How do you manage inter-organisational tasks?

Modern knowledge workers are rarely expected to complete tasks for a single organisation/workplace/group/team. Most of us have responsibilities in multiple organisations at the same time. Example:
1. Primary workplace
2. Freelance work
3. Recreational groups / clubs
4. Children's sports team
5. Household related tasks
etc. etc...

Your primary workplace might use a company-controlled Asana account to assign and manage your tasks. For your Freelance work you might use your own account and assign and manage tasks with your clients from there. Your recreational groups might use a shared Todoist list. You and your spouse might use a shared Apple Reminders list as a Shopping list or for household chores, etc. And you see where this is going...

Getting a simple overview of your daily tasks is very difficult. And having these tasks organised by priority is almost impossible.

And even if you could somehow force all of these different groups you're involved with to use the same task/project-management platform, it would still be difficult since merging multiple organisations is not possible (or very troublesome at best).

So my question is:
-How do you manage inter-organisational tasks?

And more specifically:
-How do you get an overview?
-How do you manage your priorities?
-How do you achieve all of this efficiently?

maguay's avatar
2 years ago

In my former team at Zapier, this was a problem we had where editorial tasks would come in through Trello (later Airtable), UX copy-related tasks would come in through JIRA, bugs and quick site fix related stuff in GitHub, freelance-related tasks came in through email, and then there would often be random tasks in the HR app, Slack, and other tools throughout the week.

Most people on the team solved that with Zapier app automations. You'd end up then with a handful of team apps that had Zaps watching for new tasks that were assigned to you, and would then have Zapier either notify you in Slack of the new tasks (where you could almost use your Slackbot channel as an ongoing to-do list), or have Zapier add your tasks to a personal to-do list (Todoist and Things were popular, as were personal Trello boards). The trick there was to have Zapier add the task and include a link to the original task in the description.

Then you'd basically manage all of the tasks that were assigned to you in your personal to-do list app, alongside everything else you'd written down. And when you checked off a task, you'd need to either have a Zap that watched for checked off tasks and then completed the task in the other app (something that worked in Todoist, but not every to-do list app), or you'd need to click the link to the original task in the personal to-do's description to update the progress in the team app.

Gets a bit messy, but that at least gives you a way to centralize all of your tasks without going too crazy.

4 points
MelanieCrissey's avatar
2 years ago

This is going to be a boring but true answer: my calendar.

If I have a task that's important enough to get done by a specific date, I:
- Put a block of time on my calendar to complete that work
- Link any related details (the Asana task line, the Google doc link, etc.) into the calendar event

If any given project takes more time than expected, I just expand the time block and move other projects to the next day.

I'm a night owl and need time to ramp up into creative work, so I put more creative projects (research, writing) at the end of the day and knock out minor to-dos (email follow-ups, admin stuff) in the morning.

And, I put all of my personal tasks (events, yoga, chores, lunch breaks) on my work calendar, too. Combining calendars reduces overhead and makes it easier for me to spot when things are out of balance.

My one unified calendar is my overview and I create space for what's important.

4 points
pixendrit's avatar
2 years ago

I use workflowy for everything task and knowledge related, and habitica for everything personal. In workflowy, I use dates and @active tag for tasks that im working on. When they're done i just complete them. I try to keep everything simple even though it gets a little bit hard to keep up sometimes. Now I'm trying Obsidian, which is a Roam Research alternative because I'm still in the waiting list there. I loved the idea of interconnecting everything and it's basically what I've wanted from workflowy since the beginning. Right now I'm transferring notes to Obsidian and just seeing if it fits my needs. As I said, I don't really need reminders for task management because I use the Eisenhower matrix and I like to schedule my day from the start with the priorities already set. So all I need is a neat and simple text editor that has notes, dates, tags, bidirectional links seems to be what I want now too, but I can function pretty well with workflowy too, if this doesnt work well for me, workflowy is my main choice as a daily driver.

2 points
Vats's avatar
2 years ago

We use a combination of Trello and Confluence. Love Atlassian products!!

2 points
adamanzzz's avatar
@adamanzzz (replying to @Vats )
2 years ago

Jira works well too!

1 point
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