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Omnifocus for college coursework is it worth $40?? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm looking here to learn re: cost/benefits before I buy. I have an iPad no iMac or iPhone. Im at college and like to get some organization re: coursework. I read in another post omnifcous isn't right for this (cant find post to quote, sorry). I dont want to make costly mistake so Im asking for any help/advice.
Thanx Kim.
What do you want to organize?

OmniFocus is optimized for David Allen's GTD system, although it does not require it.

To try to simplify it, I think that OF is good when you put things into your lists one way, and pull things out a different way.

For example, you may have 5 different projects for which the next task is to make a phone call. You're feeling in a social mood and want to make a phone call. You can look at the "Phone call" context, and every task in that context will be there, regardless of project.

Contexts can be mental states, resources you need, all sorts of things.

You can set due dates on tasks, but scheduling is not the core part of GTD. Rather, figuring out "What can I do now, what should I do now?" is what GTD is about.

I don't think that my college coursework would have benefited from GTD. I had a fairly limited set of very linear things: These are my current homework assignments, these are my current projects.

Now that I have a job and a family, it's more complex: Here's a list of errands, here's a list of things to mail, things to buy, etc.

In college, it was, "Do homework. There are 4 assignment, choose one."

I *love* OmniFocus on my iPad. But it is a complex tool that requires careful thought. I think that a more straightforward list-making tool would likely be better. I can't offer any suggestions, sadly.
IMHO: if you're going to use the features it's easily worth $40. What I was writing before was about whether it was the right tool at any price. It is a complex tool with lots of features. If you need them, it is invaluable. If you do not need them then it will probably disappoint you.
Hi Kimaira

I never recommend OmniFocus as a standalone App, because without the desktop version (which is Mac only), it currently suffers IMHO from some very serious flaws.

I'd also second Gopi's point that it is probably over-complicated for your requirements. I'd recommend you take a look at CarbonFin's Outliner (click this link). I use this regularly on my iPad, often to create a set of actions that I'll later move over to OmniFocus.

Also if you intend to use OmniFocus on the iPad to jot down extensive notes you'll probably find it a frustrating experience. CarbonFin's Outliner also benefits from being significantly cheaper ($5), your entries are accessible from any web browser and if, at a later stage, you decide to upgrade to something more complex, you'll be able to move your data over to any App that supports import of the OPML data format.

Hope this is helpful.

Last edited by endoftheQ; 2010-09-18 at 02:26 AM..
I spent a lot of years in school and never needed GTD until I got out and had a much more complicated life. Most school tasks were on the calendar which means they would not be in a GTD list. By the time I got to a thesis, which is much more open ended, a reliable task management system would have been very welcome. It's not too soon to get into good habits.
I wish I'd known about GTD when I was doing my degree, it would have made my life a lot easier!
CarbonFin Outliner is very handy. It's also a lot faster as letting you enter long lists than OF - you can type a line, return, new item, etc.

OF is designed for entering items with more data, so it takes more taps since, well, it has more areas to enter stuff.
Originally Posted by RiK View Post
I wish I'd known about GTD when I was doing my degree, it would have made my life a lot easier!
Me too. Not so much to help me meet deadlines and stay on track (which you either do or you don't—and GTD is probably not the best remedy for procrastination), but rather to better manage both the depth and the breadth of my learning. It's called 'balance'.
Originally Posted by endoftheQ View Post
I never recommend OmniFocus as a standalone App, because without the desktop version (which is Mac only), it currently suffers IMHO from some very serious flaws.
I happen to only use the iPhone version of OmniFocus, and I highly recommend it, all by itself. I'm sure it would be even better as a companion to the desktop version. But as I have a PC, that is a moot point. iPhone OmniFocus, all by its lonesome, has changed my life since I started with it in January.

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