Category Archives: DropTask 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.

Staying productive in a world of interruptions

As technology continues to advance, staying productive should be getting easier. In the workplace, the usual culprits of distraction are constantly pinging, buzzing and beeping. But, the question is, how do we stay focused when the temptation to break away from our current task is so frequent? Instead of letting hours pass you by, we’re on hand to help you get the most out of every minute. In today’s blog, read our top tips for staying engaged and productive in a world full of interruptions.

Find the power button
How many devices do you currently have spread across your desk? If the answer is more than one, then things need to change. Did you know, that jumping between different devices and apps actually makes us less productive? That’s right. When we work in this way, we increase the risk of losing important information, which is something that we don’t want to happen. Our advice? Switch off any additional devices and use just one to keep all of your important information. Make DropTask your home for everyday projects and keep tasks in one place. Upload documents, add notes, assign tasks and progress with your work, all from within one app and device.

Make a list
No, really! If you’re struggling to focus, create a list of things you need to get done. Did you know, that when things are written down, we’re more likely to go on and achieve them? Create an Urgency list in DropTask and before you know it, you’ll be one step closer to achieving the goals, you originally set out to achieve. In your Urgency list, you’ll be able to determine what’s normal or high urgency. With everything that you need to do right in front of you, you’ll be more inclined to get to work. If you’re concerned about forgetting about a task, don’t be. Urgent tasks will be assigned a colored lightning bolt to ensure they’re the first tasks that catch your eye whenever you open your project.

Block out the noise
Constant notifications can leave us feeling drained and overwhelmed. The inability to focus can also cause frustration when we realize we’re a day behind on our work. At DropTask, we never want you to feel like this. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, we want you to stay in control with how you’re being notified. We’ve updated our Notifications to ensure you’re being alerted only on the things that matter to you. Choose between Focused, Detailed or Custom Notifications. If you’re busy working on a monthly report or outlining the new marketing schedule, switch your Focused notifications on. Want to be informed more regularly? That’s fine too. Switch to Detailed or Custom Notifications to fine-tune your level of alerts based on your own needs.

How do you use DropTask to stay engaged in your work? If you have a story to share we’d love to hear it! Email us at support@droptask.com today if you’re interested in being a case study.

Become the best leader: 3 tips to manage your team successfully

There is no golden rulebook for how to get the best out of your team, but luckily DropTask is here to help. A good leader knows how to set deadlines, when to ask for updates and how to communicate effectively with their team. With DropTask, you’ll be able to maintain good team relationships, acknowledge great work and delegate tasks to those who have strengths in certain areas.

With DropTask, we make it easy for you to lead a happy and productive team. Read on to learn how.

Set realistic deadlines
Deadlines. Some people love them, others dread them. But we need deadlines to get things done, managers included. The next time you assign a task to a member of your team, ensure you make expectations clear on when it needs to be completed using Start and Due Dates. In DropTask, select the task deadline from the Start and Due Date picker. Once assigned, the task’s deadline will automatically appear in their Calendar. With an overview of their workload, you’ll be able to spot if deadlines and priorities need to shift and move them accordingly. Simple drag and drop the task’s deadline to a new date in the Calendar and feel rest assured that your team has a realistic deadline to work towards.

Keep track, without micromanaging
There’s a fine line between checking up on progress and constantly nudging for updates. Micromanagers will never get the full potential out of the people they manage. If you want an update on a shared project without interrupting your team, head to the Project Browser to see how things are getting on. Here, you can see what tasks have been started, placed on hold, fallen overdue and completed. This gives you the higher-level overview that a manager needs to map out the best next steps for your team project and offer support wherever it is needed.

Have some fun
According to ‘301 Ways to Have Fun at Work’, there’s a direct link between employees who have fun at work and those who are highly productive. DropTask helps to highlight those team achievements that deserve to be celebrated. Taking the time to recognize hard work keeps team morale and motivation high. And it’s not just big project milestones that deserve recognition and praise. With DropTask’s Congratulations feature, you can send your team a fun animation when they complete any task. What might seem like no-big-deal to some, could be a huge personal achievement to another, and as a manager, it’s crucial to acknowledge this.

How do you inspire your team to go the extra mile? Use DropTask as the go-to tool for a happy productive team. Sign up today for FREE.

Springtime projects: How to keep track, stay ahead and get things done

With spring being the season of new beginnings, it’s important that we take care of the projects that have been growing over the past few months. Have you got any projects that need more focus? Are you looking to prioritize your weekly tasks? Or, are you looking to inject a little more color into your current and future workload? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you’ve come to the right place. DropTask’s unique views help you to work at your best. Keep track of your projects, stay ahead and get things done.

If you’re looking to refresh your workload and supercharge your productivity, then take a look at our 3 tips below to find out how DropTask can help.

Switch up your style
Dull, mundane and linear projects only repel us from getting things done. Luckily, DropTask has a view to suit all styles of working, and makes tackling our workload a breeze. From the intuitive and colorful circles in the Canvas View, to clear visibility in the Workflow View and unique icons in Urgency Lists, your work will be far from boring. Plus, there’s no need to worry about changing views. Your work will be carried across so you won’t lose any tasks when you swap. Plus, depending on your project or mood, you can alternate between all views. There really is a view for everyone.

Focus on your priorities
Studies have shown that workplace productivity drops 20% during the spring and summer months. With the lighter evenings already in full swing, trying to focus on getting work done is sometimes easier said than done. “What was I doing again?” is a regular thought of ours when we can’t concentrate on the task at hand. To help combat this and to avoid getting overwhelmed, use Filters to narrow down on what’s in front of you. Filter by Importance, Urgency, Attachments, Tags plus much more. With fewer things on display, you’ll be able to hone in, fight through distractions and focus on your priorities.

Give yourself a pat on the back
The most important point, yet the one we’re all too used to forgetting about. We all know the positive effect that good vibes bring. That’s why we want to say well done to you. When we’re bogged down with work, we often forget to give ourselves a pat on the back. In DropTask, your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. When you reach productivity milestones, the celebratory Achievement feature will appear. This will not only give you a digital high-five, but spur you on to keep achieving great things. Plus, if you’re looking for a mid-week motivator, view your latest DropTask Achievement available now in the main menu.

Stay ahead of your work this spring with DropTask. Why not give it a go today? Click here to sign up today for FREE.

Here’s what’s wrong with your to-do list

To-do lists can feel soul destroying. There are days where we can tick off all of our to-dos before lunch, but other days our to-do list grows, endlessly creeping further down the page. We’ve all been there. Even with the best laid plans, unexpected tasks can disrupt our attention for the majority of the day and that growing list becomes overwhelming. Without a clear path, your time lacks focus and it’s hard to know where to begin tackling that dreaded list, leaving our productivity to grind to a halt.

With DropTask, we’re letting you in on our top tips to improve your productivity and drive the tasks that lay ahead of you over the finish line. Make sense of your to-dos and tackle shifting priorities with DropTask. Read on to find out how:

What’s really important?
When we have a long list of tasks, it’s sometimes difficult to identify what’s urgent. In DropTask, use the Urgency Lists to sort all of your current tasks into an order of your priorities. In Urgency Lists, you can set tasks as Normal, Urgent and Very Urgent. This view gives you the ability to see your main priorities at a glance. Adjusting to unexpected changes becomes easy. By clicking and dragging your tasks around your workspace, you’ll effortlessly be able to rearrange as your priorities change. By pivoting when needed, your workload will never become outdated again. It really is that simple.

Get with the times
We’re all busy. But the key to getting through that to-do list is focus. If you’re working through your list without any deadlines, it’s time to make a change. Did you know, when a deadline is assigned to a task we’re more likely to action it? Assign Start and Due Dates to every task you create in DropTask. When dates are assigned, they also act as a visual reminder on your Canvas, so your time is spent wisely. By adding an element of time to your projects, you’ll find yourself able to squeeze extra hours of productivity out of every day.

Keep it simple with DropTask
When it comes to managing your to-do list, the key is to keep things simple. With DropTask, we pride ourselves on simplistic, visual task management that makes it easy for individuals and teams to achieve more. In a fast-paced world, we know how quickly regular lists and project plans can become outdated and redundant. That’s why we created DropTask. With a simple, central hub to manage your day, you can make instant updates, see who’s working on what, and check team schedules to ensure everyone is on track to achieve their goals. Use DropTask for a simple, stress-free route to success.

Keep your daily to-dos on track with DropTask. Sign up today for FREE.