Time management: Get productive with Nozbe, the best cross platform GTD app!

Getting Things Done with Nozbe

If you use GTD (Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity) as your way to manage your tasks and projects, Nozbe is the best solution, especially if you use multi devices.

Why Nozbe?

It uses the GTD methodology.

GTD is a task/action management methodology that was created and made very popular (especially among technical people) by David Allen in his bestselling book: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Rather than working with daily to do list (that will get blown away when your boss enters your office and ‘asks’ to make that presentation or report he has to present at 2 pm) David Allen introduced a system where you assign tasks or actions to a context where these tasks can be performed (eg. At the office, on-line, at a computer, at the phone, ..) And you bundle tasks in projects. Nozbe is designed to follow this methodology.

Secure Cloud service

Nozbe can sync over WiFi but also over a data connection from your Desktop client, iPhone, iPad or Android phone. The synchronization is seamless. And since you sync in the Cloud, you have access to your Nozbe data on almost any device or computer.

Multi-platform

Nozbe is available on several platforms. I use Nozbe on my laptop (Windows), iPhone4 and my iPad. There is a version for Android and a Windows Phone 7 version coming soon. It is also available as a native application for Windows and Mac. And I must admit the native Windows Nozbe App rocks. Since Nozbe syncs perfectly in the Cloud, I can always have my updated Nozbe anywhere if I’m connected.

Nice interface

The web interface is nice and elegant, as is the newly released Windows application. The desktop version is also easy to use, but it needs some improvements in my opinion, like the ability to drag an Action to a Context or Project. But an important feature (for me and a lot of other users) is available and that is sorting Projects alphabetically.
The web interface is even more fluent and you can drag and drop Actions to a Project, Contexts or the Calendar.

Third party software integration

Nozbe integrates with other software like Evernote, Dropbox and Box.net. This means, if you use tags in Evernote or a folder in Dropbox or Box.net with the same name as your Project in Nozbe, these files will be included to that project.
The Email integration is also cool. I have written a dedicated blog post on how to master Email and Nozbe.

Super Quick Entry

You can enter a task in one line, using # hashtags and @context symbols, and Nozbe will create the task, add it to the correct Project, context, even due date. This is a big timesaver!

I am using Nozbe since a while now, with ups and downs (getting off and on the GTD train sometimes) and the more I use it, the more I get impressed and convinced of it. It is not the cheapest GTD software available on the market but it is probably the best.
You can get your free account at Nozbe (5 projects and contexts) and if you upgrade it to a Personal, Family (5 users) or Team (20 users) account, you can use the 60 days money back guarantee. But trust me, you won’t need the money-back guarantee!

Give it a try!


Getting Things Done with Nozbe

If you use GTD (Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity) as your way to manage your tasks and projects, Nozbe is the best solution, especially if you use multi devices.

Why Nozbe?

It uses the GTD methodology.

GTD is a task/action management methodology that was created and made very popular (especially among technical people) by David Allen in his bestselling book: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Rather than working with daily to do list (that will get blown away when your boss enters your office and ‘asks’ to make that presentation or report he has to present at 2 pm) David Allen introduced a system where you assign tasks or actions to a context where these tasks can be performed (eg. At the office, on-line, at a computer, at the phone, ..) And you bundle tasks in projects. Nozbe is designed to follow this methodology.

Secure Cloud service

Nozbe can sync over WiFi but also over a data connection from your Desktop client, iPhone, iPad or Andriod phone. The synchronization is seamless. And since you sync in the Cloud, you have access to your Nozbe data on almost any device or computer.

Multi-platform

Nozbe is available on several platforms. I use Nozbe on my laptop (Windows), iPhone4 and my iPad. There is a version for Android and a Windows Phone 7 version coming soon. It is also available as a native application for Windows and Mac. And I must admit the native Windows Nozbe App rocks. Since Nozbe syncs perfectly in the Cloud, I can always have my updated Nozbe anywhere if I’m connected.

Nice interface

The web interface is nice and elegant, as is the newly released Windows application. The desktop version is also easy to use, but it needs some improvements in my opinion, like the ability to drag an Action to a Context or Project. But an important feature (for me and a lot of other users) is available and that is sorting Projects alphabetically.

The web interface is even more fluent and you can drag and drop Actions to a Project, Contexts or the Calendar.

Third party software integration

Nozbe integrates with other software like Evernote, DropBox and Box.net. This means, if you use tags in Evernote or a folder in Dropbox or Box.net with the same name as your Project in Nozbe, these files will be included to that project.

The Email integration is also cool. I have written a dedicated blog post on how to master Email and Nozbe.

Super Quick Entry

You can enter a task in one line, using # hashtags and @context symbols, and Nozbe will create the task, add it to the correct Project, context, even due date. This is a timesaver!

I am using Nozbe since a while now, with ups and downs (getting off and on the GTD train sometimes) and the more I use it, the more I get impressed and convinced of it. It is not the cheapest GTD software available on the market but it is probably the best.

You can get your free account at Nozbe (5 projects and context) and if you upgrade it to a Personal, Family (5 users) or Team (20 users) account, you can use the 60 days money back guarantee. But trust me, you won’t need the money-back guarantee!

Give it a try!

Starting a new series on Apps I use.Een nieuwe serie blog posts over Apps die ik gebruik.

A new blog?

A few weeks ago I decided to blog about applications I use (on my laptop) to work better and smarter. Also about Apps I use on my SmartPhone (which is an iPhone 4 at this moment) and iPad (1). The reason to do this is that I see a lot of family and friends struggle in getting things done, whether it is actually GTD or making back-ups of files or sharing pictures or documents. My wife is one of these people who do everything in e-mail.

I have thought a lot on creating a separate blog for this. After analyzing my visitors and having a few conversations with some colleagues/bloggers, I decided to use the OfficeAndBusiness blog for this. Most visitors enter my blog via a search engine. For the people who are subscribed via RSS to my blog, I will look into a solution to create a RSS feed for SharePoint and one for “AppsIUse”.

Feel free to give me feedback about that decision.

What can you expect?

I will post regularly about free and paying applications, tools and utilities that make my life easier or just more fun.

Een nieuwe blog?

Aan aantal weken geleden heb ik besloten om een blog te starten over applicaties die ik gebruik, op mijn laptop, Smartphone (momenteel iPhone4) en iPad (1). De reden dat ik deze beslissing genomen heb, is omdat ik familie en vrienden zie “vechten” om dingen gedaan te krijgen, als het nu over GTD (actie en taken) gaat of het maken van back-ups of het delen van bestanden of foto’s. Mijn vrouw bijvoorbeeld is op dit moment nog zo iemand die e-mail gebruikt om eigenlijk bijna alles in te doen.

Ik heb ook veel nagedacht om een aparte blog voor deze posts te creeeren. Nadat ik mijn bezoekers statistieken geanalyseerd heb en na een paar gesprekken met collega’s/bloggers, heb ik beslist om de OfficeAndBusiness blog hiervoor te gebruiken. Het merendeel van de bezoekers bereikt mijn blog immers via de zoekresultaten na een zoekopdracht. Ik zal wel trachten een oplossing te vinden om aparte RSS feeds te maken voor SharePoint en “AppIUse”

Wat kan je verwachten?

Regelmatige posts over gratis en betalende applicaties en programma’s die mijn leven makkelijker maken, of die er gewoon meer fun aan toevoegen. Ik hoop dat ik jou ook kan helpen in het vinden van die tool die je “lifehackt” J

The New Nozbe 2.0 iPhone App: Review and What I think about it!

On May 11th, 10 days after my ‘The near future of Nozbe (on iPhone) looks promising.’ post, Nozbe 2.0 for iPhone was released in the AppStore. As I was waiting for this version, I downloaded the moment I could. In this post I’ll try to explain the (new) features, what it means to you and me and what I think about it.

Nozbe for iPhone v2.0

The first thing that has changed is the logo. The logo is refreshed and I like it. Nothing more to say about that, it is just a nice logo. The home screen of the Nozbe 2.0 for iPhone has changed slightly. There was a great demand for an Inbox, and since it was implemented in a previous release of Nozbe on-line, it is also implemented in the iPhone App. For the rest, the menu remains the same except the Inbox is added (Inbox, Next Actions, Projects, Contexts, Calendar), but the layout has changed, and there are new icons.  The icons at the bottom of the page have the same functionality as the previous version, but for them who haven’t used Nozbe for iPhone before, there are 5 icons as you can see in the screenshots

image

On May 11th Nozbe 2.0 for iPhone was released in the AppStore. As I was waiting for this version, I downloaded the moment I could. In this post I’ll try to explain the (new) features, what it means to you and me and what I think about it.

Nozbe for iPhone v2.0

The first thing that has changed is the logo. The logo is refreshed and I like it. Nothing more to say about that, it is just a nice logo. The home screen of the Nozbe 2.0 for iPhone has changed slightly. There was a great demand for an Inbox, and since it was implemented in a previous release of Nozbe on-line, it is also implemented in the iPhone App. For the rest, the menu remains the same except the Inbox is added (Inbox, Next Actions, Projects, Contexts, Calendar), but the layout has changed, and there are new icons.  The icons at the bottom of the page have the same functionality as the previous version, but for them who haven’t used Nozbe for iPhone before, there are 5 icons as you can see in the screenshots

image

I added 1 2 3 4 5 above the icons in the picture above. These figures match the list hereunder.

  1. Go to the Home screen (this screen)
  2. Show the Next Actions
  3. Sync with Nozbe online
  4. Add New action/Note/Project or Context (see extra screenshot) (Power Add Button)
  5. Add an Action

screenshot of menu item 4 Power add Button:

IMG_0594

 

Adding a new action (5) will add a new action in the current Project. You can enter a description and Edit the Details.
In the details you can easy check it as done, make a Next Action of that Action, assign it to somebody else (remark:your Project where you create this action in must be shared) or add a comment. It is also possible to change the Project, add one or more contexts, set a time for that action, enter a Due Date with or without an hour(extra screenshot) and there are very nice and easy to use buttons to set the due day to Next Monday, Tuesday, … of Next day, week, month or year) and you can also define a recurrence.

IMG_0599

When adding a new Project, you can edit the details.
In these details you can specify a label, you can Share it and make it your Inbox.When you want to share the Project with somebody you didn’t share anything with before, you can invite that person via an email. This is all pretty straightforward.

Adding a note will bring you to the Edit note page, but it is strange that this doesn’t use the Inbox, but uses a random Project (at least, I didn’t found a pattern in it except it uses the same Project)

Adding New Context will allow you to create a new Context and assign an icon to it.

What does this mean?

It will definitely be easier to use Nozbe on an iPhone. The fact that you can use Nozbe on iPhone without having to create a Nozbe account might be a step forward to have somebody use it without registration, but then the price of the App would obstruct this advantage.

The navigation and collaboration features are really nice and being able to comment on your tasks might be useful in some cases.

Being able to sync files within the App is certainly a great feature. Now you carry your presentations, documents, .. with you, attached to the Project. I was only able to open a Word document (.doc) and a PDF. These files failed:  and docx, ppt(x)(s) failed when I created these document in my Office 2010. I could not open them in the iPhone App.

What I think :

This is definitely a fantastic step forward for Nozbe iPhone users. The new layout is easy to use and gives peace of mind. The collaboration functions (delegate) and comments is also a nice features.

The fact that you can carry files with you in your trusted GTD system would be just great if it worked like it should. I’m not quite sure if this is a Apple, Nozbe or Microsoft Office 2010 issue.

Since this is the first release of V2.0, there is some serious margin for improvements. Here is a list of improvements I would like to see.

Wish list: (in order of importance for me)

  1. In the Next Actions overview the project should be listed somewhere (next to the Context icon?)
  2. Integration with Evernote®
  3. It should be possible to filter on context in the Next Actions overview.
  4. Adding an action should also be possible in horizontal mode. Now it is just modifying an action that is horizontal-enable.
    In fact, I think the whole application should be available in horizontal mode
  5. Notifications on iPhone (overview of what has a deadline that day)
  6. Notification via :Direct message on Twitter, email, text, ..
  7. Nozbe users should have the ability to upload their own icons,
  8. The Help functions is acting not logical. It starts with the Add New Action, then moves left to the Sync, then left to Home, then right to Next Actions and then right to Add more. Even I move my finger each time from right to left on the screen.

Continue reading

Using Email and Nozbe : One page to master it all

I was recently searching on the exact syntax to add Actions and/or to email them so they’ll arrive , with or without notes in the Inbox or in a Project in Nozbe.

On the Nozbe blog there were several posts that refer to each other and my purpose is to create this one page overview with everything you need to know when sending email to Nozbe. Since GTD is also about having an ubiquitous capturing tool, this is the ubiquitous Email to Nozbe page.

So, here is my overview of everything you need to know when sending emails to Nozbe.

First of all, it’s important to understand the “Nozbe language”

Syntax

The syntax for a (Next)action is simple

Example:
Write a blog post about Email and Nozbe #blog @computer @home on today %30 min !

You just have to follow this syntax :

  • #projectname : Add a # sign before the name of the project
  • @context : Add a @sign before the context. Multiple contexts can be used.
  • dates : write the date in the action like ‘On today’ , ‘ on tomorrow’, ‘next week’, ‘on June 18”. Nozbe understands these all. If you use a date, you also need to use “on” or “at” before the date. If you use next week or  next month,  you don’t need to use the prefix.

I was recently searching on the exact syntax to add Actions and/or to email them so they’ll arrive , with or without notes in the Inbox or in a Project in Nozbe.

On the Nozbe blog there were several posts that refer to each other and my purpose is to create this one page overview with everything you need to know when sending email to Nozbe. Since GTD is also about having an ubiquitous capturing tool, this is the ubiquitous Email to Nozbe page.

So, here is my overview of everything you need to know when sending emails to Nozbe.

First of all, it’s important to understand the “Nozbe language”

Syntax

The syntax for a (Next)action is simple

Example:
Write a blog post about Email and Nozbe #blog @computer @home on today %30 min !

You just have to follow this syntax :

  • #projectname : Add a # sign before the name of the project
  • @context : Add a @sign before the context. Multiple contexts can be used.
  • dates : write the date in the action like ‘On today’ , ‘ on tomorrow’, ‘next week’, ‘on June 18”. Nozbe understands these all. If you use a date, you also need to use “on” or “at” before the date. If you use next week or  next month,  you don’t need to use the prefix.

Continue reading

Step 3: Organize Stap 3: Organiseer

The next step in the process work flow is organize.


You organize everything in a set of lists which you can use to track the items awaiting your attention. It doesn’t matter where this list is. You can have it on a computer, a PDA, IPhone, on paper, on your legs. It doesn’t matter (except for yourself, especially if the list is on your legs :-) ) where you keep these lists, as long as you have it. I’ll provide my setup in a later post.

Next actions

All next actions are gathered in this list. You can (and please do so:-) ) provide a context to these next actions. This context are extra information for how/where/which they can be don, such as :

  • In the office
  • at the phone
  • at the computer
  • at the store

An example is at the phone. Imagine you just had a great lunch meeting, but your stomach is demanding more attention and all your blood and power is concentrated to digest your great meal. Maybe this is a good moment to do some phone calls. Some low level, low brainpower phone-calls. Then you take your next action list and filter on the context ‘at the phone’.  The execution of actions is also related to your physical and mental energy. If your energylevel is very low, like you have the thinking peformance of an insect, what do you need to do.. Low level next actions. You can refill your stapler or give your plants in the office some water, or organise your email, or desk. (you can be sure that at a certain moment, when you are full of energy, and need to staple some important documents for and important business criticall meeting you run out of staples … Use your ‘braindead’ moments good :-)

Project

If something you have to complete takes more than 2 next actions, it is  aproject. It might be someway difficult to get used to this idea (it was for me), but it helps a lot. Theses projects should be reviewed regulary to make sure every (current) project has a next action associated with it, and hence can be moved forward.

Waiting for

On this list all actions are stored that have been delegated to someone else. So before you can proceed the project this is tracked in this list and you should check it periodically if an action is due or needs a reminder to be sent.

Someday/Maybe

These are possible later action things. Somethingyou might do, but not now, maybe mater, maybe not.  You might do this someday, but not right now. For example “look for a holiday to Venice” or “learn Microsoft SharePoint development”

The calendar

Your calender is important to keep track of all appointments and commitments. The calendar contains the big stones you can put into a bigg glass. When you fill the glass with big stones, there is still plenty place left to keep filling it with little stones, and eventually with sand. So don’t fill in your calendar for 100% , because you will get interuptions that will mess up your schedule. Don’t plan more then 60% of your day.

What else is on your agenda? Everything that would ‘die’ if you don’t do it at that time. for example deadline driven next actions

De volgende stap in de workflow is organiseren.

Je organiseert alles in lijsten zodat je de openstaande acties kan opvolgen. Het maakt eigenlijk echt niet uit waar deze lijst is. Je kan ze bijhouden op je computer, op een PDA, op je IPhone, op papier of je kan ze zelfs op je benen schrijven (het maakt uiteraard wel uit voor jezelf als je ze op je benen schrijft :-) ), zolang dat je de lijst(en) maar hebt. Ik zal in een volgende post mijn GTD installatie beschrijven.

Next actions

Alle next actions zijn verzameld en staan genoteerd in deze lijst. Je kan (en ik raad het sterk aan) een context voorzien voor deze next actions. De context is extra informatie over hoe, waar of waarmee je deze next action kan voltooien. Enkele voorbeelden :

  • Op kantoor
  • aan de telefoon
  • aan de computer
  • op het internet
  • in de winkel

Waarom is deze context belangrijk? Stel je hebt net een goede lunch meeting gehad, maar op moment dat je terug op kantoor bent gaat al je beschikbare energie naar je spijsvertering. Dit is misschien een goed moment om wat telefoontjes te doen. Enkele low level, low brainpower telefoongesprekken die je dan kan voltooien en afpunten op je lijst.  Je neemt dus de lijst next action met context aan de telefoon en voila, daar heb je een overzicht van alle telefoongesprekken die je nog moet voeren.

Een algemene regel is dat je energieniveau ook zeer belangrijk is. Zowel je lichamelijke als je psychologische energie. Als je energieniveau en je denkkracht nog de grootte heeft van een insect, wat moet je dan doen. Dingen die je kan doen met deze niveaus van energie of denkkracht. Vul je nietjesmachine bij, of geef je planten in kantoor water (wacht niet tot ze afgestorven zijn) Geloof me, als je dit niet doet zal je op een bepaalde dag, wanneer je een overvloed aan energie en denkkracht hebt een document afdrukken, en dit document moet je meenemen naar een superbelangrijke vergadering maar je moet het eerst nog nieten. Net dan merk je dat je nietjesmachine zonder nietjes staat te staan op je bureau. –> STRESS.
Of ineens merk je op dat alle planten in je kantoor dood zijn…
Gebruik je ‘braindead’ momenten goed :-)

Project

Als de voltooing van iets meer dan 2 next actions vereist, is het een project. Yep, soms moet ik zelf nog aan dit idee wennen, maar het is wel iets dat werkt. Deze projecten dien je regelmatig na te kijken om zeker te zijn dat elk project zijn next action heeft om het project verder te sturen richting voltooing.

Waiting for

Op deze lijst houd je alle actions bij die je gedelegeerd hebt naar iemand anders. Via deze lijst kan je deze acties allemaal opvolgen en indien nodig een herinnering sturen.

Someday/Maybe

Dit is de lijst bevat  eigenlijk niet ‘actionable’ zaken die je misschien later zou kunnen doen. bvb ‘informatie zoeken voor een reis naar Peru’ of ‘leren ontwikkelen op SharePoint’

De kalender

Je kalender gebruik je om je afspraken bij te houden. De opvulling ervan is eigenlijk een zeer groot glas waat je stenen in legt. Tussen de stenen is er nog plaats voor kleine keitjes , en daarna is er nog plaats voor zand en daarna nog voor water. Dus je agenda bevat de ‘grote’ zaken. Plan nooit meer dan 60% van je dag, want als je dit wel doet ga je serieuze problemen krijgen als er iets of iemand tussenkomt.

Wat staat er nog in je kalender? Alles dat zou sterven (ik vind de uitspraak ‘Anything that would die’ zo goed dat ik ze in het Nederlands gewoon letterlijk vertaal maar het klinkt veel serieuzer in het Engels). Dus alles dat een negatief gevolg kan hebben als je het niet voltooid voor een bepaald tijdstip. Alle deadline gestuurde acties dus.