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Omnifocus as a CRM? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I finally broke down and bought Omnifocus, and it looks very promising, especially with the much-needed Toodledo sync and the iPhone app coming out next month. I've decided to take full advantage of the integration between programs in Mac OS X, like, Address Book, iCal, etc., instead of relying heavily on web apps.

I'm just wondering if anybody has accomplished in Omnifocus what I have managed to pull off (somewhat) in Remember the Milk and Gmail: Customer Relationship Management.

Omnifocus may be able to serve this purpose, since I can create single-action lists of different types of leads and then move them to higher-level prospect and client folders. I can have the overall goal (i.e. Close John Doe) as an action in a lead list, and child-actions for all of the actions related to that prospect. I could do the same thing for managing customer support claims and marketing activities.

Do you think Omnifocus is well suited to handle tasks, projects, and reference material for business relations? Would it be better to use Daylite for its powerful customer relationships features, and just handle regular projects and tasks in OF? Please let me know your thoughts.
I use DayLite for contact management and OmniFocus for task management. I find the combination works very well.

If you wanted to use an Omni product as a CRM, you'd probably have better luck with OmniOutliner. But a dedicated application would probably serve you best.

(Speaking of a dedicated CRM... when can we expect OmniContact?)

Last edited by MichaelShapiro; 2008-06-23 at 10:05 AM.. Reason: typo
Thanks for your help.

What features in Daylite do you use? I'm sure that you could take advantage of Daylite's mail integration, scheduling features, opportunity and customer records, and more...but where do you manage your projects and tasks?

Do you use OF to manage all of your projects and tasks (except maybe automated sales and marketing followup tasks), or do you use both programs to manage different types of projects and tasks? How exactly do you pull it off?

Sounds like a VERY heavy workload for OmniFocus. The OF database gets pretty slow once it has a large number of tasks in it. If it's also weighed down with tons of notes, linked fiiles, etc., I think it'll really die on you.

On the other hand, using it for contact-related tasks makes perfect sense, and it would make it very easy to split things up by each lead, contact, etc.
Yeah, I wonder how well OF would handle that. Daylite always starts up with the color wheel of death for a few moments, so I guess it's just a price you have to pay for that much data.

If someone came up with an applescript to sync OF and Daylite tasks seamlessly, it would be incredible. Imagine that? Automated sales tasks automatically appear, organized in Omnifocus. Complex, personal tasks appear in GTD-style in Daylite. A complete sync between all parts of the workflow...
Originally Posted by iNik View Post
Sounds like a VERY heavy workload for OmniFocus. The OF database gets pretty slow once it has a large number of tasks in it.
How many is a large number of tasks? Have you tried rebuilding your database to improve performance?

The reason I ask is I have around 500 actions and about 200 projects and single-action lists (many on hold). I've noticed some slowness on searches across the entire database, but it only seems to happen on the first search in that window, as if OmniFocus was building some kind of index on the fly or something. Subsequent searches on the same data set, in the same window, perform much better.

It also seems some perspectives open slowly, but that's largely dependent on how much data is being displayed, I think.

As for browsing and navigating around my data, I haven't noticed any other significant performance problems.

My experience is about the same, but views with large numbers of items (my weekly review/master planning perspective, for example) get pretty pokey, especially for searching.

Sales Management (which is really what you're talking about; CRM is more of a customer service and marketing strategy) requires persistent history on customers, contracts, call logs, notes, etc. You probably COULD shoehorn that into OmniFocus, but a great deal of those things are not tasks in any sense of the word. There are other programs that are specifically geared to this kind of work and therefore do a better job of it.

Entourage is an obvious choice for CRM that's nicely integrated into task management as well. There's a lot of other Mac-native tools, too.

Take a look at Redlein Account Executive; Now Contact, Now Up-to-Date (soon to be NightHawk); Contactizer Pro; and Bento from Filemaker (a bit of a roll-your-own, but you might like that).

Then there's hosted solutions like Zoho CRM and Highrise, and open-source web solutions like vTiger and SugarCRM -- both of which you could even set up locally on your Mac, if you wanted. And, of course, there's, but that's very spendy. Probably overkill.

There's no shortage of good options out there. It seems like you're just making you life harder by trying to put it all into OmniFocus.

I've looked into all of those CRM apps you mentioned in the past, but they do a lot more than I would need them to do. I'll probably do what Michael does in Daylite and take advantage of the contact management and scheduling features, while managing all of my projects and tasks in OF. I won't be able to link the contacts to the projects, but it gets the job done, at least.

I'll use Daylite to manage leads, scheduling, and customer relationships, while managing each of my projects GTD-style in OF. That'll do until OmniContact comes out.

Will Michael and I get paid for that idea? I started the thread...
I use Contactizer Pro for activity management and OmniFocus for task management. Very efficient combination for my daily work.
Contactizer looks pretty cool, but it seems very similar to Daylite, minus a few features. I'm splurging on software right now. I just got Daylite, OF, and the whole MS Office Suite, so I need to make this system work right quickly; at least before I go broke.

Here's the system I'm working on:

1) I manage my insurance agency's leads and sales in the company's CRM and quoting software.

2) I manage my business leads and personal opportunities in Daylite.

3) I record contacts, organizations, completed tasks, projects, and appointments relating to my business and personal life in Daylite, and I do the same for agency information in its respective CRM app.

4) I manage projects and tasks in Omnifocus at home and Toodledo at work using the OFTD sync.

In other words, I plan out my projects and tasks in Omnifocus for EVERYTHING. When I complete a task relating to a contact, lead, or client, I make a note in the appropriate CRM. I keep info on all of my contacts, leads, appointments, correspondences, and completed tasks in the CRM to which the info applies.

When I get a new e-mail, I use the mail integration to automatically add it to my CRM and link it with a contact. Then, if it's actionable, I press two keystrokes and add the task to my inbox, or follow the 2 minute rule.

This is how I have my folders and projects set up right now:

Single Actions List
Purchase List (things I need to buy first chance I get)
Personal Folder
> Organizing Folder
> Social Folder
Business Folder
> Web Sites & Services Folder
> Sales & Marketing Folder
Work Folder
School Folder
1-2 Year Goals Folder
3-5 Year Goals Folder
Life Folder

I also have the following contexts:
@online, @mac, @phone @agency, @home, @school, @errands.

Now I've gotta get everything switched to Apple and make this system work. Steve Jobs is a pimp!

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