task management software, however, you should:

• Review our pro/con lists and general descriptions of the software

• Read online reviews and view overall ratings

• Consider features available with the free and premium or advanced versions

You should also think about your priorities. What features do you absolutely need? Which ones can you live without? How big is your team, and who needs to access the tool? If you’re dealing with a large team, some of these platforms won’t work for you unless you upgrade to a paid version. Hitask, for instance, only allows five users per project. Meanwhile, Trello accommodates unlimited users. 

Think about what you’re using it for, too. Is the project complex or fairly simple? Will you need to set up reminders and due dates? How many smaller tasks are necessary for the project’s completion? Will you need to add comments frequently? These are all important considerations when you make your decision. If you do have a particularly complex project and decide you need to use a premium, paid version, make sure you ask about free trials before you commit.

And don’t forget: task management software isn’t just for groups and teams. It can also make sense for personal tasks and to-do lists, helping you manage your hectic schedule and life. Any.Do, for instance, offers features like grocery lists to help you stay organized and on top of many different priorities and tasks. Several others of these tools can be used for individuals as well. From managing your family life to scheduling work tasks as a freelancer, there is a tool for every need and lifestyle.

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