To do or not to do. That is the question for anyone who has a love/hate relationship with productivity apps. I’ve tested out so many different to-do list, mind-mapping, and Getting Things Done (GTD) apps (as well as various pen-and-paper planner hacks) that I sometimes wonder if it’s become just another way for me to procrastinate.
My main challenge is that no matter how many productivity apps I try, my to-do list never seems to get shorter, and seeing row after row after row of uncompleted tasks every day is discouraging. DropTask wants to cure to-do list malaise by getting rid of the list altogether. Developed by a UK-based startup, DropTask lets people drag and drop tasks into circles of different colors, then filter them by priority and deadline. You can change the size of circles, and add different people to projects. (Members can also switch to a list view if they prefer, which includes all the same information as the circle view). For visually-oriented people, this layout can help boost productivity (or at least cut down on stress) by letting them see big projects split into small, manageable parts.
Originally a Web app, DropTask is now also available for iPhone ($2.99) and iPad ($4.99).
I found DropTask’s circle view works very well with the iPad’s touchscreen, but is difficult to navigate on the iPhone’s smaller screen. The app is cloud-based, so I recommend downloading the iPhone app only if you need to use the app while you’re out-and-about.
There are already a lot of productivity apps out there for visually-oriented people, like iMindMap and iThoughts. DropTask also competes with products like Asana, Wunderlist, and Trello.
DropTask wants to differentiate not only with its colorful user interface, but also by being as easy and intuitive to use as possible, even for larger projects.
“More often than not, when a new task management application is brought into the picture, the user has to take time to read support articles, learn about all the features, and also how to navigate in and around the app — it’s virtually a task within itself,” DropTask marketing executive Yogita Khetia told me in an email. “But with DropTask, we’ve aimed to keep things simple, yet powerful.”
DropTask can help individuals stay on top of their daily to-do lists and deadlines (Khetia says the app is especially helpful for harried students because its layout helps them instantly see what they have to do for each class). There are also enough features, including the ability to upload files, assign tasks, track progress, and communicate within the app, to make DropTask useful for business users, family members, class projects, or any other group.
“We believe the user experience is really heightened when the individual user transitions into working collaboratively and invites others to share projects with,” says Khetia.
The app already has enough collaboration features for small teams, but DropTask PRO, which is schedule to launch soon, will include project templates and the DropTask inbox to let users email tasks directly into the app. The startup is also developing a set of user permission and management features to give collaborators and project owners more control over what people can see and edit, and an Android version of the mobile app.