Posts in Nozbe
Emergent Leader Podcast Episode 17: Interview with Michael Sliwinski

In this new episode of the Emergent Leader Podcast, I had the privilege of talking with Michael Sliwinski of Nozbe.  Michael and I talk about teleworking, the success of remote teams and how to cut down on interruptions during the day.  

Michael is one of those persons that just exudes positive energy!  He's generous, ambitious and kind.  

I've used Nozbe for years and keep going back to it for my daily work.  Nozbe 3.0 was just released and celebrates nine years of "simply getting it all done".  

You may want to check out Michael's podcast, The Podcast (what a title!) and his personal blog.  

Nozbe 2.6 Review: Slick and Sophisticated Productivity

It's no secret that the most productive people in the world gather and organize their thoughts into a system of some kind.

Sometimes "the system" is as simple as a lined notebook.  Others go further by using a planner of some kind.  Then there are those who recognize that their world is so complicated that they need something more, something more capable of handling all of the inputs that they receive on a daily basis.

One such system is Nozbe, my "to do app" of choice.  What follows is a brief review of the latest version (2.6) of Nozbe.  If you have more time and want to invest in a more comprehensive resource, check out Marcus Platt's "The Little Book of Nozbe".

For the rest of us who want a quick review of Nozbe, here you go:

1. New Looks.  The new Nozbe looks better than ever before.  The fonts are slim, the colors are simple and there are new icons for use throughout the app.

2. Universal Access.  Nozbe has always been great in terms of being able to use it on iOS, Android and on the web.  Very few productivity apps offer you the kind of universal access that Nozbe does and it's still as good as ever.

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3. Same Amazing Team. An under-appreciated feature of Nozbe is its tab connecting you with the Nozbe support team.  This allows you to send the support team a message and even send them a screen shot.

4. Speed and More Speed.  I love apps that sync in the background so that you don't have to think about it.  Just open Nozbe and it syncs across all of your devices and also to the web app.  Very slick.

5. Shared Templates.  Have a project that you know you will repeat over and over again?  With Nozbe 2.6 you can take a project and turn it into what Nozbe calls a "template".  It gets better- you can then share the template with the world as it generates a unique URL.  There's more because the Nozbe team figured out a way for your affiliate ID to be "tagged"to the template as long as someone uses your template and opens up a Nozbe account- very cool!  (Note: as of December 9, 2015, 2.6 has shipped to the Mac app store but not yet to iOS due to an Apple Watch issue; shared templates are only available thus far in 2.6)

As you can tell, I'm a big fan of Nozbe.  So is Jeff Sanders, Michael Hyatt and a bunch of other productivity junkies.

The five features I mention above are great but what I appreciate most about Nozbe is what it allows me to do every day- stay focused on what's really important and trust the system behind the whole process. 

Productivity, NozbeMike StPierre
The Amazing Comeback of Paper Notebooks

Why should you have to choose between digital and paper tools for getting things done?  

David Allen, founder of GTD, has long praised the value of a portable paper notebook that he uses to capture random thoughts during the day.

Still, I see lots of people struggling to find the right balance between paper and digital. They feel pressure to use their iPhone for everything.  Or, they've never really thought about how they like to work and just default to what they see other people doing.  They typically fall into one of three categories:

  • Random paper on the desk (i.e. post-it notes)
  • Multiple notebooks with lists and thoughts inside
  • Everything on their phones

Here's the good news- there's a better way!  Even better, there's a better way that can be custom-tailored to your particular style of working.

In the next episode of the Emergent Leader Podcast, I'll be talking about a simple formula that I use for combining paper and digital productivity tools.  

In the meantime, here's what I use every single day:

  • Smartphone (for calendar, email, social media, todo app)
  • MacBook Air (for blitz emailling, calendar, writing, creative work)
  • Pocket capture notebook (with notecards for small thoughts and reminders in the day)
  • Black notebook (what I take to all meetings, where I form my daily plan)

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See the last item?  Yup- a single notebook with old-fashioned paper in it.  Turns out, paper is making a big comeback, especially for people who appreciate aesthetics and for those that see the value of writing things down.

Just check out these recent articles about notebooks and their raging popularity:

You don't have to go solely digital or solely analog.  The most productive people I know actually use both.

My Interview on Productive Magazine

It's no secret that I love Nozbe as a todo list and project manager.  When Michael Sliwinski invited me to be on the cover of their back-to-school edition of Productive Magazine (sponsored by Nozbe), I was humbled and thrilled.  

In the interview, we discuss school, productivity and how educators can help students be more effective in their daily studies.  Enjoy!

New Podcast with Nozbe Founder Michael Sliwinski

Nancy and I had the privilege of interviewing Michael Sliwinski of Nozbe and Productive Magazine earlier this summer.  What a thrill!  

In this episode we talk about GTD (Getting Things Done), the power of Nozbe, and how schools can help their students to be more productive.  Enjoy the cast!

Six Blogs Every School Leader Should Read
Photo courtesy of FDP

Photo courtesy of FDP

Taking a page from Chris Brogan, founder of Owner Magazine, I decided to make 2014 the year of "RVR".  What's that?  Simply put, each letter stands for a different word that I'm trying to practice each day.  They are:




While I'm not going to go into the detail of each word or why I chose these three, suffice it to say that each means a lot to me and represents something I'm trying to work on.  As a school leader, the first word really rings true.

School people are all about routine. Most that I work with get into work at the same time each day, arrange their day the same way each day and do their work moving from one routine to the next.  Homeroom leads to period one leads to a bell which leads to period two and so on.

For me, routine runs throughout my day but it also is important with how I begin my day.  Here's what it looks like for and average day:

  • Wake up at 5:15am
  • Make coffee
  • Go to my home study and have devotions
  • Read & journal
  • Shower
  • Head to work by 6:30am

The reading part is something I've made very concrete and directly linked to my "R" for routine.  I read the same blogs every day and check the same websites in a particular order.  While this may seem strange (I've head that before!), it grounds me and keeps my days pointing towards a similar direction.  

I suggest six blogs that are helpful for school folk:

  1. Michael Hyatt - Michael is the best leader I know at productivity and platform building (something educators can do better).
  2. The Energy Project - Tony Schwartz reminds us to work smarter each day.
  3. Michael Sliwinski - The founder of Nozbe, Michael offers heartfelt advice for getting more out of your work. (you can try Nozbe for free here)
  4. The Atlantic / Education section - Sometimes controversial and always thought provoking, The Atlantic is all about learning and teaching.
  5. MindShift - MindShift is the #1 blog for schools and offers several posts per week that challenge the way schools have been "doing school" for the past fifty years.
  6. Eduleadership - Justin Baeder offers practical advice on hiring good teachers, observing them fairly and increasing your productivity.  

These are what I read every day.  What's on your digital bookshelf?