Thursday, May 22

Free book from your Nozbe CEO: "It's all about Passion!"

As a Nozbe user you should know more who's behind the app you're using every day to plan your day and get things done. Today let me invite you to my world and... hopefully inspire you.

I have a gift for you. Let me thank you for being a part of my life!

Two days ago I turned 35. As a gift and a token of gratitude to you, my fantastic Nozbe customer, I decided to publish a book where you can get to know me a little better, see what drives me and hopefully you'll let me inspire you to discover more passions in your life.

It's all about Passion

In this book I'm sharing the story of 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running Nozbe. I hope that it encourages you to continue our journey together towards an even more passionate life.

Get the free book: "It's all about Passion"

The book is completely free. After all, it's a gift from me to you. The book is available in these formats: PDF, Mobi (Kindle) or ePub (iBooks).

Bonus: a 20-minute video interview with me

Together with the book you'll get to see me share more details of my story on video in a previously unpublished interview with me:

7 types of passion

Passion inspires and attracts people. Throughout my professional career, I discovered that there is not just one thing I am crazy about that let's me work, improve, fight the obstacles and succeed. There is a whole range of passions that motivate me and help me go on and get up every day with excitement.

These passions include: right attitude towards money, finding a solution, building a product, improving my industry, growing as a person and leader, helping others and interacting with other passionate people.

Check out the complete Table of Contents of my book

Passionate people contributed to my book - read their stories

David Allen, Michael Hyatt, Steve Pavlina, Brett Terpstra, Laura Stack, Jason Womack, Augusto Pinaud, Michael Bungay Stanier, Stever Robbins, Maciek Budzich... and many more of my friends contributed to this book.

Some sent me short quotes which I included throughout this book. Others shared their own “passionate stories”. Read my book to meet them and get to know their stories, too.

Get the free book: "It's all about Passion"

Thank you for being a part of my passionate journey and for a privilege of being a part of your life.

Tuesday, May 20

Keep it short - how to keep task names clear

Written by Delfina (Nozbe Support - CHO - Chief Happiness Officer)

Working at Nozbe with our fabulous team gives me the opportunity to go through almost every situation you can imagine. I see all kinds of actionable tasks, project names and descriptions.

I'll try to draw your attention to important matter in productivity which is: reaching a perfection in terms of short, clear and understandable task names.

The background

We live a hectic life where concrete, precise and short information is worth its weight in gold. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it sounds. Starting with our over-long emails (a very good article on this is to be found in Productive! Magazine no.8 by Leo Babauta “Your emails are too long”) through everyday writing to as simple things as names of actions. I would compare creating tasks to writing a book. If you give it a title that is too long what can the consequences be like?

Keep short Nozbe task names

How not to write

Being productive in some ways is having everything optimized and kept as clear as possible. Having that in mind, sometimes we come across task names like this example:

'Tom please go to the coat rack, pick the dog leash, leash the dog, open the door and take the dog out, please make sure it has enough time for running and doing its things because it needs at least 30 minutes of running, plus for his toilet.'

First off, this is not a task, but a checklist... or better yet - even a small project. Second thing - Tom will not be happy about receiving a task like this. He might get confused.

The key to perfect task naming

The valuable thing we all learn here at Nozbe is to provide short and precise information as possible.

Don’t you think task like 'walk the dog' delegated to Tom says it all? I believe if you pass it to him he will already know how things go after another as where the dog leash is. Else, why would you delegate the task to him in the 1st place? If there is any information you do need to provide Tom with think that it may be better to post it in comment. Easy to find and quick to reach.

Just take a look at this detailed and yet everyday occurance: when Tom takes a look at his chores and sees 'walk the dog' I bet he would feel pretty OK about it and proceed to doing it. I think Tom would appreciate it much more then this absurdly long task name which I originally quoted :-) Simply, don't place any additional information that can be given in comments in the task's name - you will notice the change very quickly!

Task name's situations from Nozbe

The first thing I see in the morning is my Next Action list which contains maybe around 30-50 tasks with short, snappy names like “walk the dog”; “view/comment on forum”; “support”; “refunds”; “write to Mr. X about a post” and so on… If I didn't have lists like that I would not even get half of them done because just reading long names would take lots of my time and what about the time I really need to perform those things?

Most of these task names are routine and I don’t even need notes for them. Some have notes added as comments by my colleagues informing me who e.g. needs a refund, what is Mr. X email address and all other needed info. But now you can agree with me that I really don't need to see it as soon as I see the task. I will need it once I get down into doing it. All the 'filling' does not need to distract my attention until I'm actually ready to do the action.

Summary

As I see it, most successful are these tasks that have short and intriguing names. Names that are pure essence of what needs to be done. Any further information can be described with as much gruesome details as you like in the task's comments. If you dump the details on someone right up front, you will make your team members feel simply overwhelmed and confused.

Question: How do you deal with tasks in your team? Feel free to post your methods below and inspire others :-)

Tuesday, May 6

Nozbe 1.9.3 release with bug fixes and improvements

Written by Piotr (Nozbe Chief Marketing Officer)

Just after Nozbe 1.9.2 release we went very proactive and started working on improvements right away. As usual, our Programming Ninjas worked very fast and we're glad today to bring you a new update which is Nozbe version 1.9.3.

Although this update includes only minor bug fixes and improvements, we hope it'll match your expectations and make your work more effective. These updates apply all of our apps, both the mobile app as well as the desktop apps.

Nozbe version 1.9.3

If you have the previous version of Nozbe (1.9.2) your app should automatically update. In the case of Mac and iPhone/iPad apps - the updates will be downloaded from their App Stores. Here are the changes:

As it goes for desktop Nozbe (web app, Mac, Windows, iPad and Android tablet apps):

  • We've fixed an issue with Calendar because it displayed wrong days of week in June 2014. You won't miss the correct date for your previous tasks and projects anymore.
  • What we've also noticed was that there were icons in print view mode missing. It has now been fixed.

Nozbe for mobile (mobile web app, iPhone and Android):

  • Nozbe on iPhone couldn't hear your voice as well as it was supposed to - we've made a fix and now are adding tasks via voice control is back and operational.

Both versions:

  • lots of small fixes and improvements all around to make sure your Nozbe feels even better now :-)

We strongly hope that these fixes and improvements will make your Nozbe experience even better! Feel free to post your feedback below and thanks for being such a great Nozbe user!

Wednesday, April 30

Productive! Magazine No. 19 with Chris Brogan - read free and get inspired

We recently released 19. edition of Productive! Magazine. As you know, we do it regularly and our purpose is to share knowledge, practical advice and inspirations with our readers to keep you all going and help you get things done.

In this issue you'll find an interview I did with Chris Brogan, best selling author and Publisher/CEO of Owner Magazine, where we talk about freaks taking over the world, Chris' love for business, not for tools and his professional plans:

"I am right on the verge of changing this a little bit. And this change I am about to make is dangerous. I don't say that to add excitement to our interview. :-)"

In the release, you can also enjoy seven practical articles on addiction to being right, dealing with procrastination, and productivity in a one-person business. Don't miss that!

Productive! 19

Read the new edition as you like.

Productive! Magazine is a free, monthly doze of optimism, inspiration and useful productivity tips. Thanks to our best Nozbe users, we can deliver you all this knowledge every month, make your life more effective and help you in achieving your goals. As we pay great attention to mobility here at Nozbe, you can take advantage of all these in your preferred way

you can:

Inside the latest issue

We prepared an interview and a set of informative and practical articles for you written by the best productivity and time management coaches and bloggers. Their articles are backed by years of experience and work with clients from all over the world.

Take a quick look into fragments of articles we prepared for you:

  • exclusive interview with Chris Brogan:

"The stranger I became—the weirder I became—the more money I made. The more true I was to who I really was, the more I started making money."

  • check what you can find for yourseld in article about the addiction to being right by Judith Glaser:

"You’re in a tense team meeting trying to defend your position on a big project and start to feel yourself losing ground. Your voice gets louder. You talk over one of your colleagues and correct his point of view. He pushes back, so you go into overdrive to convince everyone you’re right."

  • don't miss Laura Stack on maximizing productivity in your one-person business:

"As a solopreneur, you’ll want to focus on those tasks or activities that you know translate into profits and that only you are capable of doing."

  • Procrastination: friend or foe? by Gonçalo Gil Mata:

"It's a system working in your favor! It's not an enemy. It's protecting you, based on some inner belief, from whatever bad things you think might result in case you move forward right now."

  • about a personal time mastery by Jocelyn Coverdale:

"Whenever you catch yourself thinking "I don't have time to..." the truth is you do. In fact, you have all the time left in your life, and that's not going to change, but your thinking can."

  • take it slowly and don't forget to read The art of slowing down by Grace Marshall:

"In the world of productivity we often talk about getting things done faster, smarter, easier. But what about slower?"

  • and last but not least, how to find a mentor to help you go further, faster by Michael Hyatt:

"I suggest you broaden your definition of mentoring, so you don’t get stuck waiting for something that might not happen."

Now that's a wide knowledge and inspiration database :-)

¿Hablas español?

We want to share our optimism, energy and inspire our readers all over the world. There is Productive! Magazine in Spanish full of articles written by Spanish productivity experts and a fantastic interview with Jeroen Sangers - personal productivity and time management trainer, consultant and speaker.

Mówisz po polsku?

Read the latest edition of Productive! Magazine Polska. We've got 7 practical and motivating great articles made by productivity coaches and bloggers waiting for you as well as the interview with the author of the best and most inspiring financial blog in Poland - Michał Szafrański.

Spread the word, please

Please feel free to let me know how do you like this issue of our monthly Productive! Magazine and share it with your friends and colleagues - it might help them get more productive and optimistic about their work!

Thank you!

Yours productively, Michael Sliwinski

P.S. Nozbe is the proud sponsor (and founder) of the Productive! Magazine.

Monday, April 28

How we use Nozbe - Software development.

Written by Rafal (Nozbe Product Manager)

As you all know Nozbe is the main application we use to accomplish our daily tasks. Developing such an app requires from us a great deal of workflow organization to maximize productivity. Nozbe helps us achieve this thanks to its great features. What can we say, we simply love it.

Development of current versions of Nozbe

We've just developed version 1.9.2 of Nozbe and to make our work as efficient as possible we were sharing two projects within our team and these are Nozbe 1.9.2 and Releasing 1.9.2. Take a quick look how these projects were organised.

Nozbe 1.9.2 project

This kind of project consists of typical technical tasks for our Programming Ninjas :-)

Every task in this project represents one of 2 things:

  • a bug to be fixed
  • a new feature to be implemented by our team

Thanks to the checklist and delegation features in Nozbe, we manage to work very smoothly with that. If a task requires some designing corrections to be made, we simply mark it on the checklist and then delegate it to our Chief Designer, Radek.

When these corrections are being made, we get them ready for testing. We are marking it again on the checklist and delegation goes to me (Product Manager). I can mark task as done if it works correctly or comment it with my feedback what else should be done and give back to one of our developers.

Releasing 1.9.2 project

The second project mentioned before Releasing 1.9.2 is always created from template and it's basically a simple checklist of stuff that should be done before we publish a new version. To give you a better view, here are some examples of tasks we keep in that project:

  • Create Release Notes
  • Prepare a blog post about new version
  • Publish Release Candidate version on test blog
  • Test RC version on iPad
  • Test RC version on Android
  • etc.

Nozbe 2.0 development process

Currently we are spending a lot of time preparing the brand-new version of Nozbe, codenamed One Nozbe for you. We've got 3 projects for One Nozbe development:

One Nozbe Backlog project

This is our biggest project, because it contains a whole back-log of all features to be implemented in Nozbe 2.0. Every single task represents one feature. We use "time needed" parameter in Nozbe to estimate how much development time we'll need for each feature:

Time needed

Thanks to time estimation we can schedule exact amount of work for each week, verify our estimation and evaluate. To acomplish that, we have a regular meeting scheduled for every Friday where we assign tasks from One Nozbe Backlog to our Programming Ninjas.

Each task we evaluate contains comments that describe requirements for the feature and two checklists. First one, is for developer to check if he has access to every data available to start the development process and the second one is about the progress in general, where we get information such as if it is developed but not yet tested, etc.

Checklist

One Nozbe Bugs project

We have a separate project to track bugs in Nozbe 2.0. Each task in it represents one bug and contains comments with the description (platforms on which it occurs, how to reproduce it, etc.).

As a Product Manager, I can delegate some bugs to be fixed as soon as possible if those are perceived as critical. However our developers are so proactive, that they take up some actions on their own :-)

One Nozbe project

This project contains tasks not directly related to development but those other tasks that will eventually need to be done. Every team member can create task there if they need to. To give you some examples in One Nozbe project we may find:

  • Research integration with a coffee machine ;-)
  • Brainstorm with Michael about new features
  • Measuring last week's progress
  • and much more...

Some of these tasks require being discussed with our CEO and we do it by connecting via FaceTime and using join.me session on iPad to share the screen. Thanks to these tools I was able to hear and see Michael drawing on his whiteboard comments about what we were discussing. What's more, we shared list of specific topics to discuss via join.me on our Macs.

brainstorm

The output of this brainstorming, such as photos of whiteboard and mind-map session, went straight to Evernote and Dropbox to make them easier accessible through Nozbe. Thanks to Nozbe integration with these great services I attached it as a reference material to the project and specific tasks in our backlog. It worked perfectly!

I hope you have now a better view on how deleopment takes place here at Nozbe :-)