Marcus Platt recently reminded me that the Mac version of Nozbe has a hot key feature allowing you to quickly add a task to Nozbe from any app. That seemed handy and I wondered why it was missing from the Windows version. Not seeing a reason, I decided to make a Windows equivalent.
On Windows, if you want a hot key to do something, the place to start is AutoHotkey. If a computer can do it, you can trigger it with AutoHotkey.
I settled on Win-N as the keystroke to trigger a new task (N for New and N for Nozbe). Now all I needed was the AutoHotkey script to tell Nozbe to create a new task:
; Quick add task to Nozbe desktop app
if WinExist("ahk_exe Nozbe.exe")
WinActivate, ahk_exe Nozbe.exe
Run, "c:\Program Files (x86)\Nozbe\Nozbe.exe"
If you want to use this but are not familiar with AutoHotkey, its not too hard.
1. Install AutoHotkey
2. In the system tray find the AutoHotkey app (a green square with a white H on it), and right click. Select Edit This Script.
3. The current Autohotkey script will open in Notepad. Just copy and paste my script at the bottom of the file. Save and close the file.
4. Back in the System Tray right click the AutoHotkey icon again and select Reload This Script.
That’s it. Win-N should activate Nozbe (starting it if it is not running) and press the space key to tell Nozbe to prompt for a new task. Very handy.
Kobi asked if Nozbe data could be exported as a command line option so that it could be scheduled. I’m happy to oblige with a new version that can do just that.
There are a few options. First to pull a fresh copy of your data from Nozbe:
To export to csv format, first create a folder to hold the files (e.g. c:\temp\Nozbe):
revudo.exe -tocsv c:\temp\Nozbe
You can combine them together so that what you export is always the latest that Nozbe has:
revudo.exe -reset -tocsv c:\temp\Nozbe
You can also use -tojson for JSON format and -toxml for XML format export.
As always you can download the new version from here.
Many thanks to Robin for reporting that exporting your Nozbe data will fail if there are characters in either your project names, or in any files you have attached to those projects, that Windows will not allow in a file name. A colon is a great example and I am surprised this was not caught before. Certainly once I saw the problem I kicked myself for not realizing that it could happen.
So there is a new version, RevuDo 0.5.0.24 available. Please keep those bug reports and any ideas for improvement coming.
It has been too long since I have posted. This post marks a number of collected fixes. You can download the latest version here.
Thanks go to Christian and James who pointed me to a few errors that with their help I was able to fix. The Nozbe world has seen a lot of changes, and RevuDo needed to be made aware of them.
Roger patiently went back and forth with me until we found a long standing bug that caused some completed tasks to not sync. If you think you have this problem, upgrade to this version, sync (to make sure everything is saved) and then click Tools and then Reset Cache (to pull everything from Nozbe).
Dominique reported a crash exporting to Excel. There are two issues here I think and one should be fixed. Dominique, please let me know if it is completely fixed.
If you have been seeing problems, this new version should get you back on track.
As for the future, I am watching Nozbe evolve to see where I can provide the most value. In the meantime let me know what needs fixing and what you would like to see added.
We all want to see prompt results. For things to go fast in the direction we want to go.
But life has other plans, and the key to getting what we want is to match our dreams to the world we find ourselves in.
Back in April I posted an update to RevuDo that allowed edits to everything but tasks. It took me two months, but with version 0.5.0.2 that limitation has finally been removed.
With this update, Tasks can be added, updated or completed (with handy check marks on the task list to make completion fast and fun).
Some bug fixes and performance improvements round out the update.
The next step will be to smooth out the rough edges, and enable offline mode. What else would you like to see?
I had hoped that this would be version 0.5, with the ability to edit tasks, but the details of that have been taking longer than I expected, so it was time to release a bug fix and some small feature requests.
Erica pointed out that RevuDo would crash when using a team account on Nozbe. Tomasz Kapelak, the CTO at Nozbe, very helpfully gave me some team accounts on their test server to simulate working as a team and the problem was very quickly revealed. This is now working correctly.
Charles commented that printing his lists enabled him to do a review away from the computer. I understand well how getting away from the computer can open up new perspectives. In order to make this easier, Charles suggested a few improvements. And so, the following new features have been added:
- The printed tasks now include their due date.
- Since printing task comments can use up a lot of paper, there is a new option to print only the last comment. I am considering taking this further to limit how much of that comment is printed. If you would like that option added, let me know your thoughts on what the cutoff should be. Charles suggested an option to remove them entirely. That will be in the next release.
- The total estimated time for the printed tasks is now shown at the top of the printout, below the header. I plan to add the time required for each task, but a sheet of paper is only so wide, and I have to give some thought to printing more than one line per task.
Charles also requested a way to print just the tasks completed in a certain date range. I will probably add a shortcut for this, but it can be done now. Select All Tasks, and then select Show Done. Click the Completed column to sort on the date completed. Highlight the range you want to print, and click print, selecting the option to print only selected tasks.
Many thanks to both Erica and Charles for the comments. This is why I am developing RevuDo in public. Please keep those comments coming!
RevuDo 0.4.8.1 can be downloaded on the RevuDo page.
Almost a year ago, on April 26th, 2011, I posted some thoughts on why the future of the cloud was the Evernote model. There will always be issues that take down a web service, but a local app that syncs with the web service allows work to continue with the local copy. Further, a Mac or Windows client can still do so much more than a web page can. Working offline is just one.
On June 6th, 2011, I released my first step to providing a Windows app that would provide that for Nozbe. Early early days, but it was a first step.
On July 15th, 2011, Nozbe released their first beta of the new Nozbe desktop client for Mac and Windows.
On February 27th, I released ReVuDo for Nozbe 0.4.8, another step toward the goal of a fully functional Windows client for Nozbe.
Finally, yesterday, Nozbe released version 1.0 of their desktop client.
In one year the Nozbe world has come a long way. I know how hard Michael, Tomasz and Delfina have worked to get to this point, and I see the foundation for great things in the new app.
I like a lot about the new desktop app. Working offline is a big help, and the ability to filter Next Actions by project or context is one of those things that drove me to write my own client! Not everything is there, but I can see where the missing items would fit. The new type # to enter context, project, date whatever is a wonderful addition (I have to add that to ReVuDo!). I am going to be switching to the new desktop app on Windows and leaving the web version for times when I am not at my own computer.
The biggest negative for me is that there are not enough ways to work without a mouse. The keyboard is so much faster, and a tool like Nozbe has to be fast and easy. I hope this will be addressed in 1.1. Performance has gotten a lot better, but I would like to see it be even faster. Finally, better filtering, adding sorting and other things are long anticipated, but I know they needed to build this foundation first.
This is an exciting time. Just think what another year will bring!