Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Project Challenge Expo 2014

This week DropTask had its first public outing, with myself, Yogi, and Darren packing our bags and travelling from Cardiff to London to attend the Project Challenge Expo 2014. The event was held over two days at the Olympia, playing host to a variety of project management related solutions.

The event was a huge success, and we took part in many great conversations with some of the industry’s finest. Although there are some tired eyes in the office today, a fantastic time was had by all and we can’t wait to take DropTask out on the road again! Here’s an idea of what we got up to along the way…

 Day One: Packing, Travelling and Build Up

After final preparations in the office, the three of us squeezed into our jam-packed 7 seater car and set off for London. Three hours later we arrived at the Olympia, ready to unload and build our stand. It took some impressive lifting skills on Darren and Yogi’s part, along with multiple trips in the lift, but we eventually managed to get all our equipment to stand 120 ready to start building! During this process we learnt that escapee helium balloons can pose major problems, and that I’m really rather terrible at DIY.

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Finally at 7.30pm the stand was looking lovely and all set for the next day. We then jumped into a black cab to check in at the hotel that would be our home for the next couple of days. After a quick pit stop to unpack, we ventured out to a nearby Italian restaurant. Luckily, we all managed to refrain from falling asleep in our pasta after a long day travelling and setting up. With that it was time to head back to the hotel for some much needed rest – ready for our early start the following day.

Day Two: The Exhibition Opening

The snooze button was strictly prohibited the next morning, as we were all up and ready to leave by 7.00am. Once we arrived at the Olympia the quest for breakfast began, with each of us doing our best to eat yogurts with forks whilst simultaneously experiencing bottled cereal for the first time. Don’t ask. Somewhat satisfied by our makeshift breakfast, we began blowing up balloons and setting up our equipment. Once finished, we took a brief moment to pose for a team photo.

Second Image

At 9.30am the show was officially opened and we awaited our first delegates. DropTask soon began to attract attention and we started discussing all things visual task management – introducing DropTask for the first time to many of the people we spoke to. It was exciting to hear such great feedback about DropTask, with many welcoming a fresh and engaging way to manage projects and people. We were rushed off our feet as the crowds gathered for live demos and it was fantastic to chat to each and every person.

The bright colours and unfamiliar look were what first attracted delegates to our stand, but once they saw DropTask in action most people fell in love with the intuitive design and ease of use. Many were pleasantly surprised by the amount of powerful features packed into something so simple and pleasurable to use.

As the exhibition drew to a close at 5pm, we packed away and headed to the official networking event where we met some of our fellow exhibitors. With a short rest before dinner, we prepared for day 3.

Day Three: Exhibiting, Stand Breakdown and Going Home!

Learning from our breakfast experience the day before, we got up a little earlier than necessary in order to go further afield in search of sustenance. Cups of tea and eggs were a welcome relief after the yogurt and fork incident of the previous day. We then jumped in a cab and made our way to the Olympia for the final time, having to maneuver some lively protests taking place next door to the exhibition centre in the process!

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The day was once again packed full of great conversations and delegates excited about getting their teams started with DropTask PRO. The unique look of DropTask was really popular, and delegates were delighted to have found a tool that their teams would not only understand, but enjoy using. The ability to have everything within a project stored in one place, such as discussions, file attachments and progress was also a welcome feature. The day flew by, and before we knew it the exhibition had come to a close and it was time for the hard bit – stand break down!

Surrounded by boxes, bags and tools we got to work dismantling our stand and boxing up equipment. With a kind helping hand from the exhibition staff, we loaded our belongings into the car, ready for the return back to Cardiff, Wales.

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We had a truly wonderful time at the event and thoroughly enjoyed every second. It was great to demo DropTask face to face and hear people’s thoughts on what we’re doing. The response was overwhelmingly positive and all feedback extremely thought provoking. As well as having a great time we also learnt a lot along the way – like after a whole day exhibiting, deciding not to get a chair probably wasn’t a great idea…

A big thank you to everyone who came to see us at Project Challenge – we hope you enjoyed the event!

 

Summer workplace productivity – how can visual task management help?

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Ah, the summer. The sun is shining, the air is warm and the days are longer. For many of us, these longer days will be spent in work dreaming of much anticipated holidays. Taking a break can be a great boost for both the worker and the workplace, with productivity often increasing after a well-deserved rest.

However, did you know that during the summer season, workplace productivity can actually decline?

A Captivate study found that summertime has a detrimental effect upon workplace productivity, with employees reporting a 20% drop in overall productivity. With worker’s minds drifting to thoughts of sandy beaches and sun loungers, almost half reported that they are more distracted during this period (45%). Not only that, but the projects that do get completed during the summer have a 13% increase in turnaround time. It would be logical to think that more flexible working hours during the summer may help boost productivity, however Captivate found that this actually exacerbates the problem. Of those employees whose companies offered increased hours Monday-Thursday in order for a shortened Friday, 52% reported a decrease in workplace productivity. It’s not all negative though – those employees whose employers allowed them to work from home reported a 26% rise in productivity levels. Perhaps they used DropTask?! I jest.  

So what can be done to beat the summer workplace productivity slump? Well implemented project management for a start, and that’s where DropTask comes in. Here are a few of the ways that visual task management can boost your workplace productivity this summer.

Keeping track of colleague’s holidays

One of the hardest parts of working during the summer is keeping track of everyone’s holidays and time out of the office. With Google Calendar Integration, tasks can be viewed alongside your colleague’s holidays, making it easier to manage tasks as a team.

Home and office become one 

With increased numbers of workers telecommuting during the summer, it’s easy to lose track of the tasks of those not in the office. DropTask enables you to see project updates in real time, giving you a clear idea of what all your workmates are doing, no matter where they are. Your tasks will be automatically synced across all your devices too, meaning you’ll never miss a beat. You can also chat to your collaborators and comment on your mutual projects, as well as sharing any handy files with each other.

Regain focus on the task at hand

Too busy thinking about what to pack in your suitcase or trying to work with colleagues whose minds are elsewhere? Having a visual to-do list like DropTask can provide a simple visual reminder of the tasks at hand, along with their current status, priority and effort level. Reminders when tasks are due will keep you on the ball, as well as visual notifications when any changes take place within a project.

Make the return to work less daunting

Sun block? Check. Holiday insurance? Check. Meeting pre-holiday deadlines at work? Check. By visualizing your workload everyday with DropTask, you can be sure to prioritize your workload in order to complete all necessary tasks before you take your break. Your colleagues will be able to see what you’ve completed and what you’re putting on hold until after you return – with just one glance.

Implement the smooth running of your holiday

If you’re too busy mentally planning your holiday whilst at your desk it’s obvious your productivity is going to take a dip. Clear your mind by using DropTask at home to create a holiday organization project and prevent a last minute rush to the passport office. Feeling ultra organized? Use DropTask as a suitcase check list to avoid forgetting anything vital.

Don’t let your productivity take a downturn in the workplace this summer, try utilizing DropTask instead. We promise those poolside cocktails will taste even sweeter knowing that your work commitments are dealt with, and the return to work will be a breeze.

To slash your stress levels this summer click here to try DropTask for yourself.

How do you stay productive during the summer? We’d love to hear your thoughts – let us know below!

Get the most out of your team effort!

I’m sure you’ll agree that when it comes to collaboration and working with others, communication is key.

A team with various responsibilities, projects, and priorities to handle can be difficult to manage if you’re not always on the same page as each other, and it can be made worse when you throw an increased workload into the mix.

But requesting an update on progress or delegating a new task can be counter productive if your message is lost in a sea of emails, which is why DropTask is a really great tool for driving team effort.

Collaboration

Collaboration

In August 2013, we introduced our new Request Update feature. With its self-explanatory function in mind, we wanted to design it to help you monitor progress on a task that you’re overseeing, and get you one step closer to the finishing post.

We felt that this feature – designed specifically for collaboration – would further improve the way DropTask is already supporting and promoting teamwork, and judging by your feedback, it’s done just that.

Within each project is the option to invite friends, family members, colleagues or acquaintances to share a space with. Whether you’re managing a project, overseeing a team’s effort or simply looking to improve the way you work with others – gaining access to a shared project means you can create unlimited tasks, assign people to them, and even categorise the to-dos by organising them within groups.

CollaborationEverything in one shared place not only makes it easier for everyone to ask questions, send files, and update progress, but it also allows you and your team keep up to date with deadlines and provides you with the confidence that your day to day schedule is being maintained and managed well.

The overall impact of using DropTask to improve team effort at home, in the work place or within academic institutions has been seen by thousands of people worldwide.  We receive a tremendous amount of support and feedback from our users who tell us how DropTask has boosted their productivity, and allowed them to work with others like never before.

So, if you find yourself juggling your workload across various different mediums whilst collaboratively working towards one common goal, try inviting a few people to work with on DropTask. You’ll soon notice how straightforward and manageable teamwork can really be.

5 Ways in which DropTask encourages Academic Productivity

Being a student in today’s technologically advanced world brings forward endless opportunities for various educational techniques and teaching methods to be employed in the classroom. The diverse approaches that academic institutions employ almost always aim to achieve one sought after result – an increase in productivity and performance represented through better grades.

It could be argued that achieving this is down to several variable factors, and undoubtedly even a teacher or professor’s involvement can have a direct impact on the end result.  So in today’s blog, we’ll explore 5 different ways in which a visual task management application such as DropTask can encourage productivity in the classroom for both students and teachers.

1.   Manage all your notes in one place

Folders, files and notepads are fine if you’re in a hurry.  However, when it comes to your personal organisation and preparation, there’s always at least one mid-assignment moment where you find yourself looking for notes that you’d made months ago.  Whether you’re searching through emails or delving into your archives, valuable time that could be used to complete your assignment or prepare for an exam is instead being spent on a treasure hunt that may never pay off. So wouldn’t it be great to keep all of your notes in one easy-to-access place?

Manage all your notes in one place

With DropTask, you can create different projects that reflect your different classes, and then add different tasks to represent your assignments. How you use DropTask to suit your needs is your preference, but within your project you have the option to attach files and images from your Computer, Google Drive or even Dropbox, which really simplifies the way in which you can store and categorise all of your notes.


2. 
Communicate with your peers

Everyone knows the importance of communication, but when it comes to education whether you’re a student or a teacher, it can make all the difference to your overall classroom confidence.  Within DropTask, you are able to add comments and communicate with whoever you choose to share your project with. This feature provides you with a brilliant opportunity to ask questions and stay connected to those you are working closely with, whilst still maintaining a professional peer to peer relationship. You can also personalise DropTask by uploading your picture to represent you, or use your initials as an avatar.

Communicate with your peers

3.  Engage in your assignments 

When you use DropTask you have the option to create projects, groups and tasks and assign different colours to each of your areas of interest. When it comes to your studies, whether you’re an artist or an analytical thinker, DropTask provokes you to engage with what you’re doing by stimulating both sides of your brain. This helps turn even the most tiresome assignment into a thought provoking and visual embodiment.

Engage in your assignments


4.  
De-stress – Manage your deadlines

Juggling your deadlines can sometimes be a very difficult and stressful task, especially if you spend more time counting down the days rather than productively working towards your next step. Use the ‘set a due date’ feature on DropTask to manage your next deadline. It may even be a good idea to set your own personal deadlines to manage all of the different aspects of research you’ll need to carry out in completing an assignment, and tick them off as you go along so you can track your progress.

De-stress - Manage your deadlines


5.  
Don’t feel overwhelmed

DropTask has been designed to give you an opportunity to use a visual task management application that’s going to support and assist you with managing your productivity. Its user-friendly interface allows you to get stuck in straight away, and its versatility allows you to use it to manage various projects, presentations, assignments or even performance schedules. Using features to set status, priority and effort can simplify the steps you take to reach your end result (whether it’s an assignment or an exam). You’ll soon find that you can curb that overwhelming feeling of getting closer to a deadline, and instead give a boost to your confidence.

Don't Feel Overwhelmed

DropTask helps you to stay prepared and plan ahead

When it comes to hosting an event, dinner or even an important business meeting, the pressure of delivering a good end result can often be unnerving. You might feel like everything is under control, until the dreaded last minute ‘unexpected event’ occurs, and all of a sudden you’re in a panic with no preparation. Well, what if you were prepared? What if you had planned ahead, managed your time effectively, and kept up to date with things. Would things have been different?

Activity View

Activity View

Here at DropTask we kept you in mind when developing our task management application. We know that a simple tick list may be great for your shopping list, but it may not evoke you to explore all your options for arrangements or projects that might require more effort and depth. Well, with DropTask you can always have the confidence that you can use it as a ‘go to’ haven when things start going in the opposite direction than you had intended. All your files, notes, and strategic planning are documented. Should something go wrong – you can always retrace your steps and filter through your progress to get you back to the root of your problem using the project Activity View. Not to mention the added advantage of being able to communicate with others involved in your project so easily, and using the app’s features to delegate tasks and areas of responsibility in an efficient manner during times of need.

We all know that staying on top of things and planning ahead goes hand in hand with time management, but putting this stream of thought into action can be the challenging part, especially when it feels like the ‘to do’ pile keeps mounting up and the clock keeps ticking. To help you with this, try getting into the habit of using the Daily Summary email (shown below) – it will give you a quick heads up about which tasks need your attention the most. Don’t forget that you can also manage your priorities by setting task effort, giving you a visual indication of how long a task may take you to complete. Also try setting yourself deadlines via the due date feature – it’s a great way to manage your own time. In doing all of this, you can make sure that you are independently managing your project in a way that will not only prepare you for the unexpected, but also eliminate any possibility of you missing a beat.

Using DropTask to assist you with project management will help lower your stress levels and aid you to think in a much more direct and straightforward manner during your next ‘crisis’ moment. Ultimately, this will instil confidence in both you and your end result – when it all runs smoothly. So try out our free task management application today at droptask.com, and let us know what you think!

Daily Summary

Daily Summary Email

 

Combine Your Productivity with Creativity

It’s often said that we have the tendency to use one side of our brain more than the other, and that when it comes to rationalisation, logical thinking and creativity, we use opposite sides of our brain to control our thinking. The left side is said to be more analytical, with abilities in language and understanding, whereas the right side is supposed to control our intuition and imagination – not to mention our creativity. So in this post, we’re going to show you how DropTask can revolutionise the way in which you engage, manage, and take control of those neglected tasks.

In the general scheme of things, we often spend more time than we’d like to admit when it comes to getting back to people, updating progress on a current task or project, or even sifting through bits of paper to find out where that all-important document is. It could be argued that all of the above feel like tedious tasks, and what you’re actually achieving is far from effective project management because you don’t really feel fully engaged to what’s going on.

So here at DropTask, we try to be a very forward and creative-thinking team, with the understanding that in order to fully engage in what you’re doing, you need to stimulate the brain to achieve maximum amounts of productivity. When you take a look at DropTask, you’ll see that the primary view is the ‘Group View’.

Group View

Group View

Your blank canvas is there and waiting to be bursting with groups, tasks, ideas and research, and each time you attach a file, set a due date or add a tag, you’re presented with a visual to support it. Taking a simple glance at the app is all you need to stay informed and on top of things, and the aesthetics of the task management software compliments the fluidity and ‘fun’ nature of navigating through it.

DropTask successfully combines logic, language and communication, precision and creativity into one easily manageable online application, ensuring that a good working product is still at the heart of things. The innovative nature of the interface fails to draw away from its purpose to serve as an effective task management application, and we’re confident that once you start using it, you’ll agree!