Wow… there is quite a debate happening over at thenextweb.com regarding the look & feel of Nirvana vs. Cultured Code’s Things.app. Over the last 12 hours we’ve received a ton of encouraging emails as well as quite a few, lets say, not so encouraging ones.
Here’s our take. Things.app rules. Both the desktop and the iPhone apps are brilliant. Over the years at PLU we’ve used Things, OmniFocus, and TaskPaper with varying degrees of GTD bliss to manage our client projects and personal tasks. For near-realtime collaboration we use IM and email (of course), Backpackit, Basecamp and Mantis – again with varying degrees of bliss.
The problem (and opportunity?) is this – we want to see everything that needs to get done in one system, anywhere and at any time. Having work tasks in one or more places, and personal tasks in yet another, means checking way too many applications to size up the day, with a risk that something will invariably get overlooked. Some solutions were too much for our needs, others not enough.
A lot of us have multiple computers, some have iPhones, some have Blackberries… and trying to keep them all in sync is frustrating. So we turned to the web. We took a look at Vitalist and Remember The Milk and others, but at the end of the day really missed the intuitive user experience of the Mac apps that we’ve grown accustomed to: iTunes, iPhoto, Mail… and Things. But we also wanted to be able to email or phone in to-dos to our GTD inboxes when we’re on the road, to have an iCal feed that automatically puts Today’s deliverables in the calendar, to be able to delegate tasks with blog-style comments for feedback and collaboration, to have shared projects where tasks can be assigned to different team members, to be able to filter contexts across all projects, work, family and personal to-dos.
That’s what we wanted. Couldn’t find it. So we decided to build it. Don’t a lot of web apps start this way?
Now, having your trusted system in the cloud isn’t for everybody. But it’s critical for the way we work. If you’re a Mac user with a single computer and it’s with you at all times, check out Things. Seriously. But for everybody else, we think (hope) Nirvana fills a void.
As for the hullabaloo we seem to have created with our current UI… We debated quite a bit internally as to whether or not we should show a screen-shot of our working prototype before we actually launched. Our intent is to let users customize and skin Nirvana as they wish, a la WordPress, Typepad, Blogger and other services. We hope that there will be a Nirvana look & feel for each person’s taste.
A lot of work goes into building a robust and scalable web service, and that is what we are refining with our closed beta at this time.
So that’s where we’re coming from. We’re sorry if we offended anyone.
Your feedback is most welcome. We encourage the discussion.