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GoodOak 2012-03-03 02:25 PM

Switching from Things... need Help
I have been using Things for a couple years now, but with my small company its getting to the point that I need to synchronize my task management with my employees, and it looks like OmniFocus will do that better (i.e., is capable of doing it at all). So this weekend I'm working on converting over to OmniFocus with the intention of having everything set up for my employees when they come back in on Monday. But I'm running into a lot of hurtles adapting OF to my workflow, or adapting my workflow to OF.

Biggest one seems to be that OF is very focused on "Projects", but about 80% of my tasks are single-action items. As the owner, I am always running around tying up loose ends and handling all the odd situations that come up. Single action items seem like second-class citizens, you can't have them stand alone in a folder, you have to keep them in a specific list? Am I perceiving this correctly? How do I get around this shortfall. Should I just make every action item a project?

What is a good framework for collaboration? I was thinking that each employee could have a folder and I could assign tasks by dropping them in their folders, and vice versa. UPDATE: looks like there are some threads I can read up about this on, but any specific suggestions would be helpful.

CatOne 2012-03-03 06:26 PM

You can do single action lists in OmniFocus.

Do note, however, that OmniFocus is still designed to be a single-user application. It's possible to have multiple people using the same sync account, but that's not what OF is designed to do.

If you're looking for a multi-user product that supports delegation, you may wish to look at something like Flow ([url][/url]) which is designed for it (it looks more like Things, but doesn't have a native Mac app; it's native iOS app and web app). There are a number of other similar products, but I don't recall them off-hand.

wilsonng 2012-03-03 06:58 PM

Yes, OmniFocus is designed as a single-user program. OmniPlan is probably the better collaborative tool for multi-user environments.

There were talks about OmniPlan 2 being used in a multi-user environment and it would probably link to individual OmniFocus users.

We're planning some major updates to OmniFocus for Mac, polishing up its user experience to match the ease of use and aesthetics of the iPad edition, adding the Forecast and Review modes which we introduced in the iPad app, and adding support for syncing projects with OmniPlan.

We do have plans to make OmniPlan and OmniFocus sync with each other. Itís not featured in the OmniPlan beta because in order for this feature to work we need to update OmniFocus on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad first. Thatís a chunk of work that hasnít been completed yet, but itís definitely on our list of things to do!

There's also no guarantee that your employees will even want to use OmniFocus. Perhaps let them use their own personal tool such as gMail inbox or Outlook as their own task manager?

Download the demo for OmniPlan 2. That might be better for your multi-user workflow. It can publish a calendar of events and tasks to accomplish for any number of projects.


GoodOak 2012-03-03 09:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys. Two minutes with OmniPlan tells me it is WAY over the top for what we are doing. Most of our projects aren't "knowledge work" they are real physical work. I have no need to orchestrate things in such detail. What I [I]do[/I] need is a simple, fast, easy to use system for keeping track of the tasks I need to accomplish.

Really what I need is a pretty simple GTD style to-do list that can be a master list for the company. I think of something that needs doing and I can click and drag it to someones 'folder' to "delegate" it and they can see it at their workstation. Probably fine if everyone can see everything so they can dump things back on me too.

This isn't rocket science, it shouldn't be hard, other people [I]must[/I] have the same needs I do.

@catone: My point is I don't want to have single-action items limited to a list where they are sequestered... in my workflow single-action items are the primary tasks I do, I need them to be able to mingle with the items from particular projects without any visual/mental barriers.

GoodOak 2012-03-03 09:45 PM

For the record, with some very limited use so far, the syncing via Bonjour seems to be working flawlessly. But I would eventually have up to 4 computers sharing the same database simultaneously... I could imagine more problems might arise.

Assume that will work, I just need to change my workflow to work within OF limitations, learn a very complicated UI and then teach my staff all these new and complicated things.... maybe its not as bad as I think, but I really need a simple solution.

DrJJWMac 2012-03-04 05:30 AM

[QUOTE=GoodOak;108023] ... Really what I need is a pretty simple GTD style to-do list that can be a master list for the company. ...

Your strongest desire seems to be getting better help for overseeing team work, not converting your own personal GTD flow from an action-centric to a project-centric paradigm. While you will gain over Things in having a project-centered approach, I think you may find OF will not be straightforward to help you oversee team work. I therefore second CatOne's suggestion that apps other than OF may ultimately be better suited to your needs.


Andrew Scott 2012-03-05 12:27 AM

Check out Wunderkit. It's in open beta and it's very much orientated towards collaboration. The Mac client lacks the sophistication and power of OF but it may be just what you need.

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