Nozbe (this is an affiliate link) is a web-based project, task and notes management system completely based on the David Allen’s Getting Things Done approach. I heard about this web-based system a while ago and the reviews were very good but I opted against it at the time. At the moment, I am using the GTD AddOn for Outlook but to be honest, I have been using it less and less.
At first glance, Nozbe is like your typical task management. You can add tasks different ways, from their web interface or via email. The also offer a Mobile interface but I have not tested it yet. The basic free account can use all their predefined Context (Home, Office, Computer, etc.) and up to five projects. Users can elect to upgrade to get customized contexts and more projects. I have not done so yet.
The good: Nozbe’s web interface is extremely fast and comfortable. In not time, users should know exactly where to click to add tasks in seconds. Several views are offered, by project, by context or the “Next Action” list. Looking at a simple list, the user can very easily re-arrange the order the items, make a particular action a “Next Action”, mark completed or modify an item.
The not so good: I found that Nozbe lacked an “All Item” or everything view. I find myself making a lot of items “Next Action” just cause I want to keep track of them and not forget. I somehow feel like items are not gonna fall into The Abyss and never show up again unless I click the star. It would be nice to add a “Fallen Star” like for items that have not been touched or looked at in a customizable time frame. That way I could include a review of this list in my weekly or daily review and make sure nothing slipped through the cracks. They also knew exactly what they were doing when they built the subscription structure. The made Nozbe very useful in its free incarnation but it does not take long for a user to end up with the need to create more projects or create customized context. I am just not sure I am willing to commit yet. The Oulook AddOn had to be purchased but at least, once owned it was yours, I do not depend on a subscription to manage my tasks.
Trusted System: GTD relies on a trusted system to store all information. Having Outlook as a trusted system had its advantages. I was able to create complicated projects and/or taks and keep information required to complete the task pdfs, links, images, anything…) within the action item. Though Nozbe has a ‘Notes’ and ‘Files’ feature, I am not sure I trust it enough to store valuable information yet. The notes and files are also associated with a project overall and not with a particular action item which is sometimes useful.
I had started going away from making Outlook my central trusted system and was looking at other options. A little while ago I started using MS OneNote to manage my trading notes. I slowly extended to other areas so it is slowly taking Outlook’s place as a central system. Maybe the OneNote/Nozbe combination will work better. Nozbe will focus on tracking action items and OneNote can serve to store all my notes, screenshots, pdfs, images and documents for reference.
Overall, a positive grade for Nozbe, B- maybe. I will give it more time and see if I can get the free version to work for me. I will try to post updates once I test the mobile interface and spend more time with the product.