Tag Archives: Task Management

3 top tips for tidying up your to-dos, plus get yourself a sweet treat in our Easter sale!

DropTask Easter Sale Bunnies

Here in the UK, spring has sprung and with the holidays just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to clear clutter and get organized. Excessive clutter can lead to a loss of time and money for many organizations, and it’s thought that over 4 hours per week is wasted by employees looking for items that were not returned to their original places. As well as this, if staff members are not easily able to keep track of things then it can lead to duplication of work and expending valuable resources.

Combined with the emotional effects (such as a lack of motivation, stress and unhappiness), a cluttered workspace can have a damaging impact upon productivity. A survey conducted in America found that 90% of Americans admitted that clutter had a negative impact on their life – with 77% of respondents stating their productivity was affected.

Being organized helps to promote smoother work processes, and satisfaction is established when everything can easily be located. So, by taking time to clear your clutter, you’ll feel far more in control and less stressed while you work. But remember – being organized isn’t restricted to your physical working environment. As technology continues to advance, it’s important to also consider your virtual workspace. So, why not give your to-dos a tidy? Cleaning up your tasks will bring focus to what’s important, and provide a state of calmness while you work – boosting motivation and maximizing productivity. See below for some top tips for polishing up your projects…

1. Archive projects

Archive ProjectsDo you have completed projects that you no longer want to see, but don’t want to delete? Archive old work to clear distractions and bring focus to the job at hand – remaining safe in the knowledge that old projects are always there if you need them.

2. Action emails

Send emails to DropTaskAs your email inbox grows, incoming information can quickly become lost or forgotten. Try separating your tasks from correspondence and turn a ‘please do’ into a ‘to do’, by emailing it straight into DropTask – where it’ll wait until you’re ready to take action.

3. Define order

Define order with Task DependenciesDon’t waste time trying to identify next action steps – we can take care of that for you. Maintain structure within your projects and keep an eye on upcoming duties using Dependencies. Creating visual links between tasks will help you clearly define the order in which tasks should be actioned.

DropTask Easter Sale! Get 3 Months FreeSo there you have it; 3 quick tips to ensure you stay clutter free and remain on target to achieve your goals. Plus, to put a spring in your step this Easter, we’re giving away 3 MONTHS FREE of DropTask PRO, offering all of the features mentioned above as well as extras such as Task Assignment, File Sharing and Messaging – plus much more, when you join today.*

Redeem Now


* Offer valid on annual DropTask PRO subscriptions only and expires on Tuesday 29th March 2016. Cannot be used on subscription downgrades or in conjunction with any other offer.

The features that you might have just missed

Features; whether it’s the latest pocket gadget or the new ‘smart home’ control system, we just can’t get enough. Features offer substance, and sure, some can be throwaway gimmicks, but more often than not they become indispensable due to their ability to make our lives easier – to solve a nagging problem or to fulfil a need we didn’t think we had. Plus, let’s face it, they’re one of the key drivers that leads us to ‘buy-in’ in the first place so it’s important to know exactly how they can be put to best use.

Now when it comes to DropTask, we try to keep things really simple. We don’t expect you or your team to study tutorial after tutorial just to get started, so we pack in the power in a way that we hope enhances your user experience rather than hinders it – which is especially important if you’re new and trying to find your way around a productivity-boosting app. Despite this, some features can still get overlooked, so here it is; our rundown of 5 fantastic features that you might have just missed…

1. Turn a ‘Please Do’ into a ‘To Do’

Email 2 Task

It’s one of the fan favourites – any email that you forward to task@droptask.com automatically converts into a ‘to-do’ within DropTask, as long as you’ve emailed from the same address that’s linked to your account. But what if someone else wants to put in a request via email?

Well, neatly located within your user preferences (which can be accessed by selecting your avatar in the top right corner), you’ll find a unique email address ending in ‘droptask.com’. Simply give this to colleagues, friends, family or anyone else who likes to dish out the odd job, and anything they send to this address will automatically land in your DropTask as a colorful and interactive task bubble, begging to be burst.

2. Keep your eyes on the task at all times…(or not)

Unwatch Tasks

By default, you’ll receive notifications and alerts on almost all of the activity that takes place on a task that you’ve created – whether you’re assigned or not. It’s a great way to stay in the loop, but doesn’t need to be the case if you’re looking to hand over responsibility and then take a step back from having any further involvement.  To opt-out of updates, simply select the task to access the feature-rich task sidebar and then click the button marked with 3 dots. Then, select ‘Unwatch‘ from the drop-down menu so you can go back to your day without hearing another peep.

3. Drag attachments

Drag Attachments

The quickest way to upload a file to a task is to go into the task side bar, click on the ‘paperclip’ icon and then select where you would like to upload it from… Right? Wrong.  To save some seconds, try dragging a file from wherever it’s stored on your computer, straight onto the task circle itself and ta-da! It’s attached.

4. Show or hide

Hide Dependencies

Dependency arrows are great for creating workflows so you can easily identify what needs to be done first, or next.

Example:

If you’re looking to bake a cake, then you’ll need to buy the ingredients first. So the sequence will look like this:

Simple Dependency

Pretty simple, right? Well if your project starts to grow and your goals get ambitions, you could end up with arrows pointing in all directions:

Cake Baking Business Project

This is when you’ll want to seek out our Show or Hide filters. Within this filter menu you have the option to show dependencies for a ‘Selected Task Only’, meaning that the arrows will only show when you’ve clicked a task and therefore expressed some interest in it. This filter helps to keep your project clean, so you only see what’s important to you at that time.

5. Sharing is caring

Task Permissions

Spreading the word and inviting friends and family to join you in DropTask allows you to remain seamlessly productive across each area of your life; whether you’re organising whose turn it is for the school run, planning your wedding, or making a start on that business venture you’ve been putting off.  But we understand that it can be tricky to get everyone on the same page, so we’ve created Visibility Settings that you can adjust as the project owner.

Visibility Settings allow you to set projects from ‘Private’ to ‘Public’ (just check that you don’t have any sensitive information that you need to keep private first), and you can share the link with anyone – even if they don’t have an account. What’s more, with ‘read-only’ access you can sit back, relax and share your ideas and goals with complete peace of mind that they can’t be changed in the slightest.


Have you recently discovered a feature that you didn’t know existed? Let us know in the comments below!

Not yet a user? Get started for free.

Daydream your way to enhanced productivity

daydreaming is good for you

Task management app DropTask is designed to enhance your productivity, so you’re probably wondering why this blog post is recommending that you daydream at work. Daydreaming is only for the unproductive and lazy, right? …Wrong! As part of the DropTask team, I’m always looking for new ways to stay productive, so I’m here to tell you that daydreaming could actually improve your productivity!

“When we want to come up with creative solutions, it’s sometimes more productive to take a step back from the problem and let our minds wander rather than trying to aggressively force new ideas. In other words, it’s good to allow ourselves to daydream once in a while.” – Chris Griffiths, DropTask founder and author of Amazon bestseller, “Mind Maps for Business“.Must daydream today urgently!

Daydreaming is often attributed to a poor work ethic or a lack of motivation and drive, but in reality it is sometimes necessary to daydream in order for us to stumble across some of our best ideas. The most famous example of this is likely to be Sir Issac Newton when he awakened the world to the theory behind gravity. Here is an exceptionally well known thinker who experienced his ground-breaking ideas while daydreaming.

Newton and the apple

Does this mean that we should spend 10-12am every morning just staring out of the window? Probably not, but studies from the University of California about idleness and rest have shown that people who attempt a challenging task after taking a break often improve their performance by around 40 per cent. The University has also shown that when idle, your brain is performing mental processing to order memories, your concept of the future, social emotions and more. Almost like a disk defragmenter for your brain!

So the next time you are faced with a challenging task or perhaps something that requires a little creative thought, take a leaf out of Sir Issac Newton’s book and allow yourself a few minutes to daydream. Better still, if you can make your daydreams goal-oriented or purposeful, you may be well on your way to knighthood too!

knighted

Engage your team and bring value to your work through the power of visuals

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Have you ever felt that sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in a day to get things done? Do you feel the pressure as deadlines approach?boost-img1

Whether we’re completing tasks in the office, fulfilling responsibilities at home or even planning a vacation, without a clear method of planning and tracking tasks, time can easily go to waste. That’s why many of us turn to task management apps which allow us to manage our workloads effectively from creation through to completion.


Seeing is Believing 

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Here at DropTask, we’re doing things differently and have taken a unique approach to task management. We’ve moved away from the traditional linear and non-creative displays, and have transformed a simple list into a colorful, shapely dashboard that lets you visually categorize your tasks, designate priorities, and collaborate with your team. But we’re more than just a pretty face; DropTask combines powerful task management features with the benefits of visual thinking to give meaning and purpose to your work. Here are just some of the benefits of using visuals with respect to task management…

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1. Visuals make for easy processing

Our brain finds it much easier to process visuals than it does large amounts of text-based information. Words are based on a symbol system which must be decoded before they can be interpreted. Visuals on the other hand, require virtually no effort to process, meaning with just a glance we can quickly establish what needs to be done.

2. Images attract and engage

Too much text can very quickly overload our cognitive capacity, and when this happens information is likely to be lost and our productivity will go down the drain. Visual displays lessen the load; they are more concise, clear and interesting – which is just what we need to keep us fully focused on our to-dos.

3. We remember what we see

Our ability to remember images is far better than our memory for words. Unlike words, which are processed by our short-term memory, images are directed through our long-term memory and so become deeply etched – making our plans and action items unforgettable.

4. Color pumps up productivity

Color is exciting and stirs up a response in us. It alters the level of alpha brain wave activity, which triggers human alertness – just the trick for getting us fired up to tackle our tasks!


We know that there’s no single means of perfecting organization and productivity, but there’s undeniably a strong argument to suggest that a visual approach to task management has the edge over the traditional to-do list, spreadsheet or linear drop-down menu because of the power to convey, conceptualize, and communicate meaning in literally a flash.

Go beyond the traditional to-do list, and ‘see’ things get done when you sign up to DropTask for free today.

Drop the pen, ditch the paper, and start visualizing your workload.

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For those of us who are short of time (and who isn’t?), we’re always looking for the most efficient and productive way to manage our responsibilities. Did you know the average person adopts around 11 different methods for managing their time and tasks, including a mix of paper lists, emails, online folders, and notebook planners? Check out our infographic below to ‘see‘ how visuals can impact the way you work. 

To celebrate World Environment Day we’re giving you 2 months free when you subscribe to any of our DropTask PRO plans today!*

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Offer expires at midnight on 5th June 2015listsvsvisuals-1

Want to ditch your paper lists? Get started by signing up to DropTask today. 

PLUS, we’re giving away 2 MONTHS FREE when you subscribe to any of our DropTask PRO plans before midnight on 5th June 2015!* To redeem, simply hit the button below:

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*Offer valid when purchasing any DropTask PRO subscription and expires at midnight on 5th June 2015. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

From team collaboration to sales acquisition: how DropTask made an impact for Kate Harthan

Kate Harthan works at a promotional products company specializing in personalized items for businesses, corporate awards and uniform programs with customers all over the United States. With general office management responsibilities and duties in marketing, before signing up to DropTask Kate found the lifecycle management of incoming projects to be challenging – especially when priorities were ever changing. For Kate, the use of spreadsheets to manage projects was insufficient as it lacked the ability for all users to edit it at once, and with employees having to keep track of smaller tasks on their own notepads and valuable time being spent ‘catching up’ in weekly office meetings, Kate’s company needed an alternative.

We needed a tool that would allow us to manage ongoing projects on a daily basis, one that would allow for all employees to view and change things at the same time. This way, my boss would be able to stay up-to-date with the status of individuals’ projects without stopping to ask them about it, and employees could keep track of all of their notes in one place. I read about DropTask in a magazine I received, and decided to try it out.

DropTask is used to manage all of our ongoing projects. Each employee has their own ‘bubble’, and the projects that they are working on are grouped within this. Employees are able to add notes to tasks, meaning projects are easily transferred to another employee to handle if someone is on vacation as they have access to everything regarding the project(s). We also have a ‘Projects not yet assigned’ bubble so when customers call in for quotes, whoever takes the call can create a task. Then, when an employee finishes their current project(s), they are able to see the tasks that have not yet been handled and can start working on them. Similarly, we have a ‘Projects Completed’ bubble, so when a task is completed (they have quoted the customer, prepared artwork, and taken an order) it can be moved into here.

At the end of every week, I print all of these ‘bubbles’ off; the Projects Completed, the Projects not yet assigned and each employee’s own. These printouts from DropTask are used as a guide in our office meetings.

Droptask printouts

We are currently using DropTask to manage every project in the company, regardless of size. DropTask allows us to create bubbles for each and every task to be done. For example, when someone calls in requesting a quote for 50 shirts, we can create a task and track it until completion when an order is placed.  We even use it for our sales rep – when he has deliveries to make, we create task bubbles for him so he knows where to go, who to see and what he is dropping off, all without asking.

“It is refreshing to have a visual representation of what is going on in the office that all employees are able to edit. It has helped reduce my boss’s time spent managing employee projects, and it has increased our response times and overall success of follow-up with customers.”

DropTask is extremely easy and convenient to work with. It is refreshing to have a visual representation of what is going on in the office that all employees are able to edit. It has helped reduce my boss’s time spent managing employee projects, and it has increased our response times and overall success of follow-up with customers. If we provide a quote, but the customer doesn’t make an immediate decision, the project bubble still exists. An employee could click on it, see the date of the last note that was made along with the customer contact information and they could then follow-up on the enquiry. If the customer tells us, for example, that they won’t be able to make a decision for 2 or 3 months, we can set that time as a due date to remind ourselves to follow up with this customer. It is a great system that keeps us from relying on individual employees’ post-it notes, emails, or memories, which makes it easier for employees to be away from work last minute and for closer monitoring of customer contact. I believe that this has led to higher sales numbers while reducing the amount of physical paper used weekly – all the information is available at a glance in DropTask.

Try it yourself – get started for free at www.droptask.com/signup

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