Nirvana may bring bliss to hard-core GTD fans
Nirvana is a new to-do app, aimed mainly at GTD fanatics. If you love contexts, ticklers, "next actions" and various other GTD buzzwords, you'll feel right at home with Nirvana.
The system is currently in invite-only beta, but they were kind enough to send me an invite so that I could review it. After the fold, you can see a fairly extensive screenshot tour that gives a pretty good idea of what you can expect.
I must say that I'm not much of a GTD fan myself, so I wasn't swept off my feet. Still, the application feels well made. It's one of those very Web 2.0 apps that is nearly over-the-top. It ends up feeling quite slick and enjoyable to use, though.
To see the rest of the tour, continue reading after the fold.
This is the general outlook of the application. The navigation pane on the left contains exact GTD labels, such as "Today," "Next," etc. The inbox that you see is within the application, but you can also email tasks in (as you'll see later on).
The system is well documented with a short help text for every screen. I think it's supposed to make it easier for the non-GTD folk to get started, but honestly, I believe it takes more than just a short amount of text to get started with a new system like that. Still, the help text did make me feel welcome and served to refresh what little I did know of GTD.
There are plenty of keyboard shortcuts. For some reason, folders are assigned numbers rather than letters (such as "I" for Inbox or "N" for Next). Perhaps this will change as the beta progresses.
This is what it looks like when you're creating a new task. As I said before, the "desktop feel" doesn't really work for me, but that's just me. One interesting thing to note is that you can set "Show in Today" to a different date than the actual day that the task occurs on. Apart from making things a tad less intuitive, isn't that cheating? ;)
It may not be very clear on the screenshot, but this is what you see when you drag things around. You can easily reorder tasks and shuffle them around by drag-and-drop, which works well.
This is what the task list looks like at maximum detail level. You can see that each task takes quite a bit of vertical space, but they can be collapsed down to just the headings (or to the heading + the first line of the descripton). There's also a handy way of setting or changing the due date without opening the task properties.
By the way, these tasks were already present in the demo project, and I did not create them. Note how strongly they promote GTD; the app is really predicated on it.
One minor issue regarding the due date selection is that you cannot write something like "next Sunday." You must use numbers only, or click on a date in the pop-up calendar. That's rather restrictive.
This is the top bar for the task list, which lets you filter tasks by tag or by due date (you can't select a future date, only "Due"). To the left, you can see the detail-selection buttons: headline only, headline + first line, and complete.
This is the account settings page (or rather, "dialog"). On the bottom-right you can see the option to send tasks to an account-specific email address. Senders do not appear to be filtered; this means that, theoretically, your boss could send you tasks like this (or spammers, if they happen to get the randomly-generated address somehow).
Finally, there's a nice forum for questions, etc. There's quite a bit of support in general; they seem to be geared up for quite a bit of interest.
Bottom line: If it seems like I'm not overly excited about Nirvana, I guess it's because I'm not a GTD fanatic. The application feels well-made (if a bit too Web 2.0 for me), and it seems like the company behind it is intent on making it a success. Best of luck!