Author Archives: DropTask

Yes, you’re busy but are you productive?

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3 Ways to go from needlessly busy to getting things done

Think back over the past few weeks. Have you been busy or productive? No, this isn’t a trick question. We’re not trying to trip you up. Being busy and being productive are not the same thing.

These days most of us are crazy busy. Busyness goes hand-in-hand with the modern world, where, thanks to our ‘always on’ digital culture and a haphazard economy, we feel the need to run our lives at breakneck speed and cram our calendars to the brim. Each day we scurry from task to task. There are deadlines to meet, emails to exchange, obligations to fulfill, papers to file, phone calls to answer and meetings to attend – we’re frazzled just thinking about it!

It can be tempting to see being busy as a sign of success; a symbol of your incredible work devotion. But while you’re on full-time ‘inbox monitor’ duty, how much are you actually accomplishing on the things that matter? Although staying constantly in motion can make you feel like you’re racing ahead, the reality is that you’re more likely to be stuck on a treadmill running nonessential errands. Stop confusing busyness for productivity, and you’ll get better results on your mission-critical projects.

So what can you do to be less frantically busy, but more productive? Here are some tips.

1. Trim your to-dos

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Many of us live our lives at such a furious pace that we lose sight of what’s important. Cutting down your to-dos might sound like counterproductive advice, but it actually helps you get more done in ways that count. Being productive means accomplishing the tasks that will bring you closer to meeting your goals – those that are in line with your core mission and provide the biggest bang for your buck in the business. Anything else is just busywork and will clutter up your day.

The Pareto Principle is the idea that 80% of your results come from 20% of your activity. So instead of trying to hurry through a long list of xx trivial items, choose 2 to 3 high priority tasks to focus on in a single day. This is what top CEOs, business owners and managers do. Prioritizing forces you to choose what’s most significant for you to work on right now and helps you remain focused, so you’re not just staying busy for the sake of it. That means tackling those big scary projects first, not claiming that you’re ‘too busy’ as an excuse. So even if you only get those 3 things done at day’s end, you’ll have been far more industrious than if you had completed 10 not-so-important items.

How can you get rid of the checklist mentality and apply the Pareto Principle to your workload? Try using DropTask to separate your high-value tasks from your low-value busywork. The Importance feature allows you to set the priority of a task from low (blue flag) to very high (red flag) in line with its expected impact. You can also define the level of Urgency (low to very high) and Effort (small, medium or large) of each of your items to best determine when and how to take action on them. If you find prioritizing tasks a bit tricky, this Inc. article suggests a useful strategy that takes account of the amount of effort needed as well as the potential for positive results.

2. Hit the pause button

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As humans, we’re designed to operate cyclically between spending and renewing our energy, not linearly like a machine. Think about your personal energy for a moment. When it’s high, you can concentrate well and produce great work. When it’s low, your productivity and work quality plummets. Forcing yourself to slog on when your energy tank is empty is not only harmful to your performance, it’s a sure-fire route to burnout. You might try to override your low points by downing a double-shot coffee or grabbing a sugary snack, but when you do this your stress hormones kick in to keep you going, so you end up working in ‘fight or flight’ mode rather than at full capacity. This means you become reactive to what’s going on around you and less able to think clearly, creatively or critically. The trick around this is to take frequent breaks and replenish your energy levels before they hit rock-bottom, so you can then bring more intensity and power to whatever it is you’re doing.  The 2014 Quality of Life @ Work study found that employees who take a brief break every 90 minutes report:

  • 28% better level of focus
  • 40% greater capacity to think creatively
  • 30% higher level of health and wellbeing

Instead of aiming to stay busy round the clock, schedule regular ‘pit stops’ into your DropTask projects and set Reminders to alert you take them. Plan in advance what you’re going to do in your breaks so you can optimize this time. Consultant Sami Paju recommends changing your channel of activity. We all have 3 channels of human activity – cognitive, physical and emotional. If you’ve been doing a lot of thinking and brainwork, then you need to switch off from the cognitive channel. Try taking a stroll, getting a snack, meditating or break out the crayons and do some coloring in to relieve stress. A great way to engage the emotional channel is to listen to music, watch funny YouTube videos or call a friend. Or get your physical channel going by hitting the gym, doing some stretches or running up and down the stairs. In just a short while, you’ll be able to regain your alertness and go back to work with gusto.

3. Single-Task

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For years, businesses have put the ability to multitask on a pedestal as something to be revered in their workers. But experts agree that multitasking doesn’t really exist. What we think of as multitasking is really ‘multiswitching’, bouncing from one task to another, and there are studies to show that it destroys productivity and concentration. Researchers at Vanderbilt University discovered that people who were given two simple tasks to perform at the same time experienced a huge slowdown in brain activity. They took up to 30% longer and made twice as many errors as those who completed the same tasks consecutively. Task switching causes time delays and scrambles mental clarity as the brain is forced to shift gears to a new task, so rather than being the smart way to work, it’s a dumb deal.

Forget trying to juggle multiple tasks at the same time and try chunking (or ‘timeboxing’) instead. When planning your day, aim to batch similar types of activities together and work on them in sequence, so you have fewer of those jarring start-up moments. Your work Categories might include Team tasks (such as training, appraisals or job assigning), Planning/Reporting, Meetings, Events, Admin Duties, Thinking/Decision Making, Emails/Phone Calls, Brainstorming, and so on. By ring-fencing your tasks like this, you can focus more intensely and get into a productive flow, without being distracted by every single ding or alert. There’s no need to stress about not insta-replying to emails either, as all-in-all you’re getting much more done.

The DropTask Canvas makes it easy for you to cluster tasks into categories through a simple drag and drop facility and gives you a great visual perspective on your entire workload, meaning you can avoid getting caught in mind traps. If you’re a manager, use DropTask to Assign well-categorized tasks to team members, and limit the number of responsibilities each person works on per day. This enables them to bring 100% of their attention to their most important projects and slashes the switching costs that occur when transitioning to new tasks.

How about you? Are you constantly trying to squeeze more into your day and rush through your daily to-dos? Make full use of DropTask to regain your focus and get your demands under control so you can be hyper-productive, not just busy. Any other tips? Please share in the comments below.

Improving business processes & increasing effectiveness by 80% with DropTask

The Vestack Group of companies deliver a broad range of services and each company has their own goals, hierarchies and communication channels. With Group wide goals and provisions also in place, CEO Shaun Kennard, was in need of a solution to coordinate the multitude of activities.

Shaun Kennard - CEO, Vestack Group“As CEO, I faced the problem of keeping tabs on all of the key activities that were being undertaken within each company and the progress that was being made. Trying to communicate with others, as well as set, delegate, and action different tasks based on various topics and companies, became very challenging. Many tasks were emailed to others, but once sent, they were assumed to be delegated or done, and were not followed up with – which became a nightmare in itself.

“I was primarily looking for a balance between price, functionality and simplicity.”

Through some research, I came across DropTask. I did investigate a few other software options but I was primarily looking for a balance between price, functionality and simplicity. In the end I decided on DropTask. I received very good support from the team at DropTask, which I must admit made the decision even easier.

As with any new business tool or process, it did take a bit of time to change people’s attitudes and to get our staff using the software. The primary factor in getting our staff on board was buy-in from management; once they bought into the app we gradually moved more and more support functions into DropTask. We also offered basic training and support to all of our users, but with DropTask’s biggest advantage being that it is so visual and takes a simple approach, it is very easy to use.

HOW WE USE THE APP

Using DropTask within the team

Our method for using DropTask is easy; each company creates their own projects with the name of the company and the specified topic as the project title. Within the project, secondary topics are defined using groups; each group contains our tasks and everything that needs to be done.

Whether its meetings, financial feedback or risk management progress, many of our projects are continually updated and will never be completed. As they don’t have logical start or finish dates, DropTask is used as an ongoing tool for our tasks.

DropTask has been effective in seeing some projects through from inception to completion, such as event days. All stages of the project are managed in DropTask; from the initial planning and task allocation, to preparation and evaluation after the event has been held. We would also envisage using DropTask to manage the launch of a new product – from the inception stage right through until the final launch.

“Many of our projects are continually updated…DropTask is used as an ongoing tool for our tasks.”

DropTask is also used as a short and long term planner by each user. Consequently, their time management can be made much more effective by planning their day, listing the key tasks (as Subtasks) to their daily planner and then ensuring they focus on it. All team members are encouraged to use the app to its full potential. Not so much in terms of the different features, but thinking about our business processes and limiting the management thereof on DropTask only; thus not duplicating systems.Scheduling and managing meetings in DropTask

For example, in addition to meetings being scheduled through DropTask, we also have the app open during meetings, so interactions can be immediately recorded and actions created. As a result, we have moved away from diaries, agendas and minutes.

“I would argue that in respect of the matters we use DropTask for, we have increased our effectiveness by 80%.”

We have found that the functionality of DropTask is spot on; we’re not overloaded with unused icons and features and the visual simplicity reduces the busyness of projects and prevents data overload. Since using DropTask I would say there has been a 20% increase in each person’s productivity, and an even bigger influence on business effectiveness. By this, I mean the way that we deal with issues, delegate tasks, remind each other and ensure focus. Effectiveness will of course impact productivity, and I would argue that in respect of the matters we use DropTask for, we have increased our effectiveness by 80%.

We have been offered various alternative task management tool options, but with DropTask working the way it has, and with it also continually improving key functionality within the Group, I cannot see us moving to another solution.”

Improve your productivity and effectiveness by signing up for free today 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!

Productivity vs. Creativity

Productivity and creativity are often said to be opposed and at battle with one another; in order to be productive you have to sacrifice creativity, and if you wish to be creative, you must forgo being productive.

Creativity focuses on the quality of work and the development of new ideas – giving little thought to time. Productivity on the other hand, is about putting the wheels in motion – it focuses on getting things done and reaching goals in the most effective way, in the least amount of time.

But does a trade-off between the two have to exist, or can productivity and creativity be balanced so they’re not fundamentally at odds with one another? After all, if we’re to be successful we need to be both productive and creative.

You may be creative and have amazing new ideas, but without productivity, those ideas are simply that – ideas. Similarly, if you’re productive in your work but don’t have any creativity in your process, you become stuck in a routine and are likely to miss out on new opportunities.

As you can see, both productivity and creativity are important, and although the possibility of combining them is questionable, we’ve got 3 steps which will allow you to synchronise them; so each can do what it does best when appropriate.

1. Separate your tasks

Identify whether tasks are productive or creativeIn any project you’re likely to have a mixture of both creative and productive tasks. The key is to break down your project and identify whether productivity or creativity is best suited for each one. It’s important to do this because even though a project might be creative – for example, designing a new website – it doesn’t necessarily mean that every task within that project will be creative too. Tasks such as brainstorming ideas and designing the layout are creative, but actions such as proofing and publishing web pages are more about being productive.

2. Schedule creative time

Schedule time for creative thinking and activitiesOnce you’ve identified the tasks that primarily require creativity, allocate yourself time and space to undertake some creative thinking. Whether it’s 20 minutes or several hours, it’s important to schedule time in your day which can be spent away from your usual activities, so you can brainstorm new ideas and gain fresh perspectives.

3. Establish a workflow

Set up workflows to enhance productivity and efficiency

For the productive tasks, a workflow of activity should be set up to optimize efficiency and to limit work in progress. By mapping out each stage of your project cycle, you can easily monitor work as it passes through the cycle, and quickly address any bottlenecks; ensuring tasks flow through each step of the process smoothly – which is essential for a fast and consistent delivery of work.

How do you balance creativity and productivity while you work? Share your top tips with us in the comments below.

Learn more about the benefits of DropTask and sign up for a free account today. 

3 Steps to giving productive feedback

Here at DropTask, we understand the importance of communication in the workplace – particularly when working with others and progressing towards your goals. From sharing ideas to delegating work, communication can take many forms. But one type of communication that is often avoided, is feedback.

The process of giving and receiving feedback can be a delicate one – managers can find it hard to deliver feedback, and employees fear the worst. According to the Harvard Business Review, most people assume the worst when review meetings come up, but as feedback plays a key role in the development and success of employees and the organization, it shouldn’t be avoided.

Feedback allows for problems to be identified and solved, helping to improve both the quality of work and success of the business. Below, are 3 tips to help you give constructive – not destructive feedback, so both your employees and your company can flourish.

1. Make it immediate
Schedule a meeting When it comes to giving feedback, don’t beat around the bush. Schedule a quick meeting to share your feedback and address any problems. The sooner you nip an issue in the bud, the sooner you can move forward in the right direction. In addition to addressing specific matters immediately, frequent performance reviews should be conducted – on a monthly or quarterly basis, to air any concerns and to ensure everyone is on the same page.

2. Offer solutions

Sit down and offer solutionsIt’s all very well being critical about how someone has performed, but without a clear plan or suggestions for progression, behavior is unlikely to change. It’s important to offer positive suggestions on how they could do things differently or give guidance on how improvements can be made. Ensure that individual responsibilities are clearly understood and provide supporting documents, so all necessary information is available to do the job well. Leading in the right direction will improve team productivity and help the business to be successful.

3. Be positive
Praising a team memberNot all feedback needs to be negative – it’s important to give credit where credit’s due. So, don’t forget to praise your team when a goal is reached or when they’ve done a good job. Taking the time to let them know you’re grateful of their contributions will improve motivation and the attitude towards their job – plus, when negative feedback needs to be given, they’re more likely to take it on board rather than taking it personally.

New to DropTask? Learn more about the benefits by signing up for a free account today.

How to Manage Interruptions at Work

It’s the start of a new day; you’re raring to go and feeling inspired to tackle those all-important and must-do tasks. But suddenly, you get interrupted and thrown off track.

Whether it’s by a phone call, email, over-heard conversation or colleague stopping by your desk, these unplanned activities might steal your attention – distracting you from the task at-hand.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that the typical worker is interrupted or switches tasks, on average, every three minutes and five seconds. What’s more, once focus has been lost, depending upon the complexity of the task, it can take over 23 minutes to regain focus and return to the original task. Not only is valuable time lost and wasted through interruptions at work, but the number of errors and mistakes can also increase, affecting the overall quality of your work.

Time is one of the most cherished resources, and although some interruptions are inevitable and beyond your control, many can be controlled or prevented. Below, we’ve got some top tips that will help promote discipline and aid forward planning so you can protect your time and invest it in the projects and tasks that are most important to you, and achieving both your personal and business goals:

Break down your day

Sending emails and checking mobile for updatesIt’s all too easy to get distracted by the email announcing cakes in the staff room, or the latest trends on Twitter. But these distractions disturb your trail of thought and productivity, and with no set time frame, it’s hard to manage how long is spent on trivial tasks.

So, instead of dipping in and out of your inbox or continuously refreshing social media sites, set aside blocks of time dedicated to regular activities such as responding to emails, making calls and updating social media. Having specific time slots for different activities throughout the day will reduce unnecessary amounts of time being spent on low importance tasks, and higher priority tasks will have your full attention for more sustained periods – without interruption.

Listen to music

listen to music while you workIt’s been found that listening to music at work can increase accuracy and speed, with 9 out of 10 workers performing better when music is playing. Music allows you to block out other sounds and surrounding noise from the environment or other colleagues – making it easier to concentrate on getting things done. Putting in your headphones will also act as a visual ‘do not disturb’ signal to team members – meaning they’ll be less likely to interrupt you while you work. So the next time you need to work without disruption, plug in, tune in and zone out.

Asses the situation

Time pressures at work

When interrupted and asked to take on a task by someone else, it’s only natural to drop what you’re doing and rush to get the job done straight away. While your willingness to help and eagerness to complete the task will do wonders for your credibility, it will increase the pressure to meet your own deadlines, as the time you have to complete your work will be reduced.

So, when you take on any extra tasks you should always assess how long it will take you to do, what will be required to get started and when it needs to be done by. If you’re not able to fit the requested task into your own schedule, delegate it to a team member or ask a colleague for a helping hand to get it finished. But remember, if it’s not feasible for you to take on the new task, you can of course say no, followed by a short explanation of why you’re not available to help this time around.

Relocate

Quiet work space at DropTask HQ

Open space for distraction-free work at DropTask HQ, Tec Marina.

When you really need to get something done but find yourself surrounded by interruptions, temporarily move to a different location. Whether it’s a conference room, an empty desk, the cafeteria or even the outside seating area (weather dependent of course), escape to a place where you’ll be able to focus and get on with your work with fewer distractions. Remember, this should only be a temporary measure, and if you do choose to move, it’s important to communicate with your team so they know your whereabouts.

Plan ahead 

Use DropTask to plan aheadSome things just don’t go the way you expect them to, but by planning ahead and using a tool like DropTask, you can limit the amount of disruption to your work before it occurs.

When organizing tasks, prioritize where your time should fore-mostly be spent, and define the order for completing them. Then, if you are faced with interruptions or delays, disruption will be minimal as higher priority tasks will have been completed first and any lost time will instead affect tasks with lower importance and less urgency.

If you do get held up or a colleague, manager or client is waiting on you for information, then be proactive in communicating with them. Leave them a comment or update a task’s status to keep them informed of how you’re doing. If others are aware of your progress, they’re less likely to interrupt you for an update.

Finally, when setting deadlines for your work, allow yourself some extra time to complete them. A little leeway here and there means if any unforeseen delays, problems or distractions do arise, you can be flexible in responding – without falling behind on deadlines.

How do you cope with or limit interruptions while you work? Share your top tips with us in the comments below.

Learn more about the benefits of DropTask and sign up for a free account today. 

Are you doing too much? How shared planning can save time & improve work processes

With team members each using different methods for managing workloads, and with no easy way to view all activities, Hamish More – Director of People & Capability for the New Zealand Fire Service, was after a more streamlined and collaborative solution that the whole team could use.Hamish More, Director of People & Capability for The New Zealand Fire Service

“Before DropTask, there was no consistent approach for planning and managing tasks within my department, and team members were all using various methods. There was a common complaint from our people of “we’re doing too much”, but with no clear overview of all activities, no-one could easily explain – or ‘see’ what was causing all of the busyness. To overcome this problem, I wanted to adopt a shared planning approach and so needed a tool which would give a visible indication of the number of activities we had under way, and allow for the whole team to contribute.

“DropTask appealed to me most because of its unique visual interface and the ability to ‘see’ relationships between tasks.”

While searching for apps and tools to help manage workloads, I looked at a few options, but DropTask appealed to me most because of its unique visual interface and the ability to ‘see’ relationships between tasks. I signed up for the free version of DropTask and within a matter of weeks a large number of the team were using DropTask PRO.The New Zealand Fire Service TeamDropTask is used on a daily basis by the team in a variety of ways – all of which are hugely valuable to us. I primarily use it to track reporting on projects, so I know which reports need approving. In one DropTask project, Cameron Hawke (Project Manager for our Service Resilience & Development Team), has set-up a sequence of groups – one for “drafting”, one for “ready to approve”, and one for “approved”, others also include “closed” and “rejected”. Applying a Kanban-like method of working, we manage the process by moving tasks between these groups. When a task hits the “ready to approve” stage, I’m assigned to that task and I instantly receive a notification (both within the app and via email) of my new task – I then have 5-days to either approve or reject the attached report for that task.

“…they had an “aha” moment when they saw the large visualization of our work.”

I also use DropTask to manage the team’s activities; the visual nature of the app allows me to get a good idea of the amount of work just by glancing at a project and seeing who is assigned to what. I’m then able to present and share this information with other colleagues to illustrate our workloads. If I need to delegate new tasks, or re-assign existing ones, then the drag and drop functionality of the app – which I love – makes it quick and easy to do so.

DropTask Project using iPad AppDropTask has surprised many people in the team; they had an “aha” moment when they saw the large visualization of our work, and started seeing where most of their time was being spent and why they were so busy. Now, by prioritizing our work in DropTask, we’re able to better utilize our time by focusing on what’s important, and spending less time on – or even putting on hold, low priority tasks.

“DropTask has helped introduce efficiencies and effectiveness.”

I would say that DropTask has helped introduce efficiencies and effectiveness around our reporting and has also given me a far better oversight of workloads and status. It has saved me a lot of time by helping to make our work processes much easier and faster.”

Collaborate with your team and see what DropTask can do for you by signing up for free today 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!

How to turn wait time into productive time

Waiting - how to be productive while you wait

Waiting; we’ve all been there. Whether it’s at the station platform, in the office or even at the doctor’s surgery. But when you have a busy schedule to follow, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait. After all, every minute spent waiting for something or someone, is a minute wasted. Or, is it?

I recently found myself at a loose end ‘waiting’ for some unexpected software updates – which ultimately put a halt to any laptop-based work. In this day and age we rely so heavily on technology and being connected online, that it’s easy to forget about the many other activities we could be doing that don’t require a digital connection. So, instead of staring at my screen and waiting for the update % number to increase, I took the opportunity to partake in some creative thinking and brainstorming of new ideas.

Being disconnected from the internet meant I was really able to explore my own mind and think outside of the box without any distractions – it even inspired me to write this post. That’s why I want to share 5 things (including brainstorming), that you can try the next time you find yourself waiting – turning wait time into productive time. If there’s something you do to stay productive while you wait, then I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

1. Brainstorm

Brainstorm to generate new ideas

As we get comfortable in our lives, we form routines and can often fall into the trap of doing things the way that we’ve always done them. But when it comes to our professional lives, in particular things such as personal progression, company growth, and staying competitive, it’s important to seek new ways of achieving our goals.  So, if like me, you want to make the most of your time, then why not do some creative brainstorming?

Brainstorming promotes the generation of new ideas and fresh approaches. Whether it’s improving your organization’s offerings, driving your business forward, developing strategies to advance your own strengths, or even thinking of new ways to keep the kids occupied during the holidays, brainstorming plays a significant and valuable role during problem solving and decision making.

2. Read a book

Read a book while you waitReading is an important activity, as amongst other benefits, it can boost creativity. But the number of people taking time out to read a book has dropped over the years. In fact, in the past year, over a quarter of American adults (28%) didn’t read a book at all.

Losing yourself in a different world through reading can help engage your imagination – and by opening yourself up to new experiences, you may come up with some new and creative business solutions. Engrossing yourself in a book can also help to reduce stress, as you can escape the worries of day-to-day life. So, dust off those old books, fully immerse yourself in a good read, and inspire new ideas.

3. Organize your space

Organize your workspaceWe’ve talked about the benefits of having a clear workspace in the past, but often, spending time rooting through desk drawers and sorting mountains of paper work can fall to the bottom of our priority list. But, if you’ve got some spare time on your hands while you wait, try using it to de-clutter your desk or workspace. After all, having a clean and organized space will save valuable time when looking for things, and will provide a state of calmness while you work so when you’ve finished waiting you can easily focus on what’s important and maximize your productivity.

4. Take a break

Take a break to improve productivity

When tackling busy schedules and working long hours, it’s important to take regular breaks to maintain and even improve productivity. In a survey by Staples, 86% of respondents recognized that taking a break would make them more productive. A break can reduce fatigue, prevent feeling burned-out and improve both happiness and health – it’s a chance to refuel and rejuvenate, and when you return to work you’re ready to work productively for the remainder of the day.

Taking a break isn’t limited to the office – if you’re out and about waiting, then use the time to escape your normal activities and routines. Taking some time out will allow for a period of thinking – which you may not normally get chance to do, and will help clear your mind.

5. Plan your day

Use DropTask to organize and manage your task list

Use wait time to plan ahead and organize upcoming activities. If you have access to a mobile, tablet or computer while you wait, then a tool such as DropTask helps to get everything out of your head and into one clear workspace. Once you’ve jotted down your to-dos in DropTask, share them with others, add notes and important documents, and check in for updates – plus much more, to schedule, manage and organize tasks. When you’re finished waiting, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done – so you can be more efficient and productive when getting tasks ticked off!

From just the few examples I’ve shared with you above, it’s easy to see that wait time really doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Whether it’s a few minutes, an hour or several hours, with a little forward planning, there’s always something you can be doing while you wait.

How do you spend periods of waiting? If you have a favorite thing to do while you wait we’d love to hear it. Leave us a comment below and share your tips.

3 top tips for tidying up your to-dos, plus get yourself a sweet treat in our Easter sale!

DropTask Easter Sale Bunnies

Here in the UK, spring has sprung and with the holidays just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to clear clutter and get organized. Excessive clutter can lead to a loss of time and money for many organizations, and it’s thought that over 4 hours per week is wasted by employees looking for items that were not returned to their original places. As well as this, if staff members are not easily able to keep track of things then it can lead to duplication of work and expending valuable resources.

Combined with the emotional effects (such as a lack of motivation, stress and unhappiness), a cluttered workspace can have a damaging impact upon productivity. A survey conducted in America found that 90% of Americans admitted that clutter had a negative impact on their life – with 77% of respondents stating their productivity was affected.

Being organized helps to promote smoother work processes, and satisfaction is established when everything can easily be located. So, by taking time to clear your clutter, you’ll feel far more in control and less stressed while you work. But remember – being organized isn’t restricted to your physical working environment. As technology continues to advance, it’s important to also consider your virtual workspace. So, why not give your to-dos a tidy? Cleaning up your tasks will bring focus to what’s important, and provide a state of calmness while you work – boosting motivation and maximizing productivity. See below for some top tips for polishing up your projects…

1. Archive projects

Archive ProjectsDo you have completed projects that you no longer want to see, but don’t want to delete? Archive old work to clear distractions and bring focus to the job at hand – remaining safe in the knowledge that old projects are always there if you need them.

2. Action emails

Send emails to DropTaskAs your email inbox grows, incoming information can quickly become lost or forgotten. Try separating your tasks from correspondence and turn a ‘please do’ into a ‘to do’, by emailing it straight into DropTask – where it’ll wait until you’re ready to take action.

3. Define order

Define order with Task DependenciesDon’t waste time trying to identify next action steps – we can take care of that for you. Maintain structure within your projects and keep an eye on upcoming duties using Dependencies. Creating visual links between tasks will help you clearly define the order in which tasks should be actioned.

DropTask Easter Sale! Get 3 Months FreeSo there you have it; 3 quick tips to ensure you stay clutter free and remain on target to achieve your goals. Plus, to put a spring in your step this Easter, we’re giving away 3 MONTHS FREE of DropTask PRO, offering all of the features mentioned above as well as extras such as Task Assignment, File Sharing and Messaging – plus much more, when you join today.*

Redeem Now


* Offer valid on annual DropTask PRO subscriptions only and expires on Tuesday 29th March 2016. Cannot be used on subscription downgrades or in conjunction with any other offer.

From visualizing processes to presenting; DropTask is more than just a task management tool for Product Manager, Dieter Karrer.

Dieter Karrer has been part of the team at Swiss technical security company, Securiton, for over 13 years. With roles spanning from Head of Development, to his current position as Product Manager, Dieter was in need of a solution to help manage his daily to-dos and projects.

Dieter Karrer - Project Manager at Securiton“Before discovering DropTask, I would keep track of all of my notes and to-dos by drawing sketches. To replace this method, I was seeking a graphical solution which would help organize my to-dos, projects and notices. After spending quite some time researching many different tools and solutions, I stumbled across DropTask in an article online about helpful tools for productivity. My first impressions of the app was that I loved the graphical interface. As my previous method of organization was very graphical, the unique visuals of DropTask were the key selling point for me; DropTask is predestined for me.

“My first impressions of the app was that I loved the graphical interface.”

DropTask is used for my own personal organization and management, and together with my email client, it is the most important tool that I work with. I use it as a type of ticket tool, where I create new task circles for all of my daily to-dos.

Using DropTask to stay organized

“…together with my email client, it is the most important tool that I work with.”

I have found DropTask very easy and intuitive to use, and I love the fact I am able to get a dynamic graphical overview of my work. The ability to add attributes such as importance, effort and status to a task, provides a clear structure of what should be actioned next. I am even able to personalize my work by using my own pictures as visualizations on tasks.

In addition to managing daily to-dos, or a particular project or study that I may be working on, I also use the app to brainstorm ideas and envisage processes. I once had to consider the different processes in a service organization and therefore I used DropTask to clearly visualize each step and action item that needed to be taken. I have even used the app to present information to others – the audience were delighted with the appealing, colorful design and visual display of information.

“…one of the big advantages of using DropTask is its availability across the web and other platforms, such as iOS.”

DropTask iOS iPad app

Of course it is always more efficient to use only one tool for managing numerous tasks, and therefore one of the big advantages of using DropTask is its availability across the web and other platforms, such as iOS. I’m able to access my projects through several browsers and on my tablet as well, with no restrictions.

Although at the moment I am using DropTask for personal management, I hope to use it with my colleagues soon, and I am excited to make full use of the collaboration features within the app.”

Visualize your to-dos and get organized by signing up for free today at www.droptask.com/signup

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