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I'm very excited about OmniFocus and can't wait for the release. However in waiting for it I decided to try Midnight Inbox. Initially, like others, I was impressed with the visual experience the application offers. But immediately I became annoyed by the fact that the developer released what I would consider beta quality software as a commercial release.

So now I'm back to where I started, waiting for OmniFocus. The other day however, I stumbled upon the Midnight Inbox Google Group and was hoping I could get some feedback on something said by the developer of Inbox.

The quote is:
"FYI: OmniFocus won't be comprehensive, we saw their screenshots at
Macworld and it's just another list manager."

The link to the thread is:

Is this true? Can someone clarify this further?
Originally Posted by lynchs61
The quote is: "FYI: OmniFocus won't be comprehensive, we saw their screenshots at Macworld and it's just another list manager."
It's a strange comment. I've tried Midnight Inbox, and it too could be described as "just another list manager." In fact, almost any GTD app could fit that description.

And I'm not sure how one can judge an app just from its screenshots. The proof is in what it actually does, how it interacts with you, whether it "just works." For example, my understanding is that OmniFocus will allow files to be attached to actions--an important feature for me--while Midnight Inbox doesn't support this. So the devil is in the details.

And besides, Mac OS X is "just another operating system," right? But we all know there's much more to it than that.
OmniFocus is indeed a list manager: one that knows about projects, tasks, contexts, and reviews. We're trying to take the next logical step from Kinkless, which is to give you a trustworthy place to put lists of all the stuff you're working on. Most importantly, we're trying to make the app stay out of your way as much as possible so that you can, you know, do stuff.

If you already like Kinkless, or you almost like Kinkless but it's not quite smooth enough for you, then OmniFocus should be right up your alley. If you are looking for a comprehensive GTD suite that auto-gathers your materials, walks you through a workflow, and coaches you on how to deal with each item, you might prefer Midnight Inbox.

Really, it's excellent that Mac users so often get a choice between such cool apps: do you prefer Quicksilver or LaunchBar? SubEthaEdit or TextMate? We get to choose based on the balance of the stuff we want versus the stuff we don't need.
Originally Posted by lynchs61
"FYI: OmniFocus won't be comprehensive, we saw their screenshots at
Macworld and it's just another list manager."
To be honest, which application is more "comprehensive" is so subjective as to be pretty much meaningless. Example: OmniSuperApplication includes code that does "Task X". I use that code every day. You don't. That code represents a feature for me, but it's nothing but clutter for you. I might say that OmniSuperApplication is "comprehensive", but that only applies to me, and doesn't really help you at all.

Midnight Inbox definitely takes a different approach to the problem that both applications are trying to solve. They do a lot more coaching, handholding, and prompting. For folks that really want software that will implement GTD for them, those features would be great. But if you don't work the way the app defines as "the right way", what happens?

It's fair to say that we generally avoid "do stuff automatically" features - they can just as easily get in the way of folks who know what they're doing. We'd rather make a flexible application that leaves the user in charge and which supports their decision-making process, whatever it may be. Then, if folks tell us they need additional features, we listen to them and add them at that point.

For some folks, Midnight Inbox will be better than OmniFocus. And that's fine, really. Our goal is always to make a high-quality application that works for the folks that tell us what they need. There are obvious times when we need to compare ourselves to the other apps out there, but it's not something we spend all day doing, you know? Other apps will find their market, we'll find ours, and everyone gets an application that they like in the end.

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