Author Archives: DropTask

Arrange an awesome last-minute Halloween using DropTask

Only a couple of days remain until the spookiest day of the year – Halloween, is upon us. A day when fear is the aim of the game and a fright or two is on the cards for most of us.

Even more terrifying than the holiday itself is the realization that it is only two days away and you’ve yet to make any plans or are still lacking a costume. To avoid the turmoil of sitting in with the lights off to deter trick or treaters from your treat-less house, we’ve got some advice on how to get organized at the last-minute this Halloween.

There’s no party like a collaborative DropTask party.

Halloween Party

With so little time to prepare you may think that all hopes of arranging that Halloween party you promised to your pals last year are dashed. However, with a bit of help from DropTask there’s still oodles of time to arrange a get-together. Create a project (perhaps called something imaginative like ‘Halloween Party’) and create task circles for everything that needs to be done. Categorize them in groups to make life easier, not forgetting the basics like food, music, and entertainment. Next, invite all your friends to the project. Hopefully they’ll accept the invite if they’re free) or perhaps they just prefer you to the host of the previous party they’d agreed to attend). Once you know who’s coming you can begin to delegate tasks, making the late organization a whole lot simpler. Start completing your individual responsibilities and chase that flaky friend by sending them update requests to find out if they’ve purchased those all-important pumpkins yet. Discuss any final details in the comments and voila – you have yourself a party!

We’ve even done the hard work for you and created a Halloween party project for you to use – click here to take a look! Remember, as this project is public, you’ll be able to view but not edit.

99 problems but a costume ain’t one.


We’ve all seen it, the epic fail of a costume that is the bed sheet ghost. The last resort for those poor souls that didn’t get to the shops in time. Banish the bed-sheet by using DropTask to come up with a killer last-minute outfit. Make a project for your costume mission in order to get started. Add a group for websites and fill it with tasks that contain links to costume sites that provide express delivery. Check them all out and complete them when you’re done. Make another group with tasks for contact details of costume shops in your area and get in touch with them to find out what stock they have remaining. No luck with any of these? Dig out that dressing up box from wherever it’s lurking and go through everything. Note down the contents using tasks for each item you find and reflect on your options once you’re done. Go one step further and take a photo for each item, setting it as the cover image for the relevant task. You never know what outfit you may create when you look at everything you have within one simple visual.

More of the treat, less of the trick.

Trick or Treat Route

If you’ve got children, the annual trick or treating outing can be a stressful affair. Knowing where to go and what (or who!) to avoid are crucial elements of making the night a success. Hurrying a crying child home early because Mrs Smith from number 54 slammed the door in his face is no fun for anyone. Create a trick or treat project, mapping out where you want to go in advance by creating tasks for the neighbors you definitely want to call on. Link these using dependencies so you know which order to visit them in. You’ll be able to tick these off as you go on the night using our iPhone app (and Android in the very near future!). Got older kids that you aren’t accompanying? Keep the process the same and share the project with them so they’ll be able to guide themselves. Super-savvy children could complete where they’ve been on route by using their smartphones, meaning you’ll be able to keep track of them in real-time, lessening the natural worrying parents inevitably do.

Turn baking fright into baking delight.


Any holiday comes hand in hand with baking and Halloween is no different. Whether you need to rustle up some treats because all the stores around you have sold out of candy corn, or you promised Halloween cupcakes to the office, DropTask can help. Find your desired recipes then turn them into projects, making each step of the process a task. If you’re unsure of any measurements, convert them to ones you recognize in advance so that you won’t be confused when it comes to the baking itself. If you make sure to list everything you need in the project, you’ll be able to access this on the go and use it as your shopping list, avoiding a last minute dash to the shops for an extra bag of sugar. Once you’ve baked your Halloween delicacies, why not share a public project with those who asked for your recipe so they can recreate your tasty treats themselves?

I now hope the only things scaring you on the day are ghosts and ghouls, and not the prospect of last-minute organization. By using some of these tips you can be well on your way to a frightfully good Halloween (pun completely and utterly intended).

A happy Halloween to you all from the DropTask team!

Behind the scenes with Cover Images

As we’re sure you know by now, last month we updated the DropTask interface by giving it a beautiful makeover and added some exciting new features in the process. One of those was cover images, a refreshed way of differentiating and personalizing your tasks. A few months were spent developing and perfecting the feature, and today we thought we would give you a little preview of what takes place behind the scenes at DropTask HQ when we produce any new functionality, from planning through to release! Before we begin however, can we all just take a moment to appreciate how good food looks within tasks? Those sandwiches…


Now we’ve taken that moment to drool over 2D food, let me take you back to the start of cover images. As with any new creation, the first step came from an initial idea. Not all of the ideas we have come to fruition however, as we first need to determine whether or not the additional feature will benefit yourselves as users. It is only after this process that we can move forward with planning. We thought that cover images would make tasks easier to locate, whilst adding an element of personalization. Using images to distinguish tasks would also enhance visualization and the ability to glean a project overview with one glance. With this in mind, we were sure the feature would add real value to your experience of DropTask and we got to work with the planning process.

Capture 5

From the marketing team’s perspective, we thought it would be as simple as placing images into the background of the default task shape. As you can see above, the devs soon proved us wrong and highlighted a number of issues with this process. It became apparent that images would obscure the text, and although we tried to work around this, it was clear something had to change. With most images being rectangular by nature, the circles just weren’t cutting it and we needed a larger surface area in order for the images and task attributes to render correctly. We started to dabble with straight edges and longer lines, and although the images certainly looked better and the information was clear – the tasks were no longer recognizable as part of DropTask!

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It was then time to go back to the drawing board, quite literally, in order to think of something better.


It was at this point that the task began to take shape and we created the first version of the rounded square you’ll be familiar with today. With approval from Darren – our Head of Development, the devs began working on the functionality of cover images within DropTask itself. While our software developer Ben, handled the visual side of things, Mike, another one of our software developers, got started on the ‘cropper’ that would be used to fit the images into tasks. Once this development stage was complete, it was time for the fun part – testing! Not so fun for poor Ben and Mike however, who both spent this period fuelled by above-average coffee consumption in order to implement all the changes necessary based on the team’s feedback (sorry guys!). Once all of us were finally happy, we released cover images to a set of PRO users for further testing.

With all final edits complete and any glitches ironed out (cue a large sigh of relief from Ben and Mike), cover images were ready to go!
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Now we’ve been using cover images for a few weeks, we can’t imagine DropTask without them! We hope you’re all having fun with this new feature and, most importantly, that they’ve enhanced your user experience by making your tasks easier to locate thus saving you both time and effort.

If you haven’t already, head to DropTask and check out cover images right now. Even if you have, why not go and admire them again in all their glory. And if you like them, let us know – your lovely feedback is what keeps the devs going during those dark, caffeine driven times just before a new update is released…

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.


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.

Second Image

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!

Third Image

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.


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!


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


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


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


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


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?

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!