Why a Task Manager

A workflow management system has more benefits than what's on the surface.

When the number of things to do increases, you may find your mind cogged with the necessity of not forgetting or not losing the big picture of a multitude of tasks. That feeds distraction, anxiety, and, of course, errors.

The same way you keep a grocery list, a wider “list” is usually of great help for your organization and productivity. You can have it on paper, but now that information technology pervades our life, a software application is a more powerful and practical choice.

There are many reasons why using a task manager is of benefit. Let’s see below the main ones.

No need to remember

The first huge benefit of a task management system is that you free your mind. You store your to-do list out of your mind, in a reliable system that you daily consult, and you can focus on the current task without fear of forgetting.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can not be aware of what you have to do next, but you can postpone giving attention to it, and you can pick the task you want to work on now and temporarily forget all the rest.

That means clarity and effectiveness.

More definition

When you have to make tasks explicit, writing them down, along with their properties, often gives them a more defined structure. Having tasks defined helps to identify the actions, or blurred areas. It also helps in grouping and structuring your work.

Automatic prioritization

One of the most important benefits of a software task manager is automatic sorting. You store tasks with certain properties – for example, importance and due date – and the software can automatically sort your tasks letting you to focus on the top items.

This feature can seem useless when you have a few tasks to manage, but when your task queue grows, the help in letting the most important or urgent tasks to emerge can be greatly appreciated.

Getting an overview

When you have to handle a large number of tasks and maybe also a good number of projects you usually feel the need for a proper overview, not to neglect some areas, and not to waste your time outside your main goals.

A task manager helps you getting that picture using visual elements, such as cards, and grouping/sorting them. Kanban boards, where tasks are grouped by columns which represent progress stages, are common views.

A task manager which can handle a hierarchy of projects and tasks can further help to get the big picture.

Quantifying your work

The compromise between what you want to do and time at your disposal is often the problem number one of your scheduling.

Quantifying the effort needed by your tasks, even roughly, can let you have a more precise picture of the overall effort, what to focus on, and what you need to postpone or discard.

Software vs. paper

While some can keep their task management system on paper, software is usually a better choice.

Software applications can automatically sort items and allow you searches, at the bare minimum, but they usually let you benefit from much additional automation. Also, it’s maybe easier to have your task management system travel with you.