Nozbe v Remember The Milk. Which One Is Better?
I like Nozbe. I like Remember the Milk. I’ve tried lots of other productivity and to do apps for daily tracking work- Things, Basecamp & Google Apps. Although I like RTM, I’ve become fully committed to Nozbe (founded by Michael Sliwinski), for the way it syncs with Evernote and Dropbox. It enables me to set up group tasks and it’s at a good price margin. It’s not perfect; the desktop version has problems syncing at times, and you can’t ‘add a new user’ easily from the desktop app; but once you work your way around the quirks, I think Nozbe is the best GTD bit of kit for me. And if you’re in a start up and needing to work with teams and share projects, it’s a no brainer.
This was my GTD shopping list:
1. A mobile app with unlimited desk-top syncing.
2. Timed tasks and repeated tasks.
3. Team work- to share projects and be able to set other people tasks.
4. Ability to set up new users quickly and easily.
5. A GTD friendly app.
6. To get an overview of group activity.
If it wasn’t for the ability to share projects, I may not have moved over from Remember the Milk, but I’m so glad I’ve made the permanent move.
Here’s what I loved about RTM.
1. The user experience was good- clean, quick and easy to learn.
2. It had a great mobile app that synced quickly between online and app versions.
3. Easy to remember shortcuts- quick to enter and repeat.
4. I like the branding. Along with the good user experience, this gave me further confidence in the brand. They took pride in their product. I like the name too. With our baby Iona, I’m often reminded by my wife to remember the milk on my way home! It’s part of my vocab!
5. The ability to sync up Google Apps with RTM is a definite strong highlight- add a task into RTM direct from Gmail is great. With the pro account, the syncing up was seamless. I’d bailed by the time adding tasks with Siri was in place, but I love the thought of that, and would be interested to hear from others about how they’ve found this feature.
But here’s why I love Nozbe.
1. You can share projects with colleagues.
This feature is awesome. If you’re wanting to avoid sending ‘task’ based emails and capture items in one place, Nozbe nails it. You don’t have to resort to Google Apps or Basecamp to track projects or manage team members workload. For this type of work, Google Apps feels like overkill, but Nozbe enables you to set out work on the fly, and have the opportunity to co-ordinate your team when driving a project through to completion.
A project (eg ‘eBook creation’ or someone you are managing) is created and an invite is sent to a team member. The project leader or the team member can add tasks, with email notifications of changes made to these projects also available. You both share the same view of these tasks and any comments left against them. This is the main reason I like Nozbe- it enables both collaborative ways of working and when necessary more direct ways of managing others. This is vital when you’re working with internal and external members of staff on quick fire projects.
2. It follows the Getting Things Done (GTD) approach.
If you’re not familiar with GTD, check out David Allen’s best-selling book, Getting Things Done. The GTD methodology rests on the idea that a person needs to move tasks out of the mind by recording them externally, so the mind is free from the job of remembering the tasks that need to be completed.
Being able to group tasks in contexts (eg office, computer, mobile etc) as opposed to a typical hierarchical manner helps the delivery of these tasks. I love the ease that tasks can be dragged and dropped into the most important order each day great. Helps focus on the most important things that need to be done, and keeps the feature alive. I’d like a way to visualise the prioritisation more clearly, and be able to filter by those.
3. You can get Nozbe on multiple devices
Get it on your iPad, iPhone, Android or Mac, or use the web based version. If it worked perfectly every time, you would find the content added on your phone would then be immediately in sync with your desktop version. It’s not perfect every time, but if you make allowances and know that you need to refresh your app and be a little patient, it’s a good solution. Being a complete fan of Google Apps, I couldn’t function without real time, cross platform work, so I may be slightly critical of the smoothness of the connection, but I’m sure this will improve over time.
4. Works well with third party applications
When I receive emails, I can forward these to Nozbe and create a task automatically with the email attached as a comment. You can also add tasks from Twitter- that’s pretty neat. You can also connect Evernote items to specific projects, which is a great feature. And if you’re working on Design Projects or group work that involves working with large files, then you can add these in Dropbox and connect them with a specific task in Nozbe. Excellent if you need to be leaving comments on these designs.
I think there is the need for greater integration, and I could imagine that if they don’t work in this area, it may be a reason they could lose market share. I’d like to see syncing with Google Apps, Salesforce, Zendesk and Pivotal Tracker. But I think that’s for my specific needs and moves Nozbe away from small teams to larger company contexts, and wouldn’t be relevant for many who use Nozbe. I think for Michael Silwinski greater integrations would be a good move, though it wouldn’t make sense to move in the direction of a wider company organisational platform like Basecamp, as I think they fill the gap between individual person and Angel/Series A investment well. What third party applications would you like to see Nozbe integrate with?
I work with a rolling team of third party workers. It is free for them to have an account if they are only needing 5 projects within their accounts. I just have to have one paid account, which enables 5 people to have more than 5 accounts and an unlimited number to have free accounts. The one paid account enables the syncing across the devices and also enables an unlimited number of projects. This costs me $15 a month. This is the other primary reason I have moved over to Nozbe- it’s a good price and gives me reason to recommend it on. Which I have done, many times.
So that’s my lowdown. I think Michael Sliwinski and his team have done a great job. I can’t vouch on their customer service yet, as I’ve not had any need for it. But surely, that in and of itself is a good sign. If you want to try out Nozbe, then they also offer the app risk-free for sixty days. Download the free Nozbe desktop apps (Mac and Windows) from the Nozbe home page.