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.


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".


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.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Second Coming of Nozbe for Apple Watch

It’s been just over two months since we’ve released Nozbe for Apple Watch. (I’ve written more about it in a previous blog post.) At the time, Apple Watch hasn’t yet hit the market, so we couldn’t test it directly on the device. Since then, we got a few watches for ourselves. We learned a lot about this device, its strengths and weaknesses. And after using our own app extensively, we saw a huge area for improvement. Today, I’m happy to announce that the latest version of Nozbe includes a lot of improvements for the Watch.

If you have an Apple Watch, just update Nozbe on your iPhone to 2.1.8, and the watch app will automatically update as well.

And if you’re curious about what’s new, keep reading!

(at the end of this post there's a cool video we recorded that showcases everything in this post, make sure not to miss it!)

Supercharged notifications

As I explained in the previous post, we started our development with notifications, because they’re the most common and most immediate interaction with the Apple Watch. You don’t really have to do anything, they simply show up when appropriate, and they allow you to respond instantly.

In that spirit, and with what we’ve learned, we redesigned notifications to make them look beautiful and much more useful. Take a look:

Mention notification, Delegated task notification

Before, when you were mentioned in a comment, the notification would only tell you who mentioned you, and in what task. But to actually see the comment, you would have to tap “Show task” and wait for the app to load. Now, we simply show you the comment right in the notification. And if you want to reply immediately, we added a new action under the notification: Comment.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Nozbe 2.1.8 with Android Widget and a better Apple Watch app

Today we are happy to announce new Nozbe release - Nozbe 2.1.8. It brings productivity boost especially for our Android and Apple Watch users. We created a special video to show it to you, featuring me and our CEO, Michael Sliwinski:


Supercharged Android

We heard you loud and clear - Android users need to have Nozbe widget which looks and works great. For the last couple of weeks we’ve been working very hard on exactly that - Android widget which saves time and thus helps you be more productive. Read more on how we've doubled-down on Android

We've also improved Android's speed, especially for those of you stuck on Android 4.3 and lower - we are happy to tell you that we’ve made significant progress on that front as well!

Apple Watch app improved

It’s been just over a month since we’ve released Nozbe for Apple Watch. (Radek has written more about it in a previous blog post.) At the time, Apple Watch hasn’t yet hit the market, so we couldn’t test it directly on the device. Since then, we got a few watches for ourselves. We learned a lot about this device, its strengths and weaknesses. And after using our own app extensively, we saw a huge area for improvement. Today, We are happy to announce that the latest version of Nozbe includes a lot of improvements for the Watch.

If you have an Apple Watch, just update Nozbe on your iPhone to 2.1.8, and the watch app will automatically update as well.

We even created a special web site to highlight how we help you get everything done on your wrist:

And last but not least...

More improvements

We also added some more features like:

  • Backup to txt file - You can now backup your data to txt file. Just go to Settings->Account
  • Mark all comment as read - There is new button for it, it is now more accessible and moreover there are buttons per project. So you can mark all comments as read in a specific project
  • New languages - We translated Nozbe to Korean, Dutch and Russian
  • Group completed projects by month - Now finding completed project is easier.

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 :)

written by Rafal (VP Product) with help from Stan (VP Android) and Radek (VP Apple Technologies)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Labels and colors - use them to your benefit

Grouping projects is one of the most vital and tricky aspects of day-to-day project and time management. Properly arranged groups can boost your productivity while a mess in the list can defeat the purpose of use of any system at all.

Labels and colors


I guess everyone can imagine the most basic use thereof... simply create some, add them to projects and later on, filter by them. Yet, a second use that not so many are familiar with is... sub-projects.

Yes, you read it right... sub-projects. True, Nozbe does not have sub-projects. However, none said that you can't turn your goal into a label; a complex task into a project and sub-tasks you had in mind - into actual tasks.

Two things to remember:

  1. You can filter by a label narrowing your list of projects only to those with that given one.

  2. You can have more than one label attached to a project (so it can indeed be grouped by a goal + something else)

    I for instance, have some fixed and unchangeable labels such as work, home, study, private. All my projects are grouped initially into those areas. Then, I have other sort of labels. Those are actual goals such as: affiliate, support and other - all for work; home related tend to be shopping, improvements; private - craft, travel.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Inspiring productivity read and listen for this weekend and Nozbe 2.1.8 for Android

As you know, we’ve just rolled out Nozbe 2.1.8 with major speed improvements, Android widget and lots of great new features (if you have a smartphone where Nozbe felt slow, then… not anymore! You should totally get 2.1.8 for Android and read all about it.)

The latest Nozbe is already out for Android, Linux, Windows and Mac. We’re still waiting for Apple’s approval of the iOS version with much-improved Apple Watch support.

Inspiring productivity read and listen for this weekend?

Apart from the new Nozbe, we’ve also been working hard on some really inspiring things for you to listen and read. I believe that, as the Nozbe founder, my obligation to you is not only to bring you the best productivity tool on the market, but also to provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to get it all done.

For this weekend, I’ve got 3 (and completely free) amazing resources for you:

1) Nozbe Magazine No. 4 with tips on comments, recurring tasks and more!

Get Nozbe Mag for Android or iPad and iPhone

2) Productive! Magazine No. 29 with Simon Grabowski and tips for claiming back your life and gaining up to 40% of your workday.

Get Productive! for Android or iPad and iPhone

3) The Podcast - we’ve just published first 3 episodes of the new audio podcast with me, your Nozbe CEO and founder, and Radek, our VP of Apple Technologies. We talk about “technology, productivity tips, business, publishing, and whatever else comes to mind…”

It’s a thing for us, so please let me know what you think!

Subscribe to “The Podcast” through iTunes

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Nozbe Magazine No.4 - your essential guide to Nozbe news and usage

We are happy to inform that 4th edition of Nozbe Magazine is here. It will bring you the possibility to learn what's been happening in Nozbe for the last three months and benefit from the practical how-to's written by our support team. All in one place, easy to read and nicely designed.

Nozbe Magazine 4

Enjoy Nozbe Magazine on the go

Nozbe magazine is a free app with content from Nozbe blog - it’s the easiest way to subscribe to the best of our blog posts, how-to's, tips&tricks and news. You can enjoy reading and learning on your:

Nozbe Mag app, just like our Productive! Magazine app, is powered by the technology we developed at Remag.

Inside this issue

Nozbe as "best new app" in the AppStore by Michael Sliwinski
Nozbe CEO tells what it means to him to finally be noticed by Apple.

Nozbe for Android - speed, widgets and even more to come by Stanislaw Wasiutynski
Nozbe VP of Android Technologies describes what new version of Nozbe has to offer for Android users.

Designing Nozbe for Apple Watch by Radek Pietruszewski
Check out how Nozbe's become the most personal project management tool ever

Recurring Tasks by Delfina Czarniecka
You will learn how the repeating function in Nozbe can make you even more productive.

To comment, or not to comment — that is the question by Delfina Czarniecka
Nozbe's long-time Chief Happiness Officer writes about the use of comments when working on your tasks and projects.

Nozbe beta testing program by Rafal Sobolewski
Our Product Manager provides all the information that you need in order to help us make Nozbe even better.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Nozbe Affiliate Program - help others get more productive & earn extra money for the stuff you love

Nozbe has always grown via word-of-mouth spread among friends and colleagues. Our affiliate program has been running almost as long as Nozbe itself. Many users have taken advantage of it and earned additional income.


When you become an affiliate and how it works?

As described at our help page and also in your account Settings, you become an affiliate automatically once you create your Nozbe account. After you set up your nickname, your individual link gets personalized. Starting at this point, you are able to recommend Nozbe by providing your link to invitees.

Their account will get then automatically added to your statistics and once they pay their subscription, you start earning extra money. It is that easy! But there's more!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Nozbe for Android - speed, widgets and even more to come!

Hello Android users! We need to talk. Some of you might feel a bit left out due to our latest Nozbe for Apple Watch release and other tight Nozbe iOS integrations which we recently launched. I get that. But it doesn't mean that we don't love our Android users! We do! To prove it to you we decided to get back to work and deliver some exciting new features which will change the way you use Nozbe on you Android device.

Android Love

Android widget

We heard you loud and clear - Android users need to have Nozbe widget that looks and works great. For the last couple of weeks, we've been working very hard on exactly that - Android widget that saves time and thus helps you be more productive. Just take a look:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Passionate entrepreneurship and claiming back our lives - Productive! Magazine #29

29th edition of Productive! Magazine is here. This issue is a powerful one, so make sure you read it as soon as you've got a minute or two :) You will learn how to deal with difficult people, gain up to 40% of your workday and claim back your life. We also welcome you to read the interview with Simon Grabowski from GetResponse (leading email marketing tool) about the journey from a one-man shop to managing a great international company and running a marathon... at the North Pole.


No excuses accepted

We make sure everyone can read Productive! Magazine - on-line and off-line, at a desk and on the go. It is available on the web at and as an app for your iPhone, iPad and Android mobile device. If you choose the app, get it free from the App Store or Google Play and download the latest issue. Ready?

Inside No.29

Interview with Simon Grabowski, the founder and the CEO of GetResponse.

"Optimization would probably be my second name :) Because I love doing that, and, you know, sometimes it can be a little bit frustrating for those around me..."

Preston Ni, a professor, coach, and trainer shares 6 key ways of dealing with difficult people.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Possible Nozbe Tour


This summer, our long-time customer care officer and creator of that department - Delfina - is going to be visiting Denver, Colorado, USA. This has sprung a thought in our minds that maybe we should arrange for some US Nozbe mini-tour.

The origin of idea

We have been for quite a while pondering on how to more personally assist our users in the USA. Her trip provides a perfect opportunity for it, in our opinion. There are already some parties that expressed interest in having her over for a training workshop.

Why not take this further?

Having this feedback, we started wondering if we should not take it further. Perhaps, should there be enough of interest, arrange for an event? Somewhat similar to the events we had at Tokyo Apple Store in the past.

Anyone up for that?

So, is anyone up for that? If so please contact us and we'll either arrange for an event or for training workshop with her.

Friday, June 12, 2015

What it means to be noticed - Nozbe as "best new app" in the AppStore

Today our Nozbe designer Radek noticed we were placed on Apple's App Store front page on iOS (both iPhone and iPad) as one of the "best new apps". Wow. We've been on the App Store for the last five years and I never remember Apple singling us out like this. It's only on the App Store in Poland as far as I know but it's great anyway! While I'm very happy about it and my team is ecstatic as they deserved such recognition, I'd like to share my "bigger picture" about it here:

What it means to be noticed - Nozbe

Being recognized by Apple is nice. But by customers it's better!

Yes, it's nice to see your work being recognized by a big player like Apple. Especially after seeing that they usually recognize our competitors who are not really better than us...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Nozbe beta testing program

Do you want to get new versions of Nozbe earlier? Do you want to contribute and help us develop your favorite time and project management app? If you're up for the task (pun intended), we need your feedback! Consider joining our beta testing program.

Beta Tests

Beta Nozbe 2.0

Back in July 2014 we introduced beta testing program for Nozbe 2.0 It helped us a lot to develop the final product that was introduced 3 months later. Our fantastic Nozbe users provided us with a lot of feedback (bug reports and feature requests). It would be impossible to release Nozbe 2.0 without all your help. We are very lucky to have such great customers who care about Nozbe and want to help make it even better.

Nozbe Team growth

Thanks to Nozbe 2.0 success, this year we started hiring more people to our team. It is indispensable if we want to implement new features faster and with better quality. So our team is growing, we are hiring developers, testers and customer support people. Our processes are getting more mature. The future looks very bright for Nozbe and we all are very excited about this.

Test blog

Beside team growth, our community of Nozbe users is also growing. More people all over the world are getting their stuff done with Nozbe. And we are sure that a lot of them would like to contribute and help us getting our stuff done - increasing quality of your favourite productivity app. ;)