Manage the Big Picture of Your Work With Monday and Zapier
Tasks come in all shapes and sizes. They can take minutes or months to complete, have 1 or a thousand sub-tasks, and need to be done at once or in stages. A simple checkmark hides that complexity, tricking our brains to see each task as just another simple thing to finish. Some are, but others can hide a whole project under a suspiciously simple name like Launch new product or Write new book.
To-do lists and their visual simplicity match our desire for a quick way to see what needs done. But you also need to account for the phases tasks need to go through, the writing then editing then publishing process for a blog post or the design then building then testing then shipping process for a new product. And that's what Monday is designed to help you track.
Monday—formerly dapulse—keeps your projects looking simple, with just a list of tasks that at first look like a standard to-do list organized into sets of tasks. There's two things that make it different: the columns on the right side, and the updates and info boxes you'll see when you click on a task.
Each list on a Monday board can include status, person, text, and date columns on the right. The latter 3 are straightforward: they let you assign a task to a coworker, give it a due date, and add a description. Status, on the other hand, are color-coded text tags that let you add any data you want to a task list. You could add 3 status columns, say, for writing, editing, and publishing, then add up to 11 labels to each column to list the various progress levels (say: planned, started, half-way, nearly done, finished, delayed, and canceled) for that phase of the workflow. As you work on a task, just click the status button in the correct phase of that task's work, and select the level label you're on right then. You can then quickly skim over a task list and see by colors exactly where every task stands.
That's enough to give your tasks a workflow. Since each list can have its own set of columns—while still showing up in the same project—you can easily make the more complex tasks stand out, while grouping the simple tasks in a list perhaps with only 1 column.
Then, you can add the extra details needed about each task: notes, files, details about the work done so far, and more. Just click the task, and Monday will open a pane on the right where you can write updates and add info boxes. Updates are much like social media posts: just write what's happened recently in the task, and it'll show up on that task and the My Feed page in Monday that pulls updates together from all the tasks. Info Boxes, then, let you add notes (for details about the task), files, and a unique Q&A section. That lets you list questions and answers about the task—a great way to pull in discussions your team has had about the task and turn it into orderly lists of info.
With all of your tasks, workflows, questions and answers in one place, Monday will quickly become the one place where your team's status updates, ideas, files and more take shape. And its filtering and search tools make it easy to still find anything you need. You can view a log of any board, filter for types of data, or search for text across boards, updates, and files. Then, if you need to get in touch with a team member about something, just click the team icon to see a directory of everyone's names, emails, phone number, birthday and location, so you'll never have to go searching for contact info again.
If you need a tool to organize your tasks and push them towards completion, Monday's flexible status and columns might be the tool you need. It'll keep you up to date on where tasks stand, and help you keep in touch with your team at the same time.
Learn more about project management systems—and how to build one that works well for your team—in our Project Management 101 guide.
Originally published May 4, 2016; updated December 12, 2017 with new Monday branding and features.