Tag Archives: Project management

Managing nationwide projects with flexibility and focus

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Dr. Janet Mahoney, CEO of Arte Rehab; a company that provides quality patient care through a range of therapies within healthcare, was looking for a solution to manage the many aspects of her growing and dynamic business. Janet wanted a solution where employees could focus on accomplishing ongoing goals and would get the big picture overview of company-wide projects, and with DropTask she gained not only this, but the flexibility and visual organization to manage the workload of a large team within a nation-wide company.

“Arte Rehab operates in four different states, offers 3 lines of Business and has a wide range of consultants up and down the country. We have experienced significant growth since our 2013 inception and as a result of our expanding business, have hired a number of remote employees. Prior to finding DropTask, keeping track of everyone’s progress with shared tasks and ongoing projects became a challenge and I resorted to using an old school dry erase board to plan collaborative projects. This wasn’t a successful way to do things, and often lead to a messy board with an unclear structure on how we were going to progress forward with our next project.

This was the tipping point for me as I knew that I needed to find a solution that would fit the needs of the company and allow collaboration between a wide range of staff working within different locations. I needed us all to be on the same page with our current workload, within a system which allowed a seamless way of taking our projects from the initial stages of planning, to completion.
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The visual aspect of DropTask and the ability to organize my workload as task circles allowed me to reschedule and prioritize my workload in a simple way. I currently have the Business account, which further allows me to manage the massive process of Task Assignment within the team. In an instant, I’m able to click on tasks that are assigned to different team members and view their progress.
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The Checklist feature is one of the teams’ personal favorites to use. What we find most useful is that it breaks down larger tasks into several smaller tasks and ones which are a little less daunting to tackle. This feature is my go-to if I want to quickly glance over progress. I do this by viewing the task circle on the Canvas, which gives me a visual indicator of how long it will take until the larger task is completed – which I find is most efficient. It’s a great feature for managers to keep on track, and for employees to focus on getting their job done.
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Due to my busy schedule, I often need a prompt to direct my attention to a specific task that I need to complete. I assign Reminders to my tasks for a specific date and time for when I’d like an in-app Notification and email reminder sent to me. I find these really efficient as the Reminder Notification will remain in the app until I dismiss it, encouraging me to complete the task so I can get back to my work at hand.

Currently within DropTask I’m working on reviewing and updating our employee handbook, policies and procedures. This project is very time consuming and requires a massive team effort to review, rewrite and research the policies that our industry requires. For such an extensive project, this entails lots of job roles being assigned to a variety of different staff members in order for the project to remain on course to meet its deadline. In all of my projects and in this one in particular, I review the Status of each of the tasks that are assigned to my employees, and I do this on a daily basis. As Project admin, I have access to all of the Project’s minor details including: changing the permission levels of each project member, editing advanced Permission Settings and removing members from the project. I find this feature useful as I am in affect the owner of the project and as a result have complete control of any user’s accessibility to shared work.
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Our time management as an entire team has improved significantly with the help of DropTask. We now assign Start and Due Dates to all of our tasks. This not only encourages us to work harder, but we have found that it has allowed us to complete tasks much faster than ever before. For example, each member of the team has a unique Calendar that is based around the tasks that they’re assigned to. Before this, there was confusion surrounding dates and not knowing when deadlines were put in place.

As a doctor of physical therapy with more than 30 years experience, I have worked in acute care hospitals, co-founded a skilled nursing facility rehab management consulting company and written many articles to emphasize the need for industry change. And now I finally feel like I can manage all of these different aspects of my life within DropTask. I have everything that I need to accomplish my projects without any additional stress of knowing where my work is, as now it is all available within one superior task management tool which is DropTask.”

To learn more, sign 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!

Fed up with your idle projects? Learn how to finish what you started

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Are you in the habit of starting projects, but not finishing them? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many of us are fast to get new projects into motion – a screenplay, a product, a new craft, a business idea or home improvements. We like ‘starting things’ because it makes us feel amped up, entrepreneurial and productive. But, completing them is another matter.

There are plenty of reasons why we lose that initial enthusiasm for our projects and hit the pause button mid-way, be they running out of cash, failure to plan effectively, stumbling on a roadblock, lack of commitment, or reaching a plateau. Rather than abandoning a project altogether, we leave it on the backburner week after week, month after month, anticipating that we’ll get around to wrapping it up at some point.

Every project sitting idle signifies wasted time, energy and resources, and sucks up far too much mental space. It could be a small task, an ongoing work project or something even bigger, like a lifelong passion. Whatever you have that’s undone, it won’t magically get finished without you taking action.

We’ve devised 4 simple hacks to help you see your projects through from beginning to end. Read on and get moving…

1. Be picky

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Before doing anything, take a look at all your unfinished projects and identify which ones are actually worth concluding. Which assignments have the tightest deadlines? Which ones are almost done? What about that never-ending work proposal that’s been going on forever? Remember that dream goal you got started on? Is it still something you care about and want to pursue? Decide which projects you want to finish first. Ranking your projects makes it clear what’s number 1 on your agenda and helps in fueling your motivation to go from one completed activity to the next.

Give your top priority project the go-ahead by forming a basic structure for it in DropTask. First, create a new Project to house all your to-dos. Inside that project, create color-coded Categories for grouping your micro responsibilities and tasks. For instance, you can organize your categories by project stages or themes, such as ‘Ideas’, ‘Research’, ‘Budgeting’, ‘Events’, ‘Marketing’ and so on.

2. Plan your actions in detail

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To get and stay organized, make sure you have a system for action planning. Having set up all your project categories in DropTask, create specific action steps in the form of Tasks to begin the process of making the project a reality. Without clear steps, you might find yourself stumbling around, not knowing which course to follow to achieve your desired results. Your tasks can be anything you need to do or any piece of work you need to produce to fulfil key aspects of your project – ‘Write cover copy’, ‘Commission artwork’, ‘Create webpage’ and so on. You can assign each task a Start and Due Date, and an owner (if you’re working with others). For each task, make sure you prepare, copy, link to or attach any notes or files you might need. If you have a series of tasks that depend on one another, set them up as Dependencies so you can clearly see how they link together in the correct sequence. The tighter your plan, the easier it will be to stick to it without getting sidetracked.

3. Eat a frog first thing

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“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain. This entertaining quote contains powerful productivity advice. For any project you’re working on, there are tasks that are more important than others. The frog is the biggest, ugliest and hardest task on your plate – it’s the one that puts the most pressure on you because of its significance. Consequently, it’s also the task that you’re most likely to avoid in favor of crossing off the easier 3rd, 4th or 5th items in your to-dos.

But here’s the tip. If you aim to wolf down your giant task ASAP each day, then the rest of your work will be a piece of cake in comparison. According to behavioral scientists, willpower tends to be higher earlier in the day. Prioritizing your toughest task first means you’ll be able to apply your best energy and effort to it before ‘decision fatigue’ kicks in. Specify your frogs by setting Importance, Urgency and Effort attributes for your tasks in DropTask, and switch to Project List View to pull up a list of your most urgent ‘do now’ jobs each day. Eating the frog won’t be pleasant, but steeling yourself to do it allows you to make long strides in achieving your major goal and will nip chronic procrastination in the bud. You might not enjoy the taste, but you’ll love the buzz of accomplishment that comes after.

4. Stay committed to the end

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Maintain momentum on your project by checking in daily, weekly or monthly. We all know what it feels like to start a project all hyped up and full of zest, only to have our enthusiasm fade away once we’re in the thick of things. It’s worth reminding yourself regularly that every little bit you do now counts toward your end vision. Use DropTask’s Workflow View to visually map the development of your project from start to finish, while keeping your eyes firmly on the main prize.  Mark your progress on each task using the Progress Percentage bar, and look over your current achievements in the Completed Tasks View. Monitoring your actions makes you accountable to your final goal and helps you stay on top. DropTask’s Daily Summary Email will notify you of which deadlines are coming up and what tasks are overdue, making tracking effortless on your part. If need be, reschedule or reset any dates against your target, and set Reminders to keep you chipping away at those tasks. Persevere and it won’t be too long before you’re celebrating project success.

What’s on your finish list? Do you have any of your own methods for putting projects to bed? Tell us all about them in the comments below.

Planning your new projects

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7 Steps to getting started with DropTask

A new year often brings exciting new initiatives. But when it comes to planning your upcoming projects, it can be hard to know exactly where to begin. Whether you’re launching a new website, devising a training course or hosting an event, you’ll no doubt need a clear project plan to help you stay on track to reach your goals. A good project plan will outline your key steps, deliverables and the team members involved in the project, keeping everything organized in one place.

Today, we want to show you how DropTask can become your go-to tool for managing just about any type of project – big or small, work or home. A beautifully fluid interface hides an incredibly powerful feature set for project management, and mobile app availability makes it easy for you to stay on top of your tasks while on the go.

Let’s start with the basics – creating your first project. Follow these 7 simple steps to design a foolproof project plan and move forward with confidence.

Step 1: Start a Project

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Create a fresh Project by clicking the ‘+ Create Project’ tab under the Menu. Give it a title. Your project can be literally anything! Teachers can create projects for each class or module they teach, product developers can create projects for each new launch they work on, bloggers can create projects to manage their publishing calendar and freelance contractors can create a project for each client.

With DropTask, you can share your project with family, friends or colleagues who will be working with you. Invite them by inputting their email addresses or via Google contacts.

Once you’ve done this, a blank Canvas will open up, all ready and waiting for you to start setting up your project.

Step 2: Define Project Categories

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Categories are an important part of your project, representing topics, goals, stages or job operations. They help to divide your project into more manageable sections. For example, useful categories for your Market Research project may include ‘Online Surveys’, ‘Focus Groups’, ‘Interviews’, ‘Field Experiments’, etc.

Add a category in DropTask by simply dragging the Category bubble from the top navigation bar and ‘dropping’ it onto your Canvas. Assign a color to your category to act as a ‘code’ for increased organization.

Step 3: Plan your Tasks

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Within each Category, map out your key tasks based on the deliverables you need to produce in order to meet the project’s goals. What are the specific action steps you’re expected to complete? If you run a business club, your ‘Quarterly Event’ category might include tasks such as include ‘Organize Catering’, ‘Send Out Invitations’, ‘Prepare Presentation’, etc. To add a Task, click on the Task bubble from the top navigation bar and drag it to the appropriate category. At any time, you can move or re-position your task on your Canvas or place it into different categories via drag and drop.
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Use the ‘Add Notes’ option in the Task Sidebar to include any comments or details you think are important to complete the task (e.g. client contact information, an outline of instructions), and upload task-related Files (documents, spreadsheets, photos) using the Paperclip icon to collate all your content neatly.
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For each task, determine who will be responsible for its completion. To Assign a task to someone – i.e. yourself, a team member, or multiple people – select your chosen member from the ‘Members’ panel on the left-hand side, and drag and drop them onto your task. Or use the dropdown menu available in the Task Sidebar. To collaborate, use the @ symbol in front of a person’s name when leaving a Comment for their attention. This will notify them directly in their dashboard and via email.
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Once your categories are filled with tasks, identify any Dependencies. Do certain tasks need to be completed before you can make a start on others? Use DropTask to define the order in which a series of tasks must be actioned. Drag and drop the ‘first’ task onto its dependent. An arrow will then appear representing the link between the two tasks. Being able to visualize task connections in this way is invaluable for keeping track of your project workflow.

Step 4: Set Start and Due Dates

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Next, estimate Start and Due Dates for each action step or deliverable in your project plan. Simply select a task to open up the Task Sidebar, then select ‘Start’ or ‘Due’ situated next to the Calendar icon. A date picker will pop up for you to choose your start or due date. Once dates are set, your tasks will be automatically recorded in your Calendar, helping you manage your time effectively to meet your deadlines. As well as one-off dates, you can set timescales on a recurring basis for Repeating Tasks. When selecting a due date for your task, you can opt to repeat it every day, week, month or year. Your repeating schedule will be visible under the ‘Due’ date in the Task Sidebar and the task will be repeated in your Calendar according to the frequency you have selected.

To add even more power to your time management, you can set Task Reminders from under the ‘Alarm’ icon in the Task Sidebar. You also have the option to include an additional note to prompt you on what you need to do when alerted. Staying on track has never been so easy!

Step 5: Prioritize Tasks

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Once you have all your tasks in front of you, prioritize them by setting Importance and Urgency attributes. In the hurly-burly of the workday, it’s easy to let your biggest tasks get crowded out by emails, meetings and other small, pressing errands. Identifying your most important tasks beforehand allows you to focus your attention on where you’ll have the greatest impact. In DropTask, you can assign various levels of Importance to your tasks, which are visually highlighted on your Canvas workspace by different colored flags. First, select a task to open up the Task Sidebar. Next to the ‘Flag’ icon, you have the option to choose from one of four priority settings – Blue (low importance), Gray (normal importance), Amber (high importance) or Red (very high importance).

To rank your tasks according to Urgency, find the ‘Urgency’ icon in the Task Sidebar and select a corresponding color – Blue (low urgency), Gray (medium urgency), Amber (high urgency) or Red (very high urgency). A colored lightning bolt will appear in the task circle, drawing your attention to the most time-sensitive tasks on your Canvas. Your most urgent tasks will also appear at the top of your task list in List View.

Step 6: Mark your Progress

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As you work your way through your project tasks, keep track of how things are progressing with DropTask’s Progress Percentage Bar.  Click on a task to open up the Task Sidebar. Near the top, you’ll find the progress bar. Simply move the progress slider along the bar to record the percentage of the task that’s been completed. This allows you to visually monitor your activity and offers a quick boost to your motivation, keeping you forging ahead. Once a task is complete, just tap the ‘Tick’ button at the end of the bar to automatically slide it to 100%.

DropTask stores all your completed tasks in the Completed Tasks view, where you can see all the tasks that have been removed from your active Canvas and Calendar after completion. There are two options for viewing your completed tasks: Project Completed Tasks (via the ‘Completed’ button on the top-right hand side of the screen within your project), and All Completed Tasks (by selecting ‘Completed’ from under the Menu.

Step 7: Finish up

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So, you made it! Your project’s all done and you can revel in your success. But wait! Instead of deleting your project and forgetting all about it, Archive it in DropTask. This clears up space so you can focus on your newest projects, while still keeping a full history of what you’ve done before that you can refer back to whenever needed. To archive a project that no longer requires auctioning, select the ‘Cog’ icon situated on the right-hand side of the top navigation bar. A pop-up window will open up, which includes an ‘Archived’ option. Click ‘Yes’ next to this to safely store your project. You’ll be able to view it again under the ‘Archived Projects’ section in the main Menu.

What are you waiting for? With these quick start tips, you have the basic structure you need to launch your next project. Already using DropTask for project management? Then let us know how you go about it in the comments below. 

For more info on how each feature works, head over to the DropTask Help Hub or contact us directly at support@droptask.com.

From recruitment to the monthly school newsletter, for HR Specialist Jeffrey Loosli, DropTask manages it all…

school-blog-headerJeffrey Loosli is a Human Resources Specialist for the Blaine County School District #61. With over 500 full-time employees and an additional 300 part-time volunteers and coaches, trying to keep track of everything that needs to be completed – from the recruitment process to the monthly payroll, is a huge undertaking.

loosli-head“Before we discovered DropTask, things were often missed or dropped because one person did not communicate what needed to be done with others. We therefore required a tool that would allow us to organize tasks and thoughts and share these with one another to keep everyone in the department working from the same page – so nothing was missed.

We considered some of the other top apps and read the reviews before coming back with two potentials to use – DropTask being one of them. After trialing the free version of DropTask with my colleagues, we instantly fell in love and purchased DropTask PRO for our department.school-ext

We now use DropTask to keep track of all of the daily and monthly tasks we need to get done. For example, we have a project called ‘Newsletter’ and we create a task for each topic that will feature in the newsletter on a specified month of the year.

“After trialing the free version of DropTask with my colleagues, we instantly fell in love…”

We also use the daily summary email DropTask sends out and each morning we are reminded of what tasks we need to work on next, and what’s coming up on the horizon – meaning no tasks are forgotten.

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“We now use DropTask to keep track of all of the daily and monthly tasks we need to get done.”

Using DropTask, we have successfully managed and completed the hiring process of 8 new coaches for the school. I effortlessly invited all of the colleagues from my department to the project, where I had created every task that needed to be completed and the deadlines for each one. Using drag and drop, I was able to delegate tasks to team members, and with the ability to add subtasks, it meant all aspects of a task were covered – from signing the contracts for the new coaches to printing the contracts out. I even took a day off, and with DropTask’s real-time collaboration, everyone in the department was able to see what had been done and what still had to be done, so there were no hold-ups in progressing with the project.

DropTask has allowed us to manage things that were normally done on paper (that often got lost in the shuffle), or tasks that were left in limbo because the employee took the day off. Now we can see the progress and know exactly what needs to get done.

“DropTask is leaps and bounds above a simple to-do list that has colors on it.”

My team really enjoy using DropTask and are constantly amazed at what new ideas the DropTask team are coming up with. I have downloaded the app on my smart phone so I can continually monitor, change, and add to tasks even when I’m out of the office. DropTask works great in all types of situations and I even use it for personal items at home – from paying monthly bills, to changing furnaces filters and even watering the plants.

We simply love the visuals of DropTask because you can instantly see where things are in relation to each other. It’s so easy to group common things together, and it allows you to follow the same process each time. When trying to organize and manage tasks, DropTask is leaps and bounds above a simple to-do list that has colors on it.”

 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!

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

Chris Coney

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Coney with DropTask

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

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

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

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

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 “…it feels like one big seamless flow”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project Management: 5 Common Mistakes & How DropTask Can Help

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There’s always room for improvement to be more productive and driving personal development is something that we’re passionate about here at DropTask. With World Productivity Day (20th June) just around the corner, we’ve scoured the office and quizzed our team about what they believe are some of the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to organization and productivity. Read on to hear their thoughts, and be sure to share your own tips in the comments below.


1. Not Honestly Assessing Your Own Performance.Drive yourself to perform better with a clear idea of what you have done and what is still to do

We are all human, after all.

DropTask’s visually engaging environment allows you to see not only what you have achieved, but also what’s left to do – giving you a good overview of your own personal progress. As DropTask allows you to visualize your workload, it drives you to perform better as you can easily identify if your time has been spent efficiently, judging by what still remains untouched. It’s all about helping you stay informed and allowing you to assess the performance of yourself and your team more effectively.


2. Taking Too Long Deciding What To Do Next.Avoid taking to long deciding on your next task

Taking the time to digest large amounts of descriptive text so you can decide what to do next often requires more effort than it should. The visual nature of DropTask allows you to assign Cover Images to your tasks for instant image association, and combine this with the ability to set priority status and you’ll never find yourself unsure of what to do again. DropTask PRO users can go a step further by assigning Dependencies too. So, if a task cannot begin until another is complete, creating a visual link will clearly define the order in which tasks should be actioned.

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3. Being Unaware Of What Others Are Doing.See the progress of your team's tasks at a glance

DropTask allows you to monitor the activity of your team, and is an unobtrusive way of checking how your colleagues are progressing. You can avoid disturbing their workflow but still find out what tasks have been completed, what’s left to do and what they’re currently working on. With just a quick glance you’re able to see the importance, urgency and effort of your teams’ tasks too – which will help you if you’re delegating and want to avoid overloading team members who already have a lot on their plate.


4. Forgetting To Take Note.blog-1-takenote

An honest mistake such as this one can have a domino effect that impacts the entire team. When you’re using DropTask through any of our desktop, mobile or tablet apps, you can add tasks in an instant and even assign them to others so they’re never neglected. Assigning due dates and urgency couldn’t be easier, and with just a click of a button you can let your colleagues know what’s important right now and what can wait until tomorrow. What’s more, DropTask PRO users can comment on tasks to add specific instructions, tips for completion, or just a general update.


5. Trying To Do It All Yourself.blog-3-diy2

Whether it’s personal pride, an over-assumption, or perhaps fear of asking for help; trying to ‘bite off more than you can chew’ can be a big problem at work, especially when we all have individual strengths that we can combine to push us forward together. You don’t have to bear the burden – DropTask lets you share the workload with others and delegate appropriately amongst your team.  We even have a feature that lets you ‘see’ how much effort a task will require as task circles shrink down or expand accordingly.


Whether you’re working on a variety of collaborative projects or simply focusing on your day to day responsibilities; DropTask’s fluid and visual approach aims to help you avoid these 5 common mistakes so you can elevate your productivity and truly get the most from your working day.  Leave your desk feeling inspired and motivated; you’ll be well on your way to becoming a productivity expert in no time.


Sign up for free at www.droptask.com/signup and be sure to share your own tips with us below!

Turn up the heat on your creativity & productivity

The nights are drawing in, the temperature’s dropping and everyone’s delving to the bottom of the cupboard to dig out last year’s winter warmers… Sounds gloomy, right?

Wrong! It’s almost time for bonfires to be lit, skies to come alive and Guy Fawkes effigies to be burnt…

Remember, Remember the 5th November!

Known as the ‘Gunpowder Plot’, it was on 5th November 1605 that Guy Fawkes was found in the cellar of the Houses of Parliament in London with 36 barrels of gunpowder. Had the cellar not have been stormed by authorities and Guy Fawkes caught, the plot may have succeeded and the King of England ruling at the time would have been set alight along with Parliament.

Since this day a tradition has been set and each year on November 5th, families and friends across Britain celebrate the King’s survival with a day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure. Celebrations include burning bonfires and fireworks being set off into the night…

4 Steps to ensure your project isn’t a failure

Although some failures, like the one above, are definitely worth celebrating, most of the time we want to be celebrating our project’s success. Unfortunately, things don’t always go to plan and what may have worked well in the past no longer fits the bill. We need new ideas and solutions to succeed; two of the ways we can achieve this are through continued creativity and productivity in our work.

Below are 4 simple steps to follow if you would like to see your creativity and productivity sparkle:

1. Problem solving for your projects

Bonfire night may only come round once a year, but those problems that need solving and the decisions that need making are far more frequent than that when working on your projects.

 

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To be successful and enhance your business’ potential you need to be able to find creative solutions to your challenges.  Investing time to define your problem is crucial because how you define your problem will influence the direction of your solution finding efforts.

Instead of condensing your problem into one plain statement, you need to define it on a much wider scale. By using the questions Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How to define your problems, you will gain a much broader picture. You will have taken any recurring themes, weaknesses and strengths into consideration and your problems will have been looked at from every angle meaning you get a complete view of them.

2. Idea Generation

first_IdeasOnce you have your problems clearly defined, you need to consider creative ideas as solutions to your problems. Let sparks fly and release the bundle of ideas you may have built up inside by brainstorming.

When brainstorming it’s a good idea to collaborate with your team. By gathering a group of people together you are drawing on a wealth of knowledge, diverse experiences and perspectives of a range of individuals to develop new ideas and solutions to problems.

3. Evaluation

idea

Now you’ve spent time brainstorming with your team, you’re likely to be sat on an array of ideas and possible solutions to your problem. The question is, which one do you choose? The ‘3S Analysis system’ for evaluation allows you to direct your attention positively for constructive analysis of your ideas:

Sort – Your ideas need to be shortlisted to between 3 and 6 ideas. If you have too many you may find yourself rocketing out of control with endless possibilities.

Screen – The shortlisted ideas need to be evaluated. Using a scale of 1-10 rate each idea based on what your heart (emotions) and your head (logic) are saying. Similarly draw up a list of pros and cons for each idea.

Select – After evaluating your shortlisted ideas, you’ll notice that one or two of them shine brighter than the rest. You need to pick the idea that you believe is going to be the ‘best’ creative solution and you need to verify that it will help you achieve your goals.

4. Implementation

Now you’ve defined your problems, generated ideas and evaluated possibilities, it’s time to put your selected idea into action and bring it to life!

To get the most from your idea and implement it successfully you need to come up with a suitable action plan. This plan is a schedule of all the tasks you need to complete to reach your goal. It will act as a framework and will be useful for you to consider what needs to be done, where, when and by whom.

By developing an action plan you will have a guide and set of instructions which will help prevent you getting lost or confused and will help you progress with the work. If you do not follow a plan, then things are likely to take much longer and you may find yourself going back and reworking different sections.

results

 Using DropTask and iMindMap for your planning will help you to maximize on productivity and make efficient running of your life and work. You’ll be able to get a good grasp on what your priorities are, so you don’t waste time on trivial ‘to-dos’ or get stressed out by the sheer number of tasks ahead. DropTask will let you communicate your plan by sharing it with others and allows you to assign members to particular tasks so they know exactly what they’re doing…Along with a whole range of other productivity-boosting features that can be found here.

Now it’s time to explore your teams’ creativity and bring your ideas to life! By following these 4 simple steps in your work, your day-to-day actions will be in line with your goals and productivity can soar

See your plans come alight by signing up to DropTask today!

Turn up the heat on your creativity & productivity

The nights are drawing in, the temperature’s dropping and everyone’s delving to the bottom of the cupboard to dig out last year’s winter warmers… Sounds gloomy, right?

Wrong! It’s almost time for bonfires to be lit, skies to come alive and Guy Fawkes effigies to be burnt…

Remember, Remember the 5th November!

Known as the ‘Gunpowder Plot’, it was on 5th November 1605 that Guy Fawkes was found in the cellar of the Houses of Parliament in London with 36 barrels of gunpowder. Had the cellar not have been stormed by authorities and Guy Fawkes caught, the plot may have succeeded and the King of England ruling at the time would have been set alight along with Parliament.

Since this day a tradition has been set and each year on November 5th, families and friends across Britain celebrate the King’s survival with a day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure. Celebrations include burning bonfires and fireworks being set off into the night…

4 Steps to ensure your project isn’t a failure

Although some failures, like the one above, are definitely worth celebrating, most of the time we want to be celebrating our project’s success. Unfortunately, things don’t always go to plan and what may have worked well in the past no longer fits the bill. We need new ideas and solutions to succeed; two of the ways we can achieve this are through continued creativity and productivity in our work.

Below are 4 simple steps to follow if you would like to see your creativity and productivity sparkle:

1. Problem solving for your projects

Bonfire night may only come round once a year, but those problems that need solving and the decisions that need making are far more frequent than that when working on your projects.

 

problem

To be successful and enhance your business’ potential you need to be able to find creative solutions to your challenges.  Investing time to define your problem is crucial because how you define your problem will influence the direction of your solution finding efforts.

Instead of condensing your problem into one plain statement, you need to define it on a much wider scale. By using the questions Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How to define your problems, you will gain a much broader picture. You will have taken any recurring themes, weaknesses and strengths into consideration and your problems will have been looked at from every angle meaning you get a complete view of them.

2. Idea Generation

first_IdeasOnce you have your problems clearly defined, you need to consider creative ideas as solutions to your problems. Let sparks fly and release the bundle of ideas you may have built up inside by brainstorming.

When brainstorming it’s a good idea to collaborate with your team. By gathering a group of people together you are drawing on a wealth of knowledge, diverse experiences and perspectives of a range of individuals to develop new ideas and solutions to problems.

3. Evaluation

idea

Now you’ve spent time brainstorming with your team, you’re likely to be sat on an array of ideas and possible solutions to your problem. The question is, which one do you choose? The ‘3S Analysis system’ for evaluation allows you to direct your attention positively for constructive analysis of your ideas:

Sort – Your ideas need to be shortlisted to between 3 and 6 ideas. If you have too many you may find yourself rocketing out of control with endless possibilities.

Screen – The shortlisted ideas need to be evaluated. Using a scale of 1-10 rate each idea based on what your heart (emotions) and your head (logic) are saying. Similarly draw up a list of pros and cons for each idea.

Select – After evaluating your shortlisted ideas, you’ll notice that one or two of them shine brighter than the rest. You need to pick the idea that you believe is going to be the ‘best’ creative solution and you need to verify that it will help you achieve your goals.

4. Implementation

Now you’ve defined your problems, generated ideas and evaluated possibilities, it’s time to put your selected idea into action and bring it to life!

To get the most from your idea and implement it successfully you need to come up with a suitable action plan. This plan is a schedule of all the tasks you need to complete to reach your goal. It will act as a framework and will be useful for you to consider what needs to be done, where, when and by whom.

By developing an action plan you will have a guide and set of instructions which will help prevent you getting lost or confused and will help you progress with the work. If you do not follow a plan, then things are likely to take much longer and you may find yourself going back and reworking different sections.

results

 Using DropTask and iMindMap for your planning will help you to maximize on productivity and make efficient running of your life and work. You’ll be able to get a good grasp on what your priorities are, so you don’t waste time on trivial ‘to-dos’ or get stressed out by the sheer number of tasks ahead. DropTask will let you communicate your plan by sharing it with others and allows you to assign members to particular tasks so they know exactly what they’re doing…Along with a whole range of other productivity-boosting features that can be found here.

Now it’s time to explore your teams’ creativity and bring your ideas to life! By following these 4 simple steps in your work, your day-to-day actions will be in line with your goals and productivity can soar

See your plans come alight by signing up to DropTask today!