Author Archives: Yogi

Join us at TechCrunch Disrupt this Monday – unveiling new features & more!

DropTask at TechCrunch

On Monday, the DropTask team (including CEO & Founder, Chris Griffiths), will be heading to London where we’ll be exclusively unveiling the new DropTask at the digital flagship event of the year, TechCrunch Disrupt.  Gathering the biggest and brightest entrepreneurs on one stage and shining the spotlight on some of the start-ups tipped to be the next big thing, Disrupt is shaping up to be an unmissable event that we can’t wait to be a part of. But don’t worry if you can’t drop by to say hello… Here’s a little taster of what’s coming soon…

DropTask beautiful by design

Beautiful by Design.

Prepare to be blown away with the vibrancy of our new design which is sure to make heads turn and pens drop.

Small but Mighty

Small but MightyAmongst all of the big updates such as improved scheduling and enhanced filtering, we’re also making it possible for you to set due time as well as date, apply multiple reminders on the same task, and add individual notes to accompany each reminder.

Adaptable, Flexible and Fluid

Adaptable, Flexible and Fluid

Whether you’re a GTD enthusiast or prefer more of a Kanban approach to your day to day management, our newest release will be more flexible than ever before with various views to compliment the way that you work.

 

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ where we’ll be bringing you live updates directly from TechCrunch Disrupt, including details on our upcoming beta.

Integrate with iMindMap 9 for the complete creative experience…

iMindMap 9 - out nowBursting with new features and powerful functionality – this week we’re celebrating the latest version of Mind Mapping software, iMindMap.  Guiding you through each stage of the creative process, iMindMap 9 equips you with the power to fire your ideas in at lightening speed, so you can seamlessly think, plan and develop before getting to action in DropTask.

If you love what we’re doing here at DropTask, we highly recommend checking out iMindMap’s visual workspace – designed to inspire you while you work. Delivering nothing short of outstanding performance, functionality, and the flexibility to work in a way that suits you, the latest version offers the perfect creative package to make sure those great ideas don’t slip away.

Get started by downloading your free trial today, and take a tour of the highlights while you wait…Take a tour of iMindMap 9

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

Chris Coney

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Coney with DropTask

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

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

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

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

DropTask and Google

 “…it feels like one big seamless flow”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HP

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

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

hp-droptask-markpohlmann

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

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

HP Status Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hudson Architects Team

The Hudson Architects Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hudson Architects

Hudson Architects

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come together with DropTask PRO for teams

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

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

Offer expires at midnight on 24th April 2015


Unlock your team’s potential

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

Engage

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

Manage

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

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

Motivate

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

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


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

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

Join our DropTask Yammer Community!

Join our DropTask Yammer Community today!

Our DropTask Yammer Community offers a collaborative environment that allows you to connect with other DropTask users just like yourself, from all around the world. As part of our community you’ll have the chance to get involved in product and feature discussions, leave suggestions, and engage directly with members of the DropTask team.


Why Join Our Community?

 

Topics that interest you

If you have an interest in a particular DropTask topic or feature, then you can browse our groups and join the ones you find most important. If a specific group doesn’t exist, then simply start a new one and invite others to join!


Shape the future of DropTask

User feedback is incredibly valuable to us, and your insight leads us to make meaningful enhancements and improvements to the app. Our community is a place for you to share your thoughts and leave any suggestions you may have for the future development of DropTask.

 

A helping hand

You may find the answer to your question through discussions with other users or by engaging with members of our team for some extra help. What’s more, if you have some knowledgeable information then you can help other members by sharing it with them.


Get involved and have your say on the topics that matter to you the most when you join our community today. Plus don’t forget, if you’re a member of DropTask PRO you’ll get to contribute to all of our exclusive beta discussions around our upcoming Mac Desktop app.

Stay on top of your resolutions with 15% off DropTask PRO – for a limited time only!

 Editor’s note: This offer has now expired and is no longer valid.

DropTask PRO 15% off

As we come to the end of January, we know that even with the best of intentions those resolutions you made back on January 1st can easily slip, but with the holidays over and the January blues fading, thinking about your goals and planning for the year ahead is as important as ever. With this in mind, we’d like to offer you a helping hand to ensure you stay on track…


 Upgrade today and get 15% off DropTask PRO for the first 12 months of your subscription!*

redeem_now_btn


With this exciting offer you can ensure that 2015 really is your year. Forget about letting those resolutions slip, with PRO you’ll be left with no choice but to progress towards your goals with efficiency and fun! PRO makes task management so effortless that sticking to your resolutions will be a breeze, and here are just a few ways we’ll help make 2015 your most successful year yet…

Fluid and Flexiblemanagement

When you’ve got big plans, it’s almost inevitable that things will not always go quite the way you imagined. Things often change, so to prevent any delays or setbacks in your projects you must be prepared for any alterations that may be required. With DropTask PRO, you’re able to edit any aspect of your project, at any time. Whether adding new tasks, changing the order in which you’re going to action them or altering deadlines, PRO’s flexibility allows you to see the big picture for just about anything. Plus, with DropTask available on multiple devices, you can edit your plans no matter where you are – you don’t even need to be online!

 Share the Load

task assignmentSometimes a helping hand is required to achieve our goals, that’s why DropTask PRO enables you to get all of the assistance you need. Take the pressure off and share your workload by inviting friends, family, or colleagues to your project. You’ll be able to delegate tasks as you see fit, and request updates when you need them with just the click of a button. Keep all of those important documents in one place by sharing them within DropTask, then discuss them with your team without ever leaving the app. With no restrictions on the amount of files you can upload or members you can invite, you’re free to get as little or as much help as you need.

See Progress

cover imagesWhen taking on a new project, motivation is key in order to get things done. Finding this motivation can be challenging, especially during the post New Year lull. With DropTask PRO, you’ll get the privilege of a complete visual overview of your progress, so you can really see what you’re getting done. Whenever you’re lacking motivation, a quick glance at your project and everything you’ve achieved so far should be enough to get you going again! If not, try using cover images and themes to personalize your project, making it more personal to you and thus motivating you even further.

 Manage the ‘Unmanageable’

dependenciesWhen we set ourselves goals, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. These plans can become much more manageable if we break down projects into smaller pieces. With DropTask PRO, you can use groups, tasks and subtasks to simplify your goals. You’ll be able to clearly see the order in which your tasks should be completed when you use task dependencies, and you can prioritize them by using urgency and importance labels. With a clear path to follow and a series of simple steps to take, starting a new project can feel much less intimidating when you go PRO.

So don’t miss out – get started today and save 15% on your subscription for the first 12 months!*redeem_now_btn

Offer available for a limited time only. 

*This discount applies to payments made during the first 12 months of your subscription only. Payments made after the first 12 months will be charged at the standard retail rate. This offer is available across all monthly and annual plans to new customers. Existing PRO customers may apply this discount when extending or upgrading to an annual plan.
 Editor’s note: This offer has now expired and is no longer valid.

DropTask on Android: Beta Now Open!

android_comingsoon_header

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

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

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

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

Screenshot_2014-09-04-15-00-04

 

 

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

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

Screenshot_2014-09-04-15-02-18 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Screenshot_2014-09-04-15-05-29

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

A New Way to Prioritise Your Tasks

Urgency and Importance

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

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


New Task Attributes

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

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

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


      Understanding ‘Urgency’

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

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


                                                 Understanding ‘Importance’

Importance

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

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


Applying the Principle

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

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

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

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