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Many of you may have already seen Things; there's a new screencast showing it in action http://culturedcode.com/things/.

A few thoughts:

* I like the interface better than OF; it's cleaner and feels more like a Mac application an OF (I know! Ironic!). I think this is because OF is built off the OmniOutliner interface, which is focused on function over aesthetics.

* I like the multiple tags and the ability to narrow the focus to the subset of tasks that match those tags.

* I like that you can have both "projects" (multiple actions toward a specific outcome) and "single actions" together in an "area" (non-ending activities like "Home Improvement"). In the example used, Home Improvement contains a project "Fix storm windows" and single actions "Paint the bathroom" and "Call the plumber". I wish OF would make this easier. It's similar to something I suggested a few months back http://forums.omnigroup.com/showpost...8&postcount=52.

* I like that when you postpone or mark an item as "Someday", it hides it but keeps it around the project. For OF to do this, though, it'd need to have the ability to postpone individual actions/treat actions as single-action-projects.

* I don't like the emphasis on the "work on this today" workflow, or the "everything is a next action" behavior. It's not clear from the screencast if dates affect what's "next" (or "available"). I'm more comfortable with OF's approach of all/next/available/remaining (although I almost never use "next").

* I don't like how it appears to be highly mouse-driven, rather than keyboard-focused. The mouse slows me down (studies to the contrary not withstanding).

Overall, an interesting project, I'll probably download it and give it a whirl at when it's available, but I don't expect it to move me off OF.

I would, though, like for OF to seriously consider adopting some of Thing's behaviors like the ability to combine single actions and projects together within a folder (aka "area) and the ability to put actions on hold.

Other thoughts?
 
I was wondering about exactly some of these points earlier. I even made an action in omnifocus to send feedback about this! Looking at Things, areas is precisely what I thought OF to be lacking. There's no space for ongoing, large-scale, perhaps unfinishable projects. I've sort of solved this by having subfolders (within 'Personal' I've got a 'Keeping Fit' folder, within 'Academic' I've got different folders for each of my courses) - so having them as folders seems to put across the idea that they're semi-permenant ongoing projects that will never really be completed, or at least not in the time frame projects are supposed to be. But it feels like a band-aid solution.

I'm not sure about the interface, it's only a matter of time before all apps end up looking like that and you end up mixing up your finder with your itunes with your everything else. I don't mind that OF looks different, or 'un-leopard'.

I remember reading a quote from one of the creators of Things, saying that he finds it wrong to have two separate areas of the app with one devoted to contexts and one to planning - that these should be integrated as they are in Things. But in my opinion it's good to have two areas as each area requires a different frame of mind: one for planning, one for action. Actually, it would be great if some sort of script could jazz up the context area to make it more fun to read. Imagine looking at it like a WoW quest log or something. (maybe that's just me :p)

I'm still tending towards OF because of Omnigroup's great rep, great track record with other apps, my experience of Omnioutliner, integration, and so on. But I will admit there is something in this Things which is tempting.

Last edited by Melan; 2007-11-20 at 10:29 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melan View Post
I'm still tending towards OF because of Omnigroup's great rep, great track record with other apps, my experience of Omnioutliner, integration, and so on. But I will admit there is something in this Things which is tempting.
This is how I was feeling as well, and I think I have an idea on improving OF. (I just sent feedback to the OF group for a feature request.) How about moving the Perspectives Manager from the current palette design to the bottom of the sidebar? So, you will have constant visible references to the available perspectives (or hide them if you wish), and they will be easily accessible and clickable (or still keyboard short-cuttable).
 
I love the idea of tags. Here is a mock up I made awhile ago. . .



I'm sticking with omnió I just bought a family pack. I do like the fact that a lot of people are making GTD apps. This is sort of like Nikon vs Canon or Apple vs Windows. . . I hope competition makes all of the products stronger.
 
I just saw the screencast on Things today. There are some "things" about Things that looked very interesting as you noted -- the way tags work versus contexts is interesting to me. While I have Allen's book, I haven't gotten around to reading the whole thing yet and there are some things about GTD "purism" that I'm not so interested in. But right now OF does have a lot of "weight" around projects and with my specific workflow (dealing with customers, and having "projects" which aren't really projects and which require artificial constructs which could effectively be "singletons" tied to a particular customer), there's some baggage that I don't necessarily need.

I'll try them both out and choose which I like best -- given they are both in Alpha there's some time to tinker without getting *too* tied into one product or another.
 
So they announced they're sending out alpha invites starting today on the mailing list.
Interesting part:

Quote:
And if you are wondering what Things will cost when it is finished? We cannot be too specific right now, but suffice it to say that it will compare favorably to some recently announced prices from our competition ;-). And rest assured that everyone on the mailing-list will get a special discount as well.
Cheeky of them.
 
I saw the things video today... although it has tags there are some things that won't work.

1. Too much focus on dragging and dropping. (see carpel tunnel syndrome)
2. No columns. On their webpage, they proudly assert there are no columns. There seems to be a stereotype out there that columns are for dry numbers people. This is a stereotype that is put upon us by people around us. Columns structure date to allow easily scanning, comparing and sorting items. Columns are our friends.

Just two observations. If someone comes out with a better product than OmniFocus, I'm moving over. However, my bet is on OmniFocus for a couple reasons.

They have the manpower and technology knowhow to create fantastic applications.

Integration with visual project management (someday I'm envisioning OmniPlan integration)

They have Ethan onboard. :-)

They are a strange group. Strange enough to be creative, and organized enough to be functional.

We will see how Things turns out.
 
Another note about tagging...

I'm not convinced that tagging should be the foundation for organizing. It should be an addition to the organization. It's the icing on the cake. It adds flexibility. But if used by itself, it's too flexible.

Current opinion, which could change if I find an application that has done tagging the way it should be done.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiralOcean View Post
I'm not convinced that tagging should be the foundation for organizing. It should be an addition to the organization. It's the icing on the cake. It adds flexibility. But if used by itself, it's too flexible.
Yes, yes, yes!! Right on, SpiralOcean, this is exactly the point, couldnít agree more. As mentioned in another thread, Things uses tags instead of contexts - or rather with contexts as a subset of tags - and this looks interesting at first sight because of OFís limitation of tasks to a single context. However, if you look at Thingsís tag bar at the top of the window and the plethora of tags added in the video, you soon begin to see that this is flexibility turned into confusion - or so it seems to me. On the other hand, limitation to a single context is surely excessively dogmatic GTD doctrine (apologies, GTD evangelists). There are many, many situations in which more than one context would be of enormous help, and the lack of the possibility could well be a real turn-off for many potential users. Surely one answer, as you say, is a good use of tags, or of multiple contexts in some guise. Canít believe this is beyond the nous of those brilliant Omni ninjas...
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiralOcean View Post
2. No columns. On their webpage, they proudly assert there are no columns. There seems to be a stereotype out there that columns are for dry numbers people. This is a stereotype that is put upon us by people around us. Columns structure date to allow easily scanning, comparing and sorting items. Columns are our friends.
I think the type of information normally placed in columns is added and created on the fly.

If you look at the screen shot, it shows how column information is added where it is present in the data, automatically.

But when now column info is not there, it does not take up screen space noise.
 
 


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