Wednesday, May 20
written by Michael Sliwinski, Nozbe CEO and founder
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.
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
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:
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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 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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.)
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:
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
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:
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.
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
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.
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 everything 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.
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.
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)
Friday, March 13
We kicked off 2015 with lots of power, expanded our team and focused on polishing the new Nozbe 2.0 (which we launched a few months ago). You'll love what we've got for you:
After the latest auto-update you should be now operating Nozbe 2.1.4. Here are some new goodies we've prepared:
- You will now find Affiliate Program details in your Settings section in Nozbe
- We've made Payment Change/Update options also more convenient for you
- Adding tasks to the list with active filters automatically adds parameters from these filters
- Improved Capture Photo option in Nozbe Android app
- and lots of minor fixes and improvements - we managed to add this extra layer of polish thanks to your feedback! Keep it coming! Thank you!
Nozbe 2.1.4 comes as auto-update to existing users, but if for some reason you need to re-download Nozbe, go here for all the Nozbe apps: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android and iPad or iPhone
And if you're thinking about getting the all-new Apple Watch this April, please rest assured that Nozbe is coming to the Apple Watch.
Thursday, March 12
We have just released a new issue of Nozbe Magazine. We've gathered the top blog entries and news from the last couple of months. If you haven't been following our blog regularly, it is worth checking out.
Why would you need our magazine app?
This way, you can stay up to date with what is going on in Nozbe and get practical tips for using our app to be even more productive. Read Nozbe Mag:
In this edition
A guest post by one of our Nozbe power users: Michael Hyatt - the author of the "New York Times" bestseller, "Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World." He is also the founder of Platform University and the massively popular course "5 Days to Your Best Year Ever."
Michael shows you - step-by-step - who he sets up his goals in Nozbe to be able to review them regularly and achieve them, of course.
Spend less than 2 minutes and see how to set up your goals as projects in Nozbe:
10 simple steps to getting your projects done with others:
Categories prove really handy when managing and processing your tasks. In case you are not sure how to use thi option in Nozbe, we have described it step by step.
Nozbe users come from all professions and backgrounds: from teachers and doctors, house-wifes through managers and entrepreneurs. In the previous issue of Nozbe Magazine we presented some solutions for teachers. This article is intended for students.
Michael - the Nozbe CEO - has launched his second startup: Remag. Why? To revolutionize digital mobile publishing. Learn, what it is all about and why we are kicking it off right now.
Tuesday, March 10
Like most of tech industries, we watched the Apple Event yesterday. And now we know for sure: Watch is real, it's coming very soon (end of April in first countries - which happen to be the countries where we have most of our customers: USA, UK, Japan...) and yes, we're building an Watch Nozbe app for you:
We can't wait to show it to you. The best part? You won't have to download anything extra to get this new app, it'll come as a part of your Nozbe app for your iPhone. Just like the Apple Watch depends on your iPhone, the watch app will depend on your Nozbe app.
Tasks are getting personal...
We're working on the design now: we're tweaking the iOS widget and trying to fit it to the phone, taking advantage of "glances" and other short-term interactions you'll have with your watch. We're trying to visualize how the watch will make you more productive and then make it happen.
What we like about the Watch is the fact that it's really a very personal device. Thus, we're going to try to learn which tasks, notifications, comments are important to you and make sense to be displayed on your wrist... and which don't. We're very excited about this!
We will need your help! :-) So get your Apple Watches ready!
We're aiming to be on the Watch on day one, meaning on April 24, just as you get your first watch from the Apple Store. And we'll be in line with you to get it, too :-)
But this is a new territory and we really want to do it right. So as you begin configuring your new Watch, make sure to check out Nozbe on your wrist and start using it to get things done. Then, let us know what we can improve, how you use it, what's important to you, what's not, which interactions you miss, which you don't... you get the idea.
This is personal, because we're going to design it with you!
Just like I remember designing Nozbe for the first iPhone together with my customers back in 2007, this time we're designing Nozbe for a completely new device together with our customers. Together with you. We're counting on your help and on your active participation. We're doing this with you and for you. And for all of us. This is going to be fun. I can't wait. The wrist-productivity era has begun! Let's go!
written by Michael Sliwinski, Nozbe founder
Friday, January 30
Hope you're on the right track with your goals for 2015! In the last blogpost, we presented a short video about how to get your goals done in Nozbe - did you like it? Have you planned your goals yet? Since my last email we've improved the video to make it easier to follow - make sure to watch it again!
Did you know that as a Nozbe PRO user you can create an additional Nozbe account for your partner absolutely free?
Watch my second short video in which I'll show you:
10 steps to getting your projects done with others:
Learn how to create an additional account for your partner and how to get projects and goals done with them.
Yes, thanks to Nozbe not only will you be able to achieve your goals for this year... but you'll also get a chance to involve your partner, friends and others in making 2015 successful.
Tuesday, January 27
What if I tell you it's still not too late to make this year your best yet? We're approaching the end of January. According to research, most of us have already forgotten about our New Year's resolutions... but I believe we can still get them done!
Nozbe is here to help! Watch this short 1-minute video:
[10 steps to getting your goals done:][goals]
Learn how to achieve your goals...
There are still 11 months left in 2015 and you can get your goals done! Just stop your wishful thinking and treat your resolutions as real and achievable projects. I want to make sure you don't give up and make 2015 your best year yet.
I know you'll make it happen! Good luck!
Thursday, January 15
Since the introduction of Nozbe 2.0+ version an impression of confusion about the use of Categories seems to glare at us through the emails of our users.
Everyone may need a hand...
Categories, previously known as Contexts: a few tricks
As most of you recall, Categories previously were called Contexts. You can use them to group your tasks across projects and they are shared with other users within a project. Though they are shared, their colors are not.
Some more advanced users with more complex days may want to wish to use more than one category on a task. That's possible as well, but here is where a lot get confused.
(1) Projects list (2) Project (3) Task (4) Details view for a Task without Categories
That is quite simple, right? Now it gets tricky with more than one. Here is a similar view but for a task that does have a category attached:
What to do in order to add another Category, possibly without loosing the previously existing one?
First, click/tap on the existing name to open the drop down menu. Then, keep the (1) original on but (2) select some additional categories and (3) confirm.
In result you will get:
Some of the users that reported problems have unchecked the original category believing that it is the right way to handle it... but no, it's not.
Now, the last trick. Most of you do know of the #parameter... it also works for adding multiple categories at the time of creating a task.
I certainly hope this little instruction will be of help to all of you. Categories are very handy in every-day use and, honestly, I do not know how I would survive without them. I hope this post helps you all get the best out of this feature.
- Delfina (VP Support)
Monday, December 29, 2014
This is a guest post by one of our Nozbe power users: Michael Hyatt, who is the author of the "New York Times" bestseller, "Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World." He is also the founder of Platform University and the massively popular course, 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever.
If you are going to achieve your goals in 2015, you must have a way to track your progress, so you actually achieve it. There are a variety of tools for doing this. However, Nozbe is a great choice.
I don’t know about you, but Nozbe is my personal “command center.” It is the place where I plan, track, and accomplish my most important taks. I couldn’t get along without it.
But did you know you can also use it to help you achieve your most important goals for 2015? There are three advantages of doing so:
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Christmas is coming and most of us think of giving and sharing (buying and spending, too... unfortunately). The end of the year is also the time of asking questions and evaluation. We approach the end of 2014 with satisfaction and joy. It was a fantastic year for us and we hope it was good for the Nozbe users too. We released the long-awaited new version of our app - Nozbe 2.0 for all the platforms and we introduced the new type of accounts - Nozbe PRO - which offers 2 accounts for the price of 1 as well as the full flexibility of adding and removing people from the team.
We even have the possibility to add a second person free to all the existing single-account users :-)
3 Christmas gifts for you:
1) Nozbe 2.1 with re-engineered printing
Now, we took up the next challenge - get you the new version of Nozbe for Christmas :) Our programmers worked really hard, we did a lot of testing and here it is - Nozbe 2.1 with new features and improvements.
2) Nozbe Magazine issue 2
The other thing we would like to offer is 2nd issue of Nozbe Magazine to read on iOS and Android devices. This is a collection of the crucial events, information and most of all - advice that we have offered you during the last several months. You will learn everything you need to know about:
- Nozbe 2.0 and the changes it came with
- Brand new PRO account
- Team management in Nozbe
- How Nozbe CEO uses the app for his everyday work
- Other interesting Nozbe use-cases
Please note that the magazine comes only in the English language version.
3) Productive! Magazine - new issues in English, Polish and... Dutch!
Yes, we have new issues for our productivity-oriented community both in English and in Polish and we're welcoming a Dutch edition of our magazine:
- Main magazine, issue 25 - with Andrea Feinberg
- Polish edition, issue 9 - with Sławek Muturi
- New! Dutch edition, issue 1 - with yours truly - Michael Sliwinski
What's new in Nozbe 2.1
Here is what new version of our app has to offer:
Redesigned printing feature - due to technological constraints printing feature in Nozbe 2.0 was not very efficient. Especially on Windows it didn't work well and on mobile you couldn't actually print at all. We were not proud of this, so we took our best effort to redesign the back-end mechanism from scratch: by using the "Print" button in Nozbe 2.1, you will generate a PDF. This is more flexible and works on every platform. You can print it now or share it with your co-workers using other tools (Evernote, Dropbox, Email, etc.)
New keyboard shortcuts for OS X - we listened to our Mac users feedback and added a native menu with keyboard shortcuts to our OS X App. You can see its specification on our Help Page. In the future releases we also plan to do the same for Windows platform, so stay tuned.
Small and not so small bug fixes and improvements (the full list can be found on our test blog.
Let us then wish you a beautiful holiday season, merry Christmas and a New Year of good health and productivity (meaning: peace, happiness and more time for your loved ones). Throughout the coming year, may your life be filled with good luck and prosperity. Don't be afraid to take time to slow down and enjoy the simple things in 2015. We hope that Nozbe will make it easier for you.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
People have been asking me how I use the application. Well, here goes.
First and foremost, we don't use e-mails in our company. Our team consists of 15 people and we all work remotely. We only use e-mail to communicate with the customers and other people sending us e-mails with questions or offers. Inside the company - we just share projects and delegate tasks.
We simply communicate through tasks and comments in Nozbe.
Let's start with my priority list. It is quite long - at the beginning of a day I have about 40-50 tasks on it. To get them done I go to the information panel (I tap on the "i" icon at the top of the Priority view) and filter my tasks. To speed things up, I filter them by categories and review the certain areas one by one. For example, I choose the one called "Finance". Usually, I have only several things to do here: some money transfers and payments which only I can make. The rest of tasks are delegated to our CFO. After I execute the tasks, I tick them as "done" and I disable the filter.
Then, I check all the tasks delegated to me by my assistant with whom I share a project called "CEO". I use the filter again - this time to view just the tasks coming from that particular project. I'm trying to get through them... What I usually do is click on a task and read what it is about. If it is a question awaiting my answer or confirmation, I reply within a comment and delegate the task back to the assistant.
Of course there are some tasks that require more of my time and involvement - if I don't have any meetings or other commitments scheduled, I work on them. This way, by the end of the day I manage to reduce the number of my Priorities to 10 or 15. I rarely zero it down unfortunately. Something is always left for tomorrow.
Now, let's move to my Inbox. I keep all my loose ideas there. Every time I have a few items there, I try to clear it out. After all, the rule says to zero your Inbox regularly!
While working in my Inbox, I try to follow the 2-minute rule. Some of the ideas and tasks I have in there are closely related to already existing projects. In that case, of course, I move them from the Inbox directly to that Project. In order to do this, I enter the details section of a task on top of its view, I tap on the "Inbox" button to see the dropdown list of all my projects and, then, I choose the one I want the task to go to.
This can be also done in the new Nozbe 2.0's "Edit mode", which I frequently use. I tap on the "Edit" button in the bottom-left corner of the Inbox view and choose several tasks to be moved to a certain project at once. After I am done, I tap on the "Done" button at the top of the window to exit the "Edit mode".
After I complete the most important and the easiest (quickest to do) tasks, I hurry to the "Comments" view to see what my team is up to. This is a very important place where we all actually communicate. I read all the comments that have been posted since I last viewed it. For example now, in the afternoon, I have 32 unread comments.
Here, the priority goes to the conversation in the tasks that haven't been done yet. I go one by one and read them carefully. Sometimes, I put my two cents in. This way I participate in my team, I make sure my colleagues know I am there for them.
If I still have some time left, I read through (or "scan") the comments from the tasks marked as completed. Once I am done, I go to the "info bar" (by choosing the "i" icon) and mark all comments as read to clear this section.
Let me emphasize once again that for me this is one of the most important panels in Nozbe. My team communicates here - we exchange our views, questions and answers. I can give my input to many tasks; also the ones that are not actually delegated to me but which may require my contribution and attention.
When I have some extra time, which doesn't happen too often, I tap on the "i" and go to "info bar". Then choose the Activity section where I can see what has happened in Nozbe, what people have been up to today.
Generally, the comments section is where I "live" in Nozbe throughout the day.
... I have a few :) The list is really quite big. In order to organize them and not get lost I use Labels extensively. Let's take an example of "OneNozbe" label. The name comes from the working title of Nozbe 2.0 app. And so, when I need to find a specific task or comment, or just feel in the mood for working on Nozbe 2.0, I filter all my projects by this label. I go to the projects view and then click a label icon at the top of it. I choose the label I want and Nozbe shows me only the project marked with this particular "sticker".
I also have a "Private" label for my private projects and "Marketing" label for the marketing and promo stuff. This way I can focus on certain areas of interest.
To make the viewing and working in general easier, I use colors a lot. I mark different projects with colors to have them stand out from the list and to be able to find them quicker. For example, my CEO project I share with my assistant is purple and my main marketing project is blue, Nozbe payments are green and accounting project is red etc.
Let's get back to the "Private" project I mentioned earlier. Actually, this is a place for the loose tasks related to my private life that don't fit in to any other project. I treat it as a list of private tasks. I have a similar project for the company-related tasks that won't match any other projects.
I don't use it that much although it is very practical to view the overdue tasks and the coming deadlines. In the week view I can see what exactly is going to happen within the next days.
Personally I don't have many templates as most of them are created by my team members. One of mine own templates is a "Triathlon" one. Whenever I do the triathlon, I create a project out of it to have a checklist of the stuff I need to do in order to be 100% prepared.
Then, there is a team view where I can see all the tasks delegated to me as well as to other people from my team. These are the tasks from the projects that we share, not from their private projects though!
This is also where I add additional people to my team and invite the new guys to the projects on which I want to work with them. We have just hired three new people, so I created three new accounts for them and shared some projects with them here.
To wrap things up
Nozbe is my "control center". Here I manage my business and complete everyday commitments and tasks. I also use Nozbe to communicate with my team. To optimize all the processes I use Evernote and Dropbox when working in Nozbe - all the reference materials and documents I attach to my tasks and projects come from these two apps.
I spend much of my time in the Priority list. There, I use filters a lot to make my life easier and be able to focus on the matters I want.
I put all the ideas and incoming stuff in the Inbox.
I read all the comments and communicate with my team in the "Comments" section (that's why we don't use e-mail at all in Nozbe :))
Bonus: this is me explaining the whole process on video:
Friday, December 5, 2014
Nozbe users come from all professions and backgrounds. So far, we have presented you with solutions for doctors, real-estate agents, lawyers and students. This article is intended for elementary and high school teachers.
My experience has lead me to believe that planning by teachers can be difficult. It is a very complex issue, as it depends greatly on many factors. That's one of the reasons why I have decided to divide the post into consecutive two: teachers and professors.
Teachers in pre-schools, elementary or even high-schools have essentially the same student body to deal with, the same mixture of those who want and those who don't, the same level of stress and the same amount of paper work, though the composition thereof changes as one moves from one end of the scale to the other.
Teacher's life in a pill
As a teacher your ultimate goal is to pass your knowledge using different type of materials to your students. You will usually have a given from above outline of what your classes should include and what is expected of your students at the end of semester/year.
So, though you might be very creative within the limits of this plan, you still need to stick to it and make your best to help students grasp it to the best of their capabilities. In lower grades you are free to play with them, but it is highly advisable the playing is educative. The higher you go, the less of the play, but educative part stays on (but none says you can't still teach them by play, it is a question of what kind of games are used).
Projects and labels
I imagine most effective use of labels in the lower pre-school and early elementary would be the subjects one has to teach, as in most systems of schooling - for grades 1-3 one teacher teaches all the subjects.
Such teacher needs to collect handsome collection of interactive and creative ideas to develop the young minds under his/her care, thus I would definitely add "tests", "creative ideas", "games/activities" as some extra labels.
Now for projects, I think specific chunks of material would do well, as I could plan each lesson as an action with materials attached directly to it. This structure would make things easy and fast to find.
On the other hand the higher grades, from 4th onto 12th, are divided per classroom and teacher. Most often there is one teacher who teaches just one subject, less often - two. He or she has many groups of students of different age.
Though some labels from the above descriptions would still be useful, like: "tests", "creative ideas" or "activities", most would be replaced by the specific group of students.
Here-again projects would be specific areas of material that needs to be explained to pupils e.g. if I were a math teachers I would perhaps have "geometry", "algebra", "functions" or some similar aspects on my plate. Those would serve well as my projects. The explaining thereof is never a one-hour class that one could tick off and forget about it. It usually takes several meetings, and it requires some practice afterwards.
What possible use would categories be of to teachers?
Simple. They can come in really handy if we want to get some extra material for particular student, or via specific tool such as "Internet", "computer" or even "phone". This way they also can speed up and help organize your day. You can also use them to help you out in administrative tasks you might have as buying materials or doing reports for the principal.
Some food for thoughts? I certainly hope so. This article is as usual just a spring-board. The possibilities are pretty close to limitless and I hope that some of you will be kind to share them here for benefit of others.
Did you know? Teachers and school leaders can use Nozbe in classrooms for free starting from November 1, 2014!
In Nozbe we always believed everyone needed to get organized and learn good productivity habits. That's why we built Nozbe in the first place and that's why we keep improving it and bringing it to all of the most popular platforms people use (Web, Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iPad and iPhone).
Teachers are teaching the next generation. They are helping the young ones grow up to become responsible adults. For the new generation to succeed we need them to be prepared for the real world by being well organized and having mastered the productivity principles.
Thanks to a free Nozbe account and free productivity training teachers, principals and other members of school staff can help the new generation succeed.
Starting November 1, 2014 - Nozbe is going to be free for teachers if they want to use Nozbe with their students to get projects done together.
Written by Delfina (Nozbe Support - CHO - Chief Happiness Officer)