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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmdf View Post
I came so close to switching to Things today ... however, it was missing a few things that I don't know if I could have lived without (in particular folders and nested action groups).
Exactly these two features make the difference IMO between categorizing actions to run as flat lists of tasks (Things) and managing projects that contain actions to define a workflow (OF).

--
JJW
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJJWMac View Post
Exactly these two features make the difference IMO between categorizing actions to run as flat lists of tasks (Things) and managing projects that contain actions to define a workflow (OF).

--
JJW
I think that pretty much sums up what I discovered today. I see my work as a series of projects - some are one-offs and some routine. Establishing and managing workflow is my priority and I think OF excels in that respect. It helps me break down those projects from potentially overwhelming high-level responsibilities into manageable, granular activities, which I use to define my workflow. The outliner approach really.

With my albeit brief flirtation with Things I felt the opposite - that I already needed to know and enter the small tasks first and then group them into a project. That doesn't help me in the same way. Don't get me wrong, Things has a lot to offer, particularly as far as usability and presentation goes. I was really hoping I could use it as it's a beautifully presented app, and UI is my area of interest. But I don't think I'm prepared to sacrifice what OF offers in terms of productivity and flexibility. I guess it's just down to personal preference and how you visualise the complexity of your work in the first place.

Last edited by pmdf; 2012-08-11 at 05:23 PM..
 
I purchased Things yesterday and am running it and OmniFocus side by side for the next week to see what I think. As others have said, each has advantages and disadvantages. With Things, I like being able to use multiple tags as multiple contexts. Since I delegate a lot of work to multiple managers, often the same task, that comes in handy. But OF has nested tasks and review and perspectives that I'm comfortable with. I'm guessing I'll stick with OmniFocus and hope for multiple contexts per action down the line
 
I tried a demo of Things 2 and saw the lack of nested tasks and folders to be a limiting factor as well.

Things 2 did catch up with OmniFocus with the daily review and cloud syncing.

The Daily Review is a slightly different twist to OmniFocus' review perspective. However, I'm still eagerly awaiting the introduction of the iPad review perspective. I'm probably just so used to the OmniFocus iPad variation of the weekly review.

I don't know if there is anything in Things that will keep me from jumping.


The forecast perspective found on the iOS versions of OmniFocus is suspected to come to the Mac version and would provide a considerable boost.

I did like Things' user interface for dragging and dropping projects or tasks into Scheduled or Someday/Maybe. But I can do that with setting the project status to "Active" or "On Hold". Things' tax easily handles multiple contexts in ways that OmniFocus can only dream of. With that being said, I'm comfortable with a single context but I can understand other people's needs for multiple contexts or tags.

Things' user interface showing Areas of Responsibilities can be easily replicate by using folders in OmniFocus.

I do prefer the inline task entry mode that Things has. I'm not a big fan of the inspector. Perhaps a window pane on the right side of the OmniFocus window would help.

I guess projects with parallel or sequential actions are something that mostly power users would take advantage of. But I seriously need parallel and sequential tasks and nested projects for me to do any work. Things can handle simpler project demands but I need parallel and sequential actions to make it work.

All in all, Things will be a nice upgrade for Things users and for OmniFocus users who are just wanting something a little simpler to use.

But I'm sticking on this side of the fence in the meantime. Time for a change? Hopefully but Things isn't quite what I had in mind.

Still missing for both Things and OmniFocus is true teamwork (delegation) collaboration. Oh well...
 
Partly prompted by the posts in this thread yesterday I resurrected Things. A long long time ago I licensed the OS X and iOS versions of Things but had removed them in favour of OF very early on. I have been an OF user (OSX and iOS) ever since.

Why was I tempted to resurrect Things? OF does it's job okay for me but, and I hate to say this, aesthetically it looks like an app from the early days of the GUI. Now I know that shouldn't really matter but, for me, it does. And actually if GUI wasn't important we'd all still be working with some excellent DOS applications that did their jobs well but did it ugly. A pleasing GUI makes the software easier to use and work with.

I found a script on the Things user forum to convert OF tasks into Things which worked flawlessly. I'm now 24 hours in and here are my initial observations.

GUI: Things wins by a country mile IMHO, on both platforms. I find it more intuitive and on my iPhone 4S a lot more responsive and snappy than OF. On the iPad I would say it's more debatable, but Things seems easier to navigate to me.

Syncing: The Things synching is way faster than OF. With OF I would often have to wait 20-30 seconds for the update on an iOS device before I could get into the app. With Things it's instant.

Functionality: Honours split. As others have noted, Things does not support nested tasks, nor does it support sequential tasks. These are things I use in OF, albeit very rarely. Where Things wins for me is in its tagging and the ability to have unlimited tasks. I care not whether it is 'purist' GTD, I find multiple views of tasks invaluable and it has always baffled me why Omni refuses to add this to OF? So many people have asked for this; for those who don't want multiple tags/contexts just don't use them or even make it an option in the preferences. We live in a world of tags and metadata in so many apps., why not OF? GTD was written many years ago, who says it can't evolve? Remember too that it was written without modern software in mind.

If Things would include nested and sequential tasks it would be perfect. If at the same time OF included multiple tags it too would be – functionally – perfect. But in those circumstances I would still then chose Things for its much better UI and its better syncing.

So for now I am deserting an application which has ruled my working life for many years. I am a huge fan, and user of, the other Omni apps and I think you guys make some great software. But I think you need to look at Form as well as Function. It matters.
 
I have tried all versions of Thigs2, and I think OF is still significantly better, particularly on IPad. Although I must note that I was very surprised when I noticed that my TextExpander snippets work in Things2 on mobile.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by torchy View Post
I find multiple views of tasks invaluable and it has always baffled me why Omni refuses to add this to OF? So many people have asked for this; for those who don't want multiple tags/contexts just don't use them or even make it an option in the preferences. We live in a world of tags and metadata in so many apps., why not OF? GTD was written many years ago, who says it can't evolve? Remember too that it was written without modern software in mind.
We can create perspectives to view tasks in a different light. For example, tasks can be grouped by context, due date, or start date.

In Project Planning mode, we can highlight certain projects or contexts on the left sidebar and select View >Focus on Selected Projects as a way to narrow down project lists.

We can also collapse certain contexts or projects and save the perspective to preserve window settings.

You can save these settings by selecting Perspectives > Save Window As > New Perspective. Then you can customize the toolbar to give you faster access to your most commonly used perspectives or select Perspectives menu to see all the saved perspectives.

While it is not multiple tags, I am seeing my tasks in different views...

Last edited by wilsonng; 2012-08-12 at 09:51 PM..
 
... is always greener on the other side.

OmniFocus is great, the service is absolutely stunning: friendly, very personal, and frighteninghly fast.

And it does what itīs meant to do: it organises my day: it enables me to run my company with 20 employees, earn money and play with my kid and spend time for myself. Every week.

Maybe Things might be better in some tiny features, I donīt know. The question is: will it enable me to earn more money OR have more free time? The answer will be: Nope.

Thanks, OF!
 
Made the switch to things 2.0 and very happy so far. I do love omnifocus, but i've been wanting a UI change for the mac version since, well I started using it. For me it's simplicity over complexity and I always have this urge to tweak around the settings in the app to make it look simpler but never really get around to getting tasks done.

Don't get me wrong though, Omnifocus is a technically superior app with picture/voice integration, better folder management and superior customer service and support. But for the same reason why I own a Mac, I just want something that's fast, simple and easy, with tags. I'll be looking forward to seeing what omnifocus has in store when 2.0 comes out sometime next year though!
 
I agree with both torchy and Deedubau. OF works, yes, and I appreciate all the options people provide to view and review tasks, but the fact is these feel more and more like hacks. It has gotten to the point where, with the exception of capture and review, I can do most of what I want with simple text files, and I feel like I spend more time wrestling with OF than I should. I don't mean to minimize the value of capture and review; they are great in OF and crucial to my work, which is why I have stayed with OF so long. However, after 4 years it does feel very dated, and more and more cumbersome. I have no doubt that part, if not most, of the problem is me, and my issues with task management. However, and I have said this before, since the advent of smart phones, in particular the iPhone, crazy good and fast laptops, and even the iPad, contexts are less and less important to me at least as far as "work" goes. Yes, there are errands to run and the lawn can only be mowed at home, but I can call, email, draft, organize, think, etc. from almost anywhere on the planet. Accordingly, as my contexts have dwindled, the usefulness of OF has dwindled as well, since it is designed primarily to focus based on those criteria.

I am in the process of trying Things, and already see issues. However, the question is not whether its perfect, just better, at the moment at least. I greatly appreciate what Ken Case and the Omni people do, and the level of support has always been fantastic. However, I have been waiting for a significant update to OF for too long; I appreciate the business reasons why, and I can see the time and effort that has been put into other OF products and in particular OF for iPhone and iPad. I know Omni is working hard, but the single most important app I have is OF on the Mac, and I am feeling neglected.

Please, Mr. Case, please: OF 2 sooner rather than later.
 
 


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