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jcarucci 2013-04-14 06:44 PM

Back to Omnifocus after Things detour
On March 20th I got frustrated by Omnifocus and decided to switch to Things. I had used Omnifocus for years and I wanted to try something simpler. It has been about a month now and I've decided to move back to Omnifocus. Basically I miss all the power that Omnifocus provides. I lost site of the fact that I really used many of these advanced features that just aren't possible in Things.

There are also a lot of little items in Things that are frustrating. One example is when you are processing an item in the Inbox, it takes 7 taps to move an item to my Errands list vs 4 in Omnifocus. Furthermore, the tag system in Things only allows you to scroll through the list and select the item. If the context you want is at the bottom or deep in a hierarchy, then there is a bit of hunting to find the right context. Omnifocus allows you to start typing in the context field to filter down. So usually 1 or 2 letters from the context name and it pops up ready to apply to your task. These little details add up when you are processing an Inbox of 20 items, which is not unusual on a work day.

Another small item that is really important is having the ability of setting a due date and [I]time[/I]. In Things you can only have a due date, no time. Often this is good enough, but sometimes the time is critical. For example, I have to take a Vitamin D pill before I go to bed. In OF I set a start time of 7 PM and a due time of 9 PM. If I don't check off the task before 9, I get an alert on my iPhone at the right time in the day. For Things you only get one alert in the morning, which is useless for something I need to do 12 hours later.

The ability to create hierarchies of folders and projects in Omnifocus also helps organize my busy life with many commitments. The flat list of Things projects quickly becomes too long to navigate properly. Areas helps to some extent, but again, it isn't as powerful as Omnifocus organization.

Reviews on Omnifocus iPad just blows away the review capabilities of Things. What finally made me decide to move back to OF, was the weekly review I did yesterday. There is no review mode in Things, you just have to go through every list. There is no concept of having a setting for a project that you only want to review once a month or once a quarter. It is great to sit down in review mode on OF and only review the things that need a weekly review.

Another bonus is that there are these great, very active forums. People from Omni actually follow them and weigh in which almost never happens with the Things forum.

myfre 2013-04-14 09:22 PM

yep, the forums here are great!

nicoledb 2013-04-15 01:13 AM

Yep, same reason to switch to Things, same frustrations. The main trigger for me to switch back to OF was an apparent bug in Things with repeating items, where I seemed to be losing repeating items that were scheduled months ahead.

And yes, the forums here are great, very active, and very knowledgeable people around!

wilsonng 2013-04-15 01:52 AM

Thanks for relaying to us some of the differences between OF and Things.

I must admit that Things has tempted me in the past. I would visit it every once in a blue moon and try to figure out how to emulate some of my OF workflows in Things. I never could do a complete switchover to Things as I have heard some of the other users have done.

There were a few UI workflows I can live with in Things but I couldn't live without folders, nested projects, forecast, and the weekly review.

Looking forward to more robust repeat functions in the new OF.

I guess it all depends on your life and its demands. My sister would just roll her eyes when she sees my folders (areas of responsibilities), projects, and contexts. She's quite happy with Apple Reminders.

I guess Things falls somewhere between Apple Reminders and OF. If your life is fairly streamlined and not as complicated, Things will be better suited. Sometimes i wished my life was simpler. But there are all these interesting projects for me to tackle now and in the Someday/Maybe realm. That's why I'm wedded to OF.

jcarucci 2013-04-15 11:38 AM

I guess Things falls somewhere between Apple Reminders and OF. If your life is fairly streamlined and not as complicated, Things will be better suited.[/QUOTE]

I agree with this, my wife finds OF too complex and I've told her just to use Reminders on her iPhone. The learning curve on OF is high, but it does have a lot of power.

jafish 2013-07-13 05:51 AM

Not only are the forums great here, but I'm still blown away by the fact that OmniGroup has a phone number that a real person in their actual office answers right away. I was having an issue using the Omni sync server as a webdav service with iThoughtsHD on my iPad. Turns out that I needed to enter along with some other details, which the person who answered found out by talking to one of the engineers, who also happened to use iThoughtsHD. This took about 4 minutes of my time.

When people complain about how outrageously expensive OmniGroup apps are, either they forget how priceless this kind of support is, or they just don't care (which is sad).

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