Casual: Online Project Management Re-Imagined

Project Management software is a big business nowadays, as companies try to find various online applications that will help run their businesses more smoothly. It’s a serious challenge for software companies since business processes vary from industry to industry. For example:

  • The construction industry uses Gantt-Charts to manage and track their progress.
  • Programmers use Kanban during their “sprints” when building software.
But sometimes we need a visual workflow to describe a project, a mind-map that has a structure of a step by step plan.

This is exactly what Casual is all about – an online management application that allows you and your team to build and execute projects quickly and easily.

How does Casual work?

You construct your project by dragging task-boxes on a canvas creating a mind-map like plan.

Once the project has been constructed – you can assign executors to each task and set deadlines. When you have done all that – Casual will automatically generate a task list for each team member who is participating in the project. This list will prioritize the tasks for every team member so that everyone will know what they are doing.

Casual: Online Project Management 1

In addition, every task has comments and notes section where a team can state any changes or updates on a task.

As well as discussing a task, users can import files to each task (either via Dropbox or Google drive). This provides a great deal of versatility since simple mind mapping software doesn’t have these kinds of flexibility.

Apart from commenting and adding files, all tasks can be synced with the Google calendar.

Another great feature is the ability to group tasks into a “Complex Task”, just like you can see on the image below.

Casual: Online Project Management 2

This comes in very handy when you don’t want to overload your project plan. It helps you maintain a clean and simple workflow that is a pleasure to work on.

Project managers will love this next bit:

You receive daily notifications that have a summary on what has been done on a project through the day (any edits to tasks or changes in the project plan as a whole). Also – you can export your project as a PDF or as interactive “Snapshot” – it’s a separate URL that you can email to anyone and it will have all the tasks on the page.

Casual makes it super easy for Project Managers to track what their team is doing and be on top of things 24/7.

Pros and Cons about the Casual:

Let’s start with the Pros:

1) Projects on Casual are like templates.

If you have repetitive projects that your team is doing over and over – Casual is a no-brainer. I am sure it will be very useful to Real Estate companies that have many projects that are repeated over and over that have the same structure – for example when tenants move out of the apartment. Casual will save SO MUCH time for these companies.

2) Another unique thing about Casual is that it shows task dependencies on a visual workflow.

This feature is incredibly useful for project managers since they can easily identify who is working on what and identifying potential bottlenecks.

Every Project Manager wants to be aware of any potential critical points so that they can prepare for them and there won’t be any surprises. By visualizing the workflow – Casual gives that opportunity for the team leaders. It gives the sense “being on top of things” feeling.

Now the Cons:

1) As much as I like Casual – I have to admit that big teams (size of 50+) won’t be able to work on a single project via Casual.

I am not saying that it can’t be done. Certainly Casual can be used by 50 people or more, I am talking about 50 people at a time PER PROJECT.

Casual, at least by today, is not a professional Project Management software. It doesn’t cost millions to install and it takes minutes to understand how it works. It’s certainly one of the advantages of Casual, but at the same time, it’s a disadvantage. Big Companies will still use SAP and equivalents.

2) It still lacks flexibility.

Color coding for tasks would add versatility to the service.

Casual can’t be integrated with Slack and other PM tools at the moment, which is a pity because that would have made Casual so much more useful. Hopefully, the team will make an effort to solve these issues in the future.

My Verdict:

My Verdict - conclusion

In conclusion, I’d like to say that Casual is a neat little piece of software that would be very useful for small and medium teams that need to see their projects as a visual plan. Also, it would be indispensable for teams that do repetitive projects.

I admire its simplicity and design – it’s very intuitive to use. Yet it’s worth noting that Casual could use some work on additional features, as well as work on integrating Casual with other PM software like Slack etc.

Casual: Online Project Management 3

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Published By: Souvik Banerjee

Souvik BanerjeeWeb Developer & SEO Specialist with 15+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions".