Good task and project management software was hard to find a few years ago. Few people got further than Outlook. More recently, productivity has become an obsession of geeks everywhere, and now there is a flock of good task and project management options. But as Randall pointed out, it is easy to spend too much time on organization, and not enough on getting things done. Too many apps spoil the productivity.

Producteev (say “productive” with a French accent) allows you to manage your tasks from your email inbox or IM chat client so you don’t have to visit the website to create tasks or see what is on your to-do list. But if you do visit the website, you will find a polished interface that is a pleasure to use.

The only problem with Producteev is not really a problem with Producteev: there are so many more-mature alternatives that it is hard to justify committing to an upstart like Producteev. But if you are looking for a collaborative task- or project-management tool now, you should definitely give it a try. The chart above shows the other tools the Producteev team sees as their competition—and also what they see as Producteev’s major strengths: collaboration and “connectivity.”

By “connectivity,” Producteev seems to mean cooperation with tools like email and IM. It does those (two) things, but lots of other task-management tools do, too. (Remember the Milk, for example.) I suppose IM connectivity is nice for some, but I don’t consider it a huge advantage. I have to quibble with the chart’s collaboration axis, as well. Remember the Milk does a good job on collaboration, and so does Nozbe, if memory holds from when I tested it.

The bottom line is that every productivity tool has its user. Producteev is a great option people intimidated by Remember the Milk, but in need of more options than you can get with Outlook or TeuxDeux. It does personal task management better than Basecamp, and makes it simple to add tasks by email or IM (with more connectivity options presumably on the way).

Producteev is well worth checking out.

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