GTD with Nozbe

http://www.nozbe.com

Today I found a little gem in my inbox from a reader named Daniel who posed me some interesting questions via the comments on this blog. He says he’s ‘dating different GTD apps’ in search for the perfect one — which may not even exist. True that! Daniel loves the Evernote/Nozbe integration though, like I do.

I’m going to answer his questions about GTD and Nozbe first, followed by a recommendation for the folks at Nozbe to make me ‘marry’ Nozbe instead of simply ‘dating him’ — to keep with Daniel’s metaphor 🙂

1) how do I use Nozbe‘s inbox?

As some of you may know, Nozbe’s inbox consists of a project that always stays on top of your projects list at the left of the page. Here’s how I use it:
Collect:
True to GTD, every time I do my weekly review (preferably once a week 🙂 ), I empty my physical inbox and dump all the tasks I define out of that amorphous blob in Nozbe’s inbox. I do the same with my e-mail inbox, where my action items are already red starred for easy recognition.
It’s also also possible to add a slew of tasks in one go:
go to: + new action > actions > options > add more actions at once > then enter every task with an asterisk in front of it so it’s recognizable as a bunch of tasks.

Organize:

  • Then I start dragging and dropping tasks into the appropriate contexts on the right side of the page (like @Computer, @Home, @Errands etc).
  • After that, I star the next actionable items for the coming week with a cute little green Nozbe star.
  • Then, while still being in the inbox, I drag and drop my items to projects or create new ones. There are always a bunch of tasks that don’t have a project attached to them. Today Daniel’s comment got me thinking and I tried out something new: I created a new project called: batch tasks, where I dump all the orphan tasks (tasks without a mother: a project). I make an exception for the waiting for items who are going in a waiting for project and my someday items which find shelter in a someday do project. Note: so the waiting for items and the someday items are both in a project and a context of the same name! I know this sounds awfully intricate, but it totally works for me and it keeps my Nozbe inbox clean and crispy!!!
  • Last I go to projects and see if there’s any other tasks I need to add to projects which are not next action items (for the coming week, being green starred), but still need my attention.

2) how do I sort my actions in Nozbe?

Review:
Nozbe hasn’t got any default sorting options, so what I’ll do is I go to all my contexts and drag-and-drop starred items to the top (in no particular order) with the rest (unstarred) underneath, although this manual dragging and dropping is quite obnoxious…
I’ve got a great idea though to improve this. See the last paragraph about my recommendation to Nozbe.

Apart from sorting between next action/action, I don’t sort at all.

Do:
I just glance at my list (one context at a time or sometimes the whole next actions list at once if I’m feeling audacious) and pick whatever suits my time, energy and fancy.
GTD is not about prioritizing; just follow your intuition and just go for it. Do!

3) how do I handle Areas of Focus in Nozbe?

I have two Nozbe accounts (within my Family account): one for work and one for home. I’m liking this a lot! It helps me to set healthy boundaries.
Here are a few of my current areas of focus:

  • church
  • faith
  • friendships
  • household
  • writing
  • finances
  • marriage

When I first defined my projects list in Nozbe, I attached a tag to every project with the name of the corresponding area of focus. You can find them on the left side of the page @ Project Labels. This showed me that they were well balanced, so right now, to be honest, I don’t bother attaching project labels with my areas of focus anymore. But there’s always the option.

Recommendation for Nozbe:

My recommendation for Michael Sliwinsky and his team, who deserve immense kudos for their fabulous product, is the following:
Please, please create a filter for next actions (starred items) which we can apply within a context or within a project, so that there will be an option to see the whole bunch of items (starred and unstarred) and also an option to filter out the visual clutter of the unstarred items, so we can fully focus on our next actionable items by context or project! Thank you in advance for considering this!

Dear Daniel and all my other readers, I hope this post was insightful and of interest to you.

Please leave a comment or question in the comments section. I’d be ever so happy to reply to them.
You can also post your comment or question via Twitter.
Thank you!

Note: I don’t get paid by Nozbe or anything 🙂 I just love the way their app boasts my productivity and peace of mind.