I’ve been using Todoist for almost five months now.
First impressions were very good. Paying was easy and in a few minutes I was up and running in all operating systems plus Outlook, Gmail, browsers… I had my Todoist with me everywhere. A little tweaking of Outlook actions, IFTTT and Zapier helped with whatever little inter-app communication I needed that was not built-in. Todoist delivered on any front as expected.
Since then, the system has been reliable and that is a very good thing to say. But I miss a few things that didn’t seem that important before.
-Next Actions. Yes you can have the discipline to mark one task per project as priority 2 and filter. These would be your next actions per project. But any time you complete a task you have to manually change the priority of the next one that will become a ‘next one’. One more layer of maintenance for your system, one more chance to derail.
-Tags by category. If there are only tags, marking a task as exceptionally long or related with Mr. Smith falls in the same list of tags. The list is soon bigger than what is comfortable to keep controlled and tidy. Nirvana gives you that by the way: contacts are one kind of data associated with tasks, energy is another, etc. So you can review you contacts-related tasks more easily.
-Better management of non-English characters. A very probable problem with encodings makes import feature useless if you didn’t write your tasks in English. Any special character such as “á” will be ignored and, worse, switched for a line break, which means each task affected will be imported as several tasks, each with incomplete text.
-Some kind of note associated with the project itself. To link to general reference or to describe the final deliverable of the project in more detail than just a project name.
Oddly enough, Nirvana provides all of what I lack now. Sure Todoist is prettier and has more native integrations, but like a said a little use of IFTTT or Zapier can solve most of that. Sure Nirvana is priced at around twice as much but still within reason at 39 USD per year.
And there are bells and whistles I don
So I’m not exactly unhappy or disappointed with Todoist but I may be close to switching again and claim Nirvanahq is after all the best GTD app for 2015, or at least the most balanced for my personal workflow (i.e. not seeking collaboration feature, etc).
I will miss color-coding my projects and having sub-projects though, two things I expect from Nirvanahq roadmap as no-brainers. But ultimately I can live without it.
I have to say there is one feature that was indeed promising but I won’t need: Outlook integration. It seemed like a big deal for me… before trying it. First, any third-party add-in makes your Outlook slower, specially on startup, so it has to add value. Well, Todoist didn’t really converted emails into tasks in a way that made it easier than copy-pasting the subject to my Todoist window and adding desired tags. For instance, attachments were not respected. Compare that with the excellent Evernote add-in and you know its the only Outlook integration you’ll need. I switched off Todoist add-in and instead saved critical emails to Evernote and linked to that note from my related Todoist task. I can even use an Evernote public link to share that email – with its original attachments. Easiest and fastest way to collect/share that I’ve found when forwarding the email is not an optimal solution.
In both cases Evernote is and will remain my app of choice for taking notes and archiving anything from Outlook emails to screenshots. But as task/project management goes, I needed something else and Nirvanahq may well be the perfect match.