Stress is our body’s natural reaction when it comes to dealing with difficult situations in our lives. Whether it’s because you are cramming to meet your deadline, or you are late for your meetings and are rushing through the commute to work, or you probably had a fight with your significant other - all of these can trigger stress. And sure enough, stress is already a part of our everyday life. But what makes a difference is on how we can prepare our mind and body for it. Here are some tips that might help you reduce stress.
One of the things I enjoy most about running my own business is the fact that I can make my own work rules, along with my team. Together, we can build our “perfect world.” If you’ve been following Nozbe, then you may already be familiar with some aspects of our company’s approach to work: working with the latest technology; remote work (“#NoOffice” – we don’t have a physical office employees must go to); working only four days a week, where Fridays are a time scheduled for weekly reviews and personal development (dubbed “TGIF”, as in “Thank God it’s Friday”); and our constant experimentation with new ideas.
Do smartphones serve us – or do we serve them? I just recently discussed this topic on ThePodcast.fm (episodes 168 and 175). In addition, I just finished reading Cal Newport’s latest book, Digital Minimalism. All of this led me to review my system of apps, notifications and all the other stuff I constantly kept checking, even when I am spending time with my daughters… In this post, I’d like to share some of my thoughts on this subject with you.
First things first: I’m heavily biased toward Nozbe. This post will demonstrate where my bias comes from. To me, Nozbe is much more than a simple task manager: it’s a whole-life system, guiding all areas of my life.
Writing a good procedure will keep yourself and your team on track for meeting your goals in an orderly and standardized way. Read on to learn how to do it.
Lawyers often find themselves so inundated with tasks that they question why they became a lawyer in the first place. The salary can be lucrative, but the work is hard. Many lawyers feel as though they’d benefit from an extra set of hands and an extra set of eyes just to get through the day to day. If you need some productivity help on your way to becoming the best lawyer you can be, you’re not alone. It doesn’t require a miracle – it’s just a little restructuring.
Forget New Year’s Resolutions in 2019 and instead focus on accomplishing your goals.
Well-defined goals help you create a vision to work towards so you can get better results. Otherwise, you’ll be working hard to fulfill others’ objectives, not your own.
What gets measured and planned gets done… so set your targets, track your progress and easily achieve what you’ve planned this year.
With Nozbe, setting goals and working towards achieving them is easy and fun. Just see for yourself:
Productivity is the key to success. Whether you run a business, work for one, or simply work freelance, you will find that productivity plays a crucial role in the success of your work. When we think of productivity, however, we never seem to consider the importance of digital- or cybersecurity.
There are plenty of ways that cybersecurity can boost productivity, both on an individual basis and across businesses and organizations. When practicing cybersecurity to improve your productivity, you are protecting both your work and yourself—it’s a win-win situation!
Here is the list of our best articles on goals and New Year’s resolutions: how to plan them, how to stick to them and of course: achieve them!
The “10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity” by Michael Sliwinski - the simplest way to complete your goals.
Everyone can be productive. Productivity is not a rocket science. Frankly, it’s a matter of adopting a couple of habits, building a personal system and using some tricks or techniques on a daily basis.
You can struggle and learn the above from your own experience (after many years), you can read hundreds of blog posts and study productivity resources or… you can check out my latest book and become an efficient project manager in no time.
“10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity” on pre-sale!
I am so happy to announce that my new book: “10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity” is here!
(Audiobook will be available very soon on Audible and Amazon will start shipping the book on Jan 2).
We all feel down at some point in our lives. Especially when we feel like we are failing at something or that someone is better than us at something. These feelings, however normal, can break our spirit and make us not want to do more. Luckily, there are some things that you can do for yourself:
You can have the best intentions in the world, but you won’t get very far if your environment is working against those intentions. Productivity requires an environment that allows people to get things done. Making a few small modifications to your work environment can keep everyone moving forward with the maximum amount of momentum.
Have you ever continually checked the time almost every 5 minutes while you are at work? You are just too tired to cope with the day’s work and you can’t compile the work to wait till the next day. You’re now wondering how to pull through this situation.
If you wish to find out what to do in order to read faster and memorize everythig you read - we have a fantastic source of basic info for you. If your reading speed doesn’t worry you as much as stage frigth and anxiety you have to deal with before presentations, public speaking etc., we recommend this Nozbe.how template.
Ah, productivity. It can be the bane of our existence. Whether your team works remotely or in-house, when your team isn’t on the ball, productivity suffers, morale drops, and revenue goes down.
Worst of all, stuff piles up so that everyone becomes more frustrated and even less motivated. Working on your own productivity is one thing. But how the heck do you make a whole team more productive so that stuff gets done?
Reading is among the first skills we develop in school. We harness this skill throughout our life ― when driving to the office (yes, we read traffic signs), when processing our emails or digesting a report, when browsing the news, when checking social media and the list goes on. We barely see reading as an act that ignites our passion or changes our life.
Most office-based employees will be able to recognise how their working environments influence their health and wellbeing. This is where office ergonomics come in.
We know you’re doing everything to get your projects done quickly and really well. But do you and your team always look back after the project is closed to summarize the process and list the lessons learned? Just in case, we have a great cheat sheet :) The second template that we’ve prepared for you is ecology-related. We want to present you the Zero waste lifestyle and encourage you to live better!
Working with remote teams is becoming more and more common. Organizations can save a great deal of money on taxes and labor costs by hiring staff in different states or countries. But working remotely comes with a number of challenges. Coordinating groups operating in different time zones can be challenging, and communication is also a challenge. Follow these seven tips for improving and tracking your remote team’s productivity.
If you run an agency or work as a freelancer you surely know that outsourcing-like agreements can be built upon either the fixed price or the time-and-material model. Selecting one of them can be tricky as well as switching from one to another. Read on to learn everything you need to know on this topic.
So you’ve decided to give Nozbe a try. You’ve registered and downloaded the app to your computer or smartphone… We are thrilled! And you will be, too! Read on, follow the tips and take your productivity to a whole new level. Let’s get started!
Did you know you can integrate some of the time tracking apps with Nozbe? This way you will be able to view exactly how many hours you spend on various projects, tasks and other activities!
Great news for all time tracking enthusiasts: PomoDone, one of the leading apps on the market, can now track your time spent on tasks! Read how it works and how to get a free month of PomoDone 🙂
See, how the Nozbe team uses modern technologies to communicate better and get more done.
In the last episode of this season, Michael offers advice on how to maintain a healthy life despite being busy with work and responsibilities. It’s totally worth it to follow!
You are not alone – it’s our motto. You may get your work done with other people. It’s fine, however, to keep all your projects private and manage them individually. Nozbe gives you all the tools you need to work independently!
Distractions are a killer. In fact, studies have been done on this, and they show that the average worker losers 759 hours a year to distractions. That’s 759 hours of your life that could have taken you closer to goals and dreams that could change your life. It’s crazy, and it’s going to be a wake-up call to many.
Have you ever tried to negotiate an important thing for yourself? A pay-rise? A discount when buying a car? A better offer? There are dozens of situations in which negotiating skills can come pretty useful. Use our new Nozbe.how template and learn the most important rules that will help you succeed. The second template that we have prepared for you is a super practical guide for people planning to buy a laptop.
Is Pomodoro effective? What are the alternatives? That’s all in today’s episode of “Ask Michael”!
Are you waiting for a data sheet to be delivered by your subordinates? Are you waiting for a daunting task that has been in the air for a while, but your boss keeps procrastinating to delegate and specify? Are you waiting for a colleague’s response as to whether he/she would like to participate in your project? Are you waiting for the brand-new headphones that you ordered recently?
If some of those sound familiar to you, you may have some things on you plate, or rather on someone else’s plate, and this is the key here.
How long does it take to switch to GTD? And where do you start?
Batching in productivity means grouping similar tasks and getting them done at a certain time, one after another. Why is that better than doing them separately? Michael has the answer!
A long, long time ago (it’s been almost six years!) I started using my iPad not only for consuming content but also for work. It started off as an experiment on April 8th, 2012, after I picked up my newly ordered white iPad 3 with Retina display, 3G and ZaggKeys Flex Bluetooth keyboard.
Initially, I wanted to give it a 30-day trial to see whether I could change the way I work by completing about 80% of my tasks on the iPad. Although that iPad was based on iOS6 (with all the limitations of that operating system), the experiment turned out to be a success. From that moment on, I didn’t want to go back to my old mode of working. I even convinced my friend Augusto Pinaud, who also uses his iPad for work, to write a book together with me. That’s how, a year later, on July 12th, 2013, the book “#iPadOnly – The first real post-PC book. How to use only your iPad to work, play and everything in between” was created.
During the latest Nozbe Reunion, as usually, we spent a couple of hours sharing our personal productivity tips and insights that we’ve gathered since the last meeting. We listed many fantastic ideas and time savers! Some of them are particularly worthy of sharing with a wider audience! I think you might find them life-changing.
Today, project managers are being asked to run more projects with smaller teams around tight deadlines. These outrageous demands are making it harder for managers to reach project completion. In fact, less than one-third of all projects were successfully completed on time and on budget over the past year.
To pull off a successful project, managers need to master productivity — easier said than done. Juggling between the roles of a creator, manager, team player, strategist, and a leader — being productive is relatively difficult.
The good news it is possible for project managers to master productivity. With these 6 nifty productivity tips, you can get more done in a day without having to break your back — it’s all about working smart.
There are so many terrific productivity books on the market. Is there space for another one? Yes, we’re quite sure about that! Learn why Michael is going to publish his book “10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity.”
There are many benefits of being able to take online classes at home. Studying from home makes it possible to have a job, take care of your children and save money on gas. Also, there are many options regarding what you can study: a foreign language, writing, marketing and even university courses. There’s no reason as to why you can’t focus on self-development: if you have internet, some free time and a computer, you have everything you will need.
1. Every day, select the THREE most important tasks to accomplish
Choose three tasks that will push your plans forward, or the three most important tasks, and find the time for their execution.
Every day, we face dozens, if not hundreds, of different tasks. Getting them all done is impossible. Without determining what’s most important to you, you may not find the time to accomplish them. Some things will need to wait, while other tasks will take precedence.
Figure out what’s most important to you!
Presenting is tough but for many people it is also critical to their success at work. While we can’t all give mesmerizing speeches, there are lots of small things we can do to improve presentation skills. We got you some great tips and tricks in our latest Nozbe.how template. If you are thinking of having your own podcast - there is a practical guide for this too!
In my previous blog post, I described new workflows for my morning and evening routine, as well as some other ways for automating productive habits. After it came out, some people asked me how it is possible that a productivity guy like me uses several different apps for taking notes. Where is the effectiveness and simplification in all that? Where did the idea of using several apps that basically do the same thing come from?
The Polish edition of the “10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity” book is on the market. Now we’re working on the English edition! Learn how you will be able to get your copy.
All Facebook users should be concerned about their security and privacy – not only because of the scandal with Cambridge Analytica that has been revealed a couple of weeks ago. A data leak is just one of the threats that can affect you. It’s time to check your protection, set privacy boundaries… or leave Facebook altogether. All with this nifty, all-in-one checklist.
January and February have passed. March is slowly reaching its end. But it’s never too late to review and reflect on your actions. You can always handle your matters in such a manner as to make your year great in every way. Read on to find out what tips I have for you regarding this subject.
One of the best things about Nozbe.how public templates is that they’re accessible for both their creators and their audiences. How can you find them? And in what languages are they available? That’s what this episode is about!
Depending on where you live in the world, Spring is often a season of “new things”. In this post, Nozbe Ambassador Mike St. Pierre shares strategies for aligning your productivity with the new opportunities of the season.
What gets you closer to your goals – to what you want to achieve or to the kind of person you want to become?
It’s been almost 3 months since you set up your goals and created the action plan for 2018. Are you sure all your strategies are working out? Don’t your tasks, projects and decisions need a detailed review?
There are so many things you can do with mind maps! If traditional notes with bullet points are not enough for you to brainstorm efficiently, mind mapping may become your life saver.
Waiting at your desk for your computer to boot up or for a website to load is usually only nominally frustrating because you’re relatively in control – plus, you have things with which to occupy yourself. Similarly, waiting at either your home or office for someone to arrive affords you the opportunity to take care of other tasks, although you still might feel slightly imposed upon.
This month we thought of you and your beloved one ♥ If you still have no idea what to do on Valentine’s day and how to organize the best date - you can’t afford to miss this month’s Nozbe.how template.
Do you ever find yourself in a rush for work and without the time to grab anything to eat before leaving the house? Or do you just go straight to your favourite bakery to pick up a donut or a large caramel latte macchiato with skim milk and whipped cream on top? And only an hour later, you’re probably surprised to find yourself sluggish and unable to focus at work.
We all know that staying energized and focused for eight hours a day can be a hard task. Sometimes, even after having a good night’s sleep, you feel tired and not really able to work. You can, however, eat your way to a more effective day. Read on to learn what to eat to be more productive!
We all started 2018 with an intention to fulfill our goals. It is a state of mind that leads us to push ourselves even further in life and in work, no matter what we achieved the previous year. The last day of 2017 came and went, and during the celebration of the New Year, it is likely that your mind wandered to the achievements you hope to accomplish in this year to come.
We asked Nozbe Ambassadors - people who we consider to be productivity gurus and real overachievers - to share some goal-setting tips. See how Chad Garrett, Robby Miles, Mike St. Pierre, Matt Olech and Żaneta Jażdżyk plan their best year ever.
When you plan, you plan to succeed, don’t you? And this is the first step towards it :) When you plan wisely and carefully, you design your way to success, anticipate possible problems and adapt the “trail difficulty” to your abilities. It’s worth planning. And the January Nozbe.how templates will help you with this: New Year, new me and Productivity planner
Suppose that you have a major presentation coming up that might enable you to land a big client for your company. Are you relaxed enough to be at your best? Let me offer a story and some observations that drive home a crucial point.
A good productivity planner can easily help you boost your efficiency and achieve your goals. It gives you the opportunity to come in, push everything aside, and focus on what you need to get done for the day. With a smart system, you will begin every morning with a clear action plan and ample motivation.
Some of us make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, work out more often, etc. But the fact is that only 12 out of 100 people really stick to their resolutions. Why is that? Which New Year’s resolutions will you keep?
Wow! And here we are in 2018! Time flies, and that’s why we are constantly learning how not to waste it! Let’s start with planning our new year’s resolutions, setting big goals and following productive routines. Join Michael’s upcoming webinar, and make 2018 the best year ever!
Here is a gift we have for you this Christmas: a free recording of a fantastic webinar dedicated to weekly reviews and making Fridays really special.
Stay on top of your life thanks to an end-of-year review and buy the best Christmas presents - December Nozbe.how templates
Use the following step-by-step guides to conduct a perfect personal end-of-year review and to buy the right Christmas gifts! You can apply this month’s templates right away and share them to inspire others, too.
Are you living in real time or are you trying to catch up? Sometimes, in the quest to catch up with today, overturning some of your time-honored routines can help. For example:
Let’s take a look at stress from a slightly different perspective, moving away from psychology and putting the blame on the times we live in. It is important to be practical and down to earth as we review its causes. Let’s also see how to avoid stressfull situations. Here we go.
Use the following step-by-step guides to learn two useful things: how to create mind maps and how to take beautiful photos. With these templates, you can adjust our ideas to your needs, apply them right away and share them to inspire others, too.
When you feel as if you’re not being as productive as you could be, or that you have strayed from your desired path, ask yourself: “What is the most effective use of my time?”
I wrote this post to show you how I transformed my weekly review in the GTD style. It saves me two hours total each month, which I can now devote to things I enjoy outside of work. Read on and try it yourself.
The fact that you are reading this invitation means you want to optimize your workflow and review it regularly. That’s great! Perhaps your to-do list is long and you’re trying to find a way to control it, or perhaps you want to manage your workload better to maximize efficiency. If so, our upcoming webinar is definitely for you!
Most of my clients are completely overwhelmed when it comes to work. They are typically over committed and under organized, so when it comes time to get things done, very often they don’t know where to begin. They open their productivity app of choice and glance at their Priority or “Due” list and don’t know where to begin because they have 35 tasks “due” today. This is an easy habit to get into and thankfully there is an easy solution, with two ways to mitigate this problem.
Relentless work stress and routine gradually push you into burnout? It is a serious problem that affects not just your own performance and well-being. See how you can reinvent yourself on the job and rediscover what initially attracted you to this profession.
Master your projects using Gantt charts and learn how to write a book - brand new Nozbe.how templates
Use the following step-by-step guides to boost your productivity with Gantt charts and make your dream to write a book come true. Adjust our ideas to your needs, apply right away and share them to inspire the others too.
It feels like all those little tasks are demanding your time and you never have time for the tasks that really matter? We get overloaded with the urgent tasks instead of focusing on what’s important. It doesn’t have to be this way! Try using the Eisenhower Matrix to identify your real priorities.
Which kind of coffee will energize you the best? For sure the one that contains lots of caffeine. It’s pretty obvious. So which coffee to choose, then? That is not so obvious at all. The common opinion is that coffee with a strong taste is the most powerful and contains the greatest amount of caffeine. Actually it works the other way round.
Today you’ll learn how to store notes and attachments related to your projects. It’s pretty easy with project attachments!
Research indicate that human beings are better able to handle challenges earlier in the day rather than later. Peak energy and alertness for most people is at 8 a.m. Also, fewer interruptions are likely earlier in the day.
Use the following step-by-step instructions to guide you in difficult situations and boost your productivity. Adjust our ideas to your needs, apply right away and share them to make the others’ lives easier.
We rely deeply on cloud solutions. Dropbox is one of them: it’s where we store our team files. Watch the new episode to learn how it looks under the hood!
In this post I’d like to share with you 6 ideas on how to de-clutter your to-do list, even when you feel like you’ll never dig yourself out of all your obligations. I’ll show you how I managed to achieve “zen” in Nozbe by minimizing and simplifying many things and letting go of rules I thought were important for a long time.
A prepared meeting is better, more effective and more enjoyable than other meetings. Even reunions! Today Michael shows how this works in our company.
Since we prepared our [“Back to Work” promo][s] to motivate you to achieve all your goals by the end of the year, we’ve decided to run a special webinar to share our best tips to help you get all your projects done in time!
Michael comments on two popular apps that we use in our work: GitHub and Confluence.
How do you become more productive and better organized? You will find some answers in this blog for sure. Now I want to focus on something else: how to take the first step and get started. For most of you the answer might be simple and right in front of you, on your desk. And it tastes like nothing else – coffee! If you are the kind of person who can’t imagine work without a cup of coffee, this post is for you. Caffeine can work even better than you think and it may increase your efficiency. Let me show you how.
Welcome back to the “Ask Michael” Show! This time, Michael discusses what it’s like to run a fully remote company.
After an active summer, we’re bringing back your favorite productivity series on YouTube :)
Productive people know that time is the most precious resource they have. And that good organization skills and effective scheduling are the keys to success.
Use the following step-by-step guides to boost your productivity. Adjust, apply and share them to make life easier.
We have all had difficult colleagues. You know, those peers that cause you to roll your eyes and complain when they are not around. Difficult colleagues make work harder and create even more headaches for the person who has to manage her/him.
Our favourite part of each webinar is the Q&A session so our last webinar was dedicated entirely to answering questions! Tens of participants took their chance to AMA - Ask Michael Anything! And he replied to as many as he could! :-)
Watch the recording and see how you can improve your productivity with Michael’s tips.
Recently we heard this from a Nozbe user:
Hi. With Nozbe I became much more productive. So productive, that I have the feeling that what I have to do never ends. I do so many things that before I would have left out and when something is done, there’s always many things to be done again. So it never stops. Would be great to have a blog post to discuss this topic, have your point of view and tips to continue to have a work-life balance when you have such a powerful productivity tool in your hands :-).
And so, here are 10 ways to deal with a never-ending to-do list. Follow these tips and enjoy some more free time.
It’s Tuesday evening. I called it a day and grabbed a book since I could finally go to bed. Although the book is super interesting I can’t focus on it at all. I keep thinking about how unproductive I’ve been today…
And voilá! Here’s a list of things I tend to waste my time on. I wrote it down in order to try to eliminate some silly cases of negligence and counter-productive habits. I hope you’ll make your list too, and try to work on crossing a few or them out.
Use the following step-by-step guides to boost your productivity. Read, modify and apply them to work less but smarter.
How to start using Kanban
Ladies and gentlemen we are thrilled to announce the Nozbe.how contest winners.
The contest began on June 19. You could submit your templates until June 30. We asked you to prove your creativity and you did! We received loads of practical project templates via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. There were Nozbe.how templates in Chinese, Russian, Korean and Dutch to name a few. You had cool ideas in all kinds of areas: Home & Family, Work & Business, etc.
And here it is:
The list of winners
Our favourite part of each webinar is the Q&A session so this webinar will be dedicated entirely to answering your questions! Watch the webinar recording:
If so - we have a surprise for you!
And if you took part in the live session but would like to watch it again - we’ve got something for you, too!
Here is the recording of the webinar that Michael ran on June 22. The CEO of Nozbe presented the 3 steps to achieve each and every goal and explained how to do that using Nozbe. He also showed how to plan your holidays applying our brand new Nozbe.how templates.
A vacation is a great time to do the things you normally (perhaps wrongly) wouldn’t dare to spend your time on. With no 9-to-5 job you get some extra space - both physically and mentally. Unless you’re going on an extreme journey in the Himalayas or something, try to use this time to reset your “hard drive,” charge the batteries and reflect on how to live better, work smarter and be happier :-)
June project templates - especially for beginners in marketing, essentialism and… creating project templates
You’re about to see a couple of project templates that you can use for yourself right away, save for later or share with a friend who’s looking for advice in marketing or constantly overvaluing nonessentials. You’ll also get a chance to learn how to create handy project templates.
Don’t let others prioritize your life
We’re thrilled to announce two important things about Nozbe.how:
1) Its new beautiful and functional design
2) a worldwide contest for the best project templates.
Do you remember what Nozbe.how is?
Thanks to Nozbe.how templates you can actively share your own projects with others. They are super handy for bloggers, coaches and anyone who wants to show others how to act more efficiently and optimize their work.
All you need to know about Nozbe.HOW is here.
We’re so excited! Let’s move on to the news!
This is a guest post by Mike St. Pierre, Nozbe Ambassador and online coach. Nozbe users get a 20% discount on Mike’s new productivity system, “Never Miss a Thing”!
My name is Mike St. Pierre, a non-profit leader in America and a Nozbe aficionado. My team uses Nozbe and it’s increased our productivity by 30-40% since utilizing the shared list features and the ability to delegate tasks.
In this post, I’ll be sharing how my new productivity system, Never Miss a Thing, features a “first premise” and it relates nicely to Nozbe.
Here comes another guest post on our blog. This time a fantastic Nozbe user, Michele Wiedemer of Virtual Customer Learning shares her top methods for adding tasks to Nozbe. See whether you know all the options she describes :-)
My name is Michele Wiedemer. I’ve been freelancing for over 10 years (as a technical writer, tutorial video developer, instructional designer, and eLearning developer), and during that time, I’ve tried several different systems and methods of keeping track of tasks in multiple projects. I found Nozbe a little over a year ago, and I can barely remember the crazy hectic way I used to manage my projects. Though I had been incrementally implementing David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology since I first read the book in about 2006, it wasn’t until Nozbe came into my life that GTD really started clicking for me.
This is a fantastic guest post by Fokke Kooistra – a Nozbe user, a Dutch productivity guru and a coach. See what functions projects play in his personal way of using our app.
For many people, a project is a set of actions that will result in a desired outcome in one way or another. Projects can happen in business, but they’re also happening in your personal life. When we at Think Productive deliver workshops, helping participants create a list of projects is key for creating productive momentum.
But projects don’t always have a positive vibe to them. Missed deadlines, blown budgets and stress are typical reactions you get if you ask people for words that they associate with the term ‘Project.’ A lot of Nozbe users that I talk to are sometimes stuck in that mindset for using the project functionality of Nozbe. They look at the Projects section in the same way that they experience projects in their own work and life. But there are a lot of other uses for the Projects section, and in this post I will outline a few smart uses that you can try.
An interview with Dominik Juszczyk, Gallup-Certified Strengths coach, who helps teams increase their productivity and efficiency.
During our last Nozbe reunion you conducted a workshop for our team. It was all about our talents :-) The workshop was based on our results from the StrengthsFinder test created by the Gallup Strengths Center that we took beforehand. What are “talents” anyway?
Hearing the word “talent,” we usually think of someone who can sing, dance or do something different, unique. We think of them in terms of the popular “Got Talent” TV show. Working according to the talents and strengths-based development method, we use a different definition. A talent may be an ability to make quick decisions, adopt a cautious approach to a problem, analyze other people’s emotions, or talk to strangers. Each of these traits is a talent. The Gallup Organization’s official definition of a talent is an innate and recurring pattern of reaction, feeling and action.
One of the basic productivity rules is to do less but do it better or, in other words, don’t work more, work smarter. Reinventing the wheel is counterproductive. That’s why Nozbe comes with a super-handy feature: project templates… that can be published and shared with others whenever you want. Nozbe.how templates let you create recurrent, editable projects that are pre-populated with tasks. You can use them to show your friends and followers the way you plan, get organized and get things done.
Here are a few project templates that Nozbe community members have created lately.
Today is the last day of our semi-annual Nozbe Reunion - where our “No Office” team meets to hang out, socialize, discuss, brainstorm and work together in one physical space. This reunion was very fruitful as we’ve discovered a next step in productivity evolution: Nozbe Stories.
Nozbe is a very mature product that helps more than 400,000 people all around the world to get things done. More than 10 years in business, we want to keep the product simple, effective and dependable so instead of bloating it with all the features possible, we’re searching for the next step of innovation and productivity. What’s the one feature that would take our product to the next level? We believe we found it: it’s Nozbe Stories! Here’s why:
This is a guest post by Chad Garrett - our ambassador, power-user and a tremendous advocate for the GTD. See which Nozbe features he uses and how he deals with “loose tasks”.
My name is Chad Garrett and I am President of Productivity Grid, LLC and a Nozbe Ambassador. Nozbe is really the perfect productivity tool. I am a huge advocate for David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology and Nozbe fits perfectly into this workflow. So how do I use Nozbe? Let’s start with where I put my tasks.
Everything in Nozbe goes into a project (as defined in GTD, anything that takes two or more steps to complete). I currently have around 75 projects. This may seem like a lot, but in reality it isn’t - we are all this busy!
I’m not that creative… and worse yet - I’m blonde. I still happen to have ideas, though. Sometimes :-) When I need to, I force myself to reflect and come up with a nice solution or plan. More often, interesting thoughts just pop into my head in the most unexpected situations… Because I don’t want to lose these little treasures, I always capture them. I encourage you to do the same.
The purpose of all this commotion?
Idea dumping is a really handy procedure - whether you do it routinely or spontaneously. Thoughts in your mind, although precious, can be a hindrance to productivity. When they float around in your head, they will surface again and again at inappropriate times, stress you out and, worse still, be lost when they are actually needed.
You might want to run idea-dumping sessions for two reasons:
As a tech company, we’re armed with many apps to run our business. Some of you are curious about which apps we use and how. That’s where “Ask Michael” comes in!
Since we’re in No Office model, we have no other choice than using the best available services and applications to get our work done, to communicate and to discuss our efforts. But that’s just one side of the coin. In fact, playing with new things and upgrading our toolset is our passion. :)
When you are faced with dozens of things to do in a day, optimizing and streamlining become essential. Following routines and creating processes that can be easily implemented and reused is key. That’s why Nozbe comes with a super-handy feature: project templates… that can be published and shared with others whenever you want. Nozbe.how templates let you show your friends and followers the way you plan, get organized and get things done.
See what project templates Nozbe community members have created lately.
*Today, we’ve got a really amazing article written by Gene Rosen, a loyal & active Nozbe user. Here he is!*
I stumbled upon Nozbe several years ago while searching – yet again – for the ideal multi-platform task management system. Even then, Nozbe had a clean, crisp, and powerful interface. Today, Nozbe stands alone as the ultimate expression of a well-designed task management system.
Each new version of Nozbe allows me to update and refine my personal productivity workflow. Nozbe, the company, works very closely with their user community to keep the flow of ideas moving and growing.
Here comes Productive! Magazine no.34 - the latest and the last issue of our periodical.
The reason we stop working on our magazine (that have been on-line for more than 8 years) is… essentialism :-) Michael, our Editor in Chief, explains his decision in details in his article that you will find inside this edition.
Interview with Greg McKeown
Watch our Webinar recording: “Your Productivity Evolution: from Personal to Business in the last 10 years of Nozbe”
Today, it’s time to take you back to the beginning, and show you what got us to today. This is a long post, but it’s worth reading if you’re curious how we got to this point. Let’s turn back the time machine and head back to 2007!
It’s still astonishing to us that Michael’s little side project has evolved into a productivity platform with an enormous community and a great team. So many factors got Nozbe on its current path. Both coincidences and hard work.
You might not be surprised (if you have already read Michael’s “It’s all about Passion” book, among others) to learn that Nozbe wasn’t intended to be a global business. It was just a quick and dirty solution for organization issues.
It was 2005. Michael, known today as The Productivity Guy and the author of #iPadOnly, was a PC user. Hard to believe, huh? There’s more than that: before he read “Getting Things Done,” he kept organized with MS Outlook – just like many other folks in those days.
Michael was a marketing consultant. He worked from home, helping other businesses get better results online. Because he worked with their websites, he learned HTML, PHP and MySQL (technologies needed to build modern websites). And he had a lot of fun coding.
But managing projects for many clients at the same time became a struggle. Then he got David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done”. Convinced by the method, but not by its reliance on paper, he searched for a digital solution.
Inspired by David’s method I built a tool that’d help me achieve my goals and implement the GTD system in real life. I spent a whole day researching the web to find a tool I needed for this […] and finally when I found nothing, I dedicated one weekend to building a very simple, bare-bones web-based tool. (from “It’s all about Passion”)
In the next few months, he spent some time fixing bugs and making new features. And he still thought about Nozbe as a simple project only for himself. Initially, there was no plan to make money.
Michael had already tried running his own business. Michael and Victor created a simply email reminder service called… Nozbe. They offered a subscription but only a few users decided to pay. This project, like a later one, failed quickly, because they focused on making money. Michael gave up, but he learned a lesson. It was a chance to take entrepreneurial baby-steps. And now he already had a fancy name for the next project.
You may know Michael as a #NoOffice evangelist, for proving that a remote company is a reliable and effective model. In fact, the idea isn’t new. Nozbe reminder was developed using tools like ICQ and FTP. Now it would be Slack or iMessage and Dropbox. Is that really so different?
Tools have changed, but not the methods.
Now let’s focus on 2007 - the launch:
Tracking goals, regular fitness, setting up habits – that’s all possible if you’re motivated and disciplined. We already know this; however, when we read this post on Reddit, we were amazed by the outstanding progress made by the author, therealleotrotsky in a relatively short time!
Since he agreed to publish his achievements on our Blog, we’re proud to share his words. Read, get inspired and follow his determination :)
We’d like to introduce you to Marc Woodland – the founder and CEO of Winbox, a specialist email marketing company for small and medium-sized businesses. As a team, Winbox uses a setup of apps to help them on daily basis. Read how Marc manages clients with Nozbe!
Marc is one of those business founders who succeeded by responding to the need of a market they already know and belong to. As a marketing guy, he knew that small companies need a reliable, non-spamming and easy-to-use email sender. And that’s where Winbox comes in! For us, the best part of the story is that Nozbe has been one piece of the puzzle and helped the Winbox team to manage their projects.
As Nozbe users we like checking off boxes (and killing to-do lists) and we know you do, too. That’s why today we have something special for you. Our good friend (and Nozbe user!) Michael Hyatt just came out with a cool way to measure your productivity.
It’s a free test you can take online, in just a few minutes, and you’ll get a personalized productivity score. That’s right, you’ll get a concrete number and an explanation of your efficiency level. You’re already pretty savvy for using Nozbe. Take Michael’s free assessment to reach the next level!
Some people rely on their calendars completely: they work on reducing blank holes in their schedule, minimizing time spent in meetings and tasks and optimizing processes. But what if this isn’t enough to fully improve our workdays?
You have work to do, deadlines are looming. Then: a crash, theft, damage… We’ve all experienced this (or, at least, we know people who have). If you’re #iPadOnly and have a secondary device, lucky you. But if you’re not, you are forced to use a public or friend’s device.
Or, a more prosaic scenario: in some companies people work on restricted computers, and employees cannot install software from outside a whitelist.
Fortunately, the modern web is replete with full-featured tools ready to assist you through your browser, regardless of operating system. This means that any time you’re connected to the internet, you’re already armed with powerful productivity weapons! Here are my favorite tools. Some of them are always open in my browser, even on my own laptop.
After the amazing success of our previous productivity webinars, we decided to do another one next week and give you a chance to AMA - Ask Me Anything!
Leave a comment below or send us email (email@example.com) with your question! I’ll choose the best ones and answer them on the webinar as well as give you a chance to ask your questions live!
The webinar will take place next Thursday, August 11 at:
- 10am PDT - Los Angeles, San Francisco
- 11am MDT - Denver
- 12pm CDT - Chicago, Nashville
- 1pm EDT - New York
- 18:00 (6pm) GMT - London
- 19:00 CET - Madrid, Paris, Warsaw
You are going on holiday soon? Or maybe you have just got back? You’re in the middle? Never mind! This issue of Productive! Magazine will inspire you and make you more productive anyway :-)
Please, note that this is the next to last edition of our free productivity magazine.
See what’s inside:
Interview with Laura McClellan
Laura McClellan — the host of The Productive Woman podcast — has been married over 37 years to the same man. She’s mom to five, grandmother to seven and an attorney in a large Dallas law firm. After hours she hosts The Productive Woman, a weekly podcast about productivity for busy women. During her “spare time” Laura is polishing her first novel, a winner in several fiction contests.
In the Productive! Magazine interview she talks about the secret behind long-lasting relationships, differences in women’s and men’s approach to productivity and her top productivity tactics.
Continuing last week’s tradition of sending you fitness advice, here’s mine. A little over 2 years ago I decided to really get back in shape. I was already running 10-15km per week but after a knee injury I decided to lose weight and start doing other sports than just jogging. Thanks to the “Slow carb diet” I lost 8kg / 16lbs and thanks to a friend who convinced me to give it a shot, in 2014 I completed 2 sprint-distance triathlons and 1 Olympic-distance triathlon. The last one became my perfect distance: 1,5km swim, 40km (24.9 miles) bike ride and 10km (6.2 miles) run. A little under 3 hours of fun. Last year I did two of those and this year I already did one in April, I’ll do next one this coming Sunday and the third one in September. Now, the key to getting it right, besides being in shape, is a great packing list, because these are three different sports you have to do with only a minute to change between them, so you better have everything in place. That’s why while preparing to my last triathlon I decided to create this handy packing list for both me and you:
Thanks to our cool Nozbe.how shared template system I created this checklist as a project template in Nozbe so you can either open it and use right away or import to your Nozbe account.
If you’re curious about some of the details about why I structured this template the way I did, here goes:
Tomorrow all Dutch people will celebrate Koningsdag - King’s Day. Their streets, clothes, and faces will turn orange. We want to show how much we love our users from Netherlands, so we’re sending our best orange wishes!
For those who start writing, for the most part the act itself is not a problem at all. I started several blogs in the past and writing was never an issue.
What was then? Well, attracting the audience and keeping it.
And that is closely related to the way you write, the titles you formulate, the topics you choose, the regularity you post you articles with and of course - with a promo strategy you pursue.
The new issue of Productive! Magazine is here. This edition features remarkable articles that will help you change the way you see and do thing. Your efficiency is about to rocket!
Inside No.32: interview with Sean Platt, probably the most prolific author in the world :-) and articles on focus ritual, anti-procrastination habits, broken windows, “just this once” syndrome and increasing your writing productivity.
People have different hobbies. One like to knit, another to paint and yet someone else, like me, loves mechanics and his/her car. Last year, I made my huge car dream come true - Mazda Rx-8. 12 years since the premier they are still not what you would call cheap. But once you decide for a car like that costs are unavoidable. It is iconic not only because it is one of very few run by a Wankle engine but also for the timeless design of the body and it’s fascinating driving properties.
Should you look for a car that offers pure fun of driving curvy roads… that’s the one you should consider.
I started out my QA (Quality Assurance) career working full-time. After 2 years, I tried a freelance remote job. A constantly changing client base and the lack of financial security was rough and difficult compared to a stable full-time contract.
But I did it - I went freelance and was testing software for many clients. Along with a high volume of work, a need of uber-productivity and perfect time management kicked in. I started to look for the best solutions, and soon I found Nozbe… First, as my top productivity tool and then also as an employer who hired me as a full-time QA person.
We can learn a lot from specific, real-life use cases. Check out how Brian negotiates with himself using task headers.
I am a Christian Pastor at First Christian Church in Decatur, IL.
My journey with task management began with Stephen Covey’s “7 habits of highly effective people” in college; and then was further honed by David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” several years ago.
Traveling alone, traveling with kids, traveling on a budget, around the world, with friends… No matter which way you choose, it guarantees precious experience, unforgettable lessons and a new way of looking at certain things.
A good deal of planning
I’ve always tried to travel a lot. Alone or with friends when at the uni, then - with my partner and now - with an extra luggage (our 6-year old son and a daughter on the way.) One of the things I’ve learned so far is that planning is important providing you don’t exaggerate. There is a couple of things about it:
“I ultimately knew I wanted to have conversations with people” - Erik Fisher
After talking to Erik Fisher on his Beyond the To-Do List podcast, Michael (our CEO) thought it would be great to present the BTTDL host to the whole Nozbe community.
Here is the outcome: a great interview on productivity essentials and Erik’s methods for planning and staying on top of things.
Spare less than 15 minutes of your time and learn:
We say that meetings are toxic and are the time of your workday “where minutes are taken and hours are wasted.” Does it always have to be like that? Is there something we could do, to retool them and make them more effective?
“Meetings exist for a reason, annoying as they may be. Decisions are made, problems are solved, bonds are formed, and the needle is moved in meetings. The higher you go in management, the more meetings are your work.” - admits Laura Stack in her article for Productive! Magazine. It’s true, so lets see, what - according to Laura Stack - may be done to plan and run the meeting that actually solves problems and ends up with a specific decisions and set of tasks delegated to right people.
Valentine’s Day. Or Feast of Saint Valentine… It began as a liturgical celebration of a Christian saint named Valentinus. About 300 years ago in England, it evolved into an occasion on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards.
Today, it’s celebrated in many countries all around the world, although, probably, it is not a public holiday in any of them.
Whether you prefer Valentines or Anti-Valentines we have something for you!
And while many of us want to spend Valentine’s Day in a traditional way (Americans, for example, will spend $18.9 billion on Valentine’s Day this year!… And they will also spend more than $700 million on Valentine’s gifts … for their pets :-)), in some countries many Anti-Valentines parties will take place. Apparently, some people want to express their annoyance with the way 14 February got commercialized…
One thing is sure: as far as we’re living in a free world we can celebrate it as we want to :)
Productive! Magazine is a regular dose of inspiring, practical and timeless articles written by the best productivity experts on the Internet. Over the years, it has given Nozbe users much inspriation and aid in their day-to-day work.
It seems that none of the material found therein has depreciated over time. Therefore, we have concluded to create a compilation of 5 really interesting articles along with accompanying Nozbe.how templates to let you implement the advice they offer right away :-)
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.
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:
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.
*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 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.
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.”
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…
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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!)
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:
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.
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.
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:
You can filter by a label narrowing your list of projects only to those with that given one.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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. ;)
I’ve been traveling a lot this past month and as I kept meeting with people asking me about business, success… and Nozbe’s features, one question clearly stood out in all this: who is your target customer for Nozbe? Consumer? Prosumer? Small business? Enterprise? Who??? … And my answer was pretty surprising to most of the people I met: ideal customer for Nozbe is a person (or a group of people) who value their time. Let me explain:
Time is money
There are countless tools that will help you get things done. Some are free, some are cheap, some are more expensive than others… But the point is that time is indeed money and you should find a solution that works for you. That makes you more productive. That saves you time. And here’s how to do it: