The search for a viable alternative to Asana continues. Not because I don’t like Asana, but because it’s missing a couple of features that prevent it from being my own personal task management nirvana, and I’d hate to find out that there was something perfect all along that I just hadn’t bothered to look at. I’ve been trying out Producteev for a couple of days, and although it isn’t perfect for me either, it does have some nice features to recommend it. Let’s take a look:
If you’ve used a task management tool before, or read any of my posts about Asana, Do or Flow, you’ll pretty much know how Producteev works. You’ve got a workspace in which you can create tasks, assign them to users, set due dates and add notes or documents.
The interface is clean and relatively intuitive. I missed the ability to assign tasks to projects, but I did like the option of adding sub-tasks to tasks. Producteev shows you tasks in a list view or a calendar view, and both views are pretty nice.
Reminder emails are a pretty standard feature of most task management services, but Producteev adds a few nice touches. When you set a due date for a task, you also have the option of setting a due time, and choosing to when to have a reminder email sent. Options for the email include 5 minutes before due, 15 minutes, 1 hour and so on. The reminder emails are quite smart, and you can do a number of things by replying to them, including changing the due date and time, reassigning the task and adding notes to the task.
Producteev has the usual iOS app, but it goes a lot further than any of the other task managers I’ve looked at so far on the app front. Not only does it also have an Android app, but it also has Windows and Mac clients for offline use. I tried the iOS app and the Windows client. The iOS app worked fine for me, and the Windows client was fine while I worked with it online, but it had some trouble syncing up properly after taking it offline and then putting it back online. I was left with some tasks in the client that no longer existed in the web app, and the only way to get rid of them was to go through and delete them manually.Mobile and desktop apps
This will probably be a big thing for some people. Producteev’s online client includes an export button, which will export whatever tasks are currently on the screen to a CSV file. The export includes all the information about a task, including any notes, which can get a little unwieldy for tasks with a lot of notes. Combined with the ability to attach labels to tasks, and to display tasks by label, though, it’s a relatively useful way to get a dump of information about a set of tasks.Export
Producteev also offers the option to export all the information in your account. You access this through the account setting menu, under Backups, and the data is emailed through to you.
Producteev is free for personal use, where personal use means up to two users in a workspace. After that, it starts at US$20 a month for one pro workspace, and goes up from there. As well as allowing collaboration with more than one other user, pro workspaces offer unlimited storage for attached files.
So, will Producteev woo me away from Asana? Not yet, but there are a lot of features in there that I really like. I love the easy export, reminder emails and the multitude of apps and clients on offer. I don’t love the absence of projects, and the fact that you can’t add guests to tasks. And, I admit, I’m not wild about the idea of paying for something unless it’s pretty close to a perfect fit for me. But Producteev does have some great features that help it stand out, and if you’re still looking for the perfect task management tool, it’s worth checking out.