Project Challenge Expo 2014

This week DropTask had its first public outing, with myself, Yogi, and Darren packing our bags and travelling from Cardiff to London to attend the Project Challenge Expo 2014. The event was held over two days at the Olympia, playing host to a variety of project management related solutions.

The event was a huge success, and we took part in many great conversations with some of the industry’s finest. Although there are some tired eyes in the office today, a fantastic time was had by all and we can’t wait to take DropTask out on the road again! Here’s an idea of what we got up to along the way…

 Day One: Packing, Travelling and Build Up

After final preparations in the office, the three of us squeezed into our jam-packed 7 seater car and set off for London. Three hours later we arrived at the Olympia, ready to unload and build our stand. It took some impressive lifting skills on Darren and Yogi’s part, along with multiple trips in the lift, but we eventually managed to get all our equipment to stand 120 ready to start building! During this process we learnt that escapee helium balloons can pose major problems, and that I’m really rather terrible at DIY.

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Finally at 7.30pm the stand was looking lovely and all set for the next day. We then jumped into a black cab to check in at the hotel that would be our home for the next couple of days. After a quick pit stop to unpack, we ventured out to a nearby Italian restaurant. Luckily, we all managed to refrain from falling asleep in our pasta after a long day travelling and setting up. With that it was time to head back to the hotel for some much needed rest – ready for our early start the following day.

Day Two: The Exhibition Opening

The snooze button was strictly prohibited the next morning, as we were all up and ready to leave by 7.00am. Once we arrived at the Olympia the quest for breakfast began, with each of us doing our best to eat yogurts with forks whilst simultaneously experiencing bottled cereal for the first time. Don’t ask. Somewhat satisfied by our makeshift breakfast, we began blowing up balloons and setting up our equipment. Once finished, we took a brief moment to pose for a team photo.

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At 9.30am the show was officially opened and we awaited our first delegates. DropTask soon began to attract attention and we started discussing all things visual task management – introducing DropTask for the first time to many of the people we spoke to. It was exciting to hear such great feedback about DropTask, with many welcoming a fresh and engaging way to manage projects and people. We were rushed off our feet as the crowds gathered for live demos and it was fantastic to chat to each and every person.

The bright colours and unfamiliar look were what first attracted delegates to our stand, but once they saw DropTask in action most people fell in love with the intuitive design and ease of use. Many were pleasantly surprised by the amount of powerful features packed into something so simple and pleasurable to use.

As the exhibition drew to a close at 5pm, we packed away and headed to the official networking event where we met some of our fellow exhibitors. With a short rest before dinner, we prepared for day 3.

Day Three: Exhibiting, Stand Breakdown and Going Home!

Learning from our breakfast experience the day before, we got up a little earlier than necessary in order to go further afield in search of sustenance. Cups of tea and eggs were a welcome relief after the yogurt and fork incident of the previous day. We then jumped in a cab and made our way to the Olympia for the final time, having to maneuver some lively protests taking place next door to the exhibition centre in the process!

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The day was once again packed full of great conversations and delegates excited about getting their teams started with DropTask PRO. The unique look of DropTask was really popular, and delegates were delighted to have found a tool that their teams would not only understand, but enjoy using. The ability to have everything within a project stored in one place, such as discussions, file attachments and progress was also a welcome feature. The day flew by, and before we knew it the exhibition had come to a close and it was time for the hard bit – stand break down!

Surrounded by boxes, bags and tools we got to work dismantling our stand and boxing up equipment. With a kind helping hand from the exhibition staff, we loaded our belongings into the car, ready for the return back to Cardiff, Wales.

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We had a truly wonderful time at the event and thoroughly enjoyed every second. It was great to demo DropTask face to face and hear people’s thoughts on what we’re doing. The response was overwhelmingly positive and all feedback extremely thought provoking. As well as having a great time we also learnt a lot along the way – like after a whole day exhibiting, deciding not to get a chair probably wasn’t a great idea…

A big thank you to everyone who came to see us at Project Challenge – we hope you enjoyed the event!

 

Introducing The New & Improved DropTask!

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This week has been one of the most exciting in the DropTask calendar so far, with one of our biggest launches to date taking place TODAY! We introduce you to our new user interface for the web app– which we hope you agree looks beautiful – but we have also brought in some massive new functionality for you to start using right away.

As we are forever seeking to improve DropTask, a constant stream of new features often find their way into development as a result of the wonderful feedback you give us. However, the features we bring to you today are nothing short of monumental, giving you the power to use DropTask in more ways than ever before.

The New Look DropTask On The Web

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We’re big on visuals here, you know that. Improving the look and feel of DropTask is something close to our hearts, and we hope the updated interface reflects that. The overall refreshed look is cleaner and much smoother overall, making your experience within the app more fluid. The colours are richer and the graphics are clearer, with the various project views looking and feeling nicer than ever before. Better yet, the new interface doesn’t just look great, but performs even more intuitively than its predecessor. Your projects are not only easier on the eye, but now easier to manage too.

User Permissions & Visibility Settings

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If there is one thing we’ve learnt at DropTask, it’s that being able to control who can view and edit things within your projects is a deal breaker when it comes to your project management needs. Hundreds of you have told us that. That’s why we’re delighted that it’s now possible for you to edit User Permissions and Visibility Settings. These settings give you an abundance of ways to control your projects, as well as the activities of project members. You’re now able to publicly share a project with everyoneeven non users – so anyone can see what you’re working on if you so wish. On the other hand, you can set a project as private for members-only access.

If you’re using DropTask PRO not only can you control what other members see, you can also control what they do. You have the option to choose who has permission to invite new members to a project or delete tasks. Go a step further and restrict a member so they can view their assigned tasks only, with no ability to create new tasks or groups. For those of you sharing your projects with clients, it’s possible to give them exclusive read-only access to your chosen projects, which they can view but not edit. With this new function you can rest assured that your projects cannot be compromised in any way.

Eisenhower Style Urgency and Importance Prioritization

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We’ve spoken in detail about this one already in a previous blog post so we won’t say too much, but it is now possible to prioritize your tasks using the Urgency and Importance attributes. These should make deciding the order in which to complete your tasks a breeze, increasing your output whilst reducing time spent making decisions. Visual indicators of these attributes will be consistent throughout the project, making a glance all that is necessary in order to see what needs to be done and when.

Cover Images

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Images. We like them. So does your brain. It’s why DropTask is a visual task management tool. It’s also why we’ve introduced the cover images feature to make your projects more visual than they’ve ever been. If you’re a DropTask PRO user you now have the option to add cover images to tasks, utilizing your brains natural ability to process visuals better than text. This allows you to differentiate between tasks just by looking at them, which should make searching through projects much easier – especially for those users with a lot of tasks that need to be sifted through quickly and efficiently. Cover images also greatly improve the personalization of your projects, giving you extended control over what your project looks like. Whether you use cover images for pretty or practical purposes, we think you’ll enjoy them.

So there you have it, a brief overview of our huge new updates. They’re things you’ve wanted for a while, therefore we’ve wanted them too, so we’re really excited that they are now ready for you to use.

Those of you familiar with DropTask should take to the new features with ease, but if you’re unsure how to use any of the new additions we have updated our range of support articles in order to give you a helping hand should you need it.

How are you all enjoying DropTask’s fancy new look and latest features?

DropTask on Android: Beta Now Open!

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We’re on a quest to make DropTask accessible to you at all times, and this is why we can’t wait to officially release our Android app which is currently being Beta tested by some of our PRO users.

For complete optimization, the new app has been redesigned from the ground up to suit all of your touch screen Android devices – and it even supports offline access to all of your projects as well as native push notifications for instant updates.

So while the app gets polished ready for its wider release, we thought we’d give you a sneak peek to see what everyone’s talking about…

Comfortable with the browser based DropTask, I was looking forward to the Android application…DropTask didn’t let me down and pulled through with an amazing application that was well worth the wait.
Brendan Gardner, Android Beta Tester 

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Unless you’re already using our fantastic iPhone app, you’ll notice that we’re introducing a fresh new interface to make the app as intuitive and user friendly as possible. This means that navigating your way in and around the app will be a breeze.

To the right, is the new Home screen you’ll see each time you log in. From here, you’ll be able to access your ‘All Tasks’ categories as well as every project you’ve created. A smooth swipe to the left will also allow you to delete a project in-case you’re looking for a quick way to remove some unnecessary items.

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Each time you select a project, you’ll be presented with the screen to the left. You’ll notice here that each group is colour co-ordinated so you’ll be able to easily make that visual connection as soon as you step into the Visual View.

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It’s been said in the past that DropTask is truly at its best on a touch device – and we think you may agree.

There’s nothing quite as intuitive as dragging and dropping task circles from group to group to really highlight how instinctive it is to categorize ‘to dos’ within their spacial surroundings.

 

 

 

Having DropTask on my phone really increased my productively when I was away from my desk. It also proved to be a great communication method for various functions and projects…The ability to do this while ‘in the field’ and away from my desk was both awesome and powerful.
- Stuart Long, Android Beta Tester

What are your thoughts on the upcoming release? Share your comments below and join the discussion! 

 

Summer workplace productivity – how can visual task management help?

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Ah, the summer. The sun is shining, the air is warm and the days are longer. For many of us, these longer days will be spent in work dreaming of much anticipated holidays. Taking a break can be a great boost for both the worker and the workplace, with productivity often increasing after a well-deserved rest.

However, did you know that during the summer season, workplace productivity can actually decline?

A Captivate study found that summertime has a detrimental effect upon workplace productivity, with employees reporting a 20% drop in overall productivity. With worker’s minds drifting to thoughts of sandy beaches and sun loungers, almost half reported that they are more distracted during this period (45%). Not only that, but the projects that do get completed during the summer have a 13% increase in turnaround time. It would be logical to think that more flexible working hours during the summer may help boost productivity, however Captivate found that this actually exacerbates the problem. Of those employees whose companies offered increased hours Monday-Thursday in order for a shortened Friday, 52% reported a decrease in workplace productivity. It’s not all negative though – those employees whose employers allowed them to work from home reported a 26% rise in productivity levels. Perhaps they used DropTask?! I jest.  

So what can be done to beat the summer workplace productivity slump? Well implemented project management for a start, and that’s where DropTask comes in. Here are a few of the ways that visual task management can boost your workplace productivity this summer.

Keeping track of colleague’s holidays

One of the hardest parts of working during the summer is keeping track of everyone’s holidays and time out of the office. With Google Calendar Integration, tasks can be viewed alongside your colleague’s holidays, making it easier to manage tasks as a team.

Home and office become one 

With increased numbers of workers telecommuting during the summer, it’s easy to lose track of the tasks of those not in the office. DropTask enables you to see project updates in real time, giving you a clear idea of what all your workmates are doing, no matter where they are. Your tasks will be automatically synced across all your devices too, meaning you’ll never miss a beat. You can also chat to your collaborators and comment on your mutual projects, as well as sharing any handy files with each other.

Regain focus on the task at hand

Too busy thinking about what to pack in your suitcase or trying to work with colleagues whose minds are elsewhere? Having a visual to-do list like DropTask can provide a simple visual reminder of the tasks at hand, along with their current status, priority and effort level. Reminders when tasks are due will keep you on the ball, as well as visual notifications when any changes take place within a project.

Make the return to work less daunting

Sun block? Check. Holiday insurance? Check. Meeting pre-holiday deadlines at work? Check. By visualizing your workload everyday with DropTask, you can be sure to prioritize your workload in order to complete all necessary tasks before you take your break. Your colleagues will be able to see what you’ve completed and what you’re putting on hold until after you return – with just one glance.

Implement the smooth running of your holiday

If you’re too busy mentally planning your holiday whilst at your desk it’s obvious your productivity is going to take a dip. Clear your mind by using DropTask at home to create a holiday organization project and prevent a last minute rush to the passport office. Feeling ultra organized? Use DropTask as a suitcase check list to avoid forgetting anything vital.

Don’t let your productivity take a downturn in the workplace this summer, try utilizing DropTask instead. We promise those poolside cocktails will taste even sweeter knowing that your work commitments are dealt with, and the return to work will be a breeze.

To slash your stress levels this summer click here to try DropTask for yourself.

How do you stay productive during the summer? We’d love to hear your thoughts – let us know below!

A New Way to Prioritise Your Tasks

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22/07/14 Editors Note: After publishing this blog, you let your voice be heard and told us that you would like to see ‘Effort’ stay. As a result, we’re pleased to announce that this attribute will no longer be removed!  Your opinions, suggestions and needs mean a lot to us, and therefore our new ‘Urgency’ and ‘Importance’ attributes will be joining ‘Effort’ and ‘Status’ in the very near future!

Ever found yourself wondering how to determine your next course of action? Well last week we were thrilled to introduce you to our latest feature addition, Task Dependencies – designed to help you define the order in which a series of related tasks should be actioned. But now, we’d like to give you a little sneak peek into yet another enhancement which will greatly impact your decision-making process and make your completed tasks really count…


New Task Attributes

In a couple of weeks we’ll be transforming our existing ‘Priority’ and ‘Effort’ attributes into Urgency and Importance - loosely based upon an established decision-making principle that originates from Dwight D. Eisenhower; a former president of the United States.

Our new task attributes will work hand in hand to deliver a much better solution for prioritisation, and will ensure that the tasks you complete are really the ones that matter the most.

(And don’t worry, you won’t be losing any of the existing values you’ve already set for priority and effort – they’ll simply be represented by urgency and importance but with an extra 2 values to choose from, as per your request.)


      Understanding ‘Urgency’

You’ll soon be able to set the level of urgency for Urgencyeach of your tasks using 5 values.

These options will help determine which of your tasks require immediate attention, and each of the various urgency levels will still be visually represented using the colourful ‘Priority’ labels that you’re already used to.


                                                 Understanding ‘Importance’

Importance

The importance of a task should be determined by long-term goals and the overall significance of completing the action.

Selecting the various levels of importance will cause your task circle to either shrink down or expand, thus helping you identify important tasks with a single glance.


Applying the Principle

Once the urgency and importance for a selection of tasks has been applied, your next course of action should be easier to determine. In most cases, very urgent and very important tasks will be the ones which require immediate action, as they are the ones which will hold the most impact.  An example of something very urgent and very important could be a task to renew your passport – as the completion of this task is not only time significant (assuming you’re jetting off within days), but also a task that holds significance and fulfils a long-term goal.

But you may often have tasks which have low importance but high urgency – like buying stamps or replacing a light bulb, and then there are the tasks which have high importance but low priority – like reading a particular book or going travelling.

No matter which category your task falls into, you should ultimately find that by using this Eisenhower-inspired principle you’re gaining full control over prioritisation and opening up the possibility of completing your tasks in a way that will give you a greater sense of achievement.  We can also reveal that these new values are part of an upcoming bigger development that the team are currently working on with regards to data visualisation, but further details regarding this will be released in the coming months.

What do you think about these upcoming changes? Give us your thoughts below! 

Install DropTask from the NEW Google Apps Marketplace!

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With our recent addition to the new Google Apps Marketplace last week (followed by being named the No.1 Top Installed Productivity App), we thought it would be the perfect time to take a closer look at some of our powerful integrations with Google, and how installing DropTask for the entire domain can make it easier for business users who are looking to bring their team together.
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Once you’ve installed DropTask from the marketplace, each member within your organization will be able to gain easy access to it from their list of Google Apps with single sign-on capability (so no need to remember yet another new password!). As the administrator, you’ll be able to manage the app via your Google Apps control panel, along with a single directory of all of your users.

Installing DropTask from the Google Apps Marketplace also unlocks exclusive access to the DropTask Gmail widget, which allows you to instantaneously transform any email into a task. Appearing at the bottom of every email (which can be hidden according to your preferences), you’ll soon realise its convenience and sheer value as more time gets spent actioning tasks rather than replying to emails!

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Exclusively available to DropTask PRO, our Google Calendar integration allows you to track the due dates that have been assigned for all of your tasks so that you can stay on schedule and manage your time effectively. Once your DropTask project calendar is enabled within Google Calendar, you’ll also be able to rearrange the tasks according to the date they are due, and all of the changes will automatically get updated within DropTask.

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 As a DropTask PRO user, you’re also able to sync any one of your DropTask projects with Google Tasks. Any changes you make within each application will automatically sync up, and you’ll be able to manage your Google Lists within DropTask’s uniquely visual interface.

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In addition to the above, DropTask also supports Google Contacts and Google Drive integration – both of which aim to provide you with the convenience of using and combining two powerful tools together in order to maximise on the potential of what you can achieve. Long gone are the days of manually synchronizing data!

So if you’d like to simplify the way you can use DropTask in the workplace or are curious to see what Google named their ‘No.1 Top Installed Productivity App’ in the Google Apps Marketplace last week, then install it for free here, and be sure to leave your comments below to give us your thoughts!

Introducing DropTask PRO!

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DropTask PRO – Unlock your potential

We’re very excited to finally cut the ribbon and unveil DropTask PRO – the new and advanced DropTask membership that gives you full access to some of the most productivity boosting, intuitive, and powerful set of features that are a sure fire way to kick start the year! 

We’ve kept things as simple and straightforward as always – so you won’t have much trouble when picking up all of the new features. Here’s a very quick glimpse at just some of what PRO can offer you and your team – And don’t forget, further details regarding features, pricing and discounts can be found here.

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Gain full access…
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That’s right – no limits, no restrictions. With a DropTask PRO account you can create an unlimited number of projects, invite an unlimited number of people, and create an unlimited number of tasks!

Remember, if you’re looking to upgrade several accounts at once, we can offer you great team discounts.

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Save some time…

savesometimeHaving to create new tasks identical to others can be a tedious task in itself, so the team have made it easier than ever for users to send tasks  immediately into other projects. Don’t even get us started on the all-new ‘exclusive to DropTask PRO’ project templates aswell!

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Shaping itself around you… 

We know how hectic your schedule can get – which is why DropTask PRO allows you to email in anything from a note to a gentle reminder to feed the cat with just a simple click of a button. Don’t worry about categorising it, just send it in and deal with it when you’re good and ready…

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Keep everything in one place…
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None of us are strangers to that moment when you go searching through your emails for a long lost photo or Monday’s meeting notes. This is why DropTask PRO is making it easier than ever to store everything in once place. Want to hear the best part? There’s no limit to the number of files you can upload – hurrah!

 

Want to learn more? Well those are just some of the features included in DropTask PRO…Get a full run through along with pricing here.

Already a DropTask PRO user? Share your thoughts below! 

Some time saving enhancements…

The last few months – as you’ve probably guessed – have been fairly hectic here at DropTask HQ. If we weren’t working on polishing up PRO ready for its official release in the coming weeks, or gearing up for the iPad and iPhone App launch, then we were working on some exciting new features that will be coming later this year – not to forget our official DropTask Android app that we all know you’re waiting for.

But in addition to all of this, we’ve also been making a few little enhancements to DropTask which you may have missed. So here’s a quick look at some of the changes – all of which get our ‘Time Saver‘ stamp of approval…

Editing Subtasks 

We took note that this was one of the most frequent requests that we were receiving, and so all of our users are now able to easily edit their subtasks – including the ability to copy and paste them. 

Editing Subtasks

Resending Project Invites

DropTask is a great tool to use if you’re looking to work with others and collaborate on a project, and this is why it’s now possible to resend project invites. Long gone are the days of awaiting a response…

Resend project invites

 

 Cancelling Update Requests

Ever requested an update just before the task is marked as complete? Well now you’re able to cancel that request with a quick click of a button.

Cancel Update Request

Activity Feed – Auto Load

You may have noticed that the ‘See More’ button from the activity view has been replaced by…well, nothing. Now, your feed automatically loads the further you scroll down… 

Activity Feed

Have a time saving suggestion of your own? Let us know in the comments below! 

 

The DropTask iPad App is now officially available!

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Manage your workload in a meeting, on the move, or in your home – our newly released iPad App boasts fluidity & flexibility to suit your lifestyle.

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 It provides me with the same functionality of the software when I am on the go, and in a way which is perfectly intuitive for the touch screen
Kempton Rees, App User

With the release of our iPhone app earlier this week, we’re pleased to announce that users can now install the new DropTask App on their iPads! With all of the productivity boosting features you can find in our web version (plus more!), our iPad App gives convenience to those who need to the freedom to manage their projects away from their desks.

Here’s some of what you can expect…

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No matter where you are in the world, with DropTask on your iPad you can manage projects in an instant. Upload files, add comments and create tasks – Everything will sync up once you’re back online.

 

All New ‘Inbox’ Feature

We know that things can get hectic when you’re on the move, so to help unload your worries, drop all of your all-important tasks into your new DropTask Inbox and feel secure knowing that they’re in a more productive environment to manage when you’re feeling ready.

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A User Interface Suited To Your Device

When you use the app for the first time, you’ll see what we mean. With our new iPad app you’ll notice that you now have a new Project Sidebar which can hide to give you maximum use of the canvas space, and we’ve also made it as easy as possible to navigate around the app so your favourite features are only a finger swipe away.

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 I’ve used the web version of DropTask for months now, and I love having the mobile version. I can update my tasks on the go, and whenever something pops in my head I just throw it at DropTask
TTimo, App User

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DropTask iPhone App is now available in the App Store!

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“It makes identifying what needs to be done at a glance easier than ever
- Jeff Merrill, iPhone Beta Tester

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Our iPhone app boasts all of the popular features that you can find in our web application, and has specifically been enhanced for your device with fluid functionality and outstanding visuals.

It also has offline capability so you can make changes and update progress no matter where you are, and once you’re back online all of your projects will sync back up in an instant so managing your workload on the move has never been easier!

You’ll notice some changes in our iPhone App as it’s been adapted to suit you & your device. Here’s a quick run through of what to expect…


Native Notification

 


Native Notifications

Opt for project notifications to start coming
through as iPhone notifications so that you can keep an eye on progress & always stay in the loop.

 

Adding tasks in inbox

                       

 

Easy Task Creation

With the all new DropTask Inbox, you can now quickly create tasks to get them out of your mind and into a more productive and visually intuitive workspace. 

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Gesture Support

DropTask is truly at home on a touch device. Pinch your screen to zoom in to your canvas, drag and drop tasks wherever you want, and simply double tap to create a new one in seconds!


It’s what you’ve been waiting for…
Get the DropTask iPhone app from the App Store NOW >>


Already installed the app on your iPhone? 
Tell us what you think in the comments below!