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I've been using OF for some time now, and liking it - it's not perfect, but it does get the job done. My main complaints include the notion that its strict adherence to GTD principles makes it a tiny bit inflexible and less customizable than I'd like (I know it's heresy, but sometimes I would like to assign more than one context to an item), and its extensive feature set does make for a moderately (but not excessively) steep learning curve.

Another problem I have is with OF's printout, as I like printing out a daily list of the highest priority things I want to either do today, or not lose sight of today. The printout is not very attractive.

Meanwhile, I've been reading more and more about how people love the UI of Things, so I thought I'd give it a try.

After a few days, I've learned a few things.

First, the Things interface really is lovely. Very easy on the eyes. And it prints out beautifully. Entering items was easy, and I actually liked the use of tags because it felt that I could customize in ways that were particular to me and my needs.

But the weirdest thing is not being able to clearly organize by contexts. Totally odd. Especially since one of the basic tenets of GTD is that we tend to do things by context, not by project.

On-screen, the desktop app organizes by Project, but there's a list of Tags (contexts) across the top of the display, and if you click on one, it shows you that context. But only that context. You can't show a whole screen organized by contexts (as you can so easily in an OF perspective.) Similarly, you cannot print out a page organized by contexts. So you don't get a list that show the phone calls you need to make today grouped together, then the emails you need to write, the errands you have to run, etc.

It's really quite frustrating. I was, honestly, leaning towards jumping ship, but the few limitations of this app are so problematic (for me, YMMV) that I'm happily back in OF.

Two other things (pardon the expression) that OF does so well and that Things lacks are: 1) nesting items and 2) cloud synching. As frustratingly slow as OF's cloud synching can be, Things synchs only manually, so if you forget to do it, or are running late and dash out of the house without having synched, you'll spend the day with the not up-to-date data. Not cool.

Also, I must add, I read quite a few remarks on the Cultured Code forums that suggest users are not as widely pleased with the developer's customer relations as are the mostly happy folks on the Omni Forums. And that means a lot.

I did, however, find lots of satisfied users who use it happily and seem quite content with what it does and how it works, so I'm not saying they're wrong to feel that way ... it's just different strokes.

But I do think Cultured Code would do well to take a closer look at how OF allows contexts to be a powerful tool (as well as nested folders and cloud synching) ... and the Omni folks might do well to take a look a how pleasing Thing's' UI and print-outs are. They do make a big difference.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Last edited by rogbar; 2010-07-06 at 09:44 PM..
Yeah, I was in the same boat as you about a month ago. I was using both apps in parallel while evaluating which made the most sense to me. I ended up taking some of the workflow habits I learned in Things to OF. In the end omniFocus proved to be the better product due to the power of the Perspectives view. I locked the view to just my Action Items and print this out weekly to distribute to my team and my project managers, and it's very nice.

Be sure to read the GTD White paper on omniFocus when you get a chance. It puts a lot of things into Perspective.

As much as I love the Look&Feel of the Things UI, I could not tolerate their development speed, nor the sassy way they remarked whenever I submitted lengthy feature requests. They were quite snarky and dismissive I felt.

Anyhoo. Welcome to OF. Be sure to post any questions...cause you are in the right place to get the most out of this great app and way of getting things done. :)


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