Getting Things Done with Nozbe Productivity Blog

Monday, September 21, 2015

Nozbe Reunion Fall 2015 - making your productivity app even more awesome

This week of September 21-25 we're on our semi-annual Nozbe team reunion where we all meet together in one place to work together, brainstorm ideas and basically make Nozbe more awesome. Unlike a "traditional" company we're all working remotely from our homes so these two times per year are the only moments that we all see each other. And we're 24-person strong team now. We're very excited. Here's what it also means to you, our Nozbe users:

nozbe Team

Support questions may be delayed...

First the bad news. As we want also our support team involved in the process, they will not have enough time to respond to your emails as fast as we normally do. We usually reply in just a few hours but this week only, you might even have to wait a few days for a response.

It's only this week and if there's anything urgent, we'll react quickly because our entire team is here.

Nozbe will be even better

Now the good news. We're not only here to bond as a team. We're here to make Nozbe better. To discuss feature requests you sent our way. To brainstorm ideas. To take your favorite productivity tool to a whole new level.

We've got great things in the pipeline

We're working on some amazing things here for you. And now that we're all at one location we're even more motivated to make it happen. And if there's any idea you'd want us to consider, post them in the comments below.

Thanks for your understanding and support. Thanks to you we get to have these meetings which help us make Nozbe great for all! Cheers!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

[Last Chance!] Our free video productivity training series - only available until midnight!

Last week we introduced you to our new video training series:

"Create Your Perfect Digital Productivity System"

In this 3-part video series I show you step-by-step how to build your productivity system:

(1) You start with "mind dump" to your inbox later you choose your priority tasks. Then (2) you start organizing everything into projects and getting these tasks done in categories. Finally you learn how to collaborate (3) with other people by sharing projects and delegating tasks.

If you want to learn all this, you have your last chance today.

I'm taking this course down at midnight California time - we received lots of feedback and need to see if/how we'll use this course in the future.

You'll get bonus points if you post your comment on the training page and let me know if this course was helpful to you. Thanks!

- Michael Sliwinski - Nozbe founder and CEO

Friday, September 11, 2015

Psst! Here's my productivity secret: see how I get things done with my assistant

As you know, every Nozbe PRO account is actually "2 in 1", meaning, you get 2 accounts for the price of 1. Yes, you can use Nozbe on your own, but you can also go to the "Team" section and put the email address of your partner and create an additional account for them, completely free.

Do you want to know how I work with my assistant?

I can't do everything alone. I need my Nozbe team. Above all, I really need my assistant to help me get things done. Are you in a similar situation?

If so, I recorded this short screencast for you:

In this video you'll learn how we share projects, delegate tasks, convert emails to tasks... and never miss deadlines. And more!

"Nozbe has really increased the communication for our team and helps us know where we are at on things without needing to talk all the time. I also appreciate how I can use it to keep my email from being overloaded." - Wade

Thursday, September 10, 2015

[New Video] How to get started with a digital productivity system?

Recently we've received many emails from people about Nozbe and productivity. Most of them can be boiled down to this:

So I have a Nozbe app. Now what? Where do I start?

I decided to answer these questions and help design your first ideal week with a system like Nozbe. Together with my team I've prepared a new and short video series called:

"Create Your Perfect Digital Productivity System"

This is a series of 3 videos where I walk you step by step through your first days in Nozbe - each video includes a screencast where you can see Mary from our trainig team walk you through each exercise:

Video 1 - Inbox and Priority list - when you go to our training page and log in with your Nozbe account, you'll get the first video. In this first part, you'll learn to start small - with your Nozbe Inbox. You'll learn NOT to store things in your head but "dump them" in a digital Inbox. That's all. You need to get the basics right.

Video 2 - Projects and Categories - in the second video we'll get more advanced. After you've learned how to clear your mind, you can start organizing things into projects and categories. This is where you'll take your productivity to a whole new level!

Video 3 - Collaboration + more productivity tricks - this time you'll see how I work with my assistant. How we share projects, work on deadlines and get things done together. So you'll be able to do it as well!

Each video is less than 10-minute-long, contains a practical screencast with a practical exercise.

Start watching video 1 right away and let me know what you think!

(Sidenote: You need to log in with your Nozbe account to see this video series, or if you don't have an active Nozbe account anymore, you'll be able to easily sign up on this page for a 30-day Nozbe trial. This is required so that you can fully participate and do the practical exercises from the videos. The video series is completely free. What you learn stays with you!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

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

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

Nozbe.club

Basically the idea is simple:

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

More details on our new Nozbe.club site

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

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

- Michael, CEO and founder

Friday, August 28, 2015

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

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

team - project

Definitions

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

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

So what's the deal?

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

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

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

Once you share a project... what happens?

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A sneak peek into iOS 9

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

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

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

Multi-tasking on iPad

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

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

Monday, August 17, 2015

How to learn a foreign language with Nozbe

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

learning languages with Nozbe

Before you start

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How to workaround lack of chain tasks - Nozbe tip

Chain tasks workaround

Chain tasks... what are they?

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

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

Chain tasks

What can be done with them in Nozbe?

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

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

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

The Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for listening!

(written by Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Nozbe 2.2 with Google Drive and Mac widget

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

Google drive integration

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

Mac Widget

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

More improvements

We also added some more features like:

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

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

P.S. Please rate us!

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

P.S. 2: Join our @nozbe community

written by Rafal (VP Product)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

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

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

photo of me and Magda

Magda manages my email

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

How?

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

There are various emails coming to that shared Gmail inbox:

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Leaving shared project - important questions

Leaving shared project

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

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

This post will answer those for you.

Who can leave a project?

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

So, the owner can't simply leave.

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

leaving

Monday, July 27, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Michael (CEO and Founder of Nozbe)

Friday, July 24, 2015

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

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

What is "Pomodoro" and "Unschedule"?

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

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

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