The key to success in the task management space, among so many other things, is offering a product that integrates with as many services as possible while keeping things simple. When it comes to task management, complexity in a service is, put simply, a no-no. There are a lot of task managers out there, and many of them are thriving. As each company and workforce has its own requirements, they pick and choose. Some prefer Basecamp, while Facebook Founder Dustin Moskovitz’s group task manager Asana has been turning heads. (It’s even up for a Crunchie Award this year.) Or there’s Apollo, ProTasker, and many more.
Each of these startups and companies approaches the problem in a slightly different way — some are group task managers, while others focus on individuals. Some are project-oriented, others focus on CRM. When it comes to the group/individual split, Producteev tries to find a balance. The New York City-based startup has created a minimalist, user-friendly interface that’s channel agnostic, and throws in some game mechanics for good measure. (Disclosure: TechCrunch uses Producteev to manage event-related tasks.)
Granted, I’m biased, as my experience using Producteev has been largely without hiccups, but there were a few holes in Producteev’s catalog when it came to finding a unified product across more than a couple of platforms. Today, Producteev is unveiling a slew of new apps, including a significantly upgraded web app, iPhone and Android mobile apps, and new Windows 7 and Mac desktop apps. The startup is reaching for the (asymptotic?) goal of universal, or at least cross-platform, task management, as professionals and businesses want (and need) to create and store tasks across platforms, devices, and services — from email and IMs to voicemails and notes.
Today marks a big step forward for Producteev, as the service now leverages the cloud to sync its new apps, managing tasks and to-do lists across most of today’s popular devices and platforms. As to its traction since launching in 2008? Producteev Co-founder Ilan Abehassera tells us that more than 1,000 business customers are now using the service, including Orbitz, Trulia, Logitech, Financial Times, and Boston College, and more than 7 million tasks have been created to date. More than 50 percent of its clients are checking in more than once a week, and the co-founder also said that the startup raised another round of venture investment late last year, adding to its existing bank of $1.3 million.
While it still has miles to go, Producteev has had early success thanks to (I’d say some great customer service), but also because of its integration with a full roster of complementary and competing services, like Google Apps, Google Tasks, Astrid, Gmail, IM clients, etc. And today, Producteev is making a play at boosting the social functionality of its task management service by integrating with TaskRabbit — as it becomes the first to use the popular collaborative consumption service’s newly-launched API. By using TaskRabbit and Producteev in tandem, users can now outsource any task from Producteev to TaskRabbit with one click, in the hopes of driving the adoption of social crowdsourcing via task management.
On top of that, the startup is releasing new mobile apps for iPhone and Android that work in conjunction with mobile and cloud services, enabling users to add and designate tasks, set deadlines and upload files, or generate reports while on the go. They’ve also released a native Windows app for Windows 7, so that PC users can manage their tasks from their desktop in the same manner as they can from its mobile apps.
Both the new Windows app and Producteev’s updated Web app come with a slew of upgrades (the Web app has a whole new UI), which you can learn more about here. The CEO tells us that the company is set on building the Evernote/Dropbox for task management, and while it still has a ways to go, boosting their cross-platform offerings (and clever strategic integration with TaskRabbit) certainly put the right foot forward.