For me personally, I live online. My work is in IT, and much of my time is spent with online tools and utilities. I’ve used products through work, like Monday.com and Asana. For a home user though, these can get quite expensive.
ClickUp is an online management system. Their target market appears to be similar to Monday and Asana – focused on business entities needing to manage workload.
However, ClickUp can certainly be used at the personal level and it’s especially useful for task management of my kids that I homeschool.
Unlike Monday.com and Asana, ClickUp has a very robust FREE version. I’m able to manage all the tasks of my son needs to get done each day, even logging scores on his quizzes and tests.
ClickUp has quite a bit of different views into task management. Above is a customized view I created easily enough (took me about 5min).
In this case, there’s three groups: Done, My Tasks and Up Next. These can be renamed, color coded and repositioned.
Since I’m homeschooling my son, his curriculum comes from multiple sources. Much of his work is through MiAcademy.co, some of his lessons are through Aleks (for math) and some material is offline (textbooks for example).
I needed a central authority to manage the tasks I was assigning him. There are educational open source tools, like Moodle or Gibbons. Those tend to be full school solutions, managing teachers, staff, and students. As such it can often be too much to handle for managing one’s children.
ClickUp has many view options, and allows users to create their own customized views. In the example above, there’s a Board view. Tasks are drag and dropped between columns the user creates.
There’s a calendar option as well. The tasks in green are completed, the one’s in red are “to do” and the grey ones are future tasks with future due dates.
The calendar is a great view, the only thing missing is the ability to print out a single day task list. Sadly, that functionality isn’t available. But for a free version of the software, I can’t really complain.
Notifications and Alerts
Beyond the ease of use (even my 8 year old can easily navigate the site, reassigning completed tasks to “done”), there’s the nice notification system.
Each time I assign tasks to my son, he gets notified to his email. When he completes a task, I get notified by email.
It’s the perfect way to stay on top of his progress.
All Study in One Place
There are limitations to the free version of ClickUp. A user can create their own custom fields, but there is a limit to this.
Online curriculum solutions are great at keeping statistics and progress reports. If you had one solution for a child’s complete learning, it would make sense to use that one solution for all the reporting and managing of a child’s work.
However, in the real world, the homeschooler might have their kids doing textbook reading offline, and two or three other sites (Khan Academy, MiAcademy, Aleks and so on). Since learning from home is going to come from multiple sources, we need one central system to assign tasks.
Gibbons and Moodle
Open source solutions, like Moodle and Gibbons, are great solutions if you’re managing large complex systems. If you have staff (teachers, directors, tutors) and many students, a system like Moodle has a greater depth than a task management system like ClickUp.
I’ll do a deeper dive into these respective technology solutions in a separate post. For now, however, I want to point out that these options are easily available if you have a hosted solution. Many host providers offer Educational solutions like Moodle and Gibbons at no cost.
The only cost to these solutions is in one’s time commitment. I found myself spending hours a day, setting up my son’s schoolwork for the next few days. Updating his grades, and having him submit work is also cumbersome as they aren’t really solutions to task management.
I’ve returned back to ClickUp as the best solution for managing my kids homeschooling. It’s simple, yes, but it itemizes a days work, and my kids can easily figure it out. They know what they have to do, do it and update their tasks by the end of the day.