Monday, July 21

Priority tasks instead of Next Actions... and more changes in Nozbe 2.0 beta - why? how?... and why now?

Over 2000 most active Nozbe users have downloaded Nozbe 2.0 beta (for Mac, Windows and Linux) to date. Thank you!

If you got it, you might have noticed not only significant UI improvements but also some other, more subtle, but also very important changes in the way we're naming things in Nozbe.

Inspired by an amazing book and methodology...

Back in 2007, when I first launched Nozbe, it was a web app inspired heavily by David Allen's GTD® (Getting Things Done®) methodology. Well, in the beginning, I only implemented three aspects of it: Next Actions, Projects and Contexts... but I used David's wording as much as I could. Like you wouldn't add a task to your project but you would add an "action".

While it hadn't been such a big deal, still we had been getting many emails by confused customers: why we'd name a task an "action" while the word "task" is a lot more common one for calling well... a task. This is where we had started thinking about changing some of the naming in Nozbe:

Actions to Tasks

When three years after the launch we started translating Nozbe to different languages like Polish, Spanish, German and Japanese, we noticed that while in English the action vs task argument is not such a big deal... especially among GTD® enthusiasts... in all the other languages the word "action" has little to do with "task". In Japanese these words are written in totally different alphabets even: "Action" in Katakana (like all foreign words) and "Kodo" (task) in Kanji (native Chinese-Japanese alphabet).

That's why, back in 2010 when we redesigned Nozbe, we went with "task" instead of "action" to make our system more comprehensible to a wider audience. Now, that we're planning to launch more local language versions of Nozbe, we're very confident with our choice.

Next Actions vs Priority tasks

I love the concept of "Next Actions" in GTD® and I think it's one of the keys to success of this system. However, if we already don't have "actions" in Nozbe but "tasks", why do we call the high-priority tasks from each of your projects "next actions"? We're not consistent here.

They should be called "next tasks" or "what to do next"... so we decided to try "Priority tasks" as the word "priority" makes sense among wider audiences - if a task has a high priority it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible, i.e. it's in fact your next action, right?

Contexts vs Categories

While the word "context" makes total sense for what it is... people really get confused about using it in reference to a task. For the 7 years of running Nozbe, I've been often asked: what is a context? how do I define contexts? why should I use contexts? context of what...?

The word "category" has a wider meaning. People get it more easily. Especially when I tell them: "by applying contexts you're effectively categorizing your tasks..." - and again, it's hard to use this word in any other language than English. Category is universally understood... and makes more sense to more people.

Projects vs Lists

At some point I even thought about renaming "Projects" to "Lists". Why? For two reasons:

  • Projects don't need to be big... yet people think they are. Many Nozbe customers have a problem calling a series of 5 simple tasks a project... They think a project needs to be something really significant - a huge undertaking...
  • A project can be just a list of unrelated tasks. Again, I use Nozbe like this all of the time. I have a project called "private tasks" where I put all of the tasks that are not directly related to any of my active projects but belong in my private life. When I explain this to people, they say they're not comfortable calling such a list of tasks a "Project" and ask for a different solution.

Ultimately we didn't change the name.

Although we have the concerns listed above, I still believe the name "Project" is very active. And Nozbe is not a task manager, it's a task do-er. You're supposed to get things done with Nozbe and creating "projects" for this purpose makes more sense than just "lists".

No. We're not moving away from GTD®, we're brining it closer to the people... by not calling it GTD®

That's right. I believe our goal of teaching people great productivity habits through an amazing Nozbe user interface is still our top priority. This is what we stand for. This is why we're re-designing Nozbe right now. This is why we're adding more functionality while removing clutter.

Our job at Nozbe is to empower people to learn great productivity principles and helping teams work more effectively together by learning to communicate through tasks.

Actually not that many people know GTD®. Both inside and outside of the US. And while the David Allen Company is expanding its reach internationally, I'm sure we have a shot at doing it a lot faster by introducing our software to even more people all over the world. And we want everyone to learn great productivity habits fast. That's why I also recorded my 10-steps to Ultimate Productivity course in all the languages I know.

We want people to learn great productivity habits and techniques. Not just GTD®.

New names in Nozbe beta

To see if what I write above makes sense, we decided to change these names in Nozbe beta and leave them "as is" in Nozbe 1.9... and there was no outrage. Some folks asked about the change, but most didn't notice and others applauded us for this.

To me, it's a great indication that we're doing something right here. After all, Nozbe beta is being downloaded by our power users, people who presumably know GTD® and have been following Getting Things Done® for a while now. And apparently the great majority don't mind the new names :-)

Final thoughts

I also don't want to put up ® signs all over Nozbe site. Nozbe is actually a registered trademark but I never write Nozbe® although I could.

Both GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen company. Nozbe is not affiliated in any way with them (other than by thanking them for brining this methodology to the world!). David Allen is still my top productivity guru and a great friend. We met several times and I hope we'll soon meet again.

Nozbe is an app that helps people get everything done and empowers teams to communicate effectively through tasks.

That's what we stand for. New names/old names... our mission stays the same. We want everyone in the world to get organized and more productive!

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

- post written by Michael Sliwinski, CEO and founder of Nozbe

Tuesday, July 15

Nozbe 2.0 BETA 2 ready for testing on Windows, Mac and Linux

2 weeks ago we introduced Nozbe 2.0 beta for desktop and we received great feedback from all of you - our fantastic Nozbe users! Thank you so much! Today we are asking for even more feedback by presenting you the newest version BETA 2 of Nozbe 2.0 for Mac, Windows and Linux platforms.

P.S. Remember that you can still sign up for iOS/Android beta which will start later this month.

Your feedback helps us shape Nozbe's future

We really enjoyed reading your comments about Nozbe 2.0 beta. What you liked, what not so much, what was missing in the app, etc. It was very important to us because very often only you can point out things we can improve. From what we've gotten so far we can see we are going in the right direction on the path to providing you with the greatest productivity app ever. This time around we will be more than happy to receive more feedback about beta 2.

What's new in Beta 2?

In this version we added some cool stuff and fixed many bugs reported by all of you.

  • Team view - Redesigned view where you can see all tasks delegated to people you collaborate with, manage your team and projects you share with others.
  • Edit mode for Projects and Categories - fixed :)
  • Search issues - resolved
  • Much more fixes - read full Release Notes

Enjoy Nozbe 2.0 beta 2 and please remember that this is still beta version so use it wisely at your own risk!

Wednesday, July 9

Marcus Platt's reference guide in English, Spanish, German, Japanese and Polish... and a Nozbe plugin for Chrome

A few weeks back we had the pleasure of passing down to you all link to quick reference guide by Marcus Platt. Now, with cooperation from our support team, the guide has been translated to all supported languages and Marcus was kind enough to release them. You can get the guide not only in English, but Spanish, German, Japanese and Polish as well.

Free Nozbe Reference Guide by Marcus Platt

Reference guide

We trust that this guide will benefit us all and help you all along the way to even more productive use of Nozbe. We are much obliged to Marcus for taking such pro-active and creative stance and making this possible. Working with him on the translation was also a very positive experience.

We believe and support such initiatives wholeheartedly, be they taken on by the idea-givers or passed to us as request.

To enhance the experience even more Marcus has also published his own Google Chrome plugin for Nozbe.

Visit Productive Wizard site to get the plugin and the reference guide in your language.

- Delfina (Chief Customer Happiness Officer, Nozbe)

Thursday, July 3

Get Nozbe 2.0 public beta today - welcome to the future of productivity

Wow, I'm so excited today! After more than a year of coding, brainstorming, working overtime, coding even more... we are ready to show you the future of Nozbe and the future of productivity: Nozbe 2.0 beta

Nozbe rewritten from scratch

After 7+ years of running Nozbe we decided to use everything we've learned so far about productivity and build new, mobile-friendly, super-fast, beautifully-designed apps that take advantage of both the desktop and mobile platforms.

Go to our Nozbe 2.0 beta site and watch me walk you through our new apps.

Loading...

Here are some questions you might have about the Nozbe beta program and my best answers for you:

What's new in Nozbe 2.0?

  • brand new fresh, light and responsive design
  • much better app performance: speed, speed, speed
  • edit mode - you can edit/complete/delete multiple tasks at once - one of our most requested features!
  • 5th column (Info bar) - one place when you can see all details and options regarding active task list
  • filters and sorting - now you can filter your tasks list with many filters at once and sort the tasks as you like
  • ...and a lot more!

Where can I get Nozbe 2.0 beta for my device?

When will next "beta" versions be available?

We'll be rolling out a new beta version of Nozbe every 2 weeks throughout the whole Summer. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our blog.

When will the final Nozbe 2.0 be launched?

In September. We can't wait to roll it out to everyone. Up until then, Nozbe 1.9.x is the latest stable version of Nozbe.

Is the Nozbe beta stable and bug-free?

Nope. Not at all. Many things don't even work there correctly just yet. It's a beta product. It's mature enough so that we can test it with our bravest users, but it shouldn't be used in mission-critical environment. Use it at your own risk! :-)

Read the updated list of known issues on our "beta site"

What if I don't want to test Nozbe beta but still want to get something cool today?

Easy. Get the latest issue of the free Productive! Magazine with Pat Flynn for your iPhone, iPad or Android or read it on the web

This issue features: Pat Flynn — a beloved thought leader in the areas of online entrepreneurship and passive income

plus

nine practical articles helping you get closer to a systematic and productive workflow and satisfying life.

What are my "next actions" for today?

Just these two things:

That's it, both of these things will make you a lot more productive this summer :-)

Thank you!

- post written by Michael Sliwinski, proud Nozbe CEO and founder :-)

Thursday, June 26

Nozbe Sticker - make your Macbook Air/Pro more productive

Now this is a cool idea: Make your Macbook Air/Pro stand out and show you're a productive person by getting an official Nozbe sticker! We work with our partner: MakeItStick to bring you a high quality "productivity" sticker for your Macbook Air or Macbook Pro.

Here how the sticker looks like on a Macbook Air or Macbook Pro laptop:

Nozbe Sticker

Here's how to get one. Go to one of these links, order it directly from MakeItStick guys:

Limited time discount!

Use coupon code nozbe upon checkout and get 10% off everything you buy at the MakeItStick online shop. The discount is limited for the next 7 days!

How Michael, Nozbe founder applied his sticker on his Macbook Pro and his wife's Macbook Air:

Loading...

Do you also produce gadgets that can be customized for Nozbe?

MakeItStick worked with us on this one. We're thrilled to have an official Nozbe sticker for our team members, customers and fans.

This year we're planning on launching a whole web site dedicated to Nozbe gadgets (cups, holders, badges, t-shirts, polo-shirts... and more!) - if you're in business of selling gadgets - partner with us! We love supporting independent shops like MakeItStick and we don't take any commision. All we care about is a great price for our customers and a high quality of the gadget and a high utility of course. If you want to partner with us, get in touch!

Question: Will you be getting one of these stickers for your Apple MacBook laptop? Let us know!

... and if you already got one, post your pics on Twitter or Facebook and link to them in the comments! Thanks!