Using Nozbe to manage projects/tasks i.e. GTD
I’ve followed the GTD threads on sites like lifehacker.com for awhile but was never really able for the minimalism and perhaps the discipline required to follow true GTD. I had found a decent task manager in The Hit List but the hot and cold behaviour of the developer behind it means it’s a tool that I don’t feel I can depend on. It’s also Apple only (iOS & OS X) and I wanted one tool for everything. Having a hunt around I came across Nozbe. My first reaction was ‘Meh’ but a second look made me realise what a great app it is. This isn’t going to be an in-depth review and discussion of GTD; I’m not up to that :) What this is, is a look at how I’m using it.
It’s primarily a web-app with iPhone/iPad applications as well as an iPhone/iGoogle mobile site , a more general mobile version and an Android version coming. There are beta Windows and OS X desktop clients. I primarily use the web-app and iPhone app. The free version gives you “up to 5 projects/contexts + 1 MB storage” which I filled out on my first day of testing. That led me to paying for the Personal plan (I took the monthly payment option) so that should give an indication of how much I liked using it with just a couple of hours testing. Here’s why; tasks are simple and straightforward, you can just add one and leave it at that. So, task entry is quick which is key for me – if there are too many steps I’ll just end up ignoring it. However, you can assign the task a Context (I haven’t mastered this yet but the defaults are Work, Home, Computer, Errands, Waiting-for and you can change or add to these), set a date and optionally a time for task completion, the expected duration and whether or not it’s a repeating task. Tasks can be organised into Projects and indeed converted to Projects – handy if you find that something spins out to a larger project than originally anticipated. For me a good example of this would be a task to answer a customer query which then turns into a software change request; so you then have various deliverables and actions associated with it that are more complex than a single task. You also have ‘Labels’ for Projects which can be used to group projects – in my case I use labels to split out projects as either ‘Work General’, ‘Work Projects’ or ‘Personal’. All good so far, now the killer feature for me; Integration. Nozbe allow you to integrate with a lot of other apps that you’re probably using. In my case it’s Dropbox, Evernote and Google Calendar. If a Dropbox file or folder has a project’s name in the filename it will be linked to your project. Similarly an Evernote with a tag matching the project name will get linked. Finally, you can have your tasks appear on your Google Calendar. The end result is that things I’ve been doing already with these apps are supported by Nozbe – the snippets of code I might throw into Evernote are now there in my project ready to be referenced when creating the associated tasks. The document I want to review from home and stick in Dropbox is attached to my project.
This is an app well, well worth a look.