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 > OmniFocus 1 for Mac
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 
Why I (still) love OmniFocus Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
What follows is a "feedback" email I originally sent to Omni back in late November, when we were still in the beta phase and a lot of new users were just starting to join the forum due to the increase in publicity around that time. It's interesting to see how much of what I wrote then is still true for me after using the app for many months now-- I'd have to say that I feel even more strongly about these points than I did then. Just thought I'd put it out there to see if anyone else is feeling the same way!

-----

Omni, dear Omni, how do I love OmniFocus? Let me count the ways...

There's been an explosion of activity on the forums from newbies who
are asking for all sorts of non-GTD functionality-- some of whom
haven't even *read* GTD, incredibly. It's interesting that there's
this constant pull on the forum between people who believe that OF is
a GTD app and people who believe that it's supposed to appeal to a
broader audience. Given that I'm in the first camp, and given that
I've been looking a LONG time for an app that will actually help me
implement GTD effectively-- and that OF, so far, has been that long-
wished-for solution-- I just wanted to tell you guys what I love about
the app as it stands right now.

- No "tagging". Oh my god, if you had that functionality, I would cry.
One of the great pitfalls of GTD is that it's often more fun to tweak
your system than actually do any of the Things You Need To Do, as
Merlin has so eloquently expressed for the rest of us. Folks on the
forum who are in the "broader appeal" camp argue that if you don't
want to use the functionality, you don't have to. But that's not quite
true. Who among us can resist the appeal of tweaking? What I love
about OF is that it really is focused on helping me Get Things Done,
without a lot of bells and whistles and "fuzziness" to play with. Yes,
I am admitting that if you had more tweakable "fuzzy" things like
tagging, I'd probably get sucked into playing with that functionality.
If that makes me undisciplined, so be it ;) It's a problem for me and
many others, and so far, OF has been a stellar success at helping me
get that tendency in check by keeping my attention on what I need to
DO, rather than tweaking how it's all organized.

- No "multiple contexts". Again, that way lies madness. We don't need
multiple contexts; we have Perspectives-- which work like a dream and
totally eliminate the "fuzziness" of wanting to put something in more
than one context. Yay Omni!

- No "priority". Again, if you had this functionality, I would cry.
It's the most anti-GTD thing EVER. The flash of enlightenment that
struck me upon first reading GTD was primarily related to David Allen
jettisoning "priority". If I could only get back the wasted hours I
spent prioritizing and re-prioritizing before I started practicing
GTD... man, what a waste of time. I've found that thoughtful use of
Start and Due dates is all the "prioritizing" functionality I need.

In short, I'm loving OF because it is, so far, holding to one of the
great beauties of the GTD system: it's very cut-and-dried. Binary,
even. Either a task is completed, or it isn't. Either you do something
in one context, or another. There's not much capability for futzing
around and wasting time on "gray" areas.

I hope you guys don't get led astray by the folks on the forum who
seem to want OF to be some Frankenstein's-monster-combination of every
other productivity app out there. What's so great about it is how
DIFFERENT it is from all those other apps. Please hang on to that
difference and be proud of it! $100,000 of orders in the first week
would seem to say that there are plenty of actual GTD'ers out there
who are digging OF, without trying to cater to the "non-GTD" crowd.
Stick to your guns-- please! :)
 
Good post! I'm a strong supporter of keeping Omnifocus within the GTD framework. I love it.

I actually switched to Things for a short time because I really wanted multiple contexts. After actually using that system, I found I really didnt need it as much as I thought, and it simply added complication to my to-do list. I came crawling back to Omnifocus.

I'd like a system where 1 child context linked to another (Like a "Phone:Mike" task also showed up under "Mike") but that'd be it.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
I actually switched to Things for a short time because I really wanted multiple contexts. After actually using that system, I found I really didnt need it as much as I thought, and it simply added complication to my to-do list. I came crawling back to Omnifocus.
Welcome back, Cameron. I also took a close look at Things for a few days. It seemed to be getting a lot of attention on the blogosphere, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

I pretty much came to the same conclusion about Things as you though. Overall, it's a slick app, but I don't think I could recommend it for anything but casual use. It simply isn't designed for managing a very large number of projects or particularly complex projects. I kind of feel Things is to OmniFocus as iMovie is to Final Cut Pro, or maybe as iPhoto is to Aperture.

Some of my other gripes were:
  • Tagging is nicely implemented, but breaks down and loses much of its usefulness as the database grows. I'm not convinced it's all it's cracked up to be.
  • Drag operations feel very limited and crippled.
  • All projects are parallel (no sequential/blocking actions).
  • No support for multiple windows.
  • No support for simultaneously viewing multiple notes.
  • No support for styled text in notes.
  • No support for notes on projects (only on actions).
  • No support for database-wide search.
  • No support for search and replace (let alone regular expressions like in OF).
  • No support for copying actions from one project to another or duplicating entire projects.
  • Couldn't find a way to uncheck completed tasks.
  • "Undo/Redo" feels slow, less robust, and sometimes just doesn't work at all.

Maybe some of this isn't really fair since Things is still in beta, but hey, that's the current state of affairs. By the time Things is released, who knows where OmniFocus will be?

Anyway, sorry about the rant. :)
 
cool - good to see others who gave Things a spin too. I installed this like the day after starting my OF eval and intuitively, I also sensed OF was better at handling scale.

I do have one question though - how does everyone deal with projects in more than one place? For example, I have a project called "ergonomic office" and I want to see it in a folder called health and work. I think it makes a difference to see it in both areas.

I thought this was one nice thing about the areas feature and figure someone has figured out how to do this in OF.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinarut View Post
I do have one question though - how does everyone deal with projects in more than one place? For example, I have a project called "ergonomic office" and I want to see it in a folder called health and work. I think it makes a difference to see it in both areas.
That's a good question. I don't think OmniFocus really supports anything like this currently. It'd be nice to be able to create the equivalent of an alias in the Finder, so you could have projects appear in multiple folders in OmniFocus.

I guess one workaround would be to create a second project in the second location but then just create a link to the original project in the notes field. See Ken's recent post on linking for more info.

-Dennis
 
duodecad... Amen, brother! OmniFocus is a GTD-based app. If others want an organizational app that is non-GTD based, there are a ton of them out there. But, like you said, there are those who are more concerned with "getting organized" rather than actually getting things done.

Last edited by keone; 2008-06-30 at 12:12 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinarut View Post
cool - good to see others who gave Things a spin too. I installed this like the day after starting my OF eval and intuitively, I also sensed OF was better at handling scale.

I do have one question though - how does everyone deal with projects in more than one place? For example, I have a project called "ergonomic office" and I want to see it in a folder called health and work. I think it makes a difference to see it in both areas.

I thought this was one nice thing about the areas feature and figure someone has figured out how to do this in OF.
Actually sounds like that is a mix of Folders into Contexts. If you are working on and "Ergonomic Office" all your tasks could be in the Context of @Work (or @Office). If it is related to your health and other health projects, throw it in that folder.

BZ
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I wanted to love Omnifocus, I REALLY did... Rockin982 OmniFocus for iPad 4 2011-09-12 04:37 PM
Daylite!?!? But I love (AND NEED) my omnifocus! Help! CatOne OmniFocus 1 for Mac 0 2011-01-25 02:02 PM
4 Interesting GTD & OmniFocus Questions (Using OF for a Day and Love It!) HappyDude OmniFocus 1 for Mac 29 2009-06-08 09:34 PM
I love OmniFocus SpiralOcean OmniFocus 1 for Mac 23 2007-12-02 11:57 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:56 PM.


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