Nozbe is a web app that allows you to organise your to-do’s Getting Things Done style. This morning I spent a little while giving it a spin. I decided to sit down and enter a bunch of actions I have in my Hipster PDA (a Moleskine Memo Pockets and a bunch of blanc index cards) into Nozbe. First impressions:
- Nozbe is a cool concept. I have really been waiting for a multidimensional productivity web app. They got this part right! (Projects and contexts are included.)
- I like the book excerpts that explain the different GTD concepts such as projects, contexts and actions.
- I’d really only consider using Nozbe if it’d include a mobile variant (otherwise my actions are only accessible when I’m online behind a computer).
- Nozbe forces you to enter each action in a project up front. This is, I think, a misreading of Allen’s ‘gospel’ and increases the cognitive load when quickly entering an action. I’d have actions be forcibly linked to a context but give the user the option to add it to a project. (I worked around this by creating a ‘No Project’ project and adding actions to it before reorganising.
- Contexts are fixed, which is a shame. Please, please, please let me create my own contexts, tagging-style. So I can have actions linked to multiple contexts (which again reduces cognitive load).
- Don’t show the duration menu by default when entering an action, keep it clean. I’ll add durations when I want to, but don’t force me to.
Productivity apps are hard to get right because everyone has such a personal workflow. A good app takes that into account and offers many ways to do the same things. So again, Nozbe guys: the app is a good start, congratulations on the good effort! However it could benefit from some more user-centred thinking and design. Try to get a feel for the context of your users and tweak the interface accordingly!
Another update: The excellent GTD blog Black Belt Productivity does an in depth review and comes up with some of the same points as I did plus a whole bunch more.