My Team doesn't email me anymore. We communicate through Nozbe. That's how we roll...

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post months ago. Hopefully this explains a little more how we work in Nozbe, what’s next on our agenda and why we do the things we do.

We’re growing!

Yes, our Nozbe Team used to be small. I founded Nozbe in 2007 as a “one man shop”. I was joined by Delfina and Tomasz in 2008 and we were three. Now we’re nine. Apart from that we work with Macoscope guys on the iPhone/iPad apps. So we’re acutally more than 9.

Emailing, CCing… is not effective

As we grew I wanted to stay on top of things. So everyone would email me things. Most of them as CC. And that was fine when we were 3. But it started being unbearable at 9. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t scale beyond that point.

Than there was the other thing – of explaining new hires how Nozbe works and what Nozbe does. Why do we have to do it every time?

My decision: You must not email me anymore

I decided to say bye to email within my team. I instructed we needed to really “eat our dogfood” and communicate through Nozbe. Want something from me? Delegate an action to me and I’ll have it. Want to comment on my task. Do it. In Nozbe. Everyone who shares this project will see it, no need to CC people.

Added bonus: New folks really quickly learn all about Nozbe features, how it works and are getting interested in GTD (Getting Things Done) and are more productive and effective. Isn’t that cool?


Turning points: Email notifications + Unread comments

When I introduced the new policy to our small company, we already had the “unread comments” section but we didn’t have the email notifications. We brainstormed the idea and didn’t feel comfortable with doing Facebook-like “whatever-you-do-everyone-will-get-an-email-about-it” type of notifications. We wanted hourly reports. Only if stuff happened. As we work different hours (all of our work remotely), we get reports many times a day, but only about the projects that really interest us.

That makes my job as the CEO a lot more easy – with one look at my email inbox, by just going through the Nozbe notifications I see what everyone is working on, what are the current issue, I know what’s going on in my company without asking anyone about anything.

Desktop: more focus on comments

Comments to tasks became our main thing – we would clarify points and explain things there. We communicate through tasks and comments attached to them better, than through email. So we dropped email altogether.

Caution: it’s still tempting to use email…

I still feel tempted to email someone from my team, please do this for me… but then I take a break, convert my draft email into action task, delegate it to them in Nozbe and I’m done. It’s a process, the old email-centric thinking is still there, but it’s slowly going away :-)

The Future is clear: Collaboration all the way

As you’ve already seen in the three-column desktop app design, we’re slowly redesigning our Nozbe experience into fostering even easier team-centric collaboration. The same principle will soon be very visible in our Android app and mobile web app. And main web app, too. This is where we’re going… and as we’ve noticed this is where you – our customers are going.

There’s still a lot to be done, we’re thinking about moving labels and contexts to group environment, and it’s all coming soon. We’ll nail it :-)

After all, a lot of you, after trying out “Personal” plan quickly upgrade to Family to get your friends and colleagues on board. It’s a natural process – after you’re getting your stuff done with Nozbe, you want everyone else to have the same experience, too. You don’t want to be the only one organized :-)

Ready to drop Email within your team or company?

If your boss is hesitant, send them over a link to this blog post. Or have them contact us. I’ll be happy to personally help. We re not coming back to emailing and CCing everyone. Not in million years. We have Nozbe to do the heavy-lifting for us.

Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Steve Davis
Jan 23, 2012 02:34

Please be sure to allow the ability to see archived completed tasks that have been delegated. If someone marks something complete when its not truly complete it undermines accountability.

Brett Taylor
Jan 14, 2012 19:59

I have a small team of 5 and I’m just setting Nozbe up, but at the moment I like the idea of making each team member a context and delegating that way.

Erik Mellenbergh
Jan 5, 2012 03:23

Hi Michael, I tend to use Nozbe for allocating tasks to my team with a date due. However, when I view Delegated actions they are not sorted by date due and when I click on Calendar the actions are not sorted by the person that they have been delegated to. Is it possible to have these views sort by date or delegated person respectively? Please note this issue also exists with the iPhone and iPad apps. It just makes following-up actions in a meeting, on the phone or in person easier. Thanks Erik

Vance Walker
Dec 28, 2011 00:42

I’m with @Adam – everything is moving in the right direction. This article gave me some ideas to think through. Thanks.

Adam Archer
Dec 20, 2011 07:44

We are slowly moving in this direction as well, I still have some challenges with this as it can be confusing to on know who comments are directed to or who added a task (within the iPad app at least). I do think it’s the best GTD system due to it’s well designed website and apps. Keep adding the features!