Todoist review after five months of use

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.

Todoist review after five months of use

Facile Things vs Todoist vs Nirvanahq: Comparing Three Great GTD apps

After extensive research and testing, I was stuck between the three best GTD apps I found out there: Facile Things, Todoist and Nirvanahq. They all have pros and cons but are very solid products. They all include my ‘must haves’ and nice features like being able to create tasks by e-mail. I needed to look feature by feature to choose one. So this is how I did it.

Questions for Tiebreak Facile Things Todoist Nirvana hq
Is data export allowed? Yes – xml No (shortcut via templates to export project by project – in plain text) Yes – xml, json, csv
How easily can you filter by contexts AND projects? Tagging (tags and number of items in each tag is sorted by view, you can see only the count for Next Actions lists) Pretty Good – Filters and labels combined should do (premium feature, not able to test it at this stage) Easiest of all three
How easy is it to create new projects? Mouse required, 3 clicks mininum Mouse required, 2 clicks minimum One click
Sub-projects allowed? No Yes No
Beauty of design? Fine Highest Good
‘Joy factor’ of marking tasks as completed? Medium High High
Is it easy to check some tasks i.e. as the three most important for the day? Yes – starred tasks Yes – priority 1, 2, etc. would allow that Yes – starred tasks
How easy is it to re-order tasks inside a project, i.e. by drag-and-drop? Medium Easy, drag-and-drop Easiest and most flexible of all three
Can you show only next steps, i.e. next actions for all of your projects? Yes No Yes
Integration with other apps and services? Evernote, Google Calendar, Twitter, and email. Outlook, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Dropbox, IFTTT, Zapier No
Automatic Backups (personal)? No – Manual export No – Manual, but automatic backups available online and downloadable No – Manual
Good keyboard shortcuts? 50% 50% (quick add, not fully controlable with keyboard) 50% (Quick add, some navigation, not full control with keyboard)

 

Interface beauty and simplicity of use are what make me drop FacileThings despite its many strengths. You need to feel comfortable as this GTD app is going to be the screen you’ll look at most of your day.

Non-export feature in Todoist should be a deal-breaker. But, like I said, beauty is a must. Nirvana wins the race if you think about it rationally, but Todoist at this price deserves a longer try. Ultimately it will be Todoist or Nirvana. But I decided to try Todoist premium for some months.

So here you have it. Todoist is my choice for 2015. I paid for the yearly suscription last January. I’ll soon be ready for a verdict on how it actually works and if it’s worth the time and money. But I hope this little list can help you make your own decision. I really think you can’t go wrong with any of these three.

Facile Things vs Todoist vs Nirvanahq: Comparing Three Great GTD apps