By: MeisterLabs GmbH
MeisterTask is a project management software and one of the best alternative to Trello. It allows users to create boards and cards to track activity. The platform is easily integrated to their sister product MindMeister as well which is a leading Mind Map software. Apart from cloud based platform it is also available on Desktop as well as mobile.
MeisterTask is a project management software that can be used on the cloud as well as downloadable on various operating systems. The application strives to make the handling of your tasks easier by separating them under various sections.
MeisterTask is owned by MeisterLabs which is also popular for its mind mapping software - MindMeister. The primary goal of the product is to simplify the management of various projects.
In this review, we will go through each aspect to bring forward the characteristics of this application. We will also try to find how management ease is delivered here.
Starting with the dashboard, we will move to the project window to reach the available options. One by one, every feature is examined to identify the advantages and limitations.
Furthermore, there are integrations provided which you can use utilize along with the application to widen its functionality.
Talking about the integrations, we have stressed on MeisterTask’s use with MindMeister. As both the products are offered by the same company, this fusion is exclusive. Hence, you will get the idea whether using MindMeister would improve the management or not.
Finally, the conclusion would be drawn on the basis of features, ease of use, and efficiency of handling the tasks.
MeisterTask’s dashboard is designed in such a way that it readily informs the user about the tasks that he needs to do.
The “My Tasks” section present on the dashboard is easily approachable, and we think that is the most crucial section that requires attention.
From here, without opening the project, you can check the tasks. There are sorting options present under this tab which lets you prioritize the imperative tasks.
You get the option to sort it according to the due date. That assists you to finish the required tasks before the deadline by putting the tasks on the top which has the closest due date.
Another sorting option that we would like to mention it here is the project. You can sort it according to the project which is added first. So, for finding out the tasks which are related to the project that is started recently, you need to scroll down.
There is one more option which arranges the tasks according to the alphabetical order. When you assign random names to the tasks, the option may not be helpful.
However, when you write the task as “A-finding new advertisement” where A indicates the priority level, this will automatically appear on the top when you sort according to the name.
You can also give indications with the help of the tags which we will discuss in “Adding a Task” section.
Right to the “My Tasks,” you will find a notification window which will keep you up to date with all the activities taking place. You can check the activities in detail for a specific project on the activity panel by opening that project.
On the left panel of the dashboard, you have a project section that keeps a separate list for Active, Archive, and Team Projects. You can select one of the three choices, and the list of projects from that category will appear there.
There could be a possibility that you would be dealing with multiple projects related to one field. In such cases, it would be better when you place these projects under one heading. On MeisterTask, you can create project groups which act as a heading, i.e., you can separate projects under separate titles.
Alternately, they could have also provided an option to separate them by placing tags; the similar way that they provide for creating tasks.
The dashboard is kept simple. All the major features can only be discovered by exploring a project. However, one suggestion that we would like to put here is they can add a calendar view on the dashboard.
A calendar providing details about tasks and their respective due dates would be very helpful to prioritize the work and finish them before the end date. One should also be able to go through the task just by clicking on the date.
You can choose to “Add Task” from the dashboard itself or select to add it after opening a project. We will let you know about the ease and issues that you may face while setting up a project in the next section. You will also know about adding other members to MeisterTask.
On the dashboard window, a plus sign is clearly visible after the heading “Projects.” Clicking on the plus sign will allow you to add a new project on MeisterTask.
There is an option for creating a project group, which we discussed in the previous section. You can also import the projects from Trello, Asana, and Wunderlist. For the current case, let’s select “New Project” after which the “New Project” window will appear as shown in the image added below.
You can either choose to add the team members while setting up the project or after you open the project window.
We would recommend you invite users through the “New Project” window as it will save time. You can even add an access level to the members you are going to add: Administrator, Member, Commenter, and Read-only.
You can invite different users through a single invite by adding their email addresses under the title “Share the projects with others.” But you can’t assign different access levels to them, i.e., the access level you select from scroll bar is applicable for all the members for that invite.
When you want to send different access levels, you need to send the invites separately. It can be improved by adding multiple input areas where you can add the email and set the access level along with it.
Somewhat flexibility is also provided when the visibility of the project is taken into consideration. You can make the project visible to all the team member or only the members whom you have selected for the project.
They can also add a custom option where you can choose all users who can view the project irrespective of the fact whether they are in the team or not. After you click on the “Create Project” button, the job is done.
That would be the simplest way by which you set a project. After you set the project, you will find some predefined sections that you can change and add new sections. Each section defines a status according to which team manages the project.
The tasks which you create, go to the leftmost panel. You can just drag and drop them to whichever section you like.
Let’s have a look at adding a task and what information you can add while entering it.
The first thing that you need to select while adding the task is the project to which it is associated, and the section in which it will appear.
After providing the information, a new window appears where you need to add some more details about the task.
Remember, even after you assign the project and section, you have the flexibility to change the task. You can even switch the project to which it belongs.
You can add a checklist to the task which will take care of the subtasks that you need to perform to finish it. For adding more information to a task, you have the option to attach files to it. You can choose the file from a local drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and MindMeister.
Set a due date for it, add tags, create a list of users to whom the task remains visible, and finally assign it to a team member.
There can be tasks which you require assigning to more than a single user. But one task can only be assigned to one person here. They can add the option that allows two or more users to share a task.
However, for adding watchers, there is no such limit. You can select everyone as a watcher to that task or allow no watchers.
There are some more additional features such as converting a task into a project. You can use it when you find a task huge enough that it deserves to be called as a separate project.
After assigning it, click anywhere on the screen and the project will be added to the dashboard. Activity Panel and Filter Options
Filtering holds high importance when a lot of tasks related to a project are included. When you are the administrator of a group, you need to keep track of all the tasks assigned.
However, it won’t be easy to learn about all of them as the screen would contain a lot of information. Filtering lets the user check the data one by one that decreases the possibility of getting confused.
There are four filter options offered by the application: filter by tags, select the tasks of a particular member, according to the due date, and the status of the task.
Moving to the tags section first, consider particular tasks which are of high priority, and you have assigned a tag named “Priority” to them. You just need to click on the “Priority” tag, and only the task which has this tag will appear on the project screen.
As an admin, it is also important to keep your eyes on the team members, and tasks that they need to perform. For that, you can use Followed By filter option. However, you can’t select two team members at the same time. Here, a provision of multiple selections is required.
The Due Date filter has extensive options which you can view in the image above. However, the options added here are fixed, and you can’t filter the dates according to the custom time intervals.
For instance, if you want to view the tasks which have a due date before a particular date, it won’t be possible using MeisterTask.
We cannot think of any additional filters that MeisterTask can add. However, they can improve the present filters according to the suggestions made in the review.
There is an activity panel present adjacent to the filter options. It shows what activity has taken place along with its time. It also shows the name of the person who has conducted the activity. However, you will only be able to see the activities related to the tasks which you are permitted to watch.
Impressively, it highlights the due date which helps the user to keep track of the work. From the activity window, you can also find out who has assigned the job and to whom.
A project in MeisterTask has predefined properties which a user can change. In MeisterTask, the properties window also contains features which can be used to improve productivity. These features are related to automation, detailing of a task, and Adding members.
You can either choose to add a member through the project board itself or else you can do it through the project properties. There is an option to invite the team member by sending him an email or else you can generate a link.
The basic feature which controls the visibility of a project is also present here. You can choose whether you want a project to remain visible to the project team only or all the members. You can have a look at the overview window below.
Also, for adding integrations, you need to visit project properties. Along with the add-ons, there are some more features present which are time tracking, task relationship, and roles and premium. Roles and Premium feature confines the ability of other team members to perform certain tasks.
In addition to an inbuilt time tracker, there is also an integration. When you turn on the inbuilt time tracker, it appears on the task. You can start and stop the tracker whenever you want to.
It helps a lot to know about the time spent by you or a team member on a particular task. The recorded time will appear on the clock icon that appears on the right side of the top bar after you turn on the time tracking.
They have added a section in statistics where you can view reports regarding the tracked time. Harvest, which is an integration can also be used to generate time tracking reports.
Moving to the next feature which is really an useful one- specify a relationship between two tasks. After you turn this feature on, a new relationship tab will be added to the task window.
You can select the relationship which fits perfectly for your task. That will help others to prioritize the tasks explaining which are needed to be done first.
The third option present on the properties contains the automation feature. Here you can automate the movement of a task, i.e., when a task is created, to which section it should move.
The other options that come under automation are automatic time tracking, adding a checklist, updating status, due date and tag, and sending automated emails and slack messages.
From the project properties section, you can create as many checklists as you want & add them to the tasks. Checklist, as we already mentioned, divides a task into smaller segments making it easier to manage. Similarly, you can create tags too and include them to any task.
Before we provide you the information on how these two programs work together, we should let you know what MindMeister is. It is a cloud-based program that helps to create mind maps.
These mind maps can be useful for discussions, and thus, companies use them to brainstorm and confer. You can have a look at MindMeister’s detailed review on our website.
As we said, companies use mind maps for discussion, there is no doubt that it is beneficial for users, but to what extent? That we will know from the current section.
For switching to MindMeister, you need to go to the dashboard and click on the avatar present on the top right corner. It will open a dialog box from where you can open the MindMeister.
Here, we can’t go through the whole designing process as it would take the review off-track. We can provide you with an opinion about the efficiency of the integration.
After you create a MindMap, you can select various parts of the mind maps and those parts will act as tasks. When your other team members join MindMeister, their avatar will appear on the application’s footer.
You can drag different parts of the mind map to the avatar to assign tasks to a team member. Now, let’s compare the details about the task that we can add through MindMeister to details that we can add through Meistertask.
In both cases, you can add attachments, but you can’t add a checklist through MindMeister. That you can only do after you import the tasks.
You can’t add watchers too, so probably the task will be visible to everyone who is in the team. You can customize the watchers list from MeisterTask. Same for the multiple tags options. There is no way to add tags on MindMeister which are present on MeisterTask. You can only assign priority to a task through MindMeister.
All these show the limitations which the integration has while creating a task. However, these will be easily removed by editing the tasks while you manage the project.
However, the mind mapping app allows you to set duration for a task, but it is not possible to set the duration in the project management application.
Some improvements are required, but still, you can just create a mind map and set its various parts as a task. It reduces the load of creating and assigning the tasks multiple time.
In MindMeister, you can simply select all the tasks related to one team member and drag it to its avatar. But in MeisterTask, you need to assign the task one by one.
So, it would, not significantly but slightly improve the functionality of the application.
We have already discussed an important integration which is MindMeister. However, there are seven more integrations which you can use view on MeisterTask’s power-ups window such as Zapier, Harvest, and Bitbucket.
These integrations come under “Power-ups” section as they give more power to the user to have better management.
Our main job is to find out what these integrations add to the application and how they improve its working. You can view five of them in the below-added screenshot.
Zapier allows different applications to connect. However, explaining how it is done would not be possible here as it is not the right place.
But you must know when you connect MeisterTask to various other application present on Zapier, you need to do it for specific activities. In other words, it would be a time-consuming task to fuse two applications completely. In spite of this, you can use it for fulfilling necessary requirements.
For instance, you can connect MeisterTask and Gmail, and can choose to get a mail whenever a new task is added. You can do the same when there is a notification on MeisterTask. But wishing to get a mail for every activity going on requires a lot of effort.
Harvest is an essential add-on as time tracking is a prime factor on which project management depends. With harvest you can add a timer to each task. Every task for which timer was turned on is added to the report section.
Although timer is provided as integration, you need to purchase Harvest additionally. In our opinion, you can use the inbuilt time tracker which we have already discussed under project properties. This will save the additional cost that the user needs to bear while purchasing Harvest.
You can directly generate task and assign them through Zendesk. That uplifts communication as ticket can be converted into a task; thus, this integration improves the overall efficiency of the application.
You can also connect MeisterTask to BitBucket and Github. Another integration is Slack, but if Slack were absent, you could have used Zapier to connect to Slack. Similarly, there could be many more programs that can be fused with MeisterTask using Zapier.
Preferences contains the settings related to the notification and appearance. Notification options may not appear significant, but it actually plays a vital role in tracking the work. Besides the option to permit sound for incoming notification and enabling desktop notification, there is much more you can find here.
Clicking on “More Notification Settings” will take you to advanced notification options which are shown in the image. These options are related to email notifications, and about the newsletter that contains information about the new features added to the application.
You can also allow MeisterTask to send you due date reminders. This helps the user to finish the task before the set date.
In the notification window, you will also find the link to change the language and time zone. You can choose the language out of twelve different options provided.
When it comes to appearance, the settings are divided into two categories: General and Tasks. There is a provision to change the width of the section. You can’t change the width according to your necessity, but at least you can alter it by selecting one of these options: Small, Medium, and Large.
The other features are related to tasks which you can check in the image that we have added. You can hide the task description by choosing “Don’t Show” option provided in front of a task description.
Statistics directly helps to learn about the progress of projects. Under the statistics tab, you can find a graph describing the performance over a period.
Filter options are also available by which you can check the performance for a specific project. You can also choose the period for which you want to check the performance.
In case you want to track the progress for a particular team member, you are free to do that.
There are separate reports for Open Tasks, Completed Tasks, Overdue Tasks, Upcoming Tasks, and Long-Running Tasks. The reports can be presented in the Table as well as calendar view.
The information regarding the date when the task was assigned and to whom it was assigned is also given in these reports. For the completed job, the date on which task was completed is provided.
There is a time tracking window also, but it only tracks the time for tasks for which tracker has been enabled manually.
MeisterTask doesn’t complicate the user interface by putting unnecessary options on a window. The application is designed keeping in mind that the project should be managed effortlessly.
Looking at the dashboard, one can state that the software is easy to explore. From the dashboard, you can reach any feature that you want.
When you open the project window, the properties, additional features, and filter option are kept separate to avoid confusion.
You can integrate it with MindMeister which provides you with the opportunity to perform brainstorming using mind maps. You can directly generate and assign a task from MindMeister itself. Those tasks can be imported to MeisterTask and will appear on the leftmost section of a project.
We have also discussed the application’s marketplace which contains prominent integrations. However, there are only seven as of now, and adding more would be beneficial.
Overall, the application is good enough to handle multiple tasks at the same time for both small and large teams. But there could be some confusion when multiple tasks move from one section to another at the same time. For that, you can use activity and filter options that they have added.
In case you wish to try the application yourself, there is a basic plan available for free. You can use it but with limited features. However, it will give you a good idea about working for the product.
Company Name: MeisterLabs GmbH