Wednesday, May 20

AMA - Ask Me Anything - Today is Michael's birthday and he has 3 gifts for you :-)

written by Michael Sliwinski, Nozbe CEO and founder

36birthday

Only last week, I told you we celebrated 8th anniversary of Nozbe and today I'm celebrating one of my own. I was born on May 20, 1979, so today is my birthday. I can't be happier: as the CEO of Nozbe I have a job which I love and which is more of a calling to me. And I have to thank you for that!

Celebrate my 36th birthday with me

To make this day even more special I have 3 gifts for you:

Gift 1 - in case you didn't make it in time, I asked my team to extend our anniversary offer one more day. Until tonight.

If you haven't taken me up on it, now it's your last chance to get 4 months of Nozbe free with coupon code 8YEARS.

Gift 2 - a free book "It's all about Passion" which I wrote last year - if you haven't had a chance to read it, get your copy now.

In this short book I share my experience with 7 types of passion that influence our lives and drive us to become better people. With lots of contributions from many successful entrepreneurs.

Gift 3 - AMA - Ask Me Anything - just e-mail me or write a comment below with any question you might have for me.

About my team? About the tools / gadgets / software I use? Ask me whatever you wish! I'll reply to every email I get, I promise, this is my birthday and I want to celebrate it with you and help you in any way I can.

Thank you for celebrating this birthday with me!

Yes, really, all 3 gifts are for you: Ask me anything, Get a copy of my book and if you haven't, Extend or Upgrade Nozbe with 4 months of savings, the offer ends tonight!

Thursday, May 14

Celebrating 8th anniversary with a new version and a special offer

Today is a special day for Nozbe. It's May 14, and exactly 8 years ago today we officially launched Nozbe. We were out of "beta" test phase. We introduced paid plans. We started our productivity business. And we've been serving you ever since.

Let's celebrate Nozbe's 8th anniversary together!

I've got 3 great news for you today:

Image featuring hybrid mode with thumbs, gestures and watch

1 - New Nozbe 2.1.6 will help you get more done thanks to lots of fixes based on your suggestions and major improvements to gestures. We've even taken it to a whole new level with support for large-screen smartphones by taking great use of your thumbs to navigate and complete your tasks. No other app on the market does it!

We've also got an Apple Watch app, where quick glances and interactive notifications will make your wrist a natural extension of Nozbe. Seriously, you'll get stuff done on your wrist!

If your Nozbe app is not updated automatically to 2.1.6, get it from our site.

Image of 8th anniversary with coupon code 8YEARS and 4 months free

2 - You can get up to 4 months free thanks to our anniversary promo. Here's how it works:

As you know, you can get more than 2 months free if you prepay Nozbe for a year upfront. And today, for limited time only, if you extend or order Nozbe PRO, I'll throw in 2 additional months free! That's right, you'll only pay for 8 months and get a whole year of Nozbe!

Just use the coupon code 8YEARS or follow this link

3 - You can improve your life thanks to tips from our productivity magazines

Please, remember that we regularly publish a free Productive! Magazine where the top productivity experts share with you their best tips and tricks. We also produce a free Nozbe Magazine for iOS and Android with Nozbe-related advice and a free 10-Steps to Ultimate Productivity Video Course. All of this to inspire you to have a more fulfilled and organized life.

Thanks so much for being a fantastic Nozbe user - you're in a growing company of more than 300,000 busy professionals who are using Nozbe to get things done.

Here's to 8 and more years to come!

P.S. I'm not sure I mentioned it, but this anniversary offer is time-limited and will expire in just a few days, so act now! Use the coupon code 8YEARS and get a full year of Nozbe with 4 months free!

- Michael, Nozbe CEO

Thursday, April 30

Recurring Tasks

Recurring tasks seem to be a constant source of confusion to many. Let me walk you through this option in Nozbe and provide a couple of extra hints.

Repeating tasks

Definition

Recurring task in Nozbe is an action that you do repeatedly at regular intervals. Full description thereof can be found at our Help Page.

How to create one?

Create a task either using the "+" icon or the "a" short-cut. You can then set the recurrence by using the hash parameter. Just type #every week, #every weekday etc. in the task name. You might also change the repeat option in the task details (note: only the cycles provided in details will be acceptable by the input).

recurrence in task details

Questions

And here the first questions appears: What happens if I do not set the date for the task but do put on the repeat?

Simply, the system will assume you meant today to be the 1st day of the cycle.

Another question: Why don't I see instantly all the recurrences?

That is because to avoid extensive clutter Nozbe keeps only one active copy of your task and until you complete it, new instance won't show.

Nozbe Calendar

Ohh, you may say, but in the calendar I do see future instances as gray tasks.

True. The gray copies are our so-called "ghost tasks." They are there to help you plan, but they are not actual, physical items on which you can work. None of them become manageable until you have completed the current copy and it has been archived.

REcurring task in calendar view

Recurring tasks and Google Calendar

That's by far the most confusing matter. Logic behind how Nozbe and Google treat repeating tasks is different. Per definition, since only the current copy is active, that is the only one you will actually see in your Google.

Also, if you create a repeating task at the end of your Google, it won't show in Nozbe as re-occurring. All because of the discrepancy in interpretation of re-occurring tasks between the two systems.

Overdue

As last but not least question of overdue repeating tasks arises. If you have a repeating task that you have not done, it will hang about with date in red as any other task. It won't be replaced by new instance and no new instances will be generated.

Why? simply, because you ought to first finish the overdue instance. Once you do, it will get archived as any other completed task and only once that is done a copy for next due date will appear. By this I mean the next coming (not past) due date.

Again why? Imagine having 10 repeating daily tasks. Imagine not having access to the system for 10 days, e.g. while traveling, and as result not getting the tasks done... by the end of that period you would have 11 copies of each = 110 tasks to check off.

I think it is called CLUTTER. And it is not very encouraging, or is it?

Conclusion

Although, use of the repeating tasks it unavoidable and necessary it is essential to understand how they work in Nozbe. It saves much confusion and frustration if these basic facts are stated and clear to the user.

I, certainly, hope that this little post on this matter will aid you all.

- Delfina (VP Support)

Friday, April 24

Designing Nozbe for Apple Watch

Nozbe for Apple Watch

Today, April 24 2015, a very exciting new product hit the market — the Apple Watch. We've already announced that we were working on a version of Nozbe for the Watch, but we've never really said when we were going to release it. The answer is: we already have.

That’s right. If you have your Apple Watch tethered with your iPhone, all you have to do is update the Nozbe app to 2.1.5 and it will show up on your watch. There’s no step two!

Anyway, I wanted to show you what Nozbe for Apple Watch can do and walk you through the design process behind our app.

Starting point

On virtually every other platform, we would start by designing an app from, well… the app itself. We would design its screens, decide what it should do… it’s so obvious it doesn’t even need to be said.

The Watch is different. It’s a tiny device on your wrist. You’re rarely ever going to hold it in front of you and play with it for more than a few seconds. It’s simply uncomfortable to hold up your wrist for long. And, almost surely, there’s already a far more powerful and capable device in your pocket. It’s a simple equation: if you want to do something that takes more than a few moments, you’ll naturally reach for your phone. Therefore, when designing for Apple Watch, we focused and optimized for the shortest of interactions.

And there’s nothing more immediate than notifications.

Notifications

On iOS, notifications are generally quite dumb. You get the app name, its icon, and a line or two of text. That’s about it.

Apple Watch allows for much richer, more dynamic and more interactive notifications. Here’s what we came up with:

notifications photo

First off, we can customize how the notification text is displayed. When you get an invitation to a project, the notification header says “Invitation”. When you get mentioned in a comment, you see “Mention”. You don’t need to read the whole thing to understand what it’s about. The key words, like project, task or person names are highlighted. Those are small changes, but help you instantly digest the notification.

The second part is far more important and interesting:

Actions

Traditionally, when you get invited to a project, for instance, you had to tap on the notification, wait for the app to load, and only then accept or decline the invite. That’s not fast enough for your wrist. On the Apple Watch, you can just scroll down on the notification and tap one of the action buttons.

In this way, notifications on Apple Watch are much more than just about letting you know that something is happening. They allow you to instantly respond to what’s going on.

Here’s another type of notification: at-mention. It’s when someone mentions your name in a comment, preceded by the “@” sign (e.g. “@John”). There are two actions you can take: you can Show the task where you’re mentioned, or you can Make Priority — add that task to your priority list so that you remember to deal with it later.

One more scenario. Imagine you have a task scheduled for today. You get it done, but you forget to update it in Nozbe. When you get notified about an upcoming task, you can simply tap Complete to mark it as done. No need to open the full-blown app.

(Fun fact: we liked those instant responses so much that we also added them on iOS. When you get a notification on your lock screen, just swipe to the left to reveal them. And if you get notified while using your device, swipe down.)

Glance

glance screenshot

Glances are one-page summaries of apps — and your digital life. You can access them from anywhere on the Watch. Just swipe up from the watch face. You can see there your physical activity, your calendar, the weather… and your tasks.

The Nozbe glance gives you a quick overview of what’s done today and what’s ahead of you.

The circle at the center shows you how many priority tasks that you’ve completed today. The more you get done, the closer you get to a full green circle. In this way, you get an instant sense of how you’re doing today.

Below, there are additional stats you might want to know. If you have overdue tasks, you’ll see the number of them in red. If there are unread comments, or pending invitations, you’ll see them too.

The Watch App Itself

And then there’s the actual app. I mention it last, because you’ll probably use it far less often than notifications and glances.

When designing Nozbe for Apple Watch, we didn’t try to recreate the whole Nozbe experience. It just doesn’t make any sense. No one’s going to manage their projects or categories on their wrist. Why would they, if they can just reach for their phone? Not only would 99% of functionality go unused, but also it would make the app on such a small display extremely bloated and difficult to use.

That’s why we only included the small subset of key functionality in our Watch app:

screenshots

We focused on Priority tasks

When you open Nozbe for Apple Watch you see your priority tasks.

Imagine you’re running errands or doing shopping. When you’re putting groceries in your basket, or walking into the subway, or in other similar contexts, reaching for your phone to see your tasks is quite inconvenient (unless your have three arms).

With the Watch you can just mark the right tasks as priority so they show up on your wrist.

You can tap them to see their details. Often, you might have important notes in the comments, or you might want to know what time the task is supposed to get done.

May the Force Touch be with you

force touch menu actions

So you do your groceries, run your errands, what’s next? When you press firmly on the screen, a few options show up. Again, we didn’t try to replicate everything Nozbe can do, only the things you’ll want to do most often on your wrist.

You can Complete, Delegate and Comment on the task.

The first one is the most obvious. You get something done, you complete the task. The second one is very related. Often, you’re only doing a part of the task, and then you want to delegate it back to someone else.

The third option requires a screenshot to explain:

comment screenshot

You can tap the button in the bottom right corner to start dictating a comment. But often times, you just want to say “Done” before completing a task, so that your coworkers know you completed it. Or when someone delegates an urgent task to you, you can comment “I’m on it” to quickly acknowledge it.

Force touch to add a task:

There’s one more action, and it’s on the priority list. When you press firmly on the screen, you can add a task to your inbox. Useful for quick notes.

Handoff

A few months ago, we introduced a feature called Handoff. It allows you to quickly move between devices. So when you’re using Nozbe on your Mac and you want to leave your desk, you can instantly hand off to your iPhone, without losing your place in the app.

I’m happy to say that Nozbe for Apple Watch also supports Handoff. It’s a tiny little feature, but it makes the watch way more useful. For example, you’re looking a task and want to reply to it, you don’t have to speak to your wrist, or have to unlock your phone, find Nozbe, find the project, find the task… No, just swipe up on the Nozbe icon from your lock screen, and you’ll be looking at the same task as on your wrist. The same thing works when you get a notification about a task.

This is just the beginning...

What you’re seeing is just the 1.0 version, made in an amazingly short time. We already have a bunch of improvements in the pipeline, and many more ideas to explore. What’s more, the kinds of apps 3rd parties can make for the Apple Watch are quite limited at the moment. There are many possibilities yet to be uncovered.

In the meantime, we can’t wait to get our hands on Apple Watches (and Apple Watches on our hands!) and we can’t wait to hear your feedback! Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

You can download Nozbe with Apple Watch support on App Store.

written by Radek, VP Apple Technologies

Friday, April 3

To comment, or not to comment. That is the question.

I believe everyone knows there are comments to tasks in Nozbe. Yet, it seems not all see a point in that. Therefore a question - to comment or not to comment - arises.

comment or not

All about comments

Most of us are aware of the definition and the basic use as per instructions found on Nozbe Help Page. Their principal function is to facilitate communication on issues relevant to a given task within a team.

And that's just great. Once your team gets disciplined about it, the function can replace emailing almost entirely and thus save much time.

Attachments that can be added to comments are a great way of speeding up your work and storing relevant reference materials in order to make everythign clear.

You can also email tasks already with comments to Nozbe or add comments via email at later time.

That's all great, you may say, but what is the point then of this post? Well.. here it is

Alternative uses of comments - notes

One of the most obvious secondary uses are simply notes. If you do not share the project with anyone, or even when you do, you might wish to add things to your own tasks.. in that case they become your notes.

Track records

Of recent, I have met with some more creative ways of using comments. An example of such is as a track record for tasks. Some users have high need for tracking this or that task and to see what happens to it at all times.

Although it is in a sense a duplication of the project activity feature, I do find it quite interesting. Basically, a comment, apart from being a comment or a note becomes also a spot to mark things like "passed to John", "moved from project:x", "sent to a client on 12/09/" and so on.

Reminders

Even more creative way is what some users who don't share any projects with anyone have come up with. Namely, let's say I have a large project that I do not wish to share, but I do have tasks in it that should be done by someone else than me.

It is obvious I can't simply delegate it to them as it is my private project and I wish it to keep it so. Thus, I make a comment - Tom's task - and inform Tom in another, mutually agreed upon way, that he should get it done so I can push forward the whole project. Once he is done, he lets me know and I mark the task as done, yet having the background info that it was done by him.

Let's say, the same as above situation, with the exception that I do not want to share this particular project but do have some other project that I share with Tom... what can be done?

Simple. Make a comment - task from project X- then I move it to the project we do share, delegate it to Tom and once he is done I move it back to the original, privately owned project.

So? To comment or not to comment?

I say comment, but under no circumstance limit yourself to seeing this feature as only comments. It is so much more. Examples given above are just examples... it is up to you to use the hints creatively and as your team sees fit.

The comments could make your mutual communication way more effective and save you much time in the process... do not fret them.. they are your friend.

- Delfina (VP Support)