Project Task Tracking Software: Vetting and Feature Considerations

By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Feb 21 2023 read

Tasks are so integral to client work that they’re almost forgettable. It’s possible everyone on your team has their own way of completing tasks, and as long as the work is getting done, bringing those methods together may seem unnecessary.

However, task tracking is not just for the sake of completing projects. Taking control of this key component of project management can positively impact your client support, billing, invoicing — and, ultimately, revenue and profitability.

Perhaps project management software would best suit your business, but there’s a chance you only need simple task management software. Or, if you need both, an end-to-end client work management platform like Accelo could be ideal.

Here, we’ll consider some of the key factors in how to vet online task management software, then dive into specific platforms in several categories.

Think Beyond a Digital To-Do List for Your Project Team

While some task management apps are limited, their core function — to organize task lists and keep your team aligned on assignments and due dates — is critical. So, the first thing you should think about in vetting these types of platforms is how you and your team prefer to manage tasks.

Reflect on the following questions:

  1. How do your project managers currently assign tasks?
  2. Do you need the option to set up dependencies?
  3. Will you primarily manage individual tasks or team tasks?

Then, consider your level of need for more advanced features:

  1. Do you need to be able to see team schedules?
  2. Will you want to set up or streamline workflows?
  3. What types of automations would be most useful?

Make a Project Plan: Kanban Boards, Calendars and More

To make full use of project software with task-tracking capabilities, you’ll need to know upfront what it can do. One of the key functions your project managers will need is project plan creation. 

Project plans require that you define:

  • Key stakeholders
  • Clear goals and success metrics
  • Human and non-human resources
  • Explicit deliverables
  • A defined timeline

A solid project-planning and/or task-tracking software will help you marry all of these elements and avoid the dreaded scope creep. Many platforms will also accommodate for various project management methodologies.

It’s best to drill down and look for features that fit your use cases, such as:

  • Easy setup for task assignments and task dependencies
  • A clear way to view task status at any time 
  • Simple scheduling tools
  • Intuitive and flexible project templates
  • Several ways to view individual tasks, including Kanban board or calendar

The Right User Interface Facilitates Efficient Client Work

Your preferred features are important, but you should also evaluate how they’re presented. Is the user interface intuitive? The answer may depend on how tech-savvy your team is and whether they’re migrating from any other platforms.

TechCrunch predicts that UX will be the key factor in today’s businesses achieving true digital transformation. Choosing platforms that are easy to learn  — or that offer dedicated implementation support — reduces training time and costs, makes project work more efficient and allows employees to shift their efforts towards billable work.

While the exact elements of UX can be difficult for the average software user to pinpoint, we all tend to have a general like or dislike for certain platforms. That’s why it’s important to demo a work management platform and get a feel for how your team would work in it every day.

As you review the following categories of project task tracking software, keep in mind that each featured platform offers a nuanced user experience. This list is a starting point for understanding features, benefits and potential drawbacks.

Straightforward Task Management Tools

First, we’ll look at some platforms for basic task management, a function that’s at the heart of client-based work and important to optimize.

 ➡️ Users say Accelo takes task management to new heights.


Below, find a brief overview of some other task management tools:


Flow is a task management platform that helps project teams organize tasks. It features various views and methods of organizing project boards to enhance project status visibility. Flow also has some resource management tools, including a workload calendar.


  • Timeline, calendar and Kanban views
  • Sidebar to view teammates’ tasks
  • Workgroups and team filters
  • Integrates with popular tools, including Google Drive and Slack


  • Drag-and-drop tools for project calendar
  • Conversations live in tasks and projects
  • Ability to follow tasks for updates
  • Adjusts for multiple time zones to support remote teams



MeisterTask is a task management tool with some project management features. It offers vast task organization options, including custom fields, agendas, calendars, dashboards and lists. The platform has basic automation and workflow management tools for paid tiers.


  • Task dependencies
  • Built-in time tracking
  • Recurring tasks
  • Comments, mentions and reactions


  • Customizable dashboards with personal notifications and checklist
  • Option to set task watchers as well as assignees
  • Unlimited project sections
  • Automations for paid plans



nTask is a robust task management solution with a variety of features that support project and resource management, including time tracking, progress meters and budget summaries. The platform allows teams to manage unlimited projects and set custom intervals for recurring tasks. 


  • Task prioritization, templates and to-do lists
  • Document sharing
  • Time estimation, subtasks and dependencies
  • Workspace customization


  • Ability to connect follow-up tasks to meeting agendas
  • Add-on features such as resource planning and risk management 
  • Time tracking available on all plans
  • Discounts for early-stage startups


  • Range of features and integrations can be confusing
  • Manual time entry
  • No billing or retainer management tools to make use of time logs
  • Users share that nTask is slow to load


Todoist is a simple digital to-do list with various built-in organizational tools, including color-coded labels, folders, priority flags and Kanban cards. This task manager is meant to be used across apps and devices, providing one simplified list of all tasks. 


  • Task boards
  • Labels, filters and priority levels 
  • Custom views for overdue and upcoming tasks
  • Automated reminders


  • 30-day free trial for Todoist Business
  • Activity stream by team member or project
  • Ability to add tasks via email
  • Task feed for connected calendars


  • Subtasks do not appear on dashboard
  • Not ideal for teams that prefer calendar-style task management
  • Interface makes it easy to overlook tasks
  • Users claim the platform is good for personal use but not robust enough for business

Project Management Software With a Task Focus

Some platforms with task-tracking features are multifunctional, incorporating facets of project management such as goal and time tracking.

 ➡️ Project managers in professional services love Accelo. 


Let’s explore four task-oriented project management platforms:

Autotask PSA

Autotask PSA, a product of Datto, is a cloud-based professional services automation software built to meet the needs of MSPs. The platform provides a control hub to centralize operations in one system and store important business data to help small and midsized companies improve customer service, inventory management, productivity and profitability. 


  • Account and project management
  • Service desk to manage tickets
  • Time tracking
  • Contracts and billing


  • Part of a larger suite of Datto products built with IT MSPs in mind
  • Multi-currency add-on available
  • Custom reporting with real-time business metrics
  • Extensive integrations available, with a focus on MSP industry tools


READ MORE: Accelo vs. Autotask PSA


Hive is a productivity tool that helps teams manage projects and processes with flexible project layouts, native email, resourcing, group messaging and file sharing. Built with hybrid and remote teams in mind, the platform supports collaborative work with communication tools like video chats and shareable notes.


  • Automatic and manual time tracking and timesheet reporting
  • Custom action statuses for progress and urgency levels 
  • Goals tracking for team and organization goals
  • Custom project and action templates for recurring work


  • Analytics dashboards
  • Library of pre-built workflows
  • Built-in proofing and approvals process
  • No-code automations to connect to third-party platforms


  • Limited native integrations
  • No seamless connection to client journey beyond project management
  • Some users share that the platform can be slow at times
  • Other users claim they need more detailed analytics

READ MORE: Accelo vs. Hive


Jira is used primarily by software developers. It supports a variety of agile methods, including Scrum and Kanban. Users can create roadmaps for projects and use a drag-and-drop interface to plan sprints and assign tasks. The platform is flexible for a variety of use cases.


  • Scrum and Kanban boards
  • Dependency management
  • Custom workflows
  • Milestone tracking and roadmaps


  • Solid bug-tracking tool for issue management
  • Built for agile approach, specifically Scrum
  • Charts and graphs give a strong visual representation of work
  • Variety of integrations and plug-ins


  • Complicated interface for non-developers
  • No team collaboration features
  • No progress timeline
  • Range of features can be complicated and overwhelming


Wrike is a work management tool that consolidates internal and external communication for teams of all sizes. The interface provides at-a-glance project progress and tracks goal progress for multiple teams within an organization.


  • Resource demand planning tools
  • Robust reports displaying billable and non-billable hours and team workload
  • Product roadmaps, Kanban templates and more for customized project management
  • Shareable dashboards for better collaboration


  • Good for simultaneously managing both long- and short-term projects
  • Plentiful tools for planning projects and predicting resourcing needs
  • Range of marketing and design features for creative teams
  • Automated change request process


Task Collaboration Platforms

Task management is not just about individuals getting things done. It requires real-time collaboration, and some platforms are more suited to support that than others.

 ➡️ Users experience improved collaboration — both internal and external — with Accelo.


Read on to explore four other task management platforms with collaborative features:


ActiveCollab is meant to be a workspace hub for your entire organization. It combines a variety of tools ranging from task management to time tracking and invoicing, with simple ways for teams to collaborate in each area of the platform.


  • System-wide calendar for visibility
  • Collaborative writing tool
  • Timer for tracking billable hours
  • Built-in writing tool


  • Tasks can be assigned at any point in a workflow
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface
  • Search and filtering of tasks
  • Email client integrations



Basecamp is a project and task management app known for its collaborative tools, including chats, message boards and pings. As the name suggests, it’s a singular place for teams to turn to access tasks, notes, files and conversations related to a given project.


  • File management and document collaboration
  • Automated check-ins to minimize unnecessary meetings
  • Customizable homepage with pins and reordering
  • “Lineup” timeline view of all projects in progress


  • Strong team communication features
  • Free client and guest contributor access
  • User-friendly project management tools
  • Ability to divide teams into subgroups



Nifty is a team productivity tool built with project progress automation in mind. Its collaboration tools include chat threads, file sharing and document review. The platform is used by agencies, agile development teams, legal teams and other client-based businesses to stay on top of project tasks.


  • Custom forms for workflows
  • Time tracking
  • Task automation
  • CRM with built-in chat


  • Option to convert chats into actions
  • Built-in Google Docs
  • “Swimlane” view to show milestones and tasks side-by-side
  • Portfolios to organize projects by client



Trello is a sister program to Jira, as it’s managed by Atlassian. One of the most well-known and widely used project management tools on the market, Trello integrates with many of the tools you may already use. Its structure is based on the Kanban framework of agile project management. However, it's possible to use Trello with the Scrum framework as well.


  • Simple drag-and-drop interface 
  • Task assignments for groups or individuals
  • Email notifications for deadlines and mentions
  • Rule-based automations


  • Free version available for unlimited users
  • Well-organized and user-friendly with a recognizable format and versatile uses
  • Client access with varied permissions
  • Unlimited users per team and unlimited boards for paid plans


READ MORE: Accelo vs. Trello

Task Management Software With Additional Features

There are task-tracking platforms with advanced features that go beyond project management or team collaboration. 

 ➡️ Tasks are built into a seamless client journey in Accelo — see what real users think


The following software options feature task management tools and then some:


Kintone is a work management platform with a customizable, drag-and-drop interface. It provides data management, project management, CRM and recruitment solutions for various industries.


  • Workflow management

  • No-code automation

  • Inventory management

  • CRM database


  • Clients can get free access to workspace

  • Customizable apps can be combined for each business’s unique needs

  • Built for non-tech-savvy teams

  • Ideal for non-profit organizations

Cons is a cloud-based software platform that allows businesses to build custom work management systems using a variety of apps and integrations. As a strong project portfolio management software, it’s popular for planning, organizing and tracking projects, processes and teamwork across a broad range of industries.


  • Work OS: A board- and table-based work management system with drag-and-drop capabilities and collaborative tools
  • Add-ons: monday marketer, monday sales CRM, monday projects and monday dev
  • Kanban and Gantt visualization options
  • File management


  • Ideal for internal teams for which billable rates and customer lists are irrelevant
  • Strong project portfolio management
  • Malleable for a variety of industries and use cases
  • Automations, task notifications and recurring tasks


  • Not well-suited for client-facing teams due to lack of budgets and rates
  • Work is categorized by workspace instead of attaching to a client record
  • Some users find the interface overwhelming due to number of fields and workspaces
  • Full customization of the platform requires using multiple add-ons 

READ MORE: Accelo vs.


Paymo is a business management solution built for small and medium businesses across multiple industries. The platform includes collaboration tools, time tracking and timesheet management, project management and invoicing capabilities.


  • Multiple time-tracking options, including web timer, desktop timer and mobile timer 
  • Live time reports
  • Task management with multi-user assignments, dependencies and more
  • Ability to collect online payments through PayPal, Stripe and


  • Free version for one user per month
  • Useful for tracking both fixed-rate and hourly projects 
  • Paymo Plus add-on automatically tracks time spent in every browser and desktop app
  • One-click billing


  • Limited to 50 tasks on Free and 100 tasks on Starter plans
  • Analytics are at the project level, not the company level
  • One user wishes there were more options to customize client estimates and invoices
  • Some users have had issues with payments in currencies other than the US dollar


Smartsheet is a more powerful, intuitive version of an Excel spreadsheet. The platform has built-in project management tools like Gantt charts, file sharing and collaborative features that are popular among project managers at small businesses and enterprise organizations alike.


  • Task dependencies
  • Complex process management with customizable permissions
  • Executive dashboard for easy visibility among leadership teams
  • Integrations with project management software


  • Unlimited sheets

  • Range of templates for various use cases

  • Charts with percentage readouts to track goals

  • Availability of request management and resource management tools


  • Full functionality is only available with separately priced apps
  • Limited automations on Pro (lowest) tier
  • Costly licensing structure means it’s not ideal for small to mid-sized agencies
  • One user notes that the platform “struggles to consolidate data” across sheets

Streamlined Task Tracking: A Success Story

Full-service agency DesignWorks Group had used paper-based client folders for over 30 years before they decided it was time for a change. While the business was successful in offering marketing, branding and website design services, leadership knew the lack of cross-departmental visibility could be hurting their bottom line.

Initially seeking a project management solution, Digital Marketing Director Logan Draper came across Accelo. Its task auto-scheduling and time-tracking features were just the beginning — he was excited by the possibility of attaching tasks to retainers. Previously, billing for recurring work had been a manual, time-consuming job.

With Accelo, DesignWorks left its physical filing system in the dust, endured the pandemic and took on 30% more work. They’ve saved thousands in paper costs, too.

Read the full success story. 



Offer Relief for Project Managers: Try Accelo

Your options for project task tracking software can be as complex as your projects themselves. While all of the above platforms offer individual features that can be helpful, they can’t fully function as an end-to-end solution for your client-based business. And there are tangible downsides to adopting too many disjointed software platforms.

Research by the University of California, Irvine shows that every time your employees have to switch between applications, they spend 23 minutes getting back on track. So, the platforms you adopt with the intention of easing responsibilities for your project managers could have the opposite effect.

Instead of committing to more subscriptions (and excess training time) than necessary just to get a handle on tasks, invest in one platform that does it all. Accelo connects your task management to projects and, more importantly, to a client’s complete history, including their sale(s), invoices, tickets and more.

What Is Accelo?

Accelo is a cloud-based client work management platform designed to help professional services firms, including agencies, consulting firms and MSPs, manage client relationships from prospecting and projects through to payments and retainers. The platform can handle complex projects, as it contains a wide range of project templates and auto-assigns tasks based on quoted work. It can also attach tasks to projects, client records and invoices, making it simple to follow and report on project progress and client history.

No matter your industry, you can customize Accelo to expand internal visibility, improve collaboration and increase profits.


  • Trigger automations to build custom workflows that streamline business processes
  • Client database with custom fields connecting client records to projects, tasks and billing
  • Project management tools, including automated time trackers, useful project templates and resource management  
  • Retainer tools, including contract management and recurring work automation



  • The platform may be too robust for small businesses seeking only one or two functions
  • Not the best fit for teams of under five people

Not sure if Accelo will work for your business? Check out real user feedback from three industries:

➡️ Why IT Businesses Love Accelo

➡️ What Accounting Firms Are Saying About Accelo

➡️ How These 4 Consulting Firms Use Accelo 



If you’re ready to tie your task tracking to every other stage of client work, start your free trial or schedule a demo now.


About the Author


Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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