Marketing consultant Chris Coney has only one app open all day, and it isn’t email…

Chris Coney

Having been in business for almost 10 years, Chris Coney is a UK based Marketing Consultant who helps and advises other businesses to maximize the lifetime value of their customers by implementing a variety of marketing and sales techniques.  Passionate about delivering great value to his clients, Chris explains how he uses the best technology to create the most leverage in his productivity and efficiency.

“I’ve been using the iMindMap software from ThinkBuzan for many years, and discovered DropTask when ThinkBuzan invited me to join it during its launch. I’ve been using DropTask ever since. I was primed for this since I’ve switched from one project management system to another over the years but never felt they worked the way I worked. I always felt I was having to adapt my natural work style to fit the software, and that created extra friction in my day that I really would rather be without.”

 “Most importantly for me there was no learning curve with DropTask.”Chris Coney Marketing Consultant

“The brain’s ability to process information visually outweighs the other senses massively, and I have verified this in my own experience. For me, I need to be able to display, understand, process and retrieve as much information as possible from one screen, without clicking through lots of tabs etc.

Because project management is such a business-critical task, a 1% improvement in effectiveness is multiplied many-fold. Not an hour goes by that I don’t refer to DropTask, and it remembers everything for me so I don’t have to work in a stressful state.

I use DropTask exclusively for work in my business. I have it open almost every moment I’m working and don’t even do this with my email anymore because it hinders my productivity. I also have it open during client meetings so that I can immediately create tasks as they crop up. This eliminates the need to take notes and spend valuable time picking out the action points later on.” 

Chris Coney with DropTask

“Having DropTask open all the time boosts my productivity.”

“One thing that Brian Tracy said – which I felt was so powerful, was that we need to stop asking “How can I catch up?” because no matter how much we get done, no matter how small our ‘to-do’ list gets, the next day it gets refilled. He said that we need to change the question to “Since I can only do a few things, what are the few things I can do that will make the most difference?” so what he’s ultimately talking about is priority. 

DropTask ultimately accomplishes what I mentioned about having one screen I can look at to see both the big picture and the detail, without clicking on anything. It’s incredible really.

I love cloud software because it minimizes risk of data loss and enables my virtual office. To that end I use Google Apps for Business to create word processor documents, spreadsheets, presentations etc. – all that run from my web browser. With DropTask I am able to link specific documents to specific tasks, open them from within DropTask in one click, and begin editing in seconds.”

DropTask and Google

 “…it feels like one big seamless flow”

“For me, DropTask’s integration with Google Drive is better than attaching a file because my Google documents are in the cloud and can be worked on by multiple people simultaneously. That means no downloading the file, editing it, and then uploading the latest version while wondering whether someone else has made a change in the meantime and thus created a version conflict.

The linking of cloud documents doesn’t stop there. Because I use Google Mail, each email message has its own URL and I often paste this URL into the task comment section as a mini audit trail for myself. And finally, because Google Apps integrates with other third party cloud applications, I am also able to link to my cloud based flow charts and website maps in DropTask via the Google Apps integration. This really blurs the lines between applications, as I feel less and less like I’m using multiple software systems, and instead it feels like one big seamless flow.

I’ve been in business for myself for almost 10 years now, and I’ve never worked for anyone as an employee. I don’t want a big business with huge offices and lots of staff to manage, I just want the big revenues that come from providing massive value to my clients. The only way to do that without the big business is to use the best technology to create the most leverage in my productivity, efficiency and effectiveness, and DropTask is my technology of choice. 

If someone reads this and they relate to anything I’ve said above, then they know they need to give DropTask a chance.”

Try today by signing up for free at www.droptask.com/signup

Already a DropTask user? Share your story with us at contact@droptask.com for your chance to be featured in a future post!

Jet off to productivity paradise: 5 tips to avoid a turbulent journey

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Here at DropTask HQ, summer has arrived and over the next few weeks the sun will be shining, temperatures will be rising and many of us will be getting ready to go on vacation – which got us thinking…

Sometimes, productivity can be just like a bad vacation; when things don’t go to plan (due to poor management or lack of organization), those visions of a dreamy destination can soon melt away and leave you feeling lost and deflated. That’s why DropTask is packed with enough power to take you and your productivity on a seamless and stress-free trip to the end goal you desire. Read on for our top 5 tips to avoid arriving at destination disaster, plus details on how to redeem 3 months free when you sign up and subscribe to any DropTask PRO plan before midnight this Friday.


 Prevent your productivity journey from leading you to destination disaster…

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Avoid getting lost and wasting time trying to find your destination; use Task Dependencies to visualize a clearly defined path of what steps should be taken next.



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With the freedom to create an unlimited number of projects and with no restrictions on the number of people you can invite, nothing can hold you back.


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Don’t get held up, set Task Reminders to ensure the smooth running of your projects so all upcoming tasks are completed without any delays.


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Avoid misplacing the essentials by keeping everything in one collaborative and easy-to-access place within DropTask. From File Attachments to Comments, be sure to find all task-related items exactly when you need them.


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Teamwork transparency is great, but you don’t need to feel overly exposed to others. Give yourself some privacy and control what others can see and do within a project by setting Project Permissions.


So, don’t sweat this summer…

Keep your productivity sky-high when you sign up to DropTask today.

PLUS, we’re giving away 3 MONTHS FREE when you subscribe to any of our DropTask PRO plans before midnight on 26th June 2015.* To redeem, simply hit the button below:

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* Offer valid when purchasing any DropTask PRO subscription and expires at midnight on 26th June 2015. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Project Management: 5 Common Mistakes & How DropTask Can Help

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There’s always room for improvement to be more productive and driving personal development is something that we’re passionate about here at DropTask. With World Productivity Day (20th June) just around the corner, we’ve scoured the office and quizzed our team about what they believe are some of the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to organization and productivity. Read on to hear their thoughts, and be sure to share your own tips in the comments below.


1. Not Honestly Assessing Your Own Performance.Drive yourself to perform better with a clear idea of what you have done and what is still to do

We are all human, after all.

DropTask’s visually engaging environment allows you to see not only what you have achieved, but also what’s left to do – giving you a good overview of your own personal progress. As DropTask allows you to visualize your workload, it drives you to perform better as you can easily identify if your time has been spent efficiently, judging by what still remains untouched. It’s all about helping you stay informed and allowing you to assess the performance of yourself and your team more effectively.


2. Taking Too Long Deciding What To Do Next.Avoid taking to long deciding on your next task

Taking the time to digest large amounts of descriptive text so you can decide what to do next often requires more effort than it should. The visual nature of DropTask allows you to assign Cover Images to your tasks for instant image association, and combine this with the ability to set priority status and you’ll never find yourself unsure of what to do again. DropTask PRO users can go a step further by assigning Dependencies too. So, if a task cannot begin until another is complete, creating a visual link will clearly define the order in which tasks should be actioned.

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3. Being Unaware Of What Others Are Doing.See the progress of your team's tasks at a glance

DropTask allows you to monitor the activity of your team, and is an unobtrusive way of checking how your colleagues are progressing. You can avoid disturbing their workflow but still find out what tasks have been completed, what’s left to do and what they’re currently working on. With just a quick glance you’re able to see the importance, urgency and effort of your teams’ tasks too – which will help you if you’re delegating and want to avoid overloading team members who already have a lot on their plate.


4. Forgetting To Take Note.blog-1-takenote

An honest mistake such as this one can have a domino effect that impacts the entire team. When you’re using DropTask through any of our desktop, mobile or tablet apps, you can add tasks in an instant and even assign them to others so they’re never neglected. Assigning due dates and urgency couldn’t be easier, and with just a click of a button you can let your colleagues know what’s important right now and what can wait until tomorrow. What’s more, DropTask PRO users can comment on tasks to add specific instructions, tips for completion, or just a general update.


5. Trying To Do It All Yourself.blog-3-diy2

Whether it’s personal pride, an over-assumption, or perhaps fear of asking for help; trying to ‘bite off more than you can chew’ can be a big problem at work, especially when we all have individual strengths that we can combine to push us forward together. You don’t have to bear the burden – DropTask lets you share the workload with others and delegate appropriately amongst your team.  We even have a feature that lets you ‘see’ how much effort a task will require as task circles shrink down or expand accordingly.


Whether you’re working on a variety of collaborative projects or simply focusing on your day to day responsibilities; DropTask’s fluid and visual approach aims to help you avoid these 5 common mistakes so you can elevate your productivity and truly get the most from your working day.  Leave your desk feeling inspired and motivated; you’ll be well on your way to becoming a productivity expert in no time.


Sign up for free at www.droptask.com/signup and be sure to share your own tips with us below!

Working with remote teams – A breeze for HP Project Manager, Mark Pohlmann

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As project manager at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Mark Pohlmann is required to manage large IT projects with expert teams located all around the world, as well as with consultants working on site. Upon discovering DropTask in 2013, Mark decided to select it as the collaborative tool he and his team would need in order to keep track on the progress of ever-changing priorities determined through regular team meetings.  Earlier this year, Mark took some time to explain the fundamental role that DropTask plays in managing his team in order to deliver timely results.

“My job is to manage multiple large-scale IT projects on a daily basis, with several teams working remotely across various sites around the world.  I need to be informed of what’s happening on each project (via a status report), and need to share this information with both my team and my management so we can establish new deadlines, progress, and any issues that could potentially arise. Prior to DropTask, collecting this information from the field and assembling the status report required a lot of time and effort, so I began to search for a cloud-based tool which would be accessible to everyone. A representation of the work that needed to be done was vital, as well as the ability to assign this work to team members, collect updates, and more precisely – let individual team members update each other of their status. This would then assist me in generating a report for management.

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Many task management tools don’t allow strong ‘group’ management. For some, a task can belong to a group – and that’s it. A group cannot belong to a group, and without nested grouping you create the sort of limit which doesn’t work when trying to represent the complexity of a project. With DropTask, I was able to place groups within groups, which allowed me to represent the project as it is. I was also able to find various common properties you’d expect such as due date, status, and subtasks, but in addition to this I was able to helpfully set the ‘urgency’ and ‘importance’ for each task – which isn’t that common to find.

Each time a project is set up, team members update the properties that belonging to each task (including due date and status), to reflect what they have done. From there I can further control the attributes of each task and change their priorities based on the discussions we have. The team also benefit from receiving the daily summary email that’s sent out by DropTask each morning, as this gives them increased visibility on our progress.

HP Status Report

Weekly Project Status Report, Phase #1. This illustrates how DropTask is used within our weekly project status report deck. Consultants are updating DropTask and the current status is extracted and presented with some comments to the Management.

Depending on the project, at the end of each week and month I export all task related information into a CSV file to update corporate reports and dashboards. I save a huge amount of time since all of the information I need to update is right there. In addition to this, I can screen capture the DropTask project representation to create a unique slide for status reporting. Again, this saves me a lot of time since DropTask is designing a picture for me to view project status.  This makes collaboration so much easier as people can report what they want during the day, resulting in fewer phone calls, less paperwork (with information the team need to hand to me), and no to-do ‘lists’.  Our corporate dashboards are updated easily, and the time saved for both myself and my team can be better spent working on deliverables for our customers.

There are plenty of task management tools out there, but to fully understand many of these you’re required to spend hours ‘learning’ how things work. This is no good because we don’t have the time to do this. DropTask is intuitive, made for humans, and is simple to use. Within a couple of minutes you’ve understood what you need to do and can begin to work.  As well as this, all task management tools are “list based” and aren’t necessarily fun to use, with poor and unattractive “visual” reports. DropTask, on the other hand, gives me a unique project status report which is visually beautiful and this is perfect for when I report to senior management who like to “pin” these reports up on their wall.”

Get your team started today by signing up for free at www.droptask.com/signup

Already a DropTask user? Share your story with us at contact@droptask.com for your chance to be featured in a future post!

Drop the pen, ditch the paper, and start visualizing your workload.

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For those of us who are short of time (and who isn’t?), we’re always looking for the most efficient and productive way to manage our responsibilities. Did you know the average person adopts around 11 different methods for managing their time and tasks, including a mix of paper lists, emails, online folders, and notebook planners? Check out our infographic below to ‘see‘ how visuals can impact the way you work. 

To celebrate World Environment Day we’re giving you 2 months free when you subscribe to any of our DropTask PRO plans today!*

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Offer expires at midnight on 5th June 2015listsvsvisuals-1

Want to ditch your paper lists? Get started by signing up to DropTask today. 

PLUS, we’re giving away 2 MONTHS FREE when you subscribe to any of our DropTask PRO plans before midnight on 5th June 2015!* To redeem, simply hit the button below:

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*Offer valid when purchasing any DropTask PRO subscription and expires at midnight on 5th June 2015. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Coming Soon: DropTask for Windows Desktop

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Last month saw the successful launch of our app for Mac desktop and since then, many of you have been eager for a Windows desktop app. Well, we’ve got some exciting news…Our development team have been working hard this spring to design and build a DropTask app suitable to download and install straight to your Windows desktop!

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The new desktop app for Windows will deliver an all-around powerful experience, with instant access to your projects with just a click of a button – making it even quicker and easier than ever before to dive straight in and start getting things done!

What’s more, the app boasts offline capability, which gives you the freedom to continue making progress on projects regardless of Internet connection. Once you’re back online, any changes will seamlessly sync across all devices.

With just a few finishing touches left to be made, we want to make sure it runs just as we expect and gives our users the most seamless experience possible. That’s why we’ll soon be asking some of our lucky DropTask Tester Community members to take a first-look at the app in beta before its official release. If chosen as a beta tester, you will be able to have your say on what’s working well and also report any glitches so we can make important updates and fixes before its release. The feedback we receive from our beta testers is incredibly valuable to us as it helps shape the future of DropTask, so we’d really appreciate your help.

Want to get involved?

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If you would like the opportunity to test our upcoming app in beta, you’ll need to be part of our Tester Community which is exclusively available to DropTask PRO members only. Beta testing will open very soon, so stay tuned for the latest news and updates.

For more information on all of the other great benefits you’ll receive when you join DropTask PRO… 

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How the award-winning architectural practice, Hudson Architects, replaced to-do lists and note-taking with DropTask to inspire efficiency and transparency throughout the business.

Hudson Architects Team

The Hudson Architects Team

Philip Durban is the Director of Technology at Hudson Architects; a twenty-person award-winning architectural practice designing contemporary buildings throughout the UK and worldwide. Since signing up in the summer of 2013, DropTask has not only improved the day to day internal running of the business, but has added a level of enthusiasm and engagement amongst staff exceeding anything he could have ever hoped for…

 “In 2012 we found ourselves overwhelmed with new projects at the tail-end of the recession. It was in this context that we became frustrated with our old-task management system where every employee was keeping a manual “to-do” list in an effectively private notebook.

Until 2 years ago, our normal business practice was to have a full team meeting every Monday where we would go round the room allowing each person to announce what they needed to do most urgently. We would then try to assimilate this information – and within the same meeting, find the best way to achieve and resource the task. It wasn’t the most perfect way of doing things at all, and tended to be knee-jerk reactive rather than properly planned.

“Every employee was keeping a manual “to-do” list in an effectively private notebook…We would go round the room allowing each person to announce what they needed to do most urgently”

We realized we needed a tool that would make task management more transparent, auditable and accessible to all. But being architects we’re slightly obtuse, and we instinctively respond better to very visual organizational tools – rather than just very long lists!

We scoured Google for a system that would work well for our needs and in the process we tried out quite a few fairly conventional systems across the world, most of which left us very unconvinced. However, as Director of Technology, I then stumbled across something called DropTask and it instantly “rocked my boat” from a visual point of view. It seemed to have startlingly good reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. Soon afterwards, we projected DropTask onto our meeting room wall and demonstrated it to everyone in the company. DropTask’s visual style not only made it very easy to explain to everyone how it worked and why we should have it, but it also made all our staff enthusiastic to start entering their own projects.

Hudson Architects

Hudson Architects

So for the last 2 years we’ve had a principle that if anything is being done in the company it needs to show up somewhere in a DropTask project. We divide our projects into fee-earning projects and overhead projects. Our overhead projects will be the same as everyone else’s (office management, PR, etc), but our fee-earning projects are all about designing buildings, large and small. DropTask has the flexibility to allow a project to be completely unique, or based on a well-refined template – but most of our projects are pretty much one-off. Having said that, we have fairly clear internal protocols for which DropTask “groups” will be used in building projects, although we’ve also found that these groups need to be dynamic over the course of a multi-year building contract. DropTask offers exactly that flexibility.

“…for the last 2 years we’ve had a principle that if anything is being done in the company, it needs to show up somewhere in a DropTask project.”

But apart from DropTask’s intuitive visual strengths, there are other essential features which make it very powerful, including the ability to very easily allocate a fully defined task to any person inside or outside of the organization.  As well as internal task delegation, we now require our IT contractor to respond to and update all our IT requests using DropTask. DropTask also makes it very easy to maintain a comprehensive audit trail for every event within the life of a task, and this audit trail semi-automatically tells us who did what, and when they did it.

DropTask has been powerful enough to inspire subtly new ways of working and has given us an intelligent overview of the totality of our workload – when that was otherwise very difficult to achieve!”

Get your team started today by signing up for free at www.droptask.com/signup

Already a DropTask user? Share your story with us at contact@droptask.com for your chance to be featured in a future post!

DropTask is now available to download on your Mac Desktop!

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DropTask for Mac has arrived!

Get started by downloading DropTask straight to your Mac desktop for free today:

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If you’re not a Mac user don’t worry – our Windows desktop app will be coming soon! In the meantime, you can also sign up to DropTask for free via our Web, iPhone, iPad, or Android apps.


Do more on your desktop

DropTask’s engaging visual display gives people all around the world the motivation and encouragement to reach their goals – whether they be deadlines at work, personal errands, or that trip you’ve always wanted to take. When you download and install our app on your Mac desktop today you’ll be instantly equipped with the tools you need to plan, manage and take action…

Bring everything together

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From files to conversations – bring everything together in one collaborative workspace. With DropTask installed on your Mac you’ll gain instant access to all of your projects and will be able to stay in the loop with a visual notifications showing right on your desktop!


Keep your projects moving

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With offline capability you can continue to delegate, update and complete tasks, safe in the knowledge that any changes will seamlessly sync across all devices once you’re back online.


Don’t forget a thing

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You’ll struggle to let those all-important to dos slip your mind with the brand new Status Bar utility app – exclusively available on Mac. When the app is minimized you’ll be able to capture tasks and send them straight to DropTask in an instant so you can maintain focus and continue progress without any delays.

Download DropTask for Mac today:

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If you’re not a Mac user don’t worry – our  Windows desktop app will be coming soon! In the meantime, you can also sign up to DropTask for free via our Web, iPhone, iPad, or Android apps.

Come together with DropTask PRO for teams

Here at DropTask HQ we understand how important teamwork is, and we know from our own experiences that problems can be solved much more quickly and efficiently when we work together instead of battling for a solution on our own.

That’s why for this week only we’re giving away an extra 2 MONTHS FREE for your whole team when you upgrade to ANY of our annual PRO team plans!*

Offer expires at midnight on 24th April 2015


Unlock your team’s potential

DropTask PRO opens the door to features that allow you to raise your game and reach the goals you’ve set for yourself and your team. You’ll be armed with the tools to successfully plan, manage and take action so you can streamline your workflow and keep everything in one place.

Engage

Unite your team and bring them together when you collaborate in real-time. With everyone working from the same page you can be sure that no one will be left in the dark and your whole team will know exactly what needs to be done.

Manage

Ensuring that your project runs smoothly and establishing accountability is a top priority.

So whether you’re assigning tasks to others or checking-in with a team member for an update; easily manage and track the overall progress of your project while remaining focused on your goals and the bigger picture.

Motivate

Gone are the days when managing and organizing to-dos was a chore!

DropTask’s use of color, shape and space adds an element of fun and enjoyment to the process for you and your team. With features such as cover images and project themes, PRO allows your team to interact with their projects thus making the way they work more intuitive and flexible than ever before.


CLAIM OUR SPECIAL OFFER – Get 2 months free when you subscribe to any annual PRO team plan, for this week only.*

* Offer valid on annual PRO Team subscriptions only and expires at midnight on 24th April 2015. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

From team collaboration to sales acquisition: how DropTask made an impact for Kate Harthan

Kate Harthan works at a promotional products company specializing in personalized items for businesses, corporate awards and uniform programs with customers all over the United States. With general office management responsibilities and duties in marketing, before signing up to DropTask Kate found the lifecycle management of incoming projects to be challenging – especially when priorities were ever changing. For Kate, the use of spreadsheets to manage projects was insufficient as it lacked the ability for all users to edit it at once, and with employees having to keep track of smaller tasks on their own notepads and valuable time being spent ‘catching up’ in weekly office meetings, Kate’s company needed an alternative.

We needed a tool that would allow us to manage ongoing projects on a daily basis, one that would allow for all employees to view and change things at the same time. This way, my boss would be able to stay up-to-date with the status of individuals’ projects without stopping to ask them about it, and employees could keep track of all of their notes in one place. I read about DropTask in a magazine I received, and decided to try it out.

DropTask is used to manage all of our ongoing projects. Each employee has their own ‘bubble’, and the projects that they are working on are grouped within this. Employees are able to add notes to tasks, meaning projects are easily transferred to another employee to handle if someone is on vacation as they have access to everything regarding the project(s). We also have a ‘Projects not yet assigned’ bubble so when customers call in for quotes, whoever takes the call can create a task. Then, when an employee finishes their current project(s), they are able to see the tasks that have not yet been handled and can start working on them. Similarly, we have a ‘Projects Completed’ bubble, so when a task is completed (they have quoted the customer, prepared artwork, and taken an order) it can be moved into here.

At the end of every week, I print all of these ‘bubbles’ off; the Projects Completed, the Projects not yet assigned and each employee’s own. These printouts from DropTask are used as a guide in our office meetings.

Droptask printouts

We are currently using DropTask to manage every project in the company, regardless of size. DropTask allows us to create bubbles for each and every task to be done. For example, when someone calls in requesting a quote for 50 shirts, we can create a task and track it until completion when an order is placed.  We even use it for our sales rep – when he has deliveries to make, we create task bubbles for him so he knows where to go, who to see and what he is dropping off, all without asking.

“It is refreshing to have a visual representation of what is going on in the office that all employees are able to edit. It has helped reduce my boss’s time spent managing employee projects, and it has increased our response times and overall success of follow-up with customers.”

DropTask is extremely easy and convenient to work with. It is refreshing to have a visual representation of what is going on in the office that all employees are able to edit. It has helped reduce my boss’s time spent managing employee projects, and it has increased our response times and overall success of follow-up with customers. If we provide a quote, but the customer doesn’t make an immediate decision, the project bubble still exists. An employee could click on it, see the date of the last note that was made along with the customer contact information and they could then follow-up on the enquiry. If the customer tells us, for example, that they won’t be able to make a decision for 2 or 3 months, we can set that time as a due date to remind ourselves to follow up with this customer. It is a great system that keeps us from relying on individual employees’ post-it notes, emails, or memories, which makes it easier for employees to be away from work last minute and for closer monitoring of customer contact. I believe that this has led to higher sales numbers while reducing the amount of physical paper used weekly – all the information is available at a glance in DropTask.

Try it yourself – get started for free at www.droptask.com/signup

Already using DropTask? Share your story with us at contact@droptask.com for your chance to be featured in a future post!