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Project management tools are holistic systems that provide an infrastructure for planning, executing, and monitoring projects. These tools are designed to handle the complexities and multiple facets of entire projects, accommodating various tasks, milestones, schedules, and resources.
In contrast, task management tools offer a focused approach centered on organizing and tracking individual tasks and small sets of activities. These are typically simpler and more user-friendly, ideal for managing day-to-day responsibilities, keeping track of deadlines, and facilitating personal or team productivity on a smaller scale.
Understanding these differences can significantly impact how teams and individuals approach their work and ultimately, how successfully they achieve their objectives. This article sets the stage for a detailed discussion about the unique features, benefits, and best uses of project management and task management tools.
Function Comparison
Risk Management:
  • Task Management Tool: Does not include tools for identifying or mitigating risks.
  • Project Management Tool: Offers the ability to identify potential risks, assess them, and plan mitigation strategies to ensure the project stays on track.
Change Management:
  • Task Management Tool: Simple tools might not handle changes beyond task-level updates.
  • Project Management Tool: Includes comprehensive features for managing changes within the project scope, schedule, and budget, with an approval workflow.
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Critical Path Method (CPM):
  • Task Management Tool: Not included.
  • Project Management Tool: Determines the sequence of critical and non-critical tasks, the longest stretch of dependent tasks, and the shortest possible project duration.
Resource Allocation and Management:
  • Task Management Tool: Typically doesn't include.
  • Project Management Tool: Allows managers to assign resources like manpower, budget, and equipment to specific tasks or phases of a project, and monitor their utilization.
Dependency Tracking:
  • Task Management Tool: Usually limited or not available.
  • Project Management Tool: Enables users to set up and visualize dependencies between tasks, so that changes in one task can automatically adjust the schedules of dependent tasks.
Documentation Control:
  • Task Management Tool: Usually provides basic document sharing.
  • Project Management Tool: Often includes sophisticated document management systems that track revisions, approvals, and distributions within project workflows.
Integration Capabilities:
  • Task Management Tool: Limited integration with external systems.
  • Project Management Tool: Typically offers extensive integration with other software systems like CRM, ERP, and more for seamless data flow across tools.
Custom Reporting:
  • Task Management Tool: Basic reporting on task completion and due dates might be available.
  • Project Management Tool: Features advanced reporting capabilities that can provide insights on project performance, progress, and alignment with objectives.
These specialized functions empower project managers and teams to handle comprehensive project workflows and complexities that go beyond the scope of simple task management.
Which software only focuses on task management?
Task management software is designed to help individuals and teams organize, track, and prioritize their work. Here are a few examples of software that focus primarily on task management:
Known for its simple and user-friendly interface, Todoist allows individuals and teams to manage their tasks and deadlines effectively.
Another task management tool that is popular for personal productivity.
Microsoft To Do
This is a task management application by Microsoft that helps users create lists and tasks, set reminders, and personalize their organization system.
Remember The Milk
A straightforward task management tool that helps users manage their tasks from anywhere and works across various devices.
These tools are centered around helping users manage their daily tasks and are less suited for the complex needs of project management.
What software can be used for both project management and task management?
Several software suites blend both project management and task management functionalities, catering to the needs of teams looking for a comprehensive solution. Here are some notable examples:
Strength: Agile structure
Primarily known for its strong project management features, especially in the software development sector, Jira also provides detailed task management options such as issue tracking.
Strength: powerful solutions and templates
This platform is both user-friendly and robust, allowing teams to manage projects with big-picture planning tools while also tracking individual tasks and their progress.
Strength: visualized & node-driven workflow with task-splitting function
It offers a unified workspace that combines project planning with individual task management, suitable for various team sizes and industries.
Strength: attractive Kanban interface
Though it's often seen as a task management tool with its Kanban-style boards, Trello can also be used for project management through power-ups and integrations.
Asana provides a clean interface for task management with to-do lists and Kanban boards, while also offering timeline and portfolio tools for project management.
Strength: powerful timeline with sub-tasks

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