April 10, 2024

App for projects

I don't need a CRM.
I only want a list of tasks I & my people can work with.
And upload some documents.
And attach some pricing and send a quote.
Can I get some reminders too?


When we picture a job, we visualize the creating, making, talking, deciding.
People in suits, coats, scrubs or jumpsuits being busy doing stuff.

But there is another, less visible part of a job. I'm sure you can guess it.
The note keeping, the planning, the collaborating with others.
The reviewing and the getting paid.
Because we usually work on the same job for a longer time and/or with others, it cannot be avoided.

This part - the admin part - is far less glamorous, sometimes tedious.

Often neglected.


You as the captain of the enterprise, are completly dependent on the invisible part.
I believe these are the things you need:

  • To see all the jobs completed (or not!). In highlights and in details.

  • Be able to adjust the course: left, right, slower or faster?

  • Make the right decision! Know who followed the plan, who did not.

  • Control costs and make profit.

  • What you need is a good app.

  • What you don't need, is to pay thousands and endure months of development every time you need to turn the ship.


First of all - who are the intended users of this app?

  1. The doers, users who do. Create, write, sell, talk, negotiate.
  2. The clients, who are involved in the tasks. Notified of progress and consulted on changes.
  3. The managers who steer the ship, ensuring the plan is followed and that the plan is improved.

All these users have a common goal, which is to make the client happy.


What are the user's needs?


Doers (and/or managers) need to plan what to do and when.
Obviously we need a calendar for this, that can:

  • Show the right time span, from single day, working week, to month.
  • Show the right tasks - for individual users, for groups and even mixed with private events.
  • Color code tasks depending on any condition, like type of task, completion etc.
  • Quickly filter tasks by any criteria
  • Create new tasks for a time slot in the calendar
  • Rescheduling tasks by drag&drop
  • Managing recurrent tasks

When new tasks are created, it is often desired to automate the task assignment - who is responsible.
Especially, when the tasks are added directly by clients.
This means we need the app to automatically choose the right person for a task.
Whether you need this feature today, or how complex the rules of assignment should be, depends very much on your use case.
Automated-assignement is rarely implemented in version 1, but from our experience it will eventually be needed.



While working on a task, we often encounter situations where we need to communicate with others.
Most commonly these are:

  • Notify others that the task was completed.
  • Request for clarification or decision, from the client or manager.
  • Progress update.

The collaboration should be frictionless, using established channels, like email.
These days it is expected to be more than text, allowing us to attach pictures and documents.
And it should be durable and organized, so that we can go back and review.


Note taking

Depending on the job at hand, a single text box can be enough.

For other cases we might need hundreds of fields of many different types.
Organized into separate sections and maybe with conditional visibility.
And sprinkled with complex calculations.

For less common or complex tasks, or for inexperienced users still another solution is needed.
Like a wizard-style UI, that guides the user. And exposes the complex process only a small step at a time.

There is no one size fits all. And your needs will change as you discover new things you want to track.

The lesson here, is simple.

  1. Choose a few priorities that you really need to know.
  2. And make sure your door is open, so that when needed, you can add more later.

Sequence of tasks - the Project

Tasks are rarely created at random, instead they are created with a goal in mind and executed according to a plan.
For example a weekly lesson, a bi-monthly client update call a quarterly service visit or a follow-up call after a sale.

The grouping of tasks working towards a goal is what we call project.

  • In sales scenarios, the project can be an sales opportunity with a client you are working on.
  • In service scenarios, the project can be an incident or case reported by a client.
  • In construction, it is the project for the client.

Thus we need a way to model the goal and plan.
This way the managers know, not only that the tasks were executed, but that the right tasks were created in the first place!

And once we have a good grip on the plan, we know what the goals are, it is straightforward to visualize progress.


Costs and Benefits

I hope you'll excuse me for stating the obvious: working on tasks generates costs and should therefore also generate income.

Once we start tracking tasks, we have a sure way to track our users' working hours.
But we can do much more. Attach products, services or a flexible write-in pricing to each task.
Again, you should start simple, but make sure you have room to expand.

With the additional information on tasks the next steps become straighforward.

  • Generate cost reports, how are your doers utilized.
  • Generate customer quotes or invoices - straight from the task. Anyway you want to work - manually or fully automated. On the 1st of each month send the bill for all completed tasks to the client.

We find that attaching financials to the tasks directly has many benefits:

  • you don't forget to bill work
  • there is no dispute about what is billed
  • for longer projects, you can bill the client every month
  • if you create tasks in advance, your client knows upfront what the cost will be
  • you don't need to copy&paste between systems, it is all in one place

Projected to win

We start with a goal and then

  1. ?
  2. ?
  3. Profit

So what are the missing pieces?

To reach the goal we need a plan.
Each step on the way to the goal is a task.
A task has to be planned.
To finish the task, we need to collaborate with others.

To make money, we need to know our costs.

At Inuko we've created an app that can do all of the above.
Moreover, we will tailor it for your needs Today. And help you adjust the app as you go.