I intended to quote myself here, but cannot remember which thread I wrote it in, so I'll summarize it again
I think quite a bit of our confusion with apps etc comes from our not being quite clear about what part of our lives we are trying to computerize, i.e. which parts of our whole thinking and memory and written material is it that we are trying to map into our task app. And the computer adds new possibilities that we did not have before, which can be both for better and for worse.
In the 80's I had lots of different lists and plans (and a shelf full of reference material, and further reference material elsewhere). I did not experience the same kind of problems that I have now. It was not better then, but the problems were of a different nature.
As for me, something I have ruled out completely (but many have not, as you can see in all task app forums) is reference material. My task app is just for things that I will or might do, not for things that I need to remember later or have available while doing. That takes one big burden of my chest (compared with all those who are fretting about not having Evernote and Dropbox integration etc). In fact, I want my reference material to be separate, standalone. I want a robust reference system that I can trust, and I want to keep it organized in such a way that I can always find the stuff I need regardless of which task app or task lists I am using or none at all. And this is how I do it, and always have.
So for me the "mapping" problem comes down to this: I used to have a few short-term miscellaneous lists, more or less like short-term Next-by-Context lists. I also used to have "plans" for various longer-term efforts (projects or goals etc of various kinds). I like to get things off my mind and into written form, always have.
In the old days I would then move or copy selected things from the "plans" onto the short-term lists, or work straight off the "plan". Theoretically, I could do the same thing today, and use a simple list app (such as Wunderlist etc) for my short term miscellaneous lists, while relying on paper or Word or Workflowy etc for my various "plans". That would certainly work. It would be almost exactly the same "system" as I had in the 80's, now computerized, and with no integration between short-term lists and other "plans". But this is the part that I find hard to tolerate. Seeing the computer in front of me, knowing its potential, it is hard for me to accept that I would have to sit and enter the same "todo statements" first in a "planning document" and subsequently transfer it to a "short-term document". I prefer these to be in the same app, and this is something we definitely can get today. Apps such as Nirvana, Doit, Zendone and many others make it possible to keep it all together, short term todos and longer-term efforts such as projects or goals all in one. The main thing that is missing in these apps is a bit of "clarity" - how all this stuff fits together, what is a part of what, what do you want to see right now, etc. It easily gets messy. We are very near, yet still so far away ...