Super short Nozbe review

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:

  1. 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.)
  2. I like the book excerpts that explain the dif­fer­ent GTD con­cepts such as projects, con­texts and actions.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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!

Update: For those who hadn’t noticed, I found this tool via the excel­lent Life­hack­er blog. Nozbe have their own spar­tan blog too.

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.