This blog article is based on a recording of a conference about the project management tool MeisterTask, which you can also watch. Otherwise you can read the article. Just learn how it suits you best!
Digital project management can become a challenge, especially when there are a large number of people involved and different tasks to be completed. It quickly becomes disorganized and confusing: what is to be done at all? Who is responsible for what? When are the tasks due?
To deal with this problem, people use online tools like MeisterTask, which is designed for online task management . It is about the digital organization and structuring of projects to simplify management. In the wake of the pandemic, which has required much of the work to be done remotely, such tools have grown in importance. The tool was presented by Jana Piske at a conference together with HandsonEhrenamt.
What is MeisterTask?
MeisterTask is a tool for the Kanban method in project management. It is a Kanban style board provider, and creates an overview of all tasks within the project. This gives the team the opportunity to work flexibly.
How does MeisterTask work?
In the profile page, where you arrive first, you can see all the projects you are currently working on on the left. You can have access to different boards at the same time, with each project corresponding to its own board. On the side is also a checklist with the tasks and the agenda: what to do and by when, what’s assigned to whom, etc. This is the dashboard (little house icon).
If you click on a project, you will see different columns. Each column corresponds to the status of a task: Ideas, Tasks, In progress, Feedback, Done, Important Info. The columns can be created individually. We suggest the following columns for successful project management:
Ideas always appear in the work process. Ideas are collected in the ideas column. Ideas can be entered here completely unfiltered. Every quick thought counts and can serve as a basis for the further development of the project. As they get more specific, they go into the task column.
In the Tasks column are Tickets where the tasks are stored. In the tickets you can add notes and information or even a checklist to the task. You should be able to find all the information you need to complete the task there. Each task can be assigned to someone or remain open until someone takes over. Everyone in the team can enter and assign tasks, take them on themselves or leave them open. MeisterTask allows all sorts of assignments. How the assignment should happen in your organization depends heavily on your organizational culture. When you introduce Meistertask in your organization, you should clarify in advance whether all or only selected people can assign tasks. If you have any questions, you can also ask them directly in the ticket, addressed to someone personally from the team or to everyone. You can also write comments there and edit them.
Although there are no upper and lower categories in the task column, there is an overview of the tasks that the team has set and must complete, regardless of whether there is already an assignee. All tasks are equally weighted in this column. You could add a new column and prioritize it if needed. But there is the possibility to filter by adding colored tags in the tickets. The tags appear in the task column and you can use them to sort the tickets with the tasks.
“In progress” column
When someone accepts responsibility for the task, the task moves to the edit column. In the processing column you can then see who is to be assigned which task. Only one person can be responsible per ticket, but you can register as an observer of a task. This way you can watch the progression of it and get notifications when something changes.
If you have completed a task but would still like to receive feedback on it, you can place it in the feedback column. The others in the team can give feedback on it. Either by asking someone in particular for feedback in the comments, or by having someone on the team voluntarily take some time to provide feedback. Depending on the task, you can also skip this column if no feedback is needed.
After feedback from others in the team, the task succeeds in the Done column. Then, it can be completed using the complete button and then appear as a completed task. How long the processing took and how many people were involved is shown at this point. This is significant for evaluating the progress of the project by seeing where and how much effort was put into it.
“Important info” column
In volunteer work, the teams are mostly dynamic. There are always new contributors who don’t know the tool yet or don’t have access to the communication channels. In the Important Info column, you can provide support for these people on how to use the tool. It acts as a bulletin board by displaying messages with info in the form of tickets. In our organization we also like to use it to record important dates for everyone.
Our 5 recommendations
To get the most out of project management via MeisterTask, here are a few good tips:
#1 Provide a self-explanatory title:
The idea here is to set small-scale tasks that make the division simpler and easier. This simplifies digital work with many contributors. Thus, it is relevant to provide attractive and direct titles in the tickets so that the task becomes clear and specific. You should be able to understand most of the task without having to open the description.
#2 Choose columns so that the tasks move from left to right
You can choose the columns according to your needs, but Tasks, In Progress, Feedback and Done columns are recommended. The tasks run from left to right in the board: idea, task, in progress, feedback, done. The project then appears flowing and motivates to work on it quickly.
#3 Keep tasks after completion
In MeisterTask you have the option of putting the tasks in the recycle bin after they have been completed and thus deleting them. However, it is recommended that you keep them until the end of the project. This can serve to better evaluate the project by examining afterwards which tasks were the most difficult. It is also very motivating for the team to see how the list of tasks keeps getting empty while the successfully completed tasks keep increasing.
#4 Download the app from MeisterTask
In MeisterTask you always have to log in to view the board. With the app (for Android and for IOS) you get notifications in your mobile phone when changes occur or deadlines are approaching. If you have the free version of the tool, it’s especially handy since you can’t sync your calendar with due dates.
#5 Do a joint introduction at the beginning
Since MeisterTask can be very well adapted to any organization, it is relevant to take two or three hours to do an introduction together. The more contributors get used to the tool, the better it works and the more organized the project becomes. In this way, everyone gets an overview and the board can create this in an organization-specific manner, ie according to the needs of the organization. At Fairlinked we also offer workshops on how to use MeisterTask successfully. Sign up for our newsletter to be informed about the next webinar or contact us directly for a training for your team.
Free X Paid Version
The paid version of MeisterTask has certain advantages. As already mentioned, you can sync your calendar with the deadlines in the paid version. In this way, you can view your professional commitment as a whole by bringing all the to-dos together. In the free version you only see the deadlines, without synchronization. In the paid version, the periods of all tasks that you specify manually are also organized in a colored chart in the calendar. This results in an overview of the effort in each task, which can also be relevant for the evaluation of the project.
The free version is sufficient for many projects. It’s a complete project management tool and unlimited team members can join. Only the number of available boards is limited. I would recommend you to try the tool in the free version first and then upgrade to the paid version if necessary. For a full comparison of features in the free and paid versions, see here.
Use MeisterTask GDPR-compliant
If you work with personal data as part of your work, you must conclude a data processing agreement with MeisterTask. You can find the option in your profile under general terms and conditions. There you click on the option to sign a data protection agreement and thus be on the safe side. The agreement is completed in a few minutes and should definitely be completed by someone from the organization. The server location of the service provider is in Frankfurt. You can find detailed instructions on the data processing agreement in this blog article here.
In the article, MeisterTask was presented as a solution and method for digital task management. The boards give you an overview of all tasks and their process in the project. This allows you to work clearly and flexibly with the help of the various tools shown. The advantage is that the design of the board and the assignment of tasks remain free. This gives you different ways to customize each board to each organization. A retrospective evaluation of the project is also simplified by MeisterTask by being able to see the effort after the tasks have been completed. Accept our recommendations to get the most out of the digital project management tool and try MeisterTask for yourself!