Tag Archives: Organization

Step into Spring with DropTask

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

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

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

Rearrange where necessary

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

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

Polish appearances

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

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

Organize upcoming duties

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

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

Focus on what needs your attention

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

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

Taking the stress out of staying organized: How Australian-based PR company, N2N Communications, use DropTask.

Stuart Wragg is an Associate Partner at a Sydney-based communications agency responsible for building and managing the reputations of well-known brands including Facebook, Uber and Airbnb. Helping clients to navigate around an ever-changing digital environment means that spinning plates is a full-time job for Stuart and his team, and earlier this month he took some time to tell us how DropTask has allowed them to spend more time doing, and less time organizing.

Stuart Wragg Associate Partner at N2N CommunicationsBefore discovering DropTask, we had no set method for managing our workloads within the company. We would capture meeting actions in notebooks, write client to-dos on post-it notes, and create action items through email. It soon became clear that some of the team were struggling to keep track of their to-dos and too much time was being spent on trying to manage workloads – instead of doing the creative work they love most. Therefore we required a solution that would enable us to simultaneously manage and prioritize workloads, while promoting a far more efficient way of working.

Team using notebooks before DropTask“When we came across DropTask, we knew we were onto a winner.”

We tried out various collaboration and project management tools, most of which were popular with the team at first, but soon fell by the wayside because they took too much time to master. However, when we came across DropTask, we knew we were onto a winner. The intuitive and visual nature of the tool stood out to us and its simple design made it easy to use, meaning no training was needed to get the team started.

“We love how accessible and easy to use DropTask is via a mobile device.”DropTask used to manage networking event

Whether we’re keeping track of client campaigns or organizing business development activities, DropTask is used to manage it all. In fact, the company recently hosted a networking event for a group of senior communications executives – in which DropTask was instrumental in organizing.  The powerful features allowed team members to work with each other on the project, where they were able to easily record actions, set priorities and monitor progress.  Within the project we set up a range of groups – each of which filled with different jobs associated with the logistics of the event. The ability to cluster all activities into similar types of work made the organizing process quick and effortless – we even used DropTask to keep track of the RSVPs for the event!

“DropTask has become an invaluable and efficient tool that takes the stress out of staying organized for our senior team.”

We love how accessible and easy to use DropTask is via a mobile device.  As consultants, we’re often out of the office meeting with clients, influencers and suppliers and in any one day we might pick-up 50 jobs that need to be recorded and actioned.  DropTask gives us a place to instantly store those jobs and assign responsibilities, which means once we’re back in the office we can spend more time doing, and less time organizing.

As our agency continues to grow and the work we do for clients becomes increasingly complex, so too does the pressure on our time. DropTask has become an invaluable and efficient tool that takes the stress out of staying organized for our senior team.”

 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 do you organize your email?

Ever had an email land in your inbox that you didn’t want to forget to act on?  We all have, right?

To get organized some of us create an abundance of folders and place our items in there. But it doesn’t take long until an email you once thought you were categorizing for later falls victim to ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and never gets a second look. Maybe you leverage the categories in Outlook instead, but still find that the massive amounts of incoming emails eventually become unbearable. In frustration, you resort to yet another list and store it in OneNote, Evernote, or even on a whiteboard in your office… Sound familiar? I know I can certainly relate to all of the above.  Not any more though. Now, I use DropTask.Droptask

DropTask is a fun visual task management solution that allows me to not only organize my own personal and professional tasks, but also helps me to engage with teams across both my work and personal commitments that sometimes involve colleagues, friends and family.

Now as DropTask CEO, it’s quite possible that I may be biased, but I truly do love using DropTask because it’s so much fun and incredibly simple to use.  I use the full fidelity of the product on the website at DropTask.com, in addition to the mobile app on my phone which is useful for when I’m travelling or on the move. Think Productivity – the company behind DropTask, is an exciting place to work and the team that designs the features are bringing some exciting new capabilities your way over the coming months. Starting next week, they will present you with the golden opportunity to get your inbox organized once and for all by allowing you to send actionable emails straight from your Outlook inbox into DropTask, to manage it all for you.  Once in DropTask, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate and assign responsibilities to others to help you get the work done. All you have to do is simply drag and drop their photo on top of the cool task circle that will have formed from your email and ta-da! You’re done.DropTask Task assignment

Just by dragging the photo on top of the task you’ll have automatically sent an email to get some help – with all the details necessary for them to act included in the email.  You can set a deadline for when you need the task completed too, as well as setting various indicators to show how important or time sensitive it is.

But wait, did you just become the perpetrator for overloading somebody else’s inbox!?

Well, everyone has their own way of managing their time – and email is still a big part of that.  Don’t worry though, the recipient can use DropTask as well.  You can both work on projects together right inside a fun and productive workspace that’s sure to grab your team’s attention and inspire them to get more done.

So stop wasting time trying to manage the relentless flood of incoming emails, and have fun getting work done instead.  DropTask is the number one visual task management solution on the web, and to get started for free all you have to do is go to www.droptask.com. There’s also a great collection of support articles to get you up and running here, and our quick-response support team are always on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Remember, you may not be able to control the volume of email you receive each and every day, but injecting a bit of fun and efficiency into how you manage it can make all the difference. Got your own story to share? Leave it in the comments below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.

All the best,

Laurie Carey
DropTask CEO