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Ask Michael S03E09: Successful communication with customers

Our use of the Pyramid of Communication is not limited to just internal collaboration; we also employ the general rules of successful communication in our Customer Support. Listen here to learn why it’s crucial to set expectations for your clients!

Join us on August 3 and Ask Michael Anything!

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:

Special video for our 10th anniversary

As you probably know, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Nozbe this year. On this occasion we’re thrilled to show you how great YOU are :) It was a demanding decade. As you can read in one of our previous blog posts, the early stage of Nozbe was a pretty difficult time as Michael (the CEO and Founder) worked on Nozbe as a side project - in the evenings, right after finishing his day job.

Watch our Webinar recording: “Your Productivity Evolution: from Personal to Business in the last 10 years of Nozbe”

We were blown away by how many people signed up and attended our live webinar. It went so well that we decided to share the recording with you. We hope it will help you “refresh” your productivity powers and the tips and tricks will give you what it takes to achieve all of your goals this year and beyond! Watch the recording of our LIVE webinar: “Your Productivity Evolution: from Personal to Business in the last 10 years of Nozbe”:

The history of Nozbe – from the beginning to our 10th anniversary

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.

Beginnings

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:

What We’ve Learned About Weekly Review And TGIF After 8 Weeks

During the Nozbe Reunion in October, we had the opportunity to discuss a new policy in our company, called “Thank God It’s Friday” (we mentioned it in our previous post). It’s tough to admit, but before we launched it, hardly any of us had been doing a regular review. Michael decided to change that, and now we can reveal our conclusions and tips for everyone who would like to follow the “TGIF” policy.

Design your Friday

The main lesson for Friday-lovers is to focus on your own schedule. Think of TGIF as a day designed by yourself, not imposed on you by your day-to-day duties, a task list or your boss. You are the only one who decides what to do after the review.

TGIF - Nozbe team’s attempt at working less, but better

We have a new policy at Nozbe. We treat Fridays differently. And we call it “Piąteczek” (in Polish), which you could translate to: TGIF as in “Thank God It’s Friday”. Here’s what it’s all about:

Note: This is a short version of the post I originally posted on Medium where I post about remote working as a part of NoOffice publication. I’d appreciate if you followed me there and recommended my posts, thanks!

Note 2: If you prefer a different “audio” version of this article, we discussed this new TGIF policy with my co-host Radek at the #60 episode of The Podcast. We came back to the topic in the #70 episode.

Introducing an experimental policy that will give us a more productive, yet shorter workweek with more time for a weekly review and for learning new things… or not.

We’re already quite an unorthodox company. We all work remotely from our homes and we don’t have a single physical office. We’ve been working like this for almost a decade and hundreds of thousands of users of our Nozbe app don’t seem to mind that at all.

But we’re not unorthodox just for the sake of it. We are like that because it works. Because we enjoy a better lifestyle thanks to our “No Office” arrangement.

After all, we’re a productivity company. When we experiment, we do it for a reason. To work better. To be better. To grow better. And this new policy is supposed to help us exactly at that.

And it all started with 3 questions that I couldn’t get off of my mind:

Nozbe Values

This post is a little different. It’s about the company principles that we believe in and strive for.

During one of my weekly reviews, I was struck by how I’d made some recent decisions. These were all about company issues like the internal discussion about our #NoOffice approach, meeting with team mates in May, and some business-related topics. I felt like I hadn’t been consistent.

I wasn’t sure if I had been right and, actually, why I’d made the decisions I had.

Meet the Nozbe Team - people who make the productivity magic happen

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:

Nozbe? Because we want you to Be Naturally OrganiZed!

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.