Too much on your plate? Get a smaller plate


Nirvana. That’s what we all want, isn’t it? Maybe that’s why I was attracted to an app by that name several years ago when it was in beta.

Nirvana is built for GTD, with Next Actions, Waiting, Someday, and other “Getting Things Done” features. I liked it, but the developer was taking too long to get it out of beta and I eventually moved onto to other things.

The other day I heard that Nirvana had been updated and I decided to take another look. I played around with it, entering tasks and projects, adding tags, and taking the app for a test drive.

I’m using the free Basic version which limits you to 3 “Areas of Focus” (e.g., Work, Personal, etc.) and 5 Projects. I have more than one business, however, and could use more than 3 Areas of Focus. I also have many projects, both active and inactive, and could use a lot more than 5.

But here’s the thing.

As I struggled to shoehorn my busy life into the Basic version, I realized that while I may have 50 projects I could be working on, I can only work on a one or two at a time. I found myself thinking about what was important to me right now, and used these for my 5 projects. Any other projects (or standalone tasks) I can tag “Someday,” or schedule for a future date, which is what I did with a project I’m planning to work on next month.

If I had the unlimited Pro account, ( per year) and put every project on the project list, both active and inactive, I can see how things might get out of hand. Using the Basic version of Nirvana, or any app that limits you to a handful of “front and center” options, forces you to prioritize.

I can’t have too much on my plate because my “plate” only holds so much.

Of course an artificial limit of 5 projects is just that–artificial. I can still put “everything” in this or other apps and find them when I want to re-fill my list of 5.

I think I’ll play around with the limited version of Nirvana a bit longer. There’s something liberating about looking at a spartan interface with just a few things in front of me, seeing how close I am to being “Done”.

Check out Nirvana and see what you think


163 Getting Things Done Software Options


I admit it. Even though I am committed to Evernote as my getting things done software application, I still like looking at other apps. It’s fun. I get ideas. And yes, I get tempted. But I stay with Evernote, even though it is not a GTD app and does have limitations, because it is simple, powerful, and I can make it do what I want it to do. (I also like having all my tasks and projects in the same place as my notes.)

I chose Evernote because everything else I tried was too complicated to learn and/or use, or didn’t “feel” right for me. I found myself spending too much time managing lists instead of getting things done.

Anyway, if you’re still looking for the perfect app, or like me, you enjoy seeing what else is available, you might want to take a look at this directory of 163 Getting Things Done Software options. I found it by reading a post that summarizes ten popular GTD apps. Of the ten, I have the most experience with Toodledo and Nirvana. They’re both worth a look.

Careful, though. No matter what productivity system you use, trying out new apps can become addicting. You can spend hundreds of hours reading reviews, trying features, and moving information. Been there. Done that.

Of course in the end, the best system is the one that works for you. My wife uses pen and paper and gets way more done than I ever have. It took her about ten seconds to set up her system and she spends zero time looking at other apps.

Check out my Evernote for Lawyers ebook.