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Successfully Manage Your Everyday Tasks in WORKetc

When you're running a business, every day you deal with a seemingly never ending set of tasks. Fortunately, WORKetc has more than a few ways of helping you keep the list of things you have to do all day manageable.

WORKetc tasks

Defining Tasks

First of all, let’s define tasks. A task is an activity that you need to complete or that someone needs to complete for you. It can be a discrete, standalone activity or can form part of a larger group of activities. Little tasks, big tasks — you get your work done every day by completing a lot of both.

Within the context of WORKetc, tasks are items that you would set for yourself or another employee to complete. An example of a task in WORKetc would be something like a “Call for Followup” task attached to a new lead.

You’ll most likely be familiar with tasks in the context of the projects module. A project is usually made up of a bunch of tasks; completing these will fill up the project’s progress bar, bringing you ever closer to completion.

Since any item or object — a contact, a lead, a project, a support case, a timesheet, a discussion, a note, or a task — can be attached to anything else in WORKetc, however, tasks can also be used to great effect outside of the projects module. Here’s how.

Tasks and Reminders

Let’s say you’re working on a sales lead for Acme Marketing. You’ve already made initial contact and need to send them an email brief in a couple of days to seal the deal.

You can easily create a task — let’s name it “Send email brief” — and attach it to the lead you’re working on.

worketc task create

You can leave it at that as the “Send Email Brief” task will show up on the lead’s activity stream, letting you create and save a custom filter for it so you can check which tasks need to be completed with a single click.

WORKetc saved filters for tasks

To make doubly sure that you don’t lose track of it you can also set a reminder for that task. Setting a reminder will tell WORKetc to send you an email on the date and time you specify.

WORKetc task reminder

In our “Send Email Brief” task example, the task is dated for March 1, 2016, at 2 PM. The screenshot above shows that we created a reminder for 10 minutes before the task will begin, so WORKetc will automatically send you an email reminder on March 1, 2016, at 1:50 PM.

Tasks and reminders by themselves will already be a big help in keeping track of activities that need to be completed on your end. You can also assign these tasks to somebody else on your team; if you add a reminder, whoever you assigned the task to will get the reminder instead of you.

The Gmail Plugin

With the help of the WORKetc Gmail plugin, you can turn even entire emails into tasks. Once you install the plugin, every single email in your inbox will have a “Create new” dropdown that lets you turn it into any object in WORKetc.

WORKetc Gmail plugin

For our purposes, the “Task” option is the most important. Creating a new WORKetc task in Gmail works the same as when you’re creating a task within the system — and you don’t even have to leave your inbox to do it. From within Gmail, you can set a reminder, attach it to another object, assign it to someone else, and more.

The one difference is that you can import and attach the email to your task. This works very well when you receive, for example, a project update or new lead that you don’t want to lose sight of. By importing and attaching the email to the task you’re creating, you can make sure that you have the info that you need to complete it.

Tracking your Tasks

So now that you have a whole bunch of tasks, how do you keep track of all of them? In WORKetc, there are three ways of doing this.

First, you can add a Task List widget to your dashboard via the “Add a widget” dropdown on the right side of the main WORKetc dashboard.

WORKetc tasks widget

Think of it as your daily checklist. This widget contains all of your tasks, no matter the object or item to which they’re attached. If you have one task each for a project, sales lead, and support case all set for today, for example, all three will show up in the widget.

The widget box is resizable, but it still has a slight limit on the amount of information you can view at a glance. If you want a more in-depth view, you can use your Task list, which can be accessed via Work > Task List.

WORKetc task list

The Task List is an expanded view of the Tasks List widget. Here, you can set and save filters for specific tasks, such as those attached only to support cases or leads, for example.

Saved filters let you quickly view different types of filtered data that effectively let you see what you need to see specifically at that time.

You can, for example, save a filter on a specific project that lets you quickly view what tasks other team members are working on. You can also save a filter for future tasks, letting you quickly see what your team’s workload would be for the following days or weeks.

This way you can drill down and see only the tasks you need to see right now instead of wading through an uncategorized list.

Finally, you can also create smartlists for specific tasks then bookmark them so they’re always just a click away from any page in WORKetc.

Smartlists are saved searches that allow you to quickly see a list of items that fit a certain set of criteria through all of your data, giving you quick insights into your work, on demand.

WORKetc SmartlistClick for full view.

Smartlists have extensive filtering options that pull information from all of the data within WORKetc. This makes them more powerful than saved filters, which filter only the data in the page on which they’re created.

Let’s say your company designs websites. You categorize projects according to priority level — design jobs that fall on the easy end of the spectrum and can be completed fast are marked as “Low Priority” while more extensive design jobs that require more time and work are marked as “High Priority”.

To keep your design queue manageable, you want all “High Priority” jobs to steadily progress by at least 10% every day. You want to always stay on top of all currently active WORKetc tasks that have the “Website Design” tag, are marked as “High Priority”, and have not yet progressed beyond 10% completion.

To do that, you just create a smartlist that filters for all tasks that fit the following criteria:

  • have the “Website Design” tag
  • marked as “High Priority”
  • have not yet progressed past 10% completion
WORKetc task smartlist filter

With your smartlist all set up, you can now see which high priority client projects you should work on for today. You can quickly access the smartlist you created by bookmarking it via the Bookmarks tab on the right side of your WORKetc screen. By bookmarking the smartlist, you can access it in one click from any page in WORKetc.

If you happen to bookmark a new page, item, or smartlist, you can drag and drop the bookmarks to rearrange them as you see fit. You can keep the smartlist on the top of your bookmarks list.

WORKetc smartlist bookmark

Bonus Tip Use Custom Processes

Our product specialist Laurie touched on this subject in our recent QuickStart article. You can create multiple custom project and sales processes for projects and leads, respectively, that let you see at a glance what the next steps would be.

For example, a digital marketing company’s leads process could go something like this:

  1. New lead
  2. Attempting Contact
  3. Potential Prospect
  4. Demo / Presentation
  5. Contracts Out
  6. Signed Contracts
  7. Client Acquired

Whenever you’re working on a lead, as soon as you see the current stage is “Potential Prospect”, for example, you’ll know immediately that while you’ve already made contact, you have yet to give them a demo or presentation to lock them in.

It’s the same thing with projects. Let’s say your design firm uses a project process that goes “Initial Presentation”, “Website Design and Build”, and “Presentation and Approval”. If you see that one of your website design projects is currently at the “Website Design and Build” stage, you know that a presentation to the client is coming next.

The same idea applies to support cases, although instead of a custom process you would use custom statuses. Here’s a sample:

WORKetc support statuses

In case you’re wondering about the “Label” and “Portal Label” columns in the above image, check out our in-depth look at project types and stages and how they interact with the customer portal.

When you’re on the leads, projects, or support modules you can easily create and save filters for your processes. You can, for example, create a saved filter that will show you every lead that is on the “Potential Prospect” stage on the leads module. Similarly, you can create a saved filter so you can see all open support cases in the support module with a single click.

Using custom processes and statuses can be very helpful if you just want to stay on top of the things you have to do day to day without having to create numerous task items in WORKetc.

How do you handle task management in WORKetc? Share your tips with the WORKetc community below.

  • I’m a bit confused. We tend to use either third-party apps like Trello, or the To-Do List feature in WORK[etc]. How do tasks compare to the to-do lists? How well do they work if they’re not against a specific project (say internal admin work), assuming that’s possible?

    • Laurie

      Hi Branden,

      “Tasks” & “ToDo’s” are one in the same. Under Settings in WORK[etc] we give you the option to call ToDo’s (the default) whatever you like. I think most people prefer to call them tasks but we leave it to you to make that decision.

      So if you decide to rename your “ToDo’s” to “tasks”, you would be viewing tasks in your task list. If you decide to leave the default, then you will be viewing ToDo’s in your ToDo list. Hope that makes sense!

      Standalone tasks (tasks not attached to a project) are just as easy to manage. You can set up multiple Task types with their own sets of stages, & apply a type to each of your tasks. You will then be able to easily view in your task list the progress of each task.

      In simplest terms, you can have a Task type called “Internal Admin Work” with a set of stages that encompasses the stages you might go through in order to complete this type of task. They can be as detailed, or as simple as you need. You would also apply a percentage to completion for each task. For example:

      – Started (0-25%)
      – In Progress (26% – 98%)
      – Management Review needed (99%)
      – Complete (100%)

      Perhaps you want to see all “Internal Admin Work” type tasks where “Management Review is needed”. You would easily be able create a filter in your task list to give you that specific view.

      We offer a Quick Start Program to help new clients onboard, but have also helped existing clients optimize their setup. If interested send us an email to support@worketc.com and we can work with you one on one to set up your tasks that make the most sense for your business!

      Laurie

  • I completely forgot about the program’s ability to create a task from within Gmail. That solves so many logistical problems for me. I just wish that the widget would work on my smartphone also. I prefer to work from my desktop (bigger screen and keyboard) but sometimes that is not practical. So, when I am on my phone, and I receive an actionable email, I have to open the WETC app to create a task.

  • I feel like i’ve used (and paid for way too many) task management tools out there. It’s one of those things that are so important in the business yet so easy to get out of practice with. I like the ability to have tasks right from gmail and the smart lists are great. The struggle is still real in being consistent with them!

  • I recently discovered another way of doing todo’s/tasks using WORKetc & Google when I realized I could use the WORKetc Gadget to turn ANY email into a WORKetc todo that would quickly sync to my Google Calendar.

    I received an email from a colleague who wanted me to send an eblast later in the week for an upcoming workshop. I used the WORKetc Gadget to create an eblast todo for a specific date & time. Because WORKetc syncs with my Google Calendar, that todo showed up on my Google Calendar for that specific time & date. The original email attaches to the WORKetc Activity Stream for me, the sender and the todo. Sweet.

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