Getting Things Done with Nozbe Productivity Blog

Wednesday, September 2

Nozbe.club - our re-designed affiliate/referral program - earn 20%, give 10% discount!

We wrote about our affiliate program on the Nozbe blog before and we have some fantastic people promoting Nozbe, including one of my personal productivity and success gurus, Michael Hyatt. Nozbe has grown to more than 300,000 users thanks to people referring Nozbe to other people. So we decied to take our program to a whole new level and created a separate web site for it, nozbe.club, where we explain it through a very cool promo video:

Nozbe.club

Basically the idea is simple:

  • When you refer people to Nozbe using your link: nozbe.com/a-YOU
  • ... and they sign up and later decide to buy, they get a 10% discount from us... and you receive 20% of their purchase price.
  • ... which means, if they buy a yearly membership, they get 3rd month free... and you earn some money on the side.
  • ... and later we can either use this money to extend or upgrade your Nozbe PRO plan... or pay you out as cash.

More details on our new Nozbe.club site

P.S. And please let us know in the comments how you like our new video? Did it resonate with you? Did it make its point?

Again, thanks for being fantastic Nozbe users and for referring people to Nozbe! We love you all!

- Michael, CEO and founder

Friday, August 28

Nozbe use: The logic and secrets between sharing team and projects

Sharing projects and teams is one of the most confusing matters to our users.

team - project

Definitions

For safety please allow me to start with definitions. For some users this is not a secret as it can be read about on Nozbe Help Page. The matter, in fact, is so simple that it seems confusing to many and is related to Nozbe's history.

Inviting someone to your Nozbe team DOES NOT mean inviting them to your projects. Statement seems logical enough, right? Well, it is like inviting a friend to a party. You invite him over, yet that does not mean automatically he will or should get involved in all conversations and activities going on at it.

So what's the deal?

Once you invite someone to join your team... what happens?

  1. You see them on your "team members list"

  2. You pay for their access to the service BUT 3. you neither give them access to all your projects, nor you get access to all of their projects.

Once you share a project... what happens?

You grant them access to all data within that project but nothing else.

Thursday, August 27

A sneak peek into iOS 9

A few months ago, we’ve decided to double down our efforts on Apple platforms. Many of us at Nozbe are happy users of Macs and iOS devices, and so we wanted to bring more features, improvements and refinements to our apps there.

You might have noticed the results over the last few versions. We released one of the first apps for Apple Watch, then redesigned it just two months later. And in the lastest version, Mac users got a Today widget (just like the one we have on iOS).

But we’re just getting started. We have a ton of improvements in the pipeline. Here’s just a few examples of what we’re working on for the iOS 9 release in September:

Multi-tasking on iPad

If you’re on an iPad, you’ll love this one. In iOS 9, you can swipe your finger from the right edge of the screen to see your tasks in Nozbe. You don’t have to leave the app you’re using, go to home screen or double-tap the home button. Just swipe from the right and you can slide Nozbe over other apps. This is useful when you just want a quick glance at your priority tasks, or when you want to quickly add a task to your inbox.

It gets even better if you’re using iPad Air 2. After sliding Nozbe over, you can drag the separator to enable split view. This way, you can use Nozbe side-by-side with another app. For example, you can compose an email while looking at your notes in Nozbe.

Monday, August 17

How to learn a foreign language with Nozbe

Did you know that Nozbe can help you build a new habit? Let's take learning a foreign language as an example. Who wouldn't like to speak an extra one, huh? Say... French...

learning languages with Nozbe

Before you start

Scientific researches have found certain mechanisms that rule the process of creating a habit. Based on that, we can formulate a couple of tips that will help you take off.

  1. Set a big goal - have your vision of what you want to achieve and why. Talk to yourself for a while and make sure that learning a new language is something you really want and need.

  2. Make it so easy you can’t say no.Leo Babauta - start approaching your big goal with tiny steps. Try setting the tasks easy enough so that you can get it done without motivation (that is kind of moody and differs depending on a day, weather and other circumstances.)

  3. Building sticky habits is a lot easier if you make use of the routines you already have rather than try to fight or modify them. It's good to build your plan around triggers that will let you know that it’s time to work on your habit, e.g.: after I get up and have a glass of water I learn French.

  4. When you fail, get back on track as quickly as possible. Don't worry! Missing your habit once or twice, no matter at what stage it occurs, has no serious impact on your long-term progress. Instead of trying to be perfect, be good and compassionate to yourself. You're doing a great job!

OK. Once you know the rules, let's get to work :)

Wednesday, August 12

How to workaround lack of chain tasks - Nozbe tip

Chain tasks workaround

Chain tasks... what are they?

Quite often we come across a very particular set of tasks. I like to call them chain tasks, as they act as if they were a silver chain, one following the other.

To put it in simple terms, chain tasks are a group of consecutive tasks that need to be done in certain order and most often task B, C, D can't be done without having A completed.

Chain tasks

What can be done with them in Nozbe?

It is true that Nozbe does not have a direct/to-the-point option for them. Having been asked about them frequently, and having tried my best to work around that lack, I came up with and idea, that although not ideal, seems to work well.

Tuesday, August 11

The Podcast - a geeky productivity podcast with Nozbe team members: Michael and Radek

In case you missed it, me, Michael Sliwinski, Nozbe's founder and CEO together with Radek, our VP of Apple Technologies (and the guy responsible for our Apple Watch app) started an audio podcast called "The Podcast" because we wanted to chat about things we care about: gadgets, technology, business and productivity.

The Podcast

Now, after 8 episodes I think we started getting into the grove and making it a better show with each new episode, and in time we started talking a lot more about productivity than we previously anticipated. So if you listen to our first episodes, we'd talk more about technology and Apple Watch... but starting from episode 5, we'd also throw in a lot more productivity into the mix, which you might find interesting. As an example, we discussed and extensively tested my Uschedule + Pomodoro Technique using Nozbe templates.

8 Episodes to date, every Wednesday a new one (that's tomorrow!)

We also settled on a regular recording time - we're recoring every Friday and publishing every Wednesday, so please subscribe through iTunes if you want to get the newest one tomorrow.

Here's the list of our episodes to date (in descending order):

I think our best episode to date is number 5, so if you're new to our podcast and are interested in productivity, I'd suggest you listen to the first episode to get to know us better and then directly go to fifth and pick it up from there. Of course if you do listen to each of our episodes, we'd really appreciate it :-) Each one is around 45 minutes.

You can subscribe through RSS or iTunes or just go to our podcast site and play direcly in your browser.

Please let us know in the comments below if you like this podcast idea (and if you do, please share it with friends!)

Please give us your most honest feedback, what you like, what you don't, what you want more of, less of... we're still new to this and apart from just chatting, we'd love to provide you with as much value as possible.

Thanks for listening!

(written by Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe)

Monday, August 10

Nozbe 2.2 with Google Drive and Mac widget

Last week we updated Nozbe to version 2.2. It brought some cool new features. With Nozbe 2.2 productivity level of our users who use Google Drive or Mac will be even higher ;) Want to know why? Keep reading!

Google drive integration

Nozbe users love our integrations with Evernote, Dropbox and Box. It gives a great way to attach notes or files from your cloud to tasks and work on them together with your team in Nozbe. With the newest version to our integrations we added, as many of you asked for, Google Drive. It works the exact same way as Dropbox and Box integration. So now you can be productive with Nozbe and your Google Drive files. Enjoy!

Mac Widget

Last year we introduced iOS Nozbe widget, last month Android Widget. Thanks to them our users can quickly add and complete tasks from Priority list. With Nozbe 2.2 for Mac we bring the same productivity boost on OS X platform. It works very similar as iOS widget. You have a shortcut to add task to Inbox, you can complete tasks from your Priority list without having to open the main app.

More improvements

We also added some more features like:

  • Links in checklists - You can now add links to checklists
  • A ton of small improvements for the Apple Watch app
  • News section - Looking for some inspiration? You can now see our blogposts in the app.
  • Affiliate panel - now everyone can spread the word about Nozbe and earn some money in the process!

We also fixed a lot of bugs. For full Release Notes please go to our test blog.

P.S. Please rate us!

If you love Nozbe we kindly ask you to leave us review in App Store, Mac App Store or Google Play Store :)

P.S. 2: Join our @nozbe community

written by Rafal (VP Product)

Thursday, August 6

How I work with my assistant, using Nozbe, Gmail and Dropbox

Hi, here's Michael, Nozbe founder. I hired Magda two years ago for a position of an editor in the Productive! Magazine. As this wasn’t a full time job really, I also asked her if she could temporarily become my assistant. I’ve never had an assistant before and I wanted to learn to work with one. She said yes, and two years later she’s still helping me get things done. In this post I want to share how we work together. I hope this might be helpful to anyone thinking about working with an assistant or searching for ways to improve their collaboration. We’re actually thinking about recording a short video about it, soon. Here’s how we work together with Magda:

photo of me and Magda

Magda manages my email

Although we said farewell to email in Nozbe long time ago, we can't prevent the whole world from using it :) I receive hundreds of emails every week and it is Magda who takes care of them.

How?

At the beginning of our cooperation, I set up all my Gmail accounts so that every single new message is being forwarded to one email address that we call "CEO". I've also given Magda an access to the "CEO" account - in Gmail, it is called "delegated account". This way we both have access to my emails and we both can receive and send emails from the "CEO" address.

There are various emails coming to that shared Gmail inbox:

  • personal
  • business - individual
  • personalized business emails sent by companies to multiple receivers
  • automated invoices, billings, account statements and other finance-related notifications
  • etc.

Magda archives the emails that don't require any reply or are just advertising; she sends regular finance-related messages to a dedicated notebook in my Evernote. If an email is not too personal and Magda's competence is enough to reply to it accurately, she does it.

Now, the most important: messages that require my reaction, reply, confirmation or simply advice. Here's how we deal with them through Nozbe:

Tuesday, July 28

Leaving shared project - important questions

Leaving shared project

Although the contrary situation is way more frequent, once in a while it is time to leave some shared project. When that time comes, questions arise.

  1. Who can leave?
  2. How can you leave a project?
  3. What information will be retained on the leaving account?

This post will answer those for you.

Who can leave a project?

Essentially, anyone can. However, if your are the one who created the project the only way you can do so is by first requesting the ownership thereof to be transfered to someone else. You can of course simply complete it or delete... but that's not the answer in some cases, such as leaving one company for another.

So, the owner can't simply leave.

Anyone else can leave a project they have been invited to without any problem. To do so, go to given project, use the "i" icon at the top bar, click on the list of people in the project, pick yourself and use the "..." icon next to your name. Then "leave the project".

leaving

Monday, July 27

How Jeff Sanders uses Nozbe with Siri, and what's coming in the future for Nozbe

As we're ramping up our Affiliate program and we want to give you an even better product, I'm conducting interviews with our top affiliates, users and fans. One of them is Jeff Sanders, host of The 5 AM Miracle Podcast - and with Jeff we talked about a few things:

  • how he discovered Nozbe
  • how he uses Nozbe for his content creation
  • how he tricks Siri into adding tasks to Nozbe via email
  • he asks me what's in the future for Nozbe
  • what does "Nozbe" actually mean (hint - it's not a Polish word)
  • how I use Pomodoro and Unschedule with Nozbe
  • and many more behind-the-scenes details about Nozbe

It's a longer chat (~ 20 minutes) but I'm sure you'll find it useful. You might want to bookmark this for later and watch it on a bigger screen. Enjoy!

Note: Sorry for speaking so fast, I didn't expect Jeff recording this :-) (but I thank him for it anyway!) Some sounds in the background (my daughter visited my home office...) and an echo from my Mac (but only a few seconds)

Make sure to check the web site and podcast of Jeff Sanders.

And if you're a Nozbe power user or you're implementing Nozbe in your team or company, make sure to contact us and you might be chosen for my next interview. Thanks!

- Michael (CEO and Founder of Nozbe)

Friday, July 24

How I use Templates in Nozbe to implement Pomodoro Technique and Unschedule Calendar... to get more done!

One of most popular blog posts on my personal blog is the one I did on "Pomodoro Technique and Unschedule Calendar", where I explain how both: Pomodoro Technique and "Unschedule Calendar" from Neil Fiore's book "The Now Habit" can work together. But since I've done that I've improved the concept and moved from a paper-based calendar to a template in Nozbe which serves me even better. This technique is really powerful. I've used it for many days now and you practically can't have a bad, non-productive day if you implement this, so be warned - this will make you more productive :-)

What is "Pomodoro" and "Unschedule"?

But before we start, let's explain briefly the concepts of "Pomodoro" and "Unschedule":

Pomodoro is a productivity technique that asks of you to set a timer for 25 minutes and work on something until the timer is done. Then take a 5 minute break. Then repeat. The premise is that knowing the timer is ticking and having the time-constraint of 25 minutes, you'll work better, faster and with more focus.

Unschedule is a type of calendar where you don't plan your work, you only put meetings on calendar and "fun things" somewhere in between. You plan only for those. Then you're left with blank chunks of time that you can now fill with work. The premise is similar - time constraint of knowing you have only X more hours of work, and later a meeting, makes you more focused... and knowing that in a few hours you have your "jogging time", motivates you to work harder and "deserve" your reward.

Thursday, July 16

The Second Coming of Nozbe for Apple Watch

It’s been just over two months since we’ve released Nozbe for Apple Watch. (I’ve written more about it in a previous blog post.) At the time, Apple Watch hasn’t yet hit the market, so we couldn’t test it directly on the device. Since then, we got a few watches for ourselves. We learned a lot about this device, its strengths and weaknesses. And after using our own app extensively, we saw a huge area for improvement. Today, I’m happy to announce that the latest version of Nozbe includes a lot of improvements for the Watch.

If you have an Apple Watch, just update Nozbe on your iPhone to 2.1.8, and the watch app will automatically update as well.

And if you’re curious about what’s new, keep reading!

(at the end of this post there's a cool video we recorded that showcases everything in this post, make sure not to miss it!)

Supercharged notifications

As I explained in the previous post, we started our development with notifications, because they’re the most common and most immediate interaction with the Apple Watch. You don’t really have to do anything, they simply show up when appropriate, and they allow you to respond instantly.

In that spirit, and with what we’ve learned, we redesigned notifications to make them look beautiful and much more useful. Take a look:

Mention notification, Delegated task notification

Before, when you were mentioned in a comment, the notification would only tell you who mentioned you, and in what task. But to actually see the comment, you would have to tap “Show task” and wait for the app to load. Now, we simply show you the comment right in the notification. And if you want to reply immediately, we added a new action under the notification: Comment.

Wednesday, July 15

Nozbe 2.1.8 with Android Widget and a better Apple Watch app

Today we are happy to announce new Nozbe release - Nozbe 2.1.8. It brings productivity boost especially for our Android and Apple Watch users. We created a special video to show it to you, featuring me and our CEO, Michael Sliwinski:

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Supercharged Android

We heard you loud and clear - Android users need to have Nozbe widget which looks and works great. For the last couple of weeks we’ve been working very hard on exactly that - Android widget which saves time and thus helps you be more productive. Read more on how we've doubled-down on Android

We've also improved Android's speed, especially for those of you stuck on Android 4.3 and lower - we are happy to tell you that we’ve made significant progress on that front as well!

Apple Watch app improved

It’s been just over a month since we’ve released Nozbe for Apple Watch. (Radek has written more about it in a previous blog post.) At the time, Apple Watch hasn’t yet hit the market, so we couldn’t test it directly on the device. Since then, we got a few watches for ourselves. We learned a lot about this device, its strengths and weaknesses. And after using our own app extensively, we saw a huge area for improvement. Today, We are happy to announce that the latest version of Nozbe includes a lot of improvements for the Watch.

If you have an Apple Watch, just update Nozbe on your iPhone to 2.1.8, and the watch app will automatically update as well.

We even created a special web site to highlight how we help you get everything done on your wrist:

nozbe.watch

And last but not least...

More improvements

We also added some more features like:

  • Backup to txt file - You can now backup your data to txt file. Just go to Settings->Account
  • Mark all comment as read - There is new button for it, it is now more accessible and moreover there are buttons per project. So you can mark all comments as read in a specific project
  • New languages - We translated Nozbe to Korean, Dutch and Russian
  • Group completed projects by month - Now finding completed project is easier.

We also fixed a lot of bugs. For full Release Notes please go to our test blog.

P.S. Please rate us!

If you love Nozbe we kindly ask you to leave us review in App Store, Mac App Store or Google Play Store :)

written by Rafal (VP Product) with help from Stan (VP Android) and Radek (VP Apple Technologies)

Thursday, July 9

Labels and colors - use them to your benefit

Grouping projects is one of the most vital and tricky aspects of day-to-day project and time management. Properly arranged groups can boost your productivity while a mess in the list can defeat the purpose of use of any system at all.

Labels and colors

Labels

I guess everyone can imagine the most basic use thereof... simply create some, add them to projects and later on, filter by them. Yet, a second use that not so many are familiar with is... sub-projects.

Yes, you read it right... sub-projects. True, Nozbe does not have sub-projects. However, none said that you can't turn your goal into a label; a complex task into a project and sub-tasks you had in mind - into actual tasks.

Two things to remember:

  1. You can filter by a label narrowing your list of projects only to those with that given one.

  2. You can have more than one label attached to a project (so it can indeed be grouped by a goal + something else)

    I for instance, have some fixed and unchangeable labels such as work, home, study, private. All my projects are grouped initially into those areas. Then, I have other sort of labels. Those are actual goals such as: affiliate, support and other - all for work; home related tend to be shopping, improvements; private - craft, travel.

Friday, July 3

Inspiring productivity read and listen for this weekend and Nozbe 2.1.8 for Android

As you know, we’ve just rolled out Nozbe 2.1.8 with major speed improvements, Android widget and lots of great new features (if you have a smartphone where Nozbe felt slow, then… not anymore! You should totally get 2.1.8 for Android and read all about it.)

The latest Nozbe is already out for Android, Linux, Windows and Mac. We’re still waiting for Apple’s approval of the iOS version with much-improved Apple Watch support.

Inspiring productivity read and listen for this weekend?

Apart from the new Nozbe, we’ve also been working hard on some really inspiring things for you to listen and read. I believe that, as the Nozbe founder, my obligation to you is not only to bring you the best productivity tool on the market, but also to provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to get it all done.

For this weekend, I’ve got 3 (and completely free) amazing resources for you:

1) Nozbe Magazine No. 4 with tips on comments, recurring tasks and more!

Get Nozbe Mag for Android or iPad and iPhone

2) Productive! Magazine No. 29 with Simon Grabowski and tips for claiming back your life and gaining up to 40% of your workday.

Get Productive! for Android or iPad and iPhone

3) The Podcast - we’ve just published first 3 episodes of the new audio podcast with me, your Nozbe CEO and founder, and Radek, our VP of Apple Technologies. We talk about “technology, productivity tips, business, publishing, and whatever else comes to mind…”

It’s a thing for us, so please let me know what you think!

Subscribe to “The Podcast” through iTunes