#GTDapps: Interview to Charlotte Joy Callender


Today in GTDapps, we are going to have Charlotte Joy Callender, Community Experience Developer in Nirvana. Charlotte is an advanced user of GTD, with several years of experience using this methodology. She is a contributor to the NirvanaHQ blog and the Nirvana Help Desk.

«Our users put their lives into this app and we have tremendous respect for that»

And now, the questions and the answers of Charlotte for GTDapps:

Knowing better Charlotte

What is your career path until you arrived at Nirvana?

Before coming to Nirvana, I had several different positions. Some of them included event technical support, fitness instructor, and documentation developer for Concordia University’s Instructional Technology department. Coming to Nirvana has been a great step forward because of the variety of projects I get to work on here.

What defines Charlotte?

That’s a hard question. I change often, but there are some things that remain constant. I love to learn and love to help people learn. I believe in honesty, compassion, and joy.  I think that taking the time to connect with yourself and the people in your life is paramount. Sunshine, dancing, and ice cream are some of my favourite things.

The past

What have been the challenges you had to overcome to transform that original vision of Nirvana into the actual app?

The main challenge has been to keep our focus on what the team believes Nirvana is and what it should have. We get hundreds of users requests for new features and functionalities. We have to decide carefully because some might sound great but would make the app be something else that we don’t want it to be.

What milestones define the past of Nirvana?

Elbert first developed Nirvana to help with the challenges of becoming a new father. With all the work that entails, he decided he needed a system that would help him keep his life on track.

In 2015, the team worked to develop Nirvana 3.0, which will be familiar to many of those who use the product today.

Inside the Nirvana control room

Personal productivity is based on habits, as well as GTD. In which way, Nirvana helps people to develop and maintain the GTD productivity habits?

Nirvana is not just a regular to-do app. It’s an app that was built following the GTD methodology, it’s logic and flow. Even the terminology that you’ll find in the app is for GTD. If you are not a GTD user you can still use it because it is very intuitive.

Which are the Nirvana´s strengths, in comparison with other GTD apps available on the market?

I’d say that one of our strengths is our mindset. We want to support our users in achieving balance. We believe that it’s not just about doing more, but doing what’s important when it matters most.

I like that Nirvana can be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be. You can take full advantage of all of the features and really connect with GTD or decide to only use the Inbox. We want it to be your system.

In this world, everything and everyone is connected and it has its benefits, but it also means that it can be hard to escape. We think that Nirvana can be that fortress of solitude. The place where you put down whatever thoughts you have, organize them, make them actionable knowing that no one else has a say in it. It’s just a place for you.

On the technical side, Nirvana is flexible. It works across browsers and devices as well as offline.

E-mail has become a significant tool in the daily life of the vast majority of knowledge workers. How do you think the relationship between E-mail, Nirvana, and personal productivity should be?

Because Nirvana offers a way to easily send emails into the app, I think the relationship is quite a comfortable one.

With our email to Inbox feature, any user can add items to their Nirvana account via email. I think this can help you stay focused and productive. Instead of rushing to react to the latest message, you can forward it to Nirvana and keep control of what you choose to act on.

And tomorrow?

What milestones will mark the future of Nirvana?

The future of Nirvana is in making the app easier to adopt and use. Our users put their lives into this app and we have tremendous respect for that. We strive to make it a reliable and easy experience. Our goal is to make it as effortless as possible to use the app. Our milestones are in growth and feedback from our base.

Within the Nirvana route map, is there space for collective productivity management (productive networks, work team, organizations departments…?

Nirvana was designed as a space where one person could be alone with their thoughts, add what they need to, and really be in control of that environment. We like to think of it as a Zen space. For this clarity and control we designed it as a single user system.

Nowadays, artificial intelligence is been documented by many innovation writers. How can deal Nirvana with it?

Nirvana is made for people, for human intelligence.  As AI advances, we will be more and more free to focus on creative ideas rather than repetitive tasks and free our minds from retaining information.  The future is very GTD, but that vision is still far away.  Nirvana is something that can free your mind today, it can free your mind right now with little effort to focus on what you are doing and what you are working towards.  If somebody working on creating an advanced AI picks up Nirvana, maybe they’ll get done a little sooner.

To end…

The last question is for the interviewee. What have you missed in the interview and would you like to include?

Nirvana is made by a small independent team. We love hearing from our users and have long-term plans to support and improve the app.

Nirvana is free to try and whether you are a GTD user or not there’s something there for you. If you want to learn more we invite you to visit our Help Desk site or check our Twitter account.  And if you are interested in using Nirvana, you can get a 20 % discount with the promo code «enfoquecarnot20».


I hope you have found interesting this information about the past, present, and future of Nirvana. Thanks to Charlotte and thank you for being there.

See you in the next chapter of GTDapps.

Jesús Serrano Ducar

Soy consultor artesano y nodo de OPTIMA LAB, una red productiva que ayuda a personas y organizaciones a ser más efectivas para lograr sus resultados por medio del aprendizaje basado en la experiencia y nuevas metodologías centradas en las personas.

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