There seem to be two types of task management systems on the Web: overloaded, feature-rich apps with top-heavy confusion built-in and glorified to-do lists and sticky note replacers. For the collaborative group that just needs the basics, but isn’t willing to waste time with something too large or use something too simple and work around what’s missing, there will soon be Thymer.
In closed beta right now, Thymer bills itself as simple, but not too simple. I got in on the private beta and gave it a few tasks and put it through some paces. It delivers on what it promises. It keeps the essentials, like task lists, time tracking, and simple collaboration, and chucks most of the other bulky stuff you don’t need, like graphs and complicated time-tracking schemas.
It’s just about perfect for the small group or collaboration of freelancers working on a project. No one needs to dedicate too much of their time to PM and everyone can focus on getting the job done. It’s so simple to use that most will figure it out in just a few minutes and simplified projects involving a small team of five or six can be done without a lot of effort wasted keeping everything together.
Thymer uses an intelligent input bar that lets you use (semi) natural language. Get too complex with your sentences and it will get confused, but keeping it simple (KISS), with chopped comments or fast entries and it will know what you’re asking for.
So instead of clicking on some things and using drop downs or entry fields to put in a date for a task deadline, you can just enter âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â‰ˆÃ¬task 4 deadline 07/01/09âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨Â¬Ã¹ and it will put it into the calendar. Estimates and who’s responsible for specific tasks can also be put in the same way. All at once if you’d like.
The main view isn’t really a Gantt chart, but more of a simple timeline, which is almost always more than enough anyway. Once to-dos are on the timeline, they can be dragged and dropped to wherever you’d like to move them. Thymer also supports in-line comments and individual or group tasking. Even better, it’s all real-time, so if someone else logs in while you’re there and makes a change, adds a comment, etc. it will pop up on your screen almost immediately.
The setup is so nicely done that I expect when Thymer enters the open market, it will become extremely popular amongst the freelancers and small shops or collaborations. They’re currently taking applications for beta keys, but there’s no guarantee. I got mine fairly quick, though, so it’s worth giving it a try if you’d like to see how it works.