Many tasks arrive as emails, and many emails generate tasks. So why would these 2 things be treated differently? Say goodbye to context switching and manage emails and tasks together in Drag boards, without leaving Gmail. This guide will run through the steps and best practices on how to use Drag as your task manager.

Contents:

How to set up Drag as a Task Management Tool
- Create Drag boards to manage tasks.
- Categorize and organize tasks.
- Create automations to save you time.
- Define how you will reply to emails.
- Define where email replies will load on Drag boards.

How to operate Drag for Task Management
- Control when and by whom tasks are getting done.
- Add further context to tasks with notes, subtasks and internal chat .
- Add new tasks manually.

Pro tips
- Share tasks across different teams.
- Read a real case study on how customers use Drag for task management.

How to set up Drag as a Task Management Tool

Here's how to customize Drag according to how you usually handle your tasks every day.

Create Drag boards to manage tasks

The first thing to do is create boards to manage your daily tasks. But first, let's talk about 2 important planning concepts:

Task boards structure
When it comes to structuring your boards, we recommend you to plan first how do you want your tasks to be organized. For example, users that work with client services typically prefer to create a board for each client. Teams in Marketing, on the other hand, usually prefer to have boards for each project (e.g. "Product X Launch Campaign). Some prefer to split into "Personal Tasks" and "Business Tasks" and so on. It really depends on your preference, but we recommend you make this decision before setting up your boards to make you life easier!

Task boards dynamics
Drag boards are versatile and can be be adapted to your own workflows. For example, some users prefer to create an empty board and manually drag emails that require tasks into that specific 'task board'. Other users have different aliases and prefer to create automations to move emails sent to specific aliases to a 'task board'. Others, prefer to not have emails at all on boards and only create new tasks manually to use Drag boards like Trello boards. Others prefer all of the above (which can also be achieved with Drag 🙃).

Now that you are aware of these concepts, it's very easy to create Drag task boards:

Create a board.
Invite team members to the board (if those tasks need to be shared).
Add incoming emails (if you want emails from a Shared Inbox or Google Group to load in real time on that board).

Here's a step by step to create a new board.

This is how a Task Management board typically looks like:

In Kanban view:



In List view:



Here's how you can change between kanban or list views.

If you go for the Kanban view, don't forget to customize the width of the columns by dragging and dropping them like in a spreadsheet cell 😉.

Categorize and organize tasks

It's better to know exactly what is the status of a task at the moment, if someone is working on it, if it’s already finished, without having to ask around or dig in for information.

You can create a workflow for your tasks in 3 ways using Drag:

1. Customize columns/lists

Customize your columns (if you use Kanban view) or lists (using list view) to adapt Drag to your task management workflow. For example, you may want to split your tasks into stages like these:
Backlog
Next
In Progress
Blocked/Paused
Need info from [another team]
Completed

Or, in a much straightforward way, when you just need to keep track of simple tasks:
To-Do
Doing
Done

And you can create your own board according to your current workflow. To rename the columns/lists, simply click on their titles (on the top left). There will be an inline editing input field, just type the desired title and click outside the input field. The names will be auto-saved.

2. Use tags for easy segmentation

Create Drag's shared tags to segment tasks based on crucial information. For example, you may want to tag cards according to a task’s priority level (high or low), the difficulty of execution, or anything else that will make sense for you or your team. This makes it easier to handle and prioritize tasks, and to know if it’s going to take a long time to complete them.



You can easily filter your boards by tags, which is very handy when there is a mix of different tasks on a board.

3. Color coding

You can also organize your cards visually with color-coding. Each color can represent the type of task in a card. For example, a Marketing team would attribute colors for tasks related to design, text, ads, etc. But development team using a Drag board for bug tracking could use it to differentiate "Backend" and "Frontend" tasks, for example. Or you can attribute just a color to cards that deserve special attention, leaving others white, for example.

Extra tip: Create a fixed card with the colors and respective meanings to quickly help the team get used to them.



Create automations to save you time

What about stopping to do so many manual processes while handling your tasks? You can automate several actions inside your boards to save you time. Our automations allow your team to put lots of things in auto pilot.

A few examples include:
Tagging cards as "Priority" if sent from a specific email address (like a VIP customer).
Assigning tasks to a specific team member based on the email’s content. For example, if they have talked to that sender before.
Moving emails automatically to a specific board or column based on which alias they were sent to when there are many teams involved on the same project (e.g. banners-us@ vs. banners-eu@).

Define how you will reply to emails

If you task boards contain emails, you can reply to these emails from your own personal user@ email address or a shared email address such as partnerships@.

More than that, you can choose a "Reply Default" for your emails. If you define partnerships@ as your default reply email, all replies will come straight from that email address (yes, even if you are logged in to your personal account!).

Read here the step by step to set your reply default.

Define where email replies will load on Drag boards

When you receive replies to existing emails on Drag boards, you can choose if those replies will stay on the same column where they were left or go back to the first column of that board.

For example, if your board is divided into "New Tasks,” "In Progress,” "Completed," and "Backlog," and you receive a reply to an email that is under the "Completed" column, that task may need further actions so its not completed anymore. In this case, it can make more sense for you to change the board configuration to move replies back to another column, such as "New Tasks.”

Learn how to set up replies in this article.

How to operate Drag for Task Management

You have set up all your task management boards in Drag. Good job! 👍 Now, it's time to learn the best way to use it daily.

Control when and by whom tasks are getting done

Now that you have your board all set up, emails and tasks start coming in. One of the most essential parts of task management is to know who is working on what duties and a final date for their accomplishment.

Task assignments
With Drag, you can use assignments and due dates to ensure your team won’t miss any deadline or even let something undone.

With assignments, you always know who is working on what.

Oh, and you can see what emails are assigned to you in 1 click with the "Assigned to Me" view under each board.



Due dates
Tasks without due dates lead to failed projects. Assign due dates to cards and have them displayed on your card, as well as on your calendar, so you and your team never miss a deadline again!



Add further context to tasks with notes, subtasks and internal chat

Teams need to be on the same page while working on tasks, and Drag's collaboration features help you and your team to achieve that. Read more about these features here.

1. Notes and Task tabs

You can type all the essential information you need to complete a task on the tabs "Tasks" and "Notes" inside a task card.Both tabs can be found on the top of the email detailed view, next to the email title.

Example 1 (solo use):
In the example below, the user is working on a Pitch Deck and has a task to schedule a follow up call with Melissa, an important stakeholder that is supporting the presentation. In the "Notes" tab, the user can have the notes from the last call with Melissa, instead of making those notes on a notebook or on another note-taking platform. On the "Tasks" tab, the user has added the action points aligned to be completed before the next follow up call. This way, all the information the user needs to be able to complete that task is in one central place.



Example 2 (team use):
You and your team are working on a website design project. In a specific card about banners, you can give all the details of how they need to be, such as color, size, and text. While in the tab “Tasks,” you can create a checklist with subtasks like “Work on improving the highlights,” “Change font-size,” and “Send to the customer for approval.”

And you don't need to go inside each card to read the context about it, just use the dropdown arrow on each card to have this visibility right from your Drag task board.



2. Internal team chat

There's an internal team chat inside each card where you can talk to any teammate about that specific task. Instead of going to a chat app to talk to them and giving all the context you need to complete that assignment, you can simply mention them on the chatbox and start talking about it.

Example:
If you are completing a task, and you know your teammate Nick has done something similar in the past. Go to the chat inside the card and simply mention @Nick and ask him for insights on it. He'll read it and leave his notes without spreading notes on another chat or note-taking app.



Add new tasks manually

Drag cards can contain emails or not. Each email you receive is automatically converted into an email card, but you can also manually create new cards for tasks only. Here's how you can add new cards manually on Drag boards.

You can create new cards regardless of the board type. For example, you can add new task cards on the same Shared Inbox board where your emails for an inbox such as partnership@ are already loading in real time.



Pro tips

Share tasks across different teams

Many times it's necessary to move emails or tasks across your organization and receive collaboration from other teams to solve them. Instead of forwarding emails around or creating duplicated tasks, Drag allows you to share them across various teams within your organization very easily.

Example:
You work in a Finance team and organize invoices and accounts payable on a Drag board. You have an "Invoices" board, where you keep all of the invoices that need to be processed. However, one of the invoices is missing critical information, and you need to get that missing information from your procurement team (who has requested that invoice). Instead of going to another chat app and needing to explain the whole context or that invoice, you can just drag that into another board that is shared with your procurement team directly.

Read a real case study on how customers use Drag for task management
Wondering how all of the above works in practice? Read how Absolute Marketing, a Marketing agency in Florida, saves 20 hours a month with Drag.



And there you are! You can now use Drag to manage all your tasks 👌.

Still need help? Our Support Team will love to help at support@dragapp.com.
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