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Why I hate OF on the iPhone Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
OK, I know this is a bit late in the development to be throwing my 2 pence in. And yes, this is the iPad forum, but that's where I see most of my future use of OmniFocus.

Another thread prompted me to think about why I hate OF on the iPhone so much. (Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have it than not, but it's so frustratingly limited at times that it's almost single-handedly responsible for me falling regularly off the GTD / OF wagon). It's two things:

1. visibility of the tree
This looks like it's being dealt with, judging by Ken's UI video; we'll be able to see multiple branches of the tree of tasks rather than only ever seeing one project's tasks at a time, or one folder's projects etc. The desktop app is similar to an outliner, in that respect, and it's difficult to come to terms with the loss of that overview on the iPhone version. Looks like the iPad will improve on it. (A small font / more items per screen option would be nice, too, on both mobile platforms)

2. The big one for me: difficulty inputting items
Damn, there's so much inertia involved in just creating a new action on the iPhone. Omni have worked hard to make it quicker - the quick entry function is essential albeit a bodge - but for each task you're basically filling out a dialog box; all other tasks in the inbox or project are hidden while you do this, and to create a list of items means hitting "Save" and "New Item" in between each one. Just the animations alone make it feel slow and unwieldy. If I'm in a meeting and I have to list some tasks, I have to do it in Notes and then have to cut and paste it all in line by line later. Seems impossible to brainstorm into OF on the iPhone, when it should be ideal.

All that said, it is a phone app, and constraints of the screen size make some of these things necessary. In the move to the iPad, though, I really hope we see a change towards the desktop input method. Please please please let us just type actions straight in without needing to go through dialogs. That extra UI step is often the straw that breaks my lazy back and I go back to post-it notes.

Sorry for the incendiary post title ;)

(As an aside, it's disappointing how Apple have not developed the Calendar interface to suit the new screen size. To make a new entry, they pop up the same old iPhone dialog box we're used to on the small screen. What a wasted opportunity - why can't we tap on the calendar to say when we want to add the new entry to? Why can't we type straight into the calendar? Why is the beautiful "Diary pages" view of our schedule completely static and read-only, dead to touch? Why can't I drag the week/month calendars around to move forward and back in time? Why can't I drag events around in the calendar with my finger? Sometimes it feels like trying to run Windows from the command line...)

Last edited by howiem; 2010-07-07 at 07:39 AM..
Originally Posted by howiem View Post
Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have it than not, but it's so frustratingly limited at times that it's almost single-handedly responsible for me falling regularly off the GTD / OF wagon).
See, I'm almost the complete opposite in that respect.

Whilst I do agree with both of your frustrations, I've got to say that without OF in my iPhone there's just no way I'd ever be able to maintain a working GTD system. It is my key ubiquitous capture device and absolutely essential in my workflow.
Hi howiem

I'm assuming from your post that you're using OmniFocus on the desktop, if so, a couple of Members have suggested MailMe as a solution.

Originally Posted by watchit View Post
I am using a cheap iPhone app that expedites quick mind dumps to my OmniFocus Inbox. "MailMe Text" performs one simple task quickly... it sends an email to a default email address with a Subject prefix of "MailMe". In Mail prefs Rules I changed the trigger condition of the Send to OmniFocus rule to apply to emails that begin with "MailMe" and in OmniFocus prefs the Process messages having: a Subject starting with "MailMe". Now, instead of having to wait many seconds for OmniFocus to load on my iPhone, I wait just a few seconds for MailMe to load, jot down the thought (before it escapes my porous grey matter) press send... then return to whatever it was I was doing, with minimal interruption. I find this much faster when I'm out and about.
Hope that's helpful.

Last edited by endoftheQ; 2010-07-14 at 12:38 PM..

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