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GeekLady 2007-07-19 09:56 AM

The Best and Worst of OmniFu
We talk a lot about the merits of individual features, but what you guys think of OmniFocus as a whole? What is the best feature? What is your biggest boondoggle or usability issue?

Best thing: I love how easy OF is to jump into, or integrate into a preexisting system. I tried iGTD and was frustrated very quickly by how much information it shoved in my face, the focus was always on the individual task selected, and not the list of tasks available. OF is only as involved as I want to be, and it's easy to ignore any attribute I'm not using (time estimates, i.e.) even when it's active.

Worst thing: The way searching and the viewbar interact is incredibly frustrating. If I search for a task that I [I]know[/I] is in OF, but it doesn't show up, I panic. A minute later, I realize it's because the view bar is filtering out the task I'm looking for. Then I go back to look at something else, this time via context or project, but now [B]everything[/B] is gone, and panic again. And another minute later I realize the search is still active. This is a constant trip-up for me, whenever I use the search function.

dduff617 2007-07-19 10:49 AM

i don't like how (for many configurations that i use) the filter selections [I]look[/I] like they are column headers for the data in the project/task window (on the right) but aren't. the reason for this is obvious: these drop-down buttons show their current selected value, and for most of them, the allowed values are the same as the field names of the data being displayed.

on a related note, i also don't like how the project/task window (on the right) is tabular data, but does not display any column headers and does not provide the intuitive tabular data management features (like click on the top of a column to sort by the column, resize columns, drag columns around to reorder, etc.)

proposed solutions: a) put some more distinct visual "break" between the filter buttons and the project/task list window or move the filter buttons to their own inspector pane or something. b) make the task/project list look/act more like a normal list (with a header row).

curt.clifton 2007-07-19 11:49 AM

I agree with GeekLady on both counts!

dduff617, I had never had the confusion you described, but then I realized that's because I always have a Group By setting turned on in the View Bar. With a group-by setting, the group heading serves as the visual break you're looking for. I agree that with an ungrouped display some sort of stronger visual break would be helpful. I like not having regular column headings like in a typical tabular display since the interface is quieter that way.

AmberV 2007-07-19 02:24 PM

I'm with GeekLady on the thing I like best about OF. It is very low-key to get in to. You can brainstorm projects with ease, and maintain/review everything just like you would in an outliner. Even before switching to OF, I had taken to using the outliner method for keeping track of my lists. It is so much more intuitive to me than the strict project vs. task dichotomy you see in most GTD implementations. Working in OF is pretty transparent, ignoring the alpha stage rough edges, of course. Imagining the finished product where everything is as slick as OO---it is going to be very easy to work in OF on a daily basis.

My biggest gripe is something I've already posted: I'm sick of filter dancing every time I want to add a task to a holding project.

Weasel 2007-07-19 04:30 PM

I like:
• parallel and consecutive projects
• nice interface, easy to learn
• selecting a context shows also task in sub-contexts
• nesting of tasks

I dislike:
• no priorities
• filtering is not obvious (need visual clues)
• not enough options to customize interface (column with, position etc.)
• no visual clue for recurring items
• items ticked off disappear immediately
• difference between folders-projects-tasks

There are probably a few more things, but that's what I can think of momentarily.

MEP 2007-07-19 05:52 PM

Favorite feature:
Focus. I didn't really get this feature at first when it was shown in Ethan's screencast and it took me a while to start using it. But once I started really using it, I found that it made a huge difference when dealing with a large amount of projects and tasks. It's simple, but really useful and easy to get used to. That's elegant in my opinion. I'm really looking forward to the perspectives feature getting fleshed out too. I think the features which are designed to alter your view of your action list are some of the strongest in OF.

Second favorite feature:
No priorities. Really though, I think the lack of some features is also a great strength and the lack of priority is one the strongest.

Least favorite "flaw?":
No red highlight (or any visual cue) for overdue tasks. Not that I ever *cough* miss any due dates, but in the off chance that I might miss one someday, it would be nice to have it stick out more.

As far as search goes, maybe OF should show search results in a new window.

fideli 2007-07-19 08:54 PM

Best feature: I have to second Focus. The only downside to that is that I've created a bunch of όber project folders. It makes it easy to focus on the "School" folder or whatever, but it makes it tedious in project mode. In context mode, it's perfect.

Most annoying thing: filter ribbon. I love filtering as much as the next guy, but I find it too tedious to use my mouse to select items from multiple filter choices. Sometimes I like to see just the next actions within contexts. Then I'd like to see all remaining tasks by due date. To do this, I have to contantly manipulate two filter lists. I suppose perspectives might help, but I have yet to look into it.

Also, I agree that there should be [I]some[/I] indication of an overdue task.

HiramNetherlands 2007-07-19 11:27 PM

OmniFu (you're quite right, that's what it should have been called, GeekLady) is already, in its alpha stage, one of my five indispensable applications (the others are Mail, OmniWeb, NetNewsWire and Pages).

Best feature: The GUI as a whole. I can't look at any of the competitors for more than five minutes a day. OF, on the other hand, looks very good.

Worst gripe: Subtasks. They should be subprojects, really, and behave as such. Next worst: I want to be able to jump to the inspector windowlet using a keyboard shortcut.

GeekLady 2007-07-20 05:26 AM

[QUOTE=HiramNetherlands]OmniFu (you're quite right, that's what it should have been called, GeekLady)[/QUOTE]
Oh, I can't bring myself to call it OmniFocus, it's just too many syllables and life is short.

BwanaZulia 2007-07-20 05:57 AM

I have been using it full time for a month or so and really getting used to it so I will throw some thoughts up here:

Best feature: Quick entry box. I can easily start with a task, create a new project and context and just move ahead not having to figure out anything else.

Least favorite: Not a feature, but when trying to add tasks to an existing project right now I have to hit return and return again. There is a lag. It should be much quicker to enter things in, filters or no.


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