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Do Graffle/Outliner/Plan overlap? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I am new to Omni, and I have d'loaded the demo apps to try them out and see which one fits me best, but I am wondering if Plan, Graffle and Outliner overlap features?

Do you find that you have migrated to using one over the other? Are there certain tasks that one excels at over another one? Do you see Plan (since it is new) replacing Graffle or Outliner ever? Or are all three complimentary (one giving its output to the next for further work)?

Sorry if this is obvious. I will try all three and answer my own question, but I'd appreciate your replies. You have undoubtedly tried these apps out and have your opinions.
I'd like some "real" users to respond to this post too, but I'll give you an Omni perspective:
1) We have users who only find use for one of these three apps; we have users who rely on all three daily.
2) We intend for the three to work together well (via import/export and LinkBack).
3) Some of our users were using a combination of Outliner and Graffle to do project management, and were begging us to develop OmniPlan, so they could have an app that's really designed for that purpose.
3) We don't really want to merge any 2 of these apps, because the UI would just get more and more complex, and harder to use. And we definitely have users of Outliner and Graffle doing things that would not fit in OmniPlan very well at all, like writing books, creating slide shows, drawing floorplans, etc.

-- If you're just managing your own "To Do" list, you'll probably find that OmniPlan is overkill and you're happier with OmniOutliner (or OmniFocus, an up-coming app based on GTD-like principles).
-- At this point you can export from OmniPlan to OmniGraffle to get WBS diagrams, but we do hope someday maybe we can take a Graffle WBS and turn it into a Plan.
Originally Posted by Lizard
-- At this point you can export from OmniPlan to OmniGraffle to get WBS diagrams, but we do hope someday maybe we can take a Graffle WBS and turn it into a Plan.
And I hope you manage to have Plan and Graffle work together; A Plan should be able to be displayed as a Graffle, and a Graffle should be able to be a Plan.

Even writing a book could be a Plan, and certainly drawing a Floor Plan could lead to a Plan.
I've always found that having an all-in-one application is a scary thing, and usually it will fail when it tries to do too much. I would beg that these applications be kept separate. I use all three, 'though not necessarily on a daily basis.

OmniOutliner is just a rad application, and it does what it does so well, and is so flexible and easy to use. I have this open at all times and I'll have a file or two for each project (one for issues which need to be reported out, one for notes/etc.). I use this for my own notes, for exec reporting (green/yellow/red), and for tracking open issues. It's perfect for these things and exports beautifully into HTML for posting to project intranets/wikis. I don't know what I ever did before I new about this application or when I worked on Windows.

OmniPlan helps me when the projects are complex enough that the dependencies can't all fit in my head or in Outliner. It's also wonderful for tracking by-resource task completion, which is great when your projects have many small deliverables, all to be completed by different people and it's impractical to have whole-project team check-ins regularly...this allows me to have productive conversations with individuals and have all their deliverables & tasks at my fingertips. For an application which is still in Beta, I think it's fantastic. It does just what you need, and not a lot of what you don't.

OmniGraffle is great, but is for more specific tasks of drawing user flows, doing wireframing, etc. I don't have much use for it in my project management role.
Originally Posted by realtyler
I've always found that having an all-in-one application is a scary thing...
I don't think anyone said anything about an all-in-one; just communication between. That said, many mind-map apps have an outline feature. And some Project Mgt apps share data easily with mind-maps. And projects are really specialized outlines. The point is if the apps shared data easily and actively, they could quite well supplement each other.

Now as far as organizers go, I want an all in one app from Apple again. Claris/Palm Organizer was the best and it is a shame it got abandoned for what now exists.


In addition to the usual life activities, I'm creating a house.

OG: floor plans, traffic flow patterns, heat flow patterns, plumbing diagrams

lists of things to buy (where, when, how much, and from whom) with links to images and web sites
construction details (by room/floor/space, dimensions, contents, features)
lists of who's doing what, when we met, rates, notes with links to Address Book

OP: the obvious use, but I don't actually own this one and rethink that decision about about every week but am not sure a one-off project deserves my spending time to learn project management software.

OF: experimenting with the alpha to keep track of all the tasks that arise like getting the current house ready for market.

Omnigroup 2.0 : the seamless communication between their apps. A Plan is constructed of Focus projects that arose from Outliner lists which evolved from brainstorming Graffles and which is then displayed in an automagically beautiful Graffle (with live updating).


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