Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Uses of Nozbe - Students

Nozbe users come from all professions and backgrounds: from teachers and students, house-wifes through managers and entrepreneurs. So far, we have presented you with solutions for doctors, real-estate agents and lawyers. This article is intended for students.

Students

The background

We all are or were students at some point in our lives. Life of a student can be exciting, demanding and challenging. Depending on area of study, the mixture of the three can vary. I wish I had Nozbe during my studies. I was a double major, with two part-time positions plus steady involvement in student council and theater... But those were the times of pen and paper and your own memory.

Basic focus areas

From the time perspective, I would divide students and therefore their use of Nozbe essentially by the year of study. Although I'm sure some high-school students are here, I would rather concentrate on the college students.

Possible application

For college students getting grasp of all of their studying, reading and writing can be quite challenging even without extracurricular activities such as the ones I had during my years at the university.

Projects and labels

If I were to use Nozbe now; as I wish I had back then and how I plan to use it again (as I've recently enrolled as undergrad at a university); I think I would start by thinking of my ultimate goal aka. associate, baccalaureate or master degree.

That would serve as my main label or category for projects. And I know for a fact that some projects can start as early as the 1st year and continue until you have actually received your degree.

Other labels would be my areas of studies, be it your major or just a group of subjects e.g. like 'Econ' would be my label for all the economics related course. Some might be eager to inquire "then what will serve as my projects?".

A simple answer is: your classes.

For instance, in my current schedule I have 6 subjects: History of Legal system in Poland, General history of legislature, Principles of the Roman Law, Economics, Legal Logic, Legalese English. Those are my projects right there. I want to finish each of them with positive outcome in form of a good grade, right?

Categories

Within each project I would of course have number of types of files and tasks. I would not hesitate to use categories to group those across all of them. For instance, though I might need to buy or borrow book for various classes and seminars, essentially my categories would be:

"book-store" and/or "library".

Books would be my tasks added to numerous project (= classes). When at book-store, I would simply click on the category and see all the names of books and authors I need to buy. Same thing goes for the library, although here the tasks would be cyclical depending on for how long I need to use the library copy of a given book so that I remember to return the books on time.

Syllabuses would be another group of materials/tasks that I would need to load and keep in mind for each of the subject. In today's world you simply go on-line and download them all from student portals. In the old times, it would mean scanning away like mad (Category: Syllabus).

Third bunch of tasks would simply be contacts for my professors for each class and the lecture room where the class usually takes place (Category: Logistics).

By far the largest group of tasks that are constantly changing are the assignments. It would be actually most healthy for you to simply write them down directly into Nozbe as they come in, instead of waiting to get out of class, but here much depends on your professors. Some do not allow tablets or smart-phones in their classrooms (Category: Assignements).

And the last aspect of it all... the research. There is virtually no class for which you would not need it. Sometimes all you need to do is run down to a library and get a book, but other times it is vast search over the Internet, libraries and other sources... here also this great little plugin made by Marcus Platt can come in very hand.

Summary

Those are of course just some basics of how a student may use Nozbe. Some food for thoughts. There are many possibilities, perhaps one of which you will be kind to share here for benefit of others.

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Nozbe 2.0 is here

We’re excited to announce the release of Nozbe 2.0 - this is still Nozbe but redesigned from scratch, improved, mobile-first... all new. It’s been an incredibly busy time here at Nozbe and we have done everything to make Nozbe 2.0 working smoothly and let you boost your productivity. Your satisfaction and efficiency are always on our "Priority tasks" list.

Nozbe 2.0

New features

It's the 4th major version of Nozbe since our first launch back in 2007 but it's the most important one, that's why we call it 2.0. We've been working on it for more than a year now. Here's how it turned out:

  • New, modern, clean interface - now all the Nozbe apps work in the same way with coherent navigation across all devices - you'll have no problem switching from our web application, native Mac or Windows app to our tablet or mobile apps.
  • It's fast. It's really fast - we've optimized our Nozbe apps for speed. We can safely update our slogan to "Simply Get Everything Done. Fast."
  • Multi-edit mode - easily edit several tasks at once, several projects at once... one of our most requested features is there.
  • More filters, more sorting - easily see which actions to take when and where. Narrow down your tasks lists to the most important stuff.
  • iOS8 goodness, later on Mac, Windows and Android - especially for iOS8 we've built a "Today widget" as well as adding tasks from any app with a share extension. We'll bring this goodness to the rest of the platforms in the following months.
  • A sign of more things to come... - this is just the beginning. We've left many new features out for now, to be able to show you the version 2.0 as soon as possible. This new suite of apps is a beginning of a new era at Nozbe.

Watch Nozbe 2.0 in action

Watch Michael Sliwinski, Nozbe founder and CEO, presenting how to use the new Nozbe efficiently. Spare less than 15 minutes and become Nozbe 2.0 pro-user:

Read, steady, go!

To access Nozbe 2.0 you can either log in to our web app or get one of our native apps for the Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iPad or iPhone - all apps are already available on our website, the App Stores or Google Play. A Windows Phone app is the next milestone we will be working on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Nozbe 2.0 new Evernote integration - what is different and why?

With Nozbe 2.0 we redesigned integration with Evernote, Dropbox and Box. Today I wanted to concentrate on the first one as it is the most popular 3rd party service used by our fantastic customers.

New Evernote integration

Limitations of the old integration that we wanted to get rid off

Integration with Evernote in Nozbe 1.9.3 was quite good and we were very pleased with it. It had some limitations though and we thought it was high time to finally overleap them with Nozbe 2.0.

First of all, there was a limited number of Evernote notes that could have be synced with Nozbe and power Evernote users who had more than 10,000 notes were not able to find all of them in Nozbe.

Secondly, the architecture of integration was based on push sync from Evernote. We relied on Evernote to push to us every update on user’s account. Sometimes it lead to delays and so users didn't see new or recently updated notes in Nozbe.

And finally, Evernote notes from Project Attachments section were not visible to all project members (unlike the Nozbe notes). It caused many confusions and questions from our users. All of that was a hindrance to a productive collaboration.

New benefits

So what is new in this integration? Here is the list of improvements:

  • Adding a new Evernote note to Project Attachments section works the same as adding one as a comment to a task. Every project member will now see exactly the same content in Project Attachments
  • While adding new Evernote notes our app will suggest you notes tagged with the same phrase as a project name in Nozbe
  • Moreover you can add multiple notes at once
  • You always have an instant access to your new Evernote notes - you will no longer wait to sync Evernote with Nozbe
  • You can search through all (no more 10,000 notes limit) of your Evernote notes. And Nozbe will search not only the titles of notes but also the contents!

How to use it - a short instruction

Attaching Evernote to project

  1. You can filter your notes by name
  2. The list of your recent (max. 100) Evernote notes
  3. First part of the (2) list is a list of suggested notes - here you will find the notes tagged with the same name as your Nozbe project
  4. Second part of the (2) list - the rest of your recent notes

OK, you may ask what if note that I want to add is not among my 100 recent notes in Evernote? You can search for it:

Attaching Evernote to project

Just start typing in (1) field and after entering at least 3 characters (2) link will appear. Click/Tap on it to search for “Gra” in your Evernote account.

Attaching Evernote to project

A new sub-list - found notes - has been attached to the list of notes. It consist of the results of the “Gra” query and includes all the notes with this phrase in title or in body of the note. It is native Evernote search.

You can choose more than one note to attach at once. After you select them, please, click the “save” button that will appear at the top.

Attaching Evernote to project

  1. Save button
  2. List of selected notes
  3. You can add additional comment to your notes

Your feedback

This new integration is a result of hours of brainstorming, fighting for every button, field, etc. It was also incredible effort for our Programming Ninjas to make it work. Of course the fight is not over and we've already been brainstorming some ideas to improve it in the future releases. We would be really pleased to hear your opinion. So do not hesitate and post it in the comments section below or send it to our support.

Written by Rafal (Nozbe Product Manager)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Cheerful complaints by our fantastic customers :-)

When I can't decide which model/type of a product to buy in a store, I often list the specifications I want to a salesman and ask: "Which product matching these specs would you buy for yourself?"

When an electrician comes to fix something at my place, I ask him (or just pray silently if the guy doesn't look too friendly) that he does the job as if he was fixing the cables in his own child's room.

We follow that rule in Nozbe. Michael, the CEO, and the rest of our team work as if we were doing something for ourselves and our beloved :)

It doesn't mean we are striving to be perfectionists. Perfectionism rarely pays off. We get involved, we try to make the choices that will bring people more satisfaction and simply put our hearts and souls into work we do. Apparently, this approach has a positive impact on the users. For whatever reason they write to us they always express their appreciation and enthusiasm. See yourself:

Thank you for programming the beta! I'm sure you all know this already but the design really does look absolutely lovely, and the functionality is really smooth and intuitive, and very well suited to making batch changes, which is a wonderful change. I already found Nozbe to be very usable and super easy to integrate into my day-to-day, but it's even easier now with the smooth design.
Best,
Kathryn

What's really fantastic is that every time someone reports a problem or an issue that bothers them, they also express their positive thoughts and impressions.

Guys, really like the new interface and the speed is awesome. On the Android version, will the "boot up" logo become hi-res? Mike

Nozbe is cool! I am waiting for the release day! S. (one of the most active = critical :) betatesters)

By the way, I know we usually only report problems and bugs, but I am loving this new version of Nozbe. You guys have done incredible work here! Michael Hyatt

Learn more about Nozbe by getting the free Nozbe Magazine

If you don't read this blog very often but you wish to get to know more about the idea behind Nozbe, the stuff that we do and practical ways of using our app, read Nozbe Magazine. It's simple. You download the app for your iOS or Android device and get a doze of Nozbe-related articles every one or two months.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Uses of Nozbe - Law

Nozbe is used by a lot of people. They come from all professions, from teachers, house-wifes through managers and entrepreneurs. Some time ago we have presented you with solutions that might work really well for doctors and for real estate agents. This article is intended for the lawyers.

Legal

The background

I hope to, not pose, but provide you with ideas of how you can use Nozbe to serve you well in such extensive and demanding environment. I have been raised among lawyers and am currently studying law in Warsaw, Poland at Kozminski University. I know it requires high level of organization and, though rewarding, can be extremely stressful and repetitive. Organization is here of utter most importance along with psychological resilience. Unfortunately, I won't be able to aid you in that second area.

Basic areas of concern

Legal applications of Nozbe will vary depending on the group you belong to. A prosecutor will have different modus operandi to judge or solicitor. Thus there is a wide scope of possible interpretation. I will try to outline here some ideas in hope that they will come in handy and that they will serve you all as a spring board for own imagination.

Extensive use of labels and templates is much recommended as it was case of previous posts from this series. Depending on the legal "branch" you are in, you are pretty much bound to do some things certain way. There are procedures to be followed, documents to be filed or obtained.

Possible application

Defense lawyer, solicitor, legal adviser... Perhaps this is too broad a group to be put together, but I believe them to have much in common. They all have clients.... And a client can either be your label/tag or your project. Most often label... But if the matter is small you might be able to lock it up in just one project.

Should you wish the client to have access to the project, or have some other parties involved.... I would advise on labeling instead.

So, I would get projects A, B, C with label Mr. Smith (if that is our client). In project A I would create a list of things that I need the client to supply me with and share it with him. For instance:

  1. Scans of all the documents for given case that the client can provide you with
  2. Testimonies, names of witnesses and any evidence which the client knows of
  3. Your documents and information for the client on the matter, possible ways of approaching it and possible outcomes thereof

You can simply think of it as mutual references project.

Project B on the other hand would be my private, e.g. information that I would not wish to make the client privy to, but that are significant to getting the matter sorted out. In a sense, this would be a project where legal trade secrets would end up in.

Project C - great place to co-work with someone who does not need to be involved directly with Mr. Smith, but whose involvement I need to get all the documents/information and evidence collected.

Prosecutor's job is a bit different. You often do not deal with clients per se, but you do with whole much more of evidence, personnel that helps you collect it and get it prepared. In such case, I think using case number would be the best label you could have. I might be wrong here but essentially you would need two types of projects here: private-only for you - your thoughts and keeping track of your progress; group - shared with those whose help you need to get the guilt proven and the guilty one behind the bars.

Last, but not least is the Judge. Here again court case number is in my opinion the best label, though in simple matters it can be your project name. For most parts you work on case alone and it is related to much reading prior to hearings. I do admit to have had the least contact with representatives of this profession so I might be way off in my view of their work.

Each of the projects can also be saved as a template for later use with another client/case. Also extensive application of check-lists might be of aid, if you would rather have fewer projects.

Summary

This is just a proposal. Something to give you a hint and to get your mind working on. There are many possibilities, perhaps one of which you will be kind to share here for benefit of others.

I do trust this will all give you some ideas. In legal environment, privacy is extremely important, thus Nozbe's "obsession" with keeping your unshared projects accessible only to you is a great advantage.

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