The recent release of Confluence 4.3 had one purpose: make teams everywhere more productive so they can get more work done, together. The key is focusing on the most important deliverables, and eliminating distractions while you work on them. For Confluence, that meant streamlining where your team works and how your team tracks the progress of its work. That’s why we introduced tasks, a new way to keep yourself and your team on top of all your most important work, in one place – Confluence.
How are Confluence Tasks different?
Face it, we’ve all tried them…task management apps. You get all excited thinking you’re going to be instantly more productive. You create a laundry list of all the tasks you need to get done, and then what happens? Nothing. Just like email, these apps silo your tasks away from where you actually get work done. At the end of the day, tasks are useless without context.
Tasks in Confluence are different. They’re tightly integrated with all of your work in Confluence. They’re contextual. Whether they’re assigned to you from a page, created from a notification, or a personal task you’ve created yourself, Confluence Tasks help you stay on-track and deliver real results.
You can access your complete task list from your WorkBox, where you can prioritize and add new personal tasks, and you can create new and assign tasks right within your Confluence pages. Let’s take a look at all the ways you can use Confluence tasks to keep yourself and your team on track.
Manage team tasks
You can create tasks and assign them to your co-workers right inside your Confluence pages where they have real context. It’s as easy as inserting a bulleted or numbered list, just click on the task list icon in the editor toolbar. Use @mentions to assign tasks to other members of your team. Team tasks are perfect for for meeting action items, release checklists, and project plans.
When you assign a task to a teammate they’ll receive a notification with a description of the task as well as a link to the Confluence page where it is located, so they have all the context they need to start working on it. It’s much easier to assign tasks in the flow of creating a page in Confluence, than switching to another app to send them a task or setting up a meeting to discuss tasks that you want them to complete. Put your tasks alongside the rich content you create and share in Confluence that helps you and your teammates get real work done.
Manage personal tasks
Every Confluence user has their own personal task list – the one place to track all of your tasks. You can manage all the small things that get added to your plate during the normal work day, all of your personal tasks, and important tasks you create from Confluence Notifications. With one view for all your tasks you can easily set-up your day by prioritizing your tasks using drag-and-drop, and adding notes to give you all the information you need to get started. Use your personal task list as your one-stop-shop for preparing for your work day, and focusing in on what’s most important in your personal and professional life.
Create tasks from notifications
Last week we looked at how to use new Confluence Notifications to help your team stay productive. One of the great features of Confluence 4.3 is the tight integration between Tasks and Notifications. You can find both in your WorkBox and when you receive an important Notification, you can add it to your Personal Task list in a single click so you can stay focused on the task at hand.
3 Ways to use tasks in Confluence
1. Meeting agendas
Yesterday Ryan went into detail about how constant meetings cost you and your company precious productive time and money. While we want to help you get rid of all pointless meetings, having to attend some meetings is unavoidable. Luckily, with Confluence, there is a way to get the most out of every meeting that you do have to attend.
For all your important meetings we recommend creating and sharing a meeting agenda in Confluence. On your meeting agenda page you can use tasks to assign action items from the meeting to those responsible for each item. Now when you hold a meeting you can leave with clear objectives and have a record of all your work that is accessible to everyone.
Pro-tip: Create a Meeting Agenda template
2. Project plans
For most teams hitting project milestones and completing projects on time is the most important metric of success. For these teams it is important to constantly track the progress of your team and for everyone to stay on task to hit your targets. This can be difficult if you are apart of a large cross-functional team project that spans across different offices, teams, and countries, or if you are working on a smaller project were goals are not being clearly tracked. In either case, Confluence offers a great way to track the progress of your projects on project planning pages. For every product release that Atlassian has, every major event that we hold, or for any inside project that we work on there is a project planning page located in Confluence.
In these project planning pages we use tasks to make sure that everyone knows what they are responsible for in the project. When a task is assigned in a project page the user is automatically sent a notification with a link to the project page and a note with what they have been assigned. Whenever a task is completed, the user who created the task is notified that it has been completed. So, your project managers stay up-to-date with what has been completed and what still needs to be worked on. With everything in one place it’s easy for managers and executives to keep track of all the high level goals as well as micro-level tasks. It’s also easy for everyone to see how the team is tracking without the need for pointless meetings.
3. Release checklists
Staying on top product releases can be a challenging chore especially if you have multiple products, or cross-functional teams that work closely together, but aren’t in the same office. In order to get everyone on the same page for your releases you can create a release checklist page. Use tasks in your release checklist page to assign specific feature work, budgeting responsibilities, and marketing activities. With a release checklist your development, product management, and marketing teams can all stay in-touch with each other, and be in-the-know if there is a major setback that will effect a release. Each team can also see which tasks need to be completed during crunch time before a release and also identify any potential bottlenecks that may hold the release back.
Start using Confluence Tasks today
Start a free 30-day Confluence evaluation today and see how you can reclaim productivity in your office.
Stay tuned next week as Ryan continues the series on Collaboration Best Practices with a post on how much trivial interruptions are costing your company in productivity. We’ll also take an in depth look at how you can use Confluence Mobile to stay on task from anywhere.