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Nozbe surprise offer - 3 months extra

Permalink - Posted on 2020-06-05 08:10

How is your productivity amid the coronavirus outbreak?

Here at Nozbe, we’re tired, and we imagine you feel the same. To cheer you up a little, we have a surprise offer for you - no matter which Nozbe - Personal or Teams - you’re using.

If you want to get 3 extra months of Nozbe Teams, set up your account and get any Nozbe Teams Premium plan for a year. The bonus months will be added to your account automatically!

Get 3 months of Nozbe Teams free

If you are a Nozbe Personal user, then simply:

Get 3 months of Nozbe Personal free

…by extending or upgrading your account for a year. We will add 3 extra months as a gift.

Whether you work from home or in the office, our apps will help you and your team organize and make your life less stressful. Don’t miss the chance to get 3 extra months of that for free ⬆️


Free webinar: How Small Teams Can Do Great Things by Ditching Email & Meetings

Permalink - Posted on 2020-05-27 12:10

Do you feel that your personal and team productivity gets hindered by too many fruitless meetings and chaotic communication?

We’ve been there and we found a way to improve that!

Join our free webinar and let us share our unique & super-effective collaboration method.

Sign up for Nozbe webinar

When? On Wednesday, June, 3rd, at 7pm in CET / 6pm in the UK / 1pm EDT / 10am PDT

You will find out:

  • How we communicate through tasks at Nozbe
  • What is asynchronous communication and why you should care
  • How to plan and run meetings so that they actually work
  • What’s the difference between Nozbe Personal and Nozbe Teams

Join in! Only limited seats available.

Psst, there will be a Q&A session at the end of the webinar, so have your questions prepared! See you on Wednesday!


How to Manage Your Time Efficiently While Working from Home

Permalink - Posted on 2020-05-21 05:10

As a result of companies switching to remote working mode, many of us, remote workers, have faced the biggest challenge: staying productive while working from home.

Time management is one of the most common issues standing between workers and productivity. Time management at the usual times comes with a handful of challenges, and the number of these challenges grows exponentially once you start working from home. However, you can stay productive even in these difficult times by implementing some easy time management tricks. Let us show you how.

Manage your calendar

Working from home can be overwhelming. As we try to stay productive and committed to work, it’s easy to forget about being organized. We use productivity apps to check how many tasks we have left until they’re due. However, we tend to forget about the benefits of such an easy but important habit as calendar management.

Proactive calendar management can greatly benefit your productivity. As a general rule, avoid leaving your calendar blank.

Select one day of the week for calendar management. Also, you can prioritize tasks, add due dates, and reminders of your tasks in Nozbe Teams. This all will support getting all of your work done on time.

Build a new routine

It’s really easy to get lazy and lose interest while staying in most of your time. To prevent this from happening, it’s important that you stick to your typical daily routine.

Get up at the usual time and have your regular morning ritual. Get yourself ready for the working day and stop wearing those sweatpants. Always get dressed for work, even when you don’t have any Zoom meetings. This will trick your brain and help you stay productive.

It’s also important to manage your time so that you have some small breaks. Avoid eating snacks while working. Instead, have a lunch break as you would normally do. Try not to deviate from your schedule. This will help you divide your work and home lives while staying productive.

Work your usual office hours

As you work from home, it’s easy to get caught up in working much more than you usually do. In fact, some people who work remotely start experiencing the work from home guilt and end up working more hours than they did in the office.

How to prevent yourself from overworking or underworking? Make sure you have distinct working hours that were previously discussed with your manager. Professionals from Essay Tigers highlight the importance of working towards showing results rather than more visible screen time.

Become aware of the fragmented time

Fragmented time occurs whenever you have quick slots of spare time. For example, when you’re done with your Zoom meeting, and you have another one in 20 minutes.

People schedule their meetings based on what works for them. This can leave you with tons of fragmented time invested in busy but unproductive activities.

So, let’s say you have about 15 minutes of time in between your meetings. How do you use this time productively? You can manage your work email as you’re waiting for your next meeting.

Alternatively, you can create a to-do list of all small but important tasks that can be done within a short timeframe. Also, you can proofread and edit your reports.

As you can see, there are many options when it comes to managing fragmented time. The bottom line is to try to make the most out of it.

Stop multitasking

Psychologists suggest that if you want to be productive you should stop multitasking. Did you know that only 2% of the global population are good at multitasking? For the rest 98% of us it’s not really multitasking. Rather, we switch back and forth from one activity to another. The problem with that approach is that our brains need some time to refocus from one task to another. As a result, we waste more time refocusing and end up not performing that well. So, while it might seem like a super productive thing to do, research shows that multitasking actually reduces productivity by 40%.

Instead of multitasking, try to focus more precisely on each task. Shift your focus on other activities as soon as you finish the previous one. Thus, you’ll be less distracted and more focused.

Avoid doing any personal tasks

Getting distracted by personal tasks is one of the most common downfalls of working remotely. Stay away from the things you wouldn’t do if you were in the office. It might seem like taking your dog for a walk or a quick cleaning wouldn’t take too much of your time. The reality is that it doesn’t only take away your working time but also decreases your productivity. If you have some things to attend to, add them to your calendar and take care of them as soon as you’re done with work.

Don’t surf the Internet

Surfing the web and scrolling through social media are the worst time wasters. Did you know that on average people spend 144 minutes on social media daily? It’s more than 2 hours of wasted time every day! While there is nothing wrong with you using your social media in spare time, your working hours should not be distracted by Instagram challenges.

It’s useful to mute social media notifications while you’re working. Also, you can set a time limit for social media usage per day. This feature is extremely useful when you’re trying to control your screen time.

Be respective to energy windows

Even though we’re socially distancing and working from home, we still remain a part of the team. That’s why it’s so important to be sensitive to your own energy and respective to the energy of others. Listen to your body and pay attention to when you’re the most productive.

Align your calendar and meetings concerning your energy windows. Some people find morning the most productive time of the day, while others prefer working late hours. Either way, it’s important to coordinate your working hours with respect to your energy level and other team members.

Final thoughts

Productivity begins not only with time management but also with the right mindset. Keep up with your schedule and promise yourself to stay away from social media during the work day. Be sure that you’ll see a boost in productivity once you start implementing the tactics above. Have a productive rest of your day and stay healthy!

Stacey Wonder
Stacey Wonder is a content marketer who enjoys sharing best practices for self-development and careers with others. In her free time, Stacey is fond of contemporary dance and classic French movies.


Why communication through tasks is an effective way to work. Ep. 8 of our live sessions on remote work.

Permalink - Posted on 2020-05-18 12:10

Here is the recording of the 8th live session dedicated to remote work. In this episode, Michael, Nozbe CEO, and Rafal Sobolewski share their experience with effective team communication.

The key issues Michael and Rafal mention in this episode:

  • What is communication through tasks
  • Email-based vs. task-based communication
  • Asynchronous communication
  • Nozbe Personal and Nozbe Teams - comparison

Watch the recording and see how to get online meeting done effectively.

Past and future recordings

If you liked this video you might also want to watch other episodes of the series. Each one is a fantastic source of remote work advice. The guidelines we provide are not just theory - our company doesn’t have the physical office, and we’ve been working remotely for over a decade now. We have a lot to share and explain.

Upcoming lives

Join Michael and his guests on Facebook regularly at:

  • Noon PST (California time)
  • 3PM EST (NY time)
  • 7PM GMT (London time)
  • 8PM (20:00) Central European Time
Join the event


Working from home - three pillars & advantages. Ep. 7 of our live sessions on remote work.

Permalink - Posted on 2020-05-07 12:10

Here is the recording of the 7th live session dedicated to remote work. In this episode, Michael, Nozbe CEO, and Mike St.Pierre share their experience with running a remote team.

The key issues Michael and Mike mention in this episode:

  • Remote work isn’t all about working from your home
  • Working from home is so great because of its felxibility
  • Virtual talks - are they any worse than traditional meetings?
  • Task-based communication

Watch the recording and see how to get online meeting done effectively.

Past and future recordings

If you liked this video you might also want to watch other episodes of the series. Each one is a fantastic source of remote work advice. The guidelines we provide are not just theory - our company doesn’t have the physical office, and we’ve been working remotely for over a decade now. We have a lot to share and explain.

Upcoming lives

Join Michael and his guests on Facebook regularly at:

  • Noon PST (California time)
  • 3PM EST (NY time)
  • 7PM GMT (London time)
  • 8PM (20:00) Central European Time
Join the event


The last chance to use Nozbe Teams Premium for free

Permalink - Posted on 2020-04-28 12:10

If you wish to try Nozbe Teams Premium free of charge for a full month, this is the last minute to make up your mind. Create your team account by the end of April and get your projects done effectively. With your team. Remotely or in the office.

When the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic started and the lockdown and fear caused so many changes in our lives, we wanted to help. We knew many teams would have to switch to remote work and needed a tool to make it all work. Having video conferences and remote access to company databases is not enough. Every team needs a tool to organize the workflow, communicate, manage projects and responsibility, and push things forward.

Nozbe Teams is all about getting team projects done thanks to task-based communication and organized projects structure. See, how it can help your team in planning, organizing, communicating, and eventually - achieving your business goals.

Set up your team today

This is the last minute to enjoy a month of Nozbe Team Premium for free. We will start charging for new Premium accounts (more than 5 people in a team / more than 5 active projects) starting from May.

Don’t miss the chance.


Web designer & developer wanted

Permalink - Posted on 2020-04-27 12:10

Are you a creative person who’s best friends are Adobe apps and for whom writing CSS and HTML code is like making a cheese sandwich? Are you? Then, we need you to help us create and develop websites, landing pages, and digital graphics. Join our cool, all-remote team.

Our expectations for candidates:

We expect you will create wonderful websites from scratch. For that, you will need:

  • Extensive experience in web design
  • High level of experience with web development (CSS, HTML)
  • Direct experience in creating graphics, icons, web elements
  • Very good UI/UX knowledge
  • Direct experience using Adobe: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign; Figma, etc.
  • Creative mind
  • Keeps up with the latest trends in web design
  • Strong English
  • Willingness and ability to work remotely
  • Good organizational skills
  • Communication skills (let’s repeat: we all work remotely!)
  • Fast learner and self-starter with a proven ability to problem solve independently and as part of a team
  • We’re looking for a full-time employee willing to spend their most productive hours working with us

What you will do:

  • Plan concepts and goals of websites
  • Create the webpage look and layout
  • Design web features
  • Create graphics & website elements
  • Implement it all in HTML and CSS in the Hugo framework (most likely)
  • Create back up files and documentation
  • Maintain and update websites
  • Create simple graphics for online campaigns and social media
  • Cooperate with the marketing team in creating promotional campaigns & optimizing the sales funnel

Why you’ll love working with us:

  • We’re an all-remote team — We believe that work is not a place to go – it’s a thing you do. We all work from home.
  • We have our own way of doing things — We are free, open and inclusive. We avoid toxic meetings. We tend to question everything. We live on the cutting edge.
  • Your salary at the beginning of our cooperation will be:
    • 5900 zł - 7600 zł brut if you go for “umowa o pracę”
    • 7200 zł - 9100 zł if you prefer B2B.
    • All salaries at Nozbe are based on the salary formula.
  • Your time and focus will be respected — It is asynchronous work that guarantees more focus and a good flow. We try not to interrupt each other if it isn’t necessary.
  • You’ll manage your own work — We’re light on management and we trust you take responsibility for what you’re really good at.
  • Every Friday is a day for learning — We don’t usually do normal, everyday work on Fridays – after getting a weekly review done, we learn new things, read and improve.
  • We’re eager to support — Nozbe pays half the price of your electronic equipment, office equipment, healthcare, professional training, workshops, and fitness/sport activities. Plus every employee gets 4,000 zl a year to give to the charity of their choice.
  • We meet in person twice a year — Because we work remotely, we organize Nozbe reunions to see each other, to make key decisions, to eat well and to hang out together.
  • Nozbe is completely self-funded — We have no outside investors. We prefer slower growth and better working conditions (and even some profits on top of it all!).

If you’re interested in working with us, please email your CV in English + portfolio to careers@nozbe.com by May 11th, 2020. We will contact only the selected candidates.

The recruitment process stages:

  • CV + portfolio
  • Filling out a short form
  • Interview
  • Getting a short trailside project done with us (paid!)


Working from home - setting up new routines. Ep. 6 of our live sessions on remote work.

Permalink - Posted on 2020-04-24 12:10

Here is the recording of the 5th live session dedicated to remote work. In this episode, Michael, Nozbe CEO, and Augusto Pinaud, share their experience with working from home effectively.

The key issues Michael and Augusto mention in this episode:

  • What to do when you’re missing the regular office dynamics and routines
  • How to replicate routines in this new reality
  • How asynchronous communication can be of use

Watch the recording and see how to get online meeting done effectively.

Past and future recordings

If you liked this video you might also want to watch other episodes of the series. Each one is a fantastic source of remote work advice. The guidelines we provide are not just theory - our company doesn’t have the physical office, and we’ve been working remotely for over a decade now. We have a lot to share and explain.

Upcoming lives

Join Michael and his guests on Facebook regularly at:

  • Noon PST (California time)
  • 3PM EST (NY time)
  • 7PM GMT (London time)
  • 8PM (20:00) Central European Time
Join the event


Magic Keyboard Review - Michael’s CEO Vlog

Permalink - Posted on 2020-04-22 07:10

On my CEO vlog I’ll be talking about team productivity and our journey of launching Nozbe Teams and running our company - our values and ways we do things - but sometimes I will just geek out and will take you behind the scenes of how I work…

…and this video is the first one when I do that - when I get a new gadget like the Magic Keyboard for my iPad - and what I think about it - since all of my writing is done on the iPad. Enjoy:

For reference, I’m running Nozbe company from my iPad Pro - this is my main computer and this is where I get all of my writing done. I’ve been doing this for the last 8 years. I co-wrote a book about it: iPadOnly

You can find more of my #iPadOnly resources on my personal blog.

And if you have any questions about this new Magic Keyboard or working on the iPad as the main computing device, feel free to ask me in the comments below.

Thanks!

Michael
Nozbe founder and CEO. He records a weekly podcast, writes on this blog, and publishes books to help modern knowledge workers get more done and have a more organized (and passionate) life.


Why your team needs a collaboration app

Permalink - Posted on 2020-04-17 12:10

When working in a team, no matter how hard you’re trying to push projects forward, the outcome doesn’t entirely depend on you. Sometimes it can feel frustrating. No matter how skillful and engaged your teammates are, your efforts can be easily hindered. There is a way for your work to thrive, though. You need an environment that supports teamwork. A sound communication system and a well-designed collaboration tool will help you reach your goals faster together – no matter whether you work in an office or remotely.

Putting a Communication System in Place

A team is a team – a group of people who think differently and have various habits. If you’re a dispersed team, there is one more factor to consider: people work in multiple locations and time zones. To have an efficient team, you need to introduce a set of rules that will govern the team’s communication. It needs to be clear and focus on achieving the team goals in a way that is comfortable and natural for the individuals, too.

Our Pyramid

Here at Nozbe, we have the Communication Pyramid that regulates the information flow in our remote team.

It’s based on 3 key ideas:

  1. a belief in the power of deep work,
  2. respect for our time, and
  3. a structured information exchange.

You can read more about the Pyramid of Communication here, but to make the long story short:

  • We try to communicate asynchronously whenever we can in order not to distract each other. If I need feedback that can wait (and, let’s be honest – in most cases it can), I let my colleague get back to me in their own time.
  • We know people work best when they are focused and nobody disturbs them.
  • Feedback is typically the best when it is thought through and written down.
  • Meetings (if really necessary) are fruitful only if there’s an agenda and all the attendees are involved and well-prepared.

Space for Collaboration

Once you have your communication system in place, you want a space where it can be implemented and developed. What you need, then, is a collaboration app – or a task and project management tool, if you prefer. The objective is the same: to make sure the information you exchange is structured and accessible, and that everyone on the team knows what needs to be done and when.

Below you will find out what collaboration software does for business. As I’ve been using Nozbe Teams from the very beginning, let me list the advantages of team collaboration tools with my app as an example.

Easy Goal Setting and Planning

Needless to say, to deliver results, a team needs to know what the objectives are – and any objective can be transformed into a project. Every project requires planning. To plan it well, you want to split it into actionable tasks, explain each of them in detail, put it in the time frame, and assign them to people who can do it best. It’s obvious and simple. Once you do that, you have an action plan in place.

I know sometimes it doesn’t come easy as projects grow, develop, or even pivot; however, in an app like Nozbe Teams, you have everything in one place and neatly structured.

Having Everything Under One Roof

One great benefit of using a collaboration software is the way you record everything connected to a project within this project. There is a special place to describe the project’s goal. Then, you have specific tasks and comments where your team can:

  • discuss the ideas,
  • ask for feedback and receive it,
  • point out the problems and hindrances,
  • look for the best solutions,
  • attach files, and
  • add checklists to handle tasks with a few layers.

As you can see, a collaboration app like Nozbe Teams lets you keep all information exchanges, documents, and data in its project context. You can always search for the data you need, go back to a discussion you want to recall, or search for the initial version of a document. It’s all there, listed in order of appearance. Even when the project has been completed, you can still search it or even restore it.

Reference Materials and Documents in the Context

Speaking of structured discussion and project context, I want to briefly mention the reference materials necessary to get tasks done. I remember that in a previous job, we used email and chat about our running projects and our team collaboration – oh, how easy it was for things to go missing! It was very frustrating, especially when the deadline was close, and the team’s stress level would steadily increase.

If you use a collaboration app, you can easily avoid this kind of situation. Simply agree with your team to attach documents to relevant tasks or add the links to the files stored in a cloud (like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc.), describe these documents, and you will be fine.

Access to Work and Data From Any Place, Anytime

A project management app like Nozbe Teams has another feature that makes your team more productive: mobility. Everything you save in the app – projects, tasks, comments, and attachments – are stored in the cloud. That means you can access all of these no matter where you are. You might choose to use a web app or download native apps for your iOS and Android devices. Notifications set according to your needs will inform you whenever someone needs your feedback or assigns a task to you. This way, you can save your time and work while commuting or waiting for the doctor’s appointment and be there for your team even when away from the office.

Effective Task-Based Communication

Once you have your projects and tasks created and structured, you can start collaborating with your team to get them done. The key to effective teamwork is good communication. In an app like Nozbe Teams, there’s no better way to collaborate than through task-based communication.

Why?

Because it’s clear, organized, and actionable.

By listing down the tasks, you motivate people to action and empower them by splitting big, scary things into smaller, doable steps.

By commenting on a specific task, you focus on what needs to be done right there (unlike group chats or long emails).

Thanks to precise task parameters, you know who’s responsible for the task, which project it belongs to, and when it’s due.

Communication based on tasks works best in a well-designed task and project management tool for teams where you can add tasks and work within them together until they get done. Because, after all, you want your team to deliver results and not only spend time on the project management, right?

Better Focus

Ditching email and cutting down on using chat for internal communication in your team will increase its productivity. How? By utilizing a collaboration or a project management tool and implementing task-based communication, people will be able to spend more time on focused, intensive work.

If everyone has their tasks listed in the app and put into a time frame, they know what to do and when. They can concentrate and start getting their job done. Everyone works on their own things. If someone needs help or feedback, they ask a colleague or a manager for it. They try not to distract this person, because, while waiting, they can start working on the next task and let their teammate finish what they started.

Of course, this is an ideal situation. I know that urgent things and tasks due yesterday come up in all teams every single day. But if every team member tries to structure their work and remember to keep a time margin when planning their tasks, it can slowly get better and better.

At Nozbe, we call it asynchronous communication, and we try to make it our fundamental rule.

Setting Priorities

As with having a coherent strategy, well-set priorities will also help you stick to the path you need to follow – especially if you outline them based on a holistic view of all the work that needs to be done. Task management apps like Nozbe Teams let you plan your priorities for every day of the week. This way, every morning, you and your teammates start with a to-do list and try to tick off as many things as possible during the day. You decide what makes to your priority list and try to work in blocks of focused work to get it done. This is one of the key steps to team effectiveness.

Transparency and Being Up to Speed

Another advantage of using a good collaboration software is the way it guarantees a better overview and understanding of what everybody else is doing. In shared team projects, everyone can see other people’s tasks and check what they are currently struggling with. This way, the cooperation potential can be fully used. People get more insightful feedback, the team shares their knowledge, and anyone can contribute to achieving the company goals.

This process is even easier in Nozbe Teams, where every newly created project is accessible for all the team members by default. Of course, with the Premium plan, you can have private projects or grant access only to selected users, but the key goal is transparency and accessibility. Note that having access to a project doesn’t mean less focus. You can take a look at any project when you need, and that’s it. If you’re especially interested in particular projects, you can follow them or add them to your favorites and get notified of their progress.

Also, in the Nozbe Teams “Team” view, you can see the list of all the people on your team. You can choose one person and check out all the tasks that are assigned to them across all the projects you two have access to. This lets the team members stay on the same page and enables managers to oversee their team projects.

Improved Leadership and Management

So, collaboration software will give a manager or a team leader a real-time overview of how well their employees are performing. They can see everyone’s contribution, keep an eye out, and give their feedback on each project whenever they see the need.

With a transparent project structure, a manager will also be able to determine when some projects are stuck. Unlike emails or group chat, where the chances that things will fall through the cracks are pretty high, a good project collaboration app enables managers to stay in control. They can track the information flow, check up on the status, and ensure action is taking place where necessary.

Every team needs direction, especially when they feel lost, and managers need transparency to be in the loop: that’s how you avoid project failures.

As a manager or a team leader, you can’t ask for a bigger win.

Strengthened Team Relationships

Last but not least, a good collaboration tool is crucial for building team spirit. It can help people become more comfortable with the idea of cooperating towards a common goal. It also encourages sharing plans, ideas, and accomplishments with co-workers.

At Nozbe, we know that our app is a space for asking questions and discussing, and thus we’re not afraid to do so. Task-based communication encourages us to share our doubts and knowledge with the rest. Together with our communication rules, it also reduces the chances of conflict and misunderstanding. Everything is noted down and trackable. The written feedback seems to be more rational, thoroughly analyzed, and less emotional than a real-time discussion.

By reinforcing team relationships, collaboration software serves a dual purpose that can benefit the entire business.

You Don’t Want to Keep on Struggling

For your team to perform smarter, faster, and more productively, you need to introduce some communication rules and embed collaborative technologies into your company and its organization process. I guarantee that, through this method, your team efficiency will go through the roof – and it will be the cherry on top of the rest of the benefits listed above.

I’m aware of the fact that transitioning to a completely new type of work environment can be tough, especially for team members who have never used project management or collaboration apps. Start slow. Discuss the communication rules you’d like to introduce in your organization. Once you have them in place, choose a tool that will best suit your needs. Start implementing it gradually rather than diving in headfirst. If people get baffled and lost, productivity is only going to fall instead of skyrocket. You might want to create just a couple of projects first and try to collaborate in them. Share your impressions and ask each other questions on how the software works. Also, don’t hesitate to contact the app’s customer support to get help and practical tips. Watch video tutorials and use the on-boarding materials the good apps usually offer.

If you feel convinced and you’re serious about improving your team communication and effectiveness, feel free to try out Nozbe Teams and test out the benefits yourself. It’s free and available on iOS, Android, and the web.

Magda
A part of Nozbe marketing team.