Nozbe Desktop for Windows Review
Nozbe Desktop for Windows officially launched today. I’m happy to say that I got to get my hands on an early copy of the new Nozbe Desktop software a couple weeks ago and have been using it since then. As a regular Nozbe web user, I am finding some distinct differences and some things that need to be addressed in this new software. Did I say new? Yes, it is and you can tell it has some unfinished areas. There are some amazing things that I think will carry this software to its success as well.
Let me share some things that I have found with this new Nozbe Desktop for Windows software.
First, the setup and login were really easy. I went through the pains of the early Nozbe Android release and this is far easier and more stable. After clicking on the installer, you go through the normal Windows installation process and soon after you have your nice new Nozbe icon on your desktop.
Clicking on it, the first time, you are required to login. Within seconds, the software had synced down my categories, projects, and tasks. Wow, that was easy!
Now comes the adventure. As I wade through unfamiliar territory (not ever having seen a Nozbe desktop version before), I see many similarities to the web version. However, the Nozbe Desktop for Windows software has a slightly different, more Outlook-like feel with the left ribbon for your Next Actions, Inbox, Projects, Contexts and Calendar.
There is a big plus sign at the bottom right. Obviously this is for a new task. Here is my first problem with the new software. I strongly dislike controls being at the bottom of the screen. Everyone is used to toolbars at the top of windows. To have the new task button at the bottom right is 100% opposite of where I would look for it. Most people’s eyes on websites and software tend to look for the top left to click on something.
Okay, I can live with this so long as I have a keyboard shortcut. ctrl+N would be the logical choice. Wait, there are not shortcuts yet? I see. This is a first release. I look forward to the updates of Nozbe Desktop for Windows.
Let me go through the ribbon actions one by one.
Nozbe Desktop for Windows – Next Actions
The Next Actions section works very similar to the web version of Nozbe. This is the one area that I like a lot. It has most of the expected functionality. You can drag and drop to reorder, you can edit the tasks by clicking on them. You can quickly add multiple tasks. The one complaint here is that I don’t like the right side editing of the tasks. I am so used to editing below the task with the web version, that I find it cumbersome to move to the right each time I edit something. All-in-all the Next Actions section is a good feature of the software.
Nozbe Desktop for Windows – The Inbox
The Inbox works as expected. It is your easy collection center for adding new tasks. Keeping with GTD methodology practices, you should enter your tasks as you think of them and Nozbe Desktop for Windows shines here. Once you click the big plus sign in the bottom right, you are given an empty task line. Simply hitting the enter key saves the tasks and opens a new task entry line for you. You do not need to click the plus sign each time. It assumes naturally that you are ready for the next task immediately upon saving the previous. I like this. It makes for fast entry.
One slight comment about entering tasks, is that I don’t find the written shortcuts (such as #projectname) that you can write inline on the tasks to be working in all cases. It seems to work for the project name, but not for dates or contexts. Could just be the way I wrote the tasks out, but it would be nice if these work correctly as I like using these shortcuts when I enter a task.
Nozbe Desktop for Windows – Projects
I live in projects. As a consultant who works on many different client projects and as a family man with many home projects, these are an essential part of my life and the GTD System. Nozbe Desktop for Windows really makes this easy as well. You can quickly add projects and rearrange them. You can filter them by broad categories. I keep them organized as Clients, Home, Outside Organizations I work with, and so on.
Again, the problem I have here is that you have to go to the bottom of the screen to control things, such as adding new projects or filtering projects. Nozbe, please move it to the top of the screen!
I must say that there are counters in the bottom-of-the-screen control bar. I like these. They show you how many projects you have, how many tasks you have open and completed. These are great information. The funny thing was that I went back to the web version of Nozbe and found that they were there too, but for some reason, I never noticed them. They really stand out in the Nozbe Desktop for Windows version. Nicely done!
Nozbe Desktop for Windows – Contexts
Contexts are usually the area that trips up people when they start tracking by way of the GTD method. In actuality they are really useful and easy. They are simply the where or “with what” that you need to execute the task. For example, phone calls, errands, at the computer and others are all ways to group tasks. It is another form of category that allows you to quickly execute a bunch of tasks across a lot of different projects together. Say for example, you are sitting down at the phone and want to make all of your calls first thing in the morning. By click into the Nozbe Desktop for Windows Contexts section, you can quickly call all the people from all of the various projects you have and get things done quickly. This is an excellent section of the software that allows you to power through tasks quickly.
The Nozbe Desktop for Windows makes this easy. Click on the Context and away you go. You can drag and drop to rearrange tasks, edit the tasks, and reschedule the tasks quickly and easily. You can add follow on tasks here too.
Nozbe Desktop for Windows – Calendar
Here is where I live. I setup my review of my day in the calendar section and each morning, I start with this section to see what tasks I missed yesterday, reschedule them for today, and re-prioritize my actions for the day.
This is my biggest complaint about the Nozbe Desktop for Windows: Drag and Drop does not work in this section!!! I want to quickly slide a task from yesterday to today and alas, it does not drag. I have to click into the task, click on the date, choose the new date (Could we add a “today” link on the popup calendar please?) and then save the task. Not a big deal, but not nearly as easy as drag and drop.
Nozbe Desktop for Windows – Summary
The Nozbe Desktop for Windows software is a step forward for the Nozbe portfolio, but it is interesting that while so many software solutions are striving to be Cloud-based, Nozbe is working to be desktop-based after having a successful cloud solution. I find this ironic. But, I understand that in order to round out their offerings they need this Windows (and Mac) desktop software.
So how do I like this solution? I have to say at first, I wasn’t sure I liked it. Probably this is because I am a daily user of the Nozbe web solution and it is much more polished and I am used to it. But as I work with the desktop version of Nozbe, I am finding it in some ways easier. The best thing is that I have a choice. I can use the desktop when I need to or when I am not on my computer, I can log into the web, or even use my Android phone. This allows me to manage my day from anywhere at anytime. Nozbe is so much a part of my life, I would be lost without it.
I use the email to Nozbe function a lot too and it is great to capture tasks in an email and forward them to Nozbe. Then when I open the Nozbe Desktop for Windows, I see the tasks waiting for me.
Overall, this is a nice software solution for anyone looking to manage their tasks or if you are starting to implement the GTD (Getting things Done) methods. Give it a try. If you don’t have an account, click below to get started.