Category Archives: DropTask Tips

How to stay productive in the darker weather

DropTask productivity in dark weather

We all know the feeling this time of year; you look out of the window around 5 pm to find the winter darkness has already settled in for the evening. If you’re finding the dark weather is making you demotivated or less productive than usual, you’re not alone. With our days becoming shorter, darker and colder, it’s not uncommon to start to flag and feel tired earlier in the afternoon. It happens to the best of us – however, if you’re mindful of the effect the dark weather is having on you, you can take simple, effective steps to dig yourself out of a productivity slump.

So, if you’re feeling the winter blues starting to sink in, here’s how DropTask can help you tackle them head-on to help boost your mood and stay focused all season long.

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Boost your willpower with DropTask

Whether you’re trying to reach an important goal at work or stick to a new fitness regime – willpower is a must. While this is all well and good in theory, very few people find that willpower alone is enough to get them through to the end. Maybe you’ll get more work done initially, or stick to your fitness schedule for a few days – but then your willpower wains and you fall back into old habits. But worry not, it turns out there’s more to willpower than first thought. Numerous studies have found that willpower is something we can exhaust, but also something we can strengthen. Forcing yourself to focus on a task which is particularly hard or boring will send you into willpower depletion.

Getting willpower-savvy will enable you to strengthen your restraint, allowing you to get more done without running out of juice. So, if you’ve ever beat yourself up for falling off the wagon, you’ll be relieved to hear that there are multiple ways you can buckle your seatbelt and stay on board for the foreseeable future.

Strengthen your willpower organising work in canvas view

Smarter organization

You wouldn’t try to single-handedly tackle a team project, so why would you approach task management alone? Planning your work without any helpful tools is time-consuming and difficult to do consistently. Organization is key to boosting your motivation – did you know that decision making burns up large amounts of willpower fuel? Don’t burden yourself with the task of deciding which jobs to start and when. DropTask offers you peace of mind and alleviates you of your decision-making duty. By giving all your projects and tasks a home, you can rid yourself of that “am I forgetting something?” feeling. Canvas View offers a bird’s eye view of your workload – while progress bars offer instant visual confirmation of your work status. So, you can get your most challenging tasks done and dusted without lessening your willpower.

Use Planner to quickly rejig priorities for a willpower boost

Balance your day

Every job will require you to work on tasks which are difficult or mundane now and then. It’s how you handle these tasks which is key to boosting (or deflating) your willpower. Trying to push through even when you’re mentally exhausted – or – putting off the task altogether, are both common pitfalls in the workplace. Remember to think of your willpower as a muscle; regular exercise can strengthen it but overworking will lead to exhaustion. You can balance your day by completing your most challenging tasks in the morning when you’re at your most alert, leaving the more mechanical work for the sleepier afternoons. To create this order, you need to give structure to your priorities. DropTask’s Planner makes laying out your day simple with Now, Next and Soon boards. Simply filter the most pressing or challenging tasks onto the board and easily move tasks as you get through your workload – giving you the zen you need to keep up your willpower throughout the working day.

Discussions and due dates will make meeting deadlines easier than ever

Set realistic goals

Willpower is directly related to your motivation and outlook – when you feel positive and motivated your willpower is stronger. Everyone enjoys reaching their goals. When you complete a task in the correct timeframe you are left with a feeling of accomplishment. However, when you fail to make a deadline you’ll likely feel defeated. These outcomes can set the tone for future work, which is why it’s so important to stay optimistic in your approach to new tasks. The best way to achieve this is to set realistic goals and create a manageable stream of work. Avoid the temptation to overestimate how much you can get done in a day – and don’t forget that regular breaks are key to recharging your willpower. Use Due Dates in DropTask to set deadlines for each task, and collaborate with your team to make sure workload is shared equally for team projects. Discussions also allow you to talk about tasks in context, meaning less time is wasted drowning in your inbox. With less time spent planning, faffing and procrastinating you’re sure to give your willpower a reboot.  

Use DropTask to give your willpower the super-boost it needs. Sign up is FREE – start getting more done, today!

Something wonderful this way comes. 3 ways to tackle terrifying deadlines

DropTask Halloween Planning

Forget ghouls and ghosts – the real world offers far more fearsome challenges, from managing shifting priorities to feeling swamped by your monster-sized workload. However, at DropTask, we have brewed up something special for you. From organizing your tasks to adding reminders and notes for detail, take a fresh approach to your work and turn your project nightmares into a blissful dream.

There’s no need to feel spooked by your workload this Halloween. Here are 3 ways DropTask can help you fight those frightful deadlines.

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3 productivity myths that are actually slowing you down

Beat these productivity myths with DropTask

Everyone wants to be their best, most effective self, especially at work. Discover the 3 myths you’ve probably been believing in the hope to be more productive. Spoiler alert! They’re actually slowing you down. It’s not too late. With a few adjustments to your working habits, and a little help from DropTask, you’ll uncover the secrets to getting more done, without doing any more work.

Myth 1: “Being busy means being productive”

In a world where everything is so fast-moving, we feel as though we need to be constantly doing something just to keep up with the pace. But, the idea of being ‘busy’ actually has more to do with overwhelm and chaos than it does with productivity. Look at it this way: the more organized and productive you are, the less ‘busy’ and overwhelmed you’ll probably feel.

That brings us onto another myth. Being productive doesn’t always mean getting everything done. Whatever the task, it’s almost inevitable that there will be hurdles to overcome whether it’s because real life presents unforeseen circumstances, or another unanticipated problem crops up. Giving yourself contingency time to manage the unexpected is essential. Be flexible and put things on pause when necessary.

Reshuffle priorities with DropTask

Try this: Since you can’t actually do everything at once, with DropTask’s My Planner, you can decide whether tasks need to be completed Now, Next or Soon, depending on urgency and priority. No one has an infinite number of hours in one day so being flexible is key. If you’re working something and a more urgent task pops up, don’t be afraid to reshuffle your priorities by pushing less pressing tasks into the Next and Soon columns. Not sure when you’ll be able to continue with a task? Hit the pause button on the task’s progress bar so both you and your team know the task is on hold.

Myth 2: “Multitasking is a good thing”

Not only is multitasking not a good thing, but according to recent scientific studies, there is no such thing as cognitive multitasking. Speaking on the phone, reading an email and writing a report all at the same time is counter-productive. That’s because all these tasks engage the same part of the brain so it’s not actually possible to action these simultaneously.

Delegate tasks with DropTask

Try this: Organize your workload. DropTask doesn’t encourage you to multitask (don’t forget, that’s not actually possible), but it does help you to recognize upcoming due dates and overlapping tasks so that you can prioritize your workload in the best way possible.

So, you’ve used your Planner to decide what needs to be done Now, Next and Soon. But, if too many things have become urgent, instead of trying to focus on too many things at once, ask for some help. Invite team members to your projects and delegate tasks to colleagues to reduce your workload. Simply click and drag your team member’s avatars to assign them to specific tasks.

Myth 3: “Keep powering through”

Whether you’re trying to power through a sick day, lunch break or a late night, it’s more than likely going to lead to mediocre results, that you’ll end up redoing anyway. Working for long periods without taking a break to recover can cause our brains to perceive the task as less important and we end up losing concentration. The early bird doesn’t always catch the worm, not when it’s burnt out. Flexible working hours allow you to work at the times when you know you perform at your best.

Update task progress with DropTask

Try this: Going to be out of the office? DropTask’s shared digital workspace means nothing gets missed. By attaching your files, updating progress percentages and adding notes to specific tasks, everything needed for that task will all be in one place. Whether or not you’re in the office, your whole team will always be kept in the loop, meaning your projects can continue at full power, even if you can’t. So, don’t hesitate in taking a break when you need to.

Watch your productivity skyrocket. Sign up to DropTask for FREE today and make simple improvements to your working habits with our myth-busting tips.

Managing a remote workforce with DropTask

Back to School

The way we work is changing. Companies are seeing rewards from a more flexible approach to working practices. Gone are the days when your talent pool was restricted to a reasonable commuting distance from your headquarters. Today, companies have opened themselves up to simply securing the best person for the job, regardless of their location or time zone.

However, with teams dispersed across various workspaces and geographical locations, remote working also has its challenges. But, with DropTask (and our top tips below), you’ll feel in control when managing your team of flexible workers.

DropTask Planner

Create a digital workplace

Though you’re not in the same physical space as your team, DropTask allows you to simulate an office environment within its clever interface. By creating multiple projects, and seeing your team’s avatars on their assigned tasks, you’ll feel as though you’re in a virtual meeting room.

DropTask’s Canvas View also enables you to visualize workloads, priorities and task dependencies. By attaching files to tasks, your team will be able to store and access all of their work within DropTask. Much more efficient than a filing cabinet or desktop storage space, your seamless digital workspace will ensure that nothing gets lost.

Group Project

Set clear expectations

By communicating with your team digitally, both yourself and your team will have a record and overview of all accountabilities and wider plans across the business. Through creating projects, assigning tasks to team members and setting due dates, everyone will be on the same page. This means no steps in a process will be missed and no work gets duplicated.

As a manager of a remote and seemingly invisible team, trust is a must. Stay focused on goals, rather than activities and your employees will take care of the rest. Employees can easily assign their tasks to be done Now, Next or Soon, as well as adding personal tasks to their Planner. With this innovative alternative to a calendar, they’ll be able to manage their daily workflow with a tool that’s as flexible as they are.

With DropTask, employees can work flexible hours, allowing them to work at whatever time they perform best. Whether or not your team are online at the same time, it’s easy to see where project members left off with particular tasks and documents. This means everyone will be kept in the loop, despite the difference in working patterns and time zones.

Daily Email Summary

Give timely feedback

With the ability to attach and access files within DropTask, you’ll be able to easily review your team’s work, providing feedback quicker than ever. Using the @ tag, just like instant messaging, chat with team members using the Discussions feature on specific tasks, drastically cutting down on lengthy emails.

When you’re not meeting your team face-to-face, it’s easy to let employee motivation slip. Don’t forget to celebrate colleague successes, big or small. Use DropTask to congratulate team members when they mark tasks as completed and a burst of confetti will shower their screen. By building a positive culture with frequent communication, you’ll be able to boost morale within your workforce wherever they are in the world.

For remote working without the remote feeling, sign up to DropTask for FREE today.

The productive season – get things done this Fall with DropTask

become more productive this autumn

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and, no, I don’t mean Christmas. A study by Harvard Business School has found that we become more productive in the autumn months. When the sun’s out to play, apparently, so are we. The grey weather improves our focus and ultimately makes us more efficient at work.

While you may be mourning the loss of summer, right now is a great time to maximize your work efforts and collaborate with your team. Here’s how you can make the most of the productive fall months (and some tips for staying cozy whilst doing so):  

cover images in droptask

Liven up your projects  

Your work doesn’t have to be dull just because the weather is. Inject some fun into your tasks by uploading Cover Images to DropTask. Adding aesthetic elements to your workload will make it more engaging, while visual cues allow you to identify projects in the blink of an eye.

If you’re using DropTask alone, inviting teammates is a great way to get your projects off the ground. A powerful tool of collaboration, DropTask works at its best with multiple users. Invite your colleagues and you’ll work at your best, too.  

Cozy tip: Forget summer salads, the temperature has dropped and everyone needs some comfort food to keep their energy up. Create a project in DropTask to organise an office baking competition –  a great way to start any working week.

use planner to tackle small and personal tasks

Tackle small tasks

Under the weight of a heavy workload, the niggly jobs can pass you by. While forgetting one small job might not be a big deal, forgetting ten can become an issue. Not all tasks have their home in a project. That’s why we created our Planner function, so everyone has space for their individual work.

Your Planner is for you, and you alone. Slot in standalone tasks to fit around your existing priorities and schedule work using Now, Next and Soon boards. Adapt your timetable to suit your most pressing jobs by assigning importance or urgency ratings to individual tasks. From rejigging your schedule, to unexpected incoming work, the Planner makes your life simpler.   

Cozy tip: When there’s a cold wind brewing outside, it’s important you keep your office comfortable. Numerous studies have found that we are at our most productive at around 71-72 degrees Fahrenheit.

use discussions to talk to your team

Connect the team

Colder weather doesn’t have to mean going into hibernation. With Halloween on the horizon, and festivities just ahead – fall and winter are great times for being social. And this goes for in the office, too. Keeping your team connected is easy when you collaborate with DropTask. 

Progress Percentages shows your team’s progress at a glance. Discussions allow you to talk about tasks in context, and with the right people using the @ tag. The addition of Checklists and Attachments make gaining task insights instantly accessible, leaving you more time for working.

Cozy tip: What we eat has an impact on our energy levels, state of mind and overall well-being. For Fall, we suggest a warming bowl of vegetable soup. Packed full of vitamins, this lunch is sure to make you feel both energized and snug.

remote working with DropTask

Work out of office

Whether it’s forbidding icy roads, or a pending home delivery – we all have to work remotely now and then. Bring the office to you by using DropTask.  With all your projects in one place, and instant task updates, staying in tune with your work has never been so easy. Even without WiFi, DropTask can be used on the go with your phone or iPad. DropTask Cloud will safely store your work, while the Sync Indicator will let you know your tasks have updated the next time you connect to the internet.

Cozy tip: Why not swap your morning coffee for a hot chocolate? The theobromine found in dark chocolate is reported to have energy boosting qualities, allowing you to enhance your focus in work. Plus, it’s far cozier than your usual caffeine buzz.

Want to keep your productivity up all year round? Sign up to DropTask for FREE and stay efficient whatever the weather.

4 Ways Small Businesses can Improve their Productivity

Being productive is important for any business. But, when your company is small, it’s even more crucial that you stay on top of your tasks. Being productive doesn’t just mean saving time. It brings a greater level of engagement in the office and a better work-life balance; efficiency matters to both the company and the individual. Good work gets done faster and employees have fewer late nights a week – a win-win for all.

Luckily for you, here at DropTask, we are something of an expert in the field of task management. So, to ensure your workplace is functioning at the highest possible level, we’ve come up with four key tips to increase office productivity:

make your SME productive with canvas view in DropTask

1) Less planning, more doing

Timescale is a key factor in boosting staff productivity. If you’ve ever had a to-do list that’s as long as your arm, you’ll know that inefficient planning can eat into the time spent actually doing the work. With DropTask’s Canvas View, firing out tasks is quick and easy. Add new tasks to your project in Canvas View with a speedy double-click and quickly populate your workspace with bubble-shaped to-dos.

Being able to respond to change quickly is a key characteristic of an innovative small business – DropTask offers you the flexibility to do this. Whether it’s a deadline which is bumped up or reordering tasks, DropTask’s Planner can adapt. Your Planner is your own personal workspace. It gives you the freedom to instantly schedule tasks Now, Next and Soon from any project, keep track of priorities and quickly rejig when needed.

be productive, manage your workload

2) Manage your workload

When a small business is managing a high volume of work, it can begin to feel overwhelming. There’s only so many times you can underline, circle or number your urgent tasks without losing sight of what’s really important. Workflow View is helpful for projects that move through logical stages, allowing you to see your tasks in linear lists. The simplicity of this visual tool makes processing workloads easier and helps to drive them forward. Team avatars provide instant clarity of task ownership, and Importance & Urgency flags draw your attention to where it’s needed the most.

work anytime, anywhere with DropTask

3) Work anytime, anywhere

Being out-of-office doesn’t have to mean being out of the loop. Good teamwork is crucial for smaller companies, but being physically in the same workspace isn’t always possible for modern teams. With DropTask for desktop, web, iPad, and phone you can rest assured you always have a central hub of collaboration. Real-time updates mean notifications will alert you when you’ve been assigned to a new task, or when changes have been made to an existing one. For managers, this means you can assign work remotely. Use task checklists and Progress bars to keep everyone up to date with the project.

improve your small team's communication with DropTask

4) Clearer communication

A clogged up email inbox is good for no one. It takes time to work through, requires superhuman levels of concentration and is often a symptom of micro-management. Discussions in DropTask have everything you need to keep communication brief and timely. Being able to add attachments means no more trawling through your inbox. Using Discussions in DropTask is guaranteed to save time, and ultimately boost productivity for small businesses.

Try DropTask’s productivity-boosting strategies to help your small business today – it’s FREE to join, sign up here.

A quick guide – Using DropTask’s new Planner for personal productivity

DropTask Planner

When you’re part of lots of collaborative projects, keeping your priorities in sync can be a challenge. You need a space to view all the tasks that lie ahead of you, so you can work through your responsibilities strategically – without letting anything slip. We designed your DropTask Planner with this in mind.

Work collaboratively, but in your own way

Your Planner is yours and yours alone. It is only visible to you and cannot be found by anyone else in your team. This makes it the perfect place for personal prioritization. As you are planning projects in Canvas or Workflow View, you can schedule your own tasks for Now, Next or Soon and find a copy of them in your Planner. Visual markers – that only you can see – are added to specific tasks in your projects, helping you to keep your own priorities in mind.

DropTask Planner Assigning Canvas

Give all your tasks one home

It’s unrealistic to think that all tasks come from projects. Some tasks just crop up, out of nowhere, and they need to get done. Your Planner allows you to create standalone tasks that can live outside of projects. They only exist in your Planner, and you can schedule them for Now, Next or Soon depending on how quickly they need to be completed. Introduce these standalone tasks and get them ticked off alongside your project tasks. Keeping all your to-dos in one place, no matter where they come from, will help to keep your priorities balanced and in sync.

DropTask Planner Creating Task

Work flexibly to your own deadlines

You’ll notice that your Planner is dateless. We’re giving you the freedom to set your own time parameters. Tasks on your Now board might need to be dealt with before lunchtime, but, for another DropTask Planner user, that same Now board may consist of tasks that are to be completed before the end of the week. It’s down to you and how you work best. And, as priorities shift and new tasks arise, you can rejig your Planner to reflect what’s now most important. In the modern world, you must be flexible in order to achieve. The ability to pivot and reassess your priorities is crucial, and DropTask’s Planner allows you to do just that.

How have you been using your new DropTask Planner? If you’re looking for some extra inspiration take a look at our full DropTask Planner tutorial here:

Try DropTask’s new Planner today to prioritize the personal tasks that will move your shared projects forward – with real world productivity. Sign up today for FREE.

Teams, collaborate better this July 4th with DropTask

July 4th DropTask

We’ve all had to work with others at some point in our lives in order to get things done. Whether it’s working towards a strict deadline or organizing a big event, we often rely on fellow team members to help us get over that final hurdle, and they’re often the ones who we’re celebrating with at the finish line. And, while some prefer working on their own, many of us can’t imagine facing everyday workplace challenges without a supportive team behind us.

Rally your work buddies together this 4th July with DropTask and create the best team on the block with our top tips below.

Congratulations

Boost morale – a ‘good job’ goes a long way
Being thankful for hard work and celebrating small successes can sometimes get pushed aside by other pressing deadlines. Recognition of your team’s hard work not only allows you to express gratitude for their efforts but also encourages employees to strive for greater results with a clear understanding of what behaviors and outcomes your organization values.

Share praise by instantly by Congratulating a colleague on completing a task – big or small. A playful celebration of confetti will shower their screen, and get them geared up for the next phase of the project.

Delegate

Oversee, don’t micromanage
Employee autonomy limits the need for constant direction from managers and CEOs. However, in a 2013 survey conducted by Stanford University focusing on executive coaching, 35% of coaches admitted that delegating work is something that they need to work on. And even when managers do delegate responsibility, they fall into the trap of micromanaging the rest of their team, resulting in employees performing at a lower level (as found in a recent study).

Instead of feeling like you have to constantly look over your team’s shoulder, take a step back to show that you trust them to perform at a high standard. By granting the team a little authority, they’ll have the freedom to work together to get things done. After Delegating responsibilities, you can gently oversee project developments by looking at the ‘Active’ projects from within the Project Browser. Here, you’ll be able to view what’s in Progress, what’s been Completed, and areas that require your attention. With indicators displaying the status of the overall project, you’ll be able to keep track of project developments at a glance.

Set due dates

Define deadlines
Strategic deadlines push the team forward towards the desired end goal. Set specific task Due Dates to inform your team of the activities and timescale required for the project’s successful completion.

How do you motivate your team to get things done? Introduce them to DropTask. They can sign up today for free.

Smart ideas for staying productive this summer

Summer has officially arrived – hooray! Now that our days are filled with sunshine and heat, being stuck in the office is might be feeling less desirable. Summer is also a time when workplace attendance drops by 19% and projects can take up to 13% longer to complete. So, how do we make the most of summer whilst still getting the work we need to do done? At DropTask, we pride ourselves on smart ways of staying productive, and that’s why we’re here to help. Read on for some of our favourite ideas.

Take your work outside
Sitting in a hot, sweating office is no fun for anyone, but the sun being out is not a good enough excuse to take the day off. Why not switch up your work environment and take your to-dos out in the sunshine? Take your laptop or iPad and head outdoors. With DropTask’s online and offline capabilities, you’ll be able to edit progress, ask team members for updates and schedule meetings, all whilst you enjoy the hot weather. And don’t worry, when you return to the office your tasks and projects will instantly update to keep everything up to speed.

Start your day earlier
When the afternoon comes around, the heat can make us feel exhausted and lethargic. Instead of starting heavy tasks in the hottest part of the day, get started on those daunting tasks in the morning. Not only are the mornings a little cooler, but you’ll be able to focus on the urgent things that need to get done before any distractions occur later in the day. To hone in, use visual indicators on tasks, such as Urgency and Importance icons, to mark what needs your attention first thing. Did you know, people take in visuals 80% better than written text? Use eye-catching Cover Images to help identify your most important tasks. Before you know it, you’ll have turned a backlog of to-dos into completed tasks.

Reshuffle your priorities
With summer in full swing, some people will have planned a well-deserved vacation break. Before you switch on your ‘out of office’, make a list of all tasks that you’re responsible for. Delegate these responsibilities to others by Assigning Tasks to team members to ensure things tick along nicely whilst you’re away. Use the Calendar assess Start and Due Dates and to see what will need to get done ahead of schedule. Reshuffle dates with a drag and drop, and feel at ease knowing that your schedule will instantly update. Be transparent with your team. Block out the time you’re away in your Team Calendar, so the people you work with know when you’re unavailable.

Set yourself up for a productive summer with DropTask. Sign up today for free.