Author Archives: Rowanne Whatley

Introducing the all-new Project Browser

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We recently unveiled our all-new Project Browser, providing effortless navigation to each of your projects, as well as high-level insight into progress, status and who’s involved. Intrigued? Here’s what’s new:

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A high-level overview

The Project Browser can be accessed via our redesigned Menu, which has been simplified and improved to give you quick access to various information and functionality such as your in-built Calendar, our powerful integrations with other apps, and resourceful help and support guides.

When you first open the Project Browser, you’ll be presented with a library of all of the projects that you’re involved in. (We’ve also separated them into useful sections such as ‘Active’, ‘Archived’ and ‘Template’ projects, to make it that little bit easier.) We understand that having a view of all projects could easily get out of hand, which is why our new Project Browser gives you snapshots of information at a high-level, with indicators for the number of tasks that are not started, on hold, in progress, completed and overdue – give them some attention!
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All of the information displayed to you in the Project Browser is presented in a visual way – ideal if you’ve only got time for a quick glance but need a clear and accurate idea of where things are at. And what’s particularly useful is not only the ability to see how who’s involved in the project, but the scale of their involvement. A discreet number will be displayed on the project member’s avatar, indicating to you and to others, the number of tasks that have been allocated to them.

(Top Tip: Combine this information with the Team Calendar, so you can gain insight into everyone’s upcoming schedule in relation to workload and availability.)


Instantly sort, search and locate

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If you’re an avid project creator, we know how difficult it can be to locate specific projects. But don’t worry, because the new Project Browser comes with the additional convenience of functions like the Sorting option, allowing you to effortlessly and efficiently tidy your project library. With options such as ‘Alphabetical’, ‘Last Opened by Me’ and ‘Last Created’’, locating projects is now just as easy as creating them.

Better yet, strengthen your ability to track down projects with the Search function. If you need to promptly access a project, the in-built search will offer you a fast track way to get to what you’re looking for. This makes edits and last-minute adjustments to projects a breeze, as they can be found within an instant.

To check out the new Project Browser, login to your account or create a new one for free at www.droptask.com.

4 Unexpected benefits of mixing up your work routine

easter-blog-headerWhile the eight-hour working day is arguably one of the most common rituals throughout society, it’s not necessarily the most productive one. With the upcoming Easter holidays bringing a well-deserved break away from the office, now’s the perfect time to reflect on how wisely we’re using our time. If you’re fed up of your monotonous routine at work, then the definition below for the word ‘routine’ will sound all too familiar:

‘Sameness’

A set of customary and often mechanically performed procedures or activities’

‘A sequence of actions regularly followed.’

Our work routine accounts for at least 57% of where our overall time is spent (we were shocked too), so it goes without saying that the Easter break couldn’t have fallen at a more convenient time. For some of us working folk, having a cement routine in place can provide us with reassurance when tackling the unknowns of everyday life. However, we all know that following the same schedule week on week isn’t doing any of us any favors. As professionals, we like to stick to what’s familiar, and without realizing it we slip into relaxation mode which hinders us from reaching our maximum potential in the workplace.

Although falling out of repetitious habits can be tough, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, embarking on a fresh start can have a powerful psychological effect that can lead to a positive change in our behavior. This ‘fresh start’ effect suggests that creating shifts in our routine can lead to a sense of starting anew, which helps to reinforce positive habit changes.

What better time to try something new than at the beginning of Easter? Everything around you has blossomed and changed for the better, so now it’s your turn. See below for 4 unexpected benefits that you could gain by mixing up your routine.

1. Increased focus
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Most of us have trouble focusing at one time or another. Some of us stray when we’re bored, while others find reasons to avoid a difficult task. I don’t know anyone who couldn’t do with a little helping of self-control and gain a boost to their energy. During the typical 9-5 day, without even realizing it, we have difficulty exerting self-control and focusing on our tasks. And as the day goes on and our self-control wears out, we feel exhausted as our tasks seemingly become more strenuous to complete.

Instead of avoiding miscellaneous tasks because they’re demanding or require alot of brain consumption, try assigning an Urgency level to all of the items that you need to hunt down. With 4 eye-catching levels and colors to choose from, you’ll be able to draw instant meaning from the visuals on your workspace. Plus, with the List View on hand to help you scan across everything that’s deemed as urgent, you’ll be able to reorder and sort your main priorities to ensure that you’re not carrying too many eggs in your basket.

2. Advanced memory
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Carrying out a repetitive routine in the workplace can result in us feeling disengaged and forgetful of often crucial actions that we need to take. The Telegraph reported a study conducted by scientists proving that working in a claustrophobic workspace stifles our creativity and results in less ‘aha‘ or genius moments. So, with Spring in full bloom, what’s stopping you from taking your work outside? DropTask offers online and offline capabilities, so you’ll be able to enjoy the glorious sunshine while ticking off your tasks from any device, at any time. Incorporating elements of nature into your workday will not only give your brain a boost, but will increase your productivity and focus. Experiments show that color helps us to process and store images in our brain, so with 4 unique Project Themes to choose from in DropTask, a high-level overview of what’s what will be etched as a visual in your memory.

3. Refreshed outlook
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Sometimes we become so reliant on daily routines, that we fail to notice when they’re no longer of any benefit to us. Stepping out of our comfortable working routine is a key factor when looking for a new wave of innovation. Dr Elizabeth Lomabardo, author of ‘Better Than Perfect’, (a guide for professionals looking to find balance and freedom) teaches that people who seek out fresh experiences are more creative than those who are stuck in the same pattern of doing things. She says ‘breaking your own mold can only make you stronger and more confident to reach higher levels in your professional and personal life.’ So, are you feeling ready to try something new? Planning is key. Start by creating milestones for next season’s schedule in the built-in Calendar. You can even try setting a new challenge to complete each month, and later cement your plan by creating Repeating Tasks to accomplish every week. By doing this, you’ll be able to step into Spring with a fresh perspective, while developing the important habit of stepping out of your comfort zone once in a while and taking risks.

4. Flourished creativity
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If you’re struggling for ways to further explore your imagination and make the 9-5 busyness more creative and stimulating, begin by eliminating those hours that you spend daydreaming at your desk. According to ‘The National Bureau of Economic Research’ we spend a total of 1 hour a day thinking about non-related work activities, rather than being productive. Wouldn’t it be great if we turned that time into something that enhanced our creativity instead? As opposed to spending an hour or two staring at your screen, debating which project to tackle next, use your time wisely by organizing your thoughts in the form of a MindMap. The highly powerful two-way sync between iMindMap and DropTask will allow you to generate your free-flowing ideas quickly, and bring them to life as realistic goals. Brainstorm ideas for your up and coming project and watch the smooth transition as you transport your plans into DropTask. Why not set a Reminder for your daily brainstorming session, that way you’ll regularly set time aside from each day to let your mind take you to somewhere creative that you didn’t think existed.

How are you switching up your routine this Spring? Let us know in the comments below.

How full-stack marketer, Gerald Froehlich, created a simple and seamless workflow

Case Study GF Having worked in marketing for over 25 years, Gerald Froehlich was in search of a tool that could combine all of the different aspects of his work into one task management system. After trying out multiple project management and tasking tools during his lengthy career, Gerald’s approach was different to others in his sector. Searching for a tool that offered creativity, visualization, integration and a seamless flow, Gerald was relieved when he came across DropTask, as he had found an app that worked exactly in the way that he wanted it to.

‘As a Full-Stack Marketer and the Director of Froehlich Kreatives Marketing, I advise, accompany, and inspire entrepreneurs in marketing and communications. Having stood by essential keywords in marketing throughout the duration of my career, e.g. ‘understandable’, ‘ordered’ and ‘well structured’, I’d been unable to translate this method of planning into any task management tool that I’d come across. Even back in the mid-90’s when I first began transferring all of my project management approaches onto the computer (and I think you’ll agree, those times were tough), I always wanted my tasks to be displayed and managed in an intuitive and engaging way. And after trialing almost every task management tool on the market, my hopes of finding a tool that worked the way my mind did was slim, but I didn’t give up – and I’m so glad I didn’t. After a long road I came across DropTask, which provided me with a creative space and a clear way of managing key information in a way that worked for me.

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‘I gained a seamless workflow experience’


I use DropTask in a very simple way, as it’s so easy to use from the beginning right through until the project’s completion. As DropTask is used solely for my work needs, I’ve been able to say goodbye to wasteful hours spent buried in my inbox because I can manage all of my incoming and outgoing work in DropTask for Business. I do this by using the Emailing Tasks In feature (a really handy one if you’re constantly on the go). No matter where I am, whether that be on the bus, in the office, or at home, I can transport all of my emails into my DropTask account, and this is where they’ll turn into actionable tasks. When I then return to my DropTask, a Notification is there reminding me of the project that I transported my email into.

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I can do this whenever and wherever I am, via the iPad, iPhone and Desktop apps, as I know that my DropTask will automatically update while alternating between all of these devices. My usual routine is managing and sorting my tasks on the iPhone app, and when I return to the office I control the finer details such as Status, Progress and Due Dates, on my desktop computer.

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‘I’m proud to say I’m a DropTask aficionado’

I can fluently use DropTask while balancing countless errands, and I’ve found that one of the most useful features to help me is the Evernote Integration that comes with the Business account. This integration allows a highly powerful two-way sync that let’s me syncronize my notes made in Evernote into any of my DropTask projects. In practice, I use Evernote to take notes during meetings with my clients, and then sync with DropTask to view my workload and to reschedule any conflicting dates. The advantage DropTask has in favor of other tools is that it allows you to dive deeper into the tasks that are first displayed on the Canvas. Whether that be by syncing back to Evernote, opening Files, or ticking off Checklist items – I have all of my necessary items in one place, without the stress of managing huge amounts of data.

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‘The UI is pretty unbeatable’

As I am currently self-employed, I use DropTask to help plan and manage my workload, depending on my client’s personal needs. Even though I’m using DropTask for a single user purpose, I can see teams benefiting from the collaborative features available. With that being said, I do use DropTask for meetings with clients e.g. when screen-sharing. Whenever I bring up DropTask on an interactive screen, the audience are impressed by its truly stunning interface and way of turning mundane tasks into a visual masterpiece. It’s a fantastic way to present a crisp and clear visualization of the status of a project, and really is an excellent tool that makes visualizing task organization a stimulating and enjoyable experience.

Join teams and individuals just like Gerald, 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!

The power of visuals

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2nd April 2017 marks Autism Awareness Day, recognized around the world for raising awareness for individuals with autism. Affecting how individuals perceive the world, autism is a lifelong, neurological condition that affects how individuals interact with the world around them and is much more common than people think; affecting over 21.7 million people worldwide, and 1 in 68 children in the United States.

As a hidden disability, the disorder affects an individual’s ability to process everyday sensory information and the ability to communicate and interact with others, caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences.

Visuals have always been an important factor for us here at DropTask, helping individuals to communicate and understand information according to their preferred style of working. According to ‘The Index of Learning Styles’, developed by Dr Richard Felder and Barbara Soloman, there are four dimensions of learning styles:

  • Sensory – learners who prefer concrete, practical and procedural information.
  • Visual – learners who prefer pictures and look for a visual representation of information.
  • Active – learners who enjoy working in groups to solve problems.
  • Sequential – learners who have information presented to them linearly, in an orderly manner.

A difficulty individuals with autism experience is having to process an overload of information on a daily basis, often resulting in missed communication, stress and anxiety. This is where visual learning comes in to play. The power of visuals enables us to easily see the big picture and significantly improves the understanding of events, which are sometimes misinterpreted as complex situations. When it comes to visual aids that help our learning and processing of information, approximately 65% of the population are in fact visual learners.

Whether it’s in the form of icons, logos, colors, shapes or symbols, visual imagery can also be used to communicate with individuals on the autism spectrum. A large amount of research indicates that visual ques allow us to better retrieve and remember information. This is due to our brain being mainly an image processor, and when visuals are concrete in our memory they become easier to remember.

Visual supports and how they help:

  • Provide structure and routine
  • Encourage independence
  • Help to reduce anxiety and stress
  • Improve understanding
  • Offer opportunities to interact with others

In support of Autism Awareness Day 2017, we’ve put together an infographic that highlights how DropTask can help present key information in a way that works for all learners, and every member of your team.


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Step into Spring with DropTask

With March already in full swing, the evenings are getting lighter and the temperature’s beginning to rise, resulting in a state of calmness surrounding the workplace. But, when our tasks are buried under a thick layer of dust it can be challenging to feel as refreshed as the environment around us.

Whether you love it or hate it, it’s that time of year when we need to start thinking about some serious de-cluttering and reorganization. We comfortably devote a certain amount of time each week to clean our homes, ensuring that it’s looking its finest and things are easy to locate. But when we spend some of our most crucial hours in the workplace, why is it that we’re still sifting through a buried work desk without an efficient schedule in sight? In a report published last year by OfficeMax, it was found that office clutter undermines productivity and motivation. With less ability to work efficiently on our work due to unlimited distractions being placed in front of us, it’s becoming a rarity that we leave the office feeling accomplished with what we’ve achieved with our day.

Research undertaken at Princeton University shows that when your environment is cluttered, the chaos surrounding you restricts your ability to focus, limiting your brain’s ability to process information. So what better time than now to give your workspace a well needed spring clean than at the beginning of the season. With all of the capabilities to transport your projects into full bloom, follow our top tips on how DropTask can turn your workspace into a vibrant setting that’s bursting with effective working and productivity.

Rearrange where necessary

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Most people throw miscellaneous tasks and odd and ends into the same space, making a mental note to come back to them when they next have five minutes spare. After time, we end up losing these notes, deadlines get missed, and we become anxious about just the thought of rummaging through our misplaced items. To ensure your mental note doesn’t disappear into oblivion, make a visualization in the form of a Task Circle to stimulate your brain. As referenced by psychology professor Allan Paivio in ‘The Dual Coding Theory’ 1971, the formation of mental images aids our learning and processing of information. If you stumble upon a misplaced task, then the Duplicate and Move feature will allow you to tidy-up, resulting in an organized workspace where you can progress through everything you need to do with structure and order.

Even with the best-laid and organized workspaces, there may still be some overflow. If you’re looking for short term-storage and somewhere to limit work that’s in progress, the Kanban-style Workflow view will provide you with a clean space where you channel your focus on taking tasks right through to completion. Split your Categories into ‘To-do’, ‘Doing’ and ‘Done’ swimlanes, and watch your tasks move through designated stages. That way your to-do’s will never be pushed aside, as you will always be concentrating on getting the job done.

Polish appearances

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With hours spent hunched over our desks with no exposure to sunlight, our health as well as productivity can be significantly impacted. What better way to uplift your mood and to bring your tasks to life than by using visually attractive Cover Images to add a personal touch to your projects. The importance of visual imagery is crucial when striving to achieve high levels of organization and decision making. Research has shown that the human brain allows us to analyze an image in a very short snippet of time, along with its meaning and scenario. By making your tasks more personal to you, they’ll be more aesthetically pleasing, and we know that having something beautiful to look at can have a huge impact on your overall well-being.

Now that you’ve decorated and customized your tasks, it’s time to get them in order. The easier it is to store something, the more likely you are to put it in its place. It’s always a good idea to store similar tasks together, that way you’ll be able to locate tasks that share similar relationships without wasting any time. By Nesting Categories that share related attributes, you’ll create a structured hierarchy for your tasks, allowing you to spend less time searching as they’ll always have a defined place to call home.

Organize upcoming duties

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Organizing is a process of arranging and keeping things in order; a skill that can be utilized in all areas of life. But when trying to locate specific work is as straight forward as finding a needle in a haystack, tidying up our to-do’s is easier said than done. Studies show that the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching through messy papers, which adds stress and frustration to the workplace while reducing our concentration levels and stunting our creative thinking. When creating your project, define the structure in which you’re going to complete your to-do’s by using Dependencies. Visual arrows will be drawn on your Canvas, helping you to identify which direction to turn next. And by taking a practical approach towards assessing your next steps, you’ll be able to map out the structure of your work, paving the way to completion.

For some, dealing with clutter can cause negative stress, making us less able to complete tasks on schedule. If you’re looking to strengthen your organization skills and bring all of your tasks from across all projects together, then the DropTask built-in Calendar is the one for you. By assigning a Start and Due Date to each of your tasks, you’ll be able to toggle between when it’s set to begin and when its deadline is approaching. Instead of feeling overwhelmed when the end of season is forthcoming, you’ll remain confident with clear visibility into your upcoming schedule and the flexibility to make quick rearrangements if necessary.

Focus on what needs your attention

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President of ‘The Productivity Pro’, Laura Stack, claims ‘most people spend at least 30 minutes to an hour a day looking for things.’ And according to a Mckinsey report, employees spend 1.8 hours every day – totaling to 9.3 per week on average – gathering the information that they need. Surely there’s a more productive way to use our time? To save time searching through information to locate what you need, the Filter option in DropTask does it for you. Hone in by narrowing down your workload by filtering by Assignee, Effort, Importance, Tags or Attachments etc., and gain exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. By cutting back what’s in-front of you, tasks will be easy to locate for when you require them next.
With these four handy tips and your newly cleaned up and organized DropTask workspace, you’ll feel re-energized and rearing to get to work on your most productive season yet.

What are your top tips for spring cleaning your workload? Share them in the comments below!

Managing nationwide projects with flexibility and focus

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Dr. Janet Mahoney, CEO of Arte Rehab; a company that provides quality patient care through a range of therapies within healthcare, was looking for a solution to manage the many aspects of her growing and dynamic business. Janet wanted a solution where employees could focus on accomplishing ongoing goals and would get the big picture overview of company-wide projects, and with DropTask she gained not only this, but the flexibility and visual organization to manage the workload of a large team within a nation-wide company.

“Arte Rehab operates in four different states, offers 3 lines of Business and has a wide range of consultants up and down the country. We have experienced significant growth since our 2013 inception and as a result of our expanding business, have hired a number of remote employees. Prior to finding DropTask, keeping track of everyone’s progress with shared tasks and ongoing projects became a challenge and I resorted to using an old school dry erase board to plan collaborative projects. This wasn’t a successful way to do things, and often lead to a messy board with an unclear structure on how we were going to progress forward with our next project.

This was the tipping point for me as I knew that I needed to find a solution that would fit the needs of the company and allow collaboration between a wide range of staff working within different locations. I needed us all to be on the same page with our current workload, within a system which allowed a seamless way of taking our projects from the initial stages of planning, to completion.
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The visual aspect of DropTask and the ability to organize my workload as task circles allowed me to reschedule and prioritize my workload in a simple way. I currently have the Business account, which further allows me to manage the massive process of Task Assignment within the team. In an instant, I’m able to click on tasks that are assigned to different team members and view their progress.
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The Checklist feature is one of the teams’ personal favorites to use. What we find most useful is that it breaks down larger tasks into several smaller tasks and ones which are a little less daunting to tackle. This feature is my go-to if I want to quickly glance over progress. I do this by viewing the task circle on the Canvas, which gives me a visual indicator of how long it will take until the larger task is completed – which I find is most efficient. It’s a great feature for managers to keep on track, and for employees to focus on getting their job done.
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Due to my busy schedule, I often need a prompt to direct my attention to a specific task that I need to complete. I assign Reminders to my tasks for a specific date and time for when I’d like an in-app Notification and email reminder sent to me. I find these really efficient as the Reminder Notification will remain in the app until I dismiss it, encouraging me to complete the task so I can get back to my work at hand.

Currently within DropTask I’m working on reviewing and updating our employee handbook, policies and procedures. This project is very time consuming and requires a massive team effort to review, rewrite and research the policies that our industry requires. For such an extensive project, this entails lots of job roles being assigned to a variety of different staff members in order for the project to remain on course to meet its deadline. In all of my projects and in this one in particular, I review the Status of each of the tasks that are assigned to my employees, and I do this on a daily basis. As Project admin, I have access to all of the Project’s minor details including: changing the permission levels of each project member, editing advanced Permission Settings and removing members from the project. I find this feature useful as I am in affect the owner of the project and as a result have complete control of any user’s accessibility to shared work.
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Our time management as an entire team has improved significantly with the help of DropTask. We now assign Start and Due Dates to all of our tasks. This not only encourages us to work harder, but we have found that it has allowed us to complete tasks much faster than ever before. For example, each member of the team has a unique Calendar that is based around the tasks that they’re assigned to. Before this, there was confusion surrounding dates and not knowing when deadlines were put in place.

As a doctor of physical therapy with more than 30 years experience, I have worked in acute care hospitals, co-founded a skilled nursing facility rehab management consulting company and written many articles to emphasize the need for industry change. And now I finally feel like I can manage all of these different aspects of my life within DropTask. I have everything that I need to accomplish my projects without any additional stress of knowing where my work is, as now it is all available within one superior task management tool which is DropTask.”

To learn more, sign 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!

From personal work to organizing data analysis, learn how Dolores Cloward tracks it all in DropTask

profile-doloresclowardWithin her organization at ‘SMART Recovery,’ Project Management Professional, Dolores Cloward, requires versatility. Working within a fast-growing international company dedicated to providing peer support for those with addiction issues means that priorities tend to shift between different projects quickly, and Dolores was looking to improve her overall productivity to get more done during her working day. During her search for a solution that would help her achieve this while also working collaboratively, Dolores found DropTask, which blew her away right from the very beginning.

‘Over the last few decades I have filled many roles at SMART. Within a company that’s fast growing, it’s all hands on deck, which means that all of my skills from my career come in to play and why it’s vital for me to be on top of my game at all times. I am instinctively drawn to visually appealing technology, and with DropTask thoughtfully designed in the way that it is, it lets me see the big picture overview of the entire project while also zooming in on minor details when needed. I find the design just beautiful, and so highly intuitive as it allows smooth, seamless and crisp movements which are appealing across all of its platforms.
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Before DropTask I was finding it difficult to keep on track of personal and work related projects as I had no central hub for all of my notes, ideas, and tasks that needed action. Now, I use DropTask as my primary planner and organizer for SMART work, while also managing my independent consulting and personal tasks. I do this by having separate projects for all aspects of my life that I need to keep track on, and within these separate projects I create individual tasks that are associated with them.

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When I first signed up I was impressed at the focus that DropTask has brought to providing truly useful integrations. Along with the iMindMap integration, I also use the Google Calendar integration, which I find is vital while in the process of reordering my schedule. I assign Start and Due Dates to my tasks in DropTask and transport them into my Google Calendar, as it’s a great way for me to filter down what I need to work on for the coming the week.

dolores-start-due-calI have combined my Calendar with DropTask to ensure that I have everything that I need in one space, as I can combine my tasks with other important appointments that I have already in my Google Calendar. If I need to rearrange meetings or scheduled plans suddenly change at the last minute, I can effortlessly drag and drop my tasks into a different date in the Calendar and they’ll be instantly updated in DropTask. It makes DropTask really useable with a highly satisfying visual interface that works.

DropTask doesn’t just look pretty, the actual user experience is flawless and I just love that in software. The different views that are available within the Business account kicks off a different area in my brain. The Canvas helps me to envision the overall picture of the project, then I switch to the List View as it helps me to hone in and organize my tasks according to the level of Urgency that they have assigned to them. When I switch between these views I gain perspective and insight into the minor details within larger projects.

Within the app currently, I’m working on a new podcast, organizing some data analysis, putting together a virtual community party, all while preparing for PR and marketing materials to go live in a March webinar. The March webinar is currently at the top of my to-do list, and for this task I’ve relied on the iMindMap integration within DropTask. With this two-way integration, I can brainstorm my ideas and then transport them into DropTask as they appear as visual task circles. The integration makes the initial stages of planning a project easy, intuitive and enjoyable, something that I’ve never experienced before with task management software.

To learn more, sign 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!

How to fall back in love with your work with DropTask

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Research shows that 53% of US workers love their work, and happier workers are 12% more productive in the workplace. As a result, this leads to workers being healthier and more sociable within their job role. But, if only half of the population love their work then what’s happening to the other 47%? When it comes to how we feel about work, there are often three categories that workers fall under:

1. The ones that are totally devoted to what they do.
2. The ones who tolerate their job and are on a countdown until they’re reunited with the weekend.
3. The ones who are constantly searching for that one job that they can be passionate about.

If you’re reading this and you fall under number 2 or 3, it’s time to reevaluate. The workplace is where we spend most of our waking hours, so it’s crucial that we enjoy the time that we spend there.

Use DropTask to fall hopelessly back in love with your work and follow our simple steps to rekindle the spark that could make you a happier, healthier and more productive worker.

Revisit the first attraction
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‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’
Marc Anthony

Remember when you first started your current job? Just like in the initial stages of dating, you found each task and challenge placed in front of you exciting, and the thought of being granted responsibility made you weak at the knees. You’d even get up 2 hours earlier in the morning to prune and prepare for the day ahead. But now, three years down the line, rushing through the door is a frequent occurrence in your daily routine. When did things get so disorganized?

Take a step back to reflect on the positives in preparing for the day ahead, because the importance of daily and weekly planning plays a crucial part in how successful you are at work. Planning can reduce stress by a significant amount and gives you peace of mind that you have an action plan to work on. In DropTask, create Tasks for the priorities that need to be completed by the end of your day, and use the Assign feature to set that you’re accountable for their completion. Setting yourself up for the day ahead will not only increase your work ethic efficiency and drive you to hit specific goals, but it will also stand as a reminder of the bigger picture and why you fell head over heels with your job in the first place.

Enhance your relationships
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‘Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress; working together is success.’
Henry Ford

Maybe the word ‘love’ is not often heard uttered in the kitchen or the atrium of your workplace, but it has one of the biggest impacts on workplace performance. If you love the company and the colleagues that you’re spending your days with, you’ll naturally become more engaged and passionate about what you’re doing. To enhance your happiness at work, Collaborate with all members of your team and make an effort to bond with one another – after all, you do spend most of your day with these people.

Ensure you set aside time for lunch each day, break away from the desk, and make an effort to chat with your colleagues. Bonding with colleagues enriches the working day and as a result, keeps us energized and eager to produce more work. Use the Messaging feature to arrange a lunchtime date and use this time to offload, let your guard down and talk about anything but work. The latter half of your day is critical to your workplace performance and leaves a lasting impression on how you’ll approach your tasks for the following day. You’ll quickly realize that by taking an extra few minutes to reconnect with colleagues, you’ll be refreshed when returning to your desk and prepped to tackle your to-dos head on. You’ll then be able to leave the office in good spirits knowing that you’ve been a productive member of the team who has helped to move the project nearer to its completion.

Progress in an environment that you adore
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‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do.’
Steve Jobs

Your setting and workplace environment is a key factor in determining whether you’re going to be crazy in love with your work. Whether your preference is a quiet office or being in the center of a vibrant city, it’s important that your surroundings can nurture your growth and progression. If altering your work setting isn’t an option, take the opportunity to switch up your tasking environment. DropTask offers a visually engaging and refreshing approach to managing your day to day tasks and projects, and with notes, files and to-dos all in once place there’ll be no need to worry about falling back into old working habits because we’ll have you covered.

Having a visually appealing workspace with your tasks laid out in front of you will instantly uplift your mood, as you will be able to see who’s working on what, what’s in Progress and what has been Completed. With ‘Clean Desk Policies’ sweeping the nation, it’s said that employees who work at a clutter-free desk are more productive as it improves their efficiency when completing tasks. And as a result of boosting work-related performance, the ‘CDP’ also reduces work-related stress. Within DropTask, we’ve taken a similar approach with DropTask Workflow view that facilitates the flow of tasks as they progress effortlessly through stages within your project.  Tracking progress step-by-step is easy as each vertical swimlane can be divided into ‘to-do, doing and done’ sections, allowing you to keep a tight rein on your workload, so you can maintain focus on the to-dos that will contribute the most towards reaching your successful outcome.

Experiencing ups and downs with your job is completely normal, and in fact, is a continuous development point for maintaining a healthy relationship. Sometimes we just need a little perspective on how many hurdles we’ve overcome to get to where we are today. Dip into your Archived Projects to review your journey and the projects that you were first assigned to. Here, you’ll be able to reevaluate if there are any flaws in your path and feel optimistic about creating a positive and happy future ahead.

How do you get the most out of your working day? Let us know in the comments below.

Generating new ideas with DropTask in 2017

Despite the fact that it’s the shortest month of the year, February can be seen as just as challenging, if not more, than it’s blue predecessor. Sure, the days are getting shorter. But with grey clouds still lingering over our heads, it’s difficult to find the drive that’s going to play a pivotal part in your work-based performance. But don’t stress, with the aid of DropTask you’ll be able to transform February into the month of generating powerful ideas so you’ll be rearing to go for the prosperous year ahead.

Don’t let the creative spark burn out. Ditch the mundane thoughts and follow our tips to ignite your brightest ideas for 2017.

1. Don’t worry about being ‘creative’
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When asked to define creativity, Steve Jobs answered: ‘Creativity is just connecting things‘. But, this is easier said than done if you’re juggling an array of tasks across your home, personal and social life without any clear view of the bigger picture. By overloading your brain with information, thinking ‘creatively’ can be a huge challenge, and studies have shown that the signal that handles how we process our thoughts and decision making temporarily shuts down when we’re feeling overwhelmed. To avoid this feeling, simply create a project in DropTask and have a brain dump on the Canvas of all of the possible ideas that you could put into action. Further explore possible opportunities and ideas by using the iMindMap Integration, and spend time analyzing and preparing which ideas you’re looking to bring to life.

2. More heads are better than one
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An innovative idea is often the combination of smaller collaborative ideas combined into one. There’s often a stigma attached to asking others for help as this is perceived as a sign of weakness. But by building a positive rapport in the workplace as someone who helps others, you’ve already distinguished yourself as a team player. And as a result, others will want to help you to get your job done. Collaborating with the whole team can speed up the process of generating new ideas and bury the negative thoughts of them not being accepted. Invite your colleagues to your ‘ideas’ project so they can browse through all of the possible areas that you could approach next. And if you want a specific member to look at a piece of work, drop them a direct Message so they can guide you in the right direction and help link together the missing parts of your project plan.

3. Trial and error
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Remember, you can’t have a lot of good ideas without a lot of bad ones either. While in the process of drawing up your ideas, you must consider the circumstances that could hinder it and the ones that could allow it to propel into a successful reality. If you have a feeling of doubt before you even start, then something is not quite right. But, what’s the harm in testing out potential ideas? As John F. Kennedy said: ‘Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.’ When our ideas go down the pan, this is when we often realize that we’re meant to pursue different avenues. Connect all of the steps that you’ll need to take to launch your idea into action with visual arrows in the form of Task Dependencies. By having a clear structure in place, you’ll be able to identify if you’re heading down the right path. And if not, reorder your priorities by Filtering by Importance in the List View to ensure that the ideas at the top of the list are the ones that you’ll focus on first.

4. Pay attention to past experiences
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Research shows that learning from past experiences is invaluable for complex decision making and for facilitating the flow of ideas. We’ve all been there, pitching an idea to the rest of the team for it only to be shut down and pushed aside. What’s stopping you from revisiting old ideas and approaching them with a fresh outlook? When you think of those past ideas resulting in failure, take a look at them from a different perspective and note down the gaps in the initial planning stages of why they didn’t succeed. Look at them as ‘unapproached opportunities’, and start again. By taking into account your past failures, you’ll be able to rectify the mistakes that you made the first time around. And with a whole archive of Completed Tasks in DropTask, you’ll gain a quick boost of motivation and feel rearing to go with your next great idea.

How do you approach new ideas when your motivation is low? Let us know in the comments below.

How DropTask helped ‘Storyminers’ to complete one of their most complex projects of 2016

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Mike Wittenstein runs one of the world’s first experience design firms, ‘Storyminers’. He and his teams have helped over 700 companies in 25 countries. Here’s how DropTask for Business has helped him.
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In his own workplace, Mike was fed up with a disorganized amount of messy papers that landed on his desk when new client work started. Reminders, tasks for others, copy points, strategy notes, and other ideas seemed to be floating everywhere. The proper communication of key actions to others sometimes slipped. Then, he stumbled across DropTask, which helped him to organize and track the company’s entire workload in one productive workspace.

One morning I found myself at my desk with several piles of papers over an inch thick, with each stack and page mixed up within a disorderly pile which was getting me down. I needed to convert all of the information on the pages into my new Business/Marketing Plan for the New Year, but I just couldn’t get the information to flow into the new picture of the way that I wanted things to work. The problem I had was that the picture was in my head, and no-one else could visually understand the way I wanted the company to progress forward.

Then I came across DropTask. As soon as I created my first project, I felt more in control. I had all of the tools that I needed to work quickly and think nimbly. DropTask comfortably shaped itself around my working needs, and its visual nature of displaying tasks as circles showed me that it was different from other tools on the market. No matter when or where my ideas came to me, I could instantly input them into DropTask and watch them come to life as the new business model took shape. The ability to nest categories within one another made it easy to share the relationship each idea had with others on my team and let me quickly assess where my time needed to be spent.

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We also use DropTask to plan new accounts. Typically, the work begins in the Canvas view where all of our tasks are displayed as engaging circles which are easily accessible by using the drag-and-drop feature. Initially, we use this view to code everyone’s ideas in real-time. If members are having a 1:1 conversation, they simply use the ‘@’ icon, which notifies one another that they’ve been mentioned in a comment. As a team, we view the entirety of the year’s project, including its minor details, by zooming in and out of the Canvas, giving us the bigger picture of who’s working on what and what is yet to be completed.

‘It feels like we’re all on the same page, because we literally are!’

We have planned one of 2016’s most complex projects in DropTask for Business, including one of our key workshops, the ‘Reason for Being’. This workshop is part of the work that we do to help our clients to understand, in one sentence, whom they serve and what their value is to their clients. It sounds easy but it’s really hard work. Now, thanks to DropTask, it’s faster and easier. Using DropTask has helped us reduce the time that it takes to work on these workshops by 50%. It adds much needed simplicity to the planning process and allows us to quickly add information to our projects without losing any detail – something that we frequently experienced when we were limited to voice notes.
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Seeing in real-time where each key thought lands on the Canvas for our new 2016 business model helped us to pull all loose ends together and form a strategy which the entire team was able to understand. There’s something special that happens when you connect your thoughts in your head and share them on screen; It not only creates a lasting association which makes it easier to remember what order you need to act upon tasks, it also helps improve everyone’s understanding of the connections between tasks.
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With the help of DropTask for Business, we now share all of our ideas in one creative space, communicate with one another, edit task progress and assign ownerships, all before transporting our finished Project into iMindMap, in preparation for our next meeting with our clients. Now, team members and I can share the same context about work because DropTask for Business simplifies the whole process of planning, managing, and getting projects across the finish line.

To learn more, sign up for free at www.droptask.com/signup

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