Getting Things Done with Nozbe Productivity Blog

Friday, January 15

How project templates can help you keep track of your annual routine

A few days of the year 2016 have already gone by. For most of us holidays are over and we´re back again to our daily work and home routine. Some of us have also started to put into practice their New Year´s resolutions. One of mine is to keep an eye on all the small things I cannot forget about.

Annual template

Annual routine template. What is this?

To get all these things done earlier this year (instead of just thinking about them and waiting until the very last minute again), I´ve created an ‘Annual routine‘ template. I put there all the things that have to be done this year which cannot be carried out today as I´m waiting for some additional documents or data, or they just can or have to be postponed.

For example, our holiday time plan for the upcoming year. This is definitely something we have to care about and arrange with other family members (the children holidays plan!) as well as with our boss and colleagues.

We all have to file our annual tax return and consequently collect all the documents needed. If you have a car, you need to have it inspected at least once a year and get the tires changed too.

To save money we should also make our annual insurance policy check and look into the cost of our mobile phone contract to consider changing to other provider offering better conditions. For all of these to-dos we can create an extra project or implement them in an existing one.

But as they have to be done every year, I´ve decided to create only one project and save it as a template first. Most of the tasks received a due date and I can forget about them for the time being. On the day due, I will decide if a particular task can be done within a few minutes or whether other, additional steps have to be taken and, if so, I'll convert it to a project.

I´m sure that such template will be useful not only for me. I invite you to use and edit it and turn it into your own best annual routine template, to get even more done this year. For more information or if you want to share your own template with us please have a look at our Nozbe.how site.

written by Iwona, VP Customer Support

Wednesday, January 13

Pro Tip: Integrate powerful automation tools with Nozbe

2015 was the year that brought some new possibilities for automation on mobile platforms, especially on iOS. The beginning of 2016 is a good moment to tweak our workflows and make them even more effective.

Automation

In this blogpost, I will show you a few examples of how these automation tools can work with Nozbe. Thanks to our email integration, hashtags and Markdown support we can do some really cool stuff. Here goes:

Wednesday, January 6

Meet Nozbe users - Pedro Rodinger and his yearly objectives in Nozbe

We regularly introduce Nozbe users from all over the world. Today, we visit Spain to meet Pedro Rodinger and learn his way of dealing with his professional objectives in Nozbe.

Pedro Rodinger

Who is Pedro?

My name is Pedro Rodinger, I'm a manager with more than 20 years of experience in the field of finance and accounting on the one hand and industrial property on the other hand. I work in an international environment with particular emphasis on organization, implementation of IT systems and managing staff.

I am married with no kids. My wife and I live in Alicante, Spain. In my free time, I'm a passionate volunteer at the Spanish Red Cross in Alicante.

The role of Nozbe

I've been using Nozbe for more than two years now. Today, I'd like to explain how I use the app to control the accomplishment of my yearly objectives by means of specific tasks and a particular context.

Schematic presentation of Pedro's yearly professional goals

The following table has three columns. The first two are the yearly professional objectives I have to manage, whereas the third one is my personal interpretation of the goals shown as actionable tasks. These are the specific activities or areas in which I can actually do something in order to reach the goals set. Of course, what I explain hereafter is only a simplified version that is just to better understand the example.

Goals - table

Step 1: a new category "Yearly objectives 2016"

In order to make a complete follow-up of my goals, I create a category called "Yearly objectives 2016." I add the year as this allows me to differentiate the objectives for the new year from those of the outgoing year where I still need to be able to gather a complete overview for my year-end performance report. Once this year-end performance report is finished, I delete the "Yearly objectives 2015" category.

Step 2: I create a Nozbe task for each of the specific activities

In my case, these objectives represent to some extent a continuation or progression of my 2015 goals and responsibilities. For this reason, I have already many Nozbe projects going on.

Now, for each of the four specific activities indicated above I create a task in Nozbe. I add the "Yearly objective 2016" category to each of them and assign it to the corresponding projects I have already running. This assignment may require, at occasions, a certain rearrangement or rethinking of the ongoing projects or the creation of a new one. I find it necessary to rearrange the ongoing projects to the new objectives and consider it a useful exercise that assures alignment.

Step 3: monthly or periodical progress review

Once per month or perhaps every two month, I review all tasks of the category "Yearly objectives YYYY" and add my comments. This allows me to get a complete overview of my achievements and the progress in complying with the objectives set. At the end of the year, I can use all these comments for my performance review.

And you?

Isn't Pedro's idea interesting and practical? He uses the basic Nozbe features to organize his job-related commitments and goals assigned to him by his managers. He also proves that:

  1. It is worth to divide the big goals into smaller steps
  2. These steps as well as tasks in Nozbe should be specific and actionable
  3. Every project or mission requires regular reviews and updates/adjustments

Question: What is your way of using Nozbe in order to get things done?

Please, share your methods with other users by e-mailing our team. Thanks! And if you look for more ideas for Nozbe use - check out our list of Nozbe.HOW templates.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

How do you use Nozbe? Interview with Mike St. Pierre

If you are looking for a new source of inspiration and trustful productivity tips for 2016, Mike St. Pierre and his blog are your solution.

Mike St. Pierre

Mike St. Pierre is a blogger, host of "The Emergent Leader Podcast", the President of Morris Catholic High School and a father of 4 children. As you might guess, he uses Nozbe to get organized with all his projects. As an active user, Mike wrote a comprehensive Nozbe 2.6 review and created some useful Nozbe.HOW templates which are listed below.

In our interview with Mike St. Pierre you'll see:

  • Why did he choose Nozbe to get his things done?
  • Why Nozbe.HOW templates are so fantastic?
  • Why the world needs great leaders?

Watch now!

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Thoughts to share

  • Nozbe is my Swiss Army Knife to get my work done. (Click to tweet)
  • It's so cool that you have the ability to share templates via Nozbe.HOW. (Click to tweet)
  • People want tools and advice from people that they trust. (Click to tweet)
  • Our world needs great leaders, women and men of courage and value. (Click to tweet)

Mike's Nozbe.HOW templates

Question: How do you become a better leader with Nozbe?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Lite Book of Nozbe: A special Christmas Gift for you!

On behalf of the entire Nozbe team, I'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and a Productive 2016 - may your dreams and goals come true and may the new year be your best ever!

Free Gift - The "Lite" Book of Nozbe!

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This year I'd like to extend these wishes with a gift from our Nozbe community contributor, customer and productivity expert: Marcus Platt, who wrote the ultimate Nozbe user's manual called "The Little Book of Nozbe" where he explains how to get most of Nozbe from a user's point of view.

His book was released a month ago and has already been praised by many Nozbe users. Many people contacted me and said they became "real Nozbe ninjas" thanks to this book!

That's why Marcus and I decided to not only give you a sneak peek to this book, but offer you some real value and a true Christmas gift. The "lite version" of his book is packed with productivity advice: it starts with Nozbe basics like Inbox and Projects and ends with workflows and advice from Marcus himself:

Download your own PDF copy of "The Lite Book of Nozbe" for free

This is a 60+ page PDF with best productivity tips and tricks. It's perfectly timed for you as I believe the time between Christmas and New Year's Eve should be used to revise your goals and objectives for the year to come.

Thanks to this book, you'll be able to plan your 2016 even better with Nozbe and you'll be guaranteed to get more done.

And if you like it, I strongly encourage you to get the full version at 30% discount where Marcus digs deeper into Nozbe and teaches you the most advanced Nozbe productivity tricks which will help you leverage power of our great tool to get even more done this coming year!

Little Book of Nozbe Interview

Thanks again for accepting this gift and for being an amazing part of our Nozbe user community!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

How Nozbe.how will help you be a better person

The best part of Nozbe.how templates is that users share them with other users. Regardless of a passion or profession, there always is something you can share.

Nozbe.how templates makes you a better person

Giving is better than getting

Nothing more obvious, right? We love sharing good feelings, preparing Christmas gifts, spending time with people we care. And that is a real nature of the Internet: someone shares (bloggers, photographers, developers etc.) and someone consumes.

Now it's even simpler than ever. Just open your Nozbe, create a new template and share! If you have Twitter or Facebook account, add the #NozbeHOW hashtag.

While you're thinking about your own templates, take a look at some brilliant templates created by our amazing community of Nozbe users and improve your daily work and a productivity flow:

And don't miss out the latest Robby Miles' compilation of productivity templates!

written by Jakub, VP Social Media

Friday, December 11, 2015

Nozbe Magazine No.5 is here - check out what's inside

Nozbe Magazine is our application-magazine - a perfect solution for those of you who don't have enough time to follow this blog on a regular basis.

Nozbe Mag 5

Each issue of Nozbe Magazine includes the top blogpost that we wrote for you within the last few months. We choose them carefully, trying to include all the important news and information concerning our app, its new features and use cases.

No. 5 - what's there?

5th edition: How to share your strategies with the world thanks to Nozbe.HOW templates, invitation to meet Nozbe power-users and join Nozbe.club - our redesigned affiliate program.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Meet Nozbe users - Robby Miles, the founder of the Mission Mindset

Some time ago, we introduced you one of Nozbe power-users: Jeff Sanders. Today, we would like you to meet another fantastic member of Nozbe community: Robby Miles.

Robby Miles

About Robby - a busy guy from North Idaho :-)

Robby is a husband, a dad of four, a college prep teacher, a freelance writer, and an Officer in the Army National Guard. After hours, he runs a Mission Mindset project to help people like himself stay on top of things.

He says:

I'm from North Idaho. Up here productivity means getting the right things accomplished. And this can only be done through simplicity and focus.

Robby's goals

Robby is convinced that only by using practical systems you can create focus for the missions that matter (putting your priorites first)... And he helps you with that by providing you the exact templates and systems busy parents and students may use to create focus, overcome distraction, and get back hours of quality time each day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Productive! Magazine #31 with Grace Marshall - How to be really productive?

After a longish break resulting from changing our publishing schedule from monthly to quarterly, here is the latest issue of Productive! Magazine :-)

Inside No.31: interview with Grace Marshall on work-life rhythm-not-balance and being really productive and articles on workflow optimization, making working as a team, work as well as transparency and exercises as a productivity booster.

ProdMag31

This interview can't be missed

No.31 comes with a great interview with Grace Marshall - a naturally disorganised productivity coach, chief encourager at grace-marshall.com and a productivity ninja with the team at Think Productive :-)

She speaks with Michael about the work-life rhythm that should replace the work-life balance. She also gives some tips on how to be really productive not just busy and how to deal with the guilt that distracts and holds you back.

Grace and Michael also talk about Grace's new book called "How to Be Really Productive."

"Guilt has you thinking that every time you move forward, you're moving backwards somewhere else. And so, when you're dealing with guilt (...) one of the first things to do is to actually take a step back and go, "Okay, let's start with... Let's start with enough."

Friday, December 4, 2015

The 5 A.M. Miracle Book by Nozbe user Jeff Sanders: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast

Nozbe is used by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. For all of them efficiency and smart time-planning are the principles that let them enjoy their lives and stay on top of the things.

Who is Jeff Sanders?

Jeff Sanders, the host of "The 5 A.M. Miracle Podcast" is one of Nozbe power users and productivity gurus. He is also a public speaker, author, a 10-time marathon runner, passionate raw vegan and a big fan of taking bold action. And don't worry - he doesn't keep his knowledge and experiences to himself.

See how the 5 A.M. miracle works in real life

As Jeff's new book: The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast has just been published, he spoke to Michael about what he wrote about and how waking up early will actually help you use your time wisely and get a lot more done.

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Jeff convinces that if you read his book you will get a list of think you could do to change your life!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Regarding Nozbe 2.5 for iOS and Apple Watch

A few weeks ago, we announced a major new version of Nozbe, 2.5, featuring a brand new design and a bunch of new features for Android, iOS, and Apple Watch users. There’s only one problem: the new Nozbe still isn’t available on App Store.

We think we owe you an apology and an explanation.

What happened

The problem began when we decided to update our Apple Watch app to watchOS 2. Although the second version of Watch’s operating system looks and feels largely the same, for app developers it meant big changes. We put off the update for a while, but we had to do it in Nozbe 2.5 to implement the new Complication.

Unfortunately for us, some changes Apple made to the App Store surrounding watchOS 2 apps made us literally unable to submit our app for App Review.

If you care about technical details: Apple has changed Bundle ID rules. Bundle ID is just a unique identifier computers use to tell apps apart. And with watchOS 2, they changed which identifiers are considered valid. And the one we picked for our Apple Watch app was suddenly no longer valid, so we couldn’t use it anymore. But the thing is, Bundle IDs stay with apps forever. Once you ship an app on App Store, you simply cannot change its Bundle ID.

Yes, our problem was this comically stupid. But it was hardly funny for us. Nozbe was stuck in a limbo, unable to move forward or step back. And there was nothing we could do about it — only Apple engineers could fix the bug and let our app pass.

Good news and bad news

The good news is: we’re shipping Nozbe 2.5 tomorrow.

The bad news: the updated iOS app doesn’t contain the Apple Watch app.

If you’re using Nozbe on your Apple Watch, we’re really, really sorry about this, but we had to do it.

We got desperate. We’ve been waiting weeks for the App Store team to help us, and we’re still waiting — with no idea when the fix will come. We owed it to our iOS users to give them Nozbe 2.5 (only a few percent also use Nozbe on Apple Watch), and the only way to do it was to remove the Apple Watch component from the app.

Solution for our Apple Watch users

But fear not. We can work around it. Although App Store bug prevented us from shipping our Watch app, our beta-testing system, TestFlight, doesn’t have the same limitation.

If you sign up for TestFlight, you’ll get an early preview of Nozbe 2.6, and the new Apple Watch app:

Sign up for TestFlight

Just enter your email address in this form, and we’ll invite you to TestFlight as soon as possible.

2.6 is (hopefully) coming soon

Although we’re still struggling with 2.5 on iOS and watchOS, the next version of Nozbe is almost ready to go. We hope that shipping this version without the Watch app will fix the App Store problem and we’ll be able to submit 2.6 quickly — or that Apple will get back to us and just fix the underlying bug.

We’re sorry about this mess. I wish we could’ve shipped the redesigned Nozbe weeks ago, and we didn’t have to use TestFlight as a hack to give you access to the new Apple Watch app. Hopefully it will all be resolved soon.

PS. Since the last blog post we made a few improvements to the Watch app:

Nozbe for Apple Watch

written by Radek, VP Apple Technologies

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Why Black Friday/Thanksgiving weekend sale is the perfect time for Nozbe users to start getting organized?

I'm writing this on Saturday morning just after the crazy "Black Friday" sale we celebrated here at Nozbe yesterday. And still celebrating! The special offer is valid all through the Thanksgiving weekend with Cyber Monday included so it's still not too late to take advantage and get a few additional months of Nozbe free. But today I wanted to write about why this offer is a actually a perfect thing for our customers. Yes, it's good for business but it's actually better for you, our amazing user. And not just because you're being offered an amazing value for money. It's more than that:

Black Friday craze

Just in time for December and New Year

It's all about timing. The Thanksgiving weekend is the last weekend of November so if you choose to upgrade to Nozbe PRO now you have December to actually sum up your year and prepare for a great next year. You have a whole month to get to know our tool, get all of our apps and start getting organized. Start putting all of your tasks and ideas to your inbox, start organizing tasks into projects, start creating your first categories... Most of all, start forming new habits around your new productivity system.

And over the Christmas break you'll have some time to watch my 10-step Productivity Course and study Nozbe tutorial and our comprehensive help page with many other videos. With all that knowledge you'll make your next year the best ever. And not just that:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How to prepare a fantastic Thanksgiving experience? Just follow these steps...

Only last week, we introduced the first Nozbe.HOW templates and showed you how you can create yours. Today, as a thank you for being a fantastic member of our productive Nozbe community, our team has prepared a special Thanksgiving template:

Open Nozbe's Perfect Thanksgiving Template

Thanksgiving Template powered by Nozbe.HOW

Just follow the steps in the template to get your perfect Thanksgiving done... or in other words, to spend a fantastic weekend full of joy and thankfullness.

Want more templates?

In the last week, other members of our Nozbe community prepared Nozbe.HOW templates for you to enjoy and use. Here are some of them:

... and there are more! Check out our Nozbe.HOW template directory for the first templates by our Nozbe community.

If you want to create a template and submit it to Nozbe.how template directory, just follow the steps we mentioned before and post your template on Twitter or Facebook with #NozbeHow hashtag - we'll include the best templates in our directory and if we like yours the most, you'll get your Nozbe PRO account extended by 1-6 months as a reward!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nozbe for Android gets better and faster

Nozbe 2.5 for Android now features Quick Add notification which allows for quick task adding from any screen on your device without opening Nozbe app itself. All you have to do is pull down the notification bar, tap on the always visible "Add task to Nozbe" notification and enter task name. Oh, and you can also specify any Project, Category or delegation using hashtag notation. We think this is a big deal and if you want to know why, you should really read this post. To turn on this feature now, go to the Settings -> Notifications page and check "Quick add".

Lowering barriers

Here at Nozbe, we believe that everything we do should be done as quickly as possible. Actually, we think that speed is one of the keys to our productivity. Activities which drag on for a long time are painful and anybody who associates work with pain will never enjoy their work. Only those who are able to take pleasure from work can be productive in the long term. I think I couldn't put it any better than a wonderful blog post at jsomers.net which says that "if you work quickly, the cost of doing something new will seem lower in your mind, so you’ll be inclined to do more". The same holds true with tools we use in our everyday work. If they are not pleasant to work with (read: fast) our work becomes exhausting, our attention is disrupted and we can easily loose our magical state of flow.

Why it matters

Shortly after our 2.4 release in September, we noticed just how big an impact of seemingly small performance improvements can have on our business. At first we weren't sure if this effort was even worth our time and if anyone would notice. But people did notice and the final result far exceeded our expectations. Even though people didn't send us emails saying that they liked the change we did notice a change in numbers elsewhere. On Android, where the change was the most distinct (especially on those oh-so-many low-end phones), we've noticed that people were four times more likely to keep Nozbe on their phones after installing it, compared to our previous versions. That's four times more people using Nozbe to get things done every day. That is amazing! No other feature would allow us to achieve this. Speed is the most important feature for almost every software product and our experience confirms that.

Android jetpack

Start using it now

We hope that this new feature will further speed up your process of using Nozbe and let you focus more on getting things done and not on managing the things to be done. Seriously, turn on that Quick Add now! Have you noticed any performance improvements in Nozbe recently? Or maybe you've experienced lag and sluggishness? Which part of your Nozbe workflow do you think could be faster? Let us know in comments below!

Written by Stan, Nozbe's VP of Android technologies

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How to share your Nozbe Templates with the world?

Next month, we want to revolutionize the world of productivity and we need your help!

Preview of Nozbe.how - public Nozbe project templates

Today, on our Nozbe test blog we published the Release Candidate of Nozbe 2.6 which lets you share your project templates with the world! And we want to invite you to create your best how-to lists and share them with others.

Why I'm so excited about this? Watch my short video explaining Nozbe.how!

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You are using Nozbe. You are a very productive person. Why don't you share your best checklists, your top recipes for success (or food :-)) and your best ideas with other people?

Examples of Nozbe.how templates I've prepared for you just this week:

How to create your own Nozbe.how public templates?

*Before you start, please remember that Nozbe.how templates are still in "beta" and there are some known issues and bugs, so please continue only if you have experience with pre-release software:

1) Get Nozbe 2.6 "beta" for Mac or Windows from our test blog - this is "beta" software, use at your own risk!

2) Log in and go to your templates. If you don't have a template to share, create a project and save it as a template.

3) Choose a template to share. Edit it if needed. Tweak it. And just share it using a button in the info-panel of your template.

That's it. You can now copy this Nozbe.how template link and either share it with just one person... or post it on social media or send to friends via email.

Why are Nozbe.how templates so revolutionary?

  • A Nozbe.how template is like a fully-fledged Nozbe project - mark tasks as done, browse and add comments, modify tasks, add new ones or reorder them. In other words: we're brining the productivity power of Nozbe to everyone!

  • Everyone's invited! - anyone can use a Nozbe.how template as their project. They don't need a Nozbe account to open it in their mobile or desktop browser. And they can share it further!

  • Easy sign-up and import! - while people don't need a Nozbe account to use the Nozbe.how template, they can easily add it to their new or existing Nozbe account.

(Affiliate tip: When people sign up for a Nozbe account from a Nozbe.how template created by you, you'll get an affiliate commission when they later become a Nozbe PRO customer!)

Learn more about Nozbe.how project templates and start creating yours!

Nozbe.how pre-launch video

Post your templates on Twitter or Facebook with #NozbeHow hashtag - we'll include the best ones in our upcoming Nozbe.how template directory :-) The authors of the best ones will have their Nozbe PRO accounts extended by 1-6 months!