The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > Applying OmniFocus
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

switching back from Things to Omnifocus Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Well, after 2 months I'm back to Omnifocus.

Last november I switched from Omnifocus to Things. I've been using Omnifocus on and off for the last 5 years or so (I've never used kGTD, although I was contemplating it), but last fall the looong syncing times of OmniFocus drove me nuts, so I switched. I'd been eyeing Things for a while, and its user interface is just so smooth in comparison to OF. Yes, OF for iPad was a big improvement, but still Things looked much better. And yes, I consider myself an OF power user, so it's not that I don't know how to harnass OF's power.

After two months of Things I'm now back to OmniFocus. Yes, Things still looks and feels much better than OF. Yes, syncing times on OF still drive me nuts. But two issues with Things drove me back here:

* the scheduling function in Things may look nice, but it's very clunky to move a repeating task scheduled for a later date back to today. Just a scheduled task you can move, but a repeating task that's waiting for its next instance to appear is immovable. You'd have to delete the repeating task and set up a new one for the new scheduled date. Uggh. Oh, and setting up a scheduled task is a hassle too, on the Mac you can at least change a regular task into a repeating one, but not on the iPhone or iPad. I use repeating tasks a lot, so this annoyance came back multiple times a day.
* syncing of repeating tasks in Things is just plain unreliable. I kept seeing multiple instances of the same repeating task that I couldn't get rid of without completely deleting the repeating task and setting it up again from scratch, repeating tasks that were scheduled for July 1 suddenly popped up telling me they were 18 months overdue, and, worst of all, I kept losing repeating tasks. First time that happened I thought it was user error, but after multiple occassions I'm convinced it's *not* user error, it's Things.

On top of that, Things kept crashing on me multiple times on day. I would have Things crash 3 times before my first cup of coffee in the morning. And the user interface is very inconsistent between the desktop and iOS versions (or even between the iPhone and iPad versions). And although tagging is a very nice feature, keeping track whether or not you've tagged everything with a context is your own responsibility, there's no mechanism in Things to enforce a context like in OF. Okay, enforcing a context is a nuisance sometimes, but it's also nice to know that everything will *have* a context :-).

So now I've moved everything back to OF, and it turned out that moving everything from OF to Things was *way* more work than moving everything back to OF (is that a sign of usability maybe?) I've refined my Perspectives, tweaked the style a bit, and I'm now just enduring long syncing times. It helps a bit to not switch too often between devices, but that can't always be avoided.

I do miss tags, though, so I'm waiting anxiously what OF-2 will bring...
Welcome back. I admit that I haven't tried Things in a very long time. I am dismayed to hear that it still has not improved. a crash-prone program does not contribute to a "trusted system."

IIRC if you have a large database, it may increase sync times.

I try not to include large attachments inside my OmniFocus database. You'll have to sync those files every time. A 10 MB PDF will increase the size your OmniFocus database easily.

You can view file attachments by selecting:

Window > Attachment list

You can highlight an attachment and click Delete to remove it from your database. Start pruning those attachments or put them in a separate program that is better suited for file reference. Evernote, Yojimbo, or DevonThink are a couple of programs that might suit your needs.

Another way to shrink your sync database is to archive older tsks. At the beginning of each month, I archive any tasks older than 30 days.

File > Move old data to archive

I rarely have to look back older than 30 days. If a client has a question, I'll tell them that I can call or e-mail them later with more information when I get back to my computer.

When I have my laptop with me, I can quickly open the archive database to refer to anything older than 30 days. Then I can answer my customer immediately.

OmniFocus will open your archive in a separate window and you can refer to historical data in the new window. This prevents you from touching your current database.

On February 1, I will archive data before January 1. When the end of the month comes on February 28th, I will have accumulated tasks from January 1 to February 28 (two months). When March 1 arrives, I will archive data before February 1. This helps to keep my database at anywhere between 30-60 days worth of historical information at my disposal.

File > Open archive
As an Omnifocus power user, how did you deal with Sequential projects in Things? That was always the biggest difference to me. In Things, tasks you couldn't do yet would always be available in the Next view.

As far as repeating and scheduling items go, I must use them differently than you because that was one of my favorite aspects of Things and I felt was far superior to Omnifocus.
Cameron, I almost always use parallel projects, so the lack of sequential projects didn't really bother me. Occasionally, I'd mark a task that I really didn't want to see yet in the Next View as 'Someday'.

As I said, scheduling looks nice, but once you've ticked off a repeating task, and then find out that you want to do it again tomorrow instead of the scheduled in 2 days, it's a mess. Otherwise yes, scheduling works great in Things, especially postponing something to another day is a breeze. I also liked the date picker in Things much better than in Omnifocus.
I see what you are saying about repeating tasks. For me, I loved the ability to postpone a repeating task instance without modifying the original, something Omnifocus cannot do.
Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
I see what you are saying about repeating tasks. For me, I loved the ability to postpone a repeating task instance without modifying the original, something Omnifocus cannot do.
Yup, exactly!
Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
I see what you are saying about repeating tasks. For me, I loved the ability to postpone a repeating task instance without modifying the original, something Omnifocus cannot do.
Ah, sure it can, it just needs a little help from its friends :-)
Ha, I stand corrected.

But this should be built in. Something I hope is announced tonight! :)
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Ah, sure it can, it just needs a little help from its friends :-)
That would be great if I were to work on a Mac all day. Unfortunately, at work I'm stuck with Windows, so I mostly use OF@iPad during the day. Therefore, I tend to avoid scripting solutions, because they don't work on the iPad.
nicoledb: About the slow sync times... Large attachments are a common cause. The other possibility is that you've got an old sync client still kicking around. Did you start fresh when you came back from Things, or did you revive an older database and sync location?

There's a couple ways to check on this...
1) In the iPhone app, scroll to the very bottom of the Settings page and look for some text like "109 projects, 1364 actions, 224 zip files" (yes, those are my current stats!) If that zip files count is, say, 2000, there's probably a stale client or some other sync-related issue.

2) The other way to check is to look at the OmniFocus database on the Mac. Open your OmniFocus database. Command-click on the title of the window and a little drop-down will list some folders. Click on the top one, which should be named "OmniFocus". This will open a new Finder window, showing you where your OmniFocus database is stored. Right-click on the file named "OmniFocus.ofocus" and choose "Show package contents" from the menu that appears.
Each zip file starts with a number like "20130121132330" (except the 0000000000000 one, which is special). That number is really the date: 2013, January 21, 13:23:30.
If any of those files is more than 2 weeks old, you've probably got a stale client or some other misbehavior.

Sorting that out (email if you need help) should improve your sync times.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Back to Omnifocus after Things detour jcarucci OmniFocus 1 for Mac 5 2013-07-13 05:51 AM
Switching from Things... need Help GoodOak OmniFocus 1 for Mac 6 2012-03-05 12:27 AM
Back From Things Dillinger63 OmniFocus 1 for Mac 2 2011-09-18 10:46 AM
Been using Things and thinking of switching to OmniFocus D37 OmniFocus 1 for Mac 10 2010-08-27 07:59 AM
Slowness when switching back to OW Michael B OmniWeb Bug Reports 0 2006-10-21 05:44 AM

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:43 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.