Tuesday, December 8, 2015
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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:
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:
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:
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
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:
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:
- How to run a GTD-style Weekly Review by Mike St. Pierre
- An essential checklist for international travel by Radexp
- A half-marathon preparation plan by Chad Garret
- How to spend some quality time in Tokyo by Martyna
- How make cider at home by Natalia
... 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!
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
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".
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.
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
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.
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:
- My Recipe for a Productive Day
- My 10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity Course
- How to create a Perfect Productivity System
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!)
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!
Monday, November 16, 2015
November is the big month for us. We can finally show you first part of all the big things we were working on for the last couple of months. We could not be more thrilled to present you (our great community of Nozbe users) the newest Nozbe 2.5. We put enormous effort into it.
Some of you may know about our Design Fight meetings every Wednesday. Nozbe 2.5 with refreshed design is the first fruit of these fights and it contains:
- new icons
- new font - San Francisco for iOS, Mac and Roboto for other platforms
- new colors
We’d really love to hear the feedback from you how and what do you like in new design and what you don’t like ;) Our beta testers have already shared their observations with us. We already know that project list requires some more tweaks to be more readable. More details about the process of redesign will be covered on this blog. Our designer Hubert will prepare it for you when the full redesign is completed.
Now let’s focus on some other cool new features Nozbe 2.5 brings:
Android quick add
Nozbe 2.5 for Android now features Quick add notification which allows for quick task adding from any screen on your device without even opening Nozbe app itself. All you have to do is pull down 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. To turn on this feature now, go to the Settings -> Notifications page and check "Quick add".
Nozbe Complication on your Apple Watch
If you have an Apple Watch, you’ll love this new feature: you can now put a Nozbe Complication on your watchface, right next to your date, temperature, or activity rings. Why would you want Nozbe always on your wrist? For subtle feedback and a sense of how you’re doing in your day.
There are two parts to the Nozbe Complication:
- Priority count — the number of tasks you currently have on your plate
- Progress ring — your overall activity today. The more tasks you finish, delegate or take off your plate, the higher your progress. To reach 100%, complete all of your priority tasks.
Redesigned Glance and speed
More Apple Watch news:
We redesigned the Glance to fit the new design of Nozbe better and show a bigger progress ring. We also changed what the ring conveys to match the new Complication.
Before, the ring only showed you how many priority tasks you completed. We found that this wasn’t very useful, as for many of us, the priority count stays roughly constant throughout the day — as we finish tasks, more come in. The new progress rings consider all tasks you’ve completed as well as tasks where you finished your part of work and then delegated them to someone else. We talked more about this in our podcast.
We also updated our app to watchOS 2, which gives it a big performance boost and makes it work even if you’re not in range of your iPhone.
3D Touch, iPad Pro, and Spotlight
We have four new quick shortcuts for iPhone 6s users. Just press the Nozbe icon firmly and slide your finger to add a task to Inbox, open your Priority list, Calendar, or Comments.
If you’re waiting for the iPad Pro release, fear not! Nozbe 2.5 is compatible with the its huge new screen. (Michael, our CEO is already using 2.5 on his iPad Pro)
And a fun power feature for iOS 9: you can swipe down on your home screen and use the system Spotlight search to find and quickly open projects, categories and tasks in Nozbe. Note that currently Spotlight can only search places you’ve already viewed on a device.
Please note that Nozbe 2.5 for iOS is not yet available on the App Store. We are having some problems with submitting the app for review and working with Apple to resolve it as soon as possible.
More improvements and fixes
As always we added some small tweaks you were asking for to boost your productivity. One of them is that now Nozbe always opens in the same view you had closed it last time. For full Release Notes please go to our test blog.
P.S. Please rate us!
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
November is my favorite month of all. On one hand it’s almost the year’s end, so we’re already planing the next one... but on the other, we’re finishing everything we’ve been working on this past year: Nozbe redesign and new Nozbe templates... and at the end of this month we’ll celebrate it all with Thanksgiving :-)
If you listened to The Podcast, you’d already know about some of it...
Here’s what happened: Back in June me and our VP of Apple technologies, Radek, decided to start recording a podcast together. At first we were just “two dudes talking about technologies” but slowly we started talking more about productivity, our company, our team, how we work...
and the latest episodes you will find very interesting:
- Why we are a company of more than 20 people where everyone works from home? Episode 15 - Not only for introverts
- How we do company reunions and why we love doing them? Episode 16 - I can literally touch you
- Apart from Nozbe, which other tools we use to get our work done? Episode 17 - Tools for remote work
- How we do productive and effective meetings at Nozbe? Episode 18 - Meetings don’t have to be toxic
- How we decide on Nozbe’s design (and new redesign!) Episode 19 - You have to fight
And in the very last episodes (20, 21 and 22...) we’re also diving deeper into Nozbe redesign, new logo, and in the episode 23 we’ll be discussing the newest Nozbe templates so...
I really can’t wait to share more details with you... November is the busiest month for my Nozbe team. So it is great that we love what we do and we love serving our amazing users like you.
Thanks for being a part of our Nozbe community!
Thursday, October 15, 2015
I met Phil Libin (Evernote's then-CEO) and Andrew Sinkov (Evernote's VP Marketing) back in 2009 on the GTD Summit Conference in San Francisco and we quickly realized our products were a great match for a partnership. I really liked the idea of storing my notes in Evernote and tasks in Nozbe, so finding a way for both apps to work together made so much sense… and a boost for my productivity! This is how Evernote + Nozbe integration was born in 2010. But a lot has happened since then. Last year we launched Nozbe 2.0 with revisited integration and Evernote reminders sync and it was praised by our users. Now with the latest Nozbe we tweaked it even more and created a separate video to show this to you:
Here's our newest short video showing Nozbe and Evernote in action:
In short, here’s what you can do if you want to attach a note to Evernote:
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Last week we were on the Nozbe Reunion where we spent a great week together. We had some fun and enjoyed each other's company which is very important for a team that most of the year spends time working remotely from our homes. In case you were wondering, Nozbe is not just me so in this post you'll get to know some of the people who help me get you more organized:
So to get to know us better watch this short Periscope video session that we recorded on the last day of our reunion. Get to know the people behind your favorite productivity app:
This was an amazing week and you'll see the results of it soon in the Nozbe apps! Stay tuned and in the comments feel free to ask questions to our team!
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
One of the questions I keep getting is why I named my productivity product “Nozbe”? It doesn’t mean anything in English… so why this name? Maybe it means something in some other language? Well, not really… so in this post let me share the story behind the Nozbe name with you…
Nozbe = To BE Naturally OrganiZed
When I was in college, back in 2000, me and my friend Wiktor were dreaming of running an Internet company some day and changing the world. We were brainstorming product ideas and names. And we had this idea for a productivity tool, but we wanted an original name for it. The product was about getting people organized. First off we came up with the phrase “To be organized” and started brainstorming… then we added some adjectives like “naturally”, “exceptionally”, etc….
We started with BE - we wanted this to be a part of our name. So we went with BEO, BEOD… but we didn’t get anywhere. As we were aiming at the american market, we wrote “organized” with Z and not with S (in British English you’d write “organised”).
So we went further: BEOZ, OZBE… and finally NOZBE.
5 letters, means nothing… and has a cool Z in the middle.
This is what convinced us to stay with NOZBE name. It was short, memorable, fairly easy to pronounce (not as easy as I hoped though) and had this cool Z in the middle. And back in 2000s with dot-com wave, cool names were the best.
I registered nozbe.com, launched it, shut it down… and I created a new Nozbe in 2007
That was the history - we eventually went with the name and launched a product back in 2001 - an email reminder. It was a complete flop, so we shut it down but I liked the name so much I asked Wiktor if I could keep it and keep paying for the .com domain. He agreed and I kept it.
And then in 2005 when I started creating what now is Nozbe, I was thinking about a name for my new project… and it wasn’t until late 2006 when I finally decided to really ship my own productivity app when I remembered I had that perfectly-fitting name waiting for me. So when I launched my productivity web app in February of 2007 I named it Nozbe. And the rest, as they say, is history.
So there’s the mystery behind the Nozbe name.
Nozbe - because we want you to be Naturally OrganiZed :-)
Pronunciation of Nozbe is more less like this: 👃🐝
(written by Michael Sliwinski, Nozbe founder)
Monday, September 21, 2015
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:
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 week we introduced you to our new video training series:
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
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